Top Eight Reasons Conservatives Should Hate Walmart

Author: August 9, 2013 10:07 pm

armedwalmartthumb

The popular belief surrounding Walmart is that conservatives love it and liberals hate it. That appears to be generally true, but there are a number of things that Walmart does or doesn’t do that should give conservatives pause before they rush to defend the mega-retailer. Following are eight reasons why conservatives should not support Walmart.

1. Walmart workers are paid wages that are like Walmart prices…Low. This forces them to rely on government benefits such as Medicaid and food stamps. Conservatives in general oppose programs such as food stamps, many for reasons such as those offered by Arkansas representative Tom Cotton, who said

President Obama’s failed policies have turned what should be a Farm Bill into the Food Stamp Bill, expanding by $300 billion a food-stamp program riddled with fraud and abuse.

2. In addition to being eligible for government assistance for food and medical care, an average Walmart employee who is married and has one child is eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit that is refunded to certain low paid workers. Republican Representative Bob Woodall of Georgia is one of a number of conservative legislators on record as saying that the poor don’t pay enough in taxes.

3. Walmart has a history of hiring undocumented immigrant workers. According to a 2004 congressional report

On October 23, 2003, federal agents raided 61 Wal-Mart stores in 21 states. When they left, the agents had arrested 250 nightshift janitors who were undocumented workers.

Following the arrests, a grand jury convened to consider charging Wal-Mart executives with labor racketeering crimes for knowingly allowing undocumented workers to work at their stores. The workers themselves were employed by agencies Wal-Mart contracted with for cheap cleaning services. While Wal-Mart executives have tried to lay the blame squarely with the contractors, federal investigators point to wiretapped conversations showing that executives knew the workers were undocumented.

While not all conservatives are as radical as congressman Steve King (R-IA) on the issue, a Pew poll found that 82 percent of those who identified themselves as “Tea Party” Republicans oppose immigration reform because it would “reward illegal behavior” (such as, one can assume, working while in the country illegally).

4. Recording artists, particularly alternative rock and rap artists, are often forced to produce alternate versions of their work in order for it to be sold by Walmart. Walmart company policy forbids the sale of any CD with a warning label. According to the PBS documentary “Store Wars: When Walmart Comes To Town,” Walmart has pulled magazines from its shelves for covers they consider inappropriate, and some magazines have even sent Walmart photos of proposed covers for their approval. Considering that Walmart is the nation’s largest retailer, and as of 2010 accounted for about 12 percent of CD sales, their policy of censorship interferes with the right of artists to have their work judged by the free market. A simple solution would be to place potentially offending CD’s and magazines out of the reach of children and/or obscure their covers, as is often done with “adult” magazines on newsstands.

5. Walmart moves into communities, undercuts, and eventually destroys small local businesses. Though the claim is disputable, a blogger in The Weekly Standard proclaimed in 2012, “Republicans Fight For Small, Democrats For Big, Business.” While there were some conflicting poll numbers, in 2012 a majority of small business owners favored Mitt Romney for president, indicating that they were counting on Romney and the GOP to work for their interests to a greater extent than they thought President Obama would. Defending Walmart is the exact opposite of supporting small businesses.

6. Walmart puts pressure on suppliers to reduce prices. This affects the bottom line of those suppliers and forces them to look for ways to provide products at the price which Walmart demands. It also means that smaller suppliers, that already may be operating on a shoestring budget and cannot afford to make cuts, are unable to avail themselves of the huge market that Walmart offers.

7. Walmart makes political contributions to Democrats. According to OpenSecrets.orgin 2012 Walmart connected PAC’s donated $400,000 to the Democratic Governors’ Association. Even worse for some conservatives, in 2012 individuals connected to Walmart donated $57,711 to Barack Obama.

8. Walmart sells a lot of goods that are made in China. In fact, some 70 percent of everything Walmart sells is produced in China. This should be an obvious problem for “cold war” conservatives, since China is a communist country. In addition to that concern, Walmart accounted for 11 percent of the U.S. trade deficit with China between 2001 and 2006, according to the Economic Policy InstituteEPI estimates that just the Walmart portion of the trade deficit resulted in the lossof approximately 200,000 American jobs in that same time period. This likely forced more Americans to seek unemployment benefits, another government program that many conservatives hate.

Those are just some of the reasons why conservatives should want nothing to do with Walmart and their “low prices” that upon reflection are really not that low when the actual costs are totaled. Interestingly, they coincide with the top eight reasons why liberals should hate Walmart.

facebook comments:

4 Comments

  • I’m a liberal, but I don’t think you understand conservative, free marketers. They don’t hate Walmart — they hate government programs that subsidize Walmart. Their attitude is if you don’t make enough money at Walmart you are free to get another job — we shouldn’t have governmental safety nets to support you. If people stopped taking Walmart jobs, Walmart would have to raise their wages. The governmental intervention, mainly in the form of social programs interferes with the free market. A real conservative would say it’s the social programs that allow Walmart to keep the wages they pay down. Raising the minimum wage and providing food stamps and other subsidies (in their thinking these subsidies go to the worker – which in fact they are – but more broadly these programs are subsidizing Walmart). Conservatives probably think it’s these subsidies that interfere with the free market, prevents the market from self-correction (they still cling to Ayn Rand). Their logic is if there weren’t the social programs there, people wouldn’t be able to work at Walmart, so they wouldn’t, and then Walmart would have to raise the wages they pay — they would argue that the government supplements are the very thing that keeps wages down. They don’t think they’re heartless, they cling to that theory (even though it seems to have failed) – so that anything that liberals think – that we should force Walmart to raise wages, we should end government programs for their workers, and most of all by raising their taxes we are punishing them for being successful, and providing jobs to millions of people. YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT EVERYTHING YOU THINK IS AS BACKWARDS TO THEM AS IT TO – THEY DO NOT HATE WALMART AND THEY NEVER WILL – WALMART IS AN AMERICAN CAPITALIST DREAM STORY FOR THEM – WHEN THEY LOOK AT WALMART ALL THEY SEE IS A VERY SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS AND LEAVE THEM ALONE AND DON’T HELP THEIR EMPLOYEES EITHER —- LEAVE EVERYTHING TO THE MARKETPLACE AND THE MARKETPLACE WILL TAKE CARE OF EVERYTHING. Instead of looking at the people who are suffering, they are impressed with the success of the business – if the government doesn’t interfere maybe the market will force them to raise wages, and if not —– well, it’s a Darwinian survival of the financially fittest. That is why the divide is so great now – because the extreme right (which is really radically to the right) are now what conservatives have become and they look at everything through a totally different perspective — and most unfortunately see the solutions to our problems as almost the opposite of a not even necessarily liberal person, but even just a reasonable person would see them.

  • #5

    Conservatives only grouse about damage to small businesses when they think government policy might somehow affect them. Big business putting small business out of business is just “the free market at work,” “churn,” or “creative destruction.”

  • Poor people should pay more in taxes. Agreed. They will pay more in taxes if they get paid more.

    This isn’t rocket science.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

x
Click "Like" to get the latest updates