Why the World Needs more Wal-Mart

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    Jun 18, 2012 6:34 PM GMT
    It's sad that the ones who vilify Wal-Mart are elites who publicly moan about the plight of the poor while turning around and thumbing their noses at them. The reality is that companies like Wal-mart do far more to alleviate poverty than they ever will.

    http://www.freakonomics.com/2012/06/18/tyler-cowen-on-wal-mart-and-world-hunger/

    "Tyler Cowen on Wal-Mart and World Hunger"

    Cowen: If you look at wheat and rice, there have been price spikes over the last five years and they’ve made food a lot harder for poor people to afford. The so-called “Green Revolution” has somewhat slowed down. This is an unreported story. Crop yields are stagnant. It isn’t a problem we can solve overnight but it’s really one of the biggest problems in the world. It hardly gets any publicity. But for poor people in India, the Middle East and parts of Africa, it really matters.

    Some of the problems are we don’t have enough trade. It could be either legal barriers or just costly to transport or trade things. If there could be a shortage of rice in one place, it actually not that easy to ship a lot of rice in there because of bad roads and so on.

    Arabic Knowledge@Wharton: So if countries worked on improving the transportation infrastructure, that would lower food prices in some parts of the world?

    Cowen: Exactly, that would do a lot to feed people. Again, it sounds much more mundane but it’s more important than what people in the food world usually talk about.

    Arabic Knowledge@Wharton: So when companies like Wal-Mart bring their logistics ability to Africa, it actually could be a good thing for the poor people of Africa?

    Cowen: It’s exactly what we need more of. Yes.
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    Jun 18, 2012 6:47 PM GMT
    Shut the fuck up.
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    Jun 18, 2012 7:01 PM GMT
    Another article that lays out the evidence of the impact of Wal-Mart on the poorest - again ultimately reinforcing the failure of those in the advocacy industry that produce more heat/vitriol than actual impact (which when policymakers are foolish enough to listen to them is often negative let alone positive).

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/2011/09/case-against-case-against-walmart/117882

    That people want jobs at Walmart is obvious -- new Walmarts in cities like Cleveland, Oakland, Calif., and Glendale, Ariz., have received thousands of applications for hundreds of jobs. But does Walmart displace as many or more jobs than it creates? Studies show that the effect of Walmart on retail employment is, at worst, ambiguous. The economist Emek Basker estimated that new Walmarts cause net job creation in the retail sector, albeit with slight job losses in wholesale. Another study estimated that each new Walmart job displaces 1.4 retail jobs, but still creates enough new labor in other sectors that its overall effect is neutral.

    This is consistent with state-level data, which suggests there is no detectable "Walmart effect" on the performance of the small-business sector.

    Does the retail giant drive down wages, as its critics suggest? A trio of researchers estimated that Walmart might have lowered total retail wages by some $4.5 billion in 2000. But does it actually reduce their purchasing power? Based on estimates of Walmart price effects, Charles Courtemanche and I made a back-of-the-envelope calculation that Walmart Supercenters (i.e., those that sell groceries) alone saved the average household $177 in 2002. If we multiply that conservative estimate by the number of households in the 2000 census, we get a savings of $18.7 billion -- more than four times the supposed loss in earnings.

    Walmart's effect on prices -- particularly food prices -- is one of the reasons economist Jason Furman called the company "a progressive success story." Walmart's effect on food prices disproportionately benefits poorer households, which tend to spend a larger percentage of their income on food than wealthier households.

    Another common objection from Walmart critics is that the company destroys communities and saps them of the social capital they need to really flourish. In two 2009 papers, Courtemanche, Jeremy Meiners and I explored a range of indicators that measure "social capital" and "individual values" and found that evidence for this claim is pretty weak. Most likely, Walmart just doesn't matter.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19138

    Jun 18, 2012 7:03 PM GMT
    Be careful, Rid...you're treading on thin ice when you start with Christian's favorite superstore. He gets all his fetching scarfs and other assorted clothing ensembles there. icon_wink.gif
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    Jun 18, 2012 7:05 PM GMT
    I always dress down when going to Wally World in hopes of being on peopleofwalmart.com someday.
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    Jun 19, 2012 12:36 AM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    Christian73 saidShut the fuck up.


    What a stupid comment. icon_rolleyes.gif


    Oooh, SB violated Socal's ban on directly engaging RJ leftists. Someone's gonna get kicked out the of the Tree house! icon_lol.gif
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    Jun 19, 2012 2:14 PM GMT
    Christian73 saidShut the fuck up.


    Christian, there are some good points to Walmart, depending on what country it's in and what the labor laws are. Up here they pay employees better than Safeway, for example.
    On another note, Mom is on a a very limited income, won't take help from her kids, and so we take her to Walmart. Her grocery bill dropped over $100 a month, which made an enormous difference in her finances.
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    Jun 20, 2012 5:14 AM GMT
    Christian73 saidShut the fuck up.


    There's that civility I've been hearing so much about from people like you.
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    Jun 20, 2012 5:36 AM GMT
    shybuffguy said
    Christian73 saidShut the fuck up.


    There's that civility I've been hearing so much about from people like you.

    Good example why many of don't respond to these kinds of messages. Why get in the mud with these people when we can have much more fruitful discussions away from the radical left.