What if six people could suck up the majority of the well-paying jobs in this country, buy off our government, and squeeze all the maintenance money out of our infrastructure?
Unfortunately, that is exactly what Walmart and other multi-national corporations have done to our economy with the support of the Republicans.
The handful of heirs to the Walmart dynasty became wealthier than 42% of “all Americans combined” by 2012.
Knowing what Walmart and other like organizations are doing to us is the first step in taking back our country.
The Walmart Model
In a nutshell, The Walmart Model uses the power of its owners’ fortunes to:
- Move its manufacturing plants to third-world countries
- Use its size to kill off smaller competitors
- Prevent unionizing and keep employees’ wages low
- Invest in politicians to maintain favorable tax loopholes and a guarantee of continued control.
How Did Walmart Take Our Economy?
First, Walmart closed our manufacturing factories, along with 400,000 unionized jobs, and shipped them to third-world counties to take advantage of “pennies-a-day” labor.
Then Walmart cut their employees’ wages so low that most have to depend public assistance to survive.
Finally, the bloated mega-corporation offered cheap products at a cheap price, the only price their employees could afford.
The Cost Of “The Walmart Model”
About 400,000 factory employees fell victim first.
Local stores soon felt the financial constriction as Walmart’s dirt-low prices came from unfair competition, and the huge company drove them out of business.
Walmart took advantage of the sweet tax benefits local communities paid in the misguided belief that another Walmart store was a good idea.
With fewer tax dollars, states delayed their infrastructure maintenance and lost those jobs.
Tax payers are screwed again when Walmart employees are forced to apply for federal aid just to make ends meet.
The China Factor:
China lucked out in The Walmart Model economy. First, it manipulated its currency’s exchange rate:
“Countries sell their own currencies in the foreign exchange markets, usually against dollars, to keep their exchange rates weak and the dollar strong.”
Then China invested hundreds of billions of dollars in our secure government investments and real estate.
At the same time, China suppressed its employees’ wages and came down hard against worker labor rights.
Finally, China subsidized a number of their industries, and all we got was a tee-shirt that said “made in China.”
Maintaining The Wealth:
So how do the Walmart owners and other like billionaires use their money to influence our government?
Walmart not only pays out millions to Republican political campaigns, it buys lobbyists to further influence our politicians.
Politicians are likely to spend more time with those who finance their careers than the rest of us. They are too busy raising more money for campaigns than to do their jobs, so lobbyists gladly come to their aid and write the necessary bills.
Naturally, those bills favor the corporations over us.
Republicans happily complied, and the rich succeeded as usual.
Walmart and other multinational corporations have a stable of lawyers to implement tax schemes to their advantage.
They also managed to move their headquarters to offshore tax-haven mailboxes, again, thanks to the Republicans.
There Is Hope
All is not yet lost.
We have the power to bankrupt Walmart, and that is the power of our dollars.
I haven’t stepped inside of a Walmart since 1999.
Granted my lone dollars do not make a mark in felling the giant.
The key is working together.
If more and more of our dollars go into local shops, eventually we can take back our country’s economy.