TAKING BACK AMERICA!

    Wednesday, April 06, 2005

    Target: Wal-Mart

    Yesterday I received an email article from the WSJ, evening wrap, titled "Wal-Mart Sells Itself". I can't link to some page but will just give you the key points.
    As most might already know there has been an onslaught of attacks and lawsuits. "Its reputation under steady assault, the world's biggest retailer stepped up its campaign to sell its own name." - WSJ
    In earlier posts I've brought this up with my own thoughts of how I believed it was all union-related because Wal-Mart wishes to have their employees independent - free from any strong-arm unions. Do you think Wal-Mart would have got as big as they have without happy employees? Unions hate Wal-Mart because Wal-Mart can offer better prices and they have an overall lower overhead. No one is forced to work at a Wal-Mart and any employee that would rather have a union control their destiny is free to leave the employment of Wal-Mart and go to work at a union store.
    Also - "The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, who has so far failed to organize Wal-Mart workers, planned to spend the two days criticizing the company." - WSJ. The attacks from the strong-arm unions are especially strong when Wal-Mart tries to build their superstores and expand an existing store to include their superstore offerings - mainly grocery items. The unions hate this because consumers would be offered the very same items the union store carries at a lower price. Unions hate competition - they prefer to control - and that control extends into your family budget. The attacks they spawn are not so obviously union and usually are coated with the appearance of concern that Wal-Mart is a threat for the small family business.
    I'm for free enterprise - unions are against it. I'm for freedom of choice - and unions are against that. I'm for competition - unions are against that. I'm for strong business since a strong and growing business brings even more jobs - unions are against it. I know some of my readers are union workers - it that bad? No - you probably don't have a choice since you were forced to join the union if you wanted to work where you do. Just remember the millions and millions (more like billions) of dollars paid across the country in union dues. Someone's getting rich for sure - is it you?

    27 comments:

    katiekat said...

    Wow, well, I'm for fair and equal treatment of laborers. I'm for people being paid for overtime. I'm for safe working conditions.
    Maybe if you're lucky they'll open an Walmart across the street from your house. Then you can work "full time" to be below the poverty line.

    : JustaDog said...

    If any employee, Wal-Mart or other, feels they are underpaid and working below the poverty line then they should leave that employer and take their valuable skills to an employer that will pay them the higher salary they are worth.

    Like I said in the post - no one is force to work there or anywhere they don't want to work (at least legal citizens in this country). No company - Wal-Mart or any other company, should be forced to compensate workers more than the assets that they bring to a company. It's easy really - if a person does not have adaquate assests there are plenty of schools where they can better themselves.

    People make choices, and some choose to stay at the level of low worth. No company should be forced by any union to pay these people as much or more than others that are trying to better themselves. If a worker wants better medical then they should quit their job and go to an employer that offers better medical. Oops - that other company had to shut down because the union drove their company out of business because they couldn't remain competitive. (If you're a steel worker you know what I'm talking about.)

    ML said...

    Wrong, moron. People are in fact forced to work at Wal-mart when there are no other local jobs left because smaller businesses have been undersold out of existence. Everything from fabric (of questionable quality) to groceries (of questionable quality) can be had dirt cheap at Wal-mart, so the squeeze is put on every last small business in any community where a walmart is established.

    Moreover, American factory jobs are obliterated because Wal-mart must buy everything in massive quantities made by six-year-olds in Korea in order to sell so cheap.

    You have no concept of unions either, as a means to counterbalance the absolute control companies often hold over workers. Unions, like anything with power, can become corrupt, but they are a regulating force. Read your history re how and why unions came into being.

    Wal-mart is not a "strong and growing business", ignoramus. Wal-mart is a profit-generating machine. It could easily afford to take excellent care of each one of its employees, and to purchase its goods solely from American manufacterers, but the corporate heads (a tiny number of filthy rich individuals)elect to improve their margin and to enrich themselves to an absurd degree. Even you ought to be able to see that this is thoroughly unethical and destructive to the larger American economy.

    The post I am commenting on is no doubt indicative of your whole philosophy: a parroting of boring conservative platitudes supported by vague "rugged individualism" ideals. Get educated. go to my site http://actualthought.blogspot.com/

    Pundit said...

