I find Stacey Schnider’s article, “Americans punished for
success,” intensely interesting. It’s mostly because I can’t figure
out why she wrote it. Has there been a recent upswing in people who
just hate success? Are people who just can’t handle the idea of
someone growing richer? Or has Wal-Mart itself done something?
Well, if we want to know something, we look at the news. On a
search for “Wal-Mart” in the New York Times, there’s almost nothing
but stock fluctuations. But there is one major exception: “Wal-Mart
Faces Class-Action Suit.”
The lawsuit asserts that Wal-Mart has been “conspiring with
cleaning contractors to cheat immigrant janitors out of wages.”
It’s not just in one store, either, but in hundreds, involving
thousands of workers. The article also interviews one of the
workers, Maximino M�ndez. He’s a man who worked long hours
every single night for eight months, a man who was getting
sub-minimum wage for his efforts, a man who’s never picked up a
dime from all his overtime work.
I’ve never hated someone just for success; that’s jealousy’s
department. But when the successful and the rich are engaged in
this kind of naked penny-pinching, when the powerful use any means
necessary to keep even the smallest amount of money, that gets me
angry. When a company with “$245 billion a year” in revenue won’t
even hire legal workers, when Wal-Mart won’t even pay minimum wage
to thousands — there is something that we should all hate.