Wal-Mart's Effect on America

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"Always low prices, always", does this sound familiar? Well this is the slogan of the world 's most powerful company, Wal–Mart. Making its mark in 1915 as the five and dime store, Wal–Mart expanded and grew over the years into a 256 billion dollar company. Over the recent years of Wal-Mart 's growth, some people believe that Wal-Mart supports and builds the American economy while others hold that Wal–Mart 's global outsourcing will damage the American economy over time. When comparing the two opposing points, Wal-Mart has been more destructive than constructive to our economy in that it has destroyed more jobs then it has created, the employees receive little to no healthcare, and Wal-Mart has also degraded our environment. Wal-Mart 's army of around 3,400 stores has created some job opportunities, but think of all the jobs lost due to choking out small locally owned businesses as well as the thousands of factory jobs lost due to Wal-Mart 's low production demands. Wal-Mart 's size, convenience, as well as its variety of over 120,000 items makes Wal-Mart a fierce competitor to any business. Due to Wal-Mart being built in the majority of cities and towns no matter the social status, many striving small businesses cannot compete with Wal-Mart 's unbeatably low prices and convenience and are forced to terminate their business. This may be an example of "survival of the fittest", but this process is hurting the economy. Eighty percent of Wal-Mart 's suppliers are from China and that means the more Wal-Mart 's there are, the more foreign products floating around, and less American made production (Is Wal-Mart Good for America). This lack of American production is what causes American factories to shut down leaving their employees without jobs. Even if these employees decided to work with Wal-Mart, they would make around half of their normal salary, as well as no pension, health care, or the job security benefits that have been the norm in factory work. "A


Cited: Is Wal-Mart Good for America? PBS. Frontline. <http://www.pbs.org/wbgh/pages/frontline/shows/walmart/view/>. 28 September 2006. Major Users of State Provided Health Insurance Programs. 2005 <http://www.wakeupwalmart.com/facts/state-reports.html>. 13 October 2006 Wal-Mart Destroys the Environment. 2005. United Food and Commercial Workers International union. <http://www.wakeupwalmart.com/facts/>. 9 October 2006. Wal-Mart Wages and Worker Rights. 2005. A Substantial Number of Wal-Mart Associates earn far below the poverty line. <http://www.wakeupwalmart.com/facts/>.12 October 2006.

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