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.
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.
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.
Well, I want to assume that he's going to adapt....
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.
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?
"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.
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.
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.
you are correct