did any one watch this video? I dont have an hour and half to watch this (is it really that long? or am i too trusting?) If you watched it and it is long would you mind giving me a short version of it?
It's an (admittedly biased) look at how completely ruthless Walmart is. The filmmakers went through a lot of public documents, news footage, crime reports, economic stats, etc etc and concluded that Walmart coming to town is bad news.
Violent crimes happen in Walmart parking lots all the time (rapes, murders, assaults), but go un-convicted because Walmart has no security cameras (if you see any, they are unmanned and are only used when Unions want to come to the store).
They obliterate downtowns and small businesses.. which yeah, okay, maybe the local businesses should find some other way to keep people coming to them, but it's hard when Walmart can undercut you for years without feeling any pain whatsoever..
They have driven several suppliers to near bankruptcy (Vlasic pickles, Levi's jeans). They drive billions of dollars worth of manufacturing to China. They have a gender glass ceiling, passing over qualified women for management positions. They've locked workers in stores overnight. They won't pay you overtime unless you sue the pants off them. They suggest to their workers (all making minimum wage) to apply for Medicaid and Medicare, rather than the company providing them any sort of benefits; this has the added benefit of dragging down the local economy further as the workers become a tax burden.
The capitalist side of my brain applauds their sheer ruthlessness in the marketplace... but then the other sides of my brain beat the crap out of the capitalist and drag him screaming from the room. (My head is a ruckus-filled pub)
Fun fact: Meijer is one of the few retailers that have successfully fought off Walmart in their local markets, usually doing the same things Walmart does, albeit on a smaller scale.
At least they're local...
BTW, if you want cheap prices on a clear conscience, CostCo has been getting nothing but praise: they pay their workers insane wages for retail (full benefits, 40k a year), and consistently beat the pants off of Sam's Club. Stock price keeps climbing, too.
Seriously, watch the documentary. I normally don't have much of a response to documentaries, but this one had me seething.