Friday, October 12, 2007

Wal-Mart boon or boondoggle?

Guess how much Wal-Mart brings in every day? Nearly one billion dollars!

Let that sink in. One billion dollars per day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It's worth repeating -- one billion dollars per day.

Why would such a rich corporation fight against paying property taxes that help pay to educate our children? But they do. Wal-Mart has tried to reduce taxes at 35 percent of its stores and 40 percent of its distribution centers -- and they win half the time, according to a study done by Good Jobs First, a group critical of the retail giant.

Easy to see why. Wal-Mart comes to court with a van full of lawyers and accountants in full battle dress while the small local governments can barely afford to staff up with civil service attorneys.

Besides, many small towns mistakenly give Wal-Mart tax concessions to lure the company to their community.

The giant corporation saves about $3 million annually. Remember, they bring in a billion a day. So $3 million is chump change for Wal-Mart.

You would think Wal-Mart would want to set the pace for America's business community in supporting struggling local government. Instead, Wal-Mart is fixed on the bottom line.

This is just another reason I won't shop at Wal-Mart.

Oh sure, you can save a buck or two by shopping there but it is false economy. They wreak havoc on small communities by driving Mom and Pop out of business. That goes to the small town quality of life, which is much more important than the bottom line.

Furthermore, Wal-Mart's dictatorial pricing structure has driven many of their suppliers to close shop in America and re-open in China, where labor is cheap and quality control is spotty. (see lead paint, tainted toothpaste, etc.)

Question: when does excess profit become greed?

C'mon, Wal-Mart. Show some leadership. Show some pride in America.


Ken Martin said...

Right on, George. In Austin, Texas, there was an unusual event. The overpowering public opposition to a proposed Wal-Mart to be located on a grandfathered tract atop the Barton Springs section of the aquifer forced the world's largest retailer to back down. At the time I wrote a "City Ink" column that indicated Wal-Mart had 1.4 million employees--which happened to be the number of people in the U.S. armed services--and they are looking to invade a neighborhood near you. A Wal-Mart representative said at a public meeting that the company intended to have a Wal-Mart store every three miles. If that doesn't scare you, I don't know what would.

Anonymous said...

There is a huge neighborhood uprising in North Austin over WalMart's plans to put a super store in Northcross Mall. WalMart has agreed to scale down its plans slightly, but Baja Bentonville is still going to happen.

The South Plainsman said...

Good old Chinese Factory Outlet Stores! We have three Supercenters here in our town of 200,000, plus a Sam's Wholesale Club. Most of our older businesses have managed to compete with better quality and service. We have lost a few retailers, but our growth has been very steady. The real impact is on smaller towns nearby, and on the grocery business. Wal-Mart has just invented a better (or at least cheaper) mousetrap. They will eventually get too big and non-responsive to the market, and someone else will displace them. Their reliance on China for so many products may bite them some time in the future. Meanwhile, I will shop elsewhere. Just cannot stand to go into those Supercenters.

Lillah Cruce said...

ok I have to jump on the bandwagon here as well I HATE WALMART. I WILL ALWAYS shop at mom and pop stores, why? I like walking in to a store and they know my name. I like being able to find everything and not have to get a ladder to get to the top shelf. I like small town.

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