Segments in this Video

"Debate Housekeeping" (05:38)


Moderator John Donvan frames the debate on Walmart, instructs the audience to vote, and introduces panel members.

Opening Statement For: John Tierney (06:07)

City Journal Editor, Tierney nominated Walmart for the Nobel Peace Prize; it combats poverty. Walmart saves customers money and is the main pipeline for redistributing wealth from rich to poor countries. He cites reasons Walmart is not popular.

Opening Statement Against: Amy Traub (06:40)

Demos Associate Director of Policy and Research, Traub cites an example of a Walmart worker who experiences frustrations on the job. Walmart's low wage business model allows wealthy people to obtain maximum profits; it is at the center of economic imbalance.

Opening Statement For: Richard Vedder (06:15)

Author and economist Vedder, quotes Jason Furman's summary of literature on Walmart's impact on consumer prices and cites stock numbers. Walmart has lifted many Americans out of poverty but is in a fight for survival.

Opening Statement Against: Nelson Lichtenstein (06:52)

Author and professor Lichtenstein, states that Walmart offloads many social costs and sets the standards for all retail. The company did not sign on to the system of legal accountability set by the ILO.

Debate Summary (02:53)

Donvan summarizes the panelists' positions on the Walmart debate and polls the audience about recent Walmart shopping trips.

Anti-poverty Program? (06:06)

Traub argues that Walmart is pushing people into poverty. Tierney counters that Walmart has been saving people from problems associated with unionization and regulation. Lichtenstein cites benefits Walmart received from governmental services. Vedder believes Walmart has positively impacted the economy.

Job Demands (05:41)

Tierney states that despite claims of oppression, there are often 5-10 applicants for every Walmart position. Lichtenstein counters that there is hidden unemployment and defends trade unionism. Vedder argues that Walmart has to answer to the Labor Relations Board and other requirements. Traub counters that people are desperate for work.

Walmart Influence (05:23)

Tierney states that Walmart is struggling against Amazon. Lichtenstein argues against Walmart's claim of solving "food deserts." Vedder argues against Walmart's power over the U.S. economy; Traub and Lichtenstein counter that Walmart's reach extends beyond retail

Outsourcing (05:51)

Vedder questions what workers in other countries would make if there was no Walmart. Lichtenstein counters that the question should be, what do workers want in the factories? Tierney and Traub argue about Walmart changing the world.

Q/A: Changing Walmart (04:35)

Donvan reveals the results of the audience poll about shopping habits. Lichtenstein cites wage increases and discusses the impact of regulation and public policy. Tierney states that living wage laws could put people out of work; Vedder cites unemployment statistics.

Q/A: Feasibility of Wage and Benefit Increases (03:18)

Vedder states that Walmart made 2.8% of sales in the 2017 fiscal year; retail is in trouble and Walmart is constrained. Traub does not like Walmart's business model.

Q/A: Quality of Life (03:03)

Tierney thinks passing laws that force Walmart into a certain model decreases people's freedom. Lichtenstein favors efficiency in retail, but towns have rights to set criteria for businesses.

Q/A: Walmart Competitors (03:56)

Traub cites small retailers that offer better workers benefits than Walmart. Tierney says Walmart balances worker and customer satisfaction. Lichtenstein counters that Walmart wants turnover and is a direct contributor to the loss of predictability.

Q/A: Effect on Cultural Consumerism (03:36)

Vedder states that the arrival of Walmart in his small community had a revitalization impact. Lichtenstein agrees Walmart revolutionized small town America but questions who shares the benefits.

Q/A: Walmart and Climate Change (03:01)

Walmart is efficient in recycling; large scale helps in combating climate change. Traub counters that Walmart won an award for worst corporate "greenwasher" and funds groups that deny climate change.

Q/A: Foothold in the Workforce (03:18)

Lichtenstein describes Walmart's hiring model; it has a 40-60% turnover rate every year.

Q/A: Validity of Unemployment (03:31)

Vedder considers net increase when Walmart opens a store in a small town; markets positively adjust to the Walmart phenomena. Traub states that the Walton family is the winner and workers are the losers.

Closing Statement For: Vedder (02:23)

Walmart has been maligned because workers chose not to unionize and they do not fit into the old model of industrialization. The Walmart Family Foundation spends more than $1 million a day in charities.

Closing Statement Against: Traub (02:26)

We live in an unbalanced economy; Walmart is at the heart of the unbalance. Traub shares the story of a worker who experienced difficulties after experiencing a miscarriage and a severe flu during a second pregnancy.

Closing Statement For: Tierney (02:13)

The average American family cannot afford to live and shop in neighborhoods similar to New York. People have more disposable income, in part, because of Walmart.

Closing Statement Against: Lichtenstein (02:24)

Lichtenstein quotes the importance of change from Sam Walton's autobiography. He believes the Walmart model can change.

Time to Vote (04:53)

Donvan instructs the audience to vote. He thanks participants and supporters, cites ways to watch Intelligence Squared, and introduces the next debate.

Results of Audience Vote (00:54)

Pre-Debate - For: 30% - Against: 25% - Undecided: 45%. Post-Debate - For: 48% - Against: 38% - Undecided: 14%

Credits: Long Live Walmart (00:04)

Credits: Long Live Walmart

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Long Live Walmart: A Debate

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As the largest retail company and private employer in the United States, Walmart has long been a target for critics of corporate expansion. The big-box company, they argue, has pushed locally owned stores out of business and mistreated its employees. Defenders, however, argue that Walmart has provided millions of consumers with low-cost goods and given decent jobs to countless low-skilled workers. Has Walmart been good for America?

Length: 102 minutes

Item#: BVL144314

ISBN: 978-1-64198-297-9

Copyright date: ©2017

Closed Captioned

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