Long before oil dominated geopolitics, rum was the original global
commodity, tying Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Caribbean in a
complex web of trade and credit. And Bacardi was the original
What motivated director Robert Greenwald to spend a year on a
documentary detailing Wal-Mart's impact on American life, culture and
A hard-hitting documentary, an embarrassing leaked memo on healthcare
and abandonment by customers who don't like its politics. It's
getting harder these days for Wal-Mart to put on a happy public face.
As the nation's wealthiest family, the Waltons could be
a force for social good. But when they choose to spend their fortune
lobbying for pet projects, tax cuts and charter schools instead of
providing a living wage for their workers, they are dangerous (and
costly) to the nation.
For once, Wal-Mart is acting like a hero, with speedy
delivery of water and supplies to Hurricane Katrina victims. If it
could only act that way every day.
Sounds like an episode of The Simpsons, but this
is for real: The retail giant wants even more of your money.
Like oil and water, Chinese capitalism and US politics just don't mix.
Last year, labor historian Nelson Lichtenstein organized an academic
conference on Wal-Mart at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Experts held forth on the Wal-Mart phenomenon, and
Talk about surprising developments, Wal-Mart has done something good.