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Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Stench Of Bentonville Spreads To Mexico — And Back

The Stench Of Bentonville Spreads To Mexico — And Back

Wal-mart has long boasted of its “Always Low Prices,” but now it has confirmed that it also has “Always low morals.”

The bottom line has always been THE line for Wal-mart executives, and sinking to the ethical bottom to enhance that line has not only been tolerated, but legitimized as a proven path to executive promotion and riches. Squeezing suppliers, crushing competitors, exploiting employees, using enslaved workers in foreign factories and resorting to other brutish tactics to pound out another dollar in profit are central components of Wal-mart’s management ethos and business plan.

Now, we can add bribery to the list of accepted practices — so accepted that even getting caught at it doesn’t mean you get fired.

Walmart de Mexico is now the largest retailer and employer in that country, an exalted status that it gained the old-fashioned way: by doling out millions of dollars in corporate bribes. With sluggish sales and a tarnished brand in the U.S., the retailing giant has been pushing hard to expand internationally, and in amazingly short time, its Mexican branch became huge, with one out of five Walmart stores presently located there.

All it took, we now learn from an excellent investigative report by The New York Times, was the systematic spreading of muchos, muchos pesos to government officials across the country to gain needed permits quickly, dodge environmental restrictions and generally have the company’s path cleared for market domination.

Not only is this wrong, it is seriously criminal — a blatant violation of our Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. And, lest you think the corruption was the work of some lower-level manager gone rogue, the knowledge of this wholesale bribery scheme goes all the way to the top, including the current and one former CEO.

David Tovar, a Wal-mart PR agent, was rushed out as the scandal was gaining media coverage to assert, disingenuously, “We are committed to getting to the bottom of this matter.” Too late, sir. Wal-mart already reached bottom.

Apparently, though, a skunk doesn’t smell its own stink — or at least it’s not offended by it.

Thus Wal-mart honchos are addressing the nauseating stench of this still-evolving bribery scandal as though it’s coming from somewhere else.

“We are deeply concerned by these allegations,” declared PR man Tovar, “and are working aggressively to determine what happened.”

  • William Deutschlander

    Does anyone remember how Wal Mart derided Kmart for selling goods made in China, while they were adopting Kmarts business model to the tee?

    Sam’ vision is long gone, as Wal Mart expanded the family hired MBA’s to manage the complex entity that had outgrown Sam’s business model. The MBA’s instituted a different business model that relied on three elements, inexpensive goods (produced with near slave labor), low wages no benefits for employees (take advantage of undocumented and underprivilidged labor) and sell at low prices insuring that 90% of local business can not compete or survive.

    The Wal Mart stores lack customer support and often lack supply of popular items, many of the suppliers to Wal Mart were squezzed so tight for low prices that they dropped Wal Mart and refused to supply them product. Basicaly Wal Mart USA is at a stand still or is declining in attracting customers.

  • We used to laugh at how third world countries would do business. No longer…

  • Goods built in China and Mexico = SHIT!! sold in the United States..Thank You Walmart Lobbyists !!

  • Better look around…Walmart is not the only retail place with bad practices! And, their idea does work….it keeps the prices down and the buyers coming in the door! Not saying it is right, but saying it works!

    • oldtack


  • the reality that a company that has shown from day one that anything close to fair labor, fair prices or even basic employee safety, is totally against their rules.should have been burned to the ground decades ago. along with the fucking pigs who own it.

  • 1olderbutwiser1

    Next you will be saying there are no bribes here in the US? You have your head in the sand.

  • If people are so upset with the revelation of the dirty dealings Walmart has done, then why do people continue to shop at their stores? They could close down Walmart by the end of the month if they simply quit shopping their stores even if it ment spending a little more elseware. In our economy with family budgets not making ends meet or for that matter even waving at each other, the bottom line is getting the most bang for the buck, pinching a penny until it screams, getting the most for the least, and so on, and Walmart is doing just that. The American public in general could care less about what is going on in Mexico as long as THEY get THEIR “low” prices at any cost. Unfortunatly in this country, we have become calloused to the under handed doings of big business because it has happened so many times, that now it is common place and no one really bats an eye when it is revealed.

    Sam Walton (the founder of Walmart) is most likely doing somersaults in his grave as he was not a man who built his business on greed, which his predecessors have done since his death. I remember the days when if there were more than 3 people in a line, company policy was to open another lane, now there could be 3 or 4 lines open and the lines could be backed up to the back of the store and no one would budge to open another. I have gotten so fed up with waiting in line, I pushed the basket with $200 or $300 worth of stuff to the side and walked out. I rarely shop Walmart any more due to the fact that a lot of their merchandise is cheap, shotty junk from China or elseware. Yeah it is just that, cheap junk! I don’t give a damn how much I can “save” there. I, now even if I drive right by Walmart, go to Target which is no angle itself!

    • sonorasue1

      I agree with you regarding most of your comments about Walmart. Especially, that the American Public keeps Walmart in business, and in most cases could care less. I recently moved to a small locale where walmart is probably the major player. Bought paint which emptied into my trunk. it never tipped over even. They mixed it, and apparently did not close the lid properly. I was first told it was my responsibility. That it had to have fallen over at some point. Their district headquarters is indicating they will do something, but I have yet to see it.