After reading Liza Featherstones Essay, “Manna from Hell” I felt a strong sense of wonder strike me. The article focuses on the charitable giving and political influence of the Walton family, the heirs of Wal-Mart Stores founder Sam Walton. She brings a sense of social obligation to the reader, in which Wal-Mart is not meeting, according to her.

She tells the reader of the evils of Wal-Mart’s philanthropy, privatized education, and of the anti-governmental practices found through the dispersion of the Walton’s Money.However, she never explains social obligation and justifies her scrutiny of the giving practices of the Walton heirs. Liza Featherstone describes Wal-Mart as having a terrible public image. She cites a report as evidence to the reader from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) that,” the recent increase in Wal-Mart and Walton philanthropy and noting its likely relationship to the company’s image problems. ” (Featherstone, 508).

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This article correlates the amount given in a period time against the amount of public issues Wal-Mart is having. What Liza Featherstone misses is the correlation of business and giving.Business practices across the world have shown throughout time that it’s damage control for a business to take any negative attention off of them and put positive attention in its place. The article points out that Wal-Mart supports privatized education. “The Waltons’ motives for supporting the privatization of education seem… to be ideological, even idealistic, rather than an elaborate backdrop to a new money-making scheme.

” (Featherstone, 512). The idea behind the Waltons’ funding for this education is to give an opportunity to kids where there isn’t one. They use a lot of ‘regimented recitation rather than critical or creative thinking. (Featherstone, 511) There is no reason to assume that this learning style is better or worse. In this country’s early education repetition of certain phrases was the way to teach. Many people from that era remember what they learned and the educated literacy rate wasn’t plummeting as in today’s schools. So just from using a glimpse at the past I can tell you the Waltons’ may be onto something in a country that has to adapt tests of kids rather than kids for test This article also points out that.

Philanthropy provides an alternative to taxation. How can this come under scrutiny?Millions of Americans contribute to different organizations and causes, among the largest contributors are big business and the rich. Everyone is eligible for this alternative to taxation. But the author brings to the reader, “We are supposed to applaud philanthropy – The very word connotes altruism and ‘giving back’—but Walton and Wal-Mart giving serves as a reminder that philanthropy provides an alternative to taxation, a way for rich people and corporations to decide what to do with their extra money, as opposed to letting the rest of us decide through our elected governments.

(Featherstone, 510). But this statement is flawed in many ways’ she isolates rich people and corporations but all American’s can ‘benefit’ from this tax write off that our elected governments put in place. The concept that this is a terrible thing is too altruistic in the worst way. The way that people spend their money should remain ultimately upon them.

Only in an utopia would it be great if we all shared but the idea of having others choose how to spend your money is ultimately selfish on the taking end, whether greed is involved or not.It seems that in every endeavor that the Waltons’ take up it’s just not good enough for not only the author but for many groups. For that matter all the large corporations have groups that protest and detest them.

Here Liza Featherstone shows us, from her perspective, why Wal-Mart is not a good corporation through their abuse of philanthropy as an alternative to taxation, their insistence upon privatized education and their anti-government practices, all through the dispersion of their money. We all have opinions and it’s good to voice them.However, if you are to voice your opinion it should be backed up and explained. The arguments the author brings into this essay are not complete and I feel that it’s more of a whimsical rant rather than something that should be publically published.

I don’t claim to agree with all that big business does, even Wal-Mart, but I have noticed that at what right do we as the consumer have to criticize them. The way the consumer communicates to business is more by their purchases than their voice. As the saying goes, ‘The dollars speaks louder than words”.