Thursday, September 14, 2006

Why Wal-Mart Matters

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George Will on Wal-Mart:

The median household income of Wal-Mart shoppers is under $40,000. Wal-Mart, the most prodigious job-creator in the history of the private sector in this galaxy, has almost as many employees (1.3 million) as the U.S. military has uniformed personnel. A McKinsey company study concluded that Wal-Mart accounted for 13 percent of the nation's productivity gains in the second half of the 1990s, which probably made Wal-Mart about as important as the Federal Reserve in holding down inflation. By lowering consumer prices, Wal-Mart costs about 50 retail jobs among competitors for every 100 jobs Wal-Mart creates. Wal-Mart and its effects save shoppers more than $200 billion a year, dwarfing such government programs as food stamps ($28.6 billion) and the earned-income tax credit ($34.6 billion).

Think about those numbers. WM creates an astounding amount of jobs in the communities where they build.

The near-sightedness of those cities that bowed to union pressure and passed anti-Wal-Mart ordinances has hurt those cities. How much tax revenue has Chicago lost because of the pro-union anti-growth legislation?

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