The Big Retailer

Essay by shell3College, UndergraduateA, July 2006

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Small towns of America hold a very special place in the country. Their one of a kind character makes them stand out from the other small towns. Small towns embrace tradition, creating images of little ones riding bicycles down the wide, tree-filled street, or young girls with two bouncy pigtails in their hair while they jump rope in the front. Neighbors of a small town know each other by name; they wave and greet one another when they cross paths. These closely-knitted communities are what give America its character. Ashland, Virginia, being one of those special communities, should not have been altered into a small city. With Wal-Mart expanding into rural areas, many issues will accompany it.

Our tax-dollars are paying for Wal-Mart's greed. Wal-Mart promises, "Always low prices." What many consumers do not know are the hidden costs that accompany the low prices. The first price that we pay for are the lost of higher-paying jobs already established in the communities.

These jobs come with affordable health and retirement benefits for employees and their children. Instead these jobs are going to be swapped for minimum-wage paying employment. The jobs that Wal-Mart promises are below the poverty line for a family of three. The second wage that we pay for, as tax-payers, are the health care needs of Wal-Mart employees. Since the annual wages of the sales associates and the cashiers, two of the most common jobs of Wal-Mart, are below poverty line: the employees are not able to afford the expensive health coverage. Even if the employee could afford the coverage, they must be employed for at least two years before enrolling. It is a shame that a company, that grosses billions of dollars in profit, to know that less than half of their employees and their employees' children...