February 5, 2003
Wal-Martization Represents Destruction to the Global Community
By Mike Callicrate
Our freedom is being stolen away in every Wal-Mart bag
Last week’s USA Today article about Wal-Mart’s influence on the U.S. economy should be deeply troubling to all Americans interested in preserving a fair marketplace and healthy, sustainable national, state, and local economies.
Wal-Mart’s crushing market dominance is the result of unchecked anticompetitive behavior, including predatory pricing, worker abuse, and the shake down of suppliers. Wal-Mart is only the tip of the iceberg in the economic destruction resulting from ineffective U.S. antitrust law enforcement. Economists, from Adam Smith to Frank Knight, agree regulation of economic power is required to ensure the preservation of the free market system, which provides for the fair and equitable distribution of dollars within an economy. The economic and political freedom of America will no longer be available to U.S. citizens or to most working people around the world without swift and aggressive U.S. antitrust action to protect our markets from abusive market power and monopoly. When we lose our markets, we lose our freedom.
Today’s Wal-Mart and other competition killing business trusts, should be broken up, as were the monopolist-oligopolist oil companies, meat packers, banks, and railroads of 100 years ago.
In the name of free trade and globalization, Wal-Mart, Kroger, Safeway, and many other national and multinational food retailers have, with their supply chain partners, Tyson, Cargill, Smithfield, and ConAgra, promoted and driven the unlawful, highly-concentrated, centrally-planned model of business that is steamrolling independent businesses and busting our economy and many economies around the world. These dictator merchants and processors are not only harvesting and processing the commodities off the land below the true cost, but are also destroying the independent businessmen, farm and ranch families, and their futures.
Pandered, deceived, corrupted and frightened governments have facilitated the wealthy multinational corporations in forcing their irresponsible, dangerous, high cost, socially and environmentally destructive, industrialization of production, processing, and distribution of food and consumer goods on the global consumer. University and government economists, who are the economic equivalent of an Arthur Anderson accountant, hype the lies of globalization, the need to “give access to get access” in trade, and pile shame on U.S. workers and farmers unable to produce at Chinese or Brazilian prices, which are mostly dependent on slave wages and destruction of the environment. Everything vital to human existence, from commodities to consumer goods, and industries from agriculture to textiles, is at risk of being further controlled by a handful of companies.
This abusive, exploitive, and destructive economic model promoted by Wall Street, some universities, and this Congress and Presidential administration, is in my opinion, the greatest present threat to world safety, economic well-being, and peace. This concentrated money power has become overwhelming and abusive political power.
Deceived and manipulated people, communities, states, and countries are wondering what happened to globalization’s promises of jobs and prosperity as tax revenues decline and spending deficits explode and as they decline dumbfounded into deep economic and social ruin. Additional once-prosperous farm communities, where healthy, safe food and responsible farm kids were raised, will be turned into ghost towns. Left unchecked, we will soon wake up to find our life-sustaining food and fiber industries lost, and probably most tragic of all, our sovereignty.
This fearsome economic and political force, known as globalization, has turned our world into its own private colony of serfdom, to be strip-mined and plucked like a chicken. Under this corporate-controlled WTO globalization plan, cheap goods sourced in low cost, poverty stricken countries are sold by Wal-Mart and their friends for exorbitant profits in the highest priced consuming markets, like the U.S. Living wage U.S. jobs in manufacturing and production continue to be sent off-shore, avoiding the higher mandated costs of doing business in our once safe, solvent, prosperous, and free country.
Mutually beneficial trade between people lies in sharp negative contrast to the hate and discontent that results from unethical corporate dealing as it exploits low-cost, off-shore production. Global traders, with comparably little investment, are vacuuming up dollars created from production and manufacturing that once circulated and multiplied in our communities, along with precious equity, lost to below-cost-of-production prices, below-living wages, and higher consumer prices than a competitive market would allow.
The well-being, liberty, and freedom of every country, independent business, and person is threatened in the leveraging of people against people, and country against country, as these killer greed driven corporations, empowered by WTO rules, search the globe for higher and higher profits in the lowest-cost commodities and in the most desperate people that will work the cheapest.
Liberty, God’s gift to humanity, is not available under this U.S. sponsored, global economic dictatorship. If American’s won’t take a stand against this economic genocide, who will?
Some people who have spoken out for liberty, justice and freedom:
“The people who own a country ought to govern it.”
– John Jay, first chief justice of the United States, 1787
(From Wealth and Democracy, by Kevin Phillips, First edition 2002)
“The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance;
which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime,
and the punishment of his guilt.”
– John Philpot Curran, Irish lawyer and politician, July 10, 1790
“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in
society, they create for themselves in the course of time, a legal system
that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”
– Frederic Bastiat, The Law, 1846.
“As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption
in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong
its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in
a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the
safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war.”
– Abraham Lincoln, letter to William F. Elkins, Nov. 21, 1864. Archer H. Shaw, ed., The Lincoln Encyclopedia 40 (1950)
U.S. economy follows the Wal-Mart way, By Jim Hopkins, USDA Today: http://www.delawareonline.com/newsjournal/business/2003/02/03useconomyfollow.html
Mike Callicrate, from St. Francis, Kansas, is a cattle feeder and outspoken advocate for competitive markets, family farmers, ranchers, and rural communities. He is a plaintiff in the national class-action antitrust lawsuit against Tyson/IBP. The 12,000 head Callicrate feeding operation remains closed, waiting for a fair and competitive market.
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“The money and political power of Wall Street has stolen America’s food system, bankrupted our farmers and ranchers, mined our soils, polluted our environment, wasted our precious water, and left us with expensive industrially produced food that makes us sick.” – Occupy Wall Street Food Day, December 2011
Above: Ranching Reboot – Episode 4 – Mike Callicrate, owner of Ranch Foods Direct, sat down with us to talk about all manner of things from cattle markets, to public food spaces, the Bander, his feedlot and the pathway he built to market.
He shares valuable lessons learned from fighting against the commodity production system and how he’s built his own pathway to the consumer.
We talk about small community slaughter plants and public meat spaces and what that could look like going in to the future. We discuss environmental challenges, the food police and what it means when a Dollar General comes to town.
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- This Cattleman's Got A Beef
Photo: Sean Cayton - 2003People producing good food from happy animals, while improving the environment, shouldn’t have to fear the government.
Photo above featured in a 2003 article: This cattleman's got a beef, Mike Callicrate and Ranch Foods Direct take on the big meat packersby Kathryn Eastburn
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Editor's Note: This is the first part in a series written by John Munsell of Miles City, MT, who explains how the small meat plant his family owned for 59 years ran afoul of USDA's meat inspection program. The events he writes about began a decade ago, but remain relevant today.
They say that confession is good for the soul. I've been involved in a series of ugly events since my plant in 2002 recalled 270 pounds of ground beef contaminated with E.coli O157:H7 and now want to admit the embarrassing truth for public review. more
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