The Evilness That Is Wal-Mart

“[N]early 3 million people have applied to work at Wal-Mart since January of this year. Clearly, Wal-Mart must be a terrible place to work.”

Wal-Mart is pure evil and its CEO is Satan. At least that is what the left would have you believe. Recent news articles, when not telling Americans that they are losing in Iraq, remind Americans that when they shop at Wal-Mart they fund pollution, poverty, and the destruction of small town America, much like by buying a Ford at the turn of the last century, Americans funded pollution, unemployment of blacksmiths, and an utter collapse of the then existing way of life.

Like the Bush Administration’s failure to defend its record in Iraq, Wal-mart has, by and large, stayed silent while left-wing special interest groups, offended that Americans might like to pay less and thereby free up capital for other purchases all the while contributing to a company that has near single handedly driven up capital efficiency while keeping a lid on inflation, have gone on the attack. One of these groups, the National Education Association, has now gone so far as to encourage teachers to boycott Wal-Mart. Usually lefty groups hide behind doing things “for the children.” This move, clearly, will do nothing but drive up costs and hurt children, not that the NEA has ever really cared for children.

instead of debating “known facts” and union inspired urban legends with the left, how about a small review of Wal-Mart’s impact in the community.

  • Last year, Wal-Mart gave more than $45 million to education initiatives.
  • Last year, Wal-Mart and its affiliates contributed more than $170 million to support communities and non-profit organization.
  • This year, Wal-Mart is giving more than $4.2 million directly to schools.
  • Last fiscal year, Wal-Mart collected more than $11.2 billion in state and local sales tax revenues. In Fiscal Year 2005, Wal-Mart paid more than $1.4 billion in state and local taxes.
  • You don’t have to be a Paul Harvey listener to know that Wal-Mart is always willing to assist local school groups in fundraisers and providing safe places for youth car washes, etc.

The fact is Wal-Mart, though it has flaws and is not the perfect company (is there one?), is a great community neighbor and an important player in the American economy. Unions have, for years, tried to reassert themselves as a power player in the American economic landscape. Thus far, they have been shut out. With the help of many anti-capitalist hippie types, unions have set their sites on Wal-Mart. Through urban legends on the destructive power of Wal-Mart in local communities to horror stories about poverty stricken Wal-Mart employees, unions and the left have tried to gin up opposition to Wal-Mart. They do so while ignoring that Wal-Mart is one of the few places that is willing to hire and train many disabled who otherwise could not work. They do so while ignoring that without Wal-Mart, many poor Americans would be without the goods the middle and upper class take for granted. They do so while ignoring that Wal-Mart forces no one to work there and yet nearly 3 million people have applied to work at Wal-Mart since January of this year. Clearly, Wal-Mart must be a terrible place to work.

Had unions and the left been successful at the start of the twentieth century, we’d still be using the horse and buggy instead of the engine. Were they to be successful against Wal-Mart, we’d find a more inefficient market system unable to compete as effectively in the 21st century global market. For that we would all be worse off.

For more information to counter the NEA smear, which really has more to do with holding children hostage to labor union disagreements, go to Wal-Mart for Teachers. Finally, Wal-Mart is starting to hit back and we should support them.

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Erick Erickson

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