Wal-Mart’s Green Miscalculation Costs Low-Income Customers

This is depressing. Wal-Mart has decided to take the politically correct road—working to eliminate its so-called “carbon footprint.” What on earth does that mean? Are they going to get rid of the automotive section? Must we shop in the dark? That won’t do—pretty much every item in the store has a “carbon foot print.” What this really means is that Wal-Mart’s customers will be paying higher prices so that the company can appear more “socially responsible.”

Hogwash! This move is nothing more than a miscalculated marketing scheme that will do nothing other than undercut the people Wal-Mart primarily serves: Americans with tight budgets. I am a regular at Wal-Mart, and there I mostly see my working class and small business neighbors who struggle to pay high taxes and high mortgages in Fairfax County, Virginia.

These are not the people who have the luxury to go around worrying about carbon footprints! They worry about paying the bills, keeping businesses afloat, feeding the kids, and just making it to the next paycheck. Wal-Mart provides an opportunity for more affordable food and basic amenities. And it allows people with limited budgets to have some of the niceties in life—at a great price. Where else could I have picked up 50 wine glasses $25? These serve my guests in style year after year at my annual Christmas party—which makes them cheaper than buying disposable plastic cups!

If Wal-Mart wants mitigate its “carbon footprint,” expect that to happen at the expense of its customers. Wal-Mart should expect us to go elsewhere. After all, if we must pay higher prices, might as well go to Wal-Mart’s competitors.