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A worker died after being trampled and a woman miscarried when hundreds of shoppers smashed through the doors of a Long Island Wal-Mart Friday morning, witnesses said.

The unidentified worker, employed as an overnight stock clerk, tried to hold back the unruly crowds just after the Valley Stream store opened at 5 a.m.

Witnesses said the surging throngs of shoppers knocked the man down. He fell and was stepped on. As he gasped for air, shoppers ran over and around him.

I have about had fucking enough. Some poor shlub making $7.00 an hour died so Wal-Mart would reach their sales quota during the holiday season. The crowd literally took the door off it's hinges. Other workers almost suffered the same fate. Hundreds of people stepped over a fellow human being in order to get a play station, or a microwave oven.

An earlier version of this story revealed that several shoppers were also injured, some being led out on stretchers. For what? Some crap that is going to take up space in a garage for years until the next yard sale?

It's fucking enough. Maybe in a way, it's good that our economy is tanking. Several of the big box retailers are going down. We used to have retailers who sold high quality merchandise locally both made in America and often made in countries where the workers may have been underpayed compared to us, but not in such sweat box situations.

It's the most depressing thing in the world to me to think about the start of this chain. There was somebody making .17 cents an hour producing some disposable good in brutal conditions, and some person desperate for seasonal employment even at $7.00 an hour is put in charge of guarding the doors from the throngs in a blood frenzy over an artificial sale on a few items that ends at 10 in the morning (supplies are limited). Johnny NEEDS a new console system, so get there at 3AM or he will hate you forever.

Enough already. There is not anything for sale in Wal-Mart even free that is worth a human life. We should be ashamed of ourselves as a country for lapsing into such mindless consumerism. Even in a time of economic trouble, too many amongst us would rather mindlessly consume than reflect on what the most important things are in life.

I can guarantee it's not Malibu Barbie. This at least I know.

Update:

One of the hottest recent discoveries by investigative journalists is the sleazy practice known as "dead peasants’ insurance," which is allegedly used by some of our best known big corporations — such as Wal-Mart and Enron. Officially called Corporate-Owned Life Insurance (COLI), this practice has been going on below the radar since the 1980s, and P&J were turned on to it by our favorite lefty in the bullpen, Dick Walton. P&J agree with Dick Walton when he says, "Just when you thought corporate America could sink no lower, you find that your imagination cannot equal that of these fiends."

Here’s how it works. Big companies with a number of low-paid employees (the practice is also known as "dead janitors’ insurance") buy life insurance on those low-ranking employees — sometimes without their knowledge — to get tax breaks, as well as to collect benefits when a covered employee died. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, "Corporations gain not merely from the tax-free life insurance benefits they receive when current or former employees die, but also can borrow money against these policies. Many companies even deducted the interest on these loans from their taxes." It is legal in some states, but not in others (which have emerged from the ghoulish Dark Ages of squalid business dealings). For some of these companies, death benefits go to pay for executive bonuses and perks.

I added that because I am wondering if Wal-Mart had such a policy on this employee. Just a thought.

Originally posted to trifecta on Fri Nov 28, 2008 at 07:56 AM PST.

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