Wal-Mart...
Nov 17, 2004 at 8:54 PM Post #46 of 60

k.ODOMA

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Quote:

Originally Posted by The_Mac
If wal*mart were such a horrible place to work, the employees would unionize. As it is, it's not a career, it's just like any other minimum wage job for high-school and college kids. Something that'll pay the bills, but that's about it.


confused.gif


First off, there HAVE been attempts at unionizing Wal*Mart. But Wal*Mart, like many other large corporations (Whole Foods), is very concerned with, and very good at staying union-free (including using strongarm tactics). It's one thing to say "hey guys, our pay sucks, let's join a union". It's quite another to say that when you know you'll get canned for expressing such an opinion and that there may not be many job opportunities waiting for you elsewhere.

Secondly, It's a myth that only high-school and college kids go for low-skill, minimum wage jobs. There are a lot of people who do make careers (of sorts) out of such employment. The book Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich does a good job discussing the issues revolving around the "working poor".

Quote:

It's fantastically successful and makes most people happy.


I'm not sure many of their employees would agree.
 
Nov 17, 2004 at 9:12 PM Post #47 of 60

sleepkyng

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Quote:

Originally Posted by The_Mac
If wal*mart were such a horrible place to work, the employees would unionize. As it is, it's not a career, it's just like any other minimum wage job for high-school and college kids. Something that'll pay the bills, but that's about it.

If it's such a horrible place to shop, people won't do it. They're cheap, offer a lot of what people need, and they're convenient. If it means that mom&pop shops can't compete, then we shouldn't crucify Wal*mart because of it. That would be akin to saying that since light-bulbs are cheap and easy and will likely drive out the market for oil lamps, we shouldn't let light bulbs be sold. They'll remove diversity and competition from the household lighting market. The same argument could be made in any revolutionary change. The assembly line, the automobile, plastic pop bottles, computers, calculators. It's a new and better way of doing a cetain thing, but that doesn't mean we need to villify it, because we're attached to the older, less efficient way of doing something. If that were true, we'd ride horses, use slide-rules, talk via telegraph, and all sorts of other antiquated things.

Is wal*mart anti-competitive? In some ways, yes. I think that when dumping can be proven, then it should be prosecuted, but that's about all you can really get them for, and it's about all that they're diong wrong. Getting discounts from manufacturers? It's kinda expected when you're buying in lots of 100 000, and if they can't get a good price, they'll look elsewhere. And the manufacturers are happy because they still make a huge profit, just at smaller margins.

Does wal mart put mom&pop stores out of business? Yup, but you can't say that it's wrong. They're doing all the same things, only better.

I can't see it as ever being a bad thing as long as antitrust laws are in place. If they get market share, it's because people want them to have it, not because they stole it. They will always have competition, and if you don't like what they're selling, GO SOMEWHERE ELSE.

I think Wal*mart is brilliant, and really ought to be admired and have case studies done on it. It's fantastically successful and makes most people happy.



Well you and Dawkins can go and chill in the world of black and white.

By saying that Wal Mart is better just because it offers the lowest price you are ruling out everything else that commerce in a community brings.
Does Wal Mart offer a community outreach? Do the social interractions between Wal Mart and the community help stem growth and education?
Mom and Pop organizations do a lot better job of this than Wal Mart does. You dehumanize commerce by erecting big concrete blocks everywhere, and people overlook this. Why do you think people don't want Wal Mart in their towns? because it is F((kin ugly as hell, and the people that work there are totally unhappy.

One way to look at this is through architecture. What looks better:

Suburban sprawl with massive parking lots, signs and giant concrete boxes

or

Aesthetically pleasing market places where there is exchange of goods, ideas, social interaction and community involvement?

I don't know about you, but I derrive alot more satisfaction from buying vegetables from a market then from a Price Chopper.

Where would you rather grow up?
What sort of outlook do you develop when your world is parking lots and boxes?

