Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Questions Wal-Mart's Effect on the Economy

Speaking from the heartland, Etson Hougland, suggests that Wal-Mart should be under greater scrutiny:
Wal-Mart not only dictates the price, it also dictates the terms, conditions, source and in some cases the material used in the products it purchases. It has been the leading exponent of forcing American firms to move production of products to a Communist “slave labor” state – China. It is using its economic power to orchestrate the destruction of American industry. Its economic power is used to destroy local independent merchants in virtually every community in which it operates.

In conjunction with this power, Wal-Mart provides substandard pay, medical and retirement benefits to its hundreds of thousands of employees while denying them the option of obtaining union representation. The Bush administration has taken countless legal steps designed to weaken the power of labor and destroy any vestige of legal representation for the working people of this nation. This policy combined with a suicidal unfair trade policy has allowed multinational corporations to exploit slave labor in order to undermine our nation’s entire economic and benefits system.
He goes on to point out that China deliberately pegs it's currency at a very low value resulting in products being imported into the USA 30-40% below their actual value.

I'm no fan of GW Bush, but I think others deserve more credit for the current state of labor (Reagan). But Bush hasn't done a whole lot to get the Chinese to more fairly adjust the value of their currency against the US dollar either.

He does make the point that we need more insight into the effects of Wal-Mart on our economy. Charles Fishman (The Wal-Mart Effect) did not get much help from Wal-Mart when writing his book. Wal-Mart Corporation is famously secretive. Fishman couldn't even get Wal-Mart suppliers to comment on their relationships with Wal-Mart.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One Wal-Mart supplier in Fishman's book made a comment about dealing with Wal-Mart. This supplier had to remain annonymous so as not to jepordize their relationship with the corporation and make them angry. This supplier said this:
"Wal-Mart sucks."
Some great company huh?