Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Wal-Mart: In case you don´t already know



    On Wal-Mart | By Umbra Fisk | Grist | Ask Umbra | 22 Nov 2004 Annotated



    Another Brick in the Wal-Mart


    On Wal-Mart



    Why Wal-Mart is evil is too philosophical a question for the likes of me, but I can produce some evil-sounding data. Keep in mind, however, that you may like the Wal-Mart world; cheap carbonated water may rank above healthy unions and livable wages in your personal priorities. I doubt it, but I want to recognize that each of us is a unique person with unique thoughts and opinions.

    Wal-Mart's impressively effective business practices have led to the spread of Sam Walton's Arkansas discount store to 5,000 locations in 10 countries, with $256 billion in global revenue in 2003. Wal-Mart prides itself on (and sells itself on) low prices. You yourself are swayed by them, and they constitute the only argument anyone has been able to muster in favor of the chain.

    In short, Wal-Mart disables and replaces small businesses that may have provided health care coverage and higher wages to employees, forcing people to ask the government for assistance or go without health care -- ultimately the costliest solution. Meanwhile, those businesses able to survive around a Wal-Mart are joining the race to the bottom. Grocery megastores involved in long union strikes in California over the past year repeatedly cited the need to compete with Wal-Mart as the central problem on their side of the battle over wage and benefit packages.

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