Friday, January 29, 2016

Walmart Deserves Its Losses — America's Small Towns Do Not

As long ago as the early 1990s, when my father was still alive and living a few miles outside Livingston, TX, Walmart was moving into small towns, engaging in predatory pricing and driving competing mom-and-pop stores out of business. Now, 20 years later, Walmart is closing 154 stores in America, many in those same small towns, in some cases forcing residents to drive to other towns to buy their bread and butter. Will the small grocer now re-emerge? Who knows. Folks gotta eat and clothe themselves...

Between predatory pricing and mistreatment of employees... e.g., at one point Walmart was taking out "dead janitor" insurance policies on rank-and-file employees; such policies do not benefit the employees at all... Walmart is just about my least favorite retail chain. I haven't shopped there in at least 20 years. Indeed, I could truthfully say, in the words of singer/songwriter Dave Lippman, "I Hate Walmart." (That link autoplays an audio recording; lyrics alone are here, including several newer verses not in the recording.)

Regarding Walmart's announcement of store closures (including another 115 stores not in the US), I can only say, they had it coming. If they failed to profit from their deplorable act of driving local stores out of business, the invisible hand should indeed raise its middle finger at them.

I do feel for the Walmart employees who lost their jobs. Walmart did offer them a job in another Walmart... if they were willing to relocate to another town. What part of "home" do the executives fail to understand?


  1. These towns will become ghost towns. Very sad.

    1. Like "too big to fail," why isn't there a concept of "too big to move out of town"?



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