Economic Benefit of Wal-Mart

Op-Ed by Robert Samuleson in today’s Washington Post on how Wal-Mart’s low-price policies benefit all Americans – doing a much better job controlling inflation than the Federal Reserve.

“A study by the economic consulting firm Global Insight found that from 1985 to 2004, Wal-Mart’s expansion lowered the consumer price index by a cumulative 3.1 percent from what it would have been. That produced savings of $263 billion in 2004, equal to $2,329 for each U.S. household. Because Wal-Mart financed this study, its results have been criticized as too high. But even if price savings are only half as much ($132 billion and $1,165 per household), they’d dwarf the benefits of all but the biggest government programs.”