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.
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.”