Saturday, August 6

Wal Mart -- Exposing the underclass? Making the Elite Uncomfortable.

I wrote some thoughts on Wal Mart earlier today, and had it posted over on my diary. I wrote:
So, I'll admit it--I shop at Wal Mart. I'll have to say, based on my lifestyle, I am poor. I live in real cheap housing ($470 a month), can only afford one used economy car, and have to rely on the help of others to finish my education (loans and scholarships). And yes, I shop at Wal Mart in order to keep the food budget within what I can afford.

So, today I was wondering why is it that so many people hate Wal Mart? Yesterday, a friend recounted how a co-worker drove 1 hour to a nearby city to shop at a Cosco, just to avoid going to Sam's Club. While I think that sort of behavior is good for the economy--after all she spent money on gas, miles on the car, tolls on the road, etc.--it does seem somewhat extreme and foolish. Perhaps I would call it obsessive and paranoid.

What is it about Wal Mart that bothers people so? I keep hearing about low wages they pay, but no one is protesting McDonalds, BK, the guys in my company's mail room, or summer camp counselors, lawn mowing, and other minimum wage jobs! Then there are the rumors of sweat shops in third world countries, and how Wal Mart forces small businesses out of business.
Read the rest of it. Also, check out previous rants on Wal Mart here and here. I also reported on a World Mag story about Wal Mart's decision to refuse to sell the morning-after pill in its pharmacies. Finaly, I write my reaction to an IconCulture email that reports on a perception study about Wal Mart.