Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Walmart is always good for destroying your faith in humanity on Black Friday, and this year was no exception: By day’s end, reports emerged from stores across the country of biblical struggles over waffle makers, pepper-spraying, and even at least one shooting. Maybe if shoppers took a closer look at Walmart’s business doings they wouldn’t be so willing to whip out legal airborne torture for a bargain Xbox.

Or maybe they would, I don’t know. Still, what Frugal Dad has strung together in Weight of Walmart above, has to give even the most hardened Black Friday criminals pause. It takes what are by now well-worn statistics about Walmart--it’s America’s largest grocery, and the world’s largest retailer, employer, and earner of corporate revenue--and puts them into context, comparing the company to other businesses, industries, and even countries, to demonstrate the astounding reach of a corporation that looks more like a superpower every day.
The superpower analogy might sound like a rhetorical device, but Walmart really does resemble a nation (albeit a miserly dictatorship where no one would ever want to live). Consider the evidence: If revenue passed for GDP, Walmart would have the 25th largest economy in the world. It imports as many Chinese goods as the entire nation of Germany and more than Russia and Taiwan combined. And its more than 2 million employees could form the second largest military on the planet--bigger even than that of the United States.

Walmart has something else in common with certain nations: astronomical income inequality. In fact, if Walmart were a country, it’d exhibit the largest gap between rich and poor, with CEO Michael Duke earning more in an hour than a sales rep earns in a year. Forget pepper spray. Shoppers should fight with their money--by taking it elsewhere.

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