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Wal-mart: The High Cost of Low Price

2 August 2012

Why I refuse to shop at Walmart

As far as I know the only reason to shop at Walmart, cited by the public as well as the company, is Low Price.

I do not believe their low prices stem from efficiency.  I believe they come on the backs of workers, the environment, taxpayers, and pose a threat to local economy as well as global economy.

Some resources to help understand the issues underlying opposition to the business practices of Walmart:

PBS: Store Wars

The Movie “Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price” is available from Harford County Public Library.  Some key facts from the documentary, documented in detail on the website, are summarised below:

  • WAL-MART Drives Down Retail Wages $3-4 billion Every Year
  • $86 MILLION a Year expense to California Taxpayers
  • Many thousands of Walmart workers are enrolled in public assistance, because the store does not pay a living wage
  • WAL-MART Costs Taxpayers $1,557,000,000,00 to Support its Employees
  • Currently in the U.S. there are 26,699,678 SQUARE FEET of empty WAL-MARTS

Walmart spends millions of dollars to thwart activity that could lead to collective bargaining, i.e. forming a union.  Some workers have come together in an organization United For Respect .  This is not a union, but it is surely better than nothing at all.  Another organization’s website provides state-by-state information on Walmart’s impact and tools for people to fight back against all the ways Walmart is pulling down our economy.

HF5429.215.U6 W356 2005

4.
Publisher, Date: [United States] : Brave New Films ; c2005.
Description: 1 videodisc (98 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.

While looking for some websites that I could share with friends who expressed interest in learning more about the harms done by Walmart, I came across

Sprawl Busters.

“Wal-Mart: Rolling Back Wages, Workers’ Rights, and the American Dream”

Links to more resources opposing practices of Walmart stored here.  It seems, however, that many of them have been “taken-over,” walmart-style by a group that claims to be “Making Change At Walmart.”  So much for getting all the  information from a one-stop shop.   But I wish all the best to those who are sincerely working to make change for the better, wherever they are.

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