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September 08, 2005

Why Elites Hate WalMart

"Law-breaker, union-buster, tax-escapee..." says Ralph Nader about WalMart. The generosity of $17 million by the retailing giant during the Katrina Aftermath has muted criticism, but changed few minds.

WalMart Protesters

Why do left of center political activists picket and pick on this American success story?

There are five basic reasons this market segment of Blue State politically liberal consumers do not care much for WalMart:

First, WalMart is a 'Right to Work' company, an open shop. WalMart sees little need for unions, but neither do employees. Low-cost WalMart doesn't care for high-cost unions. The only people interested in unionizing WalMart are unions themselves and the Democrat Party.

Child-like Mocking

Second, WalMart's political donations favor the Grand Old Party. Readers will remember the Fast Company chart depicting political donations of various companies: Starbucks gives to Democrats; Dunkin' Donuts to Republicans. WalMart supports the red in Republican; Costco loves blue Democrats.

Third, Corporate WalMart is Pro-life. For example, the crisis pregnancy center in Baltimore recently received a grant from the retailer. The Left and our feminist friends at the National Organization of Women do not like this brand of private sector activism.


Fourth, WalMart makes money, lots of money. WalMart sales are the largest in the world at $220 billion, with $7 billion in profits. Which is too much money for critics like activist Jim Hightower. And liberals and governments want a say in how all this loot is distributed.


Fifth, WalMart is heartless to competitors. It is the All-American retail marketing-machine: big, patriotic, delivering goods to families faster, better, cheaper. And . . .crushing little mom and pop boutiques. Survival of the cheapest, so to say, isn't pretty. (This is the only Darwinism the Left doesn't like.)

WalMart has whipped up the perfect storm for the Liberal worldview: generous, pro-life, pro-Bush, pro-war, pro-American.


For more conversation --

WalMart sues blogger Duane Gran.

As one could guess Daily Kos doesn't care for WalMart. Warning: adult language in D-Kos comments.

More opinions at AllWaysSlowPrices

The leftist American Street is not happy about the lack of progress on WalMart boycotts.

WalMart Watch doesn't care for the Arkansas company. A well done blog except, perhaps, for the snarky content.

These Leftist do have style: Wake-Up Wal-Mart. See what union money from the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union will buy for a blog.

Feministing would give WalMart the finger.

Anti-WalMart at No Cleveland WalMart hat tip credit to NRO

Goodness, the WalMart hating Marxists have clever logos.

Labor Blog has WalMart Nazi story.

Business Blog Consulting says WalMart needs a business blog.

Boston Activists Blast Wal-Mart
reports The American Constitution Society.

Movie Marketing Update has info on new anti-Walmart DVD,

Based on an early look at blog trend tracking sites like Blogpulse, Icerocket and Technorati, the chatter in the blogosphere is just starting to pick up. But once the amplifying effect of thousands of linking blogs takes hold, expect this film to generate massive grassroots level buzz as the November 13th [2005]release date approaches.

The BoxTank says "...f*ck George Bush" in the boxtank to take a break until after the favorable WalMart publicity dies down, I think.

Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind
reports WalMart is actually in the publishing business.

Think Progress
say WalMart's generosity isn't enough.

Truth or Consequences has more on WalMart looters.

UPDATE: Read Brand Autopsy on WalMart feel-good.

UPDATE: Wizbang on WalMart outsourcing. Not what you think.

Update: Protesting Report at Volokh

Update: Venture Chronicles reports on pickets.

Update 9.16.05: Truck and Barter has an outstanding analysis of efficiency at Spend Time in the Lunchroom.

Update 9.16.05: VoluntaryXchange asks questions about union activity.

Update 26 Sept: Sepia Mutiny say WalMart is as evil as Starbucks.

Memory Keeper
says there is no free lunch.

Update: 11 Oct 2005 Chip Mathis has why do lefties hate WalMart?

Update 13 Oct 2005 Individual and Community has more on multi-level marketing.

Update 25 Oct Business Pundit askes if WalMart is a Good Corporate Citizen?

Credo Advisors has comments.

Update 23 Nov 2005 The Business of America is Business has an outstanding analysis on The Political Dimensions.

Posted by Jack Yoest at September 8, 2005 10:11 PM

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» The Political Dimensions of the War on Wal-Mart from The Business of America is Business
Nathan Gonzales, the political editor of the Rothenberg Political Report, examines the wisdom, or lack there of, of the Democrats' and the lefts war against Wal-Mart . In a nutshell, here's their beef with the nation's largest seller of... [Read More]

Tracked on November 24, 2005 01:59 PM


Wow, I'm part of the "elite" now? Nobody told me! Why the hell am I still driving a used Saturn and buying my clothes at Savers?! The elite really need to get their membership card to me quick.

Posted by: tas at September 11, 2005 10:04 PM

Adult language in dailykoz comments???

I'd rather call the comments childish!

Posted by: Frank Borger at September 12, 2005 02:58 PM

Frank, I think you have the better observation.

