Walmart and what’s wrong with our thinking?


Disclaimer: The following entry is nothing short of a rant about Walmart and American values. If you are easily offended or prefer to live in a world where everything is happy and cheerful, please DON’T READ.

After stopping at a local Super Walmart this weekend so I could go to the bathroom (hey, when ya gotta go, ya gotta go), I started thinking in depth about my issues with this superpower and the people who shop there.

These days we are all about patriotism and pride in being Americans. The cars in the Walmart parking lot were littered with yellow and American flag ribbons. “Support our troops.” “God Bless America.” It seemed like an oxymoron to me! How American and patriotic is it to shop at a store that forces American-owned companies out of business in favor of sweatshop labor in China?

I understand that many people are looking for the best deal and the lowest prices. So many Americans are struggling to get by these days and I am one of them. But I believe that many of the people who shop at Walmart are the very people who will end up losing their jobs when their companies are forced to close their doors because they can’t compete with foreign labor.

It saddens me to think that we just don’t think about the future. What are the future ramifications of my getting super low prices in the NOW NOW NOW? What cost will this have to my city, my community, my family?

It took months, if not years, to get the city council where I live to approve the buliding of a Walmart Supercenter here. There were MANY who were against it, but eventually the proposal passed. One of the arguments is “just think of how many jobs it will create!” Yes, but at what cost? They don’t pay well enough for someone to support themself anyway, especially not with the cost of living in Boulder County. And how many small businesses in town will have to shut down as a result of it? :( What will these people do for employment then? Go work at Walmart?

I’m also concerned about all of the empty Walmarts that the Super Walmarts leave behind. I’ve seen it happen many times now. They close down one store to open a bigger, better store and leave a garish eyesore in the shopping center.

JibJab.com currently has a parody movie on their site called “Big Box Mart.” It tells the story of a man who loves to shop at Big Box Mart because of their low prices. Eventually, however, the company he works for is forced to close down because they can’t compete with the prices Walmart can get from the sweatshop laborers in China, so he loses his job at the age of 53. He files for unemployment and eventually ends up working for Big Box Mart. He’s unable to afford to retire and will likely work there until he dies.

There’s also a documentary coming out this week called “Walmart – The high cost of low price.”

WAL-MART: THE HIGH COST OF LOW PRICE is a feature length documentary that uncovers a retail giant’s assault on families and American values.

The film dives into the deeply personal stories and everyday lives of families and communities struggling to fight a goliath. A working mother is forced to turn to public assistance to provide healthcare for her two small children. A Missouri family loses its business after Wal-Mart is given over $2 million to open its doors down the road. A mayor struggles to equip his first responders after Wal-Mart pulls out and relocates just outside the city limits. A community in California unites, takes on the giant, and wins!

There are thousands of free screenings being held nationwide.

If you’d like to get involved or spread the word about this movie, check out this link. There are many activism opportunities, from promoting the film by placing a button on your blog to signing a petition for Walmart workers’ rights to boycotting Walmart to hosting a free screening of the film. Every little bit helps.

I’ll end this by saying I’m not a huge fan of posting about such downer topics, but I do so every now and then when think the truth needs to be told. Thanks for reading.
Peace.

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7 thoughts on “Walmart and what’s wrong with our thinking?

  1. before I took up economics for teh first time in my A levels i was ignorant of what you just wrote abt. I did abt how multinationals effected teh local compitition…and ended it by driving them out, i was indigmnant on behalf of my country. i tried, and still do try to buy pakistani stuff rather than imported or stuff multinationals promoted but it is hard at times. i see your point entirely. not only iot makes us loose jobs in teh long run, it also sends money out… i hope ppl realie thi and prmote local stuff… where ever they live!!

  2. It has always been a mystery to me why the very people who have lost their jobs shop at the store that is the reason that they are unemployed. It makes no sense. My family actively boycots Wallmart and we make every attempt to buy localy from “mom and pop” stores and support our local economy. Thanks for writing this.

  3. I agree with your frustration and anger over this issue. And you want some more? Even if you don’t shop at Walmart, where can you find consumer products at a reasonable price that are made in the United States? Almost everything I own has been manufactured overseas. Simply not shopping at Walmart won’t cure the problem of sweatshop labor in third world and developing countries. I’m curious to know what country your fine new camera was manufactured and how much it would cost you if it were made here in the USA. It’s a tough call.

  4. great post, I agree 100%.

    I despise hellmart, every time I go into the one here I immediately get a headache and am really grumpy.We actively try to boycott them, but sometimes its really really hard :(

    btw, I love your blog, I’ve been reading it for a while now, but I don’t usually leave comments on blogs, just shy I guess :)

    We are in Colorado too, small world :)

  5. One of my earliest blog entries (and a letter to the editor) was a rant about Walmart. I had read in Conscious Choice about Walmart’s strategy–put in a Walmart and give people jobs. Then put a Super Walmart just miles away, close the Walmart, and don’t sell the building for anything else to go in. People lose jobs, shopping centers stay vacant–it’s horrible. Now, for all of the reasons you listed above, I am happy that I am nearly 2 years into my Wal-Mart ban.

  6. I haven’t shop there in I don’t know how long. I hate even going there…because it really does put you in a bad mood, there is just something about that place! All of the Walmarts I have been have been absolutely filthy, over-crowded.

  7. Glad to see I’m not alone in my thinking and that others are taking action.

    Amy – You bring up a very good point about not being able to find good quality products made in the U.S. Of course I’m sure you already guessed it, but my camera was made in China.

    Jenn and Dawn – Welcome to my blog. Glad to see you both come out of lurkdom. :)

    Isn’t that crazy that just going into those stores can make you feel like you are in a funk?

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