The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Farmer Jack:
“Flipping” food stores

Jun 18, 2007

In June, the A & P food company announced it was closing or selling off all 66 of its Farmer Jack food stores in metro Detroit.

The fate of more than 4,800 workers is in limbo. Plus, many thousands of people in the area depend on their neighborhood Farmer Jack. But A & P isn’t worried about how folks will work, live, or eat. Like every major corporation, A & P is worried about making profits – lots of profits.

If A & P can take money out of its Farmer Jack properties and use the money elsewhere, to speculate in the hot financial bubble of today, well – inconvenienced, hungry, or jobless people are not its concern! Especially if it can arrange to keep for itself the accumulated workers’ pension and benefit funds!

More and more deals like this are being driven by paper profits made on the backs of workers’ labor. Companies buy other companies, as A & P bought Farmer Jack in 1989. They finance the purchase with loads of new debt. After the value of the purchased company has been exploited to the max, enriching the controlling company – the shell and the employees are ditched. Unless and until a new corporate gambler decides to try its luck – the buildings sit idle, decaying.

Decay is the face of capitalism in our time.