business news in context, analysis with attitude

Responding to yesterday’s story about Walmart looking to open a bank in Canada, something that US regulators have not allowed it to do here, and my comment that I couldn’t imagine that Walmart could do any worse than some of the other financial institutions in the news, MNB user David Metz wrote:

After reading that Merrill Lynch Sold itself to Bank of America for @29.00 a share and Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11, maybe it would be a good thing to have a NEW financial institution on the horizon they cant do any worse then the OLD financial institutions. And I believe that this puts us officially into a recession. Hold on to your hats … it's going to get bumpy.

MNB reported yesterday on the closing of a plastic bag plant, noting that this is the unfortunate collateral damage of the canvas bag movement. MNB user Tom Brown wrote:

Sad to read that the plastic bag maker in North Carolina will close. No doubt that many the reusable bags being favored will come from China, whereas at least some of the throwaway plastic bags are produced in the US. I wonder if the city councils banning plastic considered that?

Another MNB user responded:

Free trade is not free, when our biggest exports are our jobs. If the new premium ( 8/12/08) is the changing scale of values that shoppers use to make decisions…then…let’s think about the values of companies that would chose put 160 Americans out of work to save a penny on their plastic bags from China…

Here’s a question certainly worth considering, I think. Should the company that made those plastic bags have made the adjustment to the changing marketplace and figured out how to capitalize on the non-disposable trend? Isn’t that part of the company’s broader responsibility – to be able to see around the corner at where the industry is going?

I’m certainly not disputing that the closing of this plant and elimination of 160 jobs is a shame. But some of this probably is inevitable as a matter of progress toward a more sustainable environment … and it is up to companies, governments and even the culture to adjust so that there are new jobs for these people to move into.

KC's View: