pwned: A corruption of the word “Owned.” This originated in an online game called Warcraft, where a map designer misspelled “owned.” When the computer beat a player, it was supposed to say, so-and-so “has been owned.”
Instead, it said, so-and-so “has been pwned.”
It basically means “to own” or to be dominated by an opponent or situation, especially by some god-like or computer-like force.
New York Times columnist Tim Egan must know the feeling of being “pwned.” Egan wrote a piece in the Times attacking the wage policies of WalMart.
Unlike many corporations that would simply be a punching bag for the Grey Lady, WalMart fought back with a humorous piece. They also did something else that Egan did not: they used facts.
WalMart added “clickable” links for people to check if they so desired:
Here are the links we mentioned in our edits:
1. Associate story re: public assistance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WwGhOhRH38
2. Ed Schultz on Polifact.com re: public assistance: http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/may/23/ed-schultz/ed-schultz-says-walmart-worke…
3. Jason Furman on Walmart and the economy: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/dialogues/features/2006/is_walmart_good_for_the_amer…
Wal-Mart’s low prices help to increase real wages for the 120 million Americans employed in other sectors of the economy. And the company itself does not appear to pay lower wages or benefits than similar companies, or to cause substantially lower wages in the retail sector…
[T]o the degree the anti-Wal-Mart campaign slows or halts the spread of Wal-Mart to new areas, it will lead to higher prices that disproportionately harm lower-income families…
By acting in the interests of its shareholders, Wal-Mart has innovated and expanded competition, resulting in huge benefits for the American middle class and even proportionately larger benefits for moderate-income Americans.
Although the link is via a post by colleague Michael Cannon, it wasn’t any of us at Cato who wrote that: it was Jason Furman, adviser to Democratic candidates and President Obama’s current chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. More Furman on Wal-Mart here.
Nate Hale of In From the Cold offers one more devastating haymaker at Egan’s piece:
One final thought: had we been in Mr. [David] Tovar’s [the company’s vice-president for corporate communications who wrote the WalMart response] position, there would be a little addendum to our critique, something along the lines of “Hey Tim: at least we have a business model that works.” At last report, Wal-Mart was both the largest employer and tax payer in America, and its economic muscle to force lower prices amounts to a 6.5% boost in household income for the nation’s poorest families. And by the way, that statistic comes from the liberal economist Jason Furman, appointed last year as Chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. Hardly a member of the Vast Right Wing conspiracy.
As for The New York Times Company, not long ago it was begging Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim for a loan. While digital circulations are on the upswing, the company has been bleeding red ink for years, thanks to such savvy moves as buying the Boston Globe for a cool $1 billion in the early 90s, then unloading it last year, at a fire-sale price of only $70 million.
(h/t to Walter Olsen of Overlawyered.)