Wal-Mart Fact Of The Day

According to Forbes, Wal-Mart was the most generous corporation in America in 2007 (probably the world too), giving away $301 million in cash gifts to the Children’s Miracle Network, Feeding America, The Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, the United Way of America, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.” — Quote via Mark Perry, who has much more here

7 Responses to “Wal-Mart Fact Of The Day”

  • Hey HP,
    Out of curiosity, are you posting about WM because of the bad PR it gets from Dems?


  • Yep…trying to balance out all the propaganda that is out there. It also, IMHO, brings to light many of the fundamentally different views between the two parties – in economic terms, that is.

    Oh and, every now and then, it draws some wacko leftys in and its fun going back and forth with them. 😀

  • I’ve acknowledged the contributions that Wallmart makes in spite of their bad rep for putting local businesses in jeopardy and decrease in employment wages and so on…Honestly, I am on the fence for opinion on them, but this is a free market so I don’t have a real problem here.

  • Its more than that. The arguments about them putting “local businesses in jeopardy and decrease in employment wages” is all debatable. See here.

    I am not saying that the arguments are always wrong, just that they are more nuanced than people realize. Certainly more nuanced than the anger at Wal-Mart justifies.

    Let me tell you why I really like using Wal-Mart as an example: it shows in stark contrast, more so than any other example I could think of, the differences between the right and the left on so many issues, including economics, culture, race, and the ghetto.

    Take for example the complaint about their pay. Lets, for the sake of argument, assume that Wal-Mart pays less. But have you also noticed the other side of that coin? Wal-Mart also hires a disproportionately larger number of low class workers. Minorities especially. Ghetto neighborhoods especially. In fact, opening up Wal-Marts in the ghetto seems to be Wal-Mart policy. See here, here, and here.

    Then look at the union run grocery stores, you know, the grocery stores that the people that disparage Wal-Mart find so appealing. You will see a noticeable absence of minorities and service in poor neighborhoods.

    Of course if you are a lefty and have a weak grasp of economics, this is all just coincidence, irrelevant really. But a little economic background tells you that this is no coincidence at all. Its all based on a simple economic premise, namely, the belief that employers will not hire someone at a loss. In other words, I will not pay you $10/hr if you bring me $9/hr in productivity. Under those circumstances, I make more money by not hiring you – and that is precisely what union run grocery stores tend to do. (see here for more on the economics of this)

    This is how I explained it in another post that went back and forth in the comments section on Wal-Mart (post here):

    Unions, by artificially pushing up wages and requiring union dues put such a demanding premium on wages that the companies find it very difficult, impossible in many situations, to offer lower prices. This is why union run grocery chains like Vons, Ralphs and Albertson cater to the middle class. It is only through the middle class can these grocery chains sell products at a price where they can make a profit. In addition, by artificially raising wages unions force companies to hire employees who have higher productivity (a company would not hire an employee at a loss, if it is forced to pay higher wages, it has to find more productive employees to offset) – which is why these grocery chains have a significantly lower percentage of employees that are poor (and minority, through association).

    In other words, there are really two economic models up for debate here – no utopia. You either have to choose the high wage, high benefits, but at the same time middle class served and middle class serviced union run grocery store model…or you get the low class served and low class serviced; Wal-Mart model. Given that I grew up in the ghetto, and I have seen first hand what empty lot after empty lot does to a community, I prefer the Wal-Mart model.

    This is not all to the story either. Because Wal-Mart chooses the, what I call, low class model, it is also able to provide goods and services at a significantly cheaper price – a benefit that escapes many of the limousine lifestyle of its critics. But that amounts to serious $$ to those at the bottom end of the economic ladder (estimates as large as 20% increase in purchasing power).

    Lastly, Wal-Mart stores, in alot of ways, represents ghetto minority culture. Its stores are crowded, children are often running around without parental control, its loud, the service is poor, many of the employees have a hard time speaking english, and its not the cleanest stores to shop at. And so I really enjoy the elitism, the limousine liberalism, of its critics coming out in full view for everyone to see. Of course if they were talking about a ghetto neighborhood, given their cosmopolitan education, they wouldn’t dare speak ill of it…but given that its Wal-Mart, we get to see how they really feel about it.

    In conclusion, I really like using Wal-Mart because it has such a high bang for the buck. In one example, you get economic, cultural, and racial differences – all wrapped up in one example. And at the same time, you get to educate people about what really is a great company. People are often surprised when they hear, for example, that “Wal-Mart might well be single-handedly responsible for bringing about 38,000 people out of poverty in China each month, about 460,000 per year. Even without considering the $263 billion in consumer savings that Wal-Mart provides for low-income Americans, or the millions lifted out of poverty by Wal-Mart in other developing nations, it is unlikely that there is any single organization on the planet that alleviates poverty so effectively for so many people. ” See more here.

    Its a great topic, and one I will continue to post about well into the future.

  • Not only immerses luckily in Lin Daiyu’s peach blossom is unable to extricate oneself, the winding peaks and paths, after leaving has left the big sorrow, what the front surface comes is inconceivable greatly complete, lets us look that the peach blossom enters the poem the highest boundary, is take the peach blossom as external “the lucky chance”, points out frankly the poet covertly to the world, the accumulation already long comprehension. Said with the zen words that the peach blossom is “the color”, namely the world representation, the peach blossom opens falls, means that has with taking turn which does not have, the so-called peach blossom poem, considers “engages in introspection the poem by the color”, but achieves “engages in introspection the boundary peach blossom poem by the color”, more actually stems from hand of the poet, but stems from grasps principles hand of the imperial sacrifices monk.

  • First, I’m no lefty, not even close.

    Wal-Mart’s charitable giving is a smoke screen. All of it goes to national organizations with high overhead, so very little of it filters back down to the communities.

    Local community charities, the ones without national name recognition, get no attention from Wal-Mart, but they depend greatly on locally owned businesses. These are the kind of charities where the organizer walks into a local business and asks for a donation and gets it on the spot.

    Such charitable giving dwarfs Wal-Mart’s efforts.

    As Wal-Mart puts more and more businesses out of business, the quality of life in communities are greatly diminished.

    You mention above that Wal-Mart employs many poorer people. The problem with that line of thinking is that in a previous generation, these people would have had a better jot at good paying manufacturing jobs — but most of these jobs have been pushed overseas by Wal=Mart demanding ever lower prices from manufactures. Wal-Mart is forcing communities to trade $15 to $25=an-hour jobs for $8 jobs, and jobs that lack the same kind of career advancement and benefits that went with manufacturing jobs, thereby ensuring the poor stay poor.

    The conservative side of me is appalled at the billions of dollars in tax subsidies Wal-Mart has received to grow its empire. There is nothing free market about tax adjustments Wal-Mart gets to open stores in some communities. Without those subsidies Wal-Mart would be forced to compete much more fairly with local businesses.

    There’s no virtue in a conservative defending Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart represents everything conservatives should be against.

  • I love your respone Howard makes way more sense than they bullshitter up there trying to convince everyone to go to a place thaat fails the economy majorly. May not be seen but every dollar a taxpayer gives is the money that goes into giving wal-mart the recongnition for providing such low cost. “That’s right. We, the customers, get such low prices and convenient shopping because we, the taxpayers, subsidize Wal-Mart profits by paying for county public health services, food stamps and social services for its retired employees.”

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