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The Local Economic Impact of Wal-Mart By Michael J. Hicks

Chapter :  Introduction
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The Local Economic Impact of Wal-Mart

Introduction

Motorists may buy at your service station but damn you because they think you are a monopoly. They may go out of their way to save a few pennies at your chain store and then denounce you for paying low wages … without enlightened public opinion based upon self interest, a business with a million customers can be crucified by a militant minority.

Don Franscisco, 1936

Wal-Mart stores are an omnipresent feature of American life. This ubiquity has spawned both highly positive and strongly negative responses. Consumers appreciate Wal-Mart for its convenience, low prices, and extensive selection. Individuals from nine of 10 American households have shopped at a Wal-Mart in the past few months, far more than have voted in any U.S. election. Furthermore, the average American household spends an astonishing $2,300 / year at the store.1