Saturday, February 21, 2015
Macdonald lays out some problems she sees with Walmart
By Myrtle Macdonald, M.Sc., Chilliwack
t is very shortsighted to shop at Walmart. Most of the goods for sale are produced by exploited, underpaid laborers in unsafe, dangerous factories.
Most of both the “fresh” and processed food sold by Walmart is brought from far away. It looks attractive but it is hard and tasteless and it is not nutritious. To prolong shelf life it has been “purified” and treated with pesticides/ herbicides/addititives/ colors and genetic modification. It is sold at lower prices than organic farmers and local farmers and producers can match.
The use of pesticides and herbicides is forced on farmers by powerful chemical companies that control production of food in poor nations, and keep them poor and exploited. If they are not used crops become diseased. Then indigenous varieties go extinct. The cotton crop in India has been destroyed. Many varieties of corn and bananas have gone extinct in Central American countries.
Walmart is staffed by underpaid employees, overpaid supervisors and administrators and highly overpaid vice presidents and share holders. Out of fear of unemployment employees are kept "loyal". Very few get promotions. The raises being given now are so small that they are still not a living wage. That is not good business. It still is deceit and exploitation, a modern form of slavery.
Our own federal government, especially the food and drug agencies is intimidated by the powerful multinational companies. Our political parties lack effective plans to overcome this stalemate. In the 1930s president Franklin D. Roosevelt courageously brought in the New Deal which forced the rich to give up their wealth and create infrastructure jobs for the poor. That brought back prosperity. Unfortunately after he died the wealthy again were free to exploit the masses.
It is poverty that keeps the majority of people buying the cheapest clothes and food they can find. That keeps the poor worldwide getting poorer, the middle class becoming poor, and the rich getting richer and more powerful.
I challenge our political parties to develop policies that make locally grown and produced affordable. Only then will we have a government that is just and wise.
Myrtle Macdonald, M.Sc. Applied (in Nursing Research and Education), McGill University.
She is a retired registered nurse living in Chilliwack and now working with the local chapter of the BC Schizophrenia Association. Myrtle was a street nurse for many years in places like India and Montreal. She turned 93 in June and is one of the Voice's most popular contributors.
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