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Thu Nov 22, 2012, 11:19 AM

The closed circle of Wal Mart economics

Open a giant store that undercuts all the local businesses with cheap crap. The local stores and businesses soon go out of business. These former business owners and employees have no choice but to work for Wal Mart at very low wages and no benefits. The only place the Wal Mart workers can afford to buy anything is at Wal Mart. The employees end up giving a huge portion of their wages back to the store they work for because there are no other outlet stores to buy necessities and they can only afford Wal Mart prices. Wal Mart replaces most of the minimum wages they pay to their employees. Employees who in the process are forced to neglect their communities because they can't afford to repair their homes or replace their broken appliances. Wal Mart makes a profit which they then use to open more stores in other communities and countries.

That's a pretty sweet deal don't you think?

76 replies, 3983 views

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Arrow 76 replies Author Time Post
Reply The closed circle of Wal Mart economics (Original post)
lunatica Nov 2012 OP
johnlucas Nov 2012 #1
MineralMan Nov 2012 #2
Arctic Dave Nov 2012 #28
OneMoreDemocrat Nov 2012 #3
nadinbrzezinski Nov 2012 #4
OneMoreDemocrat Nov 2012 #5
nadinbrzezinski Nov 2012 #6
OneMoreDemocrat Nov 2012 #8
nadinbrzezinski Nov 2012 #10
OneMoreDemocrat Nov 2012 #13
nadinbrzezinski Nov 2012 #15
OneMoreDemocrat Nov 2012 #17
nadinbrzezinski Nov 2012 #18
OneMoreDemocrat Nov 2012 #21
Sherman A1 Nov 2012 #64
snappyturtle Nov 2012 #26
Arctic Dave Nov 2012 #30
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #57
unblock Nov 2012 #60
lunatica Nov 2012 #7
OneMoreDemocrat Nov 2012 #9
lunatica Nov 2012 #11
OneMoreDemocrat Nov 2012 #12
lunatica Nov 2012 #14
OneMoreDemocrat Nov 2012 #16
nadinbrzezinski Nov 2012 #20
OneMoreDemocrat Nov 2012 #22
nadinbrzezinski Nov 2012 #24
OneMoreDemocrat Nov 2012 #27
nadinbrzezinski Nov 2012 #31
OneMoreDemocrat Nov 2012 #36
nadinbrzezinski Nov 2012 #37
OneMoreDemocrat Nov 2012 #41
nadinbrzezinski Nov 2012 #42
sigmasix Nov 2012 #34
OneMoreDemocrat Nov 2012 #39
whistler162 Nov 2012 #19
sigmasix Nov 2012 #23
OneMoreDemocrat Nov 2012 #25
Laochtine Nov 2012 #33
OneMoreDemocrat Nov 2012 #35
Laochtine Nov 2012 #74
liberal N proud Nov 2012 #29
OneMoreDemocrat Nov 2012 #32
nadinbrzezinski Nov 2012 #40
OneMoreDemocrat Nov 2012 #43
nadinbrzezinski Nov 2012 #44
OneMoreDemocrat Nov 2012 #45
nadinbrzezinski Nov 2012 #46
daleanime Nov 2012 #76
Laochtine Nov 2012 #75
oldhippydude Nov 2012 #38
savebigbird Nov 2012 #47
ohheckyeah Nov 2012 #48
nadinbrzezinski Nov 2012 #49
ohheckyeah Nov 2012 #52
nadinbrzezinski Nov 2012 #53
ohheckyeah Nov 2012 #54
nadinbrzezinski Nov 2012 #55
ohheckyeah Nov 2012 #58
nadinbrzezinski Nov 2012 #59
ohheckyeah Nov 2012 #67
nadinbrzezinski Nov 2012 #68
ohheckyeah Nov 2012 #69
nadinbrzezinski Nov 2012 #70
upi402 Nov 2012 #50
Turbineguy Nov 2012 #51
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #56
David__77 Nov 2012 #61
FarCenter Nov 2012 #62
nadinbrzezinski Nov 2012 #63
cthulu2016 Nov 2012 #71
FarCenter Nov 2012 #72
jeff47 Nov 2012 #65
Fire Walk With Me Nov 2012 #66
rucky Nov 2012 #73

Response to lunatica (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 12:14 PM

1. Dead on

That's the problem with much of low wage work in general.
Wal-Mart's just the most successful at this sick game.
It's the poverty trap.
John Lucas

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Response to lunatica (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 12:16 PM

2. Walmart is the New Company Store in Many Ways.

I don't shop there. I owe the company nothing, and wouldn't work for the company.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 02:46 PM

28. That is exactly what they are.

 

Thank you for sticking to your beliefs by not shopping there.

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Response to lunatica (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 12:28 PM

3. Not entirely accurate...

 

What's missing from most of these screeds is that Walmart doesn't just sell crap. Hundreds of companies from Kraft to Disney to Johnson & Johnson fall all over themselves to get their products into Walmart stores.

