DEFINING DEFLATION: ALWAYS THE LOW PRICE
WHEN WALMART SALES LAG, AND THEY START LAYING OFF
Then You Know They've Dragged Us To The Bottom
Everyone loves a bargain. But you have to have a good job to really take advantage of them. Walmart has made its' name by flaunting that, with low-wage, no-benefit jobs, and prices that forced competitors to cut their pay & benefits, or die. They began a race to the bottom, and they may have reached it. Thanks to Walmart, our workers are now forced to compete with workers in China, who earn just pennies a day. As if the resulting cost-structure weren't bare-boned enough, they cut pay and benefits to the marrow all over the US. Now their target market may not be earning enough even to shop at Walmart.
So, what's next? 99-cent stores, paying less than minimum wage? Where will THEIR workers be able to afford to shop?
America built its' prosperity on a rising tide: Everybody got paid better, everybody spent more, everybody made more. It worked. There were problems when outside forces intruded into our relatively closed markets: the oil cartel sent prices skyrocketing, but we recovered. Cheap Japanese goods hit our older, heavier manufacturing industries hard. But we adapted, switching to hi-tek, and service industries. Now we're outsourcing that.
We talk free markets, but it's all one-way. Most other countries markets are closed to us, to some extent. Ours seems wide open, by comparison, which makes a target of anyone or anything not well-connected, politically. And that includes our labour markets, especially.
We had an economy that was the envy of the world. It was insular, domestically driven, and consumer oriented. It worked, for most everyone. Then, for some reason, free marketeers were given the reins. As a result, our standard of living is declining, along with real wages. We can no longer assume that our children and grandchildren will live better than us, the American Dream from day one. What the hell are we doing? Or, more properly, what the hell are the Republicans doing?
If they thought they were serving big business, they were wrong. US businesses are getting their asses kicked all over the world. Now the American worker is feeling the boot in his ass, as businesses try to become more "competitive." Competitive with whom? The Third World? Is that where our lifestyle is headed? Shouldn't we think about this, talk about this, before it's too late to do anything about it?
Fears over recovery as Wal-Mart sales stall
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