Anti-Wal-Mart campaign is misguided

Wal-Mart is the favourite whipping boy of labour unions and leftists who blame the retail giant for everything from low wages to a lack of health insurance. Yet, Wal-Mart workers and customers see things differently, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).

Consider the following:

  • A new Wal-Mart in Oakland, California, built on a once empty field, brought 350 jobs averaging $10.82 an hour to a heavily minority area; it will also bring in a half-million badly needed tax dollars.

  • Wal-Mart now employs more than one of every 100 American workers and accounts for 2.4 per cent of U.S. Gross Domestic Product; Wal-Mart's entry into a market also increases jobs by 100 immediately and by a net 50 jobs in the long run.

  • During the "new economy" surge of the late 1990s, Wal-Mart had a 48 per cent productivity advantage over its competitors, which forced others to get better or go under; most got better – a lot better – to keep up.

  • According to Harvard University business professor Pankaj Ghemawat, Wal-Mart helps push prices down 5 to 8 per cent in markets it enters, saving customers $16 billion a year; but because competitors have to match its prices, overall savings are even greater.

    Suffice to say, the anti-Wal-Mart campaign has targeted a company that in large part has helped keep America's economy going, says IBD.

    Source: Editorial, Wal-Mart Nation, Investor's Business Daily, August 26, 2005.

    For more on Economic Issues: Employment:

    FMF Policy Bulletin/ 13 September 2005
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