    "Site Author" needs to recheck facts. 76% of all management people at wal-mart are employees who started at the bottom---three times higher than any other large chain. 75% of wal-mart's employees are full-time, as opposed to a retail industry standard of 20% elsewhere. That means that wal-mart pays over three times as much as the industry standard for medical, dental and retirement benefits. THAT'S WHY WAL-MART PEOPLE STAY THERE!!! I used to work for a large retail chain and know what goes on. I would gladly have worked for wal-mart had it been the concern then that it is now. Every time a new wal-mart opens, thousands apply for jobs. YOU CAN'T ARGUE WITH SUCESSS. The only reason other large retail chains, that are far worse than wal-mart are not targeted is because of the grocer's unions. They complain about how large chains monopolize, but the large grocery chains did a damn good job of monoplizing.

    : JustaDog said...

    Well put pundit. "Site Author"just represents the labor-love'n leftwing extremist that, when the truth is available, rather turn to name calling, threats, lies, etc. You, on the other hand, present facts - so thank you.

    I actually invite posters like "Site Author" - they let the good people see the contrast between facts and fiction. And to "Site Author" - yes, I'd hope that (in your words, Wal-mart is a profit-generating machine. Companies will not hire more workers if they are not profitable. Please consider taking just one business/economics class? I know it goes against the union philosophy for a company to make a profit - too bad! Try creating your own business, and make sure you invite the union in - see how long you last. BTW, I did go to your site - an obvious waste of bandwidth with the usual hate-everything, hate-everyone crap. I'd invite other readers to go there as well and see for yourself the typical whiner full of hate because he chooses to NOT make a better life for himself. Don't just take my word for it.

    Gullyborg said...

    unions are nothing more than thuggish collections of goons who extort businesses for more money, and keep out competition.

    ML said...

    Numerous morons: My apologies. I didn't mean to try to introduce any real ideas into your think tank here. I forgot for a moment how people who call themselves "conservatives" need to incessantly stroke each other in order to maintain a comfortable level of blind idiocy. This is why conservative talk radio and Fox news are so popular, without them, your brains would atrophy and you would have no clue what your opinions were.

    It's laughible to watch you apes try to defend the indefensible. You're actually coming out in favor of having a massive retailer hijack the economy. And Wal-mart should also import from china all of our news, food, automobiles, etc. and sell them to us at just above cost. You asses could be convinced, with a little gentle instruction, that this was best for the country. Hell, they've got your brains so soft that if Sean Hannity made a good case for it, and Bush introduced a law, you people could be convinced to eat your young.

    As for your need to pigeonhole me as "labor love'n leftwing extremist". I guess I just have to accept your limitations. This is the closest you can come to understanding my politics--borrow some ridiculous phraseology from Fox news so you can label me and dismiss me.

    As for the personal attack from "maddie dog". You don't know what kind of a life I've made for myself, and this is not an issue in the realm of ideas, jackass. (In point of fact, I have made an excellent life for myself and do very well in the adult film industry.) Having a thoughtful criticism of government or society is not whining, you pathetic imbecile. You people have this need to summarize and dismiss any notions that don't gel with the conservative drone. All you took away from my initial comment is that I love unions? You PATHETIC IMBECILES ... LET ME QUOTE MYSELF:

    "You have no concept of unions either, as a means to counterbalance the absolute control companies often hold over workers. Unions, like anything with power, can become corrupt, but they are a regulating force. Read your history re how and why unions came into being."

    You hate unions because you have been told to. Your comprehension of the issue utterly ends there. I'm indifferent to unions, but understand their value to poor working slobs in some situations. I also understand, unlike you fools, that too much consolidation of economic power in any one place is destructive--too much consolidation of any kind of power in any one place is destructive--which is what we have in modern America, (if you want to discuss this, go to my site and sound out the big words.)

    The statement "you can't argue with success" is typical
    conservative idiocy. You have no backing for your opinions so you default to a cliche. You can in fact argue with the moral right or wrong of success, you backward (have I used up my names for you people? Naw) cretins. If I am successful at beating your children to death with a baseball bat, does that make it good, mental dwarf?

    Anyway, this was all my mistake. I stumbled on this site and couldn't believe that some chump was pro-Wal-mart. Now I realize that I happened into one of these conservative zombie societies where you guys get together and do bad impersonations of Hannity or Limbaugh or O'Reilly. Sorry guys, pretend I never interrupted your little mickey mouse club. Talk about things that make you happy. Here, let me get you started: Who do you like better, Ronald Reagan or God ... ? Who do you think God likes better, George W. Bush or Ronald Reagan? Man, what a tough choice for God. You know who I can't stand? The Left! They hate America you know.

    There's some nice conservative topics, now go nuts. Plumb the depths of your intellects.

    : JustaDog said...

    Oh thank you again "Site Author" for again proving my point. So much text with nothing to say except call names, make very wrong accusatoins (I'm an independent, not Republican), etc. My readers know your type - most of them are more intelligent that you wish to admit.

