Is the Tide of Public Opinion Turning Against Walmart?
Corporations have become the arbiters of social well-being. Some, like Walmart, abuse the system, relying on government subsidies like food stamps to provide for their employees.
What's the Latest?
Our do-nothing Congress continues to refuse policy measures aimed at creating a more equitable society. Raising minimum wage? Won't even discuss it. Student loan burdens? Tough. Environmental protection? Yawn. Corporations have become the arbiters of social well-being. Some, like Walmart, abuse the system, relying on government subsidies like food stamps to provide for their employees. "By one measure...the average Walmart superstore cost taxpayers $904,000 a year in various subsidies, or more than $5,000 per employee." For the upper crust at Walmart, life is grand. Last year the company made $17 billion in profits and executives took eight-figure salaries.
What's the Big Idea?
Legislative obstructionism has brought about a "free market" which is more active in some areas of society than government. While companies like Starbucks display their conscience in press releases, others maintain the dangerous illusion that as a business, their only responsibility is to turn a profit. Even so, Walmart could do better for its 1.4 million workers without diminishing its stock value. "Writing in Fortune.com, Stephen Gandel concluded that Walmart could give workers a 50 percent raise without hurting shareholder value." And Bill Gross, the founder of the investment firm PIMCO, recently said that "labor and capital have to share in the rewards of a productive economy, and for the last 25 years labor has gotten the short end of the stick."
Read more at the New York Times
Photo credit: Susan Law Cain/Shutterstock
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A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.
- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
- According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
When these companies compete, in the current system, the people lose.
- When a company reaches the top of the ladder, they typically kick it away so that others cannot climb up on it. The aim? So that another company can't compete.
- When this happens in the pharmaceutical world, certain companies stay at the top of the ladder, through broadly-protected patents, at the cost of everyday people benefitting from increased competition.
- Since companies have worked out how to legally game the system, Amin argues we need to get rid of this "one size fits all" system, which treats product innovation — "tweaks" — the same as product invention.
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