Unflattering portrait of the Waltons

It seems the story hook that got the Guardian (of the UK) to write about the Walton family is their appearance on the Forbes wealthiest list. The writer seems not to like their superficial lifestyle. It all began in a small store in Arkansas...
Except for an unsuccessful stint as a buyer, Alice, the youngest, has never had anything to do with the day-to-day business of Wal-Mart. Instead, she became a broker (at 25, she was briefly suspended for making "unsuitable" option trades). She founded her own investment company, Llama, and lobbied to have an airport in Bentonville. In 1989 she struck and killed a 50-year-old woman who stepped in front of her Porsche (she was never charged). ... For a long time John also avoided the family business. He served as a green beret and medic in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. On his return he ran a crop-dusting business (largely, it seems, so he could continue flying), built trimarans and motorcycles, learned aerobatics, skydiving and scuba, and campaigned for his version of school reform: charter schools, vouchers, ways to give families a choice outside the public school system. He joined Wal-Mart's board in 1990, and died in 2005 when his homemade plane crashed (Christy is his widow). ... Rob Walton, company chairman (the CEO is a non-Walton, Mike Duke), worked in a small windowless room, 10ft by 10ft square - then again, he didn't seem to be there that often. He races vintage sports cars, and hunts geese in Canada and pheasant in South Dakota. Jim is a different story - a reputed workaholic, he didn't join the Wal-Mart board until 2005. Instead he ran Walton Enterprises, and a bank, Arvest, that he bought in the 1960s and now has over 200 branches. He is a local newspaper and internet publisher too - in fact, anyone who lives in Bentonville probably shops in Wal-mart for food, clothes, furniture and electronics, banks at Arvest, and, until recently, read a Walton-owned paper. They can drive down Walton Boulevard to watch sport at the Walton Arena. They can wander around the Walton Arts Centre, or go to the Wal-Mart Museum, where old Sam's office and pick-up are preserved exactly as they were the day he died. They can study at the Sam Walton business school, or fly from the Alice L Walton terminal of the airport. ...

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