Brave New Films did a documentary Walmart High Cost of Low Prices about Walmart and their business practices.  Nothing is free in this life and this documentary exposes some of the effects that those low prices we love have on the community.  The documentary details how they keep their prices low by keeping employee expenses down and importing from China, which in turn destroys communities.  As employee wages go down, so does their disposable income and they don’t spend as much.  Plus when they do spend that money is not only leaving the community, but it is leaving the country as well going to China.

High Cost of Low Prices was an eye opener.  Not only did it make people look at Walmart different, but it gave a different perspective on people on government assistance as well.  There were too many people, who were full-time Wal-Mart employees, trying to earn their keep, still in need of government assistance, while the company is turning profits.  The sad part is that as long as the company is profitable, they can spread the money to the right places,  and nothing is going to change.

 Walmart High Cost of Low Prices (Documentary)

(2:22) – How Walmart Destroys Communities – Whether it’s a family rum hardware store or a small eye-glass store, when Walmart opens in small towns like Middlefield, Ohio long-established, independently run stores are hurt. The Hunter family open H&H Hardware in 1962. When a new Walmart was build in town, they were driven out of business.

(15:20) – How Walmart Profits from Poverty (And Sticks Taxpayers With The Bill) – Walmart stores are frequently short-staffed, not because they can’t find workers but because they want to save on their labor experiences. This comes from the top, the corporate doesn’t budget enough money for payroll. Because Walmart doesn’t pay fair wages, their employers need to go on public assistance programs.

(25:13) How Walmart Rolls Back Worker’s Rights – Walmart is one of the most anti-union companies in America. Store managers keep an eye on employees they suspect are either sympathetic to unions or are active union organizers.

(33:56) – Walmart Cheats Workers – It is estimated that they cheated workers out of $150 million dollars. Walmart would teach managers how to digitally change people’s time cards as not to pay overtime and reduce store experiences.

(44:35) -Subsidies – The subsidies Walmart gets from city governments takes funding away from public schools. When Walmart opened stored in Denver, they got $1.7 million in city subsidies, if the money had gone to the Denver Public Schools system, they wouldn’t had have to shut down three schools. Subsidies also give Walmart an unfair business advantage over small, locally owned stores that offer better pay and benefits for their workers.

(54:46) – Environmental Ruin -In Belmont, North Carolina, a Catawba Riverkeeper noticed that runoff from herbicides and pesticides was flowing into the river and polluting the town’s drinking water. It was only after the local news aired a report on the water contamination that a local manager moved those toxic substance to a better storage site. The company’s main offices were unresponsive.

(1:00:10) – Imports From China – In China, factory workers can live in dorms owned by Walmart – workers pay rent and utilities. If they move out of the dorms, to live in a place not connected to Walmart, they still have to pay rent for the dorms. Workers work in factories with poor ventilation. They are told to lie to inspectors about how many days they work: six, when they really work seven days a week. All of this to make less than $3 a day.

(1:12:33) – Greed – Lee Scott, the CEO of Walmart made $27,207,799 in 2005 when, the average Walmart hourly sales employee made $13,861 annually. The family who owns Walmart, the Waltons, is one of America’s wealthiest family, yet they barely give anything to charity. They are worth $102 billion.

(1:16:10) – No Security – Kidnappings, robberies, and car jackings…80% of crime that occurs at Walmarts in California takes place in the stores’ parking lot, yet most of the stores’ security officers are posted within the store. As early as 1994, Walmart knew that it had issues with its’ parking lot security, but they hid these internal reports. They also knew that adding roving patrols in parking lots greatly reduce crime

(1:25:06) – Taking Control – Walmart is a powerful corporation! However, we can beat them. Two communities, one in Arizona and another in Southern California did just that! They stopped a Walmart from coming into their communities.

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