Walmart goes to the Devil

Wednesday, May 29, 2013   |   Posted by Jim Hightower
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Blending classical literature with the computer technology of subterranean imaging, scientists have made an astonishing discovery – namely, there is a tenth level of Hell!

In the 14th century, Dante, a renown Italian poet, detailed a horrendous descent through nine layers of eternal damnation that he had charted, with the bottom floor reserved for the most wretched of sinners. Yet, apparently in recognition of today's realities, Satan has had to add a new basement to his punishing Inferno – a special level of Hell to accommodate the top executives and profiteers of Walmart.

Their sins are many and well-documented: Paying poverty wages, using child labor, making products in global sweatshops, cheating US workers, bribing public officials, bankrupting local competitors, producing shoddy products, etc. In recent weeks, though, the massive chain's bosses earned their assignment to Beelzebub's basement by their abominable performance in Bangladesh.

First came their deliberate choice to profit from their suppliers' abuses of powerless garment workers paid $37 a month. Second was their intentional turning of a blind eye to the blatantly unsafe factories they use, including the hellhole that collapsed in April, killing more than 1,100 workers. Third was their diabolically-shameful denial of responsibility, claiming that the dead workers were not making clothes for Walmart on the day of the collapse.

This is Jim Hightower saying… And now, they have fiendishly refused to join nearly 40 other global retail giants in an agreement to help finance such minimal safety upgrades as putting fire escapes on Bangladesh's factories and allowing rigorous, independent inspections. Walmart executives explained that non-binding, unenforceable, self-regulation would be best for all concerned. And you could hear Old Lucifer cackling as he prepared their rooms in his new, tenth level of Hell.

"Wal-Mart Sets A Safety Plan In Bangladesh," The New York Times, May 15, 2013.

"Global Retailers Join Safety Plan For Bangladesh," The New York Times, May 14, 2013.

"Groups Press Big Retailers On Safety Oversees," The New York Times, May 17, 2013.

"Wal-Mart Sales Go Cold, and Its Shares Feel the Chill," The New York Times, May 17, 2013.

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