In between sips of coffee and bites of Cinnamon Life, the foundation was laid for Wal-Mart to make me a complete hypocrite. I came across an advertisement in the New York Times, on page A17, equipped with the headline: "How Much Does Wal-Mart Cost American Taxpayers Every Year?" emblazoned across the top. My attention was headlocked -- not an easy task.
On a normal day this would merely be a slight speed bump on my way to page A18, but today I took a sip of coffee, got comfortable on my wooden barstool, and read the entire ad. I continued on to the number; "$1,557,616,500.00," posted on one of those annoying Wal-Mart "Roll Back" signs with the clever phrase "It's Time to Rollback Wal-Mart" declared immediately below it. This gargantuan number was identified as "The Wal-Mart Tax," and this lurid text followed:
"Year after year, Wal-Mart's low pay and meager employee benefits force tens of thousands of employees to resort to Medicaid, food stamps and housing assistance. Call it the Wal-Mart Tax."
This really pissed me off. What about Merv? Merv was the sweet old man who sat in the front of my Wal-Mart store and said: "Hi, welcome to Wal-Mart," to every person that walked in the store. He was always so happy; he'd grab your cart for you and tip the brim of his hat to your lady friend as he said "Hi."
I was convinced that Wal-Mart was screwing Merv. Here they were, the largest corporation in the world, with $10 billion in profits last year, and they were pulling one over on Merv. "Someone should pay for this," I said to myself. Nobody screws Merv and gets away with it.