Former bureau chief for the Economist, Sebastian Mallaby writes in defense of a large retailer in his essay, Progressive Wal-Mart. Really. Through his essay he explains that through the continual campaigns against the large corporation, Wal-Mart has been and still remains a benefit to working Americans seeking affordable goods. He elaborates on the crusade of Anti-Wal-Mart campaigns looking to paint the business as a detestable parasite, when all the company has done is keep costs low and earnings for its shareholders high while trying to defeat competitors, just as any company would. A progressive success story. ” Mallaby offers a few words from Jason Furman of New York University in description of the company so many know as Wal-Mart. Using his key points in defense of his own, Mallaby continues in offering from Furman, that if one counted not only the discounts shoppers save on the food but the other products found in the store, savings might likely pass $200 billion every year.

Such a number is a considerable amount to anyone, but its no doubt a savings that low income families would not likely pass up, because as Mallaby puts it, “The average Wal-Mart customer earns $35,00 a year” A significant gap when being compared to other retailers, their customers raking in anywhere from $50,000 to $74,000 a year. Mallaby proposes that when one looks to the savings being made for shoppers to salaries of their employees, of course the most important aspect is the shoppers, not merely that, but employee treatment is debatable. Wal-Mart’s pay and benefits can be made to look good or bad depending on which other firms you compare them to” Mallaby says, using 8,000 applications received at a newly opened warehouse in Arizona as evidence for the stores high appeal despite the spreading of word to suggest that the pay is undesirable— unjust. Attempting to display fairness, he offers a hypothetical acceptance of an estimated loss to employee earnings; however, he continues, that number is still minor when compared to the savings the shoppers make.

Indicating Furman‘s words further, Mallaby writes, “Retail workers may take home less pay, but their purchasing power probably still grows thanks to Wal-Mart’s low prices”. When defending the store against the implication they’re paying Chinese workers pennies a day trying to keep up with the demand of merchandise for the store, he makes a point that no one has offered any proof that the pay is any lower elsewhere compared to the countries average.

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Mallaby, feeling further need to express the unfair depiction of the company presents the information that the workers mainly come from previously working on farms, “… earnings are even worse than at WalMart’s subcontractors and where the labor is still more grueling. ” While many use the fact that 5 percent of its workers are on Medicaid against the company, the fact remains, that such a number is common for large retail firms and the nation average is just 1 percent below that of Wal-Marts.

For the same people who loudly fought for a system that allowed Medicaid workers to work while keeping benefits, Mallaby declares it, “ironic” that they would now be critical of the policy being used to help its workers. “Companies like Wal-Mart are not run by saints” Mallaby asserts, putting forward one graceful negative before another, “They can treat workers and competitors roughly. They may even be poor stewards of the environment. However, he continues, the company is large, global and it is only expected for critics to emerge to question its success, even criticize its way of handling business. But, the globalization of such a business that gives its shoppers the mass sum of over $200 billion in savings is one of which we must maintain for progress. To eliminate the store as an option, to prevent families from taking advantage of the savings the store would offer, Mallaby finalizes, “Poor Americans would be chief among the casualties. ”


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