Skip to comments.Wal-Mart Is Right
Posted on 05/02/2006 11:56:46 PM PDT by Joe Bfstplk
Wal-Mart is the only corporation in the world that I know of or have ever heard of that is hated because it is successful. What do these critics want Wal-Mart to do? Fail? Start selling $300 shirts like Saks Fifth Avenue?
Of course, some of the hatred is coming from unions, which have tried but, so far as I know, failed to unionize Wal-Mart's work force. That one thing tells you that it must be a much better deal to work for Wal-Mart than its critics let on. Some of the disdain comes from leftist snobs who think they should run the lives of the peasants who work and shop there.
I am a small-town guy who has hated to see so many locally owned small businesses go under, but that's not Wal-Mart's fault. That trend started years ago with suburban sprawl (a major contributor to the energy crisis, by the way), suburban shopping malls, strip malls and all the other discounters that preceded Wal-Mart in prominence. It was caused by the American public's preference to buy based on price, rather than on service or quality. It was caused by local politicians converting the National Defense Highway System (the interstates) into suburban and urban commuter systems by routing them through instead of around the cities.
Wal-Mart is one of the best-run corporations in the world. The individual consumer has no clout with suppliers and manufacturers. Wal-Mart uses its enormous buying clout to get consumers the best price at the best quality possible. Being a supplier to Wal-Mart is no picnic, as the company is quite demanding.
It's not Wal-Mart's fault that much of its merchandise is manufactured in China. The late Sam Walton went to extraordinary lengths to help American manufacturers, but Wal-Mart doesn't control any corporation except itself. The move to China is not coming from Wal-Mart, but from greedy manufacturing corporations that love cheap and controlled labor. If your competitor is selling an American brand-name product made in China cheaper than you can buy one here, and if the customer says, "I don't care where it's made as long as I can afford it," what are you going to do?
More recently, Wal-Mart has been slammed for not providing what its critics think it should in the way of medical insurance. Well, why is General Motors flirting with bankruptcy? Why is Ford Motor Co. in financial trouble? Why, for that matter, is the federal government in financial trouble? The stinking hag in this room that everyone is ignoring is the high cost of medical service.
You can't provide low-cost health care or low-cost medical insurance for a system run by millionaire doctors and six-figure hospital administrators, and that has 1,200 percent profit margins for drugs and medical devices. The health-industry attitude is, we'll profiteer like crazy, and you people find a way to pay us. If Congress were not a bought-and-paid-for whore, America could join the rest of the industrialized world with a reasonable health-care system.
Health-care costs are one of the key factors in making American manufacturers uncompetitive. Now that the state of Maryland has presumed to dictate what kind of benefits Wal-Mart provides, if I ran the company, I'd close every store in the state and put the property up for sale. This is just one more ploy in the anti-Wal-Mart crusade.
We have reached a sick and perverted point in our culture when honesty and success bring attacks, mainly from people who either don't know what they are talking about or have a hidden agenda.
Millions of Americans who earn low wages from other employers rely on Wal-Mart to help them stretch their family budget. Wal-Mart has kept faith with those people. I've never found a dirty store, a rude employee or a defective product in a Wal-Mart store.
If you prefer to pay more than something's worth in exchange for some phony ambience or fancy label, go right ahead. In the meantime, get off Wal-Mart's back. It's one of the few entities in this country that is doing the right thing the right way for the right reasons.
What about 'Big Oil'?
Reece is nuts. Try Halliburton, for example. And many other corporations in U.S. history have been hated for being successful. Standard Oil and the old, big railroad companies stand out in U.S. history as having been hated for being successful.
This guy must only go to that one Wal=Mart in the far off land of Oz.
Walmart isn't hated because it is successful. Walmart is hated because it destroys American jobs, American companies, American communities and American wages for it's own good. WalMart is hated because it does what Republicans and Democrats in Washington are currently doing - putting money ahead of Americans and America. This story is just another attempt to whitewash the issue by painting a strawman.
This should be automatically inserted in front of every post at FR.
Yeah, Wal-Mart destroys American jobs, American companies, American communities, and American wages. I mean, who wouldn't want to work for a mom and pop for minimum wage with no insurance?
Wal-Mart hatred is silly. You don't like Wal-Mart, shop somewhere else. Capitalism is good.
Capitalism may be good. That has nothing to do with whether Walmart is or not. Funny that rather than defend them, you resort to defending capitalism which none of us have any beef with.. Strawman anyone?
Why do you hate America?
(joke, it's a joke)
In my neck of the woods, they have a few defective employees. I always say hello to the employees there to greet customers at the door, and more than half the time they don't acknowledge. They will look right at you and say nothing. Maybe they need to be rotated a little more frequently, eh?
