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Saved $16 but feeling a little guilty - Page 2

post #21 of 411
I just finished managing a Fair Trade store. I am on an exceptionally small budget. Probably smaller than most here.

I could go on and on about why Wal-Mart is an abomination, and damning those who shop there but it comes down to this:

My WANT of cheap CRAP does not outweigh the life needs of those who produce those goods. The biggest EXCUSE I see for people who shop at Wal-Mart is the glorious category of "household goods". Screw that, things like toilet paper, laundry soap and scrub brushes are not a life need. They just aren't. Those things can be improvised in one fashion or another and I would rather do that than compromise my morals and shop with the devil.
post #22 of 411
I do what I can, but I will freely admit I shop at Walmart. I don't like it.. but the choice is not there for me to just "spend a few extra dollars someplace else."

Those few extra dollars really might be the difference between my children eating or not. Which to me, means shopping there IS a necessity. To the OP it sounds as if it isn't. If I had money to shop elsewhere, or travel elsewhere.. I would.

ETA: and I see I now have compromised morals because I choose to buy toilet paper. Whatever.
post #23 of 411
It would be a compromise of my morals if I chose to buy toilet paper at Wal-Mart instead of switching to cloth if it came down to that. It sure as heck would. investigate ALL the harm that Wal-Mart does. All of it. I did, and it bothers me enough to do something.
post #24 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by swimswamswum View Post
While I understand your situation, I resent that you are referring to ethical boycotts of Walmart as "snobbish". It's not about being a snob, it's about not contributing to a known human rights violating, environmentally exploitative company.
Perhaps after a million Walmart threads, those of us who do have to shop there feel a bit defensive about having our morals questioned and being told how we could always just "do without" if we really wanted to.



We get it. Walmart sucks. I've read about it. I've watched the movie. I think they are a big UA. Unfortunately we are poor. We don't have any choice. Not, we have a choice and I'm lazy. We do. not. have. any. choice. How the heck do you think threads that talk about the horrible people who shop there really make us feel anyway? You want us to be respectful and not call what you all do as "snobbish" but the respect doesn't go both ways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mackenzie
It would be a compromise of my morals if I chose to buy toilet paper at Wal-Mart instead of switching to cloth if it came down to that. It sure as heck would. investigate ALL the harm that Wal-Mart does. All of it. I did, and it bothers me enough to do something.
Again. Read it, watched it, and I get it. That doesn't change my situation.
post #25 of 411
We do not shop at WalMart. I would have to go out of my way by many miles to get near to one for one thing and for two, it is just not worth it. One reason so many are having financial trouble is because in an effort to make everything cheap, we have shopped ourselves right out of jobs and security in the first place. We all decide what is best for us but I agree it is not snobby to make different money and ethics choices.

For me if eating at all means shopping at places I don't like, I suppose I would choose to eat. However, I can live without most other things sold anywhere and I have enough money to make other choices. I see families the same size as mine spend WAY more on conventional processed foods than we do on organics at the co-op all while saying they would eat organic but it is too expensive. That boils down to marketing and habit, not need.
post #26 of 411
I don't shop there. I have a bunch of other options where I live though.

When we did our cross country trip two years ago, I discovered what people mean when they say there is no other place to shop. Holy cow! Town of population 3,500 with a super Wal-mart and no other options but the 7-11 the next town over (20 minute drive on the highway) population 7,000 has a Wal mart a Piggly Wiggly and a Best Buy. That's it. So I can no longer say everyone has a choice. Wal-mart took that choice from so many by moving into these small towns and putting all the local shops out of business.

But for me, no way no how. I don't look at their circulars, and I have never been so I can't tell you price wise comparisons. For me it's not so much of a "Well yeah, you can afford it" Which yes I suppose I can. But more of I don't even know what I'm missing or not missing. Normally I price compare and pay the least amount I can for things. I am very budget conscious. I live in a large city and I have so many other options Wal-Mart just doesn't exist for us. But frankly I don't buy that much at big box stores in general.

I started a thread about it that summer, let me see if I can find it. Okay here it is http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=307041
post #27 of 411
I'll have to watch that later.
post #28 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nature View Post
Perhaps after a million Walmart threads, those of us who do have to shop there feel a bit defensive about having our morals questioned and being told how we could always just "do without" if we really wanted to.



We get it. Walmart sucks. I've read about it. I've watched the movie. I think they are a big UA. Unfortunately we are poor. We don't have any choice. Not, we have a choice and I'm lazy. We do. not. have. any. choice. How the heck do you think threads that talk about the horrible people who shop there really make us feel anyway? You want us to be respectful and not call what you all do as "snobbish" but the respect doesn't go both ways.



