Wal-Mart delivers at least 30% and sometimes more than 50% of the entire U.S. consumption of products. Why the monopolization of our economy should scare you.
A few miles down Highway 69, the Wal-Mart Supercenter at the edge of Prescott is a different world. The parking lot alone is the grandest swath of flat space I’ve seen in the last hour of driving. Then there’s the store itself. To fit the big box into the undulating land, the builders had to cut deep into the side of a hill, carving away as much as six or seven stories worth of dirt and rock.
The following is an excerpt from the first chapter of Cornered: The New Monopoly Capitalism and the Economics of Destruction, published by Wiley Press.
Even with a GPS and a good map, I have a hard time finding Diane Cochrane’s home, which is tucked in the crease of a hill a few miles east of Prescott, Arizona. The one-story green frame building sits at the bottom of a steep driveway that drops from a rocky road that cuts off a maze of streets that, as I drive along in my rented Pontiac, seem more like a mad Motocross track than the arteries of a neighborhood.
Yet it is easy to understand why Diane settled here with her husband after they fled the monotony of a Ford assembly line in Ohio. The landscape is a testament to the creativity of both humanity and God. Every one of the hundred or so houses in the community is unique. There are ramblers, chalets, A-frames, ranches, and log cabins. The terrain, meanwhile, seems to change in character almost inch by inch as the roadway drops and twists vertiginously into deep and scrubby ravines, only to crest a moment later to stunning views of a far shimmering horizon.
[Read more at Alternet]