What is Wal-Mart up to now?

Wal-Mart started out as a Buy American firm.  And Wal-Mart is trumpeting the fact that lots of the products they sell at their stores are made in the U.S.  But critics of Wal-Mart point out that stems from the fact that the majority of what Wal-Mart sells these days in groceries, and most food sold in this country is still grown in this country.

I am 52 years old and I have never set foot in a Wal-Mart.  I live in Seattle proper, and I don’t even know where the nearest Wal-Mart is located.  If I want a Wal-Mart like experience, I just go to Fred Meyer.  But you can’t be interested in the issue of manufacturing in this country and not ponder Wal-Mart.

I recently came across an article that is very tough on Wal-Mart and its effect on manufacturing in this county.  PBS did a very in-depth program on Wal-Mart a few years ago that is worth reading.

Wal-Mart was founded by Sam Walton in 1962 and by 2009, had sales in the U.S. of $258 billion.  Sam Walton died in 1992, leaving the company to his wife and his four children. How many Walton children do you think are in the list of the top ten wealthiest people in the world?


I couldn’t believe it, but it’s true.

The wealthiest Walton is Christy Walton, but she didn’t crack the top ten in Forbes’ Billionaires list this year, since she is only worth $25.3 billion.  Christy can take solace in being the richest woman in the world and the third richest person in the U.S.  Jim Walton is the next wealthiest Walton, having a net worth of $23.7 billion, narrowly besting his other sister Alice Walton who only has a net worth of $23.3 billion.  S. Robson Walton, Chairman of the Wal-Mart Board since 1992, brings up the rear having a net worth of only $23.1 billion.  Sam Walton’s niece, Ann Walton Kroenke, hardly bears mention; she is 297th on the Forbes’ Billionaires list, having the paltry net worth of $3.2 billion.

About Simply American LLC

I live in Seattle and love telling stories about Americans, the places where they work and the things that they make. I have just published a book, Simply American, encouraging Americans to purchase American made products; the book can be ordered at www.simply-american.com.
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4 Responses to What is Wal-Mart up to now?

  1. Edward says:

    I think you burried the lead in this story… Walmart Heirs Worth Same Amount As Bottom 40 Percent Of Americans


  2. Miguel says:

    Um, I don’t read the Forbes list that way. I see *three* Waltons: Christy, Jim and Alice. Is that wrong?


    Also: what Edward said…!!!

  3. Pete from Baltimore says:

    I myself dont own a car and am no tin walking distance of a Walmart.So i rarely go to one.Having said that, i think that all too often they get a bad rap. Yes, they sell products made in China.But so do other stores.And its not just the bargin stores either. A lot of high end clothes and products are now made overseas. Home Depot is full of $500 demolition hammers made in China.

    And i used to work in retail back in the late 1980s. This was before Walmart had gotten big.And i remember that companies like Hecht Co and others , really didnt pay their employees that much.We made a few cents over the Mininum Wage.And were routinly cheated out of pay raises thatwe were supposed to automaticly get after 6 months[i went a year and a half without a pay raise at Hechts]

    Its like construction and restraunts. A lot of people say that they wont go to Walmart because the pay of the employees is too low.But those same people go to restraunts where the dishwashers make $8 an hour [i know many dishwashers] .And i remember hearing one neighbor say that she would never shop at Walmart because the wages were too low. I told her that i personally knew some of the construction laborers that worked on her house when it was rehabbed for her [i live in an area where older houses are being rehabbed]. And i knew for a fact , that while mininum wage was $5.25 an hour[ at that time] , the laborers were working 12 hour days for $50 a day.Which was about $4 an hour.She simply replied,”Thats different”.

    the sad fact is that Walmart isnt the only company that pay s low wages or imports products from China. Thats not to let them off from criticism.But they shouldnt be used to hide the fact that other companies do the same things that Walmart does

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