Historian’s New Book Takes hard Look at Wal-Mart

High Noon in Aisle 9 -  | Miller-McCune Online Magazine

Wal-Mart Faces Its Day of Reckoning. Wal-Mart’s relentless growth and Darwinian competitiveness have created a world that is increasingly inhospitable to its own success.

Labor historian Nelson Lichtenstein has been following Wal-Mart for half a decade now, and he believes changes in China, and not in the domestic landscape, may force its day of reckoning.

Since Sam Walton opened the first Wal-Mart in Rogers, Ark., in 1962, the company has grown into a global retailing colossus employing more than 2 million people in almost 8,000 stores worldwide and ringing up annual sales topping $400 billion.

The sheer size and scale of the empire is such that when someone holds up a mirror to Wal-Mart, what we see reflected back are many of today’s most potent social, political, economic and cultural issues.

Labor historian Nelson Lichtenstein, a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, provides such a mirror in his latest book, The Retail Revolution: How Wal-Mart Created a Brave New World of Business.

He previously edited a collection of essays on Wal-Mart published in 2006 that defined the chain as “the face of 21st century capitalism.” He began to focus on the company during the long-running 2003-2004 grocery store strike in Southern California, when three major grocery chains cited fear of Wal-Mart selling groceries for their hard-line stance in negotiations.

via Business & Economics Articles | Historian’s New Book Takes hard Look at Wal-Mart | Miller-McCune Online Magazine.

Post to Twitter

Share

Filed Under: odds & ends

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

  • TH100It's time to protect our water supply! We can't survive without clean water, but we're completely irresponsible when it comes to protecting this vital resource. This week, a half a million people in Ohio were told that their water was so toxic that they should avoid any contact, and more than a billion gallons of mining waste poisoned drinking water for many Canadians. Sewage plants, factory farms, and other industries dump tons of phosphorus into our waterways, which is an excellent source of nutrients for toxic algae blooms. And of course, we all know the Fossil Fuel industry's horrendous track record of polluting our lakes, rivers, and ocean.
    We have the power to enact regulations to prevent these disasters, but our politicians opt to please Big Business instead of protecting The People. This week is a terrifying example of how easily our water supply can be destroyed, but it wasn't the first time corporations put profits over people, and it certainly won't be the last. Corporate power has corrupted our democracy, devastated our environment, and destroyed our middle class, and now it's threatening a resource we need just to survive.
    The same toxic algae that poisoned drinking water in Toledo could soon pop up in other states with similar agricultural runoff, and the Fossil Fuel industry is always working to get their hands on more land. If we don't fight back, more and more of our water supply could be contaminated. We need to stand up to corporate power to save our democracy, our planet, and our economy, but protecting our water supply may be one of the most important fights we have ever faced.
    -Thom
    (What do you think? Tell us here.)
  • LEGALIZE Democracy

    " We the corporations" On January 21, 2010, with its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are persons, entitled by the U.S. Constitution to buy elections and run our government. __________

    MOVE to AMEND

    a project of the CAMPAIGN TO LEGALIZE Democracy

    Help end Corporate personhood