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If that seems harsh, then you need to read the just post story at The Washington Post, Wal-Mart took part in lobbying campaign to amend anti-bribery law.

The opening paragraph lays it out:  

Wal-Mart, the giant retailer now under fire over allegations of foreign bribery in Mexico, has participated in an aggressive and high-priced lobbying campaign to amend the long-standing U.S. anti-bribery law that the company might have violated.
The issue at hand is the 1977 Corrupt Practices Act, which "prohibits U.S. companies from offering fees or gifts to foreign officials to advance corporate interests."

The US Chamber of Commerce is actively involved in attempting to change the law, which if you think of it, comes down to this:  We the Chamber of Commerce believe that we should be allowed to operate corruptly in other nations.   Walmart has participated in these efforts.  So far, as the Post puts it,

There is no evidence that suggests Wal-Mart participated in the Chamber’s efforts because of its problems in Mexico. But even as the company has pledged zero tolerance for corruption around the globe, it has been a party to an effort that, some advocacy groups argue, would eviscerate the Watergate-era anti-corruption statute.
As is the case with most regulations, Republicans and their allies in the corporate world want to eliminate or restrict them, even if what they are seeking is the right to break the laws of other countries.  

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been very blunt in response:  

“We are unequivocally opposed to weakening the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act,” Clinton said. “We don’t need to lower our standards. We need to work with other countries to raise theirs. I actually think a race to the bottom would probably disadvantage us.”
Not that such seems to matter to Republicans, or to Walmart, as long as the latter and similar corporations can increase their profits.

Originally posted to teacherken on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 07:10 PM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement.

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Comment Preferences

  •  WalMart -- Always low ethical standards, always. (13+ / 0-)

    All my sig lines are hand-crafted by demented elves living in my skull.

    by ontheleftcoast on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 07:13:12 PM PDT

  •  I find it notable (9+ / 0-)

    that Walmart

    has pledged zero tolerance for corruption around the globe
    while engaging in corruption in Mexico as they quashed their own internal investigation of it. Unless zero tolerance to them means that they just don't want to hear about it.

    This just shows the need for actual laws. Promises, pledges and corporate handbooks mean absolutely nothing. Any suggestion that corporations will act with benevolent good-will without a legal framework to rein them in, especially since their prime directive is to maximize profits,  is simply ludicrous.

    48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." ~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama -7.88, -6.21

    by Siri on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 07:25:50 PM PDT

    •  but if it is not against the law in US (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Siri, DuzT, fuzzyguy

      then Walmart will claim it is not corrupt

      which is why they want to change the law in the US

      I wonder what Mr. Sam would say to that . . .

      "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

      by teacherken on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 07:31:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  One more step (5+ / 0-)

    towards the revival of the Guilded Age. Walmart the new United Fruit Company.

  •  The US Chamber of Commerce is a Repug organization (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, Siri

    It does not surprise me their support for corruption.

    And this is another reason not to shop at Walmart.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 07:36:28 PM PDT

  •  Walmart haz a zero-tolerance policy... (7+ / 0-)

    of getting caught.

    of paying workers.

    of low pay for executives.

    and, of course, unions.

    But they have a smiley faced volunteer greet you!

    If I wasn't a christian man, I'd be kicking yo ass! ~Daddy Rich

    by Dahankster on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 07:37:04 PM PDT

  •  Gues who else lobbied against the act? (6+ / 0-)

    Good old Rupert Murdoch.

  •  media fail. (0+ / 0-)

    the headline asserts that Walmart took place in the lobbying effort to change the fcpa while the article flatly states that there's no evidence Walmart was involved in the lobbying effort.  further, and more egregiously, the article doesn't detail the proposed changes, apparently because we mere mortals shouldn't be privy to that sort of information.

    a real fucking pos article by wapo.

    •  One has to wonder if some people get paid (0+ / 0-)

      to debunk media reports in hopes that people won't bother to read them.
      The WaPo article clearly states that WalMart has been active in a group which seeks to gut a law with what it calls "clarifications" and its spokesperson claims that corrupt practices in Mexico, which happen to have received renewed attention (they were first disclosed in 2005) did not prompt that participation.  In other words, the gutting of the anti-bribery statute is being undertaken on principle.

      Indeed, the principle is clearly articulated.  WalMart and its associates in global enterprise have an interest in promoting "legitimate business activity" -- that is, they like for their activities to be backed up by laws so that, in effect, they can engage in thievery under cover of law.  Some people believe that the role of the secular law is to support and promote moral behavior -- i.e. equitable dealings that recognize and do not deprive people of their human rights. That's not what scofflaws are after.  Scofflaws are people who have learned that legal deprivation lets them get away with thievery and is much safer and more lucrative than the other kind.  They are not new, but we are noticing them more.

      What is a corrupt public official?  If we assume that the law serves to secure human rights and that law-makers aim to use the law to achieve that end, then a corrupt public official is someone who either doesn't do his job or works to promote some special interest which conflicts with those of the people as a whole. Since public officials get paid to do what they are told -- i.e. carry out specific duties and obligations -- corruption usually involves paying them extra or giving gifts to keep them from doing their job.  Some public officials, we are now learning, don't do their job on principle; they take the job so the duties won't be carried out. The fact that there were only 2 prosecutions in 2004 versus 48 in 2010 under a law passed in 1977 suggests we have an example of the not doing kind of corruption right there.

      By 2000, WalMart was a mature corporation and should have known better than to bribe public officials to expedite permits and waive environmental requirements.  If they wanted to argue that environmental restrictions were a sham to extort bribes from foreign corporations, they could have brought in their own compliance experts and built to the standards set in places like Vermont.
      But, it seems WalMart was after a "quicky" -- to get in and do damage before anyone was the wiser.  In the mean time, they set about changing laws they don't like.

      We need to get over the idea that legitimate is automatically better than illegitimate, especially when the law is being used as an instrument of subordination and subjugation, akin to torture.

      People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

      by hannah on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 05:32:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Money and the law have something in (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, No one gets out alive

    common.  Both can be used as tools to intimidate and subjugate by humans reluctant to leave finger prints to link them to their dirty work.  In other words, money and the law facilitate the deprivation (another word for theft) of rights in secret.

    Why would people want to do that?  Well, for one thing, depriving others of their rights provides a sense of power and personal aggrandizement and doing it in secret serves the interests of cowards.

    The Republican party has been taken over by scofflaws.  People get themselves elected to legislative positions so they can scoff at the law and at the people who obey in good conscience.  And, it's the latter disregard for other people's moral commitments -- i.e. support for society -- which makes them truly despicable.  There is nothing more evil than to pervert the law from an instrument of justice to an instrument of subjugation.

    But, let's not forget, our Constitution has been used that way from the beginning when slavery was declared a legal status and supported by governmental force. That to govern is to coerce is a cherished principle in some quarters.  Bloomberg and Arpaio, for example, make no apologies.

    People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

    by hannah on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 04:45:55 AM PDT

    •  well said Hannah, (0+ / 0-)

      The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

      by a2nite on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 05:05:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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