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Wal-Mart Wants To Rule The World
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Wal-Mart Wants To Rule The World
Someone left a message that this article was racist and I would like the site's opinion.
[917 words]
E Rocco Caldwell

[April 2005]
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Wal-Mart Wants To Rule The World
E Rocco Caldwell

Acting on tips the government moved in on Wal-Mart stores in 21 states arresting 245 illegal workers from 18 different nations. On the surface it seemed fairly innocuous in regards to Wal-Mart knowing of the illegal workers. At first Wal-Mart denied knowing that the subcontractors used to clean 60 of its stores hired illegal workers but now it is believed that wiretaps on the telephones of Wal-Mart executives reveal the company was well aware of the illegal status of these workers. I would like to point out that Wal-Mart is one of the most anti-union companies in America. Its belief is that unions will bring high wages and benefits to its employees. Why bring this out you might ask? The entire event surrounding these illegal workers speaks to a sort of mentality that exists among the people who run Wal-Mart. The bidding of contract work for the most part is won by the lowest bidding contractor. Since many Americans who have a choice as to what job they can take, an extreme low paying job like the ones the subcontractors were offering could only be filled by illegal workers. This is return kept Wal-Mart profits high enabling Wal-Mart to out compete its rivals. Wal-Mart workers typically earn around $250 a week an average income of $11,000 a year. There is no retirement benefits for employees, and health care comes at such a high price that only 38 percent of employees use the company's health care plan so many end up having to receive supplementation from state benefits. Think of it, you're working but you are still on Welfare. Only at Wal-Mart. But at the same time Wal-Mart's annual sales reached more than $200 billion. It takes all of that wealth and builds more stores because it is commonly believed by the folks that run the show, the biggest is the best. Why not give the contracts to the companies that can save Wal-Mart even more money?
The only union success at a Wal-Mart branch was short-lived. In 2000 the butcher's department at a store in Jacksonville, Texas voted to join the UFCW. Shortly afterward Wal-Mart closed the department. Why not, the UCFW reported that their journeyman clerk makes $15.20 an hour to Wal-Mart's senior clerk's $7-$9 an hour. Wal-Mart denies the closing of the department had anything to do with the workers voting union and pigs fly! What about all of those part time workers? Wal-Mart says it keeps the PT workers loyal providing them with flexible hours, consultation and fast promotion. Maybe but one thing is a fact, part time workers get absolutely no health benefits, pension or vacation time. That reduces overhead costs per employee and keeps Wal-Mart building more stores and the prices low for the consumer. It also drives its competitors out of business. Fred Meyers pointed to its inability to compete with Wal-Mart as to why it laid off hundreds of workers. All I ever hear from people is how cheap Wal-Mart prices are compared to other stores. Now you know why! As a Boeing worker I take offense at Wal-Mart using draconian methods to take prices low! If all companies in the United States utilized the same methods very few of us could afford a decent life!
It was found a few years ago that a Wal-Mart supplier in China was subjecting its workers to 90-hour weeks, low pay and, allegedly, beatings by guards. The
Company has cancelled its contract with the factory, as well as other alleged sweatshops in Nicaragua, Burma and Bangladesh. This was too much bad PR. But even in China, Wal-Mart has pushed back against any attempt to unionize. The All-China Federation of Trade Unions got the runaround from Wal-Mart executives. The federation says all companies, foreign and local, are required to establish a union under its supervision, using funds from a 2 percent levy on wages. Here's the kicker the 27 stores in China produce about $10bn worth of goods from the mainland every year, according to US government estimates, that results to about a tenth of all Chinese exports to the US. Having unionized workers producing those goods asking for high wages, better benefits could have a major impact on the prices in Wal-Mart stores here in the good old USA. Heck, it could even slow down Wal-Mart's building and expansion frenzy.
It goes back to the entire illegal workers issue. The focus is on profit because profit grows a company and there are traditionally three factors in production which increases or decrease profit margins: capital, land and labor. Wal-Mart is amassing land and capital so labor has to fit the bill, labor in all facets from full time, part time and contract employees! Can I hear the word monopoly? According to a Retail Forward report 30 supermarkets closed when Wal-Mart saturated Oklahoma City. Wal-Mart is successful because it can offer lower prices than anybody else. But what if nobody else exists to compete why keep its prices low? What is predatory pricing? It's when financially stable companies price at a loss until weaker competitors exit the marketplace. Wal-Mart has lower prices because of its ability to operate efficiently by busting unions, maintaining part time employees and offering ridiculous insurance for full time employees. As capacity is removed from that industry, pricing power is created. Wal-Mart today is saving money for consumers everywhere. But 10 to 20 years from now Wal-Mart will have total pricing power. Will consumers feel comfortable then?




