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The Limbaugh "Angle" on Walmart

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: To Ontario, Canada. Say hi to Francis, and welcome to the EIB Network.

CALLER: (on the phone with someone else) We need to change leadership, but what's with your contradiction? Yep.

RUSH: Uhhhh…

CALLER: (still on the phone with someone else) Yep, all right. Yep.

RUSH: I do, too.

CALLER: (and, yes, still on the phone with someone else) All right, I'll talk to you later. Yep. Bye.

RUSH: All right, we're interrupting something in Ontario, Canada. Francis in Ontario, Canada, you're on the EIB Network. Hi.

CALLER: Hey, Rush, how's it going?

RUSH: Very well sir. Thanks very much.

CALLER: Thanks for taking my call.

RUSH: You bet.

CALLER: Love the show. Listen every chance I get.

RUSH: You need to change the union leadership, by the way.

CALLER: Yes, you're darn right we do, and certainly you'll have no issue with that with me. My concern is there's a contradiction on both sides of the organizing issue, not only with union leadership, but with the conservative view of organized labor. For example, I'll try and simplify the argument for this little segment that we have so that it's clear to all of your listenership. You take an example of Walmart.

RUSH: Yeah?

CALLER: You know, a capitalist icon, really --

RUSH: Free market icon, yeah.

CALLER: Well, it is free market, and it's beautiful.

RUSH: Yeah.

CALLER: They have 3800 retail stores across North America.

RUSH: They're not allowed in New York. You can put mosques all over there but you can't put one in New York. Chicago won't let one in there and that's because of the unions --

CALLER: You're talking to a union member that doesn't believe that I'm in conflict. Where I believe there is a conflict is with the conservatives throughout the United States and Canada against organized labor.

RUSH: Who's against organized labor?

CALLER: Walmart owes its existence to organizing, 3800 retail stores, central purchasing power, that allows them the ability to purchase and sell lower than the competition. That's organizing.

RUSH: But this is apples and oranges.

CALLER: It's not apples and oranges at all. Why is it?

RUSH: Well, because the purpose --

CALLER: That's a contradiction.

RUSH: It is not a contradiction at all.

CALLER: Okay, explain that to me.

RUSH: The reason for Walmart organizing, as you say, has nothing to do with why labor has organized. Labor is not about efficiency. Walmart's about efficiency. Labor is about something totally different than efficiency. Not that it's wrong --

CALLER: I would correct you there. Walmart organizing is not about efficiency --

RUSH: Certainly it is. It's about lowering costs. Union organizing is about raising them.

CALLER: It's about profits.

RUSH: Yeah. I know that's --

CALLER: -- sit back and look at it from your angle.

RUSH: What's the point? Efficiency --

CALLER: -- if we sit back and look at it from your angle --

RUSH: There is no Rush angle, there is no Rush angle. There's right and wrong, and I'm right. Efficiency --

CALLER: I would argue you're definitely wrong here.

RUSH: Efficiency equals profit, and there's nothing wrong with profit. Profit is why people get hired. Profit is how people get hired.

CALLER: Hang on a second Rush. Let's back up and look at it from your angle then.

RUSH: What is my angle?

CALLER: Walmart organizes --

RUSH: That's not my angle.

CALLER: That's Walmart's angle. Let's look at Walmart's angle.

RUSH: Wait, no, no. You don't know what my angle is, you said let's look at it from my angle.

CALLER: Okay, let's look at it from Walmart's angle. Walmart organizes.

RUSH: They like to screw people?

CALLER: No, no, not to screw people.

RUSH: By making a profit.

CALLER: Increase productivity, efficiency.

RUSH: You said they're not efficient.

CALLER: Pardon me?

RUSH: You said they're not efficient.

CALLER: I have never said they're not efficient. Obviously they are.

RUSH: I said that's why they organized, you disagreed with me.

CALLER: I disagreed that they did it to increase profit, efficiency, i.e., profit.

RUSH: Efficient, profit, I mean this is --

CALLER: That's fine.

RUSH: Same thing.

CALLER: So then your position is, your position would be that Walmart employees are the mindless minions --

RUSH: No.

CALLER: -- who support Walmart.

RUSH: No.

CALLER: From each according to his ability, is that where we're going here?

RUSH: No. If you want to know my angle, I mean I'll be glad to tell you.

CALLER: Well, I can tell you my angle. My angle is organizing is organized capitalism. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

RUSH: Right. Okay.

CALLER: I'm not suggesting either here or there.

RUSH: You go out and you organize your contract next year where you get more money for doing less work and more sick days and they will take your dues to elect Democrats and you tell me that's what Walmart is doing.

CALLER: Walmart organizes so they can approach their suppliers and say, "We can buy 68,000 pairs of Levi's jeans this year where our competition is going to purchase 68. We want a lower price for a volume."

RUSH: Walmart is not organizing. Walmart is growing. Walmart is expanding because they make and sell products at prices people can afford and are willing to pay. My angle on Walmart is very simple. It is their company, it is this country. If they want to have a nonunion workforce, that's their right, that is their business, and there is nothing illegal and there is nothing wrong and there is nothing insidious and there is nothing criminal about it. If Walmart thinks their business will be more productive and more profitable, which means if all those criteria are met, it means that their customers are happy. If Walmart, quote, unquote, organizes so that their customers are happy and content, they will succeed. If Walmart's purpose is to organize to keep a bunch of rabble-rousing union people happy, then their customers are going to be of secondary concern, and they will not maybe exist like General Motors and Chrysler, ahem, ahem, until they were bailed out by Imam Obama. That's my angle. I'll add to it.