It is easier to demonize Walmart (it makes you super cool and Progressive), than to look at the whole picture and to spread the blame around to all of the guilty quarters.

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Response to OneMoreDemocrat (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 12:33 PM

4. Complete the picture

Those companies are also forced to cut their profits and in cases manufacture abroad to meet Wallmart's dictates, which they can issue since they are a monopoly, or as close to as you can get.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 12:35 PM

5. Hardly...

 

They get their products into Walmart and more than make up the lower cost in volume. One product in all of Walmart's stores can and does make a fortune.

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Response to OneMoreDemocrat (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 12:37 PM

6. Hardly, that is why they sell made in china crap

The cost of low prices is very high. You can believe they are wholesome and all, and hardly guilty, but there are reams and reams on this.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #6)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 01:03 PM

8. Exactly...

 

You TOTALLY can't get anything made in China anywhere else but Walmart.

Walmart is an easy target but it's not the entire problem. Globalization is here to stay and the world's emerging economies are emerging in more places than Walmart.

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Response to OneMoreDemocrat (Reply #8)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 01:13 PM

10. So we should all accept low wages? No let me correct this

Poverty wages?

Gotcha! Globalization is here to stay, that does not mean it has to take the form the super elites want. Which for he record, you seem to have accepted.

And it is here to stay is a very bold prediction... And I will tell you why....peak oil and energy/ production costs... But that is a whole different discussion.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #10)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 01:29 PM

13. No, no one should be happy to accept poverty wages...

 

and I am no supporter of their treatment of employees.

There is a difference between what I want or will accept (both for myself and for America), and reality.

I would love there to be a balance between corporations making money and us making money and companies doing what is right by their labor force, but the reality is that we will (and have) never been on balance with corporations where finance is concerned and it will more than likely get worse across all sectors of business...my acceptance of that is like my accepting gravity.

I am only predicting it based on what's already come...if things change as you allude to then perhaps there will be a change; I am with you in hoping for it.

I guess my overall point is that I wish the conversation was not so 'Walmart oriented', because there are much larger forces at work that move things in the direction they are going.

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Response to OneMoreDemocrat (Reply #13)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 01:46 PM

15. And I am predicting the rise of a new labor movement

Out of the shambles of the old. Nothing, is forever.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #15)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 01:56 PM

17. I couldn't possibly want a strong, viable labor movement more...

 

It just feels like the reality of that coming to fruition is getting farther and farther away.

But things are cyclical so you may very well be right.

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Response to OneMoreDemocrat (Reply #17)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 02:00 PM

18. You do realize Wallmart has been hit by Unfair Labor Practices

strikes all year long right?

You also know they are putting a pretty nice me worry face to the media on this Friday's actions, but for a me worried company, eight pages of procedures speak volumes.

If they manage to get the place unionized and raise labor standards, that will spread across the retail industry. This is why Sam Walton and now the current managers fear Unions. They know that this could be bad for their model, which depends (and Sam Walton wrote this) on low pay and no benefits.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #18)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 02:13 PM

21. It's been a lot longer than just this year...

 

They've been the target for what seems like forever and they deserve to be.

I really do wonder what would happen if they did unionize, because in my opinion it would be positive for Walmart in the long run and as you say it would begin a domino effect across the industry and undoubtedly spread to other industries in turn.

I also wonder if now that they've completely dominated the market for so long that they would be more open to unions than they have been in the past (things have changed for the company since Sam Walton wrote that I assume)...no one can touch them for sheer market share and perhaps they feel like they are in a position to allow unions in.

Just thinking about it; it could happen.

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Response to OneMoreDemocrat (Reply #8)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 07:43 PM

64. While you certainly can get Chinese made products everywhere,

Wal Mart was the cutting edge in creating this situation. By forcing deeper and deeper pricing discounts from their suppliers, in many cases it caused the movement of production of those products to be off shored. There are companies that chased Wal Mart shelf space as a means to expand their market penetration only to find out that they were making deals with the devil and in the long run it would cost them greatly.

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Response to OneMoreDemocrat (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 02:39 PM

26. Ask Rubbermaid how well it worked out for them. nt

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Response to OneMoreDemocrat (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 02:49 PM

30. Not really.

 

My wife does a lot of the supplies for all the stores throughout Alaska.

Having a product in Walmart does not provide that much revenue to the companies doing business with them.

They have to sell it to them at steep dicounts because they don't have any other options. Walmart however gets to mark up the price and keep the profit.

How do you think they make all their billions.

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Response to OneMoreDemocrat (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 05:25 PM

57. big brands sold at walmart are often of cheaper quality, manufactured especially

 

for walmart. true of computers and other hard goods.

