Saturday, October 22

Is Wal-Mart Un-American?

The Wal-Mart "business model" is to beat-down local manufacturers to the point where that side of the business cycle goes to China.

The lower prices from Chinese exploited labour then behave like a black hole on the wallets of American consumers who are driven away from local retailers toward Sam Walton and his price-war vacuum.

Being local loses: retailers can't compete -- despite the fact that they've been servicing their local consumer base for eons; local manufacurers get pushed out of operation too.

Wal-Mart claims they save the average American family $500.00 per year. Is this at the expense of America being a service economy only and to the benefit of a foreign economy's GDP?

America developed its economic empire in the 1840's by outproducing England in engineering refinements -- by making, not just selling, products.

What happens to prices when a retail monopoly is gained at the expense of American manufacturing? How about a one-dimensional Colossus that is able to, with impunity, gradually raise prices since local business competition is gone.

It's fair to say that Wal-Mart has a GDP bigger than most countries; and, as a multi-national, it operates upon the principles of its only God: return to shareholders.

But is that enough?

A virus will consume itself and its host. Businesses and organisms, in the process of persuing vertical food-chain gratification, cannot, or do not, always extrapolate or assess changes to their external environment or measure the impact of their actions.

Intelligent, conscious, creatures by contrast, usually react to more than simple biological function.

If you, for example, have an immediate urge/need to crap in your hat, you may, upon reflection, might have to wear it sometime, so you conclude against it -- you don't crap in your hat.

Wal-Mart is increasingly dependent upon a business model that is beyond American control. And, as the economic and local consumer base becomes more mono-chromatic and less diverse, and as the dependence on ultra-cheap, exploited labour increases, the musical chair-ride starts to slow down.

History shows us that you can't have a permanently cheap labour source forever. The lack of diversity, both at home and abroad, eventually catches up to the Big Box model.

Some would argue that if China gets more expensive in 20 years, you just go somewhere else cheaper. Use another labour force.

However, the globalized model, by the standard of its own principles, is supposed to eventiually ensure economic inter-dependency and, with it, money spreading -- globalization's own internal logic.

So, how can you live by global economic principles and then turn around and declare that one labour market will be permanently suppressed somewhere (like an Adam Smith version of Nineteenth Century Southern plantation Blacks)?

American economic inter-dependancy also seems increasingly contradictory, self-defeating, unsustaining, and schitzophrenic as the Pentagon has been seriously War-gaming China since 1992!

On one hand, you have U.S. business models sucking the Chinese teat at the expense of local Americans, and, on the other hand, the military complex is lining up China's head up with a baseball bat: encirclement alliances, anti-missle defence, space weaponization, etc., -- all at the expense of U.S multi-nationals.

In this kind of jungle, is there any law?

Anti-trust laws exist in America because unbridled capitalism is like unbridled Islamic democracy -- you create that which is antithetical.

The ungoverned process, like a virus, can destroy its host. Democracy can elect dictators and Big Business, through monoply and corporate concentration, can destroy market competition -- and with it, real market capitalism.

Gordon Gekko was wrong. Greed doesn't work.

Sometimes you might want to put the hat back on your head -- even if it's label is Chinese.

It's called political will.


Visit T.O. Talk to discuss this commentary:
http://www.totalk.ca/viewtopic.php?t=1381