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Both Barry Fagin and I have bucked the publicly-entrenched view of Wal-Mart and similar entities, but as there is always more than one side to the story (and usually a lot more), this Friday Follow-up is a shout out to an upcoming guest blogger for their post on their own site TheSameAir.Com.

Titled “TINA: Girl Next Door or Elite Myth?“, it contains some of the usual pleas for rich CEOs to cut back, an idea I ordinarily reject on the basis of simple math, but the author provides a counter-point comparison with Costco.  It is well-demonstrated with graphics and objective metrics.

When considering this data, the question becomes one of what differences are there between companies that enables Costco to do what Wal-Mart is not.  Is it truly voluntary, or a question of scale, market placement of price points, or some other factor.

And what is the cause and effect?  Is there less turnover at Costco because of wages, or are wages higher because their employees are actually worth more (and capable of keeping down a job)?  Are they attracting better workers by offering more and turning down more  applicants, or simply investing more in training them to pay for themselves?

The only other criticism I may have is that I question is “money in the pockets of working families” will create more jobs since it will only increase buying power if an increase in wages does not naturally get passed on to the consumer.  All I would see is what I’m pretty sure happens every time minimum wage is raised — the poverty line is raised as well.

I hope the author qualifies that last point further in some future article.  But if my presumption is correct, we could at least afford to buy more Chinese goods … I’m just not sure that will create jobs for Americans that don’t end up being a commute to China.

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