« on: September 28, 2006, 12:36 AM »
I admire Wal*mart for their brutal efficiency. That's the main reason they're so successful, and their prices are so competitive. They've forced the rest of the industry to do the same. And as a result, prices at Target, Kmart, and your local grocery story are 10 or 20% lower than they would be absent the stiff competition. This has been a huge benefit to the American way of life.
I'm going to pull some numbers out of my butt here based on something I read years ago. So the numbers, while generally representative, are probably not 100% accurate. But here goes...
Back when Welfare began, to decide on the exact income of a family to be labeled the "poverty level," they based it on a percentage of the family income necessary to buy enough food to avoid hunger. And the percentage was something like 40% of the total income needed to be spent on food. Then they calculated that a family would need to earn $10,000 per year or something to survive.
Now, 50 years later, they still use that same percentage to calculate the poverty line. But now, with the intense competition in the grocery business, your average family only spends like 10 or 15% of their income on food. So now even people at the poverty level have an additional 25 or 30% of their income to devote to other expenses.
That's how much people have benefitted, in large part, to Wal*mart.