A Conscience Struggle With Wal-Mart This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   I like Wal-Mart. I can't help it. I know I shouldn't. The moral, conscientious part of me reminds me of all the reasons Wal-Mart is evil: their policy of hiring only part-time employees to avoid paying full-time employee benefits, their unnecessary maze-like parking lots that turn plants into pavement and the subject of a recent court case - predatory pricing.

Even so, the wicked, subconscientious part of me adores the low prices and wide selection that Wal-Mart offers. Besides, how can you hate a store that always provides someone at the door to greet you when you arrive?

Thus is the saga every time I need a last-minute item. With a twinge of guilt I skip over the smaller businesses in the area and drive to Wal-Mart because 1) I know they will have whatever I need and 2) I don't have to waste time looking for it. As penance to my conscience I tell myself, "I will not enjoy this trip." And then it happens all over again. I discover the neat little computer in the car section that will tell me which kind of air filter I need by entering just the model and year of my car. Bam! I love Wal-Mart again.

Whose side are you one? my conscience asks. Your own mother is a small business owner.

That is what it comes down to. Small business versus corporate giant. And that's why every time I see a headline like "High court in Arkansas rules in Wal-Mart's favor" my heart skips a beat and this little knot of fear twirls in my stomach.

If Wal-Mart is not selling prescription drugs at a loss to put independent drugstores out of business, then why are they doing it? I do not believe it is because they think, "Medicine is too expensive, so hey, give the customers a break."

Wal-Mart is creating a monopoly. Remember playing Monopoly as a child? What happened when you owned one whole side of the board?

The Arkansas Supreme Court may have ruled that Wal-Mart's underpricing is legal, but that doesn't mean that it is right. As consumers, we cannot afford to be guiled by spacious buildings and sale signs. We cannot afford to condone monopolizing companies. As consumers, it is our responsibility to buy our prescription drugs from independent drugstores. If we do not, then five years from now, those drugstores may not exist and we will have no choice. ?


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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mightierthanthesword said...
Nov. 23, 2011 at 9:06 am
Very clever! I love this! You have quite a gift for writing!
 
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