Friday, September 22, 2006

Anti-Wal-Mart Types on Defensive

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Fresh off yesterday's decision by Wal-Mart to sell generics for $4 pr month supply, leading Democrat bloggers try to make some argument that Wal-Mart is still evil.

Kevin Drum has nothing to say worthwhile and takes several paragraphs to say it. Now Ezra Klein is another story. Klein thinks this is a loss for Wal-Mart and a win for "progressives:"

WAL-MART...GOOD? Some of my right-wing readers may think this'll make my head explode, but Wal-Mart's embarking on a new initiative to use its size and weight to bargain down the prices on generic prescription medications. In other words, the company I always accuse of acting like a monopsony is now going to use their might to act as consumer advocates on health care -- which will be good for consumers and bad for Pharma. Hooray!

Klein fails to note that because of Wal-Marts prices for all items they have been acting as an advocate for consumers. The view that it will hurt the big pharmaceutical firms is misguided at best, a lie at worst. The GlaxoSmithKline's of the world will sell more volume, thus they will make money regardless. It's a win-win situation for all and Klein is perplexed about how to spin it.

It's worth saying, though, that this is exactly what I and most Democrats are always calling for the government to do, and it's precisely this apparently unfair tactic that the Republican Party barred Medicare from using in the 2003 Modernization Act. It's rather weird that Congress felt the need to outlaw Medicare from bargaining down pharmaceutical prices, but thinks Wal-Mart should run wild.

This is where it gets fun. Klein is a big government, tax and spend liberal. The liberal brain just can't process the fact that Wal-Mart has come up with a great prescription drug program that will rival those of nations like Canada and Britain. They can't fathom that an evil corporation, especially one that pays low wages and is non-union would come up with a program that will save all American's money. They can't quite get their superior intellects around the fact that this corporate evil that they constantly attack (with constant instigation by organized labor) could come up with the dream prescription program and they did it using free-market means.

I'd love Ezra to explain to me how a program that will make Wal-Mart and the pharmaceutical firms more money is a win for "progressives."

Sorry Ezra, the free-market and capitalism wins again.

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