""...As a Boeing worker I take offense at Wal-Mart using draconian methods to take prices low! If all companies in the United States utilized the same methods very few of us could afford a decent life!" I like what you said here. The entire article was informative. Wal-Mart isn't the only big company using illegal workers. There are millions of illegal workers in this country. Companies know they can save billions of dollars by utilizing these workers. So what is there to stop them, except the Feds? Most immigrants can afford low wages, because they don't have to pay taxes for five or more years, they receive all types of government benefits, can acquire loans a lot easier than the average American, and they pull their resources together. However, the average American, if he/she doesn't get a job that pays top dollars, can barely survive because of high taxes that the federal government and the State impose upon us, the high cost of medical and dental care, a high-ass gas bill, etc. Like I said, they can afford low wages, but I can't. You can't. Hell, if I didn't have to pay taxes for five years, I'd be living large. I'd have my own business, most likely a bookstore. I'd be living out in the suburbs, in a nice big home, driving a Lexus SUV, Mercedes-Benz, or a Hummer. " -- Alberta , Atlanta.
"Amen! You said all that needed to be said! I know here in washington State letting illegals in to work the apple farms is as common as rain in Seattle. The enitre industry rests on the backs of these illegals. The government knows this and looks the other way!" -- e. rocco caldwell.
"A very informative piece...I tell ya, between you and Alberta, who needs the news??!! heehee" -- K M (Michelle).
"This piece seemed very racist and white-oriented. Illegal workers are usually only "illegal" for less than 5 years. Did you mention that?" -- Annonymous.
"First of all, the term illegal was taken from the article printed in every newspaper in the country on the topic! How this is a racist piece is beyond me. I point how why Wal-Mart keeps it's overhead costs down in labor in order to control the business it's in. The workers at Wal-Mart are of various races! Please explain why you think this is a racist piece?" -- e. rocco caldwell.
"I don't see how the word "illegal" can be construed to be racist. As far as what you've said about Wal-Mart and their strategies, you couldn't have been anymore accurate. And it is true. When Wal-Mart has eliminated every vestige of competition, then what? What would be their motivation to keep prices low then?" -- Tommy.
"I did not get the impression that this article had a racist view. However was most informative, and does say something about what we allow to happen in our country. I never go to Wal Mart, cheaper prices yes�on the backs and sweat of low paid workers,both over sea�s and in our own country. OH! Don't get me started :) " -- mattie.
"Way to go, Mattie! I refuse to shop at Wal-Mart too because it puts union and other good paid workers out of work! Fight the power!" -- e. rocco caldwell.
"Okay, okay, not too shabby. Here's my only problem with it: language. It's too informal. I feel like I'm having a conversation, and not reading an informative essay. But I do agree that it isn't racist. Read some Al Franken "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them". I think you would love that book. Also, remember this: The Walton's don't screw around the entire family fortune, split between the mother and children, take up slots 6-11 (I'm 90% sure of this, correct me if I'm wrong...) on the Forbes 400 Richest People. Yeah. That much money. Added up together, they make more than Bill Gates can ever hope to see. Monopoly doesn't touch this. This is more like Risk, especially when Wal-Mart is building stores in China. CHINA! Insanity." -- Kevin Myrick.
"I appreciate your input, kevin, and sort of agree with you concerning the lagnuage issue. " -- e. rocco caldwell.
"It was a good piece, but I shop at Wal-Mart all the time and I couldn't care less who works there. " -- some guy.
"I appreciate your review. Thank you!" -- e. rocco caldwell.
" I tend to agree with this piece! I used to live in southern California, where I was self employed. Once I was in need of medical assistance, but could not recieve the help. Why, I asked? I pay taxes, but do not have insurance! Their reply - " You did not check the 'illegal alien'box on the form!" I am not a racist, in the least, but what happened to good-will and equal opportunity, not only to the rest of the world, but to our own countrymen/women as well! My mother always told me, growing up - "Charity begins at home"" -- Tricarico.
"That is a valid point you make, Tricarico. I would love to see some sort of universal health care for all Americans!" -- e. rocco caldwell.
