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.
Read the posts more carefully. It's not about logic. It can't be argued that way. It's about "the way things should be."
Yes, you did not bring up the Wal-Mart/Costco first, I noticed that after I posted.
And, well, I didn't choose 20 years because Costco wasn't publicly traded 20 years ago. Five years is a long time in the stock market. It was an arbitrary pick. I could have picked one year.
According to the chart I linked to Costco started trading around 1985. Since then Wal-Mart has been a much better 21 year investment. Also, based on the chart, if you look at the last 6 years or the last 7 years you can see both companies performed about the same.
I am not saying you mislead on purpose, certainly 5 years is a reasonable and standard time period to pick. But as a result of that pick your numbers are misleading. Approximately 5 or 5.5 years ago Costco had a huge dip in price. If you bought right after that dip than you would have good performance relative to Walmart which did not dip in price at that time. If you bought at any other time it does not look like Costco stock did any better than WalMart.
I'm thinking if I can reduce his arguments to their base elements, Havoc might be able to realize just exactly that.
I've noticed in my travels two distinct groups of people:
Folks A) Are making tons of money with highly specialized skill sets. They are actually making more money than they ever thought possible and are reveling in new technology and increasingly easy travel and the ability to access foreign markets and customers. A good portion of these folks have no solid job. They work as independent contractors.
Folks B)Have been "caught in the switches." Their skill sets are either undeveloped or outdated. The price/value of their skill set has fallen to near zero on the open market. They either want things to go back to the old corporate model or some other real or imagined way that things "used to be."
Needless to say, there are more Folks B than Folks A. And this is a real problem.
One last thing -- it is extremely easy to confuse the value of someone's skill set with the value of them as a person. Obviously, the two are not related -- but it's sometimes difficult to untangle the two.
The selling of Chinese made products is not in itself immoral or unpatriotic. That discussion has been had over and over again; but, it is yet another in the standard list of strawmen presented. Substitute "Foreign" or "British" for "Chinese" and that becomes apparent on it's face given the facts surrounding the revolution that founded this nation. It betrays your argument for the strawman.
What is unpatriotic is selling a foreign product at below local market cost to produce it. That is called unfair competition. You are using foreign wage scales to undermine the US economy. And if you don't understand the damage that does, you need to seek help. If you don't care, you merely illustrate my other points as to morality. Our economy is the backbone of this country's ability to defend itself. If you undermine the economy, you undermine the nation. And by undermining the US wage, you undermine the economy. Pretty simple. But not conducive to allowing you to profit absurdly at the cost of America and Americans. When all you can see is money, Patriotism and what it means becomes 'unimportant' and 'fuzzy.'
Something just kinda crept into the back of my mind. I and others have noted the Glaring prediction of the author of the Free-trade theory that it would lead most likely to revolution. And it's been asked of my side whether we would start a civil war over it. An interesting question. But, as the warning existed before the theory was shoved on us all, it seems more proper to ask if you would.. Start a civil war over it. I ask because it's quite possible that will happen IMHO. Would you? Simple yes or no if you please.
You mean "The Way Things Outta Be"..
It's about the way things are. Subverting the economy is actionable. The question is who is willing to take the action to stop it. Illegal immigration is actionable. Again, same question. Patriotism, Morality and business often find themselves at odds. That is why laws have been passed endlessly to constrain business from operating in immoral ways. Not illegal, immoral. They become illegal because they're judged immoral. Which is precisely why the harping by the democrats about not "adjudicating morality" is an oxymoron. Slavery didn't become illegal because it wasn't nice. It was judged immoral and unconstitutional. What the constitution says about it is a moral statement.
Law isn't written because people don't know what is immoral. Law is written because people refuse to be constrained by morality. The system, because they won't constrain themselves, acts to constrain them. Thus, slavery was outlawed. And a war was fought over it because of the desires of some businessmen getting rich off of it. Same thing precisely is happening now. All of America is being put in jeopardy - over the financial aspirations of few hundred companies as compared to, what .. a third of a billion people.. I'll let you consider the risk in light of the disparity and assininity of it. Same situation as those leading to the civil war.
Right. I agree with one correction. Business rarely acts in an immoral fashion. Mostly it acts in an amoral fashion. Again, corporations are machines.
IMHO, you've oversimplified the matter. It is more complicated than that.
Education in this country is the avenue to better skill sets.
Not everyone can afford the education. And mid-level jobs that 'anyone' can do, have been the place those people have traditionally aspired to reaching in order to be able to afford the education needed for the better skill sets. I got hired on at EDS because I was extensively self trained in multiple OS platforms, software packages etc, had a background in sales and technical freelance work. I got their not because I had a degree but because of the bulk of my experience. Once I did get there, I found that I could eventually afford schooling. As it happens, I arrived there after losing everything and much of my resources went into rebuilding my life. By the time I was offshored, I was ready to consider schooling; but, by then the option was out of the question and being 'service sector' none of us qualified for retraining - ie educational assistance - that manufacturing sector workers got.
