Wal-Mart started out as a Buy American firm. And Wal-Mart is trumpeting the fact that lots of the products they sell at their stores are made in the U.S. But critics of Wal-Mart point out that stems from the fact that the majority of what Wal-Mart sells these days in groceries, and most food sold in this country is still grown in this country.
I am 52 years old and I have never set foot in a Wal-Mart. I live in Seattle proper, and I don’t even know where the nearest Wal-Mart is located. If I want a Wal-Mart like experience, I just go to Fred Meyer. But you can’t be interested in the issue of manufacturing in this country and not ponder Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart was founded by Sam Walton in 1962 and by 2009, had sales in the U.S. of $258 billion. Sam Walton died in 1992, leaving the company to his wife and his four children. How many Walton children do you think are in the list of the top ten wealthiest people in the world?
I couldn’t believe it, but it’s true.
The wealthiest Walton is Christy Walton, but she didn’t crack the top ten in Forbes’ Billionaires list this year, since she is only worth $25.3 billion. Christy can take solace in being the richest woman in the world and the third richest person in the U.S. Jim Walton is the next wealthiest Walton, having a net worth of $23.7 billion, narrowly besting his other sister Alice Walton who only has a net worth of $23.3 billion. S. Robson Walton, Chairman of the Wal-Mart Board since 1992, brings up the rear having a net worth of only $23.1 billion. Sam Walton’s niece, Ann Walton Kroenke, hardly bears mention; she is 297th on the Forbes’ Billionaires list, having the paltry net worth of $3.2 billion.