Ok, seriously. There are so many things wrong with this picture, I don't even know where to begin. My initial thoughts: WE ARE IN A RECESSION WHERE SMALL LOCAL BUSINESS ARE FIGHTING FOR THEIR LIVES AGAINST THIS CHEAP-CRAP-SELLING GIANT AND OUR LOCAL UTILITY COMPANY WRITES AN ARTICLE ENCOURAGING PEOPLE TO GO TO WAL-MART BECAUSE THEY'RE A NICE COMPANY! You have GOT to be kidding me.
There are so many people here in my community (including ME) who spend our days campaigning for these small local businesses, trying to get our voices heard, their voices heard. While families struggle to pay the bills, Wal-Mart is notorious for low wages, sexual discrimination, and denying the majority of their employees health care coverage which only forces the burden on us (the taxpayer) when their employees apply for government assistance just to survive.
Ok. Then there's the question of: does this almost 200 billion dollar company need advertising from a local magazine? I mean, does anyone in this town NOT know that this behemoth exists? Why not promote local businesses whose money actually comes back into our community. I know I'm going to sound like a broken record here, but when you buy at a Wal-Mart, only $14 out of $100 comes back to our community. Buy at a locally owned business and it becomes $45 out of $100. CHEAP COSTS US IN THE LONG RUN! We pay it in our health, we pay it in the environment, and we pay it in the loss of valuable local businesses.
I understand the article is about all the "nice" things local Wal-Mart employees are involved in to support our community. I don't want to disparage the compassionate acts of any individual, and I know the magazine has written some nice pieces about other organizations in our community, but Wal-Mart? Why Wal-Mart when there are still so many opportunities to write and show support for our many locally-owned businesses who not only support our community, they ARE our community - the small business owner or the farmer who makes a living selling fresh, quality, local food at our farmers' market - the REAL heroes, NOT Wal-Mart!
Sorry. Can you tell I'm a little miffed? I'll close for now. I have a letter to the editor to write...