"What is not widely known is that this wealthy company’s aggressive U.S. expansion has frequently been financed in part by taxpayers through economic development subsidies. This report, the first national study of the subject, documents more than $1 billion in such subsidies from state and local governments to Wal-Mart; the actual total is certainly far higher, but the records are scattered in thousands of places and many subsidies are undisclosed. The subsidies go not only to Wal-Mart’s stores, but also to the network of nearly 100 distribution centers it has created to facilitate its rapid retail expansion. We found that more than 90 percent of the company’s distribution centers have been subsidized." - Shopping for Subsidies: How Wal-Mart Uses Taxpayer Money to Finance Its Never-Ending Growth by Philip Mattera and Anna Purinton http://www.goodjobsfirst.org/pdf/wmtstudy.pdf Norse, you're right, they outcompeted local businesses by having the initiative to get all these subsidies at tax payer's expense. Nothing wrong with that - and besides, they need the subsidies because they're bigger and more deserving.