Wal-Mart: the costs are low but the price we pay is too high

by Beacon Staff • October 18, 2006

Wal-Mart provides consumers with quality products at staggeringly low prices, but Marissa Sertich failed to point something out in her article. This is that diminished costs at the checkout are not saving Americans any money. Wal-Mart, the world's largest corporation, has found a loophole: if they do not provide their employees with basic human services, American taxpayers have to do it for them.,Dear Editor,

Wal-Mart provides consumers with quality products at staggeringly low prices, but Marissa Sertich failed to point something out in her article. This is that diminished costs at the checkout are not saving Americans any money. Wal-Mart, the world's largest corporation, has found a loophole: if they do not provide their employees with basic human services, American taxpayers have to do it for them.

An average Wal-Mart associate earns $17,114 in a year, $2,000 below the federal poverty level for a family of four. A Wal-Mart of 200 employees costs federal taxpayers $420,000 a year in social welfare expenses. Those "everyday" low prices come with a surprise, hidden tax.

Wal-Mart is not, as Sertich suggests, "on its best behavior." The second-most sued organization in the world, Wal-Mart currently faces class-action lawsuits in 31 states.

It looks like Mr. Smiley will have to go on quite the PR blitz, or consumers may see Wal-Mart for what it truly is-a monopolizing megacorporation with a lacking conscience and an insatiable thirst for greed.

-Chris Girard

Freshman

Political communication major