Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price (2005) Review
(More customer reviews)'Wal Mart, The High Cost Of Low Price' is filled with first hand testimonials and some hard-fact figures that will help in validating your hatred of this greedy giant, and visually exposes those in other countries who are ruthlessly used as slaves to produce the cheap products you purchase when you patronize this monolith.
These "jobs" provided to the labor forces of India, China, Bangladesh, and Mexico are not 'good wage' jobs even for third world standards. The people are overworked, underpaid, and forced to work in sub-human conditions. These human beings make 13 to 17 cents and hour, and work 10 to 18 hour days without breaks, all so you can have that $1.49 blouse.
Exposed in this film are the squalid, rent controlled apartments in China, provided by the company, that put to shame the most rancid ghetto house in your hometown. And if the employee chooses not to live in these rat-infested housing developments, the rent is still deducted from their wages. Wal-Mart has managed to lower the work standards set for these hard-pressed, low wage, third-world countries that other companies are going to follow, sucking down the standards of working all across the world.
The manager of the Mexico factories went on a tour to make sure that working conditions were humane. He was fired when he reported that the conditions were intolerably inhumane. In his own words, he didn't think retaliation would be brought against him for doing his job.
If you think it was a good thing that America abolished slavery, then think again before you go into a Wal-Mart. Just because the US is no longer "importing" slaves, doesn't make it right to continue to use slavery in other countries to produce high profits for personal gain. Wal-Mart's practices are no different than bringing slaves over from Africa to pick our cotton, it's still a cheap way for the rich to get richer at the expense of human blood and sweat.
Intermittently inserted in the film is a speech made by Lee Scott to the high-end employees and stockholders of Wal-Mart, which sounds very much like an Amway pep-talk. Lee Scott's earnings for 2005 were $27,207,799.00. The average Wal-Mart hourly employee's was $13,861.00.
Interesting facts: After 9/11, the Walton's built themselves an underground bunker in case of another terrorist attack, costing millions of dollars that should have went into paying back the Government for having to subsidize their employee's un-affordable medical benefits.
The Walton family gave less than 1% of their wealth to charity. Bill Gates, not even a nice man himself, gave 58%.
The "Critical Need" fund, set up to assist Wal-Mart employees in emergencies, received five million dollars from Wal-Mart employees (making $13,861.00 annually) and only $6,000.00 from the Walton family, who made, collectively, 102 billion.
Wal-Mart actually had a commercial campaign about "buying American" while all their products come from sweatshops overseas.
Wal-Mart has refused to address crime statistics that show an upswing of violent crime in their large, remote, under-lit and un-protected parking lots, putting their customers in danger and taxing the local law enforcement. The State of California alone paid out 80 Million dollars in medical benefits to poverty-level Wal-Mart employees because the 102 Billion Dollar Walton family does not want to give their "associates" fair medical benefits.
There are many ways to hate Wal-Mart and its ilk, and many books out on the subject, but I recommend watching this DVD so you can actually see the slave workers and conditions overseas that these selfish billionaires exploit without passing down their profit to the "small people" who helped build their empire. The presentation could have used a little more snappiness, and the DVD starts out very slow, but keep watching and you will eventually see the monster peeking out from behind your curtain.
Stop shopping at Wal-Mart. Just stop. You don't need their cheap goods that fall apart two days after you bring them home, and it feels good to know that you make a difference by not supporting slavery. Enjoy!
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Everyone has seen Wal-Mart's lavish television commercials, but have you ever wondered why Wal-Mart spends so much money trying to convince you it cares about your family, your community, and even its own employees? What is it hiding?WAL-MART: The High Cost of Low Price takes you behind the glitz and into the real lives of workers and their families, business owners and their communities, in an extraordinary journey that will challenge the way you think, feel... and shop.