U.S. Government Stimulus Plan = WalMart Gift Certificates = Support of China’s Economy

Jesse Jackson’s recent guest appearance on CNN’s Lou Dobbs continues to make me laugh. Sometimes humor is the greatest way to tell a truth. Mr. Jackson repeatedly referred to the U.S. Government’s stimulus checks as “WalMart gift certificates” — I laughed when I heard him say that for the first time and I’m laughing as I type it. While I find his analogy amusing, I also find an incredible element of truth behind it.

$300 is not an extraordinary amount of money. As many American downtown’s struggle to keep attracting consumers, WalMart parking lots always seem to be full. Just how many people WILL spend their check at a local business, a small business, or attend a local arts event? Habits are often hard to break. Will a large percentage of Americans spend their check or at least a portion of their check at WalMart?

If the answer is yes, then for which country’s economy are we providing a stimulus?

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4 thoughts on “U.S. Government Stimulus Plan = WalMart Gift Certificates = Support of China’s Economy

  1. I’m sure he exagerates to make a point but Walmarts annual sales worldwide are about $280 billion out of a $14 Trillion dollar economy. If everyone went to Walmart to spend their rebates there Walmart couldn’t handle it.

    But if they did, China only gets the cost of their goods probably around 30%, the rest goes to people who work at Walmart and stockholders.

  2. According to WalMart’s fact website, they posted U.S. net sales of $20.093 Billion for the 4 week period ending 2/1/2008. A whole lot of Americans are spending a whole lot of money at WalMart. If in fact “only 30%” of that goes to China…that’s a whole lot of money going to China. As for the “rest going to people who work at WalMart”…personally, of the people working at WalMart that I know, none of them are living a high income lifestyle. What would be nice is if that “30%” going to China were invested each year into building manufacturing plants in the United States and we were creating ways to put American’s back to work.

  3. Our sales figures for Walmart are identical. But here’s a little perspective, our number 1 trading partner is Canada with at over $300 billion, China is 2 with $280 billion. The Mexico and Japan at around $200 Billion. So with Lou Dobbs analogy, the biggest share of the money is going to Canada.

    But here’s something that comes directly from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are 140 million jobs in America of that 90% are location fixed. That means they can’t be moved no matter what. It’s really jobs of all kinds. For example, if you’re going to have your teeth cleaned or a root canal, you’re not sending your teeth to China. Here’s just a sample of these types of jobs. Police,Firefighters,Retail Clerks,Hospital Staff,School Teachers,Lawyers,Construction Workers,Truck Drivers,and Farmers.

    As for manufacturing jobs, if you been in a manufacturing plant recently you notice something interesting. There’s almost noone on the shop floor anymore. Most of the jobs doing actual manufacturing have been automated. I was in a billion dollar plant last week that was operated by three people. 90% of jobs in manufacturing and in things like engineering, sales, marketing and logistics.

    Take something like warehouse jobs. Where have they gone. With good supply chain management you don’t need warehouses. Go to a Best Buy sometime and ask them if they have anything in stock in the back room…they don’t have a back room for inventory.

    Long story short, Lou Dobbs is trying to make a political point while playing fast and loose with the facts.

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