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Wal-Mart: Food for Thought.

Posted by Chance on February 8, 2006

John Stossel talks about the morality of Wal-Mart in this article. Stossel states “Wal-Mart’s critics act as if economic competition were a “zero-sum game” — if one person gets richer, someone else must be getting poorer. If Wal-Mart’s owners profit, we lose. But the reality is exactly what our ordinary language tells us: We make money. We produce wealth. Wal-Mart created wealth…By keeping prices low, Wal-Mart effectively gives everyone who shops there a raise, its own employees included.”

Another article by Sebastian Mallaby states that “Wal-Mart’s critics allege that the retailer is bad for poor Americans. This claim is backward…he [Jason Furman of New York University] points out that Wal-Mart’s discounting on food alone boosts the welfare of American shoppers by at least $50 billion a year. The savings are possibly five times that much if you count all of Wal-Mart’s products.”

The article also points at that “These gains are especially important to poor and moderate-income families. The average Wal-Mart customer earns $35,000 a year, compared with $50,000 at Target and $74,000 at Costco. Moreover, Wal-Mart’s “every day low prices” make the biggest difference to the poor, since they spend a higher proportion of income on food and other basics. As a force for poverty relief, Wal-Mart’s $200 billion-plus assistance to consumers may rival many federal programs.”

Another quote: “But let’s say we accept Dube’s calculation that retail workers take home $4.7 billion less per year because Wal-Mart has busted unions and generally been ruthless. That loss to workers would still be dwarfed by the $50 billion-plus that Wal-Mart consumers save on food, never mind the much larger sums that they save altogether.”


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