An Open Letter to Walmart
Dear Mr. McMillon, Mr. Penner, and the Walmart Board of Directors,
On behalf of the people of Arkansas, I appeal to your patriotism, to your oft-stated love of our great State, and to your heritage, and call upon you to mandate that, within ten years, every product sold in Walmart stores nationwide must be made in America. This “Made in America” mandate would unilaterally force every company on earth that wishes to do business with you to move its production facilities—and all of the jobs that accompany them—back to America, where they belong.
Walmart is singularly able to do this; you wield immense power, with more wealth than most sovereign nations possess. Walmart has created much of this wealth at the expense of the American working class, by choosing to do business with companies that have outsourced American jobs to the Third World, where they can pay their employees slave wages, rather than the decent wages that our fellow citizens deserve.
Each Chinese ship that enters American harbors, laden with cheap, low-quality goods, carries baggage immeasurable in numbers on a balance sheet; no, those Chinese ships sag with a different freight, the weight of millions of unrealized American Dreams, hundreds of emaciated communities, and hundreds of thousands of wasted, shattered lives.
The sellout of our country to China has produced an incalculable toll of human wreckage, not the least of which is the opioid crisis which has raged for the last two decades, killing 850,000 Americans. Few States have suffered more than Arkansas; not only is our State consistently ranked as one of the poorest in the nation, but she has also suffered the third largest increase in the White mortality rate in the country in those same decades.
I do not lay the blame for all of this solely at your feet; but I do lay the solution at your feet. If you institute this “Made in America” mandate, you can singlehandedly bring those jobs back. Walmart is uniquely able to save this country—the nation that you claim to love and to be a part of. You can, in one move, regenerate American manufacturing. No business would dare defy you. Your customers, myself included, would love you with undying devotion. You would go down in history as the men—and the company—that saved America from its death throes.
Though your low prices would certainly increase as a result, your customers would happily pay them in exchange for an economically secure America—and, of course, your working-class customers would be more able to pay for your American-made goods with their long-lost jobs restored to them. Your competitors cannot hold a candle to you, and your customers would never shop elsewhere again.
Remember who you are, and where you came from. Sam Walton never lost sight of that heritage; I suspect that this is the reason that he chose “Made in America” as the title of his autobiography. I, and the people of Arkansas, place our destinies in your hands. Will you rise to the occasion and make history? Is Walmart an Arkansan company, and an American company, or has it forever lost its identity in an impenetrable haze of numbers? Arkansas was once known as the land of opportunity. A Walmart “Made in America” mandate would make it that again.