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Wal-Mart Is Right
King Features Online ^ | May 3, 2006 | Charley Reese

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.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: charleyreese; reese; retail; walmart
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To: R. Scott

No - in my opinion, capitalism isn’t good – but it is the only system tried so far that works.

Right. That's why I said capitalism is outstanding.

151 posted on 05/05/2006 4:17:08 AM PDT by rdb3 (It helps now that I'm no longer young enough to know everything.)
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bump


152 posted on 05/05/2006 4:19:57 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: durasell
Secondly, it would be slitting their own throats since the kind of person who buys that stuff doesn't relish the thought of seeing it on the shelves of wal-mart...

I know some of those people. If they were to discover Wal-Mart carried Sacs collections they would have to buy a whole new wardrobe.
I just checked Sacs website. I’m afraid that even if I had the money I couldn’t shop there – I’m not metro enough for Marc Jacobs, John Varvatos or Paul Smith.
153 posted on 05/05/2006 4:29:38 AM PDT by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink)
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To: rdb3

I doubt a better system will ever come to be – but I’m not an economist and don’t really have enough imagination to even think of a better system.


154 posted on 05/05/2006 4:31:28 AM PDT by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink)
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To: R. Scott

What is interesting in the story is that there is a kind of sneering quality about $300 shirts from Saks. In fact there is a relatively small market for such shirts, though such items are highly profitable. There is also a vast difference in quality between a $300 shirt from Saks and a $20 shirt from Wal Mart.


155 posted on 05/05/2006 4:57:59 AM PDT by durasell (!)
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To: durasell
"If doing business with China is morally wrong,"

If? You start that sentience with an "If"? Tell me, if you could get a good deal for you business, on merchantise manurfactored by the government of Iran, knowing the profits where going to the government of Iran. Would you do it? No brother to answer I already know you would.

I am old enough to remember when it was considered unAmerican to buy foreign then you could buy domestic. Imagine that, once upon a time people knew, indistinctly knew that it was better for EVERYONE to buy American, even if it costs a little more or the quality was not quite as good. But then that was back when the usa was by far the wealthiest nation on earth, abortions were illegal, school prayer was legal, CEO's only made 20x what workers made, workers could raise a family on their pay, moms stayed at home, and most girls graduated High School virgins.

But hey you're the smart guy I'm just a known nothing "protectionist". But I do remember when know nothing "protectionists" were running the show and things were a hell of a lot better then they are with the free traders in charge.

Keep shopping at wal-mart folks the Chicom need the money, they are doing a massive military build up with it.

156 posted on 05/05/2006 6:44:49 AM PDT by jpsb
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To: jpsb

Do a little research to see just what companies are either doing business with Iran now or have done business with them until very recently. It's a Google search that should take about six seconds. Hint: there's alot of them.

And no, I wouldn't be one of them. Please don't make assumptions about me.

In regards to the world you can remember and how swell it was, well, that's swell. But the world has changed. That old world isn't coming back. Really, it isn't. It's over forever.

And, for the record, I don't shop at Wal Mart.


157 posted on 05/05/2006 7:39:18 AM PDT by durasell (!)
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To: jpsb

you might also want to google "U.S. companies cayman subsidiaries" for another eye opener


158 posted on 05/05/2006 7:48:16 AM PDT by durasell (!)
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To: durasell

I seldom pay over $20 for a shirt – although many came from the DAV Thrift Store. A shirt will last me a dozen years or so.


159 posted on 05/05/2006 9:25:34 AM PDT by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink)
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To: Havoc

Nice post. I'll never step foot in a Wal-Mart. Let them make their money off of the lemmings. I refuse to line their corporate pockets.


160 posted on 05/05/2006 9:29:34 AM PDT by Dazedcat
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To: Havoc
"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."

If I understand your question, it's about if I'd start a civil war over my right to use chins labor. I'm thinking "No" but like I said, I'm not real sure what the question really is.

Regardless, you're making a lot of assumptions that I believe are just wrong.

First; I'm not a big-shot capitalist. I'm a low-wage worker like you. I've got lots of skills, but no-one wanting to pay me big money for any of them at the moment.

Second; your statement that:

"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."

From my perspective, this statement is based on the application of misguided assumptions applied to a complete misunderstanding of economic realities. But, like durasell said, I've got the wrong ammo for this argument, and at this point, I'm going to take a pass on it. There's no way that I can explain a couple economic principles, that I believe in, to you, and have you seeing things like I do.

I'll just say this: China is becoming a world changing industrial empire. And short of a major war, that's just the way things are going to be. The fact the we don't like it as much as we liked the USA being one is irrelevant. The USA's manufacturing muscle will atrophy away, and not because of any simple matters like the peoples willingness to purchase America products. It's way beyond issues like that.

Walmart is a reflection of reality. If Walmart were to vanish tomorrow, nothing would really change. It would just be a minor bump in the road of reality. Chinese products would still flood our market at half the price that similar articles could be produced here. That's just the way things are. The way I see it; you can't change it so you'd best get used to it.

