Letter from India: Low prices every day | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Letter from India: Low prices every day

Posted By on Wed, Dec 12, 2012 at 7:25 AM

WALMART WANTS IN: The Indian shopper, shown here in Chennai, is  on the radar of the Bentonville colossus.
  • WALMART WANTS IN: The Indian shopper, shown here in Chennai, is on the radar of the Bentonville colossus.

Here I sit in Chennai (Madras). I'm 10 hours from a 4:45 am plane to Abu Dhabi. 40 hours from a scheduled arrival in Little Rock for reasons not easy to explain.

An observation: India is still newspaper crazy. Maybe because poverty still holds back Internet access, if not cell phones, which I've seen beep in the hands of rickshaw drivers.

And the 10 or so newspapers I'm perusing today are shouting front page headlines about, what else, Arkansas. Or more specifically our state's gift to corporate skulduggery worldwide, Walmart. The news today is outrage from some Indian politicians about revelations of Walmart lobby spending to get into the billion-person market here. Small shopkeepers are not sanguine. Reporting includes details about powerhouse lobbying firm Patton Boggs and its ties to Indian power brokers, plus its boasts about ability to pierce the bureaucracy. (The Indian government bureaucracy is a story unto itself. Memorably, five uniformed officers inspected a double set of documents issued by other workers before we gained entry to one port. )

But money talks in India, our guides have told us. And prices are low. Almost as low as buying the Arkansas legislature or members of Congress for the likes of Internet sales tax and charter school bills and other pet Walton projects. Undercutting already low prices here will take some doing, however. Not to mention attracting customers able to risk life and limb to motor to wherever Walmart eventually builds.

Don't get me wrong, by the way. I love this country. It is overwhelming. I'll post more this weekend, but I already know my photos don't do it justice.

Tags: , ,


Sign up for the Daily Update email
Favorite

Comments (19)

Showing 1-19 of 19

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-19 of 19

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Trump-Putin: As bad as expected. At least.

    The reviews of Trump's meeting with Putin are not kind to the American.  Those who think the United States has been demeaned and diminished by a lying thug, it might be time to take a knee.
    • Jul 16, 2018
  • One dead, another wounded in NLR skate park shooting

    North Little Rock police say one man was fatally shot and another wounded  in an apparent robbery about 3:45 a.m. today at the Riverview Skatepark along the Arkansas River at 2800 River Road, North Little Rock.
    • Jul 16, 2018
  • The Malvern connection: Millions flow through it

    How a couple of former senators from Malvern find themselves in a legal controversy over a $4 million finder's fee paid to a Texas lawyer.
    • Jul 16, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Your daily dose of Jason Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert really, really didn't like it when a KATV reporter asked him about the hypocrisy of his political arguments.
    • Feb 4, 2017
  • Arkansas legislature rejects bipartisan effort to study race relations

    On Friday, the Arkansas Legislative Council soundly rejected a bipartisan effort by two senators to to create a temporary legislative subcommittee to study race relations in the state.
    • Sep 15, 2017
  • Campus gun bill clears committee

    The so-called compromise amendment that will allow anyone 25 or older with a training certificate carry a concealed weapon on public college campuses was approved in a Senate committee this afternoon.
    • Feb 21, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation