Episode 47: Walmart: Failure to Communicate

This week, we tackle the biggest of all the Big Boxes and examine the power of Walmart. Founded as a simple store by Sam Walton in 1962, it has become the biggest retailer in the world and the single largest employer in America. When he died, and his children took over, the company became a crazed logistics engine putting profits ahead of all else. The company is the pinnacle of free market capitalism and international synergy, but its power and wealth brings high costs.

Walmart is accused of treating their employees poorly, paying them poorly, illegally busting up unions, and even cancelling their already feeble health coverage. Walmart is one of the innovators of outsourcing to China and has changed (or destroyed) all of American manufacturing based on their connections to China and refusal to purchase from people who aren’t using cheap overseas labor. From sweat shops (and Kathy Lee Gifford) to the Walton Family and even government subsidies to their empire, we look at this massive chain and what they have done wrong and right.

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