Defending Big Box: In Praise Of Wal-Mart

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on May 17, 2009

walmartDespite the calumnies that are repeatedly heaped upon big box stores like Wal-Mart, the following lessons are reinforced in the course of setting the story straight on the big box chain:

1. Wal-Mart encourages people to shop for healthy foods, thus helping to reduce obesity.

2. Wal-Mart helps improve the buying power of poor people, which tends to give them more leeway in shopping for things like healthy foods, thus helping to reduce obesity.

3. Attacks to the contrary notwithstanding, the opening of new Wal-Mart stores attract many, many, many more job applicants than there are available positions. One would think that with all of the stories concerning Wal-Mart’s alleged lack of concern for its employees’ wages and benefits, job-seekers would avoid Wal-Mart like the plague. One would be wrong.

Of course, Wal-Mart’s influence is not wholly positive–an unsurprising fact, given that there is no store or business whose influence is wholly positive in the community where the store or business is located. But because of all of the advantages it provides, Wal-Mart is a prized a valuable get for any community, and the advantages of having a Wal-Mart in a given community far outweigh the disadvantages.

Too bad that Wal-Mart’s critics–who doubtless consider themselves part of the “reality-based community”–regularly fail to acknowledge those facts.

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