Something that recently interested me in class was the discussion on Walmart becoming a store that has started to incorporate organic items into their stock. This piqued my interests because a few days earlier in my Public Policy class, we talked about policy making and all the players in the process. These players included lobbyists, big businesses and of course, politicians. The discussion mainly focused around Walmart and how they were one of the biggest actors in policy making because they have their own lobbyists in the Capitol, fighting for their interests, as well as the interests of the political campaigns they are funding. This article talks about the Walmart PAC (Political Action Committee) as well as the Walton family (heirs to Walmart) and how they spent millions of dollars in past elections towards conservative candidates. Below is a graph of the Walmart PAC and the Walton family’s contributions to candidates who were also endorsed by the NRA, a notably conservative interest group.
The discrepancy, and how this relates to the environment, is Walmart’s recent use of including more organic items. Typically, organic food and items are bought by a more liberal group of people. This article talks about the changes Walmart is making in buying and selling organic and how the people/companies, albeit a small amount, they buy from run substantial, organic farms. The article concludes with a summary of although the company is increasingly selling organic items, it’s still a business with a main goal of generating a profit, not generating social change. This concluding statement brings me to my question and point of what is going to happen when the ideologies of Walmart clash with the supply and demand of organic products.
It’s generally been known that conservative politicians are not people who usually stand for the environment so to have Walmart endorse people that are against one of the most up and coming things in agriculture and business will make for very interesting debates in the political, social, and environmental arena’s in the future. With Walmart being one of the biggest businesses in the United States, it’s almost funny to see them contributing to their business in such opposite, borderline polarizing ways. I think that some time in the future, those who support buying organic from Walmart will also have to learn that Walmart is one of the biggest funders in conservative campaigns, practically controlling the policy world, and make a decision on whether or not they want to continue buying organic from the super store. Walmart selling organic while also funding conservative campaigns is a good indicator at how far invested this country has become in business and how polarized a simple thing of eating healthier and cleaner has become. It will be very interesting to see if Walmart is truly interested in keeping up with organic food or if they are just doing it because that is where the money currently is.