fuzzy logic

but stick with me anyways.

the new york times hates wal-mart. [free registration required, i believe]
the people love wal-mart.
therefore, the new york times is the enemy of the people.

though that was definitely not a logical argument (both premises are true, but the conclusion isn't necessarily true), it seems fairly accurate.

i think there was a theme for this at one point, but i lost it. mainly, it's a sort of "go wal-mart!" thing.

first off, an internal Wal-Mart memo* from Lee Scott, chief executive of Wal-Mart:

Well, we had been looking for ways to promote Lee’s Garage, and it looks like the New York Times has done that for us. The reporters take issue with my tone in some cases, but as you all know, with me, what you see is what you get. I will respectfully tell it like it is. I think the story ends on an important point, quoting my advice to an up-and-coming leader: “The first thing you can do is make sure you treat your people well, and understand that your associates are what will make you a success.” I truly believe that and think you can’t go wrong in this business if you live by that. Feel free to check out Lee’s Garage on the WIRE and see what you think.)

after which, i've decided to become lazy, and only partially dissect the article linked to above. in one moment of wal-mart bashing, the NYT brings in the following situation:

But its tone is at times biting. In his response to the store manager who asked about retiree health benefits, Mr. Scott wrote: "Quite honestly, this environment isn't for everyone. There are people who would say, 'I'm sorry, but you should take the risk and take billions of dollars out of earnings and put this in retiree health benefits and let's see what happens to the company.' If you feel that way, then you as a manager should look for a company where you can do those kinds of things."

which, when you get right down to it, is right on. never forget that wal-mart is a business; businesses exist to make money. if wal-mart is forced to spend billions of dollars on health care and retirement benefits, that's billions of dollars that can't be spent elsewhere; areas like opening new locations and creating more jobs, or rewarding its stock holders. if you don't like the fact that you don't get those benefits at wal-mart, then don't work there. that's part of the beauty of a free market... if you're not getting paid what you think you're worth, you can leave and look for something better. of course, if you're not actually worth as much as you think you are, odds are you'll fall on your face, but such is life. you've got the same opportunities as the rest of us (TR's "square deal,") so it's up to you to choose wisely.

on a totally unrelated note, i have a 3-day weekend coming up, which i am going to begin enjoying right.... now.

*from an anonymous (but reliable) source, as well! i bet i can hold out longer than judith miller when the feds come after me.