My good friend, Mitchell J. Freedman authored an interesting opinion piece on Wal-Mart and Costco. He offered the perspectives of others, specifically, those that watch Wal-Mart. Mitchell provided the views of the Wal-Mart Chief, H. Lee, Scott, Junior. He linked to a Frontline documentary that is very well done. It is one that I have viewed often. In his editorial Mitchell presented the perspective of a former Wal-Mart manager. He also furnished a path to the Labor Research Association. This organization offers an article titled, “The Costco Challenge: An Alternative to Wal-Martization?” by Moira Herbst [July 5, 2005].
I found Mitchell’s blogging inspiring and insightful. I wrote to Mitchell. Here, in my own missive, I share my letter with you dear reader.
I ask you to share yours. Please write your thoughts, tell others of your buying experiences, and discuss your own awareness of Wal-Mart. Then reflect upkn your shopping decisions, past, present, and future.
Would you prefer to do as you do? Would you prefer to support the [wicked] world of Wal-Mart or that of Costco [a company that cares for its employees and patrons]? When you make your purchases, what do you believe you are saying, doing, promoting, or allowing? Are these actions consistent with your personal philosophy? Are you consuming without thought and do your purchases support causes and considerations that you think vital?
Please, spend wisely. The price you pay is more than mere dollars. Take some time to review your purchases. Investigate the stores from which you buy. For when you, Mitchell, or I shop, we are investing in America; we decide to support a democracy or a monopoly.
I implore us all. Please, may we make an informed decision?
I believe that when we buy, the product and price must not be our only considerations. My hope is that you actively believe similar. If not, please share your beliefs. Tell me what is true for you; help me to understand why Wal-Mart continues to be the “success” [sic] it is.
For me, Wal-Mart is not a “success”; it is a source of stress. Therefore, I wrote . . .
Dear Mitchell . . .
Decades ago, as Sam Walton presented his business philosophy and received much praise, my Mom said, “This will be the end of the middle-class.” My family and I watched; we did not have to wait long. My Mom was absolutely correct!
I do not know if my Mom ever dared venture forth to investigate the actuality of Wal-Mart; I know not whether she ever entered their doors, I have not and will not.
I read, view, listen, and hear of how Wal-Mart destroyed the free-market that allowed it to survive. I am very aware of how they “use” the system to their advantage. I witness the hypocrisy of Wal-Mart’s words and deeds. I observe how the Wal-Mart philosophy conflicts with a Democratic constitution, and I am appalled. I am amazed that we as a society allow an organization such as this to be our guiding light. However, [some say] how can we not. Wal-Mart Super-stores have dimmed all others on the streets of America.
Though the lights at Costco do not burn as bright, I too lean towards this corporate structure. Costco cares for its employees and patrons. While the bricks, mortars, cars, and signs at Costco may not flood the skies with an ominous glow, the corporate configuration of Costco is one that I find preferable. Thus, I am, a proud patron of Costco, never of Wal-Mart.
Please read other articles of note . . .
• Organic Consumers Association offers Wal-Mart and the end of the Middle-Class, Business Week, October 7, 2005. Wal-Mart’s Giant Sucking Sound By Leo Hindery Jr.
• The grocery dispute is about more than clerks’ health benefits–it’s about the survival of the middle class. By Harold Myerson [First published in Los Angeles Times, December 7, 2003
• US: Remaking America in Wal-Mart’s Image, CorpWatch, The Black Commentator. February 19th, 2004