Yet, Walmart doesn’t hold guns to the heads of consumers, forcing them to shop there. Walmart doesn’t stuff carts full of merchandise and force shoppers to buy it all. Consumers freely choose to shop at Walmart because they believe they’re enriched by doing so. Shoppers exit Walmarts smiling, that because they believe that what’s in their carts is worth more to them than the money with which they parted company.
After shopping, customers proceed to a check-out station. Those stations are staffed by Walmart employees. Walmart didn’t drag those people off the street and force them to work there. Each of those clerks individually and freely decided what his time, talent and effort were worth in remuneration. Walmart made offers to those people. If the potential employee had been offered, say, $9 per hour by, say, Kroger and, say, $7.50 by Walmart, that person would likely not be clerking at Walmart. If, on the other hand, Walmart offered $7.50, the prospect thought he was worth $7.50, and if there were no better offers, it is likely that he’d be saying, “Welcome to Walmart” and checking you out. When that employee exits Walmart for the day, he’s smiling, having made in his own mind a beneficial use of his time, talent, and energy.
These voluntary agreements and contracts occur throughout the whole supply chain for Walmart as well, each supplier, employee of a supplier, each transporter, each driver, each farmer, each farmhand. Each voluntarily participates, seeing himself enriched by the arrangement. I think it arguable that the Walmart business model is the most-effective “welfare program” in the history of Planet Earth.
The only ones unhappy, indeed enraged, are the progressive/liberal “do-gooders” who have the unmitigated gall to see themselves as smarter than everyone else, indeed, so smart that they could define each role and value in that whole incredibly-complex unsystem, the whole of which no one – not a sole soul – understands or can understand. Every law and every regulation and every government “social-welfare” program which interferes and intervenes into that unsystem costs money, costs jobs, costs productivity, stifles creativity and innovation, and makes everyone, everyone from the Walton Family to the $2 per day factory worker in southern China poorer.
But, on the other hand, it makes the progressive/liberal “do-gooders” feel good about themselves. So, I guess on balance that the worldwide misery is small price to pay.