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#181 of 411 Old 07-29-2007, 10:40 PM
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For those who haven't read it, it's an excellent primer on WalMart business practices. And contains some interesting tidbits regarding their size and ability to put their suppliers and competitors out of business.

Here is an excerpt:

"Wal-Mart is not just the world's largest retailer. It's the world's largest company--bigger than ExxonMobil, General Motors, and General Electric. The scale can be hard to absorb. Wal-Mart sold $244.5 billion worth of goods last year. It sells in three months what

number-two retailer Home Depot sells in a year. And in its own category of general merchandise and groceries, Wal-Mart no longer has any real rivals. It does more business than Target, Sears, Kmart, J.C. Penney, Safeway, and Kroger combined. "Clearly," says Edward Fox, head of Southern Methodist University's J.C. Penney Center for Retailing Excellence, "Wal-Mart is more powerful than any retailer has ever been." It is, in fact, so big and so furtively powerful as to have become an entirely different order of corporate being.

Wal-Mart wields its power for just one purpose: to bring the lowest possible prices to its customers. At Wal-Mart, that goal is never reached. The retailer has a clear policy for suppliers: On basic products that don't change, the price Wal-Mart will pay, and will charge shoppers, must drop year after year. But what almost no one outside the world of Wal-Mart and its 21,000 suppliers knows is the high cost of those low prices. Wal-Mart has the power to squeeze profit-killing concessions from vendors. To survive in the face of its pricing demands, makers of everything from bras to bicycles to blue jeans have had to lay off employees and close U.S. plants in favor of outsourcing products from overseas."

the article: http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/77/walmart.html
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#182 of 411 Old 07-29-2007, 11:27 PM
 
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Oh, believe me, I see the rest. Michael Moore has no greater fan than Rainbowbird!
OT: Wait, is Michael Moore doing a movie on WalMart?? I haven't even seen Sicko yet! And will he unearth something that "The High Cost of Low Prices" did not?

And by the way... Michael Moore has another huge fan over here.

Trying to turn hearts and minds toward universal healthcare, one post at a time.
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#183 of 411 Old 07-29-2007, 11:36 PM
 
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Well, then it sounds like we have some things we do agree about.
I think some stones have been thrown on both sides. We just all have to do what we think is best, and it really is different depending on where you live.

I mean, if you saw me walk past the bell ringing santas during the holidays, you might think I didn't give to charities, but the reality is, I give to charities I choose, not the ones that try to guilt me into it.

FTR, I'm still waiting to hear back from my state rep. I'm not holding my breath.
This is totally off topic, but DH and also boycott the Salvation Army because of their anti-gay policies, so we never give to the bell ringers. I always feel really badly like people are judging me as cheap when in reality, we do give quite a bit of time and money, but we won't give to organizations that discriminate.

And, I agree with both of you about writing your representatives often. We send lots of letter and also call fairly frequently. I'm not sure if it helps, but I think it's important.
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#184 of 411 Old 07-29-2007, 11:49 PM
 
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This is totally off topic, but DH and also boycott the Salvation Army because of their anti-gay policies, so we never give to the bell ringers. I always feel really badly like people are judging me as cheap when in reality, we do give quite a bit of time and money, but we won't give to organizations that discriminate.

And, I agree with both of you about writing your representatives often. We send lots of letter and also call fairly frequently. I'm not sure if it helps, but I think it's important.
Gives you pause, doesn't it? We vote them in and then they don't even listen to us.

Do you ever watch the tv channel that airs the congressional minutes? When you see all those empty seats and realize how often those guys decide to skip work, it'll make your blood boil.

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#185 of 411 Old 07-29-2007, 11:54 PM
 
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Gives you pause, doesn't it? We vote them in and then they don't even listen to us.

Do you ever watch the tv channel that airs the congressional minutes? When you see all those empty seats and realize how often those guys decide to skip work, it'll make your blood boil.
I hate that!! I will watch c-span sometimes and alot of the time its just so empty. I want a job where I can earn that much and not even show up.
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#186 of 411 Old 07-30-2007, 12:02 AM
 
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I hate that!! I will watch c-span sometimes and alot of the time its just so empty. I want a job where I can earn that much and not even show up.
And why is it even necessary for there to be a read the bills act? Isn't it their job to read the bills and vote according to the wishes of the people who voted them in?

