Not if you’re at American Prospect it’s not, no. Apparently the economy should be set in stone so that consumers don’t benefit:
The failure of antitrust enforcement to create a fair, competitive environment for department stores facing anti-competitive pressures from discounters bears a striking similarity to the present moment, with Amazon playing the role that Walmart and other discounters played in the past.
Well, OK, what was the effect of that role Walmart played?
Productivity is the principal driver of economic progress. It is the only force that can
make everyone better off: workers, consumers, and owners of capital. Wal-Mart has
indisputably made a tremendous contribution to productivity. From its sophisticated inventory
systems to its pricing innovations, Wal-Mart has blazed a path that numerous other retailers are
now following, many of them vigorously competing with Wal-Mart. Today, Wal-Mart is the
largest private employer in the country, the largest grocery store in the country, and the third
largest pharmacy. Eight in ten Americans shop at Wal-Mart.
There is little dispute that Wal-Mart’s price reductions have benefited the 120 million
American workers employed outside of the retail sector. Plausible estimates of the magnitude of
the savings from Wal-Mart are enormous – a total of $263 billion in 2004, or $2,329 per
Even if you grant that Wal-Mart hurts workers in the retail sector – and the evidence
for this is far from clear – the magnitude of any potential harm is small in comparison. One
study, for example, found that the “Wal-Mart effect” lowered retail wages by $4.7 billion in
Seems pretty good. But we must stop Amazon doing the same because reasons.
The unthinking left in all its glory.