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Response to OneMoreDemocrat (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 06:03 PM

60. you have no idea how many companies go OUT OF BUSINESS when they get wal-mart as a customer.

wal-mart is the undisputed heavyweight king of bankrupting suppliers.

here's what they do:

- they find a small supplier that makes cute teddy bears or whatever, then place an order for triple the supplier's usual volume.
- the supplier pops open the champagne and toasts to their own success and the prospect of easy street just around the corner.
- they borrow money to pay employees overtime to fulfill wal-mart's huge order. often they even shell out for more equipment.
- they make and ship nice those cute teddy bears that wal-mart ordered.
- wal-mart pops open their infamous 3-ring binders of deductions and charge-backs and ticks off every order fulfillment mistake the supplier made -- down to docking not only for the truck arriving 15 minutes late, but also docking for the truck arriving 15 minutes EARLY (their argument is that their just-in-time inventory system can't handle this; they have to unload and put it off to the side, then take it and put it where it belongs later -- so they effectively charge the supplier for this inconvenience); they even deduct for things being on the truck in the wrong order -- again, they want to unload things efficiently.
- by the time these deductions are added up, wal-mart is paying a fraction on their first few orders, until either the supplier goes bankrupt or learns how to fulfill wal-mart's orders in the precise way wal-mart wants.

- MANY, MANY suppliers have gone belly-up because they lost too much to wal-mart's demands. those who survive usually do so by having the foresight to immediately hire wal-mart logistics specialists who take a big cut for knowing how to avoid the wal-mart landmines.


- this is the real secret as to how wal-mart makes its money. it's not by taking a huge amount from customers (although there are some pricier items once you get away from the teaser products) it's mostly from short-changing their suppliers. remember that these deductions are AFTER having negotiated a big discount for wal-mart's size and visibility.

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Response to OneMoreDemocrat (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 12:56 PM

7. And Walmart is again the beneficiary and gets the lions share

So, yeah, some of us are super cool and Progressive. We get it. You're theory doesn't explain a thing except that this is how Walmart undercuts other businesses. Thanks for making my point.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 01:07 PM

9. The lion's share of what?

 

The world is changing, Walmart's business model is but one example.

Supply chains for everything no longer begin here, they begin overseas and end here. That began decades ago, I don't see how it's all Walmart's fault but whatever helps you feel all pumped up, go for it.

And I never said Walmart is a good thing, just that they are a symptom of globalization and not the cause of all things evil.

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Response to OneMoreDemocrat (Reply #9)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 01:17 PM

11. Who said Walmart is the only villain?

They are but one of many. They're just really good at this 'new business model' which is really as old as the hills. They actually recoup almost all they dole out in wages even before they make a profit. They keep paying their employees the same money which is just recycled. With that 'business model' how can they lose? It's like a parent giving their kids an allowance and then making them pay for housing and food out of that allowance. The parent just keeps recycling the same dollars back to the kids without ever having to dip into his other wages. Nice system. And he can fool people into believing he's being a good responsible parent showing his kids good solid American values.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #11)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 01:22 PM

12. I am not a supporter of Walmart's practices...

 

regarding their employees.

Their business model is incredibly successful...buy low, sell low; which isn't old as the hills, in the hills it used to be buy low, sell high and apparently Walmart got it right if their success is any indication.

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Response to OneMoreDemocrat (Reply #12)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 01:40 PM

14. One of their measures of success is devastated communities

Which sink into disrepair and poverty. Didn't you read my original post? Or do you somehow disagree with that?

Walmart's success is only in that they make money. Not in how they make it because it doesn't benefit the communities they set up stores in. That's actually failure in the long term. Shouldn't success be measured by something that generates some form of growth in the community? Say, more housing, better services, etc.?

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Response to lunatica (Reply #14)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 01:54 PM

16. Walmart is a business, they exist to make money...

 

I am so tired of the 'Walmart is causing Mom & Pop stores to close, etc., etc., etc.' line.

If you made something, whether it be a bar of soap, a shirt, lip gloss, whatever, and you could get it into 40 Joey's Mom & Pop stores, or get it into 40,000 Walmart stores, which would you choose? Companies will spend less on production on each 'whatever' to make a huge profit by selling a ton of their 'whatever'.

That's not Walmart's fault, any more than it was Sears' fault 50 years ago or Woolworth's fault 80 years ago...or for that matter the Internet's fault 10 years ago.

Economic life in America has changed so that it won't support Mom&Pop shops anymore except in tiny pockets here and there. I was born in the 70's and I remember as a kid going to the Mall and department stores then and not that many Mom & Pop stores anyhow...that business model died a long time ago and it's a natural evolution in a country this size.

As for the definition of success for a business being something other than financial, no of course not that is the ONLY measure of success for a business...if they are good corporate citizens and do good things in their communities then that's great, but to expect it is folly.

How in the world can you expect any for-profit retail business to concern themselves more housing or better services is beyond me; the best you can hope for is that they would pay more so the people in that community could build those things for themselves, which is generally the way it works.

