A brand new Walmart Super Centre opened in our area the other day. We walked around it to see what it was like. Where else can you buy your broccoli, your fishing gear, your lingerie, and your shampoo all in the same store? And prices? Unbelieveable! You can buy an oscillating fan for $18.88! Twenty years ago you could never buy an oscillating fan for $18.88. Who cares what the people making it were paid, what a bargain! Convenience and thriftiness in one massive cement block.
“The Lorax said, ‘Sir! You are crazy with greed. There is no one on earth who would buy that fool Thneed!’ … I laughed at the Lorax, ‘You poor stupid guy! You never can tell what some people will buy.’”
Walmart Creates Jobs?
“I rushed ‘cross the room, and in no time at all, built a radio-phone. I put in a quick call. I called all my brothers and uncles and aunts and I said, “listen here! Here’s a wonderful chance for the whole Once-ler Family to get mighty rich!”
Yes, at first, Walmart creates jobs from the construction of this massive building to the employees in the store. Right at the epicentre, Walmart creates jobs. But move away from Walmart, and the job loss begins. People who used to shop at the local grocery store or the local clothing store are now shopping at Walmart. These businesses lose money and lay off employees. An article called “The Price Of Walmart Coming To Town” explains:
Wal-Mart sells things people already buy, and typically locally. Things like bread, shampoo and rakes. When Wal-Mart opens, consumers merely shift their dollars; they don’t spend additional money.“You don’t say, ‘Honey, we can buy our dog food for 20% cheaper at Wal-Mart, let’s get another dog,’” said Charles Fishman, author of “The Wal-Mart Effect.”
A study led by David Neumark, an economist at the University of California, Irvine, counted a net loss of 150 jobs after a Wal-Mart opened. Wal-Mart didn’t create jobs; it destroyed them. For every person who got a job at Wal-Mart, 1.4 other retail workers lost theirs.
Walmart Employees Shop Locally?
“So what?” you say? At least the people are employed? Look at it this way. Which owners are going to profit most and put that money back into our local economy? Walmart? I don’t think so. Forbes magazine places the worth of the family at greater than $100 billion. They are making literally tons of money and will not be spending it in your town. The owner of the local grocery store, on the other hand, will. Shut him down and he won’t. The majority of the money will leave the country and benefit us not at all. Sure, the employees will spend their money here. But they would if they worked anywhere else, too. They are making a pittance compared to the amount of money leaving Canada.
Where do you work? The majority of people in Canada are supported by the local economy. By shopping at Walmart you are sending your hard-earned money out of the country. If you shop at stores owned by locals your money will cycle around in the community and be earned back. You buy from a local business, they buy from your business, or from the business you work for. If they don’t, then you lose money. If you don’t, then they lose money.
Walmart Purchases From North American Suppliers?
Walmart is the world’s largest retailer, and the world’s largest company. They have so much weight, they can tell their manufacturers what price they will pay for their products. They sell things so cheaply they have to outsource their products to countries such as China because labour is so cheap there. Countless jobs are lost locally because businesses who once supplied these items to consumers cannot compete with a Chinese market that doesn’t have a minimum wage for its employees. Charles Fishman, in The Walmart You Don’t Know, says:
Steve Dobbins has been bearing the brunt of that switch. He’s president and CEO of Carolina Mills, a 75-year-old North Carolina company that supplies thread, yarn, and textile finishing to apparel makers–half of which supply Wal-Mart. Carolina Mills grew steadily until 2000. But in the past three years, as its customers have gone either overseas or out of business, it has shrunk from 17 factories to 7, and from 2,600 employees to 1,200. Dobbins’s customers have begun to face imported clothing sold so cheaply to Wal-Mart that they could not compete even if they paid their workers nothing…
Sure, it’s held inflation down, and it’s great to have bargains,” says Dobbins. “But you can’t buy anything if you’re not employed. We are shopping ourselves out of jobs.”
Walmart carries brandname items that are created especially for Walmart… at a fraction of the cost. Levi’s jeans, Huffy Bikes Rubbermaid, and many more make a poorer quality item with their brand name
on it so that Walmart can buy and sell it cheaply. In order to produce these items cheap enough, these businesses are forced to outsource their labour. This is how some businesses try and compete in a Walmart-driven market. The purchaser ends up with a poorer quality item, and the company providing the item sells less of their higher quality items, resulting in losses for everyone. Huffy Bikes used to be made in the USA. After they signed a contract with Walmart for a cheaper version of their original product, they were forced to outsource labour on all of their bicycles to be able to survive.
“I meant no harm, I most truly did not. But I had to grow bigger. So bigger I got. I biggered my factory. I biggered my roads. I biggered my wagons. I biggered the loads of the Thneeds I shipped out. I was shipping them forth to the South! To the East! To the West! To the North! I went right on biggering … selling more Thneeds. And I biggered my money, which everyone needs.”
Walmart Provides Jobs to Poor Chinese Labourers?
SHENZHEN, China — Inside the factory, amid clattering machinery and clouds of sawdust, men without earplugs or protective goggles feed wood into screaming electric saws, making cabinets for stereo speakers. Women hunch over worktables, many hands bandaged and few covered by gloves, pressing transistors into circuit boards.
Most of the 2,100 workers here are poor migrants from the countryside who have come to this industrial hub in southern China for jobs that pay about $120 a month. A sign on the wall reminds them of their expendability in a nation with hundreds of millions of surplus workers: “If you don’t work hard today, tomorrow you’ll have to try hard to look for a job.”
“But business is business and business must grow, regardless of crummies in tummies, you know.”
“You’re in charge of the last of the truffula seeds. And truffula trees are what everyone needs. Plant a new truffula. Treat it with care. Give it clean water. And feed it fresh air. Grow a forest. Protect it from axes that hack. Then the Lorax and all of his friends may come back.”
This post has been linked to Common Sense Homesteading: Living Well Blog Hop, and Attainable Sustainable’s Patchwork Living Blog Hop.