Is Walmart killing the American Dream of Small Businesses?

@dvmurphy (326)
United States
March 10, 2009 3:34pm CST
Personally I feel that Walmart is horrible for small town America. A town in Western Iowa voted them out because they felt that having Walmart in their community would destroy their mainstreet businesses and the local atmosphere of Mom & Pop Americana that they wanted to keep. I worked at a Super Walmart and was amazed at the amount of trade that Walmart does with China but yet they try to come off as a huge slice of Americana. They treat their employees horribly and prefer to fire a worker when they reach a higher wage and benefits because it is cheaper to hire two part time people instead. I had thought of going into business myself in several different options but each time I thought about it I found myself thinking of Walmarts pricing and buying power and knew that any business I could afford to start could not compete against such a global monster. How is America suppose to regenerate it's economy when everything is imported by corporate giants like Walmart? The days of little main street stores that helped employee townspeople and the money was spent in their community are long gone. Now we have Super Walmarts and Super Targets, neither are friendly to American small businesses. Targets are French and support Gay and Lesbian rights but not the Salvation Army, Red Cross or the Boy or Girl Scouts of America. What's your ideas to recover our economy?
1 person likes this
7 responses
@Arkie69 (2156)
• United States
10 Mar 09
Wal Mart is also costing a bunch of jobs by importing so much cheap junk from other countries. You can't import into any country with out hurting the work force. You also can't import without sending a lot of American dollars into the economies of other countries and robbing our own economy. Wal Mart is not a friend of the American People. Art
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
10 Mar 09
I don't see how you can say that a company employing 2.1 million Americans is costing a bunch of jobs. Big business creates jobs. Our economy gets tax dollars from the products they sell, the people they employ, the fuel they use, etc. They are not robbing our economy by any stretch of the imagination.
@Arkie69 (2156)
• United States
11 Mar 09
You are forgetting the most important part of our economy. The American work force is not producing all this cheap crap Wal Mart is selling. Sure the provide a lot of jobs but they could produce a lot more if they sold Made in America.Also all this money they are spending in other countries for their junk would be put into our own economy. If the American worker can't get a job or is laid off from their job it hurts our economy. That is the problem with our economy right now. There is far too many people on unemployment and can't afford to buy very much. There is another feature about this junk being sold in the US. Far too much of our economy was being supported by the sale of these junk items. With everything else going up like it has a lot of people can no longer afford to buy this junk and American workers that are producing some of it is being paid off. Wal Mart is loaded with junk people want but don't really have to have. Wal Mart announced last week they were laying off 5% of their work force. Wal Mart, KMart and several others that sell all this imported junk is hurting our work force and our economy. Art
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
11 Mar 09
No matter how you spin it they are still employing 2.1 million people in this country. That is more than ANY other company. This may surprise you, but the average Walmart worker actually makes about $10/hour in stark contrast to the claims that they only pay minimum wage. "Wal Mart is loaded with junk people want but don't really have to have." EVERY store in America is loaded with junk people want but don't need. If that's the standard we're setting then we should eliminate every computer, jewelry, and home decorating store should be shut down now. Unlike those stores, Walmart sells essentials like food, MADE IN AMERICA, clothing, hardware, kitchen utensils, toilet paper, ALSO MADE IN AMERICA, and many other things that people DO need. Sure, about 64% of their goods are imported, but it's not their fault that most TVs, stereos, video games, children's toys, etc, are made overseas. It's about supply and demand and they are a good supplier.
@bmorehouse1 (1028)
• United States
11 Mar 09
Did you open up a can of worms or what??!! I have read all the discussions and I have to agree with you that WalMart DOES hurt other businesses when they come to smaller towns. The other businesses can't compete, so usually end up closing their doors. Of course people shop where they can get the better deals, that is just a given, but it doesn't mean they have to like the fact that they are helping to put the other places out of business. I do know people that have worked at WalMart and is not all a bed of roses. Unfotunately WalMart is a big business, so making a profit is the bottom line, no matter how they treat people to get there. As for your question about ideas to recover the economy, I think the gov't should be sending the American people stimulus checks, rather than spending all that money on baling out the big businesses. If the people had the money, then they would spend more which would help the business community.
