a blog with cultural bulimia.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

If it were an independent nation, it would be China's eighth-largest trading partner.

"'In each historical epoch a prototypical enterprise seems to embody a new and innovative set of economic structures and social relationships. These template businesses are emulated because they have put in place, indeed perfected for their era, the most efficient and profitable relationship between the technology of production, the organization of work and the new shape of the market.'

In the 19th century the standard-setting company was the Pennsylvania Railroad; in the mid-20th century, it was General Motors; and in the late 20th century, it was Microsoft. Today's prototypical company is Wal-Mart, which rezones American cities, sets wage standards and even conducts diplomacy with other nations.

In short, the company's management legislates for the rest of us key components of American social and industrial policy,

The New York Times > Arts > Wal-Mart, a Nation Unto Itself