WALMART – Child Labor, Gender Inequality, Unfair Labor Practices, Human Rights Violations and Sanctioned Communism = BIG Savings for YOU! (part 1)

Unless you have a weak grasp of the concept of sarcasm, you can identify my stance as definitely anti-Walmart.  I am not saying that I am anti-China when it comes to the manufacturing and exporting of goods as they have as much a right to make and distribute as the next country.  My problem lies with the American people who shop at Walmart, not because it is necessarily geographically more convenient, but because it sells cheap goods at low prices.  The age-old addage “You get what you pay for.” comes to mind when you consider what you are getting when you shell out your hard-earned money.  Let us examine some unseen benefits:

 1. Your reduced cost is in part a result of buying goods manufactured in a country where there are fewer safety, environmental and health regulations in place.  The result is that the workers making the goods have a much higher instance of industrial/chemical illnesses, the goods themselves have a higher probability of being tainted or requiring recalls when pets get sick or children get injured.

“I’m scared to death. We are dependent on our government inspecting things,” said Joyce Simple, a church secretary, interviewed on a recent shopping trip to a Wal-Mart in Houston. “I would be careful of anything that came from China.”

“Here we’re buying all of these products from China and they’re not adhering to our standards. It’s very disturbing,” said Joanne Metler, a community college teacher in Chicago.

 The good news is that the savings generated from the lax or severely reduced industrial standards are passed on to you.

2. The labor used to manufacture the goods you buy so cheaply at Walmart is often comprised of a combination made up of your standard working class mixed with children as young as eight or twelve years old.  They work sometimes up to 15 hour days in plants where there is little regard for safety or human rights and with no appreciable health benefits aside from the lowest government standards.  Granted, labor laws and child welfare mean different things depending on where you are or what country you are in.  I suppose that the Walmart shoppers who reap the benefits of low costs partly derived from underage workers and deplorable conditions can compare a twelve year old laborer in China to the typical twelve year old in Darfur who (depending on gender) deal daily with rape, murder, maiming and even worse working or living conditions.

Perhaps the US could back a communist regime in the Sudan or the Ivory Coast, and then when the government has the populace under control we can import even cheaper goods from areas where there are no human rights at all and the workers lose a foot if they don’t meet their quota during a 15 or 18 hour shift.  The possibilities are endless, but for now we will have to make do with cheap goods that travel from China, (through very lax customs agents) to Walmart, to you.

“Ultimately, the U.S. consumer is attracted to cheap Chinese goods. As long as they keep the price low, U.S. consumers will keep buying,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s

I’ll continue this at a later date, when this nauseous feeling has subsided a bit and I no longer taste the bile resulting from such a disgusting topic.  In the meantime, save money by shutting off lights when not using a room or during daylight hours.  Maybe you can make your own coffee instead of getting your coffee at Wawa or 7-11 and save a few bucks instead of shopping at Walmart because the prices are so low.