Again. Read it, watched it, and I get it. That doesn't change my situation.
I don't think you needed to use the eye rolling smilie. It's dissmissive. I didn't question anyones morals. I told the previous poster that I understood her point. I simply challenged the notion that those of us who boycott Walmart are snobbish.
post #29 of 411
So, is Kmart just the same?
What about Longs Drugs?
Walgreens?
Safeway?

My question is, is it only Walmart? Everywhere I go, things are made everywhere but the USA.

I know Walmart is an evil empire, but I don't think they are the only one. And we are not like most states that have a whole lot of choices. We are sparsely populated and must drive long distances to get to anything. I don't have a lot of mom and pop stores to choose from. My local market is a chain also, and is a tourist trap.

I am not arguing that Walmart is great, I know they aren't. I'm saying where I live I don't have as many options as I did in a booming metropolis. And I don't know anything about the factories where my Costco merchandise comes from either.

The reality is, I am not going to pay shipping so I can buy from the mainland. I have Walmart, Kmart, Safeway, Costco, Longs, some farmer's markets and fruit stands, and a chain called Malama Markets. It is a 2 hour drive to get to anything, and if it is out of stock, I can't get it for anywhere from 2 months to never.

I'm not a huge fan, but if Walmart has what I need, I will get it there. I'm not happy about it, but I'm running out of options. They say we will have a Target in 2009, but they have been working on a highway improvement project that was supposed to take a few years for something like a decade, so who knows?
post #30 of 411
I try to spread our dollars around to local businesses as well as WM. Some WM spending frees up $ for the local farm market and such.

Now when the nearby Target goes up in the next year or so, we can spread the $ around more, without having to burn gasoline. Maybe DS can get a job and walk even.
post #31 of 411
I watched that Walmart movie and wanted to vomit the whole way through
Since then, I have not shopped there, or any of their affiliiates in hopes of making my sentiment LOUD and CLEAR. I do not want to support slave labor with foods or any other necessities and try very hard to purchase local, handmade or homegrown items when possible
post #32 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nature View Post
Perhaps after a million Walmart threads, those of us who do have to shop there feel a bit defensive about having our morals questioned and being told how we could always just "do without" if we really wanted to.



We get it. Walmart sucks. I've read about it. I've watched the movie. I think they are a big UA. Unfortunately we are poor. We don't have any choice. Not, we have a choice and I'm lazy. We do. not. have. any. choice. How the heck do you think threads that talk about the horrible people who shop there really make us feel anyway? You want us to be respectful and not call what you all do as "snobbish" but the respect doesn't go both ways.



Again. Read it, watched it, and I get it. That doesn't change my situation.

That is the CHOICE you make. You CHOSE not to go without things that others can and do. Perhaps not a choice you like to make, but it is a choice none the less. We are broker than broke. So broke that I could challenge most here to a who is most broke contest. I still make it without shopping at Wal-Mart because to me, it is so serious that there are lots of things that I choose to go without and more that I could cut out if it came to that. I have a very rigid ethical code that does not allow me to shop there. Just as I refuse to enter into a legal marriage until every person is able to get married OR the gov't gets out of the business of determining who is allowed to get married. There are issues that are more important than me and my wants and I recognize that very well.
post #33 of 411
***Sorry Mama, my ethics can't be bought for 50% off.***

Mine can! When you're poor that 50% really makes a difference. Besides, I don't have a problem with Wal-Mart. I used to work there and I really enjoyed it. They employ a lot of people in my town who otherwise wouldn't have jobs. I'm sure some of you think that's just horrible, but whatever. Wal-Mart is in business to make money, just like any other business, and they're obviously doing something right because they're making a lot of money.

I personally love it when people boycott Wal-Mart--makes more room in the store for me when I have to do my shopping.
post #34 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Sweeties1Angel View Post
***Sorry Mama, my ethics can't be bought for 50% off.***

Mine can! When you're poor that 50% really makes a difference. Besides, I don't have a problem with Wal-Mart. I used to work there and I really enjoyed it. They employ a lot of people in my town who otherwise wouldn't have jobs. I'm sure some of you think that's just horrible, but whatever. Wal-Mart is in business to make money, just like any other business, and they're obviously doing something right because they're making a lot of money.

I personally love it when people boycott Wal-Mart--makes more room in the store for me when I have to do my shopping.


