THE CONSERVATIVE CASE AGAINST WAL-MART
1) little impact on employment
2) Wal-Mart has a "downward impact" on core consumer prices
3) data on Wal-Mart's wages are inaccurate or skewed,
4) Wal-Mart drives out smaller businesses and 5) Wal-Mart gets zoning and taxation breaks.
(Also, later in the post he notes that Wal-Mart stores are ugly monstrosities. This is certainly true, but so what?)
I don't really see this as a case against Wal-Mart at all. Part of the problem, however, is created by conservatives and libertarians going around supporting Wal-Mart because the stores create Benefit A, Benefit B, or Benefit C for the community. In response:
1. Why should Wal-Mart increase countrywide employment?
2. What's wrong with falling prices??
3. Why should Wal-Mart pay above median or even average wages?
4. Why should smaller stores stay in business if customers prefer to shop at Wal-Mart instead?
5. Oh my god, someone is paying lower taxes and getting around nasty local government zoning laws! Are local governments really subsidizing Wal-Mart? The reason they give the "breaks" is a direct result of the fiscalization of land use, see my previous post on the subject below.
The greatest "democracy" we have is the economic democracy of the free market, where individual consumers choose where they want to spend their money and therefore influence the structure of production.