Wal*Mart: Mediocrity sells

28 Sep

Craig takes me to task for having the audacity to suggest that Wal Mart should treat its employees well. He says that Wal Mart doesn’t treat its employees any differently than Wegmans or Tops.

Except Wegmans was named the Best Place to Work in America.

Except Tops has unionized employees, and is a relatively small subsidiary of a Dutch-based worldwide conglomerate. Oh, and it provides health care insurance to many employees.

Except Wal Mart is the No. 1 company in the Fortune 500, and its 2004 sales climbed 10% to $288 billion; profits rose 13% to $10 billion.

I’m no fan of Wal Mart’s because their products suck and are cheap. I don’t like them because they pay their employees shit – in some cases, so low that they’re encouraged to go on Medicaid and other forms of public assistance. I’m not crazy about the fact that they portray themselves as a flag-waving proud American star spangled company, but they require suppliers to source from China to keep prices low. Are outsourcing and minimum wage the new patriotism?

Wal Mart is huge and doesn’t have to be responsible for the health care of its employees (they’re expendable, I guess). But it could, and the largest corporation in America ought to, since nobody else will.

Our universal health care in America is called “Emergency Room”, “dunning”, and “bankruptcy.”

Shop there if you want, but I’ll go to Target, where the stores are clean and the products are of better quality.

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