Waking Up to a Walmart Oligarchy
I'm not a fan of Walmart. I don't agree with their employment practices and I certainly don't agree with their inability to support local companies.
Furthermore, saddens me that a company who has essentially built their empire on the backs of low wage earners and inexpensive product suppliers acts entitled enough to work with government officials to punish those Americans who choose to be free thinking individuals.
I'm AM a fan of alternative energy. I've been plotting and scheming for several years as to how I'm going to adopt alternative energy for use in my home and eventually, my workplace. I advocate for any and all new technology as it relates to furthering the cause of removing fossil fuels from the throne of being the "go-to" energy source.
Recently, I read an article that really spells it out for the American people. Take a great idea (solar) and take a massive corporate slug (Walmart) and put them together. What do you get? First Solar.
At first glance you might think that this is a great pairing. Take a thriving alternative energy source and a company with seemingly endlessly deep pockets and you would think that the outcome would be innovation at light speed and market proliferation that would be limited only by the sheer number of workers you could plug into the system.
Instead, you get a lobbying platform that attempts to shut down roof top solar installations by eliminating the financial benefits gained by residents who have invested in them. While they weren't successful in gaining political support for a $100 fee per month, they did get a $5 per month fee passed. This, my friends, shows that there is little separation between Walmart's will and our government's ability to execute that will.
If First Solar (and Walmart) weren't trying to build large-scale solar plants, I suspect that citizens with roof top solar systems wouldn't be paying the $5.00/mo fee that has been imposed upon them due to the lobbying efforts of Walmart and First Solar. It's unfortunate that we can't lobby the government and force Walmart to treat their employees better or to force Walmart to buy American - but we can't because when we try to speak out, we get arrested by our military-style police.
A sad day to all when free thinking folks who want to rely on themselves are charged more money for things than those who just lay down and let corporations make all the rules.