I have no quarrel if anybody wants to join a union. I have said this throughout my star-studded radio career. If you want to join the pig iron workers, go right ahead. If you want to join the teamsters, go right ahead. If you want to join the autoworkers if you have to to work, fine, go do it. It's America. You want to be part of a union, go right ahead, but understand what's happening to you. You cease to exist as an individual. You become part of a unit. Your union negotiators are responsible for whatever they can get the employer to pay you. And to get any more than that, you're going to have to go do overtime or what have you. How good you do your job compared to the next guy is irrelevant. It's not merit based. It's time based. Put in the time, no matter what you do you're gonna get paid. But at the same time that happens you can't sit around and get mad at entrepreneurs who have more money than you do on the basis that it isn't fair. They made a choice to become entrepreneurs, to take risks, start businesses, create products, services, what have you, borrow money, risking everything, and in some cases it pays off. And they end up with a car and a house. While other people are members of unions.

Nobody is the same. Nobody's equal. Nobody has the same ambition. No two people have the same talents, ambition, desires, educational results. It's too complex. Unions, however, exist so that management can deal with Big Labor costs in a systemized way where they can calculate them over a long-term number of years because they have a lot of people doing the same thing. And it makes sense for certain companies to have a unionized workforce. Other companies do not want to have a unionized workforce. For them and the way they've organized, the way they've put themselves together, it makes more sense for them not to be. Neither company, the one that has a union or the one that doesn't is bad. Neither one is a crime. Neither one is anti- anything. They're simply trying to turn a profit so they can stay in business. They do it while at the same time trying to keep their customers happy and content, 'cause if they don't do that, bye-bye profit, close up shop. They do not exist to provide health care and sick days and vacation days and veterinarian days for the employees. That's my angle.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Oh, yeah, baby. All right. Ladies and gentlemen, many of you are probably wondering, what just happened here? I want to explain to you what just happened, and I want to, in the process, do something I very seldom do, and that is tell you how good I am at what I do. What just happened on this program was, we tuned in to a caller, he's been on hold for about a half hour, it said up there he was a union guy and wanted to talk about my attitude about unions or whatever. That's all I knew. We went to him, he's on the phone talking to somebody else, he said, "We need somebody new to head up the union," so I listened to that. The guy starts talking to me as though we are in the middle of a conversation already. He starts telling me what I said and what I think, and this is the first time I've ever talked to the guy. He's from Canada, and that's all I know. So I want along with it. I had four minutes left in this segment. I had four minutes to make chicken salad. Snerdley gave me chicken crap. I had four minutes to make chicken salad here.

So I said to myself, okay, I've got to join this. It is what it is. This guy thinks I've said something. He thinks we've been talking about it for a while now. It sounded to you like this is the middle of a conversation that you didn't hear the beginning of. Well, it was. And I didn't hear the beginning of it, either. So let me tell you what just happened. We had a guy from Canada, Canada is more than twice organized union as we are. They've got 30% organized labor versus 12% here, in some cases I've seen it's 8% here. Canada has been fighting like hell to try to organize 200 or so Walmart stores, so I suspect who that guy was was a union goon -- uh, organizer. Canada has a version of card check. Card check is where you can force companies to unionize in a secret ballot so nobody knows how anybody voted. They're trying to get that done here. Walmart is one of Canada's largest employers, and they're not unionized, and therefore they must be punished.

Now, I'm assuming all of that when I hear this guy on the phone. Ottawa, Canada, starts talking about unions, I hear him say we need a new union head or leadership or whatever. We're in the middle of a conversation that really hasn't started. So you're out there listening, "What the hell is this?" I'm doing the same thing except I'm host, I can't sit here and say, "What the hell is this?" I gotta play along with it. I gotta go along with it. My brain's 125 miles an hour at that point. So what happened was this. I had a guy call me from Canada who was saying I have a confused, irrational statement based upon a flawed premise. I have a position that you've taken that I know is wrong, but I'm not going to stick it to you anyway, and I'm gonna make you untangle your nonsensical statements in four minutes or less. That's what he's telling me, and I'm sitting here saying, okay, to make this pay off, I'm saying to myself while I'm listening to this guy while he's trying to tell me my angle on unions, I'm asking myself, how can I make this pay off and have you not hit the button and go to a different show? I know you wouldn't do that 'cause there isn't any, but theoretically, how do I take this seemingly nonsensical, "what the hell is this" phone call, and make sense out of it? And so that's what I did.

I just decided at some point the guy's gonna tell me what my angle is, he may as well know what it is, it's up to me to tell him, so I did. Creating an efficient business is not organizing. Organizing is what unions do after an efficient business has been created to make the business inefficient. Now, I have no quarrel with union people. None. Everybody has to eat and not everybody's the same, and if people want to join unions that's all well and good. My problem is with union leaders and with particularly public employee union leaders who are socialists, who are liberals, who are essentially anti-free market. I'm sorry. I'm free market. I'm not going to peacefully co-exist with somebody who is anti-free market on some basis of human rights or civil rights. It's just that simple.

END TRANSCRIPT

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