Thursday, February 16, 2006


Everybody Hates Walmart

Today I saw this post regarding Massachusetts forcing Walmart pharmacies to carry the morning after pill. FoxNews carried the story.
The unanimous decision by the pharmacy board comes two weeks after three women, backed by abortion rights groups, sued Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart for failing to carry the drug in its 44 Wal-Marts and four Sam's Club stores in Massachusetts.
Further down the article you'll find this.
CVS, the state's largest pharmacy chain, stocks the pill at all of its pharmacy locations, as do the state's other major pharmacy chains.
Massachusetts has a large population. It's hard to believe that 48 of the not carrying the morning after pill was a hardship on anyone. What is easy to believe is that the radical feminists and their supporters wish to impose their values on everyone and refuse to recognize the right of anyone to disagree.

Walmart has a long history of conservative values as this article by an outraged liberal points out. Apparently this particular liberal doesn't approve of the right of private businesses to decide what merchandise to carry either.

And the liberals always have the obligatory deprecating remarks concerning Walmart.
"But what if I lived in some rural town, where Wal*Mart or somebody came in and opened a pharmacy and ran all the independents out of business leaving only Wal*Mart or whoever. Then what am I supposed to do?"
I live in a rural town of slightly less than 10,000, there are at least five other pharmacies, two of which are privately owned. The number of pharmacies has actually increased since Walmart first came to town about 15 years ago. But Walmart is big, bad and makes lots of money so we hate it.

The moral/political argument is that Wal*Mart and others may be trying to adopt a policy of "not stocking" something "controversial" to appease a certain customer/market segment/demographic/advocacy group, and/or to avoid putting their pharmacists in a position of refusing to provide it on "moral grounds".
Conservative values, as lamented by the columnist linked to above, have been a part of Walmart's values since Sam Walton started Walmart. To call it appeasement is to ignore history.

This comment doesn't really make sense to me but does pull in virtually the Walmart insults.
is that why is a company that has questionable hiring practices, has a proven history of low wages and questionable health care options for it's employees, has forced American jobs oversees to China and elsewhere because manufacturers couldn't meet their demands for low pricing and overall has shown little morale or care for Americans and only seems to worry about their bottom line profits would take a moral stand to not sell something like the morning after pill.
Do businesses have to provide health care programs that you approve of, pay wages you approve of, etc. before their rights are recognized? I should hope not.

People like to paint Walmart as holding people in small rural town captive. Where I live, very rural, you have to drive 60 miles minimum in any direction to find an indoor shopping mall. Since Walmart came to this small town other businesses have followed giving the residents a greater range of options for shopping. New businesses include: Goody's, Applebee's, Bob Evans, Burger King, Taco Bell, GameStop, Dawhares (a very nice regional clothing store), Big Lots, Gold Star Chili, AutoZone, Advance Auto, Best Western, Super 8, Hampton Inn, Tractor Supply, a new locally owned hardware store, new locally owned lumber yard, several new locally owned restuarants, new tire store, several other locally owned businesses.

You may think all of this growth is due to a booming population or such, but it's not. The county as a whole only grew from 16,666 in 1990 to 16,937 in 2004 according to the U.S. Census. With the only SuperWalmart within 50 miles or more, this small rural town attracts shoppers from neighboring counties that used to travel to large metropolitan areas to do their shopping for clothes, eat at nice restaurants, buy hard goods, etc.

I'm not a big Walmart fan myself. I limit my shopping there as I don't like their service. I switched pharmacies about a year ago when the pharmacist at Walmart failed to fill a prescription on time and then was rude about it. I've convinced several others to do likewise. But sometimes Walmart is my only logical choice. And, given the economic boom this community has seen, it would be hard to show that Walmart has harmed the community.

Despite the fact that whenever you take rights away from others you take them away from yourself, we like to defeat Walmart whenever we can. Self destruction be damned. Liberal totalitarianism continues to creep in. Left wing socialism actually has a lot in common with this sort of belief.

The three women didn't care that 48 pharmacies didn't carry the morning after pill. They care about forcing their agenda down the throats of anyone and everyone they can. Walmart makes an inviting target because ....

we all hate Walmart because it is big, mean and makes lots of money.

P.S. To be fair, most of the commenters at the post originally linked to supported Walmart's position.

Thanks for this thoughtful piece. I always enjoy reading you and get new perspectives and/or insights. Glad you're out there!
All morality and and rhetoric aside, the state governments have every right to regulate businesses within their own state. Just because someone owns or runs a business doesn't mean they don't have to follow the rules anymore, and the rules are determined by the people of the state in which that business operates. (That's how democracy works.)

That's why you have to get a contract from any state in order to open a business in that state. That contract often includes a part that says, no matter what you do elsewhere, while here you will abide our laws.

If Wal-Mart doesn't like Massachussetts law, they can choose not to open any Wal-Marts there. Don't go there planning not to follow the law and then claim your freedom has been attacked.

Louisiana won't even let Bank of America operate within state lines. That doesn't restrict freedom, that restricts business, they are not the same thing.
There must be something to the BOA/Louisianna thing. It's unconstitutional to simply prevent a business from operating within your state.

But I'd have to stay, when you restrict a business you are restricing freedom. But, as you say, some of this is necessary and done all the time. Absolute freedom would be anarchy. I guess we disagree where the line should be.
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