Workers > Blowback

Walmart's Latest Scheme to Replace the Middle Class With an Underclass Forced to Buy its Shoddy Goods


By Stacy Mitchell

August 21, 2013


Walmart's planned takeover of urban markets threatens to cut off other viable economic development options.


Almost 30 years ago, as the U.S. was bleeding jobs, Walmart launched a "Buy America" program and started hanging "Made in America" signs in its 750 stores.  It was a marketing success, cementing the retailer's popularity in the country's struggling, blue-collar heartland.  A few years later, NBC'sDateline revealed the program to be a sham .  Sure, Walmart was willing to buy U.S.-made goods — so long as they were as cheap as imports, which, of course, they weren't.  Dateline found that Walmart's sourcing was in fact rapidly shifting to Asia. 

This year, Walmart is back with a new "Buy America" program.  In January, the company announced that it would purchase an additional $50 billion worth of domestic goods over the next decade.  This week, Walmart is convening several hundred suppliers, along with a handful of governors, for a summit on U.S. manufacturing