Why is Paris, Milan, and Prague beatiful and Houston not?

i think maybe the 12 lane highway has something to do with it...
 
Nov 17, 2004 at 9:58 PM Post #48 of 60

Genetic

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sleepkyng

One way to look at this is through architecture. What looks better:

Suburban sprawl with massive parking lots, signs and giant concrete boxes

or

Aesthetically pleasing market places where there is exchange of goods, ideas, social interaction and community involvement?

I don't know about you, but I derrive alot more satisfaction from buying vegetables from a market then from a Price Chopper.

Where would you rather grow up?
What sort of outlook do you develop when your world is parking lots and boxes?

Why is Paris, Milan, and Prague beatiful and Houston not?

i think maybe the 12 lane highway has something to do with it...



Architecture my weakness....you are so right about this. Next semester I'll give a course, after leaving one of the best looking city in the world, at the seventh floor of a hideous glass tower. It just give me the blues just tinking about it.

So many mega shopping centers are the facto a «crime» against what we should respect, namely the basic urbanity principles. Human scale is not a hot trend these days. Now efficiency is the hot ticket.

Amicalement
 
Nov 17, 2004 at 10:15 PM Post #50 of 60

ooheadsoo

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Hey, do any of you anti walmart people buy any chinese made goods at all? Any malaysian made goods, thailand, etc? Goods made in africa or south america? You shouldn't be buying any of that stuff because of "exploitation." Too bad it ranges from shoes to cpus.
 
Nov 17, 2004 at 10:42 PM Post #51 of 60

sleepkyng

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in terms of slave labor style products ie everything:

yes, i know that lots of stuff i own and use is here because of some unjust dealings in the world, does that mean i can't start somewhere?

i think that politics mean very little compared to the power of the individual consumer. think what would happen if everyone bought recycled paper at Staples instead of non-recycled?

small steps
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Nov 18, 2004 at 12:43 AM Post #53 of 60

daycart1

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As far as I can tell, I'm the only person posting in this thread who has actually been to the WALMART MUSEUM (Rogers, AR).
tongue.gif


Didn't help much with the complex issues being discussed....
 
Nov 18, 2004 at 12:52 AM Post #54 of 60

comabereni

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Quote:

Originally Posted by loveheadphones
no other corporation that I know of conducts group sessions with chinese manufacturers who must reverse auction one another. winner (lowest cents per item) gets Walmart's business.


And then the manufacturer must "Plus One" every year. This means manufacturers must add value to their products in the form of lower price or an added feature each year, or Walmart threatens to (and probably does) find another manufacturer. My brother-in-law is an MBA working in marketing with a major U.S. sprinkler manufacturing firm and refuses to shop at Walmart. His reasons are ethical: in his dealings with Walmart trying to get distribution for their products, it became clear to him that Walmart does not care one iota if you go out of business trying to meet their low price demands. There are no "win-win" discussions.
 
Nov 18, 2004 at 2:22 AM Post #55 of 60

k.ODOMA

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ooheadsoo
Hey, do any of you anti walmart people buy any chinese made goods at all? Any malaysian made goods, thailand, etc? Goods made in africa or south america? You shouldn't be buying any of that stuff because of "exploitation." Too bad it ranges from shoes to cpus.


Ah, so moral and ethical apathy and inaction are preferable to any hint of hipocrasy?

Reasons why picking on Wal*Mart may not be as hypocritical as you are suggesting:

* Wal*Mart is an American corporation that employs American workers in its stores. This obviously causes the subject of poor working conditions to hit closer to home than say Asian factories.

* Because Wal*Mart is an American corporation operating (for the most part) on American soil, we have more of an opportunity as American citizens to voice our concerns and change their business practices. Many Asian factories that produce goods for American corporations are in fact owned by Asians, not those American corporations. Therefore, we have less jurisdiction over how they treat their employees. As for American corporations going into contractual agreement with shady Asian manufacturers, see the first sentence in this point.

