In honor of Bastille Day, here’s some classic Rush:
A Wal-Mart store in Cleveland is holding a food drive to support its own employees (h/t Myerman, Business Insider). The Cleveland Plain Dealer has good coverage of the controversy, which pits store spokespeople, who say that this is for employees who have suffered recent hardships, against employees and others, who argue that this demonstrates that the retail chain knows it doesn’t pay its workers enough to survive without government assistance, but isn’t willing to do anything except redistribute wealth between those same employees to address the issue. If the poll on the Plain Dealer’s website is any guide, a large number of people think this is a less than gracious gesture on Wal-Mart’s part.
Here we have a massive corporation whose size rivals the GDP of some small countries (just behind Taiwan’s 2010 GDP, and just ahead of Norway), whose owners came into their substantial wealth largely through inheritance, and whose employees often barely scrape by on their wages. One of this corporation’s many stores decides to act on the dire financial straits of its employees by asking similarly destitute employees to chip in. The people at the top, as far as I know remain silent on this particular matter and, in general, largely indifferent to the plight of those on the bottom. I can’t think of a single historical analogy here in which those at the top ever had to reckon with the manner in which their wealth was built on the backs of others.
Nope, no historical analogies at all.
Anyway, this is depressing to talk about so close to the holidays. Let’s just listen to some music instead. Here’s a song from Rush that I totally picked at random: