••      Wal-Mart imports often-shoddy goods from China, made by slave labor, which intentionally eliminates jobs for American workers.
••      Wal-Mart's policy is to play King Kong and demand special incentives from local governments to build facilities. That all took place in Valencia County before I moved here, but whichever city and county officials gave away our local tax revenues should be ashamed.
••      When opening new stores, Wal-Mart policy is to undercut prices until local businesses collapse, then pull their advertising from the local paper so that it too folds, preventing the people from having access to freedom of opinion. (That likely did not happen here simply because there is no local radio and TV media in Valencia County for Wal-Mart to bully by threatening to cancel their ads.)
••      Wal-Mart's labor policies are notorious, and readers here have no doubt heard tales from their neighbors and family of the workers fired for saying the word 'union' or because they had too many raises. (Wal-Mart practice is to fire longtime loyal employees and replace them with untrained and scared new employees at minimum wage and zero benefits.)
One Wal-Mart policy that is seldom understood is that each and every Wal-Mart store sucks money out of the local economy. The recent hoohaw about New Mexico Gov. Martinez and film production incentives pointed to the residual effects of movie dollars spent here, with the usual statistic being that each dollar spent repeats thru the economy 10 to 12 times. Wal-Mart policy is that the local economic effect of store revenue repeats zero times.
Every dollar paid at the counter at every Wal-Mart store on all 365 days of the year is sent by pouch to headquarters in Arkansas. Every day, every store, every dollar. Bills like electric and water and taxes are paid from Arkansas. Payroll checks draw on Arkansas banks. (Readers who have paid Wal-Mart by check can read the bank of deposit on the back of each cancelled check.)
The intention is that all revenue is kept out of the local economy. As local businesses dry up, Wal-Mart expects to rule more and more of the economy.
There is a pile of three trillion dollars in cash (likely invested in gold and eurodollars) sitting in European banks, keeping American wages low and keeping loans tight and keeping taxes unpaid.
One trillion belongs to the insurance industry, another trillion belongs to the pharmaceutical industry, the third trillion belongs to the financial industry (banks and Wall Street hooligans.).
The last such 'tax holiday' was in 2004, when U.S corporations were allowed to pay a mere 5¼% levy (instead of 35%) on $362 billion in repatriated foreign profits. The 80% tax reduction cost U.S. tax payers $70 billion.
These trillions of offshore dollars are being held hostage while lobbyists and the fascist U.S. Chamber of Commerce pressure Congress to reduce taxes paid on cash brought to America by corporations. Their record-breaking unearned wealth is swelling on the backs of labor, and all that ill-gotten gain is not enough.
Meanwhile, the best thing that Valencia County residents - and others across America and across the Planet - can do for the local economy is to boycott Wal-Mart – that is, not set foot in their stores – and buy from local businesses. The dollars can then percolate 10 to 12 times thru the local economy and increase tax revenue and create jobs, all of that.
Wouldn't it be cool if Wal-Mart shut down and Alco and Bealls and all the rest re-opened?
[copyright 2011 by Gary Edward Nordell, all rights reserved]
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