Do your values align with your actions? or Why shopping at Wal-Mart is bad for you and your friends.

For ten years now I have successfully NOT shopped at Wal-Mart for myself. In 10 years, I have been there – to my memory 6 times.  Two were to return items purchased for me, the rest were for family members.  It’s a passion for me, I am not a wealthy person so I understand how important each and every dollar I spend speaks for my core values. In this quickly written and extremely brief outline (only 4 points) I don’t hope to convince you that Wal-mart is the Devil. Instead I argue that American’s have the responsibility to align their values with their actions. If what you read makes you feel good about shopping at Wal-mart, then it is your freedom to do so. If you become aware that you are supporting something you don’t approve of then it is your responsibility to change your behaviors.

Core values?  Yes – the ideals I carry as an American, as a Christian and as a supporter for the fair and decent treatment of all humanity and the earth we live on. So, let us begin.

1. Sam Walton’s Wal-Mart grew in popularity based on penny pinching, – share the discounts received from the supplier with the customer. A very American idea.  However, he did it with intentional value, something that his heirs missed out on; “Wal-Mart’s new leaders took to heart one element of the founder’s business philosophy — the importance of reducing costs — but they didn’t show his intuition about the importance of making employees feel as though they had a stake in the company”  – excerpt from ( http://reclaimdemocracy.org/brief-history-of-walmart/)

Sam Walton was also anti union.  In truth, the fall of the American Union and it’s position to protect the American employee with honest wages and health and welfare benefits is one of the main reasons Wal-mart makes in excess of $175 million dollars in profits annually. It also can be tied to why The Affordable Health Care Act – also known as ObamaCare became a necessity. This article is one of thousands you can find describing the practices of this organization  (http://www.theglobalist.com/storyid.aspx?storyid=9769)

2  The platform of ‘Made in America’, one that proved to be untrue as NBC’s Dateline revealed back in the 90’s.  According to PBS, “In fact, only after Wal-Mart’s “Buy American” ad campaign was in full swing did the company become the country’s largest importer of Chinese goods in any industry.”

http://www.pbs.org/itvs/storewars/stores3.html (paragraph 9)

3 Wal-Mart is the leading reason the American Economy is in such disarray, forcing American manufacturing to shut down and move overseas.

http://www.demos.org/publication/not-made-america-top-10-ways-walmart-destroys-us-manufacturing-jobs

4. Locally owned and operated businesses close when Wal-Mart comes to town.  I’ve seen it with my own eyes, and have had conversations with people that have had to close their doors.    Here is an interesting piece,”Is Wal-Mart Good for Small Town America?” by Ken Lambert effectively surmises many aspects of the anti Wal-Mart argument.

http://www.deltacollege.edu/org/deltawinds/DWOnline08/iswalmartgoodforsmalltown.html

Getting off my horse now, hope all of these pieces of information will cause you to pause and think about how you spend your money. The question is, if you shop at Wal-Mart – do you think you will change your habits?

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