Gig Economy & Retail Stores
U.S. corporations gave away $18.15 billion in charitable donations in 2012 - a combination of cash, grants, and in-kind goods - up 12.2 percent in nominal terms over the previous year. A closer look reveals profit motives, notably for pharmaceutical companies and retail chain Wal-Mart.
The largest retailer in the world has 3,000 stores in the U.S. as well as chains in Britain, Germany, China, Korea, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. It opens a megastore every two days. It is the U.S.'s largest private employer, with 925,000 people on the payroll, and the second largest employer in general after the Federal government. The company also boasts the largest computer, surpassing the Pentagon's, and the world's largest fleet of trucks. Wal-Mart might as well appear in the dictionary under the word huge. I know the above statistics because I just watched ''Store Wars: When Wal-Mart Comes to Town,'' a documentary film by Micha Peled that will air on PBS in early June. ''Store Wars'' is not exactly a critique of Wal-Mart's business practices, but it is hard to come away with a favorable view of the company.
Staples Inc, the largest U.S. office supplies retailer, said on Friday it ceased doing business with Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) late last month because of environmental concerns.
Mattel, the maker of Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels cars, is recalling nearly one million toys in the United States today because the products' surfaces are covered in lead paint. According to Mattel, all the toys were made by a contract manufacturer in China.
Is Walmart going green? Mike Duke, the company's CEO, says in a new 126 page report that the company is becoming more sustainable and responsible while "building meaningful, long-term change." Activists disagree. Walmart's "environmental impact has only grown over the last seven years" they say in a counter-report.