Just in response to the New York Times’ smear campaign against Wal-Mart this month, I’d like to say that because I’m in New York for a few months and therefore not within reach of a Wal-Mart, I ended up having to go to K-Mart when I needed to buy a laundry rack. Normally a $10 or $15 item, the only one available was the $35 Martha Stewart version. I had no choice and bought it. On my way to the register I picked up the cheapest nightgown I could find, and a boxed Playtex bra. End of story: $73.

This is why Wal-Mart needs to take over. Or is this the “mom and pop” shop that New Yorkers are protecting from Wal-Mart?

For the record, Wal-Mart would never screw me like that. A simple laundry rack: $9. Cheapest nighty: $7.99. Playtex bra: $20. Total cost: about half of K-Mart’s.

Wal-Mart is a non-union shop, and every time I go there, you know what I observe the workers doing? Working! It’s also the only place where the employees don’t run the other way when they see you coming. And where they’re pleasant even at 2 a.m. — plus it’s got immigrant employees who speak better English than the customers. What a country! I mean — store! Even a mentally disabled Wal-Mart associate enthusiastically answered my question. People, a retarded Wal-Mart employee is more helpful than a mentally competent employee some place else!

And apparently, Wal-Mart is inspiring enough that people want to work there for free. Remember the story last year of the Drake University student who was doing a term paper on Wal-Mart and lived there for 41 hours? When he was bored, he’d start tidying up, putting things back where they belonged, and he later applied for a job.

We’ve seen a lot of interviews with miserable or digruntled ex-Wal-Mart employees, but it seems to me like if you’re not happy working at Wal-Mart, maybe it’s because you’re just not happy working?

How is it that Wal-Mart is “lowering area standards” when every time one opens up, 6,000-25,000 people apply for 300-400 jobs? They obviously didn’t have jobs with standards to lower. Meanwhile, mom-and-pop stores employ, like, three people. To quote Chris Rock from his last HBO special, “When white people get wealthy, they open Wal-Marts so that other people can get some money.” Chris Rock gets it.

Isn’t it better for a million people to be employed and for millions more to pay less than for millions to pay more so that a few thousand can be overpaid? Besides, if everyone was unionized and getting the royal salaries, most people would be unemployed.

Traditionally, the socialist aim has been the good of the many at the expense of the few. But for Wal-Mart, they make an exception and reverse it. Meanwhile, using the free market, Wal-Mart is doing a nice job of redistributing wealth, which these people otherwise root for.

In addition to its “community works” program, Wal-Mart helps fight crime. Not only did a Wal-Mart security camera directly lead to the capture of the two Phoenix serial killers last month, but looking around at some of the store’s seedier customers, I’d bet they save so much money shopping at Wal-Mart, they haven’t had to rob anyone in years.

But big business can’t win, apparently: Profiteering — bad! Lower prices — also bad! Now it’s called “pushing out the little guy” — who charges a dollar for an orange.

I saw a girl in New York with a T-shirt that said: “Wal-Mart — Not in this city!” And maybe she’s right. Maybe New Yorkers don’t deserve a Wal-Mart. If they prefer to pay triple the price for wilted lettuce, let them.

Besides, there’s no room for a Wal-Mart with the UN taking up 17 acres. The crumbling international body is looking for a $1 billion renovation. I’ll give ‘em a renovation: “Mr. Annan, tear down this building! And put up a Wal-Mart.” At least that’d be useful. (Seventeen acres should be almost enough, no? They could build a mini Wal-Mart.) This shrine to capitalism could solve global poverty a lot faster than the UN will.

So come on and shop Wal-Mart. With more than 8,000 greedy lawsuits pending against it, it actually needs your money.