July 6, 2005


CoC woos Black Caucus (Josephine Hearn, 7/06/05, The Hill)

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has quietly begun a campaign to court members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), an all-Democratic and largely liberal group that in the past has found little common ground with business interests.

The move comes at a time when many major legislative initiatives pass by the slimmest of margins, if at all. Under such conditions, even a few votes gleaned from the ranks of the CBC could deliver a victory for the Chamber’s pro-business agenda. [...]

The Chamber’s effort follows closely on the heels of Wal-Mart’s enterprising courtship of the CBC, in which the retail giant has been seeking to drive a wedge between labor unions and their longtime allies in Congress. Wal-Mart has highlighted its role as the largest employer of African-Americans.

“Obviously, Wal-Mart has done an excellent job of creating pretty good relationships with the CBC. I don’t know that we’re following the example of Wal-Mart, but I think it’s very good government relations,” Miller said.

If they started voting economic development instead of entitlement...

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 6, 2005 6:50 AM

Wal-Mart has highlighted its role as the largest employer of African-Americans.

A mixed blessing.

Although I emphatically believe that Wal-Mart has been good for both American consumers and workers, it must be noted that few Wal-Mart jobs are high wage.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at July 6, 2005 10:56 AM

Walk into the Wal-Mart here at least and if you're at all employable you'll be making $8 to $10 an hour--depending on which introductory job you take. That's high wage for low skills and low education.

Posted by: oj at July 6, 2005 11:21 AM

mh: why would any retail job be high wage ? the greater point, as oj makes it, is that low wage beats no wage, every day. also, many jobs at wal-mart have decent benefits.

Posted by: cjm at July 6, 2005 12:25 PM

Going to be a long struggle if the Wal-Mart, City of Chicago saga is any indication.

Posted by: Rick T. at July 6, 2005 2:14 PM

My younger brother works at a Wal-Mart. None of the jobs start at minimum wage and the turnover rate is some 40% a year, with lots of people leaving for higher-paying jobs. Also, there's no better place to get all sorts of goods at low prices -- which is surely helpful to low-income people.

People may have reasonable complaints about Wal-Mart but the supposedly deplorable condition of their employees is much exaggerated.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at July 6, 2005 8:48 PM


The point is, that having the largest employer of blacks be an organization that the best you can say about is "It sure beats nothing" isn't a superb situation.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at July 8, 2005 7:00 AM