The Ethics Of Shopping At Wal Mart

1009 words - 4 pages

One has to work hard to consider their values in particular issues and how strongly they feel. This is the choice many people make when they invest in mutual funds, and have no idea where their mutual funds are invested. Many vocal opponents to shopping at Wal-Mart might discover they hold investments in the Wal-Mart. There are 1050 mutual funds that are invested in Wal-Mart, some of the largest mutual funds in the world. There are many people who have no idea where their investments lie. If you want to be true to your value against shopping at Wal-Mart, you need to be careful to remove yourself from investments that support Wal-Mart. You have to review your investments and find out where your money is invested.

Let's consider the case of the prominent politician, John Kerry. John Kerry's wife, Teresa Heinz was a highly vocal critic of Wal-Mart. An investigative journalist discovered that she had one million dollars invested in the company. She held a lot of stock in a company of which she was critical. This provides insight into the idea that you have to work hard to consider your values in particular issues and how strongly you do feel.

Regardless of what you think of Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart is continually voted as one most admired companies in America by Fortune magazine. This is how Jerry Useem began the article he wrote for Fortune magazine:

There is an evil company in Arkansas, some say. It's a discount store-a very, very big discount store-and it will do just about anything to get bigger. You've seen the headlines. Illegal immigrants mopping its floors. Workers locked inside overnight. A big gender discrimination suit. Wages low enough to make other companies' workers go on strike. And we know what it does to weaker suppliers and competitors. Crushing the dream of the independent proprietor-an ideal as American as Thomas Jefferson-it is the enemy of all that's good and right in our nation.

There is another big discount store in Arkansas, yet this one couldn't be more different from the first. Founded by a folksy entrepreneur whose notions of thrift, industry, and the square deal were pure Ben Franklin, this company is not a tyrant but a servant. Passing along the gains of its brilliant distribution system to consumers, its farsighted managers have done nothing less than democratize the American dream. Its low prices are spurring productivity and helping win the fight against inflation. It is America's most admired company.

Weirdest part is, both these companies are named Wal-Mart Stores Inc. 1
You see a dichotomy here. The other thing to look at in terms of company values is philanthropic work. Last year, Wal-Mart gave $140 million to local nonprofit organizations in its philanthropic work. In addition, to being named to the Fortune list, Wal-Mart has been presented with the Ron Brown Award for Corporate Leadership that recognizes companies with outstanding achievement in employee and community relations. These awards obviously...

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