Wal-Mart Advertising Anyone?

Shane Raynor takes a brave approach to issues about Wal-Mart over on Wesley Daily, by putting his post Wal-Mart Observations right next to a Wal-Mart add. I guess we know where he stands!

I wanted to call attention to this, because while I’m not running any Wal-Mart ads, I agree with Shane’s comments, and I don’t always do so. It is tremendously easy to criticize successful businesses, and Wal-Mart qualifies. I recently visited an art show in a small town that did not yet have a Wal-Mart. One was planned, but there were protests. But alternately we saw protest signs of those who wanted to keep Wal-Mart out, and then those who said that Wal-Mart meant jobs for the community.;

While I believe it is quite possible for a business to behave in a manner that is unethical–and such behavior should be condemned–I believe most of the arguments about a powerful business “taking over” a community and running out local business have to do with who gets the money and who gets the power.that results. Wal-Mart is an example of competition in this country. What do local businesses need to do in order to compete? You have to offer better service. I have noticed that local businessmen often try to sell themselves as giving better, more personal service, but when it comes right down to it, they don’t really provide. On the other hand there are local businessmen to whom I’m willing to pay a little extra simply because I know that the level of support I will get exceeds what I will get from anyone else. It is worthwhile to deal with them.

The competition simply needs to get smarter. In the meantime, it’s not my job to pay extra for someone else’s lifestyle, unless I choose to do so as a charitable donation.

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One Comment

  1. But you are paying extra to support someone’s lifestyle. You’re paying more in services to support the Walmart workers who can’t afford to pay for their own medical, for instance, and you’re supporting the Walmart CEO, who makes more in a week than most of his employees make in a year. (I was going to say “in a day”, given that his compensation adds up to a year’s minimum wage in just over 3 hours, but to be honest, I don’t know how many of Walmart’s employees make less that $12 an hour … I’m guessing very nearly all of them.) Walmart provides more jobs, but not always a net gain of jobs when you consider all the jobs lost, and almost never a better set of jobs, especially when you consider the failed businesses. And how can they compete with someone who can easily take losses for months, even a year, just to drive them out of business? Walmart can afford to subsidize any given store until its competition is dead. I could go on, but I won’t. I’m just distressed to hear you call fighting Walmart “paying extra for someone else’s lifestyle”.

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