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#187 of 411 Old 07-30-2007, 12:05 AM
 
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And why is it even necessary for there to be a read the bills act? Isn't it their job to read the bills and vote according to the wishes of the people who voted them in?
argh!!! I know, half of the people when asked why they voted for the patriot act didnt even read it!!:
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#188 of 411 Old 07-30-2007, 01:01 AM
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But WalMart could indeed improve society a great deal if they weren't so frickin' greedy.
Dude, did you miss the point that Wal-Mart is a business and the point of any for profit business is to make money? Their goal isn't to improve society, it's to MAKE MONEY. Businesses are in business to make money, not make the world a better place.
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#189 of 411 Old 07-30-2007, 01:15 AM
 
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How come we read the stories about how greedy Walmart forces Rubbermaid and other manufacturers to offer them lower prices, and the battle cry becomes boycott Walmart!

Isn't it easier for a wealthy manufacturer to boycott Walmart and sell their goods elsewhere than it is for consumers to boycott Walmart? Do we really expect poor and middle class shoppers to pay more for the same products when the people who are making the big bucks can't even resist Walmart?

If Rubbermaid, Vlasic, and Levis caved, is it really realistic to expect the average Joe to be able to continue the fight? Why is the burden placed on the lower income people instead? Am I really supposed to feel sorry for Levi Strauss?

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#190 of 411 Old 07-30-2007, 01:18 AM
 
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I don't feel bad for levi's, they have been horribly overpriced jeans for my whole lifetime, and for that reason I have never owned a pair, not even used.
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#191 of 411 Old 07-30-2007, 01:47 AM
 
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I don't feel bad for levi's, they have been horribly overpriced jeans for my whole lifetime, and for that reason I have never owned a pair, not even used.
When I was in retail, we could never get Levis because they always told us there was a shortage. Then they move the factories and suddenly they are available in every Walmart. That tells me the company just needed an excuse to move their factory somewhere where they could get cheaper labor.

It's all smoke and mirrors! If they can make us think Walmart screwed over the manufacturers, instead of being righteously PO'd at them for sending jobs overseas, we get mad at Walmart and make them the bad guy.

I think it's mighty funny that I'm supposed to feel sorry for them for sending jobs away. It doesn't make sense.

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#192 of 411 Old 07-30-2007, 08:47 AM
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How come we read the stories about how greedy Walmart forces Rubbermaid and other manufacturers to offer them lower prices, and the battle cry becomes boycott Walmart!

Isn't it easier for a wealthy manufacturer to boycott Walmart and sell their goods elsewhere than it is for consumers to boycott Walmart? Do we really expect poor and middle class shoppers to pay more for the same products when the people who are making the big bucks can't even resist Walmart?

If Rubbermaid, Vlasic, and Levis caved, is it really realistic to expect the average Joe to be able to continue the fight? Why is the burden placed on the lower income people instead? Am I really supposed to feel sorry for Levi Strauss?
The way they are doing business is causing some companies to operate just like WalMart--except that theses businesses are not big enough to cut operating costs in order to meet WalMart's Everyday Low Price. If you read the Pickle Article, they mention one company--I think it was a small fabric mill in North or South Carolina--that couldn't meet WalMart's price even if they paid their workers NOTHING. So these businesses are forced out of business, or else overseas. So then we have fewer jobs here in the U.S. and more people who say, "I have to shop at WalMart, my family doesn't make enough money". Of course you don't. We're losing jobs and business right and left in order to meet WalMart's everyday low price.

You see how the dog is chasing his tail here?

As the article points out, we are shopping ourselves out of jobs. There is a COST to getting a very low price for our everyday goods. That cost is a weakened local economy. We want our stuff or a low price, and we don't care how or why. We say we don't want crap from China or other countries. Yet in our insistence on being able to pay the Everyday Low Price for everything from toilet paper to juice, we are helping to close the smaller (and even some larger) suppliers to WalMart and virtually ensure that our jobs go overseas.

And why don't Rubbermaid and the others stand tall and say we'll go elsewhere else? Well, if you read the article you would see that a business really cannot compete today unless they work with WalMart. WalMart does more business in 3 months than Home Depot, the other giant, does in a YEAR. WalMart is bigger than KMart, JC Penney, Target, Sears, etc. all put together. It is virtually impossible to compete unless you play WalMart's game. They have a monopoly on home and grocery items.

