Once again, we return to the issue of errors in economics — home of incredibly insight arguments and utterly inane contributions. For the latter category, Professor Mark J. Perry takes today’s award for his contribution of stating Wal-Mart should be given the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize “for improving the lives of millions of low-income consumers globally.”
|By: Brandon Jordan Friday November 29, 2013 1:50 pm|
|By: DSWright Tuesday July 16, 2013 11:10 am|
Wal-Mart, which repeatedly ranks amongst the richest companies in the world, has a pretty clear business model. The model is structured on getting slave-labor based suppliers to underbid each other, fleecing Wal-Mart’s low level workers, and destroying competitors – usually local businesses – through monopoly pricing power. Needless to say it is not surprising that any even mildly farsighted people don’t want Wal-Mart in their community.
|By: Attaturk Monday June 3, 2013 1:30 am|
So not only are their employees suffering, not only do those who lose their jobs because of Wal-Mart suffer, but EVERYBODY SUFFERS.
Well, not everybody.
|By: Michelle Chen Saturday April 27, 2013 11:30 am|
There are few ways to make a decent living in Bangladesh, but there are many ways to die trying. The cruel weight of that reality bore down on a Dhaka factory complex on Wednesday as it crashed to the ground and instantly extinguished hundreds of lives and livelihoods.
As of this writing, the body count at Rana Plaza is about 300 and rising, with hundreds more workers still unaccounted for, and the 72-hour emergency window for recovering trapped people alive almost gone.
|By: Michelle Chen Monday April 22, 2013 7:35 am|
Wal-Mart’s business model runs on the art of delusion. Clean aisles and bright decor insulate customers from the unseemly factories that produce the brand’s sought-after bargains. But when Wal-Mart’s label was found plastered all over the charred remains of a massive factory fire in Bangladesh last fall, the ugliness at the root of the retail giant’s supply chain was exposed.
|By: Michelle Chen Sunday March 17, 2013 6:40 pm|
After workers across the U.S. staged mini-strikes at Wal-Marts this winter, a small crowd of Cambodian garment workers caused a stir by camping in front of a shuttered Wal-Mart supplier in Phnom Penh. The workers were protesting a sudden closure of the Kingsland apparel factory, which robbed them of both their jobs and tens of thousands in wages. They staged creative direct actions, including attempts to physically block the removal of sewing equipment.
Now, the Cambodians’ efforts to hold their former bosses accountable have paid off–in both money and political impact.
|By: Michelle Chen Friday February 1, 2013 5:06 pm|
The women of the Kingsland clothing factory in Phnom Penh have been losing sleep over their jobs. It’s not the grueling hours and poverty wages that keep them awake, nor the threat of violent retaliation they’ve endured for trying to organize, nor even the unsanitary, dangerous working conditions they’ve often complained about. They’re used to all that; what they can’t stand is not being paid for their work.
|By: Attaturk Thursday December 20, 2012 1:30 am|
“Well sir I guess there’s just a meanness in this world.”
|By: Michelle Chen Saturday December 8, 2012 7:00 pm|
Despite the occasional factory fire or sweatshop media expose, American consumers have largely inured themselves to the status quo of exploiting the Global South as our overseas workshop for cheap clothes, toys and gadgets. With the holiday shopping season in full swing, consumers have affixed even more tightly the corporate blinders, rendering the workers in Santa’s Workshop comfortably invisible.
But some of the factories churning out hot toys have recently been exposed as bastions of labor abuse.
|By: Anti-Capitalist Meetup Sunday December 2, 2012 5:00 pm|
The ongoing grassroots labor activism at Walmart in the U.S. reminds us that while the election is over the class struggle is not, and that class politics moves now from the voting booth to the workplace and the streets. For any Progressive whose political imagination extends beyond the narrow ideological confines of today’s two-party discourse, that is good news indeed. For those of us who consider ourselves socialists or radicals, it is essential, because those confines have rendered electoral politics basically irrelevant to advancing working class interests, as opposed merely to defending them.