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Response to OneMoreDemocrat (Reply #16)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 02:06 PM

20. You should and I am serious as a heart attack

go out and get yourself a copy of "The Wealth of Nations." You might be surprised that the father of Capitalism understood that a vibrant economy, in the end, cannot really succeed or thrive under monopoly conditions. He understood this. The bad boy in his day was the East India Company. He also spoke of things like Living wages, the fight in his time was to get rid a current dream of companies, MAXIMUM WAGE LAWS. We need living wages, not minimum wages.

We have a remedy in US Law by the way as far as monopolies are concerned, which was devised by a Republican no less, called Teddy Roosevelt. The last president to use it was James Earl Carter... it is called the Sherman Anti Trust Act. And you know what? IT is high time it is used to break a few monopolies, including Wallamart.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #20)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 02:19 PM

22. Interesting...

 

Thank you. I just bought it for my iPad for .99 !!! (another way our economy is changing, but I digress).

It's funny that companies and free market believers always say how important competition is, but in reality the LAST thing they actually want is competition...they'd much prefer it if we had a 'Bank' and a 'Oil Company' and a 'Food Company'; just so long as it was their business.

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Response to OneMoreDemocrat (Reply #22)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 02:32 PM

24. Gets worst than that, when you find the section on the Hand of the Marketplace

note how many caveats come after it.

And yes, it is changing... and in some ways it might benefit small producers like me... who can self publish. This is scaring the media monopolies.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #24)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 02:44 PM

27. I actually benefit now with regard to the work that I do...

 

I work in video/film and ever since the early 2000's there began a real democratization in the industry made possible by the lowering cost of and accessibility to equipment with which to make stuff.

It's opened up entire worlds that were closed to independent producers, and ironically it was made possible by some of the very same companies that made it financially impossible for the 'little guy' to afford their products. There has been a real move to support the independent producer both in the cost of production and in new methods of distribution that never existed before.

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Response to OneMoreDemocrat (Reply #27)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 02:50 PM

31. But that is a small exception to the rule

and was made possible by the web.

I get it. As a reporter I have a fairly decent video camera (I should put money to the side to get an actual one) in my Nikon 5100...

But in general what we have are forces that point towards greater monopolies and less ability by the consumer to have any real influence, as well as lower force by labor.

All this is starting to change. Wallmart (labor) is but one of many indications that we have more and more labor strife. I have been covering more than just Wallmart strikes and informational pickets. So we are at the beginning of something that will put pressure.

As to peak oil, globalization relies on cheap energy. Once that is gone, put a kibosh on it. It's done. That, and global climate change, will change this in your lifetime, perhaps even in mine, and you have a couple lifetimes to come before you die. (A generation lasts 25 years or so)

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #31)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 03:02 PM

36. True...

 

One hopes that with the coming (or as some think, it's already happened), Peak Oil, that somehow, someway we will collectively find ways to alter the way we do things...right now, if America had to go back to making it's own stuff, I'm not sure we could.

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Response to OneMoreDemocrat (Reply #36)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 03:11 PM

37. The US is in trouble for strategic reasons

we depend on a pretty high tech military, where do you think we import our chips from? Somehow I doubt we will see China continue to export those chips if our very low intensity cold war with China intensifies. I can see it. Drives for Democracy, Donate your electronics to keep our fighting men and women going, until that is, we rebuild clean rooms.

It would be funny and tragic at the same time.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #37)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 03:23 PM

41. It's interesting that you mention our 'cold war' with China...

 

'cause it's only a 'war' because they have the upper hand right now, but it's cyclical in nature...they screw us, then things change and we screw them but at the end of the day is all about money and we are too enmeshed with each other economically to really do much damage to one another beyond election year rhetoric; both countries know where their bread is buttered.

One thing that could help us in the long term and I really hope Obama pushes for it in his second term, is a serious, all out effort to bring more high-tech manufacturing here so that as things change we are ready and more able to pivot with those changes.

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Response to OneMoreDemocrat (Reply #41)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 03:26 PM

42. It is a cold war, and like the cold war with Russia

it could be a real cold war. Read Blind Man's Bluff.

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Response to OneMoreDemocrat (Reply #16)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 02:53 PM

34. this makes no sense

If the business was actually concerned about it's long-term ability to produce profit it would do all of the things that are good for the surrounding community- thus assuring the community can continue to support the business' so-called aim of profit. These business models being argued against are not successful in any traditional meaning of the word. They claim to be rational corporate citizens just innocently going about the business of making healthy businesses profit, when in reality they are working towards an agenda with the aim of dissolving America's long history of increasing fairness for American workers. The wholesale destruction of worker's rights and fair labor practices is almost complete- and the Walmarts of the country are on the brink of turning America into the idiocracy they have always wanted.
If Walmart is just doing honest business, why doesn't Walmart show more concern for the future of the communities in which it does business? Answer: because they are in the business of destroying any legal or market restrictions of their world-wide retail hegemony. Anyone with a high school education is knowledgable enough to know that this is an unsustainable model that will ultimately lead to decreased economic liberties and ballooning social saftey net responsibilities. This is the real aim of any company store. The criminally wealthy have been pulling this fleece for a long time; they insist that they love America just as much as the rest of us and that they share the same desire to make a more perfect union, when in reality the only allegiance the criminally wealthy have is to the accumulation of democracy-destroying, naked politcal and economic power~ America's future be damned!

