Eyes on the prize, people.
Long before we watched Bezos' Amazon look on and pick up some of the pieces while the malls imploded, a little operation called Walmart destroyed downtowns and small towns like a cancer all across the country.
Now, today, on Christmas 2021, three Waltons combine, at #17, 18, and 19 on Forbes' list, to hold slightly more wealth than Mr. Bezos. (3 times $60B vs. $178B.) Slow down and process that for a moment. The crummy, low-quality, high-volume department store that wrecked retail and manufacturing America and has a workforce on food stamps is owned by - as a family - the richest people on the planet.
I'd rather have the downtowns and Amazon than the malls and Walmart. The downtowns, Etsy, and Amazon, say.
By the way, Walmart is the second "industry" in my sights for nationalization, immediately after broadband. But the department stores will remain basically privately-owned: by their employees.
(Interesting side note: I wandered around and explored a well-off but very touristified downtown not long before Covid struck. I only saw *one* locally-owned and operated business that was not a restaurant or a bar: and it was a *bookstore*. A local bookstore thriving in a very high-rent downtown.)
I'm not defending Bezos, his wealth, his practices, or his ugly mug, or any of those of his ilk. I'm just asking who started the fire, and why.
The third on the list of the wealthiest people on Earth, after Bezos and Musk (but ignoring the Waltons), are listed as a family. They are French coutouriers who count Louis Vuitton as one of their major brands.
Let's figure out how to break Walmart up. They broke us up long ago.
© Huw Powell