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Here is something I read about in regards to Walmart. It is long, but interesting. I would love to know what your opinions are about this issue.<br><br>
Kathleen<br><br><br><br>
Wal-Mart: a.k.a. Big Brother Walley<br><br>
By Wayne Hicks<br><br>
A friend observed today that some of my better articles may well have come<br>
from my temper, as in when I’ve lost it over some example of tyranny. After the<br>
events that inspired this particular rant, I guess she was right. And, while<br>
I've been hearing for years the quiet rumblings about the mega-corp known as<br>
Wal-Mart, I've got to say that. this time, they've just gone too far.<br><br>
Picture this: Having noticed that the family mini-van has a flat tire, I<br>
calmly jack it up and remove the tire so that I can take it to be repaired, toss<br>
it in the back of DOT (Dad’s Old Truck), and head for the Wal-Mart Tire and<br>
Lube Center to get it plugged. This scenario is reenacted probably five hundred<br>
times a day across the nation, so there’s certainly nothing sinister about it,<br>
right?<br><br>
Well, this morning I would have agreed with that statement, but not now. You<br>
see, when I got there, and unloaded the tire and carried it to the guy who<br>
would fix it, another fellow came out to me and began asking questions. He asked<br>
for my telephone number, and I gave it to him, understanding that this is how<br>
they track their customers. Then he asked my name, since I was not in their<br>
database. Then he wanted my address, and although I sighed in frustration, I<br>
gave it to him.<br><br>
Then he asked for the color of my van, and its tag number, and alarm bells<br>
went off in my head. I can think of no reason for Wal-Mart to need that<br>
information, and I said so. The clerk replied that he needed it “for the warranty”,<br>
and that if I did not provide it, then Wal-Mart could not work on my vehicle.<br><br>
“You’re not working on my vehicle,” I replied, “my vehicle is at home!<br>
You’re plugging a hole in a tire I carried in, why do you need all that<br>
information in order to plug a tire?”<br><br>
He reiterated that if I did not provide the information then they could not<br>
proceed with repairing the tire, and I agreed. “Then tell the guy to just stop,<br>
and I’ll take it somewhere else! I am NOT going to give you my license number<br>
just to get a tire repaired!” The mechanic stopped what he was doing, and<br>
handed me my tire… now off the rim… and when told why I was refusing to let them<br>
complete the repair, he said, “Well, man, I’m sorry you feel that way.”<br><br>
“No,” I answered him, “I’m the one who’s sorry that you DON’T feel that<br>
way!”<br><br>
This was a minor incident, but it brought to a head something that’s been<br>
bothering me for some time now, namely Wal-Mart’s increasing control over the<br>
lives and freedom of its customers. In many ways, the encroachment is even more<br>
insidious than that of our government, since their goal is merely the<br>
restriction of our liberties; Wal-Mart has a much loftier goal, as evidenced by such<br>
things as the scene described above.<br><br>
Did you know, for instance, that Wal-Mart now averages nearly a billion<br>
dollars a day in sales? That it has put more than a hundred thousand<br>
long-established local stores out of business by undercutting prices until they control the<br>
market?<br><br>
Did you know that in various cities, Wal-mart is experimenting with new forms<br>
of marketing, and new products never sold in retail stores before?<br><br>
Let me give you some examples.<br><br>
In Dallas, Texas, starting soon if not already in progress, Wal-Mart will be<br>
selling new cars of various brands. That’s right, rather than go to the<br>
nearest Ford dealer, you need only drop by your friendly neighborhood Wally World<br>
and pick your new Taurus “off the shelf”. No test drives needed… after all,<br>
they’re all alike and Wal-Mart has that wonderful exchange policy, so if you<br>
don’t like the one you get, no big deal, just come back and exchange it for<br>
another one.<br><br>
In another large city, each item in the store carries an electronic tag, and<br>
if you’re one of many customers who have registered their Visa or MasterCard<br>
with Wal-Mart and received the little electronic keychain tag or wallet card,<br>
you can simply load up your cart and breeze right on out of the store between<br>
two special upright scanners. Your purchases are automatically totaled, charged<br>
to your card, and stored in their database where government employees of some<br>
alphabet agency can see exactly what you bought and what you paid for it. I’m<br>
told there’s even going to be a self-service bagging station, so you can bag<br>
up your goodies if you like.<br><br>
And how about those Wal-Mart Gift Cards, the ones you load money onto at the<br>
register and use as gifts? You’ll soon be able to use them just about anywhere<br>
in the world, and even take some of your cash back off of them at most ATM<br>
machines. Since Wal-Mart will cash your paycheck, why not just go completely<br>
cashless and let them credit your pay to your Wal-Mart card? If you need some of<br>
that old fashioned green stuff, you can always drop by the 24 Hour Teller, but<br>
since everything you need can be bought at Wal-mart… what’s the point?<br><br>
Wal-mart has long been known for coming into a community and ruthlessly<br>
cutting out the local merchants that were already established there, the local<br>
merchants who can’t make billion dollar purchases and get $20 blue jeans for less<br>
than five bucks each! Sam Walton’s dream of having a store that everyone could<br>
shop at has turned into America’s nightmare, as Wal-Mart comes closer to its<br>
goal of being the only place to get what you want or need… because there<br>
won’t be anywhere else to buy it. The company is now so large, and so powerful,<br>
that congress rolls over to its demands as fast as your local chamber of<br>
commerce, and recently passed legislation that would allow Wal-Mart to offer services<br>
that were formerly reserved only for banks!<br><br>
Now, with the advent of “customer-tracking policies” that require you to be<br>
identified every time you make a purchase, this behemoth of commerce has<br>
become the eyes and ears of Big Brother, in a country where it is nearly impossible<br>
to do your regular weekly shopping without making at least one stop at a<br>
Wal-mart store!<br><br>
And, as a Wal-mart employee asked me this morning: “What are you gonna do<br>
about it?” If Wal-mart is necessary to your daily life, as it is for most<br>
Americans today, then there is little you can do. The lower prices will keep you<br>
shopping there even though you know it is hastening the day when you can no longer<br>
move from your own home without being watched by some arm of the government<br>
every moment, because the other stores in town can’t supply your needs as<br>
cheaply.<br><br>
On the other hand, have you paid attention to Wal-mart’s quality lately? Of<br>
the things that my family has bought from Wal-mart in the past two years, fully<br>
a third of them have been defective or imperfect when purchased. The e<br>
lectronics department has become a standard joke; “The stereo doesn’t work, it musta<br>
come from Wal-mart.”<br><br>
Where is the Wal-mart that sought out American manufacturers, and made sure<br>
that their products were available in the stores? Where is the Wal-mart that<br>
put its neighbors first? All I can find is the one that caters to illegal aliens<br>
and disregards the will of its customers unless those views are in line with<br>
what Wal-mart envisions for the future, with products made in countries where<br>
what we call a day’s wage buys a week or more of labor from those desperate to<br>
eek out a bare living.<br><br>
Not surprisingly, several of the corporation’s directors are also connected<br>
to the Council on Foreign Relations. I say not surprisingly since Wal-mart is<br>
now poised to be the “state store” of a socialist state, the very goal of the<br>
CFR, and with its now international marketplace, it is difficult to see how<br>
any such goal can be attained worldwide without Wal-mart’s full and complete<br>
cooperation.<br><br>
As for the clerk’s question, “What are you gonna do about it?”… I have a<br>
suggestion.<br><br>
Boycott. Every dollar, in fact every red penny we spend at Wal-mart is now<br>
considered a vote FOR the policies they implement, since spending at Wal-mart<br>
can be easily interpreted as supporting them in their business decisions! Let’s<br>
take our votes elsewhere, and even if it means we pay a bit more, let’s let<br>
Wal-mart and the elected leaders who bow to them know that we are sick of it!<br>
Let’s let them know that we will not be herded like sheep, we will not be<br>
tracked, and we will not have our privacy so invaded that any Wal-mart employee can<br>
look up any detail he wishes to know about you and your private life! Do you<br>
read the Christian books that Wal-mart sells? Or do you go for the cult-films<br>
in the video section? And whose damn business is it if you do?<br><br>
I don’t have anything against computers, and I know firsthand what a boon<br>
they can be to business… but there is a limit to their usefulness, and when they<br>
become a tool of tyranny, even in the hands of a private business, then that<br>
limit has been reached and passed!<br><br>
I call now upon every American to let your local Wal-mart know that this has<br>
gone far enough, that when we are subjected to such tracking and privacy<br>
invasions then we are more than willing to forego a few dollars in savings in order<br>
to protect our liberty and privacy
 