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Response to sigmasix (Reply #34)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 03:13 PM

39. Sure it does...

 

Walmart isn't in business 'For a Better America'.

Walmart is in business to make money. They do. A lot of money.

I understand that Walmart is an easy target, but does Rite-Aid or 7-11 or Superfresh or Borders pay much better or give insurance to it's employees? How many companies can you name that 'show more concern for the future of the communities in which it does business' that isn't a PR stunt; there are probably a handful.

Sam Walton got 'criminally wealthy' by doing what he had to do to build his business. That's what capitalism is, that's the environment that Walmart operates in...and they are the best at it.



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Response to lunatica (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 02:06 PM

19. Oddly enough Walmart coming in...

was a good thing for our community. The two local malls failed when the large cities mega mall, Carousel Mall in Syracuse, took off and there was no major big box stores or small stores in the area for a few years. Now we have a Target and maybe getting a Costco. One of the two local grocery chains failed but that was more to opening too many new stores, in our area there where three within 8 miles. So while there is many problems with Walmart I am less adornment about the hate them thing.

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Response to lunatica (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 02:23 PM

23. immediate profits screw the community

Pay attention Walmart apologists- the Walmart model is NOT succesful. It eventually leads to the destruction of the community it relies on. Since when is destroying your own future in the name of short-term profits "a success?"
Answer: Since right wing nuts have convinced Americans that our country should reward greed and punish honest, hard work.
A community doesn't have the liesure of moving to the next, unspoiled local economy when Walmart policies destroy the local community's tax base. The reason for going after Walmart is pretty simple; strategy. Why should pro-American forces like unions and consumer advocacy groups weaken their effectiveness just because some squeemish cafe liberal thinks they ought to take on all of the enemies of fairness at one time?
"Divide and conquer" is the only approach that will work in reclaiming our country from the criminally wealthy and lazy trust fund class. Some of the DUers that are complaining about this Walmart-centered approach have bought into the right wing narrative that insists the wealthy employers are just doing what must be done to compete in this economy when they trash employee rights, benefits and pay. This lie perpetuates the clear unfairness of CEOs and connected family members making thousands of times more than their employees.
Pro-American union organizers should target Walmart exclusively. Concentrate on Walmart and apply every ounce of American consumer and worker opinion to leverage a victory for labor against Walmart, and all of the rest of the bad corporate "citizens" will be forced to run their businesses with the future of America in mind, instead of greedy immediate profit, at the expense of our children's future and the continued destruction of the middle class.
If you don't understand the pragmatism of this approach, perhaps you should re-read our history.

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Response to sigmasix (Reply #23)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 02:33 PM

25. Very difficult post to read...

 

Please try to separate your paragraphs and such (I do not mean that as an attack, I mean it honestly; if you are going to present so much information try to make it easier to digest).

Please show me a single example of a community that Walmart is directly responsible for destroying.

Until you do, most of your rambling is hard to take seriously.

And with a profit of $15.4 Billion on $422 Billion in revenue is fair proof that Walmart's business model is a success...maybe not in your terms but in the only terms that matter to a business; the bottom line.

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Response to OneMoreDemocrat (Reply #25)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 02:50 PM

33. Refuse to buy

Their crap. Pretty easy

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Response to Laochtine (Reply #33)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 02:58 PM

35. Well, no not really...

 

What crap are you referring to?

Walmart sells the same stuff that CVS or Sears or any number of retail businesses sell. Either you buy it for more at a different store, or buy it for less at Walmart...that's kind of why they are successful, people would rather buy the same exact product for less.

But, if you want to pay more for the very same thing I suppose you are welcome to.

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Response to OneMoreDemocrat (Reply #35)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:02 PM

74. And I do

I don't mind spending a little more money so my community can do better. I don't mind spending a little bit more so people don't die in fires or abject poverty around the world. I do spend money at local establishments because they pay a fair wage and their employees
aren't on or have been coached to take food stamps. Finally, I don't mind spending a little more because work should be about dignity
not slavery. Thank you for the welcome.

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Response to lunatica (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 02:46 PM

29. The old company store game

Many don't get paid enough to have bank accounts due to minimum balance requirement. So WalMart charges them to cash their paychecks.

Remember from your history lessons where before organized labor, many companies had company stores where workers were pretty much forced to buy all their food and other needs at inflated prices. And the companies paid them with company money and not US currency.