    Thanks again, and feel free to puke here anytime you want - I love it, really!

    katiekat said...

    Wow, an Independent? You'd never imagine that with links like "Bring 'em on" (didn't this work out badly the first time, cowboy?), "Anyone but Hillary" and my personal favorite "Stop the ACLU"?

    Here're some actual facts for you to refute, when you finally reverse your cranio-sacral inversion.

    Wal-Mart sales clerks made an average of $8.23 an hour—or $13,861 a year—in 2001. That's nearly $800 below the federal poverty line for a family of three. (Source: Business Week)

    In Georgia, Wal-Mart employees are six times more likely to rely on state-provided health care for their children than are employees of any other large company. (Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

    Reliance on public assistance programs in California by Wal-Mart workers costs the state's taxpayers an estimated $86 million annually. (Source: UC Berkeley Study)

    Want more? You bet!
    http://factchecker.purpleocean.org/answer/f1f2fc8dd839a1f191378589acb521ae

    : JustaDog said...

    Yes, believe it or not the topics you mention from my previous posts are not exclusive to Republicans - sorry.

    No refutes - just facts:

    Wal-Mart sales clerks made an average of $8.23 an hour - so what? They choose to work there, no one made them. If they stay there at that wage they do so of their own free will. That wage should be plenty of incentive to get into some training for a better job, right? Sorry - peoples choices are not the problem of some company. Please also check pundit's post above for actual data on Wal-Mart employees and not the union rag.

    In Georgia, Wal-Mart employees ... - same response as above. All you did was to affim that Wal-Mart employs a huge number of people - more than I think they should (like do they really need those greeters at the door?).

    As far as the URL you provide - sorry, but that is just a pro-union (socialist) website (member of the SEIU - Service Employees Internation Union), so I hardly think they would be a resource of reality. They will do anything - anything - to keep unions alive. Lies, threats, violence, extortion, etc. Anything.

    gullyborg said it directly above - unions are nothing more than thuggish collections of goons who extort businesses for more money, and keep out competition. So KatieKat, if unions are so good why are they against all non-union business? Why do they hate competition?

    katiekat said...

    I see, unions "hate". I imagine they must be "evil", too, in your world of good versus.

    And gullyborg and pundit failed to include any sources for alleged "actual data". And this socialist website does manage to provide references from which it pulls its facts.

    But I'm a scientist, trained to draw conclusions from data, not parrot back talking points they heard on hate radio. I wonder what would happen if cable-tv news started to do that?

    : JustaDog said...

    That website seems to have forgot to list all of the companies that were unionized that had to terminate operations (thousands of jobs lost) because they could no longer remain competitive - their labor costs were just too high.

    I don't need any radio or TV programs to know the obvious when it comes to economics and running a company.

    I do want to thank you for taking the time to post and staying on topic (unlike some that just like to puke). I sincerely mean that. The whole union issue is one that divides, that is for sure. To me blogs help to open up issues that no radio or TV personality can, or ever will. Since blogg'n and reading other blogs I have changed my thinking - believe it or not! And, I do not believe this is a binary world we live in - either good or evil - since both are very subjective, right?

    Brad Todd said...

    "You hate unions because you have been told to. Your comprehension of the issue utterly ends there. I'm indifferent to unions, but understand their value to poor working slobs in some situations. I also understand, unlike you fools, that too much consolidation of economic power in any one place is destructive--too much consolidation of any kind of power in any one place is destructive--which is what we have in modern America, (if you want to discuss this, go to my site and sound out the big words.)"

    Wow "Site Author"

    I think you explained the problems we have with the pubic school systems..It's the teachers unions..talk about destructive power, teachers union s have it. Talk about waste of the publics money, teachers unions do it..

    Thanks for the insight.. America needs to break up that monopoly..

    good post Maddie Dog

    katiekat said...

    I agree that the good versus evil debate is simplistic and not worthy of the issues today (remember the "axis of evil"?). But the fact remains that people are commenting on things that they must know nothing about (any of you pro-walmart bloggers ever been part of the "working poor") and FAILING to cite any source. Some large companies actually take responsibility for their employees (as they should, because without health insurance, people are forced to go to the ER where they can't be turned away, costing the taxpayers LOTS of money! Isn't this what we don't want?
    It's amazing how short sighted people can be when all they care about is their wallet, and "love thy neighbor" is just something you read in a book somewhere.

    ML said...

    "Thanks again, and feel free to puke here anytime you want - I love it, really!"

