Wal-Mart. The name elicits strong emotions – corporate greed, excellent business model. Misplaced emotions. Wal-Mart is not a sentient entity. It is a corporation – a name on a mountain load of legal paperwork. It doesn’t breathe, eat, sleep or feel. It is not human.
Let’s be flat out honest. The hatred toward the company is founded in one of the most base of human emotion; envy. People envy the Waltons. People envy their wealth, their privilege and the Waltons do not help their public image, in the least. While Bill Gates, Warren Buffet donate incredible sums of their personal wealth; Gates (36.2%) and Buffet (26.9%) to various causes; the Waltons contributions are averaged at 0.04% with some of them giving absolutely nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada. Hey, it’s their money. If they choose miserly existence; that is THEIR choice. Personally, I don’t see the point because money doesn’t change what happens to us all in the end and you can’t take your billions with you. It doesn’t matter though; again, it is THEIR money.
How much do you give to charity? Percentage wise? Let’s say, after tax income – average Canadian take-home pay – average…look up what average means before you start getting your panties in a knot – 31 000.00. Figure out your monetary donations: 10% would be $3100 K; 3% would be $980.00. It is YOUR money, to do with, as you will. Same goes for the Waltons. Personally? I couldn’t sleep at night but that’s why I am not one of that infamous 1% with all the money, I guess.
I would not want that kind of money. Honest and for true. Way too much responsibility for me. Way too much limelight. I like my anonymity. Yeah, even though I write a blog; essentially it is my blog – I’m flattered when other people read it but it is just my way of coping with situations that are, sometimes, overwhelming. There’s no spotlight, no real responsibility, except those which I impose upon myself.
Rich people live in fish bowls; people always watching, always waiting for the chance to tear them down…waiting for their fall from the pedestal. Someone always looking to spin a deal, looking for a handout, looking to live vicariously through them. That’s hell, to me. That would truly be hell. The rich are welcome to it.
Wal-Mart is an American success story. And there are a lot of people who do not like success stories. They want some of that financial success for themselves; they haven’t earned it but they want it, anyway.
That’s the story of mankind; always wanting, always envying. You know, if there were a better way for society to function, it would have been found. There will NEVER be a world where everyone is equal because we aren’t. There will never be a world without war. Never. People are greedy, people hate, that’s reality. Tough but there you have it. Unicorns and rainbows will never happen. Hasn’t thus far – ever. There has NEVER been a peaceful society…for very long. It is not in the nature of our beast. One good famine and good will toward men goes right out the door. Look what happens after a flood, after an earthquake – the looting and the violence. We are what we are. No amount of love beads and peace signs will change that. Take a look at the Love Generation from the 60’s; who do you think sits at the top of our food chain now? The same people who protested the existence of capitalism back in the day. The same people who protested war now work for companies who manufacture war machines. That’s life. We do what we feel we need do, in order to make it in this world.
People want, people need and people conquer. That’s what we do, as a species. Nobody owns land…at least, not if someone bigger wants it. Survival of the fittest is how we have survived. Duh.
Communism is a lie; it doesn’t work anymore than monarchy works. Totalitarianism doesn’t work any better than Socialism. Democracy is also a lie but it is a damn sight better than anything else we’ve managed to come up with; at least we have limited freedom as well as the illusion of freedom.
I have to hand it to the Waltons; they made it. They achieved the American Dream. And no, they haven’t done it on the backs of anyone. No one is forced to work for Wal-Mart. No one is forced to work for any corporation or business. We make our choices, for good or for bad, we make our choices.
Are some people “luckier” than others? I don’t know; was Bill Gates lucky? Was Steve Jobs? Was Sam Walton?
Wal-Mart did not destroy the Mom and Pop store. The community members, where the Mom and Pop store was located, destroyed the store. They ceased to shop there. Wal-Mart had more, their prices were less and the shoppers left Mom and Pop for the good of their own wallets. Such is the marketplace.
We all know that the clothing sold in Wal-Mart is cheap because of what amounts to slave labour in Asia. Does that stop YOU from buying there? Of course, almost all of our clothing is manufactured by underpaid, overworked and subjugated workforces in Asia. Just because it comes from Abercrombie and Fitch, doesn’t mean it isn’t the result of the same slave labourers as those who churn out Wal-Mart goods. The only difference is the label.
This could be changed of course, were it not for the people who need to exert the pressure…the 99%. For change to take place, sacrifices would need to be made vis a vis the price tags. Same reason the Mom & Pop stores blinked out of existence.
Wal-Mart is what it is because of you, because of me, because of our society. We made a family and a bunch of shareholders very rich due to our own love affair with money. We like to keep as much of it for ourselves as we can; so do the Waltons, the only difference is the quantity.