This is not too far from that except WalMart has managed to enslave the employees with low prices and low wages making their money on volume.

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #29)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 02:50 PM

32. Just a quick question that I've always wanted to ask...

 

regarding the 'enslavement' of employees.

If not for their particular Walmart, where would these employees in these communities work at all?

Your post seems to indicate that there is an answer to that question (and that you may have it), so I just wanted to see what you had to say about it.

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Response to OneMoreDemocrat (Reply #32)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 03:18 PM

40. Alas that is part of the problem

but you knew that.

I get it, you were born well after we were able to get more than just low retail jobs.

In some places, you are right... that is the only source of employment. It used not to be that way. This is why we need to break a few monopolies and keep them broken... that increases competition, that increases competition for good workers that will work for good pay and benefits

Let's go the Reich way, and increase average pay at Wallmart from 16,500\year to 25,000 year. This is about 1% of profits for Wallmart. What happens to those workers? What happens to their consumption? They suddenly are able to afford to fix some things, and yes, CONSUME a few more stuff. According to Reich the potential in sales is 8 B. So let me see, costs 1 B to raise those salaries to something that is lower middle class, nothing luxurious... and has a potential of 7B in profits.

Yes, Reich article is posted on another thread. give me a sec, because you really need to read it.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=1867549

Please, do read it...

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #40)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 03:32 PM

43. Awesome...

 

I totally agree with Reich's argument, but as we sort of touched on in another 'conversation', what happens at Walmart will inevitably spread to other retail outlets and I wonder how many of them can afford to do the same.

Ford's idea to make sure that his employees made enough to be able to afford the products they were making was the 'right' thing to do, I'm just not entirely sure the economics would work the same way now...at some point we are going to have to accept that there will be low paying jobs that you simply cannot (and shouldn't try to) make a living at. There will always be a lower-middle/poor class in this country.

Now, I think (and don't kill me for this), that that might be a good thing in the long run as it will make people realize that there is another choice...you don't have to settle for a low paying job; you can stay in school and get an education or start a business yourself (certainly I realize that's a blanket statement and it still won't be an option for a lot of people but it will be an option for some).

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Response to OneMoreDemocrat (Reply #43)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 03:34 PM

44. THen you already accepted the premise that Sam Walton built his business on

I am sorry you have.

And yes Target can afford to as well, as well as Sears... in fact, as a nation we cannot afford not to. These low wage places are COSTING YOU AND ME billions in public assistance.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #44)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 03:42 PM

45. Well, I can't refute that but...

 

If I ran a bookstore and I employed eight people I don't think I would expect them to expect to be in the middle class from what I would be able to pay them.

However, if I ran a medical practice and employed eight doctors, I would expect them to be able to live on what I paid them.

There are going to be socioeconomic differences and I don't think having false expectations is going to change that.

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Response to OneMoreDemocrat (Reply #45)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 03:52 PM

46. How about the cleaning staff at your practice?

You know the cleaning staff that makes sure your infection control standards are met.

Also 25,000 is not that much money.

That is the problem, you have internalized the greed values we live in. No, none of us is saying that the owner should make the same as the worker... but when the owner makes 200 times as much as the line worker, or more... you are setting yourself for a revolution. That is the truth.

Look the 1950s were an age of mostly fairly decent prosperity, We had taxes (maximum tax rates) in the 91% of marginal rates for the top earners. People invested in their companies, and we had the largest expansion of the middle class ever. Did it have bad things. yes. Blacks were treated like second class all over the country, women had not many rights. and a few other "lovely" things, but we had an expansion that it is not imagination. It happened.

I am sorry you grew up in an era where yuppies internalized the greed is good model, where even 33% top marginal rates sends people into paroxysms of rage in the top earning class, that actually wants to extract as much as they can from the US, as they move on to other places, where they will do the same. Wallmart already expanded operation all over Latin America and Asia... and in my view they should move to Beijing.

Also, riddle me this. If your bookstore employees can barely afford the rent. will they be able to buy a book from you? Worst, if they cannot afford the rent. and have to forego housing or food (yes it is happening), what happens to your business?

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Response to OneMoreDemocrat (Reply #43)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 02:08 PM

76. Stay in school.....

That's a lot another topic that needs to be addressed, isn't it amazing how interconnected ever thing is?

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Response to OneMoreDemocrat (Reply #32)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:11 PM

75. With the tax breaks WM gets

destroying all the mom and pops, no where, it's the downward spiral.

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Response to lunatica (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 03:13 PM

38. not sure where to fit this in.... Wal Marts biz model

in the mid 90's walmart was expanding in the local area (Albuquerque) a lot of crafts, jewelry and Native American products are marketed locally, they are parts of our homes as well as merchandise for tourists..

