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Judging from the comments on this board, I find it interesting that WMT still raises many eye-brows. When it comes to WMT, many people seem to leave their rational self at the door, become emotional and react as economics ignoramus.

It is important to remain calm and restate some fundamental economic truths: every growing firm in a market economy replaces some activities and complements others. This is what famed economist Joseph Schumpeter called "creative destruction." Competition is a process in which there is destruction of some activities in order to reap new gains. At the end of the day, those who consistently turn a profit are creating more social value than they destroy. This is economics 101 and this is something most Americans accept naturally (unlike Europeans).

But when it comes WMT, suddenly things change. This is weird and I don't really understand why rational analysis is replaced with emotional reactions. Yes WMT has destroyed jobs, but this reflects their success and is a normal process that occurs all the time, every where — and so has done every other growing business on the S&P500 ever since the index was started. The same can be said of Ford, IBM, GM, etc.

There is always human drama when jobs are being destroyed, but what's the alternative? I like the stylized fact that a teacher of mine (who was a sovietologist) gave us in graduate school: at the time of the Soviet Union there were less business closures in the entire Soviet Union in a year than there was in a week in New York City. In a free market economy, jobs are created and destroyed all the time and we should celebrate the fact that great entrepreneurs such as Sam Walton and his successors help this process work better. This is why we like to invest, it seems to me.

Those interested in this subject should listen to Charles Platt, a journalist who worked undercover for WMT. He was initially against WMT but then changed his mind as he worked for the company.
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