Capital & Main’s Latest News Section.
(Editor’s Note: A slightly longer version of this post originally appeared in Dissent.)
Last month Wal-Mart became the latest company to drop its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council in response to public outrage over ALEC’s aggressive support for “Stand Your Ground” laws (which are implicated in the death of Trayvon Martin, among others). Wal-Mart won some kudos for leaving ALEC, but its shrewd move was nothing more than an attempt to divert attention from the retail giant’s current troubles and its multimillion dollar effort to burnish its image, peddle its influence, and increase its market share.
The uproar over the Wal-Mart bribery scandal in Mexico uncovered last month evokes the famous distinction between “dishonest graft” and “honest graft” made by George Washington Plunkitt, a Tammany Hall politician in the early 1900s. Dishonest graft, Plunkitt explained, involves bribes and blackmail.
It was Grover Norquist who famously said he wanted to shrink government to a size where he could drown it in a bathtub. Norquist’s Paulist allies in Congress (Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Paul Ryan) show no interest in stopping there, however, and probably would go after the bathtub next – or at least indoor plumbing. Of course, things like indoor plumbing and electricity are some of the creature comforts that were brought to millions of Americans by their federal government decades ago, because private enterprise saw no immediate profit in spreading such “luxury” to everyone. Without New Deal programs such as the Rural Electrification Administration, Tennessee Valley Authority and Farm Security Administration, many of us might still be sitting in the dark, as well as sitting – well, elsewhere, if you get my drift.
It’s become bad manners today, however, for government to remind us of the things it does for Americans – or rather,
Earlier this week, we reported on changes that are needed in the medical cannabis industry. Well, this Friday (June 22), the L.A. City Council takes up two competing proposals for how to deal with an industry that’s gotten out of control.
On the one hand, L.A. City Councilman Paul Koretz and Council President Herb Wesson have made a motion to direct the City Attorney to draft an ordinance that will allow patients limited safe access to responsible operators. The City Attorney would develop an ordinance that establishes strict guidelines for dispensary operations and subject them to city oversight.
This should curb the sorts of abuses we’ve read about, reduce the number of dispensaries, maintain high-road jobs and allow continued access of patients to their medicine.
On the other hand, Councilmen Jose Huizar and Mitchell Englander have proposed a so-called “gentle ban.” But far from being gentle,
It’s been seven years since documentary film maker Robert Greenwald‘sWalmart, The High Cost of Low Price exposed the corrosive effects the retail giant has had on America’s economy and on its workers.
Now, in advance of the June 30 March Against Walmart, Greenwald’s Brave New Foundation and Cuéntame have released a minute-long short, Stop the Invasion! No Wal-Martization!, in which local business, faith and labor leaders, along with Congresswoman Judy Chu, spell out why Walmart cannot be allowed to move into Chinatown. Take a look!