It's 5:30 in the morning and I'm thinking about documentaries. I think it's because I fell asleep last night to Fox News and they were doing a one hour special called something like …. The State of the Economy and How we got Here. I found several things in the story interesting. I just wish it wasn't on at 10:00 on a Sunday night as I was about ready to fall asleep and didn't pay total attention. I'm in a desperate attempt this morning to find the story on their website to re-watch it. While looking around I found this news story from yesterday on tainted chocolate.
I am on a quest to find it and put a link up on this blog. Only because it seems important. Maybe I'm gullible and maybe it's slanted but as an average American parent, small business owner and citizen trying to get by in these times I'm interested in any information I can get to try and figure out what happened and the plan for the future.
On another totally random note….. Check this movie out on dvd if you get a chance.
Wal-Mart The High Cost of Low Pricewas one of my favorite documentaries (Ebert & Roeper gave it two thumbs up). I saw it over a year ago and I have never set foot in a Wal-Mart since. I used to go to the one in Lynnwood to purchase all my cleaning supplies, diapers and little ding-dong things never leaving without spending over $100.00 on "stuff", because there is so much "stuff". I would always get more than I needed because there were so many cheap things to choose from, that all added up when I got to the register. I was horrified after I saw this movie. I know my one sale a month doesn't do anything to change their business but out of good conscience I just can't go in there and spend any of my hard earned money. It is a must see, seriously.
Things I found interesting:
Cost for WAL-MART Factory Worker to assemble a product $0.18, retail cost at Wal-Mart: $14.96
2004: WAL-MART fined $3.1 MILLION by EPA, the largest ever for a retailer, for Clean Water Act violations in TEXAS, COLORADO, CALIFORNIA, DELAWARE, MICHIGAN, SOUTH DAKOTA, NEW JERSEY, TENNESSEE and UTAH
WAL-MART Costs Taxpayers $1,557,000,000,00 to Support its Employees due to paying such low wages (for health care assistance, housing assistance, energy assistance etc)
Average WAL-MART Hourly Sales Employee Earnings: $13,861
Walton Family worth:
HELEN WALTON: $18.0 BILLION
ALICE WALTON: 18.0 BILLION
JOHN WALTON: 18.2 BILLION
ROB WALTON: $18.3 BILLION
JIM WALTON: $18.3 BILLION
The WALTON FAMILY Has Given LESS THAN 1% of Their Wealth to Charity Bill Gates has given 58%
Find more interesting facts here.
I think what I find interesting about all these things is they all go back to regulations. It seems when things aren't regulated they spiral out of control and it makes me really curious as to who benefits from it. I'm not by nature a very political person, but I think I need to start paying attention. Not that I can really make a difference, but sheesh I think I should understand it and I'm embarassed to say, I really don't.