Wednesday, November 16, 2005

An Answer to the "Wal-Mart is Evil" Crowd

On the way home from work the other day, I was listening to Christine Craft (the most annoying sounding voice in radio) on our local Air America affiliate. She and a caller were agreeing with each other about how evil Wal-Mart is; how they underpay their employees, they put mom-and-pop stores out of business, blah, blah, blah. Lo and behold, today I found a wonderful article by one of my heroes, John Stossel, that addresses this common perception that many people have of Wal-Mart. I loved the human interest story he told at the end:
Before Sha-ron Reese was hired at Wal-Mart she was on welfare. She'd lost custody of her kids and was homeless, living in her car. California store manager W.C. Morrison took a risk and hired her. "She had no references," he told us. "She had no work experience."
In her own words, she was "raw." But Morrison took a chance on her. That changed her life.
Today, Reese has two people working for her. She's got her own apartment. She's regained custody of two of her kids.
And she's a Wal-Mart customer. "Everything, just about, that's in my house," she said, "Wal-Mart sells."
So before you internalize all the sob stories of how Wal-Mart underpays its employees and all the usual invective, read Stossel's article. Now, I am not going to let Wal-Mart off scot free. I do have a problem in one regard. Wal-Mart is one of the major players in the current eminent domain controversy in this country. They are one of the biggest offenders in the matter of pressing local governments to seize other peoples' property, then hand it over to businesses like... Wal-Mart. That is where I do have a big problem with Wal-Mart.

Good Day to You, Sir

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