These phrases catch 90% of Americans with the proper economic lens: Attention Wal-Mart shoppers: Lower prices, guaranteed! Every day value.
Demand drives what is produced.. if it’s lowest quality that is produced abroad, all production will go abroad to low quality sources. We will end up bankrupt. This shopping because we can “afford” to can sustain, but not nourish a family in a low Economic position.
What that family needs is employment. Big companies that work on these scales would rather not employ more people, they mechanize in order to reduce what’s needed. One of the tenets of Marx’s Economics was that the goal of capitalism was to replace the skilled worker with a machine. IN ECONOMICS, JOBS IS NOT AN INDICATOR.. STOP SEEING IT AS SUCH BARACK OBAMA. In other words, it’s assumed that each country will find it’s role and have full employment in that industry. As such, this shift is only temporary.. to our new industry. IT IS NO LONGER MANUFACTURING CONSUMER GOODS. We need to manufacture… what? Solar panels, windmills, car batteries, FOOD, or bombs……… see my conditions for a failed presidency, thanks.
Take food, for example. I work in Local Organic agriculture, in other words growing my own food without buying fertilizer or chem and now seed inputs. I produce more than enough for my own family, and form a small disposable income for other necessities. My product is unique, my prices are reasonable, and I get by without competing with anybody or stepping on anybody’s toes. I am adding value.
The purpose of a retail firm is to add value by delivering consumer goods through a supply chain to store shelves. They pay a rent and costs of labor and realize a profit. Wal-Mart’s chains are notoriously long and integrated, going with the lowest bidder internationally on each one. None of these are jobs that you would want, partly because consumers in the richest country in the world don’t want to pay more than 11 cents for a banana. This is slavery wages. To everyone involved. Wal-Mart promises low value, so they leave no excess on each link of the chain. Where do you think Quality comes in? It doesn’t. The actual consumer product utility experience is very low.
“You get what you pay for but,” can this mentality explain domestic poverty? It is, very simply, the destroyer of town businesses. IT causes terrible unsustainable sprawl developments that consume massive tracts of land and gasoline. It is, very simply, waste consumption. Very little investment is done at Wal-Mart unlike, say, a hardware store or Home Depot. Monetarily, it is keeping the consumer basket affordable for normal people, and preventing inflation, giving confidence in the short term, given that everything else in the world stays constant especially the price of oil or the dollar… It isn’t building skills capital either like machinists or carpenters or weavers. But… not exactly. Big corporations aren’t causing the recession. But they aren’t hiring. What we need is a new industry, that creates a ton of small businesses. [Caveat* not Funded by the government*] Small farming is one. So is researching new alternative energy (and fuel) techniques.
In food, organic farming is a great revitalization to support from the government level. See my blog. By changing to focus the industry on natural, sustainable quality, you get solid benefits. Some of the conclusions from an October 2008 UNEP report included: • Organic practices resulted in per hectare food crop productivity increases. • Organic production allows farmers access to markets, enabling them to obtain premium prices for their produce, as well as increased access to good quality, organic food for the entire community. • Organic and near-organic agricultural methods and technologies are ideally suited for many poor, marginalized smallholder farmers in Africa or other developing nations. [or here] • Recent food-price hikes and rising fuel prices have highlighted the importance of making agriculture less energy- and external-input dependent. • Certified organic production for the export market, with its premium prices, can undoubtedly reduce poverty among farmers. • Organic agricultural systems are making a significant contribution to the reduction of food insecurity and poverty and improvement in rural livelihoods in areas of Africa.