Wal-Mart's strategy of deniability

  • Article by: Harold Meyerson , Special to the Washington Post
  • Updated: November 28, 2012 - 1:38 PM

Horrible fire that killed workers in Bangladesh points to a deeper problem in Wal-Mart's mindset, both in the U.S. and abroad.

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dentesterNov. 28, 12 2:52 PM

Even though Walmart provides low-cost shopping for poor people and hires people with virtually no job skills, the Left hates Walmart because they're not union. And so the press is trying to tie this tragedy to only Walmart when we heard yesterday that other at least 3 other retailers used that factory as well.

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andersod62Nov. 28, 12 3:13 PM

Sounds like the editor who wrote this has an agenda against Walmart as I see he does not mention other large retailers such as Disney..., get over it Democrats, everyone is tired of your insane hatred of all that is not union. If I was Walmart, I close up shop in the US and go union in all of my stores, raise prices to the sky to cover the exorbenant salaries to union members and say tough luck to the poor who relie on those low prices and then I'd blame it all on you..., the Democrats wanted it, so I gave them what they wanted, go talk to them about it now..., it would serve you right.

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FrankLNov. 28, 12 3:45 PM

So lets take this one step further. Does the author know when he buys his clothes who is making them and what their working conditions are like? Why should Mr Meyerson hide behind ignorance and deniability?

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cavellNov. 28, 12 3:45 PM

When u pay higher prices for same item at sears or penneys, that means supplier gets more. Walmart beats down supplier and supplier pays producer of product less. Most stores get same profit but walmarts low price means little product maker gets less tHan usual.

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roscoe2511Nov. 28, 12 4:00 PM

Seems the Right wingers are bending over backwards trying to blame the left for the misdeads of Wal Mart. Standard strategy, your side performs misdeeds and blames the other for it. Any company, Wal Mart or any other, that advocates conditions like the reported factory is in the wrong. This article is about more than the single incident. It reports that there is a history with Wal Mart of ignoring safety concerns for the workers. They severely underpay the staff so that profit margins can be even higher. For the comments on unions, how much profit is worth loss of human life? Unions are about more than wages, especially in less developed parts of the world. They promote safety, ensure training, and quality too. Why is it Americans want not only inexpensive, but cheap too? We need to stop this race to the bottom. Wal Mart is not a philanthropist by providing these low wage jobs, they build their great profits on the backs and at the expense of these workers who apparently are not even worth enabling them to escape safely from a fire.

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norshorejNov. 28, 12 4:00 PM

This story belongs on the editorial page.It's certainly not unbiased reporting.

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wagn0404Nov. 28, 12 4:01 PM

Harold has taken Megan McArdle entirely out of context. First, I'm not sure what his standard is, but McArdle is no conservative. I recommend heading over to the Daily Beast and reading her actual article. Its a great summary of the economics of Costco vs. Wal-Mart, written by someone who, you know, atcually seems to know economics.

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buttlesNov. 28, 12 4:03 PM

"and say tough luck to the poor who relie on those low prices" == If Walmart paid a living wage there would be fewer people relying on its low prices. I strongly recommend that anyone who thinks Walmart is a victim rent (or stream) the movie "Walmart - the High Cost of Low Price", you might learn something.

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buttlesNov. 28, 12 4:07 PM

I imagine there were those who thought the owners of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory were the victims of unions and that low wage workers are expendable. It's a pity we haven't come very far in the last 100 years

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jerrymackNov. 28, 12 4:11 PM

@andersod62. It is amazing that you can read this article and the only thing you come away with is a political attack on Democrats and unions. Tell us why you have such hate for unions? Is it because unions wouldn't let these employees be locked in a warehouse making pennies an hour with no way to escape the fire?

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