Please read the article and do some research...I defy you to come away with any real facts supporting that WalMart is good for the US economy in the long run. Yes, shopping at WalMart may get your family a bit more this month in the way of necessities. But 10 years we not might be making anything here in the U.S. It will ALL be overseas. And then where will we be?
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#193 of 411 Old 07-30-2007, 08:51 AM
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Dude, did you miss the point that Wal-Mart is a business and the point of any for profit business is to make money? Their goal isn't to improve society, it's to MAKE MONEY. Businesses are in business to make money, not make the world a better place.
Sweetie,

You can make money without literally putting your suppliers out of business and ensuring that most of what you sell comes from China. Squeezing your suppliers so that they close and threatening them until their need to meet your low price forces them to pay their workers next to nothing--that is not a good business practice.

Please read the links to research here in this thread or do your own research before making a generalized statement about something that is really a very great and complex problem.
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#194 of 411 Old 07-30-2007, 08:53 AM
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When I was in retail, we could never get Levis because they always told us there was a shortage. Then they move the factories and suddenly they are available in every Walmart. That tells me the company just needed an excuse to move their factory somewhere where they could get cheaper labor.
I believe the timing was that Levi moved their factories overseas shortly after entering their deal with WalMart. They could not meet WalMart's Everyday Low Price without doing so.

Levis is featured in the article that I posted a thread for.

More jobs in the US lost...
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#195 of 411 Old 07-30-2007, 09:48 AM
 
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But nobody was criticising anyone, with the exception of the WalMart shopper who claimed that another pp was "elitist" or had a "superior attitude" or something to that effect because the pp wrote about her ethics on the subject with regards to her children. And another WalMart shopper used the word "snobbish".

The only bashing that has occured, IMO, is from the WalMart shoppers (I won't call them "supporters" since I know some of them really don't care for WalMart and feel forced to shop there).

I didn't find any of the boycott mamas to be snobbish or suffering from a superiority complex. They simply stated their own practices and beliefs on the topic.

I don't think that is your intent at all and perhaps if we were all sitting around at a coffee shop talking the message would be received differently, but there is a tone on both sides of a the argument that is inferred. On the side of the Walmart shoppers there's a need to state why they choose or have to shop there and why they feel it's not so bad or a compromise of their values. On the side of the nonWalmart shoppers there's a sense of "I've made a different choice, the choice you should have made and here's why, oh and btw you've compromised your values, which is something I'd never do". Those types of statements have been stated, not by a single poster but a collective...this isn't the first Walmart thread and this won't be the last. The reality for me and probably most of the walmart shoppers is you're not going to change my mind, not about this...or so many other things. That's ok though. I'm not going to change your mind either. Live and let live!

As we are on opposite sides you see the nonWalmart shoppers arguments as right, passionate and moral. I see the walmart shoppers the same way. Funny how things look different from where ever you're standing.

Sabrina , mom to 4 fab kids!

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#196 of 411 Old 07-30-2007, 10:45 AM
 
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In an earlier thread, I posted a comment that I shop there, and I refuse to apologize for it. I cited lack of community resources and finances as the main reasons.

While I maintain that there are not a lot of options where I live, I am willing to concede that maybe, just maybe I have not tried hard enough. The opinions and links provided on this thread have been eye-opening. And to be honest, sickening as I see resentment among the posters, fighting for beliefs and in defense of the choices they have been forced to make. If for nothing else, I hate WalMart for that.

I have decided to try to wean myself from shopping there. It won't happen overnight, I can't make that claim. But I will try to put more effort into seeing if I can do without going there, with the end goal to be not going there at all.

Maybe sometime we should try a support thread, for those of us who are living in communities where our options are limited, except for WalMart, and see what we can do. It might be a good effort toward frugality as well. I am starting to suspect that even with higher prices on some items, I could save some money all around by not purchasing that which I don't absolutely need, which WalMart encourages.

Does anyone want to take on this challenge with me?
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#197 of 411 Old 07-30-2007, 11:12 AM
 
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If WalMart makes so much money, why don't they pay their employees better with affordable health insurance? They have all the power, they make more money than all the other retailers combined. So they have no excuse.