Wal Mart of course was accused of course of running their competition out.. thus depriving the local producers of market... in an effort to quell those fears Wal mart agreed to handle these local items, of course under wall marts conditions...

among the term.. the producer was to bill Wal mart net 180 days.. the producer would not be reimbursed for shrinkage..

of course what this amounted to was a de facto consignment arrangement.. with the added burden of waiting 6 months for their money.. surprisingly a few producers took them up on the offer.. that lasted a couple of months, since that time i have not seen locally produced items..

just another way they had the last word..

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Response to lunatica (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 04:14 PM

47. It's like a virus. Really. n/t

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Response to lunatica (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 04:18 PM

48. And you think most of those local stores and businesses

pay better and offer benefits? Please, I've worked in mom & pop stores and local businesses and they didn't pay well and don't offer benefits.

Walmart certainly isn't the only business that cost the taxpayers big time. Look at the resorts in this country. The majority are seasonal and in the off season they lay off hundreds of workers who then go on unemployment until the resort rehires them for the season. It happens all over the country and affects thousands of workers - I know because my husband and I worked in the hotel business for awhile. Employees get laid off and get by on unemployment and food stamps while the resorts continue to make big profits.

Yes, Walmart should treat employees better.....lots better but so should a lot of other businesses. When my husband quit his job at a resort when he got laid off for the off season they were shocked that he wasn't looking forward to 3 months of unemployment and food stamps.

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Response to ohheckyeah (Reply #48)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 04:25 PM

49. Nobody is saying that

but look at Ryan's Pizza, talk of a local business... they do. They will now compete in a more equal playing field with the franchises due to the ACA.

But here is the trick. If the large companies start to do that (due to pressure), the mom and pop will have to. Wally World is actually setting the pace and has been for a generation or so.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #49)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 04:50 PM

52. In my experience Ryan's pizza is the exception

not the rule.

As I said, resorts have been doing this for years. The pay is shitty to begin with and then they let the taxpayers subsidize them during the off season by laying off employees, most of which accept the layoff, collect unemployment and food stamps and go back to work when called. Walmart didn't come up with the low pay business/shitty benefits model ...resorts were doing it before we ever heard of Walmart.

I live rural and if it weren't for Walmart I would spend twice as much in gas. It's not about the low prices as much as it is about the location. Walmart filled a void for many people who live rural and they drug Lowe's along with them in many areas. When Walmart opened in our area within 2 years so did a Cato, Radio Shack, Dollar Tree and Tractor Supply. They could only make it because of the draw of Walmart. 4 years later Lowe's opened just down the road from Walmart. Why? Because of the draw of Walmart.

I don't love Walmart by any means, but they saw a need and filled it, much like Dollar General Store and Family Dollar Store. They moved into rural areas where people had to drive 30 miles or more to shop. We just got a Family Dollar Store in our rural area and it saves me a lot of money in gas....it's even much closer than Walmart. When we lived in Bath County,VA up on top of a mountain, Dollar General Store opened a store close by...there were no other stores besides a country store, a very small crappy grocery store and stores at the resort. Walmart opened a store 10 miles away in a small town where people used to have to drive 60+ miles to buy socks or underwear. Walmart filled a need and it wasn't just about price.

In the area where I live, the small businesses are mostly antique shops, a couple of furniture stores, florists and jewelry stores. Not one bookstore, shoe store, clothing store, electronics store, household items store.....to shop for any of those things I would have to drive 30+ miles. Walmart moved into the area and I could drive 13 miles instead of 30+.

The other day my keyboard screwed up. I tried cleaning it but the space bar was still sticking...I work from home on the computer and I needed a keyboard NOW. I could drive to Best Buy which is 32 miles from where I live and in a congested area of the city or I could go to Walmart which is 13 miles from where I live and almost no traffic. Which do you think I did? Was it because Walmart was cheaper? No, it was because Walmart was closer.

As I said, Walmart should pay their employees better and offer benefits, but they have become the scape goat for a business model employed by many other businesses even before Walmart existed.

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Response to ohheckyeah (Reply #52)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 04:56 PM

53. Well I wish them to get a union, a nationwide union

and to set the pace for the rest of the industry, and that includes the entertainment industry

I also get it why some folks cannot buy outside of Walmart... but it is time we change collectively, our attitudes.

This is a generational thing in many ways and what is ironic is when Sam Walton started his model was more akin to Ryan's Pizza. He was the HIGH PAY place in Fayetville... the model of low pay and no benefits came years later.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #53)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 05:01 PM

54. I have a cousin who works for Walmart...

the reason is her health benefits. Yes, a unionized Walmart would be better for the employees and I can't argue with that. But, as I said, this business model didn't start with Walmart.

Convenience isn't generational in my opinion and with the price of gas many people would be up shit's creek without the local Walmart. They can't afford the gas to drive 30+ miles each way to buy printer paper, socks and cereal.

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Response to ohheckyeah (Reply #54)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 05:05 PM

55. I am not talking of convenience

though I will be honest, you live in a rural area, so if they manage to kill the USPS, you could not even order though the United States Post office.

