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Wal-Mart and the Public Good

Wal-Mart is one of the largest employers in the US and the world but the company raises the strong public opposition and the dissatisfaction of local communities as well as employees working within the company. In this regard, policies conducted by Wal-Mart are the major causes of the growing dissatisfaction of the public and employees of the company. In actuality, the company manages to maintain a stable position in the market due to the aggressive expansion policies and pricing policies, which attract consumers but still have a destructive impact on local communities. In such a situation, the development of Wal-Mart confronts the problem of the public good because Wal-Mart has rather destructive impact on local communities than providing them with some benefits due to lower price of products sold from Wal-Mart and employment of employees from local communities.

In actuality, Wal-Mart confronts a bunch of problems, among which the problem of the negative impact of the company on local communities is one of the major threats to the public good and one of the major reasons for criticism of the company from the part of the public. In this regard, it is important to distinguish the negative environmental effect of Wal-Mart on local communities and the negative impact of Wal-Mart on the economy of local communities. In fact, the construction and functioning of Wal-Mart stores contributes to the increase of traffic in the areas, where the stores are located. Large parking spots and the infrastructure contribute to the rise of traffic, whereas the emission of CO2 contributes to the air pollution. As a result, the environmental situation in the local community deteriorates.

At the same time, Wal-Mart has a negative impact on the development of local economy of local communities. Even though Wal-Mart employs a large number of employees but the company does not solve the problem of unemployment in the local community. First, the company employs professionals for part-time jobs mainly. Second, the employment of professionals in Wal-Mart does not outweigh economic losses of local communities from functioning of Wal-Mart stores. What is meant here is the fact that small businesses often fail to compete with Wal-Mart because the latter offers incompatible prices, which are lower than small business could afford to offer their customers to compete with Wal-Mart. As a result, small businesses run bankrupt and former businessmen join the army of unemployed. In such a situation, the opening of new Wal-Mart stores kills economy of local communities provoking the skyrocketing unemployment in local communities and shut down many small businesses, which cannot afford the competition with Wal-Mart.

Furthermore, Wal-Mart’s policies in relation to its employees also raise heat debate in the society and threaten to the public good because these policies are discriminatory and unacceptable to the modern democratic society. As the matter of fact, the problem of female discrimination is not new and has persisted for decades. Females were in an inferior position compared to males and, today, the problem of female employees’ discrimination persists because the modern society still suffers from glass ceiling. The domination of men in the top management of Wal-Mart is one of the major reasons for the discrimination of female employees because men attempt to protect their position at the top management of the company. In such a situation, Wal-Mart has to maintain its positive organizational performance, in spite of the growing conflicts between employees and discrimination of female employees. In actuality, Wal-Mart treats female employees as being inferior to male employees (Low and Villegas, 1987). As a result, female employees suffer from discrimination and have already filed lawsuits against the company. The lawsuits aim at the elimination of the discrimination of female employees and gaining compensations from the company. However, the main point of the lawsuits is to put the end to discriminatory practices in Wal-Mart and to provide female employees with equal wages and equal career opportunities compared to male employees.

At this point, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that female employees working in Wal-Mart have the legal ground for the lawsuits. In this respect, it is worth mentioning the fact that American legislators have already implemented consistent legislative changes, which focused on the protection of employees from discrimination. In this respect, the Human Rights Act of 1964, Title VII, is one of the most significant legal acts, which laid the foundation for the further protection of employees from discrimination in any form, including discrimination based on gender.

Obviously, discriminated employees have the legal ground for the protection of their rights against the discrimination from the part of Wal-Mart but employees need the support of local communities to make their struggle against the company more effective and successful. What is meant here is the fact that Wal-Mart is a strong company that holds the leading position in the US and has substantial financial resources and legal support to protect its interests. In such a situation, employees need the support of local communities to protect their interests because the public pressure is even more significant and influential in the modern society than he existing justice system. For instance, community members can just refuse from buying products from Wal-Mart and the company will be forced to take into consideration the position of local communities and employees working in the company.

In such a way, it is obvious that Wal-Mart represents a threat to the public good because the company neglects its social responsibility and interests of local communities in the pursuit of exorbitant profits and leadership in the market. In this regard, the public should enhance the pressure on the company and policy makers to force Wal-Mart to change its discriminatory policies in relation to its employees and negative impact on local communities. At this point, it is possible to recommend developing the organized movement, which could stop the expansion of Wal-Mart on local communities. For instance, employees can develop their unions to put the end to discriminatory practices of Wal-Mart in the workplace. The company would be unable to ignore the position of unions, especially if local communities support unions and employees of Wal-Mart. In addition, the public should force local authorities to establish legal limitations on the impact of businesses on the environment. Taking into consideration the size of Wal-Mart stores they have consistently more significant impact on the environment than local small businesses. Finally, the local authorities can influence Wal-Mart through fiscal policies. In such a way, the local authorities can help the local business to resist to the expansion of Wal-Mart.

Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is important to conclude that Wal-Mart has a negative impact on the environment and economy of local communities and conduct discriminatory policies in relation to its employees that makes the company dangerous for the public good. In fact, the company threatens to the public good because its negative impact on local communities is destructive provoking a bunch of problems in local communities, including the problem of unemployment and pollution along with the decline of small businesses in the area.

 

REFERENCES:

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