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Keirsey Donating Member (508 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 12:44 PM
Original message
Wal-Mart boycott: Need more reasons?
This is waaaayyy beyond them being a big Republican donor. That argument may work with some of our Dem friends, but to expand to the other side we need to prove to them that Wal-Mart is just evil.

For example:

Wal-Mart's "dead peasant" life insurance policies.

In violation of Texas law, Wal-Mart has been taking out life insurance policies on its employees without their knowledge and naming the company as beneficiary. Another prominent user of these "dead peasant" insurance policies is, you guessed it, Enron. The difference between the Enron and Wal-Mart in this matter is that Enron didn't break Texas Law as did Wal-Mart. In Texas, it is illegal for any person or company to take out a life insurance policy on any other person without telling the person first. Wal-Mart chose to ignore Texas law when it took some 350,000 dead peasant policies on employees, including Texas employees, without telling them.

Houston Chronicle

Jane Sims always knew her husband was a valuable employee to Wal-Mart. She just didn't know how valuable.

Sims discovered recently that Wal-Mart, the company her husband, Douglas, worked for before he died, had taken out a life insurance policy in his name.

When Douglas Sims died in 1998 of a sudden heart attack, Wal-Mart received about $64,000. She got nothing from that policy.

"I never dreamed that they could profit from my husband's death," said Sims, whose husband worked in receiving at Wal-Mart's distribution center in Plainview for 11 years.

Companies routinely take out secret life insurance policies on the lives of their low-level employees and collect thousands of dollars when they die. The families never know the policies are in place and typically receive none of the money.

The policies are called corporate-owned life insurance policies or COLIs for short. But they're better known in the insurance industry as "dead peasant" and "dead janitor" policies.

Need another reason? How about State and Federal tax subsidies

Wal-Mart's free ride

How does Wal-Mart keep prices so low?

Taxpayer subsidies, that's how.

Wal-Mart, the Arkansas-based retail chain that is now the nation's largest employer, has a dramatic advantage when it builds a store in a Wisconsin community and then starts charging dramatically lower prices than hometown businesses.

Wal-Mart is able to charge those low prices in part because the company does not pay a living wage to most of its workers. But the company really cleans up in the area of benefits; instead of paying for health insurance for its employees, as homegrown Wisconsin retailers do, Wal-Mart steers those employees into the BadgerCare and Medicaid programs.


According to figures obtained from the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services, the annual cost to taxpayers for health care coverage for Wal-Mart employees and their families is $4.75 million. Of that, the state covers $1.8 million, while the remainder comes from the federal treasury. (The feds split the costs of BadgerCare and Medicaid with the state.)

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SHRED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 12:51 PM
Response to Original message
1. More...
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 12:59 PM
Response to Original message
2. Another reason
Wal-Mart is the main contributor to Con. John Boozman, who proposed a bill to allow preachers to tell their congregations to vote Bush without losing their tax exemptions. He routinely votes down money to help veterans and the military, and does everything he can to promote the Bush facist agenda.
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FloridaPat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 01:03 PM
Response to Original message
3. Don't forget the time they refused to sell t-shirts because a woman
in the White House as president was against family values. One of the female peanuts characters said someone like "Someday I might be president".
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Keirsey Donating Member (508 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Shopping for Subsidies: How Wal-Mart Uses Taxpayer Money
65-page report

Shopping for Subsidies: How Wal-Mart Uses Taxpayer Money to Finance Its Never-Ending Growth

Big-box retailing does not boost economic growth. A key justification for using taxpayer dollars for corporate subsidies is the idea that a large project will expand overall business activity in an area. Many analysts argue, however, that new retail stores do little more than take revenues away from existing merchants and may put them out of business and leave their workers unemployed. Its quite possible that a new Wal-Mart store will destroy as many (or more) jobs than it createsand the Wal-Mart jobs may pay less, meaning that they do less to stimulate the local economy.


Executive Summary

Over the past few decades, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has grown from a regional discount store operator into the worlds largest retailer. In fact, with annual revenues of $256 billion, it is the worlds largest corporation. It has more than 3,500 stores throughout the United States and another 1,600 abroad. Its profits last year were nearly $9 billion.

What is not widely known is that this wealthy companys aggressive U.S. expansion has frequently been financed in part by taxpayers through economic development subsidies. This report, the first national study of the subject, documents more than $1 billion in such subsidies from state and local governments to Wal-Mart; the actual total is certainly far higher, but the records are scattered in thousands of places and many subsidies are undisclosed.

The subsidies go not only to Wal-Marts stores, but also to the network of nearly 100 distribution centers it has created to facilitate its rapid retail expansion. We found that more than 90 percent of the companys distribution centers have been subsidized.

Given the absence of any centralized information source on development subsidies, we began with the electronic archives of local newspapers to find cases of Wal-Mart stores that had received such assistance. We then contacted economic development officials in each area to confirm the facts and obtain additional details.

This method, which does not catch subsidy deals that failed to gain press coverage or those reported in papers whose archives are not available, brought to light 91 stores that have received public assistance. In total, these subsidies were worth about $245 million to Wal-Mart and the developers of shopping centers in which a Wal-Mart store served as an anchor. Individual subsidy deals in those 91 stores ranged from less than $1 million to about $12 million, with an average of about $2.8 million.
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benevolent dictator Donating Member (765 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 02:08 PM
Response to Original message
5. Join the movement!

Also, if you know some people who might need convincing, the Detroit group made up this flyer which you could give them, it covers the basic points about why Wal*Mart is bad.
They're three to a page, double sided.
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