Slavery Is Alive And Well: The Malfeasance Of Wal-Mart
When we think of War-Mart we conjure up images of discount everything from food to TV's to clothing. Through the years from humble beginnings they gradually expanded. But, for the past 20 years Wal-Mart has exploded on to the international stage as the one mega retailer knocking out all other competitors. From those humble beginnings way back when Wal-Mart has morphed into a gigantic brutal force in the business world. Tales of conquering all in the retail world are legendary. With swiftness like a hawk swooping down on it's prey Wal-Mart continues it's onslaught of total domination.
It was in Valdez, Alaska a few years back when the executives of Wal-Mart told the citizens of Valdez tales of great economic expansion and promise of prosperity to come when Wal-Mart opened it's doors. Never mind that the people in Valdez were pretty capable of economic stability with out any mega retailer relocating in that quaint fishing town. But beguiled by promises of better days ahead Wal-Mart opened it's doors. As soon as the first customers checked out of Wal-Mart with less costly wares the existing shops and stores that had been in existence for years ended up not being able to compete and soon almost every shop was forced to close it's doors. The employees of all the now out of business stores never regained the financial income that they previously had even when some went to work at Wal-Mart. The undercutting prices of merchandise and the sub-sufficient hourly wages that Wal-Mart provides the town of Valdez became more dependent on the now one entity for a short sided realm of reality. A reality that has thrown the whole economy of Valdez back.
When more recently Wal-Mart began it conquest of international markets and prayed on the poorer inhabitants like in Mexico managed again to thwart local officials opposition to establishing a super Wal-Mart right next to an historical site the 2,000 year old remnants of the city of Teotihuacan where the remaining sections of the Pyramids still stand. Questions have now emerged as to how Wal-Mart has managed to obtain the necessary permits and sanctions in order to felicitate construction and opening of all these new stores in areas that would be better suite for conservation rather than for commercialization. As one investigator put it, in Mexico; " How many Wal-Marts have been built of the quicksands of corruption?" This is only the tip of the iceberg in the way Wal-Mart has continued to seek and destroy competition in order to gain supreme dominance in the retail world and secure billions of profit for their executives. All this at the expense of the local citizens and more importantly by the slave labor wages that continue to showcase how the Scrooge like mentality of the management of Wal-Mart continues.
In Mexico the average local Wal-Mart employee doesn't receive an hourly wage instead rely on the tips alone. In the United States where the establishment of minimum hourly wage is mandatory for all businesses but Wal-Mart continues it's practice of low pay of just a few cents more than minimum wage also without the benefits like health insurance that many other employers grant as part of their fringe benefits just for working and making these other companies part of a growing economy.
It is not surprising to understand how a major retailer such as Wal-Mart keeps manifesting into this juggernaut of dubious economic opportunity. On one hand they do create economic movement. But, on the other side lies a more damaging aspect of economic movement not even realized by the top brass executives. These top level officialidioes only see green, that is the enormous instant cash profits flowing in when a new store opens. In turn this leaves thousands of rank and file employees to wallow in a continued cycle of underemployment. All of which does nothing to spur economic growth fro the communities in which a Wal-Mart is located in. What Wal-Mart has done in Valdez and now in Mexico by peddling their influence strictly for financial gain that won't be shared with the community or any employee, but, by unscrupulous design has only create more power and wealth for those select few at the top of corporate Wal-Mart.
This is one reason why the public will never see Wal-Mart as one of the best places to work at. Like so many other business today the Scrooge mentality of too many business leaders, executives, managers, and supervisors has corrupted their basic sound ethical business principals in the decisions they make. Where the pervasive attitudes exist in management that underscores a hidden contempt for the average John and Jane Doe employee is another indication that the economy where there is a Wal-Mart will never reach it's fullest potential. Until deceit, deception, corruption, and the enormity of underemployment that exists today is replaced by honesty, compassion, humility, benevolence with real living wages take hold in their business practices that long road back to economic growth and stability remains as elusive as ever.