This is, for the moment, one alternative.

That said, the acceptance of this is greed is good model is actually generational and started to really take off in the 1970s, but really took off in the 1980s... It is a concept of extraction, not business that is sustainable a generation after generation after generation.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #55)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 05:28 PM

58. I order a lot of stuff online.

But sometimes I need something (like my keyboard) right now.

I just ordered a pair of Dan Post boots. I was going to look at the local western wear shop but those assholes had up a very nasty anti-Obama sign and Romney signs all over their business parking lot....they didn't get my business. I drove 32 miles to another western wear store that I had called to see what they had in stock. They said they had a new shipment of lots of Dan Post boots starting at size 6. I got there just a couple of days later and they informed me the smallest size they got in was an 8. So, screw both of those local businesses....I ordered from Shepler's online.

Even without the USPS there is UPS and FedEx...although I hate both and use USPS whenever I have a choice.

I don't think "greed is good" is really all that new. There have always been greedy jerks - just look at the mark-up on jewelry which has pretty much always been astronomical.



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Response to ohheckyeah (Reply #58)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 05:33 PM

59. People who forget history

the 1950s with all it's problems, led to a rising middle class. None of us imagine that in a history book. Of course a lot of that was regulations, and heavy regulations to boot, as well as taxation.

So yes, this is Reagan's revolution, and Mr. Gecko's stating it in a script. "Greed is good." (And a lot of deregulation to boot)

Me, I try to get my things locally from local businesses, but I live in a large urban area, so I admit it is much easier.

And no, I will not darken a Wally World, even to make a deposit at the bathroom. I cannot avoid doing that in Mexico City... but that has to do with how many businesses they have bought and that is what they want to do in the US.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #59)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 11:52 PM

67. Not really - Reagan

didn't come up with greed. Ever live in coal mining country where there was a company store? Greed was alive and well even then.....maybe especially then. Miners ended up owing the company more than they made and could only buy things from the company store.

Corporate greed isn't new and certainly isn't due to a Reagan revolution.

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Response to ohheckyeah (Reply #67)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 12:03 AM

68. You may want to justify it

I won't. Existed in the 1920s, why I said 1950s.

We need to break them, we need unions, and we need to stop making excuses.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #68)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 12:10 AM

69. It's not justifying to point out that

corporate greed isn't a new concept and that Walmart certainly isn't the only guilty party. Resorts and hotels have been doing this shit for many years - way before Walmart was around.

And coal mining corporations didn't stop their abuse in the 1920s....if you believe that you've never lived in coal mining country.

I said I agree that we need unions and I'm not making any excuses - I'm pointing out facts that get glossed over in the pile on of making just one corporation the scape goat.

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Response to ohheckyeah (Reply #69)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 12:18 AM

70. It s targeting the one setting the pace

For the whole retail industry...I guess we need another battle of Blair Mountain...

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Response to lunatica (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 04:26 PM

50. don't forget pressure on suppliers that destroys WalMart's competition too

I explained that to my kid yesterday when I expressed concern about his birthmother shopping at WalMart when she had a UFCW job.

HAD

WalMart killed that store.

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Response to lunatica (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 04:31 PM

51. Oddly enough

in a roundabout way you help the employees of Walmart by not shopping there. Because this economic circle is a death spiral.

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Response to lunatica (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 05:23 PM

56. kr

 

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Response to lunatica (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 06:12 PM

61. A "socialist Wal-Mart" would be a good thing.

The problem is not volume and efficiency - those are good things. I do not think there is anything innately admirable about less efficient small enterprises. If they can innovate and offer something that larger more efficient competitors do not, they will survive; otherwise, not.

The problem of Wal-Mart is that it is regulated enough, and its workers lack rights that they should have.

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Response to lunatica (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 06:13 PM

62. Walmart has only 2.2 million employees out of 133.8 million non-farm employees. Your theory is BS.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #62)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 06:55 PM

63. And they are the pace setters for retail

like it or not.

Read Reich's column on this. They are the SINGLE largest employer in the US... that is a fact Jack.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #62)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 03:10 AM

71. Good luck with the fact thing.

It probably won't go anywhere, but I appreciate the effort.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #71)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 09:47 AM

72. Actually, the fact was wrong -- they only have 1.4 million employees in the US

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Response to lunatica (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 09:22 PM

65. You're missing the last step

Wal-Mart is approaching the point where it's low pay means they are losing customers - they've driven wages down to the point where significant numbers of people can't afford to shop there anymore.

Their massive success at abusing workers will ironically destroy them....at least in their current form.

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Response to lunatica (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 10:30 PM

66. You have described a form of parasite which usurps but does not kill its host.

 

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Response to lunatica (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 09:50 AM

73. 1/3 of these employees can't shop there without public assistance

so taxpayers help Wally World continue the cycle of paying bargain-basement wages.

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