The reality is, not everyone is single with no responsibilities or overhead. In fact few are. It's tough on my health to try to work multiple jobs. I did it for a while and nearly landed myself in the hospital which would have bankrupted me at this point. But I'll return to it soon anyway. I'll have to. So this isn't whining, it's just using the most readily available real world example that I know intimately - my own. My story isn't that different from that of others. The specifics may be different; but, the circumstances end up with the same result. Too poor to afford anything and too rich for assistance. I don't want the assistance. I'd rather croak than take money from other taxpayers who are struggling themselves. On the other hand, while the mid-level job at 10-15 bucks an hour would help me afford schooling, those are the very jobs you're side is intent on raping from the landscape and pushing overseas for greater profit. What do you call the 'land of opportunity' after you've exported most of the opportunity?.. 'the land where opportunity used to be'...
That is the dynamic. You're destroying the opportunity here while raping the landscape around us. You've literally become parasites living off the carcass and gleeful over the feast.
The kneejerk reaction most of you utter is something along the lines of "start your own business" or "go back to school". That's great if you can afford it. Most can't. Have you looked at the price of a college education recently? I have. The cost of going into business isn't much better. But let's not get distracted by the real world.
I've spent my whole life pulling myself up by the bootstraps because that has been pretty much my only option given my circumstances and my morals. And hearing people say off the cuff, "pull yourself up..." isn't an insult because they are morons in my scheme of things. If they knew what they were saying and had any integrity, they'd find something useful to say. Instead, they offer the obvious. Who needs it. I'd rather they be constrained from turning the land of opportunity into that land of what used to be.. that or given a dose of reality and their own medicine for a bit enough for them to see the error in it. As it stands, if they want to turn reality into Shadowrun, Cyberpunk or the like, I'm content to respond in kind if it comes to that. They know the risk of what they're doing. If it bites them, they'll have no one to complain to about it. Right now, the illegal immigration issue is setting the nation into a rage.
When that is dealt with and the problems still exist, the desire for blood isn't going to be any less and the patience level by that time will have been exhausted. The American Civil war II is a very real possibility of a sequal.
Corporations are not machines, businesses are not machines nor are Mafia families. Every mafia family is a business. Business and Corporation are merely concepts you're ducking behind in order to avoid admitting that people are behind them making decisions. Those people are making moral choices whether the concept does or not. I've spent a lot of years debating religion and you're doing nothing more than playing a shell game whether you intend to or not. You can't simply disassociate people from responsibility by invoking a concept and hiding them behind it. Sorry.
Right on cue, the big lie. How very boring.
It's more like having to close the doors on American plants, Charlie.
We saw that outfit in the midwest that made the cabinets for big TV sets, you know, with the large glass front? Well, with cheap chineeeeeze labor and less than desireable quality, they can produce the entire cabinet for less than the midwest company's material cost for just the glass screen alone.
'Course, you get screens of non-uniform thickness and clarity, but what's a little distortion compared to cheap price?
This sentiment will lead to the death of the nation. Here in one sentice is the globalist merchantile mind. nothing matters but money. Good, evil, right, wrong, life, death all are subservant to making a profit. Which is exactly what wal-mart does with it's "China price". Wal-mart does not give a damn about the usa, American citizens or what is best for the country. Can't meet the "China price" can't do business with wal-mart.
Soon to be in someone's tagline....
"Walmart isn't hated because it is successful."
Exactly. Success has nothing to do with it. It's the means utilized to achieve that success so many take issue with.
LOL, it is amazing that they do not see the wisdom of putting usa manutfacturing out of business so the the communist government of China has a market in which it can fiance it's military for the coming confrontation with the usa. What is wrong with them?
they started it all, they were the first to go to china and as the article points out if your competitor can under cut you then you are in trouble. Once Wal-mart got the "china price" all other discount retailers had to get the "china price" too. the blame lies more with the federal government insane idea that "constructive engagement" with China will serve our long tern interests and it's equally insane belief that free trade is possible with communist nations.
To misquote a line "Wal-Mart is the best of capitalism, and the worst of capitalism."
The real villain here is the U.S. Government in this case Bill Clinton's administration. Opening trade with China through the WTO seemed like a great chance to sell goods to the Chinese. The reverse is true as the current 250 billion dollar trade deficit shows.That administration also failed to control the inflation rate that drove all the U.S. economy higher.
Wal Mart has forced most of the companies that do business with them to build overseas plants to compete in their marketplace. By doing so, Wal Mart destroys high paying jobs while replacing the work force with their low pay positions.
You also need to learn the first (leader) price policy that Wal Mart practices. The advertised price for a particular toaster oven may be lower that other stores but the remainder of the toaster ovens are the same costs or more than others.
Wal Mart turns a higher profit because of the off shore products and its ability to buy mass quantities and control the manufacturing.