"I saw this when it originally aired on PBS and it made me both angry and sad. Angry that a huge BILLION dollar company cannot afford to give their employees affordable healthcare,put some AMERICAN companies out of business(Rubbermaid)because of their greedy buying tactics and overall have shady business practices. Sad because they have been getting away with this irresponsible behaviour for far to long. People are beginning to wake up and realise how much harm this company is really causing America. If you need to find out information for yourself please buy this film. You will walk away from it never wanting to shop at Walmart ever again."
Superb documentary from award winning PBS show Frontline
buru buru piggu | New York, NY USA | 01/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is another superbly done documentary from the award winning PBS investigative journalism series Frontline (Peabody Award, Emmy and many more!). Disregard what one reviewer said about this being pro-Walmart propaganda paid for by the corporation. He's obviously smoking something, because this is made and hosted by Hedrick Smith, a PULITZER prize winning journalist who used to write for the NY Times. He is one of America's most respected journalists. I started watching the show since I was in high school (I'm now late 20's) and their shows are exceptionally high quality. Now, if Frontline is interviewing people who lost jobs and showing Rubbermaid factory equipment being auctioned off because they got put out of business by Walmart, how is this pro-Walmart?
The story starts in America and its impact on the US economy. He interviews some professors, economists, managers, suppliers, and executives. Then the story moves to China and HK, and then back to the US. There are some very clear insights from nmost of the people interviewed especially from one professor who talks about the shift in American culture and business history.
Is Walmart good for America? I can't answer that and neither can Frontline. This documentary does an excellent job presenting facts without judgement and presents both sides and the complex shades in the middle. It asks some thought provoking questions. The US trade deficit is getting worse every day. Quality is going up (some "Made in China" stuff is now very good and getting exponentially better every year), and that's really scary for us in America. Who's the blame? Well, all of us. We're not competing well in the global economy, and we want the cheapest goods. We're not willing to put our money where our mouth is.
If you're interested in economics, history, social issues, this is a must see. If you care about the American economy, and global events, you should watch this documentary. It's loads better than the "Walmart, the High Cost of Low Prices" film (which is very one sided and not nearly as well done). oh,.. and start learning Chinese!"
smoothjazzandmore | Clay, NY USA | 04/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This documentary was first shown as a expose` on the PBS series, Frontline. It started a trend. It asks the hard questions about how Wal-Mart became the world's largest retailer, and at what cost? It is not preachy as with Robert Greenwald's version and it's not biased like Michael Moore. It gets both sides of the arguement to explain themselves and it gives the viewer the chance to decide. Very powerful journalism!"
Timothy P. Scanlon | Hyattsville, MDUSA | 04/02/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've never been a fan of Wal-Mart. Indeed, I'm not a real big fan of any of the big box stores but I find WM particularly offensive. So I saw this film.
It's really quite well balanced. The producer talked to WM vice presidents and other executives, a number of academics (the views of whom were not always so clear; they made observations of fact, not fitting them into a particularly value judgement of WM). And he talked with people put out of work by WM, even an Asian, from Hong Kong, who's had to wheel and deal with WM. He even talked with a talking head from libertarian think tank the Cato Institute. (He said no more or less than I would expect from Cato. They exist to provide the propoganda that guy's spreading.)
True, Wal-Mart had humble beginnings. It seemed like a good idea at the time. But it's become a corporate behemoth some of the consequences of which the film didn't even cover, or did so to briefly that the viewer barely perceives the lack of benefits provided by a mega-profit company.
Then there's the rah rah, cheering sessions employees must undergo daily. I know of them as my mother worked for WM for a short time while in her 70s. That cheerleader element of the company is what turned her off instantly.
What's the bottom line? There are several: US companies are laying people off and closing plants so that Chinese workers can make 30 cents an hour producing products for us. Eventually, though, we few of us will afford those products and by then our trade deficit, already at record levels, will be due.
Also WM pays little, requires of its employees a frightening herd mentality reminiscent of political regimes we try to forget.
Well, one could go on for pages.
For anyone wondering about whether to patronize WM, or even allow one in their neighborhood, I strongly recommend this. And I agree with another reviewer or two: No, WM ISN'T good for America."
Why is everything made in China now?
Jim Janecek | 12/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"get this documentary and you will find out why.
this is an absolutely fascinating look at how a single corporation can have the power to change the market.
This film is NOT about how WalMart treats its employees...it is about how WalMart treats its SUPPLIERS!
If you believe in the Free Market, you should watch this. You may be in for a shock."