Monday, October 8, 2007

stuff just makes me mad

Last night I went to bed steaming after watching Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price. I get so angry over this stuff that I've actually started to believe that ignorance is bliss. If only I could lie on my couch eating bon-bons and watching ElimiDATE. Oh yeah, I just posted about that show. Maybe not.

At any rate, the film looks at the impact of Wal-Mart in the U.S. and overseas; while I'd heard most of the facts in the film before, hearing them all together was overwhelming.

The section on Wal-Mart factories in China and Honduras is especially horrifying. But the part I'd never heard before related to the Waltons themselves. Did you know that:

- while Bill Gates donates 58% of his income to charity, the Waltons donate 1%
- Wal-Mart has a critical need fund, which raises money to help employees in areas hit by natural disasters. Employees have voluntarily donated over $5M to this fund; the Waltons have donated $6,000.

Can someone explain to me how such a poor corporate citizen can gain such a loyal following of shoppers? I went to Wal-Mart once (one of those know-thy-devil reconnaissance missions) and, while stuff seemed cheaper, it didn't seem ridiculously so. I am seriously perplexed.



SunnyShine note: It must also be noted that they appear on the Forbes list of richest people in the world as #23,24,24,26,29 with a combined net worth of approximately $83 BILLION. Shameful. No one needs this kind of money. Would the quality of their lives be reduced if they gave their money away and had to live on a mere $100 million?

ps. Are you lending me this dvd?


Strannix said...

"Your eyes are precious to you... but they are only a "window" for your soul."

By their reckoning, do blind people have no souls? Or perhaps, they do, but their souls are stunted, since they don't actually have a "window" unto their souls, more like a one-way mirror. We can see the blind person's soul, but their soul cannot see out?

Much too much ponderous thinking for any hour before Noon, since I cannot start drinking till then.

Emory said...

Comrade, Mao-Mart shoppers have no need of Capitalist philanthropy when living in the consumer paradise.

There's no disease, no disaster, no famine, plague or war. It is all been replaced by 'smilies,' pre-package, pre-sorted, in a toxic free shoppers Shangri La.

In fact the only thing you can't find at a Mao-Mart, is social conscience.,,, Go figure!

complain away said...

emory, I'm a big fan of David Sedaris, and when I saw him speak here a couple of years back he got bored of reading from his latest book and instead told the best Wal-Mart story ever.

He claims there's a group of shit-bombers that roam from Wal-Mart to Wal-Mart and leave presents under the racks of clothes and in the changerooms. If this is true, I'm guessing we haven't heard about this (or at least I haven't) because of an aggressive cover-up campaign. Fantastic.

strannix, you amuse me while sober; I can't imagine the full effect when inebriated. I have to admit though I'm a bit taken aback by your prolific blogging. Am going to read more of your stuff when I'm not quite so overwhelmed. Or maybe after noon when I've had a few....