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I hate Wal-Mart

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message 1: by Jillian (last edited Feb 12, 2008 11:35AM) (new)

Jillian Well I can start this one because I used to work there my senior year in High School so that makes me really hate wal-mart.

I hate Wal-Mart because it's like walking into a freak show. Well at least here in Wisconsin the one in Baraboo is like walking into a trailer park/freak show. White trash and illegals every where you look. Even DJ's from Madison have commented on the Baraboo Wal-Mart and how scary it is to shop there.

I hate Wal-Mart's parking lot. I've never seen so much trash in my life. Dirty baby diapers, soda cans, people dumping out their ashtrays etc as far as the eye can see.

Small tiny aisle you can barely get down.

You need a cart if you shop there. It's a shield you must use to defend yourself. If you are without one you are a target to get run into or over. People are morons and don't watch where they are going and side swipe you as your walking down an aisle.

They treat their employees like crap. Hail Hitler!! Make them do that freaking retarded Wal-Mart chant.

Controling the imports into this country so everything comes from freaking China. Hey Wal-mart thanks for helping to kill dogs and cats last year you f'ing heartless bastards!!!!!!

Grr to the press for not caring enough about parrots, rabbits and other pets. There was a recall again last month on pet food made in China containing that poison. Did it make the news? NO cause it didn't affect cats or dogs. I love my parrots you assholes and they are important too!! Plus the public needs to know it is STILL HAPPENING!

I hate Wal-Mart for taking pleasure in putting out of business small mom and pop businesses that have been in the family for generations.

I hate Wal-Mart for not owning their giant box stores and renting them instead so they don't have to pay property tax.

I hate Wal-Mart for not giving their employees healthcare so they can suck off the state's Badger care.




message 2: by Fredstrong (new)

Fredstrong Walmart is a symbol of all that is wrong with our Western world. Never give them your money, always try to support local business.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

I buy all my food, merchandise, illegal drugs, and snail porn at Wal-Mart.

If we all buy enough, we'll get that Seventh Seal to crack open yet!


message 4: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony Beyond all the ethical reasons to avoid Wal-mart, their stores smell bad and have horrible lighting as well. I hate Wal-Mart.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

What do YOU think all that SLIME is for?


message 6: by Bryan (new)

Bryan I'm with you guys. I hate it when businesses efficiently distribute resources, thereby bringing costs down and allowing the poor to stretch their dollars further. It's so unethical.

Goddamn, what happened to the good ol' days when Mom & Pop's A&P Dry Goods Emporium Extraordinare had only one choice for each product that everyone was forced to buy? Competition sucks. The free market sucks.

Also, they have bad lighting.


message 7: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Bryan, are you physically unable to stop playing devil's advocate just for the sake of it in nearly every conversation you enter? :)


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Wahhhhh, Old Man McGillicuddy had to close down his 85-year-old Fish-bait-&-Snail-Porn Emporium 'cause Wal-Smart done comed on in and shut him down. Stormtroopers rolled out of a SWAT van with a big smiley face on it and took he and his farmer's daughter to Gitmo.

Wahhhhh.


message 9: by Fredstrong (new)

Fredstrong Well Bryan, I hate your ignorance. When the super wealthy are able to corner markets and effectively run out all independently owned, local businesses, the middle class gets eradicated. This is not the way democracy/capitalism is supposed to work, this gives birth to fascism and aristocracy. I love competition; it is Walmart that makes sure no one can compete with them except for other elements of the super wealthy. Again that is an aristocracy, one of the things the free market our democracy were erected against.

Your allusion to the fact that they are doing the consumer a favor is preposterous. Not only are they destroying the middle class, and local economy, but they care nothing about their host communities. When I buy from a local business, whose owner lives here, and knows me, I know that my community matters to them, and that I as an individual matter to them. The community and neighbors have both a face, and a value to a locally owned business. To Walmart the consumers and communities have no identity, nor does a soulless corporation like Walmart itself.

I hate that you defend those who couldn’t care less about anything except the market segment you represent.



message 10: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 12, 2008 02:53PM) (new)

EDIT: Bryan can fight this argument better.

For the PERSONAL record, I make a POINT of not shopping at Wal-Mart because they're union-busting asses, and I'm a proud Labor Union wonk thanks to my Democratic Socialist dad.

But other people are free to do so. The middle-class is dying, but it's the reality of a changing landscape where knowledge is more important than a strong body and a cool head. Auto workers have taken it in the pants because the industry can't support their extremely high wages. That's