And by the way, if they DON'T close up every store in Maryland, they're not practicing capitalism, they're an accessory after the fact to fascism.
Capitalism may be good, but it's not always kind, warm and fuzzy.
Suggested reading: Joseph Schumpeter/creative destruction
The greeters in my area are always nice and respond when I say 'hi'!
They are almost always senior citizens, which may account for their politeness......
Sometimes it is a problem actually FINDING someone to help you in the rest of the store.
Why am I going to pay more if I dont have to?
anyone have an Ace Hardware near them? I can't understand how they can afford to have 1 guy for every 3 aisles to walk up to you "can I help you?"
Spend 5 minutes in there and four people will ask you if you need help. Its NOT a good thing after a while
"Hello ... Ma?"
"You can't provide low-cost health care or low-cost medical insurance for a system run by millionaire doctors and six-figure hospital administrators, and that has 1,200 percent profit margins for drugs and medical devices. The health-industry attitude is, we'll profiteer like crazy, and you people find a way to pay us."
Apparently, Mr. Reese hates the medical profession for the same reasons other folks hate Wal-Mart. Author, heal thyself.
Does this mean that your alternative is SOCIALISM? Just wondering. Amen.
That may have been the case in the past.
Sorry, but I have to disagree with you. Capitalism isn't good. No.
Capitalism is OUTSTANDING!
anyone have an Ace Hardware near them? I can't understand how they can afford to have 1 guy for every 3 aisles to walk up to you "can I help you?"
Pathetic wages and high prices?
300 dollar shirts, no, but they could stock 40 dollar shirts that don't shrink two sizes and fall apart after two washes. Clothing quality is about the only beef I have with Wal-Mart. I think it's a great store, overall.
That is what this nation said in 1928 and the result was the Smoot Hawley tariff to limit the importation of cheap foreign goods. There was a real rejection of illegal immigration. Italian immigrants were called WOPS because they were undocumented workers. WOPS is an acronym or With Out Papers. The result of the Smoot Hawley tariff and severely limited immigration was the implementation of retaliatory tariffs all over the world. The result of that was the great world wide depression.
"Wal-Mart is the only corporation in the world that I know of or have ever heard of that is hated because it is successful."
Nah - this phenomenon is more common than you think. When General Motors was on top of the heap they were nothing but a target to everybody from the crackpots to the mainstream media.
The United States itself isn't hated for any logical reason; it's hated all over the globe because it's big and successful in a petty and faltering world. Sort of like Cain rising up and killing Abel because Abel was right and Cain couldn't stand it.
I hate to break this to you, but that's pretty much the way a market-based economy has always worked.
See it only took 6 replies to find one here on FR.
They are all over the place.
Yep, damn that WalMart for being successful under Capitalism! I guess we need to go Socialist so we can have a paradise like the old Soviet Union.
There are a zillion corporations that are paying their help comparable to Walmart. I doubt Burger King and McDonald's hamburger flippers are earning double digit hourly wages.
And yet these same leftist snobs can't get it through their thick skulls that the more demands the government makes on a company, large or small, the less there is to pay employees. For instance, I am surprised at the number of people (usually bleeding heart types) who don't know that the companies we work for have to match our social security and medicare payments out of their gross income.
Maybe it's a drop in the ocean for AT&T but for the small and medium sized small business it's a big chunk. Though I wish all companies would abide by the illegal immigrant hiring laws, I can understand why they try to sneak by hiring them. The government pressures are getting greater and greater on both businesses and individuals. Sometimes one almost feels forced to break an unfair law, not because they want to in a screw you attitude, but because they just won't make be able to make it otherwise.
How can any rational person hate a company that employes millions and then blame them for destroying jobs. Every company is in business to make money and no company puts America and Americans ahead of profit, whatever that means. Here is your solution to the greedy Wal-Mart problem.
"The move to China is not coming from Wal-Mart, but from greedy manufacturing corporations that love cheap and controlled labor."
That, my friend, is what some people call a lie.
Wal-Mart does pressure corporations to send manufacturing offshore to lower-cost manufacturers by demanding from its suppliers, year after year, incrementally lower prices. Wal-Mart's customers don't demand that. Wal-Mart demands that. They demand it so they can dominate the market, drive competitors out of business, and line the already bulging pockets of the Walton clan.
The inevitable effect of Wal-Mart's demands on suppliers is to send American manufacturing jobs to China. Here is but one example:
"Take the L.R. Nelson lawn sprinklers, which used to be made in Peoria, Ill., before Wal-Mart pressured Nelson to make them in China instead. Before the move, one laid-off Peoria worker told the reporter, Chinese managers were "walking around the plant and videotaping us working. That was horrible, horrendous. Right in our faces. They are taking our jobs." (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/12/AR2006041202186_4.html)
...all so Wal-Mart can offer a lawn sprinkler at a lower cost. Maybe I missed where consumers were picketing stores demanding cheaper lawn sprinklers, but I doubt it.
