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UCSB Talk to Discuss Wal-Mart's Influence on World Capitalism

Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 16:00
Santa Barbara, CA

The $250-billion retail giant Wal-Mart is not only the world's largest corporation, but in many ways also its most controversial.

Nelson Lichtenstein, a professor of history at the University of California, Santa Barbara, will discuss the dynamics of Wal-Mart's business and labor practices and how they affect us all in "Wal-Mart: Template for 21st Century Capitalism," a UCSB Affiliates Town Forum to be held Wednesday, Jan. 19 in Santa Barbara.

According to Lichtenstein, Wal-Mart's competitive success depends upon a global system that cuts labor costs and "squeezes the last drop of sweated productivity from millions of workers and thousands of subcontractors."

The Wal-Mart template has "made the retailer king and the manufacturer his vassal," Lichtenstein said.

Its huge power and political influence are changing social and industrial policy around the world, he said.

Lichtenstein is also director of UCSB's Center for the Study of Work, Labor, and Democracy.

The lecture will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 21 East Constance Avenue.

Cost is $8 for UCSB Affiliates, History Associates and Chancellor's Council members; and $10 for non-members. Advance registration can be made by calling the UCSB Office of Community Relations at 893-4388.

Lichtenstein is author of

"Walter Reuther:

the Most Dangerous Man in Detroit" and "State of the Union:

A Century of American Labor."

His writing frequently appears in the pages of Dissent, New Labor Forum, and The Nation.

Nelson Lichtenstein