Wal-Mart: Just One Bullet in the Gun

In a world where money is the ends rather than the means to the ends, it is not surprising that we now have a society populated by corporations which are purely concerned with profit. No longer is the supplier striving to produce goods which are of high quality.

The goal is “good enough” and probably only as good as they can get away with to prevent significant returns that would affect profits.

The cheaper an object is to produce the better, regardless of the mortal sins that may be occurring behind the scenes. The sweat shops all over the world that enslave children to create these objects only see the zeros on their checks, not the tears in their employees’ eyes.

Halfway across the world, the consumers in the United States only see the cheapness of the object, and as money now tends to have the ability to do, the price tag blinds us of the realities behind what we are supporting.

As consumers we are getting a deal on a new DVD player, a great chair, or a plastic toy that the child we baby-sit for will love. But in reality we are further perpetuating the evils of the world and we are doing all this to save a few dollars.

What is unfortunate is that even those who do not want to participate in any sort of society which involves money have little choice.

The only way to avoid this conundrum is to live on an autonomous communal sustainable farm, basically an extreme move that most are not ready to make. This may be the appropriate place to mention the dreaded Wal-Mart, which has stirred all sorts of arguments since its creation.

Wal-Mart is this ideal, this happy ending that most of the citizens of the US believe. It epitomises the dancing sugarplums that are dreamed about on Christmas eve; however beneath the unbelievable prices is just that…they are unbelievable for a reason, because someone somewhere is paying the difference.

Wal-Mart comes into communities all throughout the United States and rapes them of resources.

Local businesses are forced into bankruptcy because they cannot compete. Lower paying jobs suck in the local workforce, in return these employees are paid just enough to allow them to be able to afford to buy things at the store that employs them.

It is a vicious cycle, which is making the economy of the United States even more fragile than before (something that anyone paying attention to our economy would seriously be concerned about as our balance of payments increases to an all time high this year.)

What is worse is that the people living in the US only see one devilish side of Wal-Mart, however there are layers and layers of others.

People all around the world are being abused, and further pushed into low income communities by working to create goods for Wal-Mart.

These workers have no alternative, and many people state the argument that if Wal-Mart didn’t give them jobs then they would be worse off. Although I beg to differ on this principle as it does not have to be this way.

Though, I do acknowledge that because of our world of consumption the chances of some other corrupt multinational corporation moving in and pillaging these societies is pretty high.

It is the culture we have created, one of only seeing the dollar signs, and there really seems to be no solution.

We may close down Wal-Mart, only to find some other super store fill the void. It alludes to a deeper problem than most anti Wal-Mart protesters realize; Wal-Mart is not the devil.

Wal-Mart is only one more matriculation of the capitalistic world which, perhaps has gone awry and taken us with it.

Wal-Mart exists because we allow it to.

Too many of us ignore the big picture and frequent Wal-Mart and similar stores with the view that we need the good prices on a personal level and we can let others do the complaining and the soul searching and the “do gooding”.

Unfortunately too many of us think this way and unless we collectively address the bigger picture we are simply going to perpetuate the cycle.

If we can’t think beyond our personal comfort in our private bubbles and get beyond our own greed, how can we expect a faceless company like Wal-Mart, with a history of “abusing the system”, change it’s ways?