Feeling Happy? Watch This.

Robert Greenwald's documentary Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price is depressing in such a globally mind-blowing way that it almost evokes detachment . . . the low wages that Wal-Mart pays its "associates," the government subsidies for Wal-Mart stores and infrastructure, the slave wages paid in Honduras and China, the reliance of Wal-Mart employees on government programs for food and medical care, the union busting, the misogyny, the crime in the parking lots because of lack of security, the coercion techniques Wal-Mart managers use to get the "associates" to work unpaid overtime, and the sad demise of family businesses that inevitably cave to the competition . . . and though there is a "happy ending" tacked on, which details how certain communities rallied and saved their down-towns and local business and blocked Wal-Mart from their towns, you know in the back of your mind that there's always another down-town down the road that will be destroyed instead and though I will never shop at Wal-Mart again (not that we go there for much, just for worms for fishing because the local bait-shop is gone, but I guess we'll dig out own now, because Costco doesn't sell live bait) but even if Costco and Target are marginally better, it still seems that we are headed down a strange path where giant corporations will choose what we buy, how much we are paid, and how we organize as laborers . . . but we'll have loads and loads of cheap and fluffy toilet paper.

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