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January 26, 2020

Note: Justice Talking's grant funding expired in 2008 and the project has been closed. This website is an archive of the entire run of Justice Talking shows through June 30, 2008.
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America's Economy in a Big Box?
Last Featured: 3/20/2006

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As the largest corporation and private employer in the United States,Wal-Mart sets the standard for wages and labor practices, from pay scales to health care benefits. With sales of groceries to diamonds, lawn mowers to teen fashions, Wal-Mart also tops the charts in sales--$240 billion dollars worth of products, many made overseas in China and Thailand. Join us on this edition of Justice Talking as we take a close-up look at Wal-Mart and ask what the policies at America's biggest big box retailer can tell us about globalization, free trade and Americans' yen for a bargain.

Interview with John Dicker
Host Margot Adler speaks with freelance writer John Dicker about how Wal-Mart became the largest private employer in the country, with 3,500 stores and over 240 billion dollars in annual sales.

John Dicker is the author of The United States of Wal-Mart. His work has appeared in The Nation, The Boston Globe, and Salon.com.

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Report on the Media War
Independent producer Robin Urevich reports on two documentaries about Wal-Mart that came out last year: "Why Wal*Mart Works and why that makes some people C-R-A-Z-Y!" extolling its virtues and "Wal-Mart - The High Cost of Low Price" its evils.

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Debate on the Issue
In the debate portion of the program, Wharton professor Peter Cappelli and Jason Furman, an economist at New York University, debate whether or not Wal-Mart’s business practices are good for America.

Peter Cappelli is the George W. Taylor Professor of Management at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and director of Wharton's Center for Human Resources. He is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, MA. Dr. Cappelli is the author, with Ibarra Hermina, of Harvard Business Review on Finding and Keeping the Best People.

Jason Furman is a senior fellow specializing in social security and tax reform issues. Furman is based at New York University's Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, where he is a visiting scholar. Previously Furman served as special assistant to the president for economic policy in the Clinton Administration. Furman has been a visiting lecturer at Columbia and Yale Universities. In addition, he served as a staff economist at the Council of Economic Advisers, senior economic adviser to the chief economist of the World Bank, and director of economic policy for the Kerry-Edwards campaign.

During During the debate, John Zogby, president of the public opinion research firm Zogby International, shares the findings of a December 2005 poll on how Americans feel about Wal-Mart.

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Interview with Aaron Bernstein
Aaron Bernstein, who covers Wal-Mart for Business Week magazine, speaks with Margot about how the lawsuits the company has faced regarding their treatment of employees are affecting how they do business.

Aaron Bernstein is a senior writer who manages and edits the workplace and social issues department for Business Week magazine. As a veteran reporter at Business Week, Mr. Bernstein has chronicled the ups and downs of the U.S. labor movement and was one of the first writers in the country to explore the growing economic inequality in the U.S. Mr. Bernstein is based in Washington, DC.

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Special Announcements
Justice Talking’s last broadcast & podcast was June 30, 2008.
Maryland's Fair Share Healthcare Bill
Wal-Mart - Always Low Price
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Wal-Mart Facts.com
U.S. Commerce Department - Ron Brown Award for Corporate Leadership
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AFL-CIO on Wal-Mart
NPR story on Wal-Mart
How Walmart Is Destroying America And The World: And What You Can Do About It
by Bill Quinn
The Case Against Wal-Mart
by Al Norman
The Wal-Mart Effect : How the World's Most Powerful Company Really Works--and How It's Transforming the American Economy
by Charles Fishman
The Wal-Mart Triumph: Inside the World's #1 Company
by Robert Slater
The Wal-Mart Way: The Inside Story of the Success of the World's Largest Company
by Don Soderquist
Wal-Mart: The Face of Twenty-First-Century Capitalism
by Nelson Lichtenstein (Ed.)
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