It is no secret that left-liberals hate Wal-Mart. They are accused of underselling other stores which, somehow, have an intrinsic right to stay in business and charge higher prices. They are accused of not paying their employees enough, even though they never seem to have any problem getting the employees they need. They are even courted by local governments to move into their area so that the community will get additional job opportunities when Wal-Mart hires them.
Nevertheless, Wal-Mart is hated, and they know it. Conservatives usually tout Wal-Mart as somehow a conservative corporation because it seems to be a free-market-related organization.
No, though Wal-Mart is a blessing to consumers for now, it is not, as a corporation, motivated by anything besides its desire for profitability and durability. Opportunism is not a commitment to conservative or even free-market values.
Thus, Wal-Mart has made a decision to jettison marriage. AP reports:
“Wal-Mart is extending its health care benefits to its workers’ domestic partners—including those of the same sex. America’s largest private-sector employer, which has long been a target of attacks by labor groups for what they call skimpy wages and benefits, says the changes were made so it could have one uniform policy for all 50 states at a time when some states have their own definitions of what constitutes domestic partnerships and civil unions. Almost two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies already offer domestic partner benefits. Wal-Mart defines domestic partners as spouses of the same or opposite gender, and unmarried partners who are not legally separated who have lived together for at least 12 months, are not married to anyone else, are in an exclusive relationship, and plan to continue sharing a household indefinitely, a spokesman says. ‘States have different definitions,’ he says. ‘We are going to have our own definition that will apply to our associates.’”
I realize many conservatives will criticize the inclusion of same-sex couples, and they should. But even if Wal-Mart had made their rule apply only to heterosexual couples (preposterous, but just pretend), it would still be a failure. People who just move in together and people who make public and official vows to each other are treated as the same social unit. It is an attack on marriage no matter how you look at it.
That Wal-Mart would do this, illustrates how no-fault divorce laws have degraded the institution of marriage. When husband and wives find it easier to leave their spouses than to abandon their credit card debt, what exactly can marriage really mean?
I think this bad news is another proof that public corporations are more likely to participate in bad government than to resist it. Furthermore, Wal-Mart’s move will now pressure all other companies to do the same thing.
Will this make liberals stop hating Wal-Mart? I doubt it.