@Arkie69 (2156)
• United States
11 Mar 09
Just because Wal Mart prices may be a few cents lower does not mean it is a good deal. Most of what Wal Mart sells is a very poor quality. The true value of something is not in the price. It is in how long and how well it will serve our needs. My Grand Daughter that lives with me has bought several things that didn't last very long. She bought me a CD/VHS recorder/player that didn't last but a couple of months. She took it back but naturally they only had more expensive one and she had to pay extra to exchange it. The one she exchanged it for lasted less than a year. I said to heck with it and tossed it in the trash. No don't go to Wal Mart looking for a good deal or you will probably get ripped off. Been there and done that. Art
@Arkie69 (2156)
• United States
11 Mar 09
Sooner I think you just enjoy arguing. Art
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
11 Mar 09
"My Grand Daughter that lives with me has bought several things that didn't last very long. She bought me a CD/VHS recorder/player that didn't last but a couple of months. She took it back but naturally they only had more expensive one and she had to pay extra to exchange it. The one she exchanged it for lasted less than a year." Sounds to me like your problem is with the manufacturer. Walmart sells the same name brand electronics as everyone else. The Westinghouse HDTV I bought there was exactly the same as the one for sale at Best Buy only $100 cheaper. If something goes wrong with it, I'm blaming Westinghouse, not Walmart. If your daughter bought some generic VHS recorder, that's her own fault for choosing cheap crap over quality. Walmart caries Sony, Samsung, and other great brands. I don't know about Walmart, but Target's generic stuff is made by Sharp. You get what you pay for when it comes to cheap electronics.
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
10 Mar 09
"I had thought of going into business myself in several different options but each time I thought about it I found myself thinking of Walmarts pricing and buying power and knew that any business I could afford to start could not compete against such a global monster." Well then you simply lacked the spirit necessary to succeed. There will always be competition. You need dedication to win and clearly you lacked that. You know John Shnatter was only 23 when he founded Papa Johns Pizza. He was up against two companies, Pizza Hut and Domino's that were both older than he was. They'd bee around since 1958 and 1960 respectively and the idea that he could create a nationwide chain to compete with them was ridiculous. He persevered because he believed in his product. "The days of little main street stores that helped employee townspeople and the money was spent in their community are long gone." Not true. There are still small towns with small shops. They're all over Florida between the big cities. "Now we have Super Walmarts and Super Targets, neither are friendly to American small businesses." They're not supposed to be. It's a competition and their goal is to win. It's not their job to coddle their competitors. "Targets are French" That's a stupid lie you probably read in a chain e-mail. "Target is a publicly held U.S. company (NYSE: TGT) and has been based in Minneapolis, Minn. since its founding as The Dayton Company in 1902. Target is not now, nor has it ever been, foreign-owned." http://www.target.com/Corporation-Supports-Veterans-Company-Help/b?ie=UTF8&node=10790581 Feel free to visit their website to read about their charitable giving. I volunteered for Give Kids the World for years and I can tell you that Walmart practically bankrolls the place. They provide more than half the corporate donations received and encourage their employees to volunteer their time. Perhaps you could care less that they are giving money to grant the wishes of terminally ill children, but to me that's a pretty big deal.
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
10 Mar 09
Here's a little snopes page about Target for you so you don't repeat those lies again. http://www.snopes.com/politics/military/target.asp
@dvmurphy (326)
• United States
11 Mar 09
tsk, tsk you must have stock in Target to be so very testy Taskr. As for lies, sorry but I have seen reports when I was an insurance agent that showed French interest in Target so smoke that and I am not telling lies nor am I spreading lies. As for charitable giving, give me a break, it is a tax right off and a campaign that big corporations do to ease their concience and look good in the public eye. Don't you dare act like you know anything about me or how I feel about terminally ill children either you judgemental ### because I am raising a special needs grandchild. I lost a neice to a brain disorder and have two special needs neices. I asked about an opinion on business. Don't make this personal. I can get nasty to.
