Ahhhh, the women of Wal-Mart LOL!

Ds does 99% of our Wal-Mart shopping and dh most of the rest of it, occasionally I’ll go in, but very rarely. Ds has made the remark that he wonders why the people that shop there with a large extended family now are not like the ones he grew up with. What he means is all the families he knew as a child and through his teen years the children went with their folks to the store. They helped with the shopping, they were quiet and well behaved, and it didn’t matter if it was 1 kid or 20 no one ran up and down the aisle screaming—or if they did they got a “trip to the car”…
He came in last Friday talking about the families at Wal-Mart again. He witnessed a family with four children totally out of control, the kids were tearing things off the shelves (even broke a bottle of something on purpose), taking labels off of things, got rude with the samples lady, and screamed the entire time while the parents totally ignored them. When one purposefully rammed a cart into his he nearly lost it. (His mother’s child) He says he KNOWS there are good parents out there (as the ones on this list are), but they sure aren’t shopping at our Wal-Mart. Do we have a monopoly on the parents who don’t love their children enough to discipline them at our Wal-Mart, or do others have this problem too?

We both have facts on our side, and it’s entirely possible that we’re both correct

I’m glad that some folks have good employment experiences there; that wasn’t the case for the folks I either knew or read about who did work at Walmart or Costco. I have no experience with Sam’s Club so I can’t speak to that. I’m also glad to know that Walmart and Costco are starting to stock locally made products. That’s always nice to see, but it was not always true. If that’s part of a new “kinder gentler” corporate strategy, then that’s great. I’d be curious what percentage of their product lines are sourced locally; I’d be really impressed if it was as high as 10%. Whatever the percentage, I hope that trend will continue and expand.

As for the charitable donations, I wonder if those donations are equivalent to the tax base their presence subsequently dried up, particularly given that most Walmarts and other big-box stores typically lobby heavily for tax breaks prior to setting up a new store. I also have a hard time believing that a charitable donation (which can offset that corporations own taxes????) would be as good as the same amount of tax revenue for that county. Charitable donations can be turned on and off, and reallocated, by corporate decision. Tax revenue was the bloodstream that fed most local and regional public works services like schools, hospitals, police departments and the like. To have those crucial services depend on the whim of whether an out of state corporation wants to make another charitable donation? Hardly something to put much confidence in for the long term.

I also speak from facts, and from experience. Walmart in particular, and other so-called big-box stores in general, have repeatedly been involved with the loss of a number of small businesses around them, for many (some analysts claim most) of the stores they’ve put in. And the loss of those businesses has set in motion the death of small town economies, repeatedly. Were those businesses going to fail anyway, and those towns doomed to dry up? I’m sure some of them would have. But others were doing thriving business right up until the day Walmart or the like opened. If that had only happened occasionally, then it could be chalked up to random chance. But it’s happened so often that a pattern has emerged. It happened in my home town, and it continues to this day. I choose not to shop at such places. Everyone is entitled to choose how they spend their money, and where.

Bottom line, I certainly didn’t intend to start some firestorm on this topic. But I also had personal experience that felt relevant, which I chose to share. Folks can use it, or ignore it, as they see fit.