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The news that Wal-Mart will soon become the country's largest company in terms of annual sales, reported last week by the New York Times, chilled me, as Carole King would say, to the marrow. The numbers will soon shake out to something around $200 billion for Sam Walton's crew per annum.
Not that General Motors, the current sales leader, is the Mother Theresa of corporations. (Ever seen "Roger and Me?" The carmaker has wreaked havoc on communities all over the Michigan land scape.) Yet somehow, next to Wal-Mart, GM seems OK, maybe because they at one point produced cars that were extremely cool.
In philosophy, business strategy and outward presentation, there …