Peeking behind Walmart's promise to invest in American jobs

Great news: Walmart is investing in American jobs!

Great news: Walmart is investing in American jobs!

It says so right here in a colorful, full-page ad showing a very happy Walmart worker displaying more than a dozen brand-name products made in the Good Ol’ USA. The ad even gives a website (MadeWithAmericanJobs.com) and says we can learn more by checking it out. So… I did.

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Yikes! The website is filled with stuff not made-in-America. In the special Tips & Ideas section touting gifts for Father’s Day, Walmart promotes smart phones (none made in the US), flat screen TVs (made in Korea, Japan, China, etc.), and other foreign-made electronic gadgets that “will leave Dad happy.” Other sections of the webstore offer a Taiwan computer, T-shirts from Fruit of the Loom (which closed its last US plant in 2014), and an imported tent bearing Walmart’s own house brand. In fact, out of some five million products available for online purchase from Walmart, less than five thousand (one-half of one percent) are US-made.

Two years ago, when Walmart’s CEO announced the dazzling “Made With American Jobs” Campaign, he pledged to create a million new jobs for American workers. Apparently, most of those are to be in advertising firms and PR agencies hired to hype the corporation’s attempt to bamboozle us into thinking there’s some substance to the promise to invest in America. For example, one PR promotion touted a towel maker in Georgia as a beneficiary of the retailer’s new initiative. But a follow-up investigation by the LA Times found that the company was adding a mere 35 jobs as a result of the Walmart contract and was keeping 90 percent of its production overseas.

So far, Walmart’s highly ballyhooed USA campaign has produced only about 2,000 of the million jobs promised. The ad campaign expresses a nice sentiment, but where’s the commitment?

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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