Wal-Mart the high price of low costs

We all know that Wal-Mart is the low price leader. You can buy 300 pairs of crew socks for $6.00. Have you ever thought about how they are able to undercut their competitors? The Wal-Mart Corporation has a history of encouraging employees to apply for welfare, food stamp and Medicaid benefits. They keep costs low by sloughing their financial responsibility for their employees to the government.

It is no surprise that Wal-Mart is responsible for countless human rights violations and labor law abuses in the United States as well as across the world. I am tired of the excuses; we all know what they do. They underpay their employees and offer next to no benefits. They outsource most of their production to countries like China and India where labor is cheap and the watchful eyes human rights organizations are non-existent.

It is not right. There is something we can do about it. I know that Americans, especially in today's problematic economy, have to make all financial decisions carefully. If we can be responsible about our carbon footprint and saving the whales, why can't we be conscious consumers too? Shop at locally owned small businesses; check the labels of your clothing to buy American made products as much as you can, or shop at a thrift store.

Every change, no matter how small, can make a difference.

Corporations like Wal-Mart continue to dominate the retail world and push hard-working entrepreneurs out of business. The things that once made America great are quickly disappearing. Integrity, morality and compassion seem to have no place in the modern business world.

I do not propose that we all start churning our own butter and raising livestock. All I ask is that we all make an attempt to be more aware of what we buy and who we buy it from.

Cheap does not always mean good. Ultimately it is your money and only you can decide if you want to change the way you spend it.