Tag Archives: Walmart

Reality Check: Major Corporations Influencing Gun Control?

Major institutions across the U.S. are taking a stand in the debate over gun control.

Many gun control advocates believe this is a great move by American corporations. But what does it mean when corporations are punishing customers for behavior that is not illegal? Could these businesses become moral police?

This is a Reality Check you won’t get anywhere else.

In response to the latest mass shooting event in Parkland, Florida, major corporations and banks are now instituting their own gun control policies. Let’s first look at how banks are getting involved.

Bank of America announced just 10 days after the parkland shooting that it would begin conversations with its customers who manufacture guns to, “examine what we can do to help end the tragedy of mass shootings.”

Then in mid-March Citigroup revealed it would institute its own restrictions on gun manufacturer clients. The bank has since banned its business customers from selling guns to anyone under 21, and from selling high-capacity magazines and bump stocks altogether.

And now, Bank of America will no longer lend to gun manufacturers, including current loan customers Vista Outdoors and Remington.

While banks are private institutions, there are questions here about why banks would not lend to companies that are not doing anything illegal, but that the bank’s executives simply don’t agree with.

According to Bank of America’s annual shareholder meeting in April, a shareholder named Justin Danhof, the director of the free enterprise project, asked CEO Brian Moynihan how much business the bank was sending away, noting that Warren Buffett said he wouldn’t make a similar move in his business.

In response, Moynihan said that the choice was in response to those associated with the bank who were impacted by the parkland shooting. Without citing any figures, Moynihan said, “this comes from our teammates saying we have to help.”

Yet Bank of America, the second largest bank in the U.S., has made a unilateral decision that imposes a political view on its employees and shareholders.

Remember, these banks have trillions of dollars in assets. Bank of America alone serves 3 million small business owners in the U.S. and because their policies affect so many people, these banks can sway policy in our country without a single vote cast.

Now, what about the major retailers in the U.S. stepping into the gun control debate?

According to the New York Times, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart, two of the nation’s leading gun sellers, have opted to further restrict customers by raising the age to purchase any firearm to 21.

Dick’s Sporting Goods has removed what it calls assault-style weapons from all of its stores’ shelves.

And Walmart went even further. The retailer will stop selling toy and air guns that resemble assault-style guns.

The actions these major corporations have taken to address gun control highlights the power to punish customers for legal behavior.

But can’t customers vote with their dollar and choose to bank or buy products with a company that highlights their values?

Yes you can vote with your dollar, but it’s very hard when so few corporations are so large and impose their will. And that’s what you need to know.

The problem here is when major, private companies have centralized control. In a free market, corporations should be able to do what they want. If you don’t like it, you support a competitor.

But that’s not the system we have in the U.S.

Instead, it’s a system where cronyism has allowed a few large corporations to have massive control, and there are huge hurdles to anyone trying to create an alternative.

It is why, as I have said before, the decentralization of everything is what is so necessary in virtually every industry. Because it is decentralization that allows freedom.

That’s Reality Check, let’s talk about it right now on Facebook and Twitter.

Breaking: Black Friday WalMart Strike & Wage Protests Lead to Over 100 Arrests

With the family and feasting of Thanksgiving, comes the shopping and hysteria of Black Friday. Retailers across the nation drum up excitement in hopes of getting out of the red and into the black before the end of the fiscal year.

Protesters of Wal-Mart this year held demonstrations to draw attention to what they deem are substandard wages by these very retailers.

Walmart Protesters

Demonstrations were held outside 1,500 Wal-Mart locations across the country. United Food & Commercial Workers (UCFW) planned the protests by current and former Wal-Mart employees as well as labor activists.

Arrests At Walmart Protests

They believe Wal-Mart should raise the minimum wage to $12.50 per hour. This would boost a full time employees salary from $17,000 per year to $25,000 per year. Workers rights group “Jobs with Justice” says it’s not fair that American taxpayers are forced to subsidize the profits of one of the world’s most profitable companies, because the company refuses to pay a living wage to their people. Employees who can’t afford their bills turn to taxpayer provided programs like welfare, food stamps (SNAP), WIC, Section 8, and other support for those in poverty. Jobs for Justice says Wal-Mart, like many companies they allege, can afford to pay more.

Wal Mart protests 3

Los Angeles Times reported one protester dressed as Santa Claus arrested. In Dallas, there were 13 protesters arrested. Union representatives said there were arrests of 10 in Chicago, 18 in DC, 15 in LA, 15 in Seattle, and 15 in Sacramento. 26 were arrested in St. Paul, MN. Over 100 arrests around the country have been reported by Saturday morning.

Wal-Mart has 1.4 million employees in the U.S. Rally organizers are asking for $25,000 per year income for employees, saying it would give workers “more purchasing power, create more jobs, and improve the economy.”

One of the key ways Wal-Mart and other large corporations have learned to stifle demonstrations is trespassing lawsuits that ban protesters from their property. This is where the arrests seem to be coming from.

It has come out in the past that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has paid strikers with $50 gift cards. NLRB says this is to compensate people who really can’t afford to take a day off work and strike, but that need to make their voice heard or nothing will change.