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Thank you for posting that. Dh and I have long boycotted Wal-Mart for various reasons cited in your post, and for others not mentioned. It blows my mind when I talk to people and they tell me how "wonderful Wal-Mart is", about "shopping there many times a week," and most horrifying, "I am morally opposed, but they have SUCH LOW PRICES!" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">:<br>
Even here at MDC I see so many mentions of Wal-Mart shopping, loving Wal-Mart, etc...I guess it is simply beyond me. How could anyone support corporations who do such morally, socially and envioronmentally repugnant things? I'd rather pay the extra 80 cents for my toothpaste and sleep at night knowing I didn't contribute to unemployment, deforestation, sweatshop labor, and the decline of community establishments that day. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Lucysmama - you are quite welcome!!! FYI, Brochton, Mass. already has RFID's. Scarry thought, huh? Big Brother truly is finding its way into our lives and I think it is going to take a LOT of education before the public understands this. The Brochton, Mass. store using RFID's had a very small announcement about it in our local paper. Obviously they did not want to worry the public with it by making a larger article out of it. Hmmmmmm? makes me wonder.!!!!<br><br>
I have to say, I am a wal-mart shopper. Not because I want to be, but becaue economics with our household make it be that way. However, I plan on slowly phasing Wal-mart out of my life. Personally, the last year or so , I have been telling my dh how much I am sick and tired of shopping there. That I only do it to save our family money. But now, is saving our family money worth losing my freedom over? NO !! One thing I am thankful for is the fact I have never used their cards to purchase anything. Nor will I ever use those cards.<br><br>
I like to research things. I have found out a lot about the Patriot Act, Homeland Security, etc. Things that are not in mainstream media. Educating others and/or getting them to take you seriously is difficult. It can be done, but it is difficult. Most people are happy thinking what they think, shopping where they shop, doing what they do. Educating them to do something differently is a different story all together. Little by little, I am weaning off needing the cheaper prices of Wally World, and hopefully by next year, I will be supporting more local business.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">All I can find is the one that caters to illegal aliens</td>
</tr></table></div>
<br>
Why did he have to throw this in? Left a bad taste in my mouth that would not have been there otherwise.<br><br><br>
And, we need to do much more than stop buying at Walmart. The mom and pop stores are all selling the cheap, exploited labor, products too.<br><br>
We need to change the way we consume. Just how much DO we need?<br><br><br><br>
El
 

