Wal-Mart Good or Bad? Essay

1482 Words Oct 24th, 2008 6 Pages
Wal-Mart: Good or Bad?
The largest corporation in America with $378,799 million in revenues and employing 2,055,000 employees, Wal-Mart has become one of the greatest success stories in American history, but also one of the most controversial stories since Standard Oil (Fortune). But with all big business comes critics. Today’s critics suggest Wal-Mart unfairly uses it power of size, which is goliath, to exploit employees and impoverish nations, ruin competition, and place undue pressure on the government. However, one item most critics fail to mention is that Wal-Mart creates consumer welfare. Throughout this paper, I will analyze each criticism of Wal-Mart and sufficiently cite evidence proving the greater good that is realized with
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The low wages, along with insufficient benefits, give way to critics arguing that the low income employees must turn to government programs for help. This in turn places a burden on the government to raise more funds through the generation of revenue by raising taxes, hurting the general taxpayer. Seemingly, the critic’s point of view makes sense. However, critics overlook the fact that in 2007, Wal-Mart insured 636,000 associates and roughly 1,100,000 overall (Walmartfacts.com). In addition, one must keep in mind the part-time employees; those who are working solely to compliment their pension incomes and already have Medicare and those who are covered by their spouse’s or parents’ employment.
Continuing, critics do not mention the fact that Wal-Mart must pay property taxes and sales taxes. Michael J. Hicks estimates that “Wal-Mart increases local (Ohio) commercial property tax assessments resulting in collection increases of between $350,000 and $1.3 million” (Hicks). Obviously, these tax payments help generate revenue, relieving some of the burden on the government to assist low-income employees. In 2007, Wal-Mart contributed $296 million to over 4,000 communities in the United States and donated $41 million abroad.

The critics of Wal-Mart seem to have ideas and accusations that are unfounded. The fact is that when a Wal-Mart enters into a community, the community’s shoppers are able to purchase goods at a lower price than

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