Lots of good Wal Mart blogging.
Yep. I'm aware Wal-Mart is declasse. I'm also aware that in some cases their prices are 50% lower than Kroger's and Target, which is why so many single moms shop there. I also know that they have generous return policies (unlike Target) and that they provide their best prices without using a membership card (unlike Kroger's and most grocery store chains). And unlike Target, Wal-Mart provides the libertarian ideal where Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms is a store rather than a government agency. (Target sells none of the above.)
An Instapundit reader:
I've never worked there, but I do know that it is one of very few companies where you can start at the very bottom and work your way to the top. I grew up in Bentonville, Arkansas, the home of Wal-Mart and most Wal-Mart executives. I think people would be surprised at how many of the people at the top started out working at Wal-Mart stores. One man I knew in particular was one of the VPs in the international division making a six figure salary, and he started with Wal-Mart as a cart pusher. I think "cart pusher" is probably the lowliest job you can get at Wal-Mart.
where else can you go grab some ammo, pick up a Ruger 10/22 for less than $120, a Leupold scope for less than $200, a six pack of Guinness, get your oil changed, grab a pack of underwear, sample snacks, get a fishing license, have your pictures developed in less than an hour, review popular brands of HDTV flatscreens, get tax software, and grab a pack of Chiclets?
Yeah, I can vouch for that. Hit the Wal Mart last night to pick up some of those great Winchester White Boxes of .45 ACP (I may be reloading, but I seem to shoot more than I reload), a six pack of Red Hook ESB, and a gallon of milk. Forgot to check out the firearm pricing, but I suspect they'll be on end of season sales.
Anyway, a commentator at Uncles had this to say:
There’s a lot of good reason to not shop at Walmart. Most of them center around really nasty labor practices and union-busting.
I personally believe balancing the power of capital with stronger unions would improve America. Unioninizing Walmart could do an awful lot of good for an awful lot of people.
Here is my response:
Really, I recall in one instance the union was protesting with hired temp-employee picketers (some of whom had applied to work at wal mart cause it paid much more than their current job).
Seems to me the claims of Union busting are vastly overstatated and come mostly from union officials who have seen their power base disappear as a result of the rampant corruption that continues to plague unions as well as the utter unwilllingness of union officials to actually, ya know, represent the views of their members.
To some extent, I think you can criticize Wal Mart for predatory pricing and perhaps some other anti trust violations, but really most of those concerns are going away as other savy outfits rise up to compete with Wal Mart, some doing it rather effectivly.