I'm a capitalist. I love to make a fair profit from my customers. But there are limits. I don't demand higher profits where it leads to injury or death. I don't demand higher profits where it leads to sweat shops and child labor. And I don't demand higher profits where it leads to the evisceration of the American manufacturing base, ultimately weakening this country.
If you use google and look up Wal-Mart versus Costco, you will find a number of articles comparing the too.
Short answers to your questions:
1. About 13 percent of Costco's employees are unionized.
2. Costco employees are paid more than average in the retail industry, including more than at Wal-Mart.
3. Costco's health care eligibility requirements for health care are more generous than Wal-Mart's. Specifically, Costco employees become eligible for health insurance after three months working full time, or six months part time. At Wal-Mart, many who work full time must wait six months to become eligible. Part-time workers are not eligible for at least two years. Because of turnover, some employees never work long enough to become eligible. (http://www.brynmawr.edu/admissions/careers/abelson_story2.htm)
Costco has even been criticized by Wall Street analysts for being so generous to its employees. One analyst quipped a few years ago that it was better to be an employee at Costco than to be a shareholder of Costco stock.
As time has passed, however, these criticisms have disappeared. Why? Compare stock performance.
Five years ago, Wal-Mart stock was trading at roughly $52 a share. Today, it's at about $46 a share. If you'd invested $1,000 dollars in Wal-Mart five years ago, you would have lost about $115 dollars.
Five years ago, Costco stock was trading at roughly $35 a share. Today, it's at about $54 a share. If you'd invested $1,000 in Costco five years ago you would have gained about $543.
That's why you don't hear as much criticism of Costco's employee compensation program these days from Wall Street.
Yet despite the Evil Wal-Mart's best efforts--unemployment remains at record lows. If more companies would "destroy America" by lowering prices thereby improving the way of life of the lower-to-middle classes, then we'd be in real trouble.
The problem is not doctors, it's lawyers.
I've never found a dirty store, a rude employee or a defective product in a Wal-Mart store.
I'm no Wal-mart basher, but this person is living in fantasy-land.
Ok, when you actually define your beef with Wal-Mart, instead of just spewing a litany of accusations, I will.
Yes, they do. If they didn't want lower prices, they probably wouldn't be shopping at WalMart.
Maybe I missed where consumers were picketing stores demanding cheaper lawn sprinklers, but I doubt it.
If customers really don't care, you should be able to make a killing selling higher priced products made in the US, or at least not China. But customers by their actions indicate that they really do like cheaper lawn sprinklers.
And I don't demand higher profits where it leads to the evisceration of the American manufacturing base
US manufacturing output keeps rising, albeit with fewer workers due to large productivity increases.
This article is pure BS. It tries to state that Wal-Mart is an innocent victim who is sold Chinese goods against their will.
Wal-Mart seeks out Chinese goods. Period.
That's why I like Ace Hardware, makes it easy to get in and out of the place, they know where everything is and can help you figure out what you need. Much better than Home Depot where you have to lasso somebody to ask a question and the only answer they ever seem to have is "that not in this section, I think it's in (insert section on the other side of the store)".
Wal-Mart seeks out cheap goods. Because that's what their customers want.
Well, we can see that you've read the default response playbook on how to color the dialogue with nonsense. Go stand in the corner.
A depression.. you mean going back to the model that made us a wealthy nation prior to free trade will lead us to a depression. I think you'll need to establish that factually.
Your Smoot Hawley reference is sheer moronic nonsense. Nobody is recommending any such thing. Just another strawman from the treason playbook to color the argument with utter nonsense.
No, sorry. The market based economy in the USA has not always sold out America and Americans for profit. The leftists, maybe.. eg the Rosenburgs..
Damn Walmart for being successful.
Damn Walmart for being successful under capitalism.
Neither is the case. The case was stated plainly. You can't respond to the real issue - selling out America for profit.
Since you can't address that with a straight face and come out smelling of roses, you lie about what the argument is and argue a strawman. You get a time out for deciet. Bye.
How can any rational person hate a system that employs millions of people and then complain that they destroy lives.
Response: "Union of Soviet Socialist Republics"
Every company is in business to make money. Every gun is made to be fired. So by your logic, murder doesn't exist because, hey, that gun was made to be fired. You can't punish someone for putting that gun to it's proper use.. Oh, that's right, there's that thing called ethics.. of which patriotism is a part. I suppose that by your thinking, the Rosenburgs should have been acquited because, hey, they were in business to make money afterall. It doesn't matter by your logic how they do it so long as they make money..
You guys have no shame.