Friday, 28 December 2007

Breaking the chain: The antitrust case against Wal-Mart

I was recently reminded of a great article that appeared in the July 2006 edition of Harper's Magazine entitled: "Breaking the chain: The antitrust case against Wal-Mart" by Barry C. Lynn.

It's a fascinating piece that talks about the unbelievable power this huge corporation wields at all levels. Well worth the read.


Unknown said...

Larry, this may come as a complete shock to you: Wal-Mart has no power! The consumer has all the power!

That's right, Wal-Mart, without customers, has ZERO power.

Everytime I buy something, I, the consumer has all the power. I vote with my dollars. If you piss me off, I take my dollars, and vote with them someplace else. There is nothing Wal-Mart, you, or anyone else can do about it.

So, in terms you understand, labor owns the labor. The employer owns the job, and the consumer, owns the dollars. Between the three, commerce is transacted.

Bitch and whine all you want about Wal-Mart, but it has found the right combination of service, selection, and price that causes consumer's to buy.

Now if Unions could only figure out the right combination of wages, benefits, and co-operation, perhaps business would be a little more labour friendly. Until then....

Saskboy said...

I see Paul missed the class on monopolies when he learned about consumers having ALL of the power. Too bad individuals have a bloody hard time steering where their fellow consumers go, when it's the businesses that control the media that actually determines where people go to shop.

I was going to email this to you Larry, but it works fine as a comment here.

David said...


Why do you want to make consumer goods more expensive?

Every revolutionary retail innovation in history has been opposed by big unions.

They opposed the establishment of department stores. They opposed the revolutionary concept of mail order catalogues in the early part of the 20th century. Now they oppose Walmart's brilliant and revolutionary system of supply chain management -- even though it is making life less expensive and more productive for everyone.

Larry Hubich said...


I don't know how putting a link to a story in Harper's Magazine about the facts surrounding Wal-Mart (and yes - despite what you say - it's power) constitutes "bitching and whining".

Unless, of course, you view the entire world in such a way as to define everything you happen to disagree with as being "bitching and whining".

Healthy debate, discussion and opposing viewpoints are what democracy is all about. You are welcome to participate in this blog as much as you want. All I ask in return is that you try and keep it civil.

Happy New Year!

Richard_Cranium said...

Walmart does not have a monopoly. Check on what a monopoly is. They have the combination of exactly what Paul indicated that causes people to shop there. When all the other department stores and private business shut down, and only walmart remains, then yes they will have a monopoly.

Larry Hubich said...

Thanks Saskboy. I've seen the video previously.

Larry Hubich said...


Big Unions? As compared to what? Big Corporations?

Not even in the same league.

Richard_Cranium said...

I have a family member that has been working at WalMart for 4 years now. Yes, they do have to work diligently, and slackers do not last past their probation period, down the road they go. She has excellent benefits compared to many, and after a few years makes a decent amount.No not 25 bucks an hour but near half of that. Yes she would just love to be a cashier at the Sask Liquor Store, but that line is long. Also funny part is if a person quits or leaves walmart, there is a long line of people to replace them. The other benefit is that you can transfer to almost anywhere on earth that you want to.