But let's say we accept Dube's calculation that retail workers take home $4.7 billion less per year because Wal-Mart has busted unions and generally been ruthless. That loss to workers would still be dwarfed by the $50 billion-plus that Wal-Mart consumers save on food, never mind the much larger sums that they save altogether. Indeed, Furman points out that the wage suppression is so small that even its "victims" may be better off. Retail workers may take home less pay, but their purchasing power probably still grows thanks to Wal-Mart's low prices.
Americans have a lot more "stuff" in their houses because of how Wal-Mart operates. How many people rushed to Wal-Mart on Friday to pick up those TV's which were on sale.
Companies like Wal-Mart are not run by saints. They can treat workers and competitors roughly. They may be poor stewards of the environment. When they break the law they must be punished.
Wal-Mart is a business. It is not a charitable organization. All business' operate to make a profit. Why single out Wal-Mart just because they do it very well. If Wal-Mart breaks the law then it must face the courts like every one else.
If critics prevent the firm from opening new branches, they will prevent ordinary families from sharing in those gains. Poor Americans will be chief among the casualties.
It seems to me that Wal-Mart isn't the bad dude here. It's those who wish to see a business go bankrupt and a community lose out on benefits the company would bring.