Wednesday, November 16, 2005

New Website for The League of Women Voters

The local League has moved its website to Sometime this week, I will post a page about the Guilford County jail visit by League members. Two groups of us have visited now. Big decisions must be made in Guilford County concerning the jail. If you live here, stay tuned and be informed. Further, go visit.

WalMart: The Movie

On Monday night, I saw the movie. Several organizations are showing it in Greensboro and Faith Action has it available for checkout.

This is a movie Americans should see. We need to pay attention to the largest corporation in the world. The employees of WalMart are well informed by WalMart of how to get state and federal benefits. What a service! What this means is that the benefits, such as health, of WalMart are so expensive or so non-existent that the employees are told where to get other assistance. Further, it appears that WalMart employees are infused with loyalty, so much so that they work off the clock instead of getting overtime. How sweet and how family friendly!

Of course, there is the problem of where do such low wage, low benefit earners such as WalMart employees and others, such as recent arrivals in the US or those on the less commercial sides of town, shop??? Well, WalMart, of course. So those cheap prices keep people coming. One of the interesting aspects of this film though is the talk with the Chinese workers who produce the goods. They are not treated any better and the hours are even longer. A typical toy costs less than $1 to produce and retails for $15.

So really, at what price low prices? And think about this, many of those low-priced items because they are replacable with a newer, better gadget end up in the landfill. Do we have a value problem here?

For those who haven't read Barbara Ehrenreich, you may want to read about her experiences at WalMart in Nickled and Dimed.

You might think that the Waltons with all their megabucks might be really generous, but the movie says they are not big contributors. The CEO who shares a room at a convention or stockholders meeting, only makes 27 Million per year.

In my neighborhood, we still have a hardware store. It is not fancy and noone greets you when you enter and certainly noone makes a commercial about meeting there for coffee, but it is a functional store, has what I need most of the time, has a person who answers questions, and makes great keys! Search out your locally owned store. You might like it. And one more thing, the prices are just fine!