I understand why people in rural areas feel like they have no choice but WalMart. I'm all for thrift stores for clothes, but I don't think it is the most realistic option for school supplies. Have you (general you) seen the school supplies that schools request? I think it is ridiculous that I have to buy crayons, markers, pencils, dry erase markers, paper, scissors, paint, kleenex, etc. for a Pre-K class. I was looking at some of the lists and one school actually requested that no RoseArt products were purchased. Unreal. They don't supply the materials needed, but they can ask for certain brands?

Sorry for that tangent.
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#198 of 411 Old 07-30-2007, 11:57 AM
 
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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...are not a life need. They just aren't. Those things can be improvised in one fashion or another.
I don't even want to know...
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#199 of 411 Old 07-30-2007, 12:43 PM
 
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The cost of healthcare insurance is out of control for one reason and one reason alone: the companies that provide healthcare insurance are for-profit companies. This is a perfect example of capitalism run-amok...
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#200 of 411 Old 07-30-2007, 12:53 PM
 
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If WalMart makes so much money, why don't they pay their employees better with affordable health insurance? They have all the power, they make more money than all the other retailers combined. So they have no excuse.
Jumping in to what is obviously a busy discussion...

Isn't this the problem with most businesses? The corporation's responsibility is to its shareholders, which means PROFIT is what is most important. WalMart is rich on the backs of the poor both here and in other countries. But many other corporations are, too. (Like gas companies. Making record profits when the middle class is trying to figure out how to afford to get to work.) It seems to me that this is a fundamental flaw in the system.

That being said, i don't have a solution.
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#201 of 411 Old 07-30-2007, 01:04 PM
 
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I just finished managing a Fair Trade store. I am an exceptionally small budget. Probably smaller than most here ... 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...
We don't buy those things at Walmart. We get them at the dollar store. And you don't know how small others' budgets are. There's nothing wrong with having a moral problem with Walmart, and in fact I admire you for boycotting them for moral reasons. But it's wrong to look down on/judge others for not having the same conviction.
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#202 of 411 Old 07-30-2007, 01:09 PM
 
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How come we read the stories about how greedy Walmart forces Rubbermaid and other manufacturers to offer them lower prices, and the battle cry becomes boycott Walmart!

Isn't it easier for a wealthy manufacturer to boycott Walmart and sell their goods elsewhere than it is for consumers to boycott Walmart? Do we really expect poor and middle class shoppers to pay more for the same products when the people who are making the big bucks can't even resist Walmart?

If Rubbermaid, Vlasic, and Levis caved, is it really realistic to expect the average Joe to be able to continue the fight? Why is the burden placed on the lower income people instead? Am I really supposed to feel sorry for Levi Strauss?
:.
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#203 of 411 Old 07-30-2007, 01:13 PM
 
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Well I was wondering how Walmart was faring in the grocery division so I found this:
http://www.forbes.com/resourceful/20...30walmart.html

So overall, it seems the boycotts do have some effect, but notice that:

"So far, most of Wal-Mart's sales have been easy pickings, taken from small-town grocery chains where the major grocery operators have less than 30% of their sales base."

So those of us living in small towns are driving out the small-town grocery chains by choosing walmart. And unfortunately, I'm sure those small chains just aren't big enough to buy the quantities to make things cheaper for their customers, so of course those customers will go to Walmart. And since "its grocery customers are predominantly unskilled, blue-collar farm laborers, the elderly or the unemployed," it makes it really hard for those categories of people to justify paying more.
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#204 of 411 Old 07-30-2007, 01:23 PM
 
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In an earlier thread, I posted a comment that I shop there, and I refuse to apologize for it. I cited lack of community resources and finances as the main reasons.

While I maintain that there are not a lot of options where I live, I am willing to concede that maybe, just maybe I have not tried hard enough. The opinions and links provided on this thread have been eye-opening. And to be honest, sickening as I see resentment among the posters, fighting for beliefs and in defense of the choices they have been forced to make. If for nothing else, I hate WalMart for that.

I have decided to try to wean myself from shopping there. It won't happen overnight, I can't make that claim. But I will try to put more effort into seeing if I can do without going there, with the end goal to be not going there at all.

Maybe sometime we should try a support thread, for those of us who are living in communities where our options are limited, except for WalMart, and see what we can do. It might be a good effort toward frugality as well. I am starting to suspect that even with higher prices on some items, I could save some money all around by not purchasing that which I don't absolutely need, which WalMart encourages.

