Published on November 30th, 2011 | by Dan Bacher2
The worst of the 1%… could it be WalMart chairman Rob Walton?
I strongly urge everybody to vote for Rob Walton as worst of the 1% for his efforts to crush labor and human rights and drive local mom and pop operations out of business, as well for funding corporate environmental NGO efforts to privatize the oceans by promoting catch shares programs and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s privately funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative.
Brave New Films, the film studio that produced the ground-breaking documentary, “Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price,” is holding an online vote to pick the “worst of the 1%.” They’re looking for the person who is doing the most with their wealth to exploit the rest of the country – and to privatize public services and public trust resources.
Walmart Watch is urging people to vote for Rob Walton, chairman of Walmart and an heir to the Walton’s family fortune, as the worst of the one percenters. Walmart Watch is an organization that “seeks to hold Walmart fully accountable for its impact on communities, the American workforce, the retail sector, the environment and the nation’s economy.”
I also strongly urge everybody to vote for Rob Walton as “worst of the 1%” for his efforts to crush labor and human rights and drive local “mom and pop” operations out of business, as well for funding corporate environmental NGO efforts to privatize the oceans by promoting “catch shares” programs and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s privately funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative.
You can vote here at Brave New Films.
“When it comes to the 1%, Rob Walton and the Walton family are it,” according to Walmart Watch. “The Walton family has amassed more than $93 billion in wealth, making them the richest family in the country.”
“The Waltons inherited that wealth, much of it was created by paying many workers at poverty-level wages, offering poor benefits, and lowering conditions in the supply chain by demanding ever-lower prices. Walmart’s trade deficit with China alone eliminated hundreds of thousands of US manufacturing jobs,” the group ntoed.
Rob Walton himself has an overall estimated worth of $21 billion running the world’s largest private employer. It is estimated now that 1.4 million people work for Walmart or 1 out of every 222 people in the U.S.
“The dividends of the Walmart stock the Waltons own alone could go a long way toward making Walmart jobs good, living wage jobs. Instead he chooses to keep the average employee below the family poverty line and cut health benefits for hundreds of thousands employees,” the group added.
The Waltons have used the Walton Family Foundation to advance an extreme anti-worker and anti-human rights agenda. In the last five years, the Walton Family Foundation (where Rob sits on the board) has given money to the Heritage Foundation, the National Right to Work Foundation and other groups that advance the agenda of Wall Street banksters and other corporate operatives who have looted the economy.
Walmart Watch stated, “In 2010, the Walton Family Foundation spent more than $157 million to support the so-called school choice movement. This movement generally seeks to divert money from public schools to private schools through policies such as vouchers and charter schools. These donations make the Walton Family Foundation one of the largest funders of efforts to undermine public education.”
Wal-Mart gives $36 million to ocean privatization efforts
In addition to anti-worker and school privatization campaigns, the corporate giant also dumps millions into “environmental” programs to greenwash the privatization of public trust resources.
The Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA), a national grassroots recreational fishing organization, in August slammed the Walton Family Foundation’s contribution of $36 million to ocean privatization efforts through “catch shares” programs and the creation of so-called “marine protected areas.”
“Wal-Mart announced this week its efforts to help fund the demise of both the recreational and commercial fishing industry while also working to ensure that the next generation of sportsmen will have less access to coastal fish stocks than at any point in U.S. history,” according to a news release from RFA (http://www.joinrfa.org/press/Walmart_081711.pdf).
In a August 16th news release from Wal-Mart corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, the Walton Family Foundation announced “investments” totaling more than $71.8 million awarded to various “environmental” initiatives in 2010. The foundation handed over $36 million alone to Marine Conservation grantees including Ocean Conservancy, Conservation International Foundation, Marine Stewardship Council, World Wildlife Fund and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).
The five top grantees were: Conservation International, $18,640,917; the Nature Conservancy,$9,305,449; Environmental Defense Fund $7,086,054; the Marine Stewardship Council, $4,500,000; and the Ocean Conservancy, $3,757,768.
Critics of Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the world, have blasted the company for decades for being able to sell its products at cheap prices only by employing sweatshops, undercutting competitors, wielding its market power to cripple both competitors and suppliers, and flouting national and international health, safety, labor, and environmental standards. Anti-corporate globalization opponents have long regarded Wal-Mart as a virtual “Darth Vader” of retailers, as documented in the film, “The High Price of Low Cost.” .