Is It Economic Contagion? Or Only the Flu?

NOT TO WORRY. IT'S ONLY A BAD DREAM. THIS WALMART WAS BOARDED UP AS A PRECAUTION BEFORE HURRICANE IRENE A FEW YEARS BACK. -- John Hayden photo

NOT TO WORRY. IT’S ONLY A BAD DREAM. THIS WALMART WAS BOARDED UP AS A PRECAUTION BEFORE HURRICANE IRENE A FEW YEARS BACK. — John Hayden photo

February sales are a “total disaster” for Walmart? That’s what the cable news channels report. It must be a slow-news Saturday. Sounds to me like a desperate stretch for a headline. The month is barely half over!

You say Europe is in recession?  Fuh-get about it! Europe is peanuts. Europe went out with the 20th century. Get over Europe, already!  Walmart — now we’re talking important.

What if February sales are a disaster at Walmart? What does that mean? If you’re going to have a bad month, February is the shortest month, and it comes early in the year. Might as well get one bad month over with and move on. Not like it’s part of the Christmas shopping season, or even back-to-school.

Still, the “total disaster” alarum started me thinking. We’re looking at a new scenario for global contagion. Used to be, a global panic could start in a small country, like Thailand.

Imagine what would happen if a vertically integrated, monolithic, retailing giant like Walmart catches a cold?

In many places, Walmart has already put the other stores out of business. The local factory has gone to China. Walmart is all that’s left of your local economy! (Has anyone seen the blacksmith?) If Walmart starts laying off workers, what are you going to do? Worst case scenario? Your local Walmart shuts its doors. Don’t look now, but your town is off the map. Erased! You just hit rock bottom. Where are you going to buy groceries?

Wait, this total disaster is only beginning. Remember Walmart’s legendary, worldwide supply chain? All hooked up to the same alpha computer? When Walmart starts canceling orders, it’s the cancellation heard round the world. Instant economic collapse. Stop the assembly lines! Turn out the lights.

Don’t worry. It’s not going to happen. I promise. Walmart will never have a bad month. It’s only the plot for my next attempt at dystopian fiction.

But let this be a warning. Negative thinking can creep into your mind when you’re down  with the flu, and it’s a cold, wet weekend in February. It could happen to you!

P.S. Never publish anything written while under the influence of nasal decongestants, antihistamines and aspartame.

— John Hayden

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2 Comments

Filed under Economy, Health, Life, News

2 responses to “Is It Economic Contagion? Or Only the Flu?

  1. Wal-Mart ~ Big Super-Markets have taken over Towns and closed small businesses. as the corner shops can no longer compete..
    But there is Light at the end of every tunnel!… and if there should come a time when Finances collapse then the Bigger they are, the harder they fall.
    I envisage a day when those local communities will one day have to pull together again, and come together again in pooling their local produce Forming co-operatives again… Which put the heart of the Community first, not profits for shareholders on distant shores…

    In my own Town, we have 4 large Supermarkets which are just upon the edges of town, No longer now do people shop in the Towns as everything from clothes, electrical, Food, Garden equipment, etc are sold cheaper… Shops are now boarded up, streets are looking empty..
    I for one would Welcome the news that Wal Mart had a bad February, March, April………. 🙂

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  2. I understand exactly how you feel, Sue. But I believe Walmart will keep ringing up profits for quite a while longer. Truth to tell, I’m not looking forward to the social and economic turmoil if they ever go under. You’re out front with your garden. We’d all be wise to choose our food from local sources for a variety of reasons, from the economic to the nutritional.

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