Monday, January 10, 2005

World: Do we hate Winners?

I was watching a documentary on Wal-Mart the other day on CNBC and could not help wondering what people really hate about it. Is it too much concentration of power? Is it its labor practices? Is it its utter drive for efficiency in every way? Or the big picture and the power of captialism when applied in all its ruthlessness?

I could not pin-point what to fault with. McDonald's labor practices should not be much better. Both hire minimum wage over the counter staff. Something new I found was that Wal-Mart mostly only promoted from with-in so that everyone at the top has gone through what goes at the bottom, and does not hire many ( or any?) MBA's and the like. This sounds like a good thing. Though concentration of power is a good point, but that is for the market to decide. Whether the government should intervene if there is a concentation of power in any commodity with in one corporation is a contentious point. There have to checks and balances. But if Wal-Mart has not broken any existing laws do we need to make any new plans just for that? Not sure.

As a tech person they are the epitome of system efficiency (IT systems) and flawless in their processes and I was in awe with the scale and the accuracy.

There is another winner in my industry called Microsoft fondly referred to as M$. But I am aware why people hate it. What kind of practices they followed which had drawn the ire of many including justice department. But I am not an expert on retail markets. So I have not been able to figure out the reasons. For me, the consumer, I am getting all the benefits of Wal-Mart's push for efficiency. I do not care for all the other things. And that is what makes me understand why people outside do not care about MS's practices while buying their stuff, because they are the ones getting the benefit.