Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Even WalMart is Hurting



In the midst of story about WalMart's latest stock price, revenue, and sales figures, was the revelation that the company is slipping just a bit. Not that the billionaires at the center have anything to worry about, but U.S. sales are actually shrinking, quarter after quarter.

WalMart is continuing to grow, but only through its overseas expansion, taking its job-killing model to sub-Saharan Africa, where it is needed the least. Sales are slipping in the United States, because of high gas prices (WalMart leveled local shops, so people have to drive pretty far to their stores) and poverty (see: leveled local shops).

Henry Ford and GM (pre-Roger Smith), for all we might disdain about them, understood that they would only prosper if their employees earned a reasonable living. The disparities were great, but it was understood that ever-growing disparities could not be sustained. As income gaps grow in the United States, and even middle-class people (in the Tea Party) push for policies to make them grow even more, ripple effects will continue.

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