Here's just a couple examples from the Fender Forum discussion:
>>Walmarts replace small businesses with minimum wage jobs and remove capital from communities.
This is *almost* ridiculous. If this were true, go ahead and buy a ton of Wal-Mart stock and short it. They're digging their own graves by bankrupting their customers.
Far from it, I've seen several economic booms started by the building of a Wal-Mart in otherwise depressed areas. I've never seen a Wal-Mart turn a thriving economy into a ghost town. I doubt anyone can provide evidence to the contrary.
Seriously, it's economically impossible for Wal-Mart to fleece people by selling them cheap groceries. Groceries are ubiquitous...as soon as Wal-Mart raised prices above current market value there would be another grocery store underselling them so fast their collective heads would spin.
ANYTHING else they sell is not a necessity, and is driven by the whim of the market, which demands a low price. If they were to gain an effective monopoly on CD's, do you seriously think people would pay Wal-Mart anything for music? Would you pay $50 for Britney?
No, there would be independent competition - in the form of mom and pop stores. Have you ever walked the streets of a large city? Competition there should be locked up tight, but there are thousands of street vendors and small niche stores selling music, electronics, jewelry, anything you could want. How is that possible?
Not to mention, being able to afford basic necessities and niceties enables more of my money to be used for other specialized purposes. That goes to local restaurants, theaters, gas stations, garden stores, auto mechanics, you name it.
So, yes, while I can't buy food and have an hour long conversation with my grocer, the guy who would have been a grocer can now be a computer scientist, because he could afford a cheap computer from Wal-Mart. I'd wager that the more specialized your job is, the more likely it is to be fulfilling. Do we really lament the loss of cashier positions at the local grocery? Those jobs stink. What difference does it make if you're a cashier at Wal-Mart? (I can hear it already, and you know what? Mom and Pop never paid for my health care either.)
There are no sound economic arguments against Wal-Mart. There are only emotional ones that appeal to nostalgia and tin-foil hat conspiracy theories. Wal-Mart has done more to raise the standard of living for more people than any other organization outside of the medical industry.
I know this conflicts with what some think commerce in this country should look like, but you should ask yourself why you should get to decide, and not the 50 other people standing at the checkout line.
"That savings had to come from somewhere, out of someone elses pocket".
This is completely untrue. Economics is not a zero sum game.
If I build a chair and sell it for $10, but my neighbor has better power tools and builds the same chair and sells it for $8, by your logic, he's stolen $2 from me for every chair he sells.
And another beauty:
I like the Super Wal-Mart near my house. They've got lots of stuff I need at good prices.
That's all I care about.
So, help me out guys! I know someone out there has some info I can use. I just don't want to get into this unarmed, as it were. Thanks!