A trip to Walmart will never be the same

John Hale is an independent Iowan — thinker, writer, speaker, advocate, consultant. -promoted by Laura Belin

I was inexplicably drawn to a central Iowa Walmart Monday night. I didn’t need to buy anything, but I needed for some reason to be there – maybe to pay homage to those caught in the carnage in El Paso, and maybe to reflect a bit on what this nation has become.

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Fuzzy Math that Would Make Enron Execs Blush

Who would you say is the most repugnant corporation in American corporate history?  Is it Enron, who gave record amounts to the Bush-Cheney machine and bankrupt millions of investors?  Halliburton, the shameless war profiteer?  Or Wal-Mart, the company that has done more than any other to drive down wages in America and has set a new low for how it treats its employees?

It’s a tough choice.  The competition is fierce.  But lately I think Wal-Mart has been giving the others a run for their money, especially when it comes to cooking the books, deceiving the public with smoke-and-mirror statistics, and generally screwing over citizens and taxpayers.  It’s no secret that Wal-Mart treats its employees horribly, but Progress Ohio has uncovered troublesome data showing that the retailer is costing the Buckeye State taxpayers tens of millions on health care and welfare.  

You see, Wal-Mart claims that only 2.6% of their workforce and their dependents rely on Medicaid – that appears to be a flat-out lie. If Wal-Mart’s figure is correct, we would expect only 1,385 Ohio employees to be on Medicaid.  However, more than 15,000 of Wal-Mart’s Ohio employees and their dependents are on the program.  Unless Wal-Mart’s Medicaid enrollees have 10 dependents each, Wal-Mart’s official number is suspect beyond reasonable doubt.

That’s a lot of dough in a state that is under a lot of economic stress.  Wal-Mart makes billions each year and Ohio is suffering mightily, yet Wal-Mart would rather enrich executives (4 out of 10 of the richest Americans are Waltons) and send billions to China rather than provide decent benefits to hard working Americans in Ohio.  What is wrong with this picture?

If this concerns you as much as it does me, please join me at WakeUpWalmart.com  to help get our priorities straight in Ohio and America once again.  

The Ohio Benefits Report has been altered from the original publication. Appropriate changes were made to this diary to reflect those changes on Oct. 6, 2009.

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Wilderness Walmart Fight Rages On

Here’s an idea: Let’s build a shopping mall on the National Mal in Washington, or even better, how about a McDonalds on Half Dome in Yosemite Park? Don’t these sound like good ideas? Well if you’re saying NO, then you probably agree that they make about as much sense as the proposal to build a Wal-Mart Supercenter on the grounds of the Wilderness Civil War Battlefield.  Robert Duvall agrees also and spoke out earlier this year:

Just last week, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Friends of Wilderness Battlefield, and six nearby residents filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Orange County. The suit challenges the August 2009 approval of Walmart's proposal to plant a massive super center unacceptably close to the historic battlefield.

Video is via the Civil War Preservation Trust, and there is more after the fold:

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Help Needed Defeating Wal-Mart on Battlefield

Last week Virginia's Orange County Board of Supervisors vote to approve the building of a new Wal-Mart Supercenter within the historic boundaries of the
Wilderness Battlefield – and one of the most significant battlefields of the Civil War.  The Civil War Preservation Trust has been fighting Wal-Mart on this location for over a year – seeking an alternative location and compromoise – and after last week they desperately need everyones help to stop Wal-Mart from moving forward and opening the door to further destructive development.  

Even State Senator Creigh Deeds, the Democratic candidate for Virginia Governor, has written a letter to the president and CEO of Wal-Mart pleading with him to move the location off the historic battlefield.  Wake-Up Wal-Mart is helping in this fight and you can too by also writing a letter on the Civil War Preservation Trust's website and also help spread the word yourself.

More from Blue Virginia and the Washington Post below:

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Will Walmart live up to their PR on Health Care this time?

There has been a lot of talk this week about the surprising move by Walmart to publically support President Obama’s health care reform plan, supposedly positioning themselves as a

leader in the fight to bring health care to all Americans. As we mentioned in a post on our blog

yesterday, this might be easier to swallow if Walmart had any history of leading by example. Instead, they usually do just the opposite.

Given

Walmart’s long record of trying to build a positive

reputation on ineffective work-arounds to health care coverage

for employee, the recent revelations about sacrificing quality for cheap perescription drugs, and their deceptive PR campaign that severely overstated their workers’ health

care coverage, it’s not hard to understand our skepticism. [get the details in the extended entry]

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