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Computers are literal. You control the flow of information. Not just anyone is entitled to know details you'd rather not give.<br>
So: mess with the system. ;-)
 

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I am also a WalMart boycotter.<br><br>
My family is just barely above "low income" but the cheap prices don't compensate for the abuses of WalMart. By world standards I'm pretty rich, so I don't need to consume more on the backs of Nickle and Dimed employees and Chinese slave labor. Add the fact that WalMart donates to conservative political causes that I detest, refuses to stocy their pharmacy with certain contraceptive drugs. It is one company that I don't want to enrich in any way.<br><br>
When I made a conscious decision to avoid big box stores like WalMart entirely I thought I'd have trouble finding the products I want to buy. It didn't turn out that way, though. What actaually happened is I buy less stuff I don't need, I get better quality stuff and I have a lot more fun shopping.<br><br>
I think it could be kind of like TV turnoff week. Take a week without shopping at WalMart and find out what you've really been missing.<br><br>
--AmyB
 

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Go to <a href="http://www.boycottgillette.com" target="_blank">www.boycottgillette.com</a><br>
for more info on creepy customer tracking. I heard a lady from that organization on the radio the other day. She has another group, but you can get links through boycottgillette. I still shop at Wal Mart and still buy Gillette, but these things are freaky. I don't like privacy invasions, but at least these are private companies doing these things, not the government. Of course, I'm sure if the private sector has started using these tools/techniques, then the government already is too.
 

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WooHoo AmyB! Happy to hear of another family who is poor and boycotts Wal-Mart. Dh and I are alos pretty damn poor - he's a full-time student and I am a SAHM. NOBODY makes money at our house! Just the same, I agree with you that Wal-Mart shopping is one experience I never missed. I feel personally richer knowing I don't support that particular business.<br>
Now, if I could just stop driving a car... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">:
 

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yes! yes! yes! i couldn't agree more - my friends & family (not dh tho <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> ) roll their eyes when i say anything about walmart but they are evil - 'nuff said.<br><br>
mona
 

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Everything we buy at Walmart is crap. It falls apart. We haven't shopped there in about a year and a half. I was given a baby sleeper as a gift, and when one of the snaps fell off, posing a choking hazrd and sharp hazard, they wouldn't exchange it because "it was part of a package of three". I was only given one.
 
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