La Profesora Abstraída

Weblog of Michelle Dion, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, at McMaster University. My blog has moved to Visit my other website.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Wal-mart Mexico seeking larger market share

Though already in first place, Wal-Mart is trying to gain even more market share in Mexico.

Have I mentioned that Wal-Mart is the single largest private employer in Mexico?

posted by Michelle @ 9:59 AM,


At 7/16/2006 10:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Certainly, Walmart's goal is to import and sell cheap goods to the Mexican people whilst exporting any and all profits to their share-holders. Thought they employ thousands of people at subsistence wages, what is the long-term benefit to the Mexican people?

This doesn't seem like a sustainable macro-economic policy--especially considering the wages that Walmart pays.

Last year Walmart was considered one of the biggest corporate polluters in the US (because of its craven, cost-cutting practices in the construction of these big-box behemouth stores); and their health insurance packages are so paultry that many of their employees go to the state to help care for their children.

The fact that these facts are not widely known is a testament to how 'the market' in the flow of information rewards the undemocratic and unethical goals of the capitalist investor classes.

The presense of corporate sponsored professors' chairs in universities has a similiar effect of dumbing-down the discourse in the academy. This has been well documented but it is little discussed within the hallowed halls of 'higher learning'.

At 7/16/2006 1:18 PM, Blogger Greg Weeks said...

I disagree--those things are widely known and widely debated, especially when new Wal-Marts open.

At 7/16/2006 1:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greg, well most people with whom I speak don't know these facts. And I mingle with a good many people here in the US.

When you have a huge swath of the population thinking that Saddam was/is connected with 9-11, then the fact that most people would not know that many of Walmart's employees need to go to the government to help recieve medical care, or that this corporation has been one of the countries biggest polluters, than I don't find it suprising at all that most of the population is ignorant of these facts. Especially, since 'the market' so profoundly shapes the information that most people are privy to.

Sure, some debate occurs in the face of the Walmart enslaught--but this debate is not occuring among the society at large. I suspect that similar dynamics play-out in Mexico.

Greg, would you like to address what you might consider the positives of Walmart in Mexico. This will be interesting, and such a discussion will proceed along lines that can be expanded upon and debated.

The fact that most US citizens are not aware of may things that are of significance is no suprise and is, rather, a truism--something that is so quotidian as to be almost undebatable. The reasons for this condition of the collective conciousness is infinately interesting, however, and should be debated in order to rescue authentic democracy from the simulacra of democratic norms that make changing the status quo seem a quixotic endeavor.

At 7/16/2006 2:46 PM, Blogger Greg Weeks said...

Well, I won't hijack Michelle's blog too much. I know many people, even those outside academia (such as my mother-in-law) who boycott Wal-Mart for the reasons you mention. As for the positives in Mexico, I think they are minimal, especially in terms of sustainable development.

Sorry, Michelle...maybe at some point I'll address this myself.

At 7/16/2006 5:10 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

By all means, feel free to discuss, but I won't touch that debate with a 10 foot pole. My opinion on Wal-Mart can be found elsewhere on my blog.


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