took on a new meaning today, as international retail giant Wal-Mart Corporation announced that it would henceforth accept indentured servitude in lieu of cash or credit payment.
“It has always been our policy to make our prices affordable to everyone,” said Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke at a press conference at Wal-Mart headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, “but more and more people have no money at all and their credit is no good. This is our way of accommodating them.”
RIGHT: Photo from poster of movie “Why Wal-Mart Works; and Why That Drives Some People C-R-A-Z-Y” by Ron and Robert David Galloway [CLICK TO ENLARGE]
I was able to meet with Mr. Duke after the press conference, to ask for additional details:
GlossyNews.com: Mike, can you tell us what developments led you to this extraordinary policy?
Mike Duke: As you know, Barb, the Wal-Mart formula of low prices has been immensely successful over the last forty years. There are around nine thousand stores today world wide, and our annual income is about sixteen billion dollars. As people can afford less and less, our prices become more and more irresistible. This is merely an extension of our formula.
GlossyNews.com: So why do you think people can afford less and less?
Mike Duke: Part of our business strategy has been to drive competitors out of business and then hire some of them at slave wages. This works very well, especially in the small and medium towns where the local businesses can’t compete with us, but now we’re big enough to undercut almost anyone. Naturally, this results in poorer people that can’t pay as much, so that drives them to shop with us.
GlossyNews.com: But at the lower wages, won’t they just end up buying less?
Mike Duke: Not if we can keep the prices low enough. We knew that we had to cut costs even further, so we pressured our suppliers to lower their prices, as well. They ended up closing their factories in the U.S. and relocating to China, Vietnam, Indonesia and other countries that pay even less. This made our prices even more affordable, which increased our competitive advantage and also made it possible for poorer people to buy more.
RIGHT: Photo from poster of movie “Wal-Mart: the High Cost of Low Prices” (Brave New Films)
GlossyNews.com: But it also impoverished more people and destroyed the U.S. manufacturing economy. How is that good for business?
Mike Duke: Part of our formula is to get the government to take up the slack. We made more of our workers part time with no benefits, in order to lessen the labor costs and qualify them for welfare. In fact we brought in counselors to teach them how to milk the system as much as possible.
GlossyNews.com: Doesn’t that mean that taxpayer money is in effect subsidizing your work force?
Mike Duke: Exactly. I thought that was a great strategy. Getting the government to cover our workers means that we don’t have to.
GlossyNews.com: But if they’re poor enough to qualify for welfare, how are they going to afford what you sell, even at the best prices?
Mike Duke: There are a thousand ways, Barb. One of the great things about Wal-Mart is that we are one of the few businesses that encourage government welfare. Isn’t that progressive of us? We accept food stamps, which means that some of our money comes from the government rather than the paltry income of our customers. We’re also immensely popular among people whose sole income is Social Security, who are increasing in number.
GlossyNews.com: Then why the indentured servitude offer?
“We have become wealthy and successful by predicting and encouraging the impoverishment of America”
Mike Duke: Wal-Mart’s success relies on recognizing the effects that our policies will have and the economic trends that we generate. We have become wealthy and successful by predicting and encouraging the impoverishment of America, and we believe that we have to plan for a future where Americans will have no income to spend. This means that we have to accept servitude in exchange for goods and services.
GlossyNews.com: What will this future look like?
Mike Duke: Much like the Middle Ages, Barb. I’m now making $18.1 million per year and my net worth is well over $100 million. When my compensation is paid in indentured servants, I’ll be living like a medieval prince, and in fact, I’m making plans to acquire a title.
GlossyNews.com: What kind of title?
Mike Duke: Duke Mike Duke has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?