It's tiresome to listen to the attacks on Wal-Mart, such as those leveled by Hannah Varani, which basically make the company out to be the American version of the "Gulag."
The attacks are baseless. Wal-Mart treats its employees very well. Employees receive competitive wages, as well as profit sharing, a 401(k) plan, paid vacation and holidays, a discount card, medical and dental coverage, life insurance, scholarship bonuses, and child-care discounts as well as many other benefits. As for the allegations of sexual discrimination, they are far from being proven.
On another issue, when Wal-Mart's stores close and "smaller businesses" open, it does not benefit the consumer or the community. "Mom and Pop" stores don't come close to having the infrastructure to replace a corporation such as Wal-Mart, nor can they support a large community like Fort Collins. The only companies capable of replacing a Wal-Mart would be other large corporations like Kroger, which cannot compete effectively with Wal-Mart due to their unionized workers.
She is, however, right on one thing: Demand doesn't depend on who's selling the product. It has to do with the price, and Wal-Mart is able to charge a cheaper price because it does not give into unreasonable unions. When you place a floor on wages all it leads to is surpluses (or unemployment) and increased prices for goods. Wages aren't to be set by unions or the government; they should be set by the market.
Ms. Varani doesn't have a problem with Wal-Mart; she has a problem with capitalism.