If you watch enough tv, you'll soon see this commercial.
This ad paints Walmart as not only heartless but in effect taking a bailout from the tax payers. It's a remarkable accusation to make for a company that continues to enjoy billions in profits even into the teeth of the biggest recession in years.
The ad comes to this conclusion because Walmart doesn't provide health insurance benefits for all its employees. As such, the ad makes the claim that this is a bailout since those employees must then go to the government to get their health care.
Now, I am not insensitive to the idea that corporations have a responsibility to society. I don't believe that corporations can make a profit at the expense of our environment. I also don't believe that corporations should make a profit at the expense of our national security. I don't believe that corporations should make a profit by manipulating markets.
That said, private businesses must be free to make internal decisions without the pressure of outside influence. Community organizations, for instance, are fond of demanding that all retailers pay a living wage. They rarely define a "living wage" and they aren't afraid of picketing and boycotting to force retailers to pay their workers more than the corporation is willing to pay.
This is a perversion of reality. A job is not a right. A retailer has no responsibility to provide health insurance any more than a living wage. The free market takes care of that. The retailer that does the worst job of providing for their employees gets the worst employees. That's where it should be left. Walmart gets ten applications for every position so it's totally absurd to demand that they do anything more than they do already for their employees.
There's of course something more sinister at play here. The group behind these ad is the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. Walmart is not unionized but if it were, you can bet that this group would get a large portion of the workers. That's not something that the ads reveal. This isn't so much about holding Walmart accountable for mistreating their workers, as it is a public relations campaign to convince the country their workers will only be treated right if they're organized.
I have said before that the reason that Walmart refuses to organize is because Walmart has built its business on the concept of economies of scale. Their whole entire operation is predicated on lowering costs, all costs, labor included. Unions raise costs and so Walmart has resisted the unions.
With or without the unions, Walmart has no trouble getting employees. Often, attacks on Walmart turn into little more than rank propaganda. This is just one example. For instance, on the site, there is one campaign to "stop Walmart's war on free speech" and this campaign is directly below "end Walmart's support for Glenn Beck". So, it appears to this union, free speech is a selective right.
Never have I seen a private company attacked and demonized the way that Walmart has been. Walmart isn't doing business with Iran. There's no evidence of a monopoly, polluting the environment, or manipulating markets. In fact, what makes Walmart the enemy of many is their stead fast refusal to unionize and their ability to sell things cheaper and better than their competition. The market should decide their fate not a union with an agenda they don't readily admit.
Please check out my new books, "Prosecutors Gone Wild: The Inside Story of the Trial of Chuck Panici, John Gliottoni, and Louise Marshall" and also, "The Definitive Dossier of PTSD in Whistleblowers"