Does anyone want to take on this challenge with me?
What a great thing to read! I'm a boycotter who lives in a city and has many, many non-Walmart options, so I won't be taking the challenge with you, but I
wanted to offer my support for your idea. I think it's great!
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#205 of 411 Old 07-30-2007, 01:55 PM
 
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So those of us living in small towns are driving out the small-town grocery chains by choosing walmart. And unfortunately, I'm sure those small chains just aren't big enough to buy the quantities to make things cheaper for their customers, so of course those customers will go to Walmart. And since "its grocery customers are predominantly unskilled, blue-collar farm laborers, the elderly or the unemployed," it makes it really hard for those categories of people to justify paying more.
Naw, the most vulnerable among us should just pull up some bootstraps and do the "responsible" thing.

It's a vicious cycle, rural poverty coupled with predatory big box companies...
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#206 of 411 Old 07-30-2007, 02:22 PM
 
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I just the pickle article. With a great deal of interest, actually, since I like Fast Company, and since I bought a dozen gallon jars of pickles at Wal Mart this winter.

Please allow me to explain why: We needed some large, glass, screw top jars to store flours and other staples in. We decided on a gallon size for uniformity, ease of aquisition, and the fact that it fits 5# of flour almost perfectly. We looked at Gordon's Food Service, at specialtybottle.com, and a few other places, but the cost was just prohibitive. Then, one day at Wal Mart (the only nearby place I can fully use my WIC coupons- other area stores either do not carry what is on the coupons, or have the wrong size, and believe me, I SCOURED every store) I came across glass gallon size jars of whole pickles. They cost $4 per jar. Not Vlasic, the brands were Gedney and Mt. Olive. If we had just wanted to buy the jars, the lowest price we had found was $5 per jar. Not only that, at the time we were on food stamps, so we could pay for the pickles (and jars) with those. It was a no brainer. Yes, we have eaten the pickles. We still have 5 gallons in the basement, and one open gallon in the fridge.

In this article, one of the Vlasic execs was quoted as saying, "They [the customers] would throw the half eaten jar away when it got moldy. It's too big for a family to eat." WHAT? That makes no sense. First of all, pickles don't get moldy- that's why they are pickles! Pickling is a method of preservation. Second, says who? We are a family of two adults, one baby, and a 9 year old who is here part time- a smallish family. We've plowed our way thru our jars at the rate of one per month. But the true irony here is that we normally don't buy pickles- we make our own. We bought these because other factors outside of our control made it the most sensible option for our needs. We were after the jars.

Another quote from the article states that whole pickles aren't really profitable regardless of whose selling them: "Pickle companies make money on 'the cut', slicing cucumbers into spears and hamburger chips." So, since normally don't buy pickles at all, are we hurting American manufacturing, because we make our own? I'm not trying to be snarky here, this is a sincere question.

"Wal Mart told Nabisco to add up what it would spend on the promotion [25-cent newspaper coupon for a large bag of Lifesavers in advance of Halloween]- for the newspaper ads, the coupons, and handling- and then just take that amount off the price instead. 'That isn't neccesarily good for the manufacturer,' Fitzgerald says. 'They need things that draw attention.'"

Okay. While I take Fitzgerald's point, I have a few of my own. I found WM's approach here to more efficient, and frankly, more sensible. Why take all that energy, just drop the price! Also, the paper, the energy to move the mail around- WM's way is more environmentally sound.
Furthermore, as slimy as I feel taking WM's side here, I feel just as gross taking Nabisco's side- seductive advertising to get people to by HFCS and food dye.

I honestly don't see who the good guy is here. It's hard to come down on the side of WM, but it's just as hard to come down on the side of these manufacturers who make non-essential, frivolous items.

