Issues: Why Wal-Mart Is Bad For Canada

By on July 12, 2011

Submitted: Wal-Mart has a lot of new stores coming to a location near you. Is this a good thing or a bad thing … What do you think?

Why you’re right:
1. Wal-Mart destroys more jobs than it creates. A new Wal-Mart destroys jobs by putting local merchants out of business. The jobs Wal-Mart creates are fewer, lower-paying and mostly part-time. (Good Jobs First)

2. Wal-Mart burdens public health care programs. Most jobs at Wal-Mart have little or no health benefits. Wal-Mart encourages its workers to seek public assistance for their health care.

3. Wal-Mart exploits workers. The average hourly worker makes just $18,000 dollars a year. Meanwhile, in 2010, the corporation raked in $9.6 billion in profits. Wal-Mart has known for years that many of its stores violate child labor laws and provincial regulations requiring work breaks – but has done little, if anything, to stop it.

4. Wal-Mart degrades the environment. The federal government charged Wal-Mart with violating the Clean Water Act in 17 locations across the country (U.S.A.). Run-off from Wal-Mart construction sites polluted drinking water, streams and lakes. To settle the charges Wal-Mart agreed to pay a $1 million dollar fine.

Why They’re Wrong:
Proponents of Wal-Mart tout their low prices – and the positive impact they have on the purchasing power of consumers. But Wal-Mart is able to provide low prices because they are heavily subsidized by taxpayers. In addition to relying on public health care for their employees, Wal-Mart has benefited from over $1 billion in economic development subsidies. (Good Jobs First)

A Better Idea:
Make corporations like Wal-Mart help pay for public assistance programs from which they benefit. Instead of providing taxpayer subsidies to Wal-Mart, invest in businesses that provide stable jobs with adequate wages and health benefits.
Editors note : this was originally posted in a blog

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