Wal-Mart is good for the poor
That's the basic conclusion of Jason Furman's essay "Wal-Mart: A Progressive Success Story" posted at the Center for American Progress website:
It's my opinion that Wal-Mart has crappy stuff...when I shop at Wal-Mart, I don't expect whatever I buy to be very high quality. That's why I usually just by candy, or a book, or cd's that are the same you would get anywhere else. But does that mean I think it is a force for evil, as so many other college students apparently do? No. Wal-Mart should be free to hire people with the wages they want to pay, and to price it's goods however it wants. It is only because Wal-Mart has been so sucessful that people don't like them, and thats really jealousy, in my opinion. The other thing Wal-Mart-detractors hate about the company, is that it proves so many people are willing to work for such low wages and small benefits. Part of the reason for that, is that our government has done such a 'good' job providing these benefits at the cost of the taxpayer. So the same people who hate what they think Wal-Mart stands for are the same people who made it possible in the first place.
To me, Wal-Mart is no better or worse a corporation than any other. They just have a better business plan. If you don't like the way they do business, don't shop there, and don't work there. But don't say that they are doing something wrong.
Full Disclosure: Even though I don't think Wal-Mart has done anything wrong, I still don't shop there. I don't feel comfortable in the stores, and what I buy there usually breaks before I open the box. I know full well that the prices are lower at Wal-Mart than where I shop, but I'm willing to pay the price. That's how capitalism works. Vote with your money, and if enough people agree with you, the place you don't want to shop at, will soon go out of business.