Friday, October 20, 2006

What A Surprise!!!

This should not surprise most people. Wal-Mart has to pay people to write good comments about them. More here.

A public relations firm has revealed that it is behind two blogs that previously appeared to be created by independent supporters of Wal-Mart.

The blogs Working Families for Wal-mart and subsidiary site Paid Critics are written by three employees of PR firm Edelman, for whom Wal-Mart is a paid client, according to information posted on the sites Thursday.

Recent entries on Paid Critics, a site dedicated to drawing links between Wal-mart critics and groups, such as unions, with vested interests are written by Brian and Kate. These are Edelman employees Brian McNeill and Kate Marshall.

Last week a blog called "Wal-Marting Across America," which appeared to be created by a man and a woman traveling the country in an RV and staying in Wal-Mart parking lots, also turned out to be underwritten by Working Families for Wal-Mart.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Nobel Prize for Wal-Mart

I cross posted this in The Writing on the Wal this morning.

Robert has already commented on John Tierney's editorial "Shopping For A Nobel" in yesterdays NYT in this post. Moron? Probably. He does admit he is a libertarian. Personally, I think he is really into receiving hate mail. Afterall, he does hold the NYT record for hate mail.

As a scientist, many people have been asking me what I think about Tierney's column. Tierney asks "Has any organization in the world lifted more people out of poverty than Wal-Mart?" I have no idea, but it's worth an experiment.

Tierney quotes Michael Strong :

The best way for third world villagers to tap "the vast pipeline of wealth from the developed world," he argued in a recent article, is to sell their products to the world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart.

Tierney also cites Strong as saying "..that villagers can lift themselves out of poverty much faster by getting a job in a factory." Strong certainly knows far more about this issue than I do.

So, let's challenge Wal-Mart to build supercenters in two places; Khayelitsha, Cape Town's largest township and Kibera slum in Kenya. Let's actually see what effects Wal-Mart supercenters have in those slums.

Then we'll talk about a Nobel Prize.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Guess Where the Southside Chicago Wal-Marts Will be Built

Read about it here.

The sites are in the wards of Aldermen Howard Brookins Jr. (21st), Anthony Beale (9th), Dorothy Tillman (3rd), Shirley Coleman (16th) and Arenda Troutman (20th,) respectively. All but Ms. Coleman voted against an ordinance approved by the City Council to require Wal-Mart and other big-box retailers to pay a minimum wage of at least $10 an hour, plus $3 in fringe benefits. Ms. Coleman switched sides after Mayor Daley vetoed the bill, giving him the support he needed to sustain his veto.
Does anyone besides me think this looks like a payoff by Wal-Mart for votes?