The best way you can pitch in is to refuse to shop at Wal-Mart and to tell all your friends exactly why you have made that decision.
In spite of its financial largesse, or maybe because of it, Wal-Mart constantly plays the miser. A congressional report in 2004 found that a typical 200-employee Wal-Mart store cost federal taxpayers $420,000 for children's health care, tax credits and deductions for low-income families. That equals about $2,103 per Wal-Mart employee, or an annual welfare bill of $2.5 billion for Wal-Mart's 1.2 million employees in America. What that boils down to is that Americans subsidize Wal-Mart so that its stockholders can continue to reap huge profits.
Wal-Mart is about to find itself in the spotlight again. Robert Greenwald's new documentary film, Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, rolls out in November, with thousands of house parties, and an array of journalistic reports in the progressive media. (Full disclosure: Robert Greenwald is a member of the board of trustees of the Independent Media Institute, AlterNet's parent organization.) In concert with this media effort, SEIU and hundreds of community and religious groups have organized a "Wal-Mart Week" to expose the truths about the company to the greater public.
With this editorial, AlterNet is also upping the ante on Wal-Mart. We've published dozens of articles about Wal-Mart over the last few years. Now we have created a Wal-Mart page (http://alternet.org/walmart/) that aggregates articles and investigative work by our writers and partner publications and websites; key information about the issues; and links to important campaigns.
In an unprecedented level of teamwork, The Nation, The American Prospect, In These Times, The Washington Monthly and other media will all be publishing investigative articles simultaneously during the week of November 7 in support of Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price.
The concerted effort of Greenwald's documentary, progressive media, activist campaigns like Wal-Mart Watch, community groups and the SEIU is great. But the truth is, Wal-Mart won't be forced to change unless everyone pitches in.
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Wal-Mart - part 7
There's a new documentary coming out that exposes the cruelty of Wal-Mart as well as how much those low prices cost us in other ways. This is explained in an article by Don Hazen called, "Wal-Mart can hide, but it can't run" and published in AlterNet. Here's part of what it says: