Everyone knows Wal-Mart is evil. By destroying all local competition, Wal-Mart eliminates three jobs for every two it creates, and the jobs it does create must be wonderful for the Associates because Wal-Mart considers 28 hours a week to be full time, meaning the average worker grosses less than $11,000 a year and is not legally eligible for full-time benefits. In Canada, Wal-Mart won us over by replacing the dash between “Wal” and “Mart” with a maple leaf, and by airing TV commericals about how proud they are to sell Canadian-made boots — even though more than 80% of the items sold at Wal-Mart aren’t even manufactured in North America. Since coming to Canada in 1994, Wal-Mart has opened the equivalent of a new store every 16 days. Communities actually compete with each other to have Wal-Marts built in their towns, believing, I suppose, that lower prices will lead to a higher quality of life. Forget about the local economy and local culture. If I can buy a 20-pack of CD-Rs for $10, it’s worth it.
Yesterday I met up with “a non-profit group concerned with the interaction between business, human rights, labour and community” calling themselves Wal-Town. I figured they wouldn’t tell me anything about Wal-Mart I didn’t already know. I was wrong. It’s interesting how much more I seem to care about my community now that I’m more informed about the practices of Wal-Mart (and other big box stores that have followed the Wal-Mart model).
I’m not going to give a lecture. But here’sI picked up during the Q&A session… I remember the good ole days when I thought Woolco was a big store.