    Thanks for the invite, I think I'll puke now.

    Hello again, idiots! You "brad todd" even quote me in your post and fail to grasp my point. I'm sorry about your I.Q., but try to keep up. I say I am indifferent to unions but understand their usefulness in certain situations and you come out with some off the wall nonsense about teachers abusing union power. One is taking a broad view, the other is a random incident that proves nothing.

    "Maddie dog", poor jackass, I never said you were a republican, but you certainly have gotten your entire world-view from the conservative media machine. I recognize all the sad signs so why try to deny it? They got you all fired up and the result is that you're doing publicity for Wal-mart and bashing bill clinton. Wow, what an original thinker!

    Oh, am I off topic again? I think Katiekat gave you hard facts about Wal-mart and that didn't help. What's the point of explaining the obvious to fools? You believe what makes you feel secure and beyond that your brains shut down. Your cheap psuedo philosophy lifted directly from The Way Things Ought to Be by Rush Limbaugh is a joke. All your rugged individualism crap does not translate into the modern American world. In a world without Wal-marts to undermine upstart businesses it might; in a world where our political leaders weren't puppets and rich punks, it might. If you want to be ruggedly individualistic, think for yourselves. It might get more complicated than "me like business so me no like unions" but you will have the satisfaction of gaining a more complete understanding of your world and you wont get made an ass of on your own web site all day.

    Pundit said...

    All of this conundrum and what is the point? what the government considers the "poverty level" is a debatable issue. By that standard,even our professional military is below the poverty level, as evidenced by the number of guardsmen and reservists who have had financial problems after leaving jobs to go RISK THEIR LIVES for the union defenders who can't come to grips with the idea that we are in a global economy and we can't hoard the jobs here at home. Adam Smith wrote in WEALTH OF NATIONS over two hundred years ago that capital goes where it can do the most good. Unionists don't like that because the idea of capital and business owners is anathema to their Marxists foundations. The constant rhetoric about business-owners and large enterprise that issues from the labor unions in this country is no different than the anti-bourgious capitalists rhetoric that fueled the Marxists a generation ago. Poverty, by the way, is also defined in this country as a household that only has one color tv, one microwave, one car, and one vcr per family. By that standard my family was poor white trash because we had none of that when I grew up.

    Pundit said...

    Not to mention that pulling statistics from a Berkely college is like trying to get a fair appraisal of the United States from Castro. Berkely is also the town that has the highest ratio of police to college students of any college town in the U.S. because the dirty leftists, communist holdovers and other sorry examples of humanity cause so much trouble in town. Not to mention the third world atmosphere such a vacation spot.

    katiekat said...

    "Not to mention that pulling statistics from a Berkely college is like trying to get a fair appraisal of the United States from Castro. Berkely is also the town that has the highest ratio of police to college students of any college town in the U.S. because the dirty leftists, communist holdovers and other sorry examples of humanity cause so much trouble in town. Not to mention the third world atmosphere such a vacation spot."

    You're freaking kidding me. I cite 3 references and this is the best you can do, pundit? Ever heard of a published study, pundit? Again, conclusions are drawn with data. I doubt you'd find any to dispute the UC study. And where are your arguments with the Business Week, Atlanta Journal or other aspects?

    Your assessment of what is below the poverty line is again baseless and goes to show how out of touch you are with the working poor. Where in the world did you find this "definition of poverty"? Simplistic and short-sighted, not to mention selfish. I'm sure your sense of social responsibility must also be impressive.

    How about the census bureau? Are they part of the vast conspiracy? Are they some "dirty leftist" organization? Let's leave the name calling for the playground, shall we?

    "The Office of Management and Budget at the Census Bureau defined the poverty threshold in 2003 as $18,810 for a family of four; $14,680 for a family of three; $12,015 for a family of two; and $9,393 for an individual."

    http://money.cnn.com/2004/08/26/news/economy/poverty_survey/?cnn=yes

    Or do you dispute that that is pretty freaking poor? How do people afford food and rent, not to mention health and child care?

    And it's a shame that our service men and women get the shaft from the government they set out to defend. No one disputes that. Don't even try to pretend that I do.

    I'm guessing your line of work is not on the table to be outsourced - yet. Good luck.

    Ace Lannigan said...

    Hey guess what...

    People that work at Wal-Mart do so of their own free will. Don't tell me 'Oh there aren't any better local jobs for them' either. They could always move.

    Remember minimum wage jobs are for people that are either:
    A: Kids that want a job to earn spare cash.
    B: People that really don't need to work but want to for some insane reason.
    C: People that are at a point in their life where they aren't sure of what they want to do for the rest of it.
    Anyone else that works for minimum wage, by choice, and expects to live on it, are morons.

    katiekat said...

