Published On: Sun, Jan 13th, 2013

Shocking facts about Walmart and why Walmart is bad for America

Protest walmart

Walmart Protest

Why Walmart is bad for America

 By Nathan Batalion, PhD, Naturopath, Triathlete

(HealingTalks) Looking at the facts about Walmart, there of good reasons to believe Walmart is bad for America. Put in historical perspective, Walmart as a company is comparable to the Pre-Civil War indentured plantations of the American South. Most Americans who love to shop at Walmart, about a 100 million a week, do not usually ask themselves whether this behemoth retail chain, offering  cheap merchandise, is doing the nation some good in the balance.

First of all, studies have shown that Walmart has destroyed thousands of small businesses. At the same time many local manufacturers have been forced out of business since they cannot compete with Walmart’s cheap imported stuff. Experts are now warning that if the trend set by this store is not reversed then more jobs and revenue will be lost which might be very costly in the long term. The following Walmart facts should make you sit up and ponder what this store is up to:

Walmart as outrageously large

If all of its retail outlets were put together, Walmart would occupy more than 880 million square feet. This is the equivalent of 158 Vatican cities, 135 Pentagons and 45 Monacos. Actually, it is bigger than the country of Lictenstein. Unfortunately the company is known for its penchant for censorship and a damning environmental record.

Walmart employs more than 2.1 million people, yet most of them are dependent on government healthcare. If this workforce was an army, Walmart would have the second largest active military on the globe, competing only with China’s 2.3 million. As a country it would have more military personnel than North Korea and Russia combined, outnumbering the US by far.

Most of the Walmart employees and their families depend on government welfare and are enrolled in Medicaid since they do not earn enough to pay for insurance. Walmart health insurance is often too expensive for its employees to afford. Only about 40% of the employees have insurance through the company plan. This results in the taxpayer being burdened with the extra slack.

The infrastructure of Walmart is immense and very costly. It is estimated that the outlet invested more than $12 billion last year; this is the equivalent to the total educational and infrastructure budget for California. To finance its corporate growth, Walmart routinely uses taxpayer’s money. A House Committee on Education and Welfare report estimated that one typical store manned by 200 workers costs the taxpayers about $420,750 annually.

Walmart regularly flouts immigration laws and regulations

Walmart has been often accused of seeking out the most vulnerable and low cost workers. Most of these are unregistered immigrant workers. Federal agents raided 61 stores on October 23rd, 2003 and arrested about 250 janitors who were undocumented workers. Previous raids in 1998 and 2001 had also netted more than 102 employees who were also not documented.

The 2003 raid led to a grand jury being convened as charges of labor racketeering were being considered against the outlet executives. Later a wiretap recorded conversations between labor contractors and executives expressing that the outlet was aware that most of the employees were not documented.

Dictating Employment Terms

Looking at the Walmart facts stated above, the store seems quite irresponsible. This could be due to the fact that it is a giant retailer whose dominance enables it to dictate certain employment terms instead of acting responsibly. Next time you go shopping at the store, consider carrying a list of some of the issues raised here in your wallet.

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