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Slashing Prices, Stabbing Backs - Essay Example

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Wal Mart, the world's biggest retailer, is engaged in an ongoing propaganda battle to convince the public that it has the lowest prices and the benevolence of Mother Theresa. Nobody brags more about Wal-Mart's charity than Wal-Mart, and no one collects more corporate welfare than the Walton Family…
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Slashing Prices, Stabbing Backs Wal Mart, the world's biggest retailer, is engaged in an ongoing propaganda battle to convince the public that it has the lowest prices and the benevolence of Mother Theresa. Nobody brags more about Wal-Mart's charity than Wal-Mart, and no one collects more corporate welfare than the Walton Family. In truth, Wal-Mart has a family and corporate philosophy to cut prices, not based on generosity to consumers, but to increase their wealth. Wal-Mart is a textbook example of a domineering corporate class that exploits the social stratification, and misleads the public at every opportunity.
Wal-Mart has been successful in perpetuating their elitist position through the manipulation of media outlets, political groups, and public policy organizations. They have continually pursued a conflict of interest course by donating money to those that are supposed to produce an unbiased report on them. On a local level, they have used contacts with other elitists, and political corruption to gain favorable zoning ordinances for their stores. Public policy is often cheated by research on Wal-Mart that is financed by Wal-Mart. These are typical examples of the transgressions made by the power elite as they seek to dominate the lower classes.
Wal-Mart has brought significant harm to the middle and lower classes. They have exploited gender as well ethnicity in their quest for control. They reveal their own stand when Sally Pipes, a reporter with a financial interest in Wal-Mart, defends the company against a charge of sex discrimination by claiming, "The case against Wal-Mart, [...] follows the standard feminist stereotype of women as victims, men as villains and large corporations as inherently evil" (qtd. Barbaro & Strom, 2006). The reply makes it obvious that they see the world through the lens of strata domination. Meanwhile, Wal-Mart exploits the working class by exporting vast numbers of manufacturing jobs. The damage they have done to our neighborhoods can be seen when they brag in one of their fact sheets that they had 25,000 people begging for a low paying job of any kind, but there were only 325 available (Wal-Mart). We need to remind the Walton's that in a capitalist system, the excessive labor supply is only good for Wal-Mart.
How do they get all this by an American public with a relatively high literacy rate and a free press They do it the old fashioned way. They lie. They release a press release that extols their efforts to provide health insurance while internal memos show that they are planning to sabotage the plan. They boast of their charitable giving while Wal-Mart's payroll is subsidized by welfare as they keep their workers in low pay and part time positions making them qualified for public assistance. They produce dreams of jobs and money for neighborhoods while their plan is to come in, bleed it, and leave an empty carcass of a store to blight the landscape.
Being controlled by one family since its inception, Wal-Mart has developed a corporate culture as extreme as any in America. They self promoted themselves as the lowest prices and made in America, but the truth is that they are a bait and switch exporter of jobs and income. They have honed the art of power domination and have extended it to cover class, gender, and ethnicity. They continue to abuse their workers while a parade of reports and press releases dazzle the public. Their size alone may dictate that they are here for the long haul. However, the next time you see them slashing prices, you might not want to turn your back on them.
References
Barbaro, M., & Strom, S. (2006, September 8). Wal-Mart finds an ally in conservatives. New York Times. Retrieved October 19, 2006, from http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/08/business/08walmart.htmlex=1315368000&en=080c24ed1fa6aae6&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss
Wal-Mart. (n.d.). Good for Americas communities. Wal-Mart Fact Sheet. Bentonville, AR: Read More
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