Posted by Charity on October 20th, 2006

I haven’t had a lot of time to blog, but I have a few topics I would like to talk about, so I am going to do a Vermont Hum-style post with multiple topics. My titles will not be as clever, though. And sorry, no Five Corners Update.

Wal-mart Can’t Win

Wal-Mart announced yesterday that it will be offering $4 generic drugs at its pharmacies in Vermont to the uninsured. The retailer was able to negotiate a lower price from its vendors due to its buying capacity and is passing the savings on to consumers.

Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie says it will fill a funding gap in the Medicare Part D prescription program. Dubie chairs the Governor’s Healthy Aging Commission.

Wal-Mart’s public affairs manager, Christopher Buchanan, said that the program will “save the state’s Medicaid program hundred of thousands of dollars a year” and will provide “a solution for uninsured Vermonters.”

VPIRG Executive Director, Paul Burns, was happy, right? I mean after all, the cost of prescription drugs is one of the top concerns listed on the VPIRG website.

The long-time critic of Wal-Mart had this to say on the WCAX newscast last night,

You know, again, the difficulty is that if that means bad news for small independent pharmacies in the state, they may ultimately not be such a good thing for consumers or for our local economy.

Wal-Mart cannot win with this guy. Of course, he’s rooting for universal healthcare, so he can’t say anything nice about a non-government, market solution.

Remember:

Government using its buying power to leverage better prices = good

Wal-Mart using its buying power to leverage better prices = bad

Others echoed the concern for the small pharmacies, but the general consensus of the people interviewed in the articles I read this morning, the Free Press and WCAX, was that this will for the most part only affect the uninsured. People with insurance will probably go to their regular pharmacy.

Poll shows 42% of Americans are Morons

Here is a local story about whether or not the President is controlling gas prices to influence the Republicans chances for election next month.

Every single person we questioned Tuesday reiterated that belief — that President Bush is manipulating gas prices to help get Republicans elected November 7th. It’s about feeling good about the economy on Election Day.

But wait, it gets better.

And a recent national poll shows those folks are not alone. The poll shows that 42-percent of Americans believe that the President is driving gas prices to effect the election.

As a She’s Right public service, I am going to provide the rest of the article, in which an economist explains the reality. After all, an educated voting populace is our common goal.

“It’s a sad commentary on the state of Americans knowledge of how the economy that we live in and work in everyday actually works,” says economist Art Woolf. “Most of the oil in the world is owned by national governments. Oil companies pump it out, they refine it, they transport it, but this market is very complex and to think that any one person or even a very small group of people control it just doesn’t make any kind of economic sense.”

Woolf says prices were high because of increased demand from Asian countries and supply problems in Venezuela, Nigeria and Alaska. They’re down now because — among other things — companies stocked up in anticipation of a big hurricane season. That never panned out and now people are conserving more. So with supply up and demand down, the prices have fallen with it.

He says it’s not politics, it’s basic economics.

Needless to say, Basic Economics will be a required class here at Tensel Academy. (Maybe even required reading.)

Republicans, Don’t Fly the Coop

I have said before that I do not want to vote for our Republican congressional candidates here in Vermont and I strongly feel that the GOP in Washington has left small-government conservatives in the lurch.

Today, Jonathan Garthwaite, Editor-in-Chief of Townhall.com has put together a compilation of excerpts from all the Town Hall columns recently urging conservatives not to abandon ship and abstain from voting or vote Libertarian, as many have pledged to do.

My favorite was the one where Tony Blankley calls us stupid. (It’s on the second page.) I read that the other day. Charming way to woo people.

This reminds me of a story though. Yesterday, my husband and I were driving out to Mazza’s and we were commenting on all of the Tarrant signs. I wondered if that many people actually like the guy, or if it is more of an anti-Bernie statement.

My 8-year-old son asked me which one I liked. I said I don’t like either of them. He said, “Well, there must be one you like better than the other one.”

The question is then, do I hold my nose and vote for the one I dislike least?

7 Responses to “The She’s Right Friday Extra”

  1. Poor, poor WalMart. I feel bad for them too.

    The little store is always getting beat up on.

    So very sad.

  2. I really don’t approve of Walmart using it’s huge marketplace leverage to squeeze producers.
    However, I think that it’s great that they’re bringing us this program. A lot of my family is uninsured, and this will help them a whole lot.

    BUT, I really don’t think that the government should have to/want to rely on a private company to fill in the gaps in the health care system that they are responsible for.

  3. Gravity said…
    I really don’t approve of Walmart using it’s huge marketplace leverage to squeeze producers.

    What happened to the complaints of the last few years about the price of prescription drugs and the pharmaceutical companies making too much money? Now that that has changed (by a non-government agency), it’s a problem for the ‘little pharmacists’ around the state. Could this be proof that the free market works better than the government?
    One other thing, it’s not the government’s job to provied health care.

  4. Let’s face it, Rich Tarrant sucks. First he runs those awful used pencil sharpener ads, then he switches to the ‘Bernie is in bed with pedophiles’ ads. Now he’s back to ‘we can all get along’ ads. I cringe when I hear them. He’s an ass and he’s not conservative enough to earn my vote.
    Those Townhall columns sound a lot like the voice of the RNC talking. Put up real candidates and we’ll vote for them.

  5. Bob, you raise a good point. The producers that WalMart is “squeezing” are the big, bad pharmaceutical companies that bring in record profits, blah, blah, blah. I hadn’t really thought of it that way.

    I have mixed thoughts about WalMart. On the one hand, I don’t like the way big box stores look and I think there is a lot of value in keeping things smaller. I also think they encourage excess and materialism, things I know even you revile, Mr. Optimizer.

    On the other hand, our kids would not have winter clothes or boots right now if it wasn’t for the bargains by the bagful I picked up there last week.

    Sure, I could have done the thrift store thing, but if WalMart didn’t exist there would not be enough thrift store goodness to supply all of the kids whose parents have little money.

  6. Why buy from Wal-Mart, they support gay rights groups and sell cheap goods from a tyrannical Communist country? What is conservative about buying from a big box store?

  7. Here are all of your choices to hold your nose at….

    Pete Diamondstone (Liberty Union)
    Cris Ericson (Independent) http://crisericson.com/
    Craig Hill (Green) http://hillsenatenow.org/
    Peter Moss (Anti-Bushist Candidate) http://www.petermoss.org/
    Bernard Sanders (Independent) http://www.bernie.org/
    Rich Tarrant (R) http://www.tarrant06.com/