* Wal*Mart is the largest retailer in the world. They flout their anti-union status. Unionizing Wal*Mart would be a MAJOR victory for the unions and the union movement. Who knows, unionizing fast food could be next.

* We as consumers can only do so much. It is much easier for me to avoid Wal*Mart than it is to avoid all Asian-produced goods (and honestly, of all those goods, do you know for a FACT which ones are produced in poor conditions vs. those that are produced in acceptable conditions?). I do what I can. I buy American when I can (all the clothes I'm wearing right now were made in the US). I don't claim to be perfect and admit that I am in no way free of hypocrisy.
 
Nov 18, 2004 at 6:07 AM Post #57 of 60

zotjen

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Did anyone see Frontline on PBS last night? The title was, "Is WalMart Good For America?" Quite frankly, some of the stuff they showed was shocking. Basically, WalMart dictates to the manufacturers what they should make based on their customers' buying habits, and worse, how much they can charge. If a manufacturer refuses to sell a product according to what WalMart wants to sell it for, WalMart won't carry it along with the manufacturer's other products.

A case in point was Rubbermaid. When Rubbermaid began selling at WalMart, their profits surged. Rubbermaid then had issues with what WalMart was telling them what price they had to sell some of their products for. Rubbermaid refused and WalMart decided to discontinue selling some of their products. The financial impact was so huge that it led to the decline of Rubbermaid and it was eventually bought out by another company.

WalMart is so huge that basically if a manufacturer won't play by their rules, they will be out of business if WalMart stops carrying their products. Every major corporation has set up an office in Arkansas near WalMart's headquarters where they can negotiate prices with them, although it's more a case of WalMart telling companies what price they must sell at.

For many companies, it's either sell at WalMart or go out of business. In order to meet the low prices WalMart insists they charge, manufacturers have been forced to move their factories overseas, mostly to China. This then forces other manufacturers to move to China to stay competitive. The amount of products currently being manufactured in China is staggering, and a good portion of those products end up in WalMart.

I'm not sure if the program is going to air again, but here is a link to Frontline's website which details a lot of the information. It also states that the program will be available on the web as of Friday.

HTML Code:

Code:
[left]http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/walmart/[/left]

 
Nov 18, 2004 at 6:35 AM Post #58 of 60

Imyourzero

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Quote:

Originally Posted by zotjen
A case in point was Rubbermaid. When Rubbermaid began selling at WalMart, their profits surged. Rubbermaid then had issues with what WalMart was telling them what price they had to sell some of their products for. Rubbermaid refused and WalMart decided to discontinue selling some of their products. The financial impact was so huge that it led to the decline of Rubbermaid and it was eventually bought out by another company.

WalMart is so huge that basically if a manufacturer won't play by their rules, they will be out of business if WalMart stops carrying their products.



How can that be allowed? Why can't some of the buiness bureaus/agencies that monitor and police that kind of activity put a stop to it? Or is Wal-Mart so powerful that nothing can stop or control them? <-- (A scary thought)

I just think our government should enforce some sort of control over Wal-Mart so that this type of thing doesn't happen. Wal-Mart should not be allowed to bully and strongarm manufacturers into meeting their every demand. Look at other huge companies such as Microsoft...if it was up to Microsoft, they'd be a monopoly. They have have to be kept in check by the government...if we can keep Microsoft in check, why not Wal-Mart?
 
Nov 18, 2004 at 6:51 AM Post #59 of 60

archosman

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They're trying that same tactic with the record labels now. I have a friend of mine that works for a small independent label and he's told me a few Wal-Mart horror stories...
 
Nov 18, 2004 at 6:52 AM Post #60 of 60

archosman

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Quote:

Originally Posted by zotjen
Did anyone see Frontline on PBS last night? The title was, "Is WalMart Good For America?"


If we're lucky they'll run it again this weekend. Frontline has some great shows.
 

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