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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Wal-Mart got served

The retail giant Wal-Mart got a rude awakening call this week after been ordered to pay at least $78 million in compensation for imposing unpaid work upon its employees. The retail giant, famous for its "everyday low prices" slogan, is renowned for the mistreatment of its employees, the practice of selling at below-cost, and the outsourcing of its suppliers to many Third-world countries, such as China and India, where they're prime sources of child and cheap labour. Through its marketing practices, Wal-Mart is also implicitly responsible for the growing U.S. trade-deficit, the increase in job loss, and the many closure of local manufacturing companies.

For the impulsive shoppers of Wal-Mart who's reading, please think about and keep in mind all these issues the next time you go to Wal-Mart to buy a bargain. The bargain may be short-term and enticing but the consequences of which would always come back to haunt you. Some consequences of trade-deficit include a loss of international competitiveness, or unsustainable 'booms' in domestic demand. In layman's term they represent currency inflation (i.e. the value of the money you hold dearly in pockets and bank accounts is worth less) and unstable economic trend (i.e. a bubble which bursts without warning).

For a more comprehensive look at the reality of a Wal-Mart economy, see here.

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