You really don't believe that do you? Do you really have no idea what they have done to towns, counties, and countries? You REALLY don't care about all of the people that are hurt by them? That makes me very sad, and incredibly concerned for humanity.
post #35 of 411
I saw the same Organic green beans at WalMart for about 50 cents more than they are at Wild Oats! The only reason i was in Walmart was cause dd got a gift card from there. i think they trick people by having the cheap Crayola stuff and then a lot of their other stuff is not that cheap but once they get you in the store w/ the sales, they know u most likely will buy more.
post #36 of 411
im never going to understand how someone can shop at kmart, target, dollar stores, costco, etc...and then bash walmart for where they buy/produce things. seems stupid to me but
post #37 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerilynn View Post
I watched that Walmart movie and wanted to vomit the whole way through
Since then, I have not shopped there, or any of their affiliiates in hopes of making my sentiment LOUD and CLEAR. I do not want to support slave labor with foods or any other necessities and try very hard to purchase local, handmade or homegrown items when possible
When possible is the key phrase. I have always boycotted Nike, but it's kind of hypocritical to boycott Walmart when everything in town is made in China. There are hardly any Hawaiian Souvenirs that are made here. Any store i walk into has foreign made products and I have no idea if they were made in a fair trade shop or a sweat shop. Since I see identical merchandise in Wal mart, Kmart and the ABC Stores, I think it's safe to say it comes from the same places.

I try to limit my purchases from them, but if I need something I can't get anywhere else, I'm going to get it from them. Go with the devil you know, kwim?
post #38 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by swimswamswum View Post
While I understand your situation, I resent that you are referring to ethical boycotts of Walmart as "snobbish". It's not about being a snob, it's about not contributing to a known human rights violating, environmentally exploitative company.
This could be said about any large company making a buck in the capitalist system. What I detest is how, again, under capitalism, choice is paramount to capital, and those with more always have more "choice" and don't seem to understand that there are very poor, very rural people with few options other than Wal-Mart, and often these well-off people do use a "boycott" to shift their "choice" or capital to another large corporate machine with a fair amount of blood on their hands instead of working to improve actual poor folks' condition.

With regards to choice, Rickie Solinger writes:

Quote:
Choice also became the symbol of middle-class women's arrival as independent consumers. Middle class women could afford to choose. They had earned the right to choose motherhood [or where to shop, etc - my inclusion], if they liked. According to many Americans, however, when choice was associated with poor women it became a symbol of illegitimacy. Poor women had nor earned the right to choose.
I am all for progressive activism but not when it uses very poor people or very rural people as a step stool.

And before I get the I am very poor and find other choices! argument, I say excellent for you, but circumstances and realities are subjective, and one changed variable and a situation that looks similar to yours is very different.
post #39 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by nantahala View Post
And before I get the I am very poor and find other choices! argument, I say excellent for you, but circumstances and realities are subjective, and one changed variable and a situation that looks similar to yours is very different.


Thank you for that.

I would love to choose not to shop there if I could. I really really would. And when I can shop elsewhere I do. But that choice is not one that I have every day, or even every month. We don't have a Whole Foods or a Trader Joes in town. We have other places to buy food like Hannafords and Shaws, and when buying food I do shop in those places instead of the Super Walmart. If the prices are not different, I can buy from other smaller stores but really.. the difference between Walmart and Target for one item is not just a dollar or two. Its often more than 10 dollars difference.

For some people thats not much, but for me and my family it is.
post #40 of 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by nantahala View Post
This could be said about any large company making a buck in the capitalist system. What I detest is how, again, under capitalism, choice is paramount to capital, and those with more always have more "choice" and don't seem to understand that there are very poor, very rural people with few options other than Wal-Mart, and often these well-off people do use a "boycott" to shift their "choice" or capital to another large corporate machine with a fair amount of blood on their hands instead of working to improve actual poor folks' condition.

With regards to choice, Rickie Solinger writes:



I am all for progressive activism but not when it uses very poor people or very rural people as a step stool.

And before I get the I am very poor and find other choices! argument, I say excellent for you, but circumstances and realities are subjective, and one changed variable and a situation that looks similar to yours is very different.

: I find in communities like MDC that people have a tendency to forget not everyone is in their area and circumstances. Its easy to say you have choices and technically that is true but in many parts of the US to find the ethical alternative is out of the reach of the poor.

I shop local, use my farmers markets, belong to a CSA and gasp at times use Wal-Mart. I love my farmers market for instances but honestly its not cheap, in my community it definitely not cheaper than say Wal-Mart. Hell, I bought a frickin tomato the other day for almost $3 (that was 1 tomato, it was large) at the market. I know for many in my area this is not reasonable.

I have access to a Whole Foods and Wild Oats but it requires a drive to the next county and frankly its not cheaper than say Wally's granted it allows me access to products I would not get anyway at a Wal-Mart.

I also know that having moved to a rural state from a large urban area that there really is less choices. In Chicago I had a gazillion choices for shopping and none were Wal-Mart in fact the first time I ever went to a Wal-Mart was when I relocated 5 years ago.

I should also add that for the most part I avoid Wal-Mart because ethically, I don't like they way they operate but there are times when my money is tight and I need to stretch it and Wal-Mart it is. I have no desire at this stage in my life to stop eating or using toilet paper and if Wal-Mart allows me to meet those needs so be it.

Shay
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