Lauren Mayer: Costco Vs. Walmart

I often struggle to reconcile my progressive values with my love of shopping.  I don’t want to patronize companies whose policies are at odds with the environment, LGBTQ rights, fair treatment of workers, and so on, but I also love a good bargain.  (My ultra-liberal husband gets weekly updates on which businesses we should avoid based on a wide variety of criteria, making it almost impossible to find an acceptable retailer or gas station!)

But fortunately, it turns out that there is a retailer which is ‘good and good for you,’ where we don’t need to sacrifice our own needs for those of the community – and it even manages to make great profits while espousing progressive values. In any head-to-head comparison with Walmart, and Costco comes up on top regarding employee benefits & wages, ratio of executive to average worker pay, overall customer satisfaction, AND profit.  Meanwhile, there are all the stories lately about Walmart forcing employees to work on Thanksgiving, spending a fortune on lobbyists while paying employees poorly, and making taxpayers pay to compensate for those lousy wages and huge executive bonuses, not to mention the pitifully small fraction of a percent the Walmart heirs contribute to any kind of charity, and the Scrooge-like requests for employees to donate canned food to their equally underpaid colleagues.

Isn’t it great to be able to feel morally superior while getting a great deal on everything from toilet paper to tires?

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