Why I love to hate Wal-Mart

I’m reviving yet another post that has sat in my drafts folder for two years. When I first wrote this, I had titled it “Why I don’t shop at Wal-Mart.” Since that time, I’ve moved to a town where unfortunately, I’m forced to shop at Wal-Mart for some items not available unless I drive a half hour away to the nearest “big” town (Fort Wayne, Indiana).

This most often comes up when I need yarn for crocheting. My town doesn’t have a Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, or JoAnn’s. Nor do we have any cute, local yarn shops. The only place I know of in town to buy yarn is the crafts aisle of Wal-Mart. And even then, the selection is not great. Other times, I’ve walked in to try to find an “exotic” ingredient–you know, something like prosciutto–when I haven’t been successful at finding it at Aldi or the local Kroger-branded store. You know what? Our Wal-Mart doesn’t even carry prosciutto! And no, there aren’t any Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods in town.

When I do have to venture into Wal-Mart I feel guilty for supporting a business I hate. I feel like any bad experience I have standing in line at the check-out is my just reward for entering the big box in the first place. I’m embarrassed if anyone I know sees me because I’m sure they immediately scream “HYPOCRITE!” in my direction. Oh, the shame.

I haven’t always hated Wal-Mart. In college, a trip to the local “Wally World,” as we so fondly called it, was a car-pool-worthy outing. We scoured the aisles for cheap dorm room decor and school supplies, stocked up on microwavable snacks, and traveled in packs of weary students.I remember how excited I was to enter a Wal-Mart in Mexico City during a study-abroad trip and know right where to go to find bread. And at the time I didn’t see anything sad about that.

But then something happened when I went to graduate school for historic preservation. I learned how Wal-Mart and other big-named chains were destroying historic downtowns and driving mom-and-pops out of business. I watched The Wal-Mart Movie and learned about the working conditions of the factory workers overseas who make the cheaply priced clothing. I learned about product suppliers having to ship US jobs overseas to be able to afford to supply Wal-Mart goods at the price-point demanded. I learned how Wal-Mart’s poor wages for its workers result in many of their US employees having to rely on welfare, food stamps, and Medicaid to survive despite working full-time. I learned about all the subsidies local communities give Wal-Mart to attract them to their towns, in the mean time, ensuring the demise of many family owned businesses that provided decent wages to locals for decades. Wal-Mart has changed the way we live and our expectations about value and cost.

Wal-Mart Low Prices

Found on facebook from a group promoting an $11 minimum wage.

That’s why I get so irked when I come across something like this in social media (I have no idea when or where this originated, other than several friends posted it to facebook with a “right on!” comment):

Wal-Mart vs.  The Morons

1.   Americans spend $36,000,000 at Wal-Mart every hour of every  day.

2. This works  out to $20,928 profit every minute!

3.   Wal-Mart will  sell more from January 1 to St. Patrick’s Day (March  17th) than Target sells all year.

4. Wal-Mart  is  bigger than Home Depot + Kroger + Target +Sears  + Costco +  K-Mart  combined.

5. Wal-Mart  employs 1.6 million people, is the world’s largest private employer, and  most speak English.

6. Wal-Mart  is the largest company in the history of the world.

7. Wal-Mart  now sells more food than Kroger and Safeway combined, and keep in mind they  did this in only fifteen years.

8. During  this same period, 31 big supermarket chains sought  bankruptcy.

9.   Wal-Mart now sells more food than any other store in the  world.

10.   Wal-Mart has approx 3,900 stores in the USA of which 2,906 are Super Centers; this is 1,000 more than it had five  years  ago.

11. This year  7.2  billion different purchasing experiences will occur at Wal-Mart stores. (Earth’s population is approximately 6.5 Billion.)

12. 90% of  all Americans live within fifteen miles of a Wal-Mart.

13.   Wal-Mart has gross sales that total more than the total revenue of all the  countries in the world, except 6.

You may  think  that I am complaining, but I am really laying the ground work  for suggesting that MAYBE we should hire the guys who run Wal-Mart to fix  the economy.

This should be read and understood by all Americans Democrats, Republicans, EVERYONE!!

To the  President  and all 535 voting members of the Legislature, both  parties. It is now official you are ALL corrupt  morons:

a. The  U.S.  Postal Service was established in 1775. You have had 234 years to  get it right and it is broke.

b. Social Security was established in 1935. You have had 74 years to get it  right and it is broke.

c. Fannie  Mae was established in 1938. You have had 71 years to get it right and it is  broke.

d. War on  Poverty started in 1964. You have had 45 years to get it right; $1 trillion  of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to “the poor” and they  only want  more.

e. Medicare  and Medicaid were established in 1965.  You have had 44 years to get it  right and they are broke.

f. Freddie  Mac was established in 1970. You have had 39 years to get it right and it is  broke.

g. The  Department of Energy was created in 1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign  oil. It has ballooned to 16,000  employees with a budget of $24 billion  a year and we import more oil than ever before. You had 32 years to get it  right and it is an abysmal failure.

You have  FAILED in every “government service” you have shoved down our throats while  overspending our tax dollars.

AND YOU WANT  AMERICANS TO  BELIEVE YOU CAN BE TRUSTED WITH A GOVERNMENT-RUN HEALTH  CARE SYSTEM ??    YOU THINK YOU CAN RUN THE AUTO INDUSTRY…. THE BANKING  SYSTEM?????

MAYBE  WE OUGHT TO KICK YOUR EGG-HEAD BUDDY BUMS OUT OF OFFICE AND HIRE WALMART TO  RUN THE  GOVERNMENT  ???

WALMART SEEMS  TO KNOW HOW TO RUN A BUSINESS…WHY DON’T YOU GUYS JUST ADMIT IT’S WAY  BEYOND YOUR PAY GRADE, AND QUIT?

Folks, keep  this circulating. It is very well stated.  Maybe it will end up in the  e-mails of some of our “duly elected’ (they never read anything) and   their staff will clue them in on how Americans feel.

“You can’t fix stupid,  but you can vote it  out.”

EGADS, No!!! Wal-Mart running the country? That’s like my worst nightmare. In the mean time, I’ll do my best to support local business owners, even if it means paying a bit more for my purchases. And I’ll hope for changes in Wal-Mart’s business practices that make me feel better about having to occasionally patronize them.
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One response to “Why I love to hate Wal-Mart

  1. I must say…we hate Wal-mart too, what is stands for and the people that shop there just drive me NUTS!!! (the stupidity that goes on there is just beyond the manners that I was taught to have in public & don’t get me started on the “dress code”) But, unfortunately it is literally only about 5 minutes up the street and on occasional we go there because we know it’s the only place to buy what we need quick.

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