161 posted on 05/05/2006 4:36:37 PM PDT by Nova
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To: Nova

Yeah, the 'shut up and take it' approach.. used to hearing that. But I'm also capable of refusing to just take it. Sorry. Not a sheep.


162 posted on 05/05/2006 7:22:18 PM PDT by Havoc (Evolutionists and Democrats: "We aren't getting our message out" (coincidence?))
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To: Havoc; durasell
"Yeah, the 'shut up and take it' approach.. used to hearing that. But I'm also capable of refusing to just take it. Sorry. Not a sheep."

durasell, what in the heck does that mean? Is he planning to force the world to submit to his will?

I'll tell you one thing; the next time you advise me to not try an argument, I just might actually listen.

163 posted on 05/05/2006 9:51:56 PM PDT by Nova
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To: Nova

Well, I want to assume that he's going to adapt....


164 posted on 05/05/2006 10:19:20 PM PDT by durasell (!)
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To: Havoc

I've thought about your rant, and I'm all for a worthy fight. In fact, there's nothing I'd rather do. But if you're determined to stop the sun from rising, you're on your own. Good luck.


165 posted on 05/05/2006 11:11:08 PM PDT by Nova
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To: Joe Bfstplk

I don't know why they are so hated. They hire the elderly, minorities, they provide overnight camping for Rv's. They give goods for a price that many people otherwise could not afford. What is the problem?


166 posted on 05/05/2006 11:18:44 PM PDT by Vicki (Washington State where anyone can vote .... illegals, non-residents or anyone just passing through)
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To: Nova; Havoc; durasell; freedumb2003
Nova writes:

"Chinese products would still flood our market at half the price that similar articles could be produced here

Maybe we need to look at this from a different perspective.

To me, this seems like an issue of price vs. quality. If folks are going to buy items with the only criteria being price, it would seem that goods made in China are going to be purchased. But what of the quality? If consumers place more emphasis on quality, then the purchasing decision can become less clear cut, as the the matter becomes more focused on value.

For me at least, product quality is important. I've bought some American products labeled "Made in The USA" and they have been of a poor quality. And I've bought products made in China, and they have been of a good quality, better than their American rival products (e.g. a small grill I bought at K-Mart is still going strong three years later - it cost $20). And just from my perspective, over the last 10-15 years there seems to be more American products that are not of a good quality, yet have higher prices.

There's something to be said for putting more emphasis on product quality. I believe some folks would be willing to pay more for an item if the item quality if better.

167 posted on 05/08/2006 5:24:50 AM PDT by Fury
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To: Fury

And just from my perspective, over the last 10-15 years there seems to be more American products that are not of a good quality, yet have higher prices.



You have to go pretty far up the food chain to hit very high American quality. Alden shoes (as previously stated) is one example. Redwing boots is another. Green Design -- the furniture people -- are another. (All of these companies, by the way, have websites. You can google and see for yourself)

Then you get into the artisan stuff. Diamond cutting and jewelry design in the U.S. is unsurpassed.

All of these companies have global followings of loyalt customers. All produce very high quality products.


168 posted on 05/08/2006 7:48:12 AM PDT by durasell (!)
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To: Fury

Interesting point, Fury. One problem.. over time, competition from overseas - the lower cost of production due to lower wage has caused American companies to cut corners at every turn. Everything from food products to shoes and cars has been effected. That forces American quality into the toilet as a result of the unfair competition. The problem drives itself after a while.. self perpetuating. But, then, this isn't news. It's expected as a matter of fact. Yet everyone pretends like it's just some odd coincidence and wants to play as though Chinese products find better currency over here because American products are bad. American products used to be the best - before outside and unfair competition forced us into a race to the bottom mentality on everything. You and I both know that greed plays as much a part in that as anything. But in the long term, the demon you let loose and allow to rule the roost is the one that will smash you while quoting back to you your own decisions.

US made products have turned to crap over time because of the dynamic over time of flooding the market with cheap chinese crap. And with what goal in mind? To make china the superpower and destroy the US - throwing the US over a barrel and into a corner over globalism.. Funny thing. When you have a 900 pound gorilla in the ring vs. a chi hua chi hua, the dog ain't gonna win. But if you dope the beast, kneecap it and hog tie it, the dog can whiz in the monkey's face and the only thing you'll hear is a whimper.
This is what the monied interests and globalists are doing to all of us.


169 posted on 05/09/2006 3:56:05 AM PDT by Havoc (Evolutionists and Democrats: "We aren't getting our message out" (coincidence?))
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To: Joe Bfstplk
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?

hmmm...

170 posted on 07/08/2011 6:54:12 AM PDT by Cronos ( W Szczebrzeszynie chrzaszcz brzmi w trzcinie I Szczebrzeszyn z tego slynie.)
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To: Havoc

you are correct


171 posted on 04/25/2012 11:57:44 AM PDT by Cronos (**Marriage is about commitment, cohabitation is about convenience.**)
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