Thursday, June 9, 2011

Boycott Wal-Mart

Boycott Wal-Mart!

I am boycotting Wal-Mart for the rest of my life. I watched the documentary High Cost of a Low Price and it convinced me. Wal-Mart endorses the futile system and creates a monopoly.

It is appalling that the CEO of one of the wealthiest companies in the world would be making about $27 million a year while that average hourly Wal-Mart employee makes about $13 thousand which is under the poverty line.  Wal-Mart pays its employees the least they possibly can while the leaders of the company are some of the richest men in the world.

Cooperate will give each store a certain amount of money each month for employee wages, and considering how many employees each store has, the amount each store is given is not enough to pay them all. So, what the store managers have to do is under staff the store, which gives everyone less hours and forces each employee to work that much harder on their shift.

Wal-Mart also encourages its employees to use government welfare, like Medicaid, WIC and food stamps. The medical insurance that the company offers is too expensive for most of the employees, especially those who work there and are supporting not just themselves but their families as well. So a company that in 2003 made $240 billion in sales can’t afford to give adequate benefits to their employees who are overworked and underpaid.

This is not only unfair to the employees but also to tax payers. Tax payers are supporting Wal-Mart employees who rely on state welfare, when the company has more than enough money to give their employees the benefits they deserve.

This is hardly different from the futile system where a few very wealthy people on the top own the company, and millions of workers at the bottom are paid hardly enough money to survive on.

Wal-Mart creates a monopoly, especially in small towns, because the store comes in with their low prices which are impossible for small businesses to compete with, and soon many small businesses in the area have to shut down. Eventually, all that is left is Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart has a policy where they will match any price from any store, in order to have to the lowest price. This seems great, but it ruins small businesses. Once Wal-Mart is the main place where everyone shops they have the liberty to raise their prices because they have lost all competition. Wal-Mart is a small business killer.

Of course consumers are attracted to Wal-Mart because of its low prices, but Wal-Mart creates poverty and then forces people in poverty to shop there. For example, in the documentary there is a single mom who works full time at Wal-Mart. She is on WIC and Medicaid because she doesn’t make enough for the basic necessities of life. After she gets paid, she shops at Wal-Mart using WIC. She is getting an unfair wage from Wal-Mart but she has to shop there still because they are the lowest price. Even some of the former business owners whose businesses were closed down because of Wal-Mart, now shop at Wal-Mart because they are living in poverty.

Why is it that these employees get paid so little? The company is one of the most prosperous in the world, and the leaders are some of the richest people in the world, yet many of their employees are in poverty, being supported by government welfare (by tax payers). How is this even allowed? Free market yes, but what about the rights of employees? It’s not like they don’t deserve more money. Wal-Mart is always busy; it’s a huge store with many impatient customers. Working there is likely stressful and tiring. Wal-Mart could not be as prosperous as it is without hourly employees running the stores, ad meeting the needs of consumers. How is it okay for cooperate to pay them so little while the leaders get paid so much?

The High Cost of a Low Price
How can we have a free market when Wal-Mart is closing down small businesses, thereby smashing any competition?

These are the reasons I refuse to shop at Wal-Mart. It is a corrupt business that treats its employees like slaves and I refuse to give them any of my money. I would much rather shop at a small business and pay a little extra money, to support family owned stores.

There are now two Wal-Mart stores in Prescott, and in 2012 they are building yet another store in Prescott Valley. I am curious to see what this will do to businesses in PV. I hope that I have convinced you NOT to support them by shopping there.

If I have time while I'm in Prescott, I’d like to do more research on Wal-Mart, both its treatment of workers and its affect on other businesses, by talking to employees and business owners in the area. 

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