These days, Facebook is where a lot of us do our politicking. Like most soap boxes, we do a lot of preaching to the choir there, but that’s okay for reinforcement is a good thing. What we’re hoping for, of course, is that our arguments, expressed in the cute little graphics we “like” and “share,” will be so brilliant that we’ll bring some fence-sitters over to our way of thinking or, better yet, help some certified tea baggers see the error of their ways.
The trouble is, we’re not going to win anyone over if what we post merely sounds good but upon examination doesn’t represent truth. If it’s not truth, it’s a lie.
Today I ran across an old article, originally posted in 2010, 16 Facts About Walmart That Will Blow Your Mind by Ujala Sehgal on Business Insider. Actually, the piece was more slide show than article, but it succinctly explained some rather scary facts about this giant retailer. I thought I’d take this opportunity to go over some of the facts laid out in the article, with my own observations thrown in for good measure.
1. Walmart has more full-time employees — 2.1 million — than seven times the population of Iceland.
My first thought when I read this was about the irony of comparing any aspect of Iceland with Walmart.
Iceland was hit hard by the so-called “great recession” of 2007–2008. Prices on their local stock market dropped by 90 percent, inflation rose 18%, while unemployment increased by a factor of nine. Oh, at the same time all of the country’s biggest banks failed. However, Iceland has recovered nicely, not by bailing out the banks and leaving their private citizens to sink or swim. Instead, they concentrated their efforts on helping people get out from under crippling mortgages and prosecuted the bankers.
Guess what? It worked. According to Bloomberg their economy is now a shining example for the rest of us:
The way I see it, we’re preaching to the choir. If you’re reading this, then you most likely somewhat agree with us, or you are at least tolerant of the our viewpoint. Unless you’re a trolling teabagger, then you’re here because you want to go slack jawed and slap yourself, so you can go on Facebook and post a link to our site and tell everyone how laughable we are.
If you’re the latter, you’re going to be disappointed. You’ll not find much fodder for your amazement here. The way I figure it, we’re all voting for Obama and Mitt Romney’s full of it. There’s no reason to belittle that point and keep repeating what a scumbag hypocrite he is. It just pisses off the right, and makes us feel smug enough that we risk forgetting that we have work to do. We need to be figuring out what it is we really want.
I can’t try to play to the middle anymore, because the middle is downright confused. All I can do is tell the truth as I see it; I can assure you that will usually be far from the middle.
Or will it?
Do we really see the middle? Most of the people I know think a lot like me, we share a wavelength even though we’re on different channels. We support Obama, kind-of-sort-of. We believe in offering our neighbors a helping hand when they need it, and think that would be good policy for our governments as well. So maybe I’m not so far away from the center as I think, it just seems that way because that’s what I hear. The Occupy movement has taught me there are still many people, young and old, who share my wavelength, so it’s not just that I’ve surrounded myself by like minded people.
Ever since the laissez-faire capitalist all but completely took over our economy, we’ve been told that we have absolutely no right to regulate business. If the Enrons of the world want to keep their houses of cards propped-up by breaking the back of Californians, we’re supposed to be perfectly fine with that – after all, it’s a free country and they should be allowed to do whatever they want. Likewise, if Walmart wants to employ practices that force their suppliers to move their factories overseas in order to stay in business, who are we to complain? After all, what’s the lifeblood of American towns and cites compared to the Walton’s or the Koch clan’s right to do whatever they like?
The ends justify the means. At least that’s the message I’m getting from two new cop shows on CBS, both of which indicate it’s ok for law enforcement to step on every constitutional right, so long as charges stick and society is protected. It’s as if the Strike Team on The Shield is suddenly a shining example of good, effective police work.
Friday night, the Tiffany Network premiered Blue Bloods, the new Tom Selleck vehicle. A character driven police drama revolving around a family of New York City cops, the opening episode is immediately reminiscent of the old Dirty Harry movies with Clint Eastwood. Here the premise seems to be that the police could be doing their jobs a lot better if they weren’t hampered by obstructions like the constitution.