The Rockford Files

Always Dead Downtowns. Always.

In late October, federal agents committed blasphemy against one third of the libertarian trinity of Microsoft, McDonald’s, and Wal-Mart.  In a coordinated raid on Wal-Mart headquarters and 60 Wal-Mart stores in 21 states, the feds arrest 245 illegal aliens, 235 of whom were working for a subcontractor who provided janitorial services for the chain.  (The other ten had originally been employed by the subcontractor but were later hired on directly.)  Wal-Mart executives, of course, immediately denied knowing that the janitors were illegal aliens, but federal officials revealed to the Associated Press that the sting had been preceded by wiretaps, which provided plenty of evidence to the contrary.

No one should be surprised, and not simply because Wal-Mart has been investigated twice before (in 1998 and 2001) for similar violations.  Companies rarely become monopolies by following the rules, and it is hard to argue that, as the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart is anything but a monopoly.   The company had $244.5 billion in sales worldwide in the last fiscal year and ranks number one in sales in the United States; Forbes, which lists Wal-Mart as number six on the Forbes 500 list (it was number one last year), predicts that, at its current 16-percent growth rate, Wal-Mart’s annual sales will top one trillion dollars within ten years.  Whether it is sewing “Made in the USA”...

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