"This is old news. Many midsize towns have retail chains that employ many hundreds of people. Discrimination is as old as racism. Wrong doing, espionage, keeping unions out for one reason or another. The Aerospace Industry is notorious for unethical practices. Reality check! A lot of towns will allow these underhanded tactics nevertheless by these businesses because they generate revenue for the town regardless, bottom line. They employ so many people in the cities that the policy will be skewed in favor of these cut throat maneuvers. Why? Because it helps the towns to grow and competition is tough everywhere for wealth. It only becomes a problem when statistically the evidence against the perpetrators is overwhelming and obvious. I work with statistical software programs and I find the datasets may show a clear correlation, distribution and strong regression rejecting the NULL HYPOTHESIS by the parameters of the scores. This means that the likelihood of the means being equal, are not true. Even though this is the case proving it is altogether another thing. Money is the force that governs policy not the other way around. If you don't like the policy go somewhere else. Better still, try the EEOC. Truly though, corruption is here to stay. Reality check! Have you ever read, Adam Smith's, 'Wealth of a Nation?' Or maybe 'Megatrends.' Try Malthus if you know who I'm referring to. These companies are entities like people and think and behave as such so if you want to know how it all really got started read the books I suggested. Wesley McCants." -- Wesley McCants, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.
"Rocco I couldn't agree more and I loved the piece. This is a sad commentary on society, however, unfortunately it is here to stay. " -- Skyler Drevan.
"All of you economic geniuses really crack me up. You have no clue about the real world of the retail business. Retail businesses operate on very small product margins. Their most significant operating expense is payroll and payroll taxes. In order to show profits, it is imperative to keep payroll costs under control. Unions wages began a trend 50 years ago which saw them become (higher) and vastly disproportionate to the productivity of union workers. This trend ultimately drove manufacuring industries to outsourcing, relocation, and many into bankruptcy. What do you think happened to the American automobile industry? I remember Chevy and Ford plant workers making $17-$20 an hour bragging how they only worked 4-5 actual hours of piece work. You naive little jerks. If you want to make money, don't expect a union to get it for you. What the hell do you have to offer? Learn a solid trade or get an education with a major in something other than liberal arts or sociology, otherwise accept that you're going to work for low wages no matter what your racial or ethnic background may be. Quit whining and blaming rich capitalists for your sorry economic status. Wal-Mart owners were rich long before they started the company. Their investment capital helped build the company and they didn't need overpaid union workers to do it. " -- A contented Wal-Mart supervisor.
"testy aren't we, Wal-Mart Supervisor! I know there's no way in hell you would work for .9 to .20 cents an hour like many Wal-Mart workers in Bangladesh. (Or did you know that? You think this is right? to exploit human beings?) You attacked me...why? Because what I wrote is true? Attack the message, dude! That is if you can! Justify the outright wrong of Wal-Mart's business tacits! Not me! What drove American businesses out of this country is plain greed! Greed! Nothing else! You can play that same tune over and over again about union wages did this and that...the plain fact is that free trade agreements make it easy to outsource jobs...for large profits! Oh, by the way, the high tech jobs (the ones with the degrees outside of lIberal arts...you know the ones that we were told would stay in America...are outsourced everyday! I don't blame rich capitalists for doing what is in their nature to do...exploit workers for massive profits...I blame the government and people like yourself who refuse to see what the rich capitalists are doing! That's all!" -- e. rocco caldwell.
"Oh, the hypocrisies of the socialist left leaning Unions, which argue that the free market is not self-sustaining even while blasting any big business that is not unionized. If unions where so good for Wal-Mart�s productivity and efficiency wouldn�t Wal-Mart be recruiting them instead of spending millions of dollars trying to avoid unionization? Isn�t Capitalism just a type of stylized warfare, with the primary goal being the transfer of a competitor�s wealth from his bank to yours? The beauty of this system is that no-one is forced to buy one companies product over another companies. If a company does not produce what the general market wants at the price it will accept then the company will be forced to remove itself from the market. Unions many times prolong the inability of a company to compete in the open market, therefore relegating the business to the stagnant pond of socialist thinking where they die slowly from lack of oxygen. American aerospace is a great example of this, where the cost of the Unions drove the price of the product up so high that the new contract for the Presidential Helicopters went to a foreign bidder. In a Capitalistic society choice of what to purchase is made on things like low prices and quality. Thus, the business with the lowest prices and best quality stands a higher chance of being victorious and putting his foot on the fiscal neck of his adversary and listening to their travail. This financial war is fought not with guns but with Low prices and quality customer service. Wal-Mart is the current financial retail prince in this arena and until they loose sight of the founding tenants of the organization; or are driven out of business by excessive taxation or some other form of government intervention they will remain so. So, while I wouldn�t swear allegiance to Wal-Mart, I do wish them luck. " -- Firsttime Story.
"How do you know this. " -- Jeanette .


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© 2003 E Rocco Caldwell
November 2003

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