Greetings and salutations from the sand, sun and surf of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and the rainy, windy, warm island of Nantucket! Great to be with you on this dark and stormy Wednesday morning–the 30th day of September, 2015–heavy sheets of water pouring down from the Heavens above, indeed, lots and lots of water all up and down the East Coast today, with perhaps a hurricane on the horizon…
It has been ten years since the debut of an eye opening documentary entitled, “Wal-Mart; The High Price of Low Cost”–an independent film by Robert Greenwald– and perhaps in this ever growing insanity of the globalization of our species to the highest bidder, we should take another look at what this company has wrought upon American small towns from California to the New York Islands…
Walmart is known for it’s low, low non-livable wages (Walmart drives down wages by 3 billion each year), environmental degradation to U.S. water sources, a complete lack of care (security), for it’s patrons safety after they leave the store, overpriced and out of reach employee health care insurance, and the outrageous subsidies the corporation receives each year from Mr. and Mrs. U.S. Tax Payer, and of course the “standard” set for industry in sweat shop labor factories devoid of human dignity. Abhorrent labor practices mostly in Asia. Begging the question, has anything really changed in ten years? The reality of the world’s largest retailer is awesome, it’s power is startling.
How can ma and pa shops all over the U.S. compete with a monster like Walmart?
The many tentacles of this cancerous corporation are clear for all to SEA. For the ripple effect does not stop at one employee, or ‘associate’ as they are called in Walmart Land. Real Estate values always take a nose dive when a new Walmart rolls into town. “Always low prices!” Turning many a town that fell victim to it’s charm–the temptation of easy money (the lie “it” would eventually give 100% of tax revenue to whatever town it had invaded)–into one with the word ghost in front of said word, looking as if a neutron bomb had gone off in Middlefield, Ohio, or anywhere USA for that matter a Walmart once stood or still does…
“You can’t buy quality small town life at a Wal-Mart. And once they steal it from you, you can’t get it back at any price.”
People who speak for the .001% (the ruling aristocracy/plutocracy/oligarchy/Monarchy), in this nation and world at large (politicians who are bought and sold), always will provide injustice to the TRUTH. They LIE for a living. The puppets mutter something like the ‘…poor (e.g., Walmart employees), are gaining the system, abusing the social safety net, using it as–and I quote the slick, upcoming Republican congressman from the great state of Wisconsin, Paul Ryan–…a hammock.”
The polar opposite is true of course, as this particular company, in order to ‘meet it’s obligation to it’s shareholders’, the ‘bottom line’…), deliberately pays low, unlivable wages, and provides health care it’s employees cannot afford, all done so as to steer them to care of the state. Managers explaining how people can get food stamps, pay their electric bill, attain section 8 housing, receive Medicare, WIC or many other programs designed to keep real, live American citizens from falling beneath the cracks of our already crumbling society. They do this to save money and thus make more money for themselves; the numbers prove it. Numbers don’t lie unlike former Walmart CEO Lee Scott, what a piece of work! Ten years ago, the U.S. Tax Payer ‘gave’ 1.557 billion dollars to support this egregious and immoral company. Sea Cape Cod does not have the numbers for 2015, but I am sure they have not changed all that much. In fact, if one were a betting man, one might bet ‘the house’ those tax payer gouges have only gone up, way up!
The “Fleecing of America”, the fleecing indeed.
Walmart considers ‘full-time’ employment to be 28 hours a week. At 7 bucks an hour, that adds up to just over 12 thousand dollars a year. Could you feed a family of three on that? I put it to you Congressman Ryan? How ’bout that health care premium? Could you swing that?
Many associates arrive at work already hungry, tired and broke and yet, around Christmas time, circa 2004, those same slave wage workers gave 5 million to their fellow ‘associates’, whereas the Walton Family (a five member family worth well over 120 BILLION!), gave 6000 bucks to that same motley crew. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
But that is just in America. Go to the ‘factories’ in Asia, mostly China, and one will witness the grim reality of the free market, monetary-market system at work. For between 13-17 cents an hour, mostly women get up at the crack of dawn, living in appears to be a forced labor camp sporing horrid living conditions, work from 7 am until 10 that night, only to do it all over again the next day. 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Workers with NO rights at all, beaten by their ’superiors’; never, ever given forbidden human Love from those making said billions off of their broken backs.
“What you do unto the least of US, you do unto me…”
Wal-Mart has also given the 1972 Clean Water Act a run for it’s money by gosh by golly, being fined 3.1 million by the EPA for Clean Water Act violations in 2004 in Texas, Colorado, California, Delaware, Michigan, South Dakota, New Jersey, Tennessee and Utah. In 2005, Connecticut’s EPA ordered Walmart to pay 1.1 million for Clean Water Act violations in 22 stores. Careless care of toxic chemicals from it’s garden center (bags of fertilizer and such); deadly poison allowed to just run off into some river in some town that nobody has heard of. Leaving it’s citizens prey to all of the toxins therein. But what are few million dollars to a corporation that makes tens of billions upon billions in profit every year? Chump change to the Waltons.
What about all the tax revenue Walmart promises to pay the lucky city it digs it’s talons into? It’s all in the slight of hand., nothing to SEA here folks! For after a year in business, when the obligation to begin paying 100% of sales tax revenues kicks in, Walmart simply picks up stakes, abandons the giant building it just built, and moves to the outskirts of town, wherein they receive all the benefits from captive customers in the area, without any of the tax liability. In 2005, there was 26,699,678 square feet of empty Walmart stores in America, enough to build 29,666 classrooms to educate 593,326 kids.
How about safety/security for the many good American people, flooding money into this wonderful operation? Not to worry, we got cameras! But in order to save money, Walmart put up said security cameras in parking lots, and filled those security offices with the ghosts that haunt many of small town America today. Friendly ghosts like Casper. Ghosts, of course, are relatively inexpensive, thus act as perfect employees, requiring no compensation/benefits at all. But, apparently, that turned out to be a problem for the world’s largest sweat shop, I mean retailer. For there have been, over this past decade, countless attacks on patrons coming out of a Walmart store and going into the parking lots where they are either robbed, raped or killed. Real emergencies from coast to coast, prompting a national outcry a few years back, ever reminding US that Walmart is more interested in protecting it’s property over it’s patrons.
Protecting PROFIT over people!
One must query what the ghost of Sam Walton think of all this…
The old song and dance ever playing within this new 21st century Global business model embedded within a rigged monetary-market system; an outdated, unsustainable human problem that is systematically destroying communities, families, individuals, democracy, the overall health of the planet’s environment/species and perhaps, someday, mankind itself.
“When does the greed end?”
(the late, great Massachusetts Democratic U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy on the Senate floor, circa 2009)
The United States of America broke up Rockefeller’s oil monopoly ‘embodied’ by Standard Oil in the early 20th century, as did it split up Ma Bell, creating FAIR competition and a true free market (with some common sense anti-TRUST laws and logical regulations with sharp, strong teeth). Creating a market that did not automatically favor a few people to become even richer than they already were. ALL at other people’s EXPENSE, not to mention the planet as a whole. WE can do that again.
And WE will.
Have a kind day.
PRESERVE THE WILDERNESS! Peace~M