Lars Larson on IKEA vs Walmart

Can somebody please explain the difference between Walmart and IKEA?

You know, as a reporter, I’ve been hearing the politicians talk about the evils of Walmart for way too long. Not just politicians but citizen activists as well. To hear them tell the story, Walmart is this evil corporate giant that cares nothing about the people that work for it or the people that it sells to or even the people it buys its products from in China. On the other hand, they love to sing the praises of IKEA. Yet, I’m hard pressed to understand the difference.

Yesterday, I got into a discussion about it. Turns out that Walmart employees get paid about what IKEA employees get paid. About half of them have healthcare and about half of the IKEA guys have health care. Both big companies, buy their products inexpensively overseas, much of it from China, and sell it inexpensively in the United States.

You know the one big difference? Walmart’s profits come back to Walmart shareholders, many of them in the U.S. Whereas IKEA’s profits, they go to the one single owner and he lives in Sweden.