In my household, the more strict we get with our food budget, the more we cook scratch, therefore the fewer items we buy. Since we do all our baking from scratch, we only buy staples. Since DH got the pasta attachment for his Kitchen Aid, we don't even buy dry pasta anymore. We grow and can much of our own produce. We just are not big supermarket shoppers, period. We never buy things like frozen pizza, for example. Because of this, we neccesarily go thru a lot of flour, and we use several different kinds. So we don't buy it from a supermarket. We get it thru restaurant suppliers for half of what it costs at any supermarket. Same thing with cocoa and sugar. We order a ton of stuff (toiletries, non perishable food) from Amazon, and we go to the farmer's market 5 months out of the year. Other than WIC, a handful of food items, and the few paper items that we still use (TP, Q-Tips, and cotton pads), WM doesn't have anything we want or need. The stuff I use to make cleaning supplies is cheaper at SuperOne and the $1 store. As far as durable goods go, by WM own admission, they have the lowest price only on the cheapest, lowest end item in each category, so I don't even bother. It wouldn't be hard for me to give up WM altogether, other than using my WIC coupons. I'm just not convinced that my alternatives would be better.

Two more quotes from the article really got me: "But you can't buy anything if you're not employed. We are shopping ourselves out of jobs."

Yes! I get this. I think the REAL problem, when you get down to the nitty gritty, is our consumer culture. Maybe it would mean the death of another huge sector of U.S. manufacturing if we went back to actually producing things for ourselves, but would that neccesarily be bad? Again, this is a sincere question.

"We want clean air, clear water, good living conditions, the best health care in the world- yet we aren't willing to pay for anything manufactured under these restrictions."

Yep. As my friend Ray, a Ford employee, puts it, "Yeah, it's no wonder that China can make cars cheaper. Those guys are willing to sh!t on a board with a hole cut in it. I'm not."

Outsourcing is kind of a conundrum. I want jobs for Americans, yet I don't think that other people aren't deserving of a living, too- if they close all the sweatshops, what do those people do? Starve? Go to work as prostitutes? What?

I know that the good answer is that factories should not pollute and pay/treat their employees well. But how on Earth do we ensure that? I don't think that boycotting WM improves conditions at all.

To me, the silver lining in all of this is the increased cost of gas. I'm willing to take a hit at the pump if it means that it becomes prohibitively expensive to import everything. That's what I'm hoping for, anyway.

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#207 of 411 Old 07-30-2007, 02:41 PM
 
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And why don't Rubbermaid and the others stand tall and say we'll go elsewhere else? Well, if you read the article you would see that a business really cannot compete today unless they work with WalMart. WalMart does more business in 3 months than Home Depot, the other giant, does in a YEAR. WalMart is bigger than KMart, JC Penney, Target, Sears, etc. all put together. It is virtually impossible to compete unless you play WalMart's game. They have a monopoly on home and grocery items.

Please read the article and do some research...I defy you to come away with any real facts supporting that WalMart is good for the US economy in the long run. Yes, shopping at WalMart may get your family a bit more this month in the way of necessities. But 10 years we not might be making anything here in the U.S. It will ALL be overseas. And then where will we be?
I'm saying it is ridiculous to tell the poor and middle class to boycott Walmart when the rich are saying they can't afford to. If the rich cannot afford to compete, how can the poor afford to boycott? I never said they were good for the economy, I just said they are not to blame for everything.

How many people here order party supplies from Oriental Trading Company? It's the same thing as shopping at Walmart. It's cheaper because it's made where labor is cheaper. I'd be willing to be their labor practices are shameful.


Walmart is not the root of all evil. Instead of telling consumers to band together and spend more money elsewhere, why not tell rich corporations to band together and boycott? They can better afford it.

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#208 of 411 Old 07-30-2007, 02:43 PM
 
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I believe the timing was that Levi moved their factories overseas shortly after entering their deal with WalMart. They could not meet WalMart's Everyday Low Price without doing so.

Levis is featured in the article that I posted a thread for.

More jobs in the US lost...
There were a couple of years in between. I really think they laid the groundwork so they could feel justified.

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#209 of 411 Old 07-30-2007, 02:48 PM
 
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I understand that companies need market share, and WM gives them that market share. But in the age of the Internet, why not just capitalize on your brand name and sell things directly to the consumer? Cut out the middle man, so to speak.

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#210 of 411 Old 07-30-2007, 03:38 PM
 
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I understand that companies need market share, and WM gives them that market share. But in the age of the Internet, why not just capitalize on your brand name and sell things directly to the consumer? Cut out the middle man, so to speak.
Exactly. I still say it's unfair to put the burden on the consumer when the fat cats on both ends are still profiting. Rubbermaid and Levi would not still be in business if they were not making money.

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