Wednesday, May 12, 2004

The stock market's been getting pummeled over the past week - with the Dow dropping below 10,000 again - despite three months of optimistic job growth and starry-eyed predictions of a full-on economic recovery. Much as the pundits want to, though, you can't force a rebound to happen with wishful thinking, and you can't play the smoke and mirrors game when the surface numbers don't play along. Three months of admittedly impressive job gains don't even come close to offsetting the previous three years of hemorrhaging, especially when many of these new jobs are lower-paying - with inferior or non-existent benefits - than the ones that have been lost.

Between the truth about the economy and the increasingly disastrous situation in Iraq, you'd think John Kerry would be a shoo-in in November, with people abandoning Dubya in double digit percentages by now.

Of course, you'd be wrong.

The problem with Kerry is he isn't a true alternative to Bush. He's just a new suit of clothes for the emperor. Same tailoring, same fabric, different color...assembled in the same sweatshop Bush came out of. Right now, it's a personality game and Bush is holding onto a slim lead despite it all.

Kerry's stance on Iraq is simply that Bush botched things, not that the war itself and his whole approach to fighting "terrorism" are fundamentally flawed. Not only would Kerry continue the war as President, he'd send more troops to fight it!

His stance on big business is basically the same as Bush's, with for-profit insurance companies continuing to decide who deserves quality health care with an eye at the bottom line. He also voted for the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that "paved the way for the current media consolidation and huge cable television fee increases."

The fact of the matter is Kerry is a store brand band-aid on a gaping neck wound.

In related news, I think it's time for a little Wal-Mart refresher.

About Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart has 1,494 stores, 1,386 Supercenters, 532 Sam's Clubs and 56 Neighborhood Markets in the United States. The company has 1.1 million employees in the U.S. - the second largest employer in the nation next to the Department of Defense! - and about 300,000 overseas.

In February of 2000, a dozen meat cutters in the Jacksonville, Texas, Wal-Mart voted for representation by UFCW Local 540. By July of that year, the company had abruptly replaced fresh meat with pre-packaged products in all of its stores, neatly eliminating the need for skilled meat cutters and rendering the election moot. The company was reportedly proud of its novel "union avoidance strategy."

Wal-Mart employees earn 20% less than those at unionized supermarkets.

Only 38% of Wal-Mart employees have company provided health insurance--compared to a national average that shows 60% of employees are covered by company plans.

Three existing community jobs are destroyed for every two new jobs at Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart is the number one retailer in Canada and Mexico as well as the US.

Wal-Mart owns ASDA, the UK’s largest supermarket chain.

From Wal-Mart Watch, Corporate Swine, Inc. and The Labor Research Association
How much is that slightly cheaper [insert item here] worth to you?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

For the record- you fucking suck!!!

Another Acentos you missed; remind me to kick you

Anonymous said...

Aw man, I HATE it when you make me feel guilty by schoolin' me!! Damn you!!

Actually, I gave up Walmart for Target. Just felt like Target stores are cleaner, better organized and they have better sales in general.

What about Target?! How is Target?! Please dont tell me they're horrible too! I couldn't bear it! (sob)

Dyanna said...

Aw man, I HATE it when you make me feel guilty by schoolin' me!! Damn you!!

Actually, I gave up Walmart for Target. Just felt like Target stores are cleaner, better organized and they have better sales in general.

What about Target?! How is Target?! Please dont tell me they're horrible too! I couldn't bear it! (sob)

Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

I've not come across much about Target in my research on this. I'll be as disappointed as you if/when I do, though.

I did find something interesting comparing Wal-Mart and CostCo:
http://www.corpwatch.org/news/PND.jsp?articleid=10608

As for Acentos, it's my mother's fault! I kept hoping she'd show up in time for me to get there a little late - even emailed Eliel saying so - but it didn't work out. And I'm too broke for a cab!