Some folks don’t like Wal-Mart. Okay. Fine. It’s a free country. No one should be forced at gunpoint to shop at Wal-Mart. Or to work there.
And no one is.
Wal-Mart has found enormous success in the marketplace only because people have voluntarily chosen to shop and work there. Wal-Mart employs more than 1.6 million people worldwide and, according to the company’s published calculations, its lower prices saved the average American family $2,329 last year.
Now I know why, when my wife sends me to the store, she says, “Go to Wal-Mart.”
And yet we witness a sustained and hysterical assault against the company. There’s even a newly released documentary by Robert Greenwald, “Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price.”
What on earth makes offering lower prices so evil?
We’re told Wal-Mart doesn’t pay its employees enough. It doesn’t offer generous enough benefits. But if Wal-Mart is so terrible, why didn’t these employees choose to take other jobs? Or, were no better jobs available? Is it remotely possible that Wal-Mart should actually be given credit for creating jobs? Could it be that the company has helped its employees escape unemployment and poverty?
Listen: the free market offers Wal-Mart haters an easy way to hit Wal-Mart right where it hurts. These folks need only start their own companies and pay workers more and offer generous healthcare benefits. Problem solved!
Isn’t the free market great?
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Common Sense are Paul Jacob’s and may not necessarily represent the position of Americans for Limited Government, Americans for Limited Government Foundation, U.S. Term Limits or the U.S. Term Limits Foundation. Paul’s Common Sense commentaries are heard on radio stations nationwide and on the Internet.