Posted by: Jack Yoest at September 12, 2005 11:05 PM

TAS, Goodness no! Not an "elite" card but a "Sam's Club" card. With the money you'd save on food you could buy a Mercedes and be a man of the common people.

Like me.


Posted by: Jack Yoest at September 12, 2005 11:11 PM


Thank you for noticing some of my writing on walmart, but in the link you referenced I actually write about walmart suing the proprietor of alwayslowprices.net, not me.

Posted by: Duane Gran at September 13, 2005 04:44 PM


Thank you for the correction.


Posted by: Jack Yoest at September 13, 2005 08:24 PM

"First, WalMart is a 'Right to Work' company, an open shop. WalMart sees little need for unions, but neither do employees" [Emphasis added]

That's an assertion. Do you have any evidence for it?

I would think a Wal-Mart employee is more likely to not know what a union does than to have a firm opinion on joining one.

I grew up in right-to-work states, and I'm pretty fuzzy on the whole union concept.

Posted by: JD Casteleiro at September 22, 2005 01:52 PM

JD, Employees at WalMarts across the county have voted from time to time on organizing to join a union. The voting is protected by law and overseen by the NLRB, National Labor Relations Board, I believe.

The employees have never voted for unionization. Never.

It seems that the employees know exactly what unions do -- primarily collective bargaining.

But most employees are entry level and quickly move to better paying jobs after establishing a track record. WalMart has high turnover. I think the employees are concerned less about the future WalMart employee as they do in being happy just to have a job and a chance to build a resume.

It is simply in the WalMart employee's economic self interest (rightly understood).

But I think you already know all this. Your clear questions lead me to believe that you are much less "fuzzy" than you would let on.

Thanks again for your comment!

Posted by: Jack at September 22, 2005 10:25 PM

I am a current walmart employee..very entry level. I work there only because they have closed down the place I used to work and many other businesses in this area. They even closed down my mothers floral shop because they sold their cut rate flowers for less than she could buy them wholesale...people don't care about quality anymore I guess...anyway, that's not what I'm writing to you about. My comment is on walmart and unions. When you first begin at walmart and go through orientation(brainwashing)you watch a series of videos. One in particular is strictly about unions. "walmart doesn't need unions because we have an open door policy and we care about you".."unions can't help you get anything better than what we offer you, they can only ask us to give you something more and who know's, you might get less"..not exact words, just the feeling you get from the video. The video feels sort of like one of the old "just say no" anti drug vids...you get the impression that you will lose your job for even thinking about it and if you do sign, that you will get less than what you started with...i'm not an idiot. I have a college degree and I am without a doubt overqualified for my position in what my family likes to call the "devil's cult" but with so many companies falling off the map, I don't have much choice. My two cents.

The devil pays my bills.

Posted by: whatcanyoudo at October 31, 2005 09:00 PM

Dear whatcanudo,

Plenty. I like Jack Welsh's advice to never be a victim. I'll offer some more advice in coming posts on being in control of your work/career.

But for now, if you truly believe Wal-Mart is satanic, then do quit.

However, I would submit that companies are not possessed nor evil -- people are. Is your boss the devil? Perhaps. (I've had a few.)

Let me know if you have a boss who you can work with -- is he or she someone you can learn something from?

Keep in touch,

Posted by: Jack Yoest at October 31, 2005 11:43 PM

I am an employee of "Wal-Mart", only temporary however. My gripe is that if people want to unionize they should be allowed that dicision. Wal-Mart doesn't give anyone that chance. I have worked for union companies before, granted they had their downfalls as well. But, the good money was there. And now, thanks to Wally World those good paying jobs are gone and now while atteneding school to get my Bach. degree I am having to work at wal-mart for 1/3 what I made in factories before Mr. Sam passed. You are correct in saying that no company is the devil but, the people can act like satan. When Mr. Sam was alive and well, he firmly believed in American made and paying and treating his associates like a real family. Since his death however, his heirs have sucking up the doe, they have repeatedly sent more and more products overseas to be manufactured and shipped back to the U.S. Don't let this fool anyone Wal-Mart is making a killing by doing this. Thanks to Mr. Bush and Mr. Clinton and the good ole NAFTA act. Wal-Mart can now send all their goods back and forth for little of nothing not to mention the price for having them manufactured. A lot cheaper than labor in the good ole U.S.A. I don't blame everything on Wal-Mart, if the government hadn't made it so easy for companies to ship jobs overseas then wal-mart may not have been as tempted to have things manufactured overseas. It all ads up to a trickle down effect, unfortunately the poor are the ones getting piss in their eyes. I will admit however Wal-Mart needs to make some serious changes before all of its associates find a way to come together and lead with a union. If one company can organize they may shut it down. But, think for a minute if someone finds a way to organize all the stores at once, will Wal-Mart go bankrupt to see the Union not come in? I don't think so. Wal-Mart really needs to take a look at the economy and growing inflation, gas, food, insurance and so on and then look at what they are paying employees. After doing so they need to ask themselves if they could live on what they are paying. I am not talking about steak for dinner every night, I just saying dinner every night. Just some food for thought, thanks for your time. Cat.

Posted by: cat at November 14, 2005 07:26 PM

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