One of the side stories to the 2004 presidential election was the fact that the nation's two largest warehouse companies took sides. Wal-Mart went for Bush and Costco went for Kerry. When you look at how each does business and treats its employees, that should come as no surprise.
Wal-Mart's bare bones minimums in pay and practically no benefits at all for the supposed sake of the consumer (to whom it sells cheap, sometimes unreturnable crap-on-a-stick made in China) which they say they are looking out for. Sounds sort of like how the Bush administration has treated the American public for over 6 years now. Come to think of it, Georgia Republicans operate pretty much the same way.
Contrast that with Costco, whose CEO, Jim Sinegal, supports raising the federal minimum wage. Known to be labor friendly, here's why Costco can afford to support it:
Costco, of Issaquah, Wash., would suffer no direct impact from a higher minimum wage because its lowest-paid employees now make about $11 an hour, Sinegal said, adding that the average worker in the company's 504 stores in the United States makes $17 an hour.
"In my view, some of these industries that pay minimum wage are constantly turning their people," Sinegal said. "They spend more on turnover than they would in paying the additional wages."
The last article I linked to calls Sinegal a "maverick." Maybe, but I prefer to call it "progressive" thinking, both in the sense of thinking outside of the box as well as in political terms.
Perhaps this is all something that we might want to consider when we need to do our shopping. It pays to support businesses that support our values. And it makes no sense to do business with those that don't. It only empowers the Bushes, Cheneys, and Perdues of the world.
I'm not sure how often its updated, but the Pima County Democratic Party in Arizona has an informative website called Shop Progressive! It compares the level of commitment that major companies like Costco, Wal-Mart/Sam's Club, Apple Computers, Dell, etc. have to the two major political parties.
So give it a looksie and see who you've really been supporting.