I’ll be watching a newly released movie tonight about Wal-Mart; it’s titled “WAL-MART: THE HIGH COST OF LOW PRICE.”
The movie is produced by Robert Greenwald and is supposed to uncover Wal-Mart’s “assault on families and American values.” I’ll let you know how it goes.
You can visit the movie site here » WAL-MART: THE HIGH COST OF LOW PRICE. Check out one of the free screenings if you can.
By the way, I do shop at Wal-Mart . . .
Update (11/17/2005 11:05pm):
Just got back from the screening; very negative film.
The film spends some time highlighting a small town business called H&H Hardware. It’s sad to see how the small town store has gone the way of the dinosaur. I mean that in a small town business, people know your name, your family, there’s a strong bond between the business and yourself. I go to Wal-Mart and no one knows my name and could probably care less. But that’s big business.
The film spent some time on employees being forced to work overtime “off the clock,” racial intimidation on the job, employees living on welfare, environmental problems related to Wal-Mart, and crime in Wal-Mart parking lots; lots of nasty allegations that can probably never be proven. Chinese and South Asia sweatshops were discussed briefly. The working conditions in Third World factories are deplorable and it depresses me to know that people live like that 24/7. But what was shown is typical of a majority of factories in the Third World, no shock for me there. I think the point is that an American business should try to raise the standard of living if only ever so small.
I was quite surprised to learn that the Walton family has its own private bunker just in case something apocalyptic happens; pretty funny. The world might go up in smoke but the Walton’s will be safe; just a humorous interlude between depressing stories.
My sense of fairness is protesting Wal-Mart’s singular demonization right now; many other businesses could be damned and perhaps even more so than Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart, you might say, finds itself between the proverbial “rock and a hard place”; American consumers want the lowest possible prices so what is it to do? Low prices don’t simply fall off trees. Will I shop at Wal-Mart tomorrow? Yeah, but I would like to see some changes though.
All in all, the film is worth seeing so check it out.