Wal-Mart: The High Cost of a Low Price Essay

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Wal-Mart: The High Cost of a Low Price

Wal-Mart represents the sickness of capitalism at its almost fully evolved state. As Jim Hightower said, "Why single out Wal-Mart? Because it's a hog. Despite the homespun image it cultivates in its ads, it operates with an arrogance and avarice that would make Enron blush and John D. Rockefeller envious. It's the world's biggest retail corporation and America's largest private employer; Sam Robson Walton, a member of the ruling family, is one of the richest people on earth. Wal-Mart and the Waltons got to the top the old-fashioned way: by roughing people up. Their low, low prices are the product of two ruthless commandments: Extract the last penny possible from human toil and squeeze the last
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Please read Barbara Ehrenreich's recent book, Nickel and Dimed. In her brilliant book she reveals the misery of working for a big box retailer and the impossibility of living in America on poverty wages. She spent time working at Wal-Mart in St. Paul, Minnesota and struggled to survive. Read her account of the anti-union propaganda that Wal-Mart espouses. Wal-Mart is no friend to the working poor.

Wal-Mart and other big box retailers are destroying the cultural landscape of America. As Ehrenreich states "wherever you look there is no alternative to the megascale corporate order, from which every form of local creativity and initiative has been abolished by distant home offices." Wal-Mart is a key player in the cultural homogenization of America. It is impossible to "think outside of the big box." Everywhere you go in America you find KFC, Home Depot, Best Buy, Circuit City, Burger King, etc...

People are fighting Wal-Mart and are winning. For more info go to:

www.walmartyrs.org

www.walmartwatch.com

www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20020304&s=hightower

The misguided young man who wrote the pro-Wal-Mart editorial needs to ask himself if he really needs most of the products that Wal-Mart sells. Are they really necessary for survival? Probably not. We must break the chains of corporate domination that are strangling American democracy and spreading misery across the world. We must break our addiction to senseless consumption that
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