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Wal-Mart's political ties [21 Jan 2005|10:46pm]

This is a much more combative tone than I think is productive (maybe easy for me to say), but the points about the associations were still eye-openers for me.

To effectively battle corporate criminals like Wal-Mart, the public must be engaged as citizens, not merely as shoppers. What kind of politics could encourage that? It's not clear that our present political parties are up to the job. Unlike so many horrible things, Wal-Mart cannot be blamed on George W. Bush. The Arkansas-based company prospered under the state's native son Bill Clinton when he was governor and President. Sam Walton and his wife, Helen, were close to the Clintons, and for several years Hillary Clinton, whose law firm represented Wal-Mart, served on the company's board of directors. Bill Clinton's "welfare-reform" has provided Wal-Mart with a ready workforce of women who have no choice but to accept its poverty wages and discriminatory policies.

--- Liza Featherstone, "Down and Out in Discount America," The Nation, January 3, 2005.

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