    That's really compassionate, Ace. My guess is you never had to work a crap job to pay bills and survive. You must not have been paying attention to all those "new jobs" we've created in the service industry. If you're lucky, you or someone you love won't have to fill one.

    Pundit said...

    Normally I don't get into this issue but the ignorance of some people demands a response. I come from an Irish family of union members and factory workers. I was raised in the Ohio valley right next to a feed and coal company. WE had more coal slag in our front yard than dirt. I am the first in my family to ever attend college. I remember my uneducated father, loyal union member and picket line walker, doing picket duty for a dollar a day while the union boss-pigs drove around in their cadillacs and mercuries congratulating everybody for doing the right thing. It was always evident when a strike was coming. My dad would come home with a 50-pound bag of beans over one shoulder and a 50 pound bag of potatoes over the other. When my dad came near to being fully vested in retirement, his Irish ass was let go to save money. And what did the Union do? The union he paid dues into during a lifetime of work? The union that made sure its stewards and bosses had alltheir needs fulfilled? Nothing. Not a damn thing. So, to answer your question, I know all about the low life, the union life, the low wages, the whole shot. How about you other yelpers?

    katiekat said...

    The ignorance of some people? I think making sweeping generalizations is pretty ignorant.

    No one says that unions have been historically perfect. It's commonly heard that power corrupts, (and absolute power corrutes absolutely, just look at the administration). But I did ask specific questions in my last post. If this is your only union experience I feel sorry. When I compare the elected (union) official who should be held accountable by the members with the business owner who is held accountable by the investors/bottom line, who do you think has a better chance of representing the worker's best interest?

    And, Pundit, since my "ignorance" apparently doesn't achieve that of the me-generation that apparently Ace is from, help enlighten me. How many questions from my previous posted response to you CAN you answer?

    Uptown Ruler said...

    the new model is to give all your workers no more than 30 hours, unless they are management, then you dont have to pay overtime, benefits, etc.

    because walmart is one of the largest employers in the country, there are a lot of people having to work at walmart for 30 hours a week, and somewhere else for 30 hours to buy their health insurance, etc.

    by the way, go to a walmart and try to buy something made in america. their red, white, and blue logo makes me want to puke.

    Gullyborg said...

    Real simple solution to all this:

    either shop at Wal-Mart, or don't.

    and don't try to give me crap about "Wal-Mart moved into (insert small town name here) and now it's the only place to buy anything."

    that's bullshit.

    Ever heard of the internet?

    Ever heard of getting your sorry ass into your car and driving 10 miles?

    Ever heard of continuing to support the other small businesses in the community? Because YES there will be remaining small businesses in the community. A giant corporation like Wal-Mart doesn't get big by moving in where there is no existing market for goods to sell. It takes a sizeable community to support the overhead cost. You won't find a Wal-Mart anywhere that has less than about 15-20 thousand people living within a few minutes drive. And with that many people, there will ALWAYS be at least one other source for common goods.

    I challenge you to find ONE single community in this country where you HAVE to buy shit at Wal-Mart.

    Now, having established that you don't have to shop there--either shop at Wal-Mart, or don't. If Wal-Mart pisses you off that much, buy elsewhere.

    Case closed.

    Anonymous said...

    "Pundit said...
    Not to mention that pulling statistics from a Berkely college is like trying to get a fair appraisal of the United States from Castro. Berkely is also the town that has the highest ratio of police to college students of any college town in the U.S. because the dirty leftists, communist holdovers and other sorry examples of humanity cause so much trouble in town. Not to mention the third world atmosphere such a vacation spot."

    *Learn to spell BERKELEY and I might take what you had to say seriously.

    katiekat said...

    On topic, the host was complaining in their post that unions are bad and not having unions makes Walmart good. (Profit=good. apparently treating employees like people=bad)

    Of course I don't shop at Walmart, but that doesn't make the treatment of their employees reprehensible, and make one wonder whether with a union they might have a better chance of working for a living wage. For such a wealthy country there sure are a lot of poor people.

    Ace Lannigan said...

    Guess what? I did work at a crappy job like that... when I was in high school. I even worked at a McDonald's full time while I went to college. Then I quit and got a real job.
    When I was working at McDonald's I thought if I could make $8 an hour I'd be set. Needless to say I make more than that now, by a large margin. I like to call it personal initiative. Have a plan to better yourself and don't let anyone stand in your way, not even yourself.