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The Real Cost of Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart tries to get a newspaper columnist fired for an editorial that's critical of them. When that doesn't work, they stop selling his newspaper in their local stores.

The columnist is Mark O'Brien of The Pensacola News Journal. Here's some of what Mark wrote:

"I like Wal-Mart prices the same as the next shopper, but there's a downside, too. Many Wal-Mart employees lack the fringe benefits and insurance that makes the difference between existence and a good quality of life. Yet, we customers pay a surcharge from a different pocket — subsidizing health care for Wal-Mart employees who can't afford it."

Mark then described how a book he read pointed out that more than 10,000 children of Wal-Mart employees are in a Georgia health-care program, which costs the state's taxpayers nearly $10 million a year. Mark also pointed out that a New York Times report found that 31 percent of the patients at a North Carolina hospital were Wal-Mart employees on Medicaid.

Mark's column really wasn't about Mr. Walton's store, but about Pensacola and how we're becoming a Wal-Mart kind of town, "cheap and comfy on the surface, lots of unhappiness and hidden costs underneath."

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
nothingbroken
Jul. 28th, 2005 10:12 pm (UTC)
I swear, Wal-Mart was invented by Satan. I hate that place. :(
silverdee
Jul. 29th, 2005 08:34 am (UTC)
They really are bullies. They bully their employees, the towns they put stores in and their vendors. And people don't want to open their eyes to it because everything's so cheap in the stores so that makes it all okay.
kwanyin2004
Jul. 29th, 2005 10:43 am (UTC)
Walmart is one step up from a third world sweatshop. I heard they even locked employees in overnight so they couldn't leave and goof off having a cigarette or something!

Unfortunately, like Satan (as nothingbroken says), they are very seductive. I usually buy things other places as much as possible but every now and then I'm drawn in as well. I feel a little tainted after, like someone who licked the bottom on the cake pan when no one was looking. I would, however, be willing to pay more if they allowed their employees to form a union.

America is becoming a more obvious Oligarchy as time passes. Nothing good will come of this.
silverdee
Jul. 29th, 2005 11:49 am (UTC)
We've stopped shopping there almost entirely. There's just a couple of household items we cannot find anywhere else that we get there. I don't mind shopping at places and paying more when I know the employees get a fair wage and benefits. I prefer it because I know my $ is not just lining the corporate bigwigs pockets but also going into the wallets of the people I see in the stores all the time.
kwanyin2004
Jul. 29th, 2005 12:02 pm (UTC)
A sad fact is that options keep disappearing as the smaller stores close up and all we will be left with is Walmart and Walmart clones.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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