Walmart, growth visualization

From Flowing Data, an interesting use of Modest Maps:

Hat Tip: Chris Blattman’s wonderful, smart as hell blog about development which I had browsed before but am taking a second look at it since Dani Rodrik from Harvard made some interesting comments about Chris’s blog.

Watching the growth of Walmart across America – Interactive Edition
In the spirit of Toby’s Walmart growth video, using data from Freebase, I mapped the spread of Walmart using Modest Maps. It starts slow and then spreads like wildfire.

Walmart, growth visualization

What we can do about Tibet, your closet clutter, your unemployed neighbor, and Global Warming

Certainly, the situation described in Anne Applebaum’s recent article in the Washington Post rings true, but what can we do, here sitting in America, to effect change in Tibet?

Yes, we can protest in front of the Chinese embassy, and we should do that. But what if you don’t happen to live in DC?

We can do a lot to help Tibet. China depends on it’s trade with the United States, and Walmart is a the primary vehicle that trade with China uses to get to USA.

From a report at EPI:

Last year, the retail giant Wal-Mart imported $26.7 billion of Chinese goods into the United States. The cost of those goods to Americans went far beyond the sticker prices, however. Wal-Mart’s reliance on Chinese goods cost the United States over 308,000 jobs in 2006 – or about 77 jobs for every Wal-Mart store in the United States.

Wal-Mart was responsible for 9.3 percent of. U.S. China imports…

So a very simple action–boycotting Walmart–would quickly turn into an issue inside China. Just don’t buy all those Chinese bicycles/DVD’s etc, etc. Pretty soon Walmart will stop buying from China. China needs markets more than they need an empire. (Just ask Russia about that.)

It would be easy–all that the US public has to do is decide to confront wrongdoing, by not buying stuff from Walmart. It would also be good to do without so much stuff, that we really don’t need, do we? It would do something good for the planet, too.

Just do it.

(note: some edits, including link to EPI study were added 30 March 2008)

What we can do about Tibet, your closet clutter, your unemployed neighbor, and Global Warming