What is it About Wal-Mart That Makes People Crazy?

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on March 2, 2011

Just wondering. I mean, we know that jobs are hard to come by these days, so I have to figure that any opportunity for employment would be a good thing. But if the employer is Wal-Mart, that’s enough to make some people argue that any job there would not be worth having, and as the article mentions, there is something utterly bizarre about the way in which small business owners lash out at Wal-Mart. I understand that Wal-Mart is a competitor if one owns a hardware store, but very few small business owners are as hostile towards competing businesses as they are to Wal-Mart.

I’ve never been able to figure out this brand of hysteria, and never will. It’s especially mystifying to behold in a time of continuing economic difficulty.

  • http://twitter.com/pythonrocksnake Evan

    I think the answer is simple class contempt. I was intrigued by the same question in my college days, and spent some time questioning the Walmart haters. I found it rarely took more than a couple of digging questions (i.e. “But Target has similar employment policies, how is Walmart so much worse?”) to elicit a vehement comment about “the sort of people who shop there”. At which point I’d usually respond, “Ah, so you just hate poor people,” as if it were a perfectly legitimate point, and walk away.

    As for business owners in particular, well, there’s always been a certain sort of small-business owner who hates their customers (particularly in retail, it seems, although they may just be more visible). Maybe the psychic anguish of seeing their businesses struggle as the hated proles decide for themselves that Walmart better serves their needs is just too much for some.

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