Wal-Mart stores come into small towns and run the local, smaller businesses out of business. It's the robber baron mentality. They ruin. They destroy. They undercut. They devitalize. They do it by buying cheap overseas goods from third-world companies that exploit their workers (often children, slaves, and prisoners working in sweatshops) and that don't take care of the environment.
The company doesn't pay its employees in the US enough to keep those employees from having to depend on governmental assistance. In fact, Wal-Mart's policy is to encourage employees to go on government assistance.
The company wants as many people to be part-time workers as possible, because it doesn't have to pay benefits to part-timers. Also, Wal-Mart considers those who work more than twenty-eight hours per week to be full-time employees.
The company's policy has been to train managers to get workers to work overtime without overtime pay. Wal-Mart is being sued in many places by employees who have been cheated out of overtime pay.
The company is hyper anti-union as well. It hounds employees who show any interest in unionizing the company or any store.
The idea behind Wal-Mart has been to buy the cheapest goods possible from around the world, have as wide a range of discount products available as possible in its stores, pay its employees as little as possible, keep everything as computerized as possible, use JIT (just-in-time) inventory control, and concentrate on its own trucking among other things.
Discount stores had been around a long time. People in their fifties and older in the US will probably remember Five and Dime stores. The general store concept was also well established. What Sam Walton did was copy those who had combine both and added more groceries and some banking. Fred Meyer in the Pacific Northwest had made this format a success. Walton though focused on computerization and JIT and new large-box stores on cheaper land. He took advantage of the new road system and bedroom communities. People were willing to drive longer distances to do one-stop shopping at what appeared to be bargain rates (hidden costs of lower wages and globalization, etc.).
It's a bargain with the devil.
Now we've seen how the company has gone to great lengths to spy on even stockholders who may question Wal-Mart's tactics.
We've also heard about how the company developed a policy for over working their older US employees to get them to quit so that Wal-Mart could replace them with cheaper, younger employees.
The company also has a reputation for being sexist and racist to its US employees.
In addition, Wal-Mart has lied to many communities about the company's intentions in those communities. The company makes many promises and asks for subsidies in return to attract them into the community. Then, the community doesn't see the benefits promised. When communities move to obtain the taxes they expected, the company will acquire land outside the community's taxing jurisdiction and simply relocate.
Wal-Mart parking lots are often the highest crime zones within a community. They have been magnates for crime, and the company, despite promising to provide security, has failed to produce. Wal-Mart had conducted its own studies that showed that patrolling its lots could cut crime to zero. It didn't want to spend the little bit of money it would require to have a fulltime security employee or two in its huge parking lots. The focus of Wal-Mart security has apparently been to prevent property loss and union organizing, not to protect its customers or employees.
In addition, the company has been cited numerous times for serious environmental pollution problems within the US. This occurs because Wal-Mart tries to cut as many corners as possible for the sake of its quarterly bottom line.
The company has claimed that it is good that it is providing jobs in poverty stricken nations where its workers are paid as little as thirteen cents an hour and are warehoused in cramped quarters where workers are forced to pay the company rent and utilities. Wal-Mart doesn't push for a better working environment for its workers. It simply seeks greater profits for its largest shareholders, the family members of the company's founder Sam Walton.
The company pumps out propaganda about itself. It creates a company mythology that it puts out in blanket advertising. It uses public relations and advertising executives to come up with disinformation for the public. They paint themselves as good corporate citizens. Their record though speaks of exactly the opposite.
In addition to the Wal-Mart stores, the corporation also owns Sam's Club. This is a chain of warehouse stores. The same problems associated with Wal-Mart stores pertain to Sam's Club outlets.
The main competitor to Sam's Club is Costco. Costco pays its employees well and gives them good benefits. How do they compete and do that? Well, they pump profits back into the company rather than making every shareholder and high executive astronomically wealthy. It is a business decision that has worked for Costco. There are many other factors involved in why Costco hasn't had to be stingy like Wal-Mart in order to compete successfully against Sam's Club. This is not a blanket endorsement of Costco, but they are closer to the kingdom of heaven than are Wal-Mart or Sam's Club.
So what is the ultimate answer? The Church is the answer.
The Real Church is about bringing forth the means by which the poor will not simply be maintained in an economically enslaved state. The Real Church is not about just handing out consumables produced by the selfish system of capitalism, but rather about bringing forth the cooperative system of the Christian Commons. We seek to spread the cure to selfishness, to hoarding for self, and all the other manifestations of the satanic spirit on earth.
Wal-Mart is antichrist and has been blocked from entering many communities now that people have begun to understand the devastating impact that such a predator has upon them. What was once imperceptible to them is now perceived.
This is the awakening people need to do concerning the entire spirit of selfishness that underlies the worldly way, which Jesus exposed as the evil it is.
It is capitalism (competition rather than cooperation). It is the greatest evil on the face of the earth. It is the rabid love of money. That love is in the stream of consciousness (if one may even call it awareness of any kind) and consciencelessness going back to the root of all selfishness.
The company is a microcosmic version of the whole of what constitutes the plague that is capitalism.
Mind you, we aren't advocating Marxism (materialism) and its inherent violence in any way, shape, or form. We are advocating Christianity only. Marx was no Christian. Marx hated God and Jesus. He was lost and blind. He misled and ruined. Following Marx leads to hell, just as capitalism leads to hell. Marxism is just the other end of the same devouring system. It sits on the false spectrum with capitalism.
Community has its roots in what is common to the people, what they share. We share locality. It is one planet. We ought to share a number of things: Governmental (the method of ordering; organizing) participation; interests; and identity (we are all Homo sapiens sapiens). There ought to be fellowship. We should see ourselves as a whole (one). We should interact with one another under the constant inescapable truth that the whole world is one place under interacting environmental conditions.
We ought to be living only in accordance with the golden rule and the new commandment, which mean non-harm and, therefore, non-coercion. Satan is the devouring, coercive spirit for self that must be overcome. That's the message of Jesus and real Christianity.
The Walton family is a family of multi-multi-billionaires. They have devoured people for the sake of the Walton-family lifestyle. They are not known for their generosity or philanthropy.
Ted Turner, who started CNN, among other companies, shamed Bill Gates into becoming a philanthropist. Gates had been much as the Walton family. He had been giving back nearly nothing. Turner gave away ten billion dollars. People began comparing that with Gates's stinginess. Gate's public-relations advisors told him that he would benefit even financially if he were to give more away. So he started. Of course, he's giving to those causes that serve his financial interests. Also, he hasn't altered his company's predatory methods. Microsoft still pushes the limit as far as the mundane government will allow, and than some.
The Walton family has not taken the same heat Gates did when Turner gave away a large percentage of his fortune.
What we must always bear in mind is that it isn't proper to rob a poor Peter to pay a rich Paul. That's what many so-called philanthropists do. They rape the poor and the planet, and then they give to "high-society" causes that just reinforce the whole greedy system.
This Wal-Mart phenomenon is all part of the so-called globalization process, which is simply a way of eliminating the income equality that had been developing in the US especially after WWII and the recovery from the Great Depression.
Can Wal-Mart and the Walton family members repent? Of course they can if they are willing and than do it. Hardheartedness or softheartedness, which will it be? Which will they receive in the end?
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