Wal Mart, the left, Kelos, small businesses and the underclassYesterday I posted some thoughts on Wal Mart, and asked the question why is it that so many hate Wal Mart? A great discussion has ensued I want to share here.
Darleen, from Darleen's Place, said
I have no problem with Wal-mart's success when they do things right. But I oppose their getting local municipalities to use eminent domain so Wal-mart can keep their land acquisition costs below free market value. And Kelo will only exacerbate this exploitive tactic.I agree with that. This is where perhaps power corrupts. I do not advocate using eminent domain to remove residents to make space for a Wal Mart, but I am not opposed to a county or city council providing incentives to bring a Wal Mart into their community. Wal Mart makes a huge difference in a local economy. Not just in terms of tax revenue, but in making residents life better through affordable products. This is a thin line Wal Mart has to walk, and be very careful.
On the other hand, I've heard anecdotes about how hard the company squeezes its suppliers. It exploits its dominance as a customer to wholesalers who are not in a position to argue with the giant. Many a small manufacturer has borrowed to expand plant capacity in order to accommodate WalMart's huge demand; sensing the supplier's weakness, WalMart then renegotiates the deal, and the supplier loses all his profit margin.I responded to the issue of business that go out of business on my RedState.org diary. Here is part of what I wrote:
No one is forcing any business to do business with Wal Mart. Some companies taken an "all-or-nothing" gamble to try to gain Wal Mart's business, because they know its lucrative. When the gamble does not pay off, its not Wal Mart's fault. They do play hard ball. This is good business. Why doesn't any other company get criticized for this?Make sure to read the rest of my post here.
No one is being forced to do business with Wal Mart, but they do because it helps them, makes them more profitable, and at the end, allows to the business to have a more compelling value proposition. Don't blame Wal Mart for those that fail.
The left knows the power of words, even if they use them so loosely. Another comment I liked came from PB Almeida who wrote:
But at any rate, Wal-Mart's more visible PR efforts of late have been, one suspects, prompted by the fiery criticism its success has attracted. In other words, I don't think Wal-Mart itself originally claimed to be anything more than a very well-managed company that makes lots of money -- I don't think it ever claimed to be the savior of the working poor. But one can hardly blame them for their muscular PR efforts of late, considering the organized campaign against Wal-Mart and its capacity to do the firm harm.
I agree PB Almeida --- Wal Mart has been forced to wage a PR campaign in its own defense, and then gets criticized. There is no winning for them.
The truth is that there are those (even Americans) that hate America, and all that it stands for. To them, Wal Mart is a symbol of all that is possible in America and all that is to hate about what is possible with hard work. I see it as being about a family (Waltons) that worked hard, and made a business wildly successful. I can only hope to have that sort of success in my work.