"The unedited musings of a
“About a year ago, James E. Hoopes, a professor of history and
business ethics at Babson College in Massachusetts, began looking
at what he called the symbolic aspects of Wal-Mart.
The company's approach to commerce contravenes the American
dream for some people, he said. "It's a new kind of twist because
it does affect the lifestyles of so many of us," he said. "It is
an enormous employer, and it is identified with what's happened
with America in the last 25 years." Gone are many of the
high-paying skilled jobs that the automotive plants once provided;
instead, people are punching a cash register at Wal-Mart for half
the money, he added.
That perception of reduced opportunity carries over into
spending, he says. "People have a sense of being trapped in this
marketplace," he said. "You work for these low-wage jobs, and you
can have your American dream as long as you buy it at Wal-Mart. So
the dream is getting standardized, and downscaled, in a way that
hasn't happened before."
Clearly, there are two rants associated with
the symbolism in the preceding paragraph.
The American Dream as we know it is slowly vanishing with the
Globally, what Wal-Mart is doing is good for citizens of the
world, with one exception. (True costs are born by
vendor's society...as our the benefits!)
Regardless, of whatever rant you buy into, it’s
people that cause a Wal-Mart to become a 244 billion dollar company.
It’s NOT Wal-Mart.
I guess this is my point after all.
Academics to freedom-fighters rail about how
Corporations are ruining the world. That fits with the same
mentality that they would like us to believe—that somewhere,
somehow, there is a force larger than ourselves that is in control.
Deferring always to the higher authority, no
personal responsibility is required. Almost 60% of Americans own
stock in “those” corporations. Each and every day, people vote with
their feet and their pocketbooks about who wins and who looses in
the great corporate game.
It’s not the Corporations!
It’s you and me and our unconscious pursuit of
the American Dream that is responsible for all of the actions
(emergent properties) of corporations. Wal-Mart is not to blame.
Enron is not to blame. It is the people who own the
company—shareholders—you and me. It is the people who walk through
the doors to purchase the parts to assemble our American Dream who
shoulder the responsibility—plain and simple.
When the day comes that we stop blaming
everyone else but ourselves and finally accept responsibility for
what goes on in the world…then the American Dream will come alive.
Until then, the waters of our own disenfranchisement will erode the
banks of the American Dream!
Mike Jay, July 2003