Wal-Mart and the US Economy
It is no doubt that business enterprises are the primary agents in making a country go about its economic development. Many of the industrialized nations including the United States are highly dependent on how the capitalist sector performs to sustain the trade procedures within and outside the country. For this aspect, it seems that high level companies, such as Wal-Mart, can predict how the economy will turn out for the wider span of the general population.
At this point in time, when the world is becoming more and more ‘globalized’ in light of the impending US recession, Wal-Mart may just become the worst factor example on how a capitalist’s perspective is going to influence the national economy. Wal-Mart is supposedly the largest retail company not only in America but also in the world (Fishman, 2008). With this standing, it cannot be denied that whatever the production values of the company is, this will generate a big impact to the nation’s overall capacity to trade.
However, because of the sudden changes in the company’s procedures in conducting business, it is now becoming more obvious that America is going to meet some more problems in the near future while Wal-Mart is modifying right now
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Since it is a private enterprise, it has the freedom to subject itself to modifications just to increase its span of profitability. With such an attitude, the obvious result can be pointed out with the fact that it has already outsourced a very large part of its operation to China. This action leads to hundreds or probably thousands of American employees to be laid off. Another negative impact of Wal-Mart to the US economy relates to how it actually influences the standard of living of the Americans.
Of course, any person would want to have the cheapest products in the market which the company intends to provide by acquiring cheaper labor and logistics abroad. But the unseen result of this equation is that the balance in American households’ capability to purchase and ability to find jobs will not really be at an optimum level. People can purchase affordable prices at Wal-Mart but this only reflects that they can also have a hard time looking for a job. In this case, the condition of any American middle class family may not improve at all and will be stuck on a stagnant level of lifestyle conditions.
Lastly, it is very likely that the retailing operation of Wal-Mart could affect the capital flow in the domestic market if it will face an economic dilemma in external economies where it has established its facilities. For example, if China’s economy suddenly worsens, the overall impact of this event to Wal-Mart may be passed on to its consumers. If something goes wrong in its operations, then the consumers will readily suffer. This extended version of economic problems will just expose the American population to more concerns instead of only attending to its domestic problems.
Wal-Mart’s intention to provide quality and affordable commodities to the public is one noble goal. However, if the company is going to continue to consider only its general profitability, it is not very unlikely that this giant business entity can become the main aggravating tool to pull down the already unstable US economy.
Fishman, C. 2008. The Wal-Mart You Don’t Know. Mansueto Ventures LLC. Retrieved April 7, 2008 from http://www. fastcompany. com/magazine/77/walmart. html.