Sunday, September 03, 2006

"Middle ground" on Wal-Mart?

(Updated 4:12 p.m. Eastern)

So one of the Writing on the Wal socialists extended an olive branch to me. Maybe.
Shalom Perry,

I'm one third of the blogging troika at The Writing On The Wal and I'm curious. Do you think there is a middle ground between our two positions on which we could hold a reasonable discussion on how Wal Mart affects our economy and national policies?


Jeff Hess
I replied:

Ask yourself why boys aren't half-circumcised (at least not deliberately), and you'll have your answer.

The issue isn't Wal-Mart, or any other business. That's just a red herring. The issue is purely choice: there's no such thing as half-choice, only whether you can do what you want without harming others. I'm still wondering why you bunch want to restrict people's freedom to shop where they'd like, when nobody is forced to work or shop there.
He replied:
Shalom Perry,

The restricting people's freedom to shop meme is a straw man. Everybody should absolutely have the right to patronize the retailers they wish to. But you know that.

And thanks for answering my question.


Jeff Hess
To which I replied:
No, it's far from a straw man: it's precisely what you're doing. You claim that "Everybody should absolutely have the right to patronize the retailers they wish to." (I'll hold you to that, be warned.) But you belie that statement by advocating certain government policies that interfere with and hinder that freedom. How are you not infringing on people's freedom to shop where they want? Instead, they can shop where you will let them.

It's your turn to answer my question: if people are in fact worth more than what their employers are willing to pay, then why don't they find a job with someone else who's willing to pay that? But I don't really expect you to understand the basis of private property and voluntary commerce.

And you can stop using "shalom" with me. It's insulting when the first thing you should have written is an apology for your blog's misrepresentation of and personal attack upon me.
Normally I post e-mail messages only with the other party's permission, but considering it's one of the "troila" at a blog which misrepresented and personally attacked me...screw them.

Shalom Perry,

Since it seems we do have a dialogue here, I'll consider your first reply a matter of private communication. Any further responses will be on the record.

Which government policies are you referring to? I don't believe that I've ever read or heard about any law prohibiting any person in the United States from entering, shopping at and purchasing from any retailer not engaging in a proscribed business.

As to whether or not people are worth more than an employer is willing to pay, I have to say that I grew up in a part of the country – the Ohio River Valley – were I knew men and women who experienced first hand the battles against corporations like Peabody Coal and others over just this point.

If two entities sit down in good faith and negotiate a fair exchange of financial capital for human capital, then we have an example of people being paid what they're worth. If, on the other hand, one entity holds several advantages as regards factors such as choice, geography and ease of transport, no such fair exchange is possible. I'll give you that neither side is without it's abuses, but that cannot negate the basic rule of what constitutes an equitable negotiation.

In what way have I misrepresented you? Am I wrong in my understanding that you receive regular or periodic financial consideration (or its equivalent) from Wal Mart?

Finally, I choose my salutation and closing based on a matter of ethnicity. The only other closing that I use is Love, and that I reserve for my family and closest friends. So I'm afraid I must remain with:


Jeff Hess
My reply:
As far as I'm concerned, your initial e-mail was already on the record. I'm hardly a conservative, which you'd have realized had you bothered to research my blog before categorizing me. Also, for the record, I receive no "regular or periodic financial consideration (or its equivalent)" from Wal-Mart whatsoever. Thrice-weekly e-mails from a friend, particularly when I was already blogging positively about Wal-Mart prior to receiving them, hardly constitute such. So I'll thank you to stop repeating this new manisfestation of your old misrepresentation and personal attack. Meanwhile, I can still wait for the apology but will not hold my breath.

You speak of dialogue, but there's no dialogue here. Dialogue assumes that one side is capable of understanding the arguments made by the other. In this case, you cannot comprehend basic principles of voluntary trade. Let me try to explain it as simply as possible for the sake of your limited comprehension. This isn't about whether someone can shop at Wal-Mart: it's whether Wal-Mart is restricted from offering goods on its own terms. Every time you get government involved against Wal-Mart, by any action and not just by law, you hinder Wal-Mart's ability to offer goods on its own terms. You still don't see, do you, how this mostly affects the poor, who you claim to support?

You demand not higher wages, but higher minimum wages as mandated by government. Maryland's government unlawfully mandated minimum health care expenditures, which got struck down in the courts. Every time your ilk does such things, it forces Wal-Mart to compensate somehow, either by capping hourly workers' salaries (I wasn't surprised, were you?) or perhaps not entering a particular market. It took, what, a couple of years before White Plains would permit Wal-Mart to open a store? And because of the New York City Council's actions, Wal-Mart won't open a store anytime soon in the boroughs, though it otherwise would. So how can you claim government isn't hindering people's freedom to shop wherever they want? You're confusing "shop wherever they want" with "shop wherever they want that government has permitted."

And then you dare to talk to me about people negotiating with each other in good faith? There can never be good faith when government favors one side and/or hobbles the other. Despite your rhetoric, all you want to do is use the power of government to force employers into certain conditions. In other words, you're a hypocrite for espousing a double-standard. You'd never permit businesses to use the government to force employees into employment, would you?

I don't know how old you are, but I guess your daddy never explained, as mine did to me, that everyone may be born equal, but after that first moment, we become unequal. The law treats (or should) people as equal, but when it comes to living our lives, we all have different abilities and weaknesses. It's all up to you to improve and exploit your own strengths, including starting up your own business. If you don't like a private property owner's terms, then don't accept them. Find work elsewhere. Move if you have to. I did that myself, driving over 2000 miles to start over. What about you?

As like I said, you can stop using "shalom." You want nothing of the kind with me, nor do I with you, so stop the charades and speak plainly.


Blogger Ernest said...


This is what happens when the principle of reciprocity is overlooked. True classical liberals understand that once
you allow the state to have this
kind of power against someone or
something that you hate, that power can be turned on you later.
Your weenie interlocutor has absolutely no understanding of
the inherent injustice of statism
and would profit from a viewing
of "Roger of the Raj" from the TV show RIPPING YARNS.

Monday, September 04, 2006 2:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Shamus said...

Or, if we are trying to be pithy:

Never give to your goverment any power which you would not want to see in the hands of your enemy.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006 9:01:00 AM  
Blogger Cailin said...

Hi Perry, 90 minutes after you sent Hess the above email, in which you ask him several questions, including a personal question, "What about you?" he answered. Can I ask why you asked him questions then didn't indicate that he had replied? Your representation makes it appear that he did not bother to answer. He posted the full dialogue on The Writing on the Wal.

Thursday, September 07, 2006 2:12:00 AM  
Blogger Perry Eidelbus said...

Well, Cailin, it's six days later, and I haven't even seen his message. You know that little Gmail systray app that alerts you to new messages? Mine is rarely anything solid blue. I receive dozens of e-mails a day, from friends, blog readers and others, and to most of them I just cannot make timely replies. On Labor Day, I had a barbecue with friends. On Tuesday and Wednesday, I went shopping after work and didn't get home until late. My cable modem service went down (again) on Thursday, so I was completely offline. With everything going on, Jeff's reply is among the least of my e-mail priorities, let alone my total ones.

Please don't be such a dipshit as to presume everyone has the same quantity of leisure time that you do, or that I'm somehow "ignoring" Jeff. I assure you, I'll get to him in due time -- "due" being the operative word. I have a full life, not the least of which is a real job, and I spend my time being economically productive and/or in the pursuit of my happiness -- as opposed to liberals who spend their time lamenting how they can't coerce people like me out of our money.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to run.

Saturday, September 09, 2006 6:05:00 PM  

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