November 16, 2005

Walmart Wars

NEWS MAX has an article written by Dave Eberhart that starts out:


Hiring high-powered former presidential advisers and setting up a public relations "war room," embattled Wal-Mart has gone on the offensive against a new documentary that unabashedly seeks to bring the retail giant to its knees.

"Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price" debuted this month in theaters across America. The film portrays Wal-Mart destroying mom-and-pop businesses, paying such low wages that many employees rely on public assistance, and discriminating against its female workers.

Later in the article are these tidbits:

WAL-MART Drives Down Retail Wages $3 BILLION Every Year

ALABAMA: 3,864 Children of WAL-MART Employees are Enrolled in Medicaid

ARKANSAS: 3,971 WAL-MART Workers on Public Assistance

WAL-MART Costs Taxpayers $1,557,000,000 to Support its Employees

WAL-MART Currently Faces Lawsuits in Thirty-One States for Wage and Hour Abuses
Wal-Mart PR warriors address each and every charge, and offer a few factoids to support their own claims, including:

Wal-Mart saved each American household an average of $2,329 last year, according to an independent study by the economic research firm Global Insight. That's almost half the average tuition at a public four-year university.

Wal-Mart had a net positive impact in the form of a .9 percent increase in real wages.

The retail chain was responsible for the creation of 210,000 jobs last year, accounting for 10 percent of the national total.

A paper co-authored by a researcher from the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that food prices at Wal-Mart are up to 48 percent less than prices in supermarkets and other conventional retail outlets.

The presence of a Wal-Mart increases local commercial property tax collections by between $350,000 and about $1.3 million. Also, Wal-Mart collected more than $1.2 billion in state and local sales taxes for communities last year.

In January 2006, Wal-Mart will provide medical insurance to more than 1 million people, with coverage available for as little as $11 per month for individuals and 30 cents a day for children.

In the fiscal year ending in January 2005, Wal-Mart spent approximately $4.2 billion on benefits, including medical and dental insurance, profit sharing, stock purchases and 401(k) plans.

In that fiscal year, cash donations to charities through Wal-Mart Stores and the Wal-Mart & SAM'S CLUB Foundation exceeded $170 million, making Wal-Mart the largest corporate giver in the U.S.

Wal-Mart purchases goods from more than 61,000 U.S. suppliers and supports more than 3 million supplier jobs.

Now I am not a Walmart Fan by any means and I do not shop there. I read Sam Walton by Vance H Trimble and behind the flag waving and apple pie, is a history of predatory pricing and lowball tactics to crush competitors and suppliers alike. I applaud and appreciate their success, but as a small businessman I have felt the sting of the "Big Boys" first hand. Success also breeds detractors and critics that have a multitude of reasons and motives to attack large corporations.

Early this week here in Tucson we started getting bombarded with radio ads from Walmart Watch with a savy attack on Walmart with a christmas theme that is pretty effective. We have been hit with these adds day and night and that ain't cheap. Well the old saying "Follow the Money" is usually the best way to see what the real agenda is. Take a gander at the Walmart Watch Partners list and you will find some pretty powerful organizations. One cannot help but take note of the irony involved with so many of these very same organizations that have a nefarious history themselves.

Labor Unions and anti-business groups lead the way. Some heavy hitters that have been after Walmart for their non-union stance. I never like false advertising and I feel the commercials are misleading and mask who is really behind the latest attempt to bring the retail giant to its knees. They lament the low wages and lack of health insurance offered by Walmart to it employees but fail to mention the fact that they hire people who APPLY there. There is no draft and no one is sentenced to a job there.

I choose not to shop there because I do not like their stores. I do however support Walmart's right to operate and prosper in a capitalist society and to grow as big and rich as they can. So long as they do so legally I have no issue with their business. I might be inclined to support them a little more now that I know who and what is after them.


Posted by BillyBudd at November 16, 2005 07:05 PM | TrackBack

Thanks for the link. And you might want to look at this, too. For afterward.

Posted by: Kevin Baker at November 16, 2005 09:31 PM

Thanks Kevin, Count me in on Saturday.

Posted by: Billy Budd at November 16, 2005 09:38 PM

The AZ Daily Wildcat has has anti-Walmart ads for two, maybe three days out of the week, full back page. Now how many students would actually look at that page and take it to heart? Beats me.

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