| Evolutions in Development Thinking & the Rise of a New Politics

Obama, Walmart, and Confirmation Bias

Obama at Walmart

Here’s another post complicating our relationship and understanding of corporations. Walmart has been enemy #1 for many progressive groups for nearly twenty years. But is confirmation bias clouding my/our judgement?

Article:  Where Obama and Walmart See Eye to Eye

I actually worked at Walmart during High School. It was, ultimately, a bad experience when I got bilked out of some overtime pay I was due and quit. So I’ve pretty much held a grudge ever since then. Of course their discriminatory practices and low wage, low cost policies didn’t give me a reason to like them. But if Obama is willing to work with them, then shouldn’t that suggest something?

The question here is not, ultimately, about Walmart, but rather, how do we review data/assumptions to change our opinions and break away from the herd of public opinion (which always lags reality).  The challenge is to confront and overcome our confirmation bias.

And let me say, it’s not like I am planning on suddenly shopping at Walmart. I mean, it’s still too easy to find articles like this:

http://www.salon.com/2015/05/25/10_reasons_wal_mart_is_the_worst_company_in_america_partner/

But to be able to critique, to suggest change and improvement, one must have a current and relevant understanding of the situation. So let’s keep our eyes wide open.