Wal-Mart: Affects the Health of the United States

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Starting out with a single store in Bentonville, Arkansas, Wal-Mart has not stopped expanding. The First Wal-Mart store was opened in 1962 by a Mr. Sam Walton. He opened the store with one intention: sell products people need at the lowest price available. Wal-Mart has since blown up into a globally known and used corporation. Currently, more than fifty percent of all Americans live within five miles of a Wal-Mart store, which is less than a ten mile drive away. Ninety percent of Americans live within fifteen miles of a Wal-Mart. (Fishman, 2006). Wal-Mart is bordering on 9000 locations worldwide including operations in Mexico, United Kingdom, Japan, and India. Wal-Mart is undoubtedly a global powerhouse. This powerhouse is impacting its home country. Wal-Mart affects American businesses and employees. This massive corporation affects the health of the United States. It has many affects as it spreads around the world. “A century ago, the companies that dominated the global food trade were wholesalers. Today these giants are dwarfed by the supermarkets that govern the global food system from farm to fork” (Patel, 2011). In other words, supermarkets or “superstores” have dominated and taken over the food system. Wal-Mart would be the leader and most profitable giant in this group. With the company’s rampant globalization and its negative impact on American businesses, employees, and overall health, Wal-Mart has proven time and time again that it is no good for America.

To begin with, Wal-Mart’s rapid growth has led to great success for the company, but at the expense of small businesses around the nation. “Supermarkets rule the food chain” (Patel, 2011). Smaller shops and businesses have been taking huge hits in recent years. Small “mom and pop” stores have been the backbone of American society and a symbol of the American dream since the founding of the country. That being said, Wal-Mart has been in constant competition with these stores, and many say Wal-Mart is doing a great job of destroying all its competition, even some larger manufactures’. “Not since the days of the British East India Company as the cornerstone of the British imperial system has one single corporate entity been responsible for so much misery” (Freeman & Ticknor, 2003). There have been many efforts to combat these “big box” stores from taking over small communities, while other communities have welcomed stores like Wal-Mart with open arms simply because their community is struggling to survive and they expect such a large business to bring in jobs. It is true that Wal-Mart does bring in jobs. However, as people are applying and taking jobs at Wal-Mart stores, what they do not know is that, they are slowly selling their souls, giving up their pocket books, and becoming slaves of this corporation. “An exchange of goods at a low price benefits everyone-quoting Adam Smith” (Van Riper, 2008). At what lengths are customers willing to go through to have low prices? Although Wal-Mart offers these low prices, communities still do not want their businesses being forced out and have been fighting the big box store takeover. Americans have not all become accustomed to supermarkets and malls. There are Americans who still enjoy the small “mom and pop” markets on the corner and like the rich culture that comes from individual shops and town markets. Sometimes, these individuals make a stand against Wal-Mart and other large companies. Take, for example, the success of the citizens of Eureka, California, who were not thrilled with the idea of Wal-Mart coming to town and setting up shop. “Activists built a well-oiled machine of organized resistance” (Halebsky, 2010). Most towns and communities are not this lucky. The activists had help in this case from Al Norman, the founder of Sprawl-Busters, consultants who help local community campaigns against megastores and other undesirable large-scale developments. This is a reminder that under the right conditions,...
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