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
11 Mar 09
"tsk, tsk you must have stock in Target to be so very testy Taskr." Actually no, but big business is what fuels our economy. Those wishing for big business to fail are unknowingly wishing for the destruction of our economy. When a Mom and Pop grocery closes down, it might hurt the local community a bit. When a nationwide company worth over $200 billion fails, the entire nation suffers. You'd think people would realize that with the current recession. "As for lies, sorry but I have seen reports when I was an insurance agent that showed French interest in Target so smoke that and I am not telling lies nor am I spreading lies." If that's the case then show me proof. If you've seen these reports please link me to the information. Go on and describe these reports and how they spelled out the "French interest" as you put it. "As for charitable giving, give me a break, it is a tax right off and a campaign that big corporations do to ease their concience and look good in the public eye." Yeah, I'm sure writing off 300 thousand makes it worth it to donate a million. Tax write offs are nice, but you don't MAKE money by giving millions to charity, you recoup a percentage of it. The fact is that without Walmart, Give Kids the World wouldn't be able to fulfill even half their mission.
@xParanoiax (6997)
• United States
11 Mar 09
Start with the basics, from scratch, basically. That was my idea to help our economy. Small time organic farming. Selling fresh produce at flea markets and farmer's markets...and go pro at that. Thing is, now there's this bill in Congress that'd penalize me and many others in small businesses relating to food...and my confidence is wavering in that I will be able to be an example of how much working with one's own hands and ideas can change the country. A more paranoid soul than I'd say that this bill was proposed BECAUSE many people like me'd gotten this idea and that it threatens the huge companies that make a profit at our expense (As a small organic farmer who bought my seeds and plants for a dollar a pop and intends to save seeds from my harvest...I can easily compete with Walmart's prices)...but I know that it's just that our nation's in crazy times, and people're scrabbling. Walmart is OK in a prosperous economy where nothing's wrong. Problem is, that's not where we're at now. We actually haven't TRULY been there for years, for if we had been...we wouldn't be where we are now. Too much favors big business and not small business...and actually, niether can really live without the other. You don't strangle your boss and expect to get paid... All I know to do, is keep struggling against it all. To keep trying. To keep doing what I can. I figure, at least in my case, if the bill passes...I'll turn to barter, instead of money to skirt the new rules. It'll make a ton of extra work for me, and I won't be benefitting the economy as much as I otherwise would have...but...*shrugs*
@Arkie69 (2156)
• United States
11 Mar 09
You just may see a lot of bartering going on. I remember during WWII at the end of the last depression a lot of people would raise more than they needed with the idea of trading the extra for something they didn't have. My Dad was a farmer and he traded and gave a lot of stuff to others. He would let people gather his crops for half of what ever they gathered. A lot of people wouldn't have eaten too good without people like my Dad. People used to care about the welfare of others but you don't see a lot of that now days. As for the government they don't want people producing what they consume. They want people to have no choice but depend on others for their needs. The last thing they want is for the people to not have a need for them. Art
@Thoroughrob (11748)
• United States
12 Mar 09
Walmart does run the small businesses out. We live in a small town and since they came in, we have lost Kmart and Big Lots, along with some smaller businesses. We need to get factories back here and start making our own products and quit allowing so much to come from everywhere else.
@sid556 (30989)
• United States
11 Mar 09
I know just what you mean. Walmart, especially, reminds me of a big bully. They come into a town and have such very low prices that it is hard to resist shopping there. Once they have put a number of smaller stores right out of business, their prices start increasing by quite a bit. They did that in my town as well. They have little competition at all here and the prices actually aren't so great anymore. I try to avoid shopping there at all but honestly there are not a lot of choices in the area anymore. I do think that Americans are seeing where we went wrong and would be more willing to spend locally given the choice and if their purses could possibly afford it. The problem is that it has gone so far at this point. I really have no answers for you here. I don't know what could possibly turn things around now.
@oneidmnster (1387)
• United States
10 Mar 09
While I agree that Walmart is bad for small businesses,they probably employ more people than those small businesses will ever employ.They also creats revenue because they create jobs.When a Walmart opens other businesses,such as fast food restaurants,ususally follow.This in turn creates more jobs.So,while I sympathize with your problem,I think big box stores actually help the community as a whole more than they hurt them.