Friday, July 17, 2009

Feeding The Croc

Proving once again that the only politics that corporations care about is that which enriches their coffers, Wal-Mart goes from Democrat Demon to Darling (WSJ-sub req):

But as Wal-Mart proved it was serious-launching a high profile campaign to sell compact fluorescent bulbs, launching a solar power initiative in California -- some of its critics started to come around. Others claimed Wal-Mart was just picking low hanging fruit.

In a radical departure, Wal-Mart, which traditionally supported Republican political candidates, began donating money to Democrats as well. It formed a coalition with union leader Andy Stern, once one of Wal-Mart's harshest critics, to help explore solutions to the country's mounting health insurance crisis.

In the last month alone, Wal-Mart broke with business groups and a majority of other retailers in supporting a employer mandate for health insurance -- a centerpiece of President Barack Obama's health-care initiative.

Wal-Mart's not doing any of this out of a sudden and sincere concern for the fate of Gaia of course. And they didn't just wake up one day and say, "You know this Obama fellow might be on to something with his health care plans." No, it's all part of a carefully calculated decision that their bottom line is going to be better off with the company acting as allies rather than adversaries of the Democrats who now control the government. The problem with such an approach is trying to calibrate your compromises so as not to give up too much. Good luck with that Wal-Mart.

I also wonder whether companies like Wal-Mart who have embraced being "Green" in the interests of making green have gotten too far out in front of the public. For every consumer who falls for the "we're going Green" pitch, I have to think there's another (like me) who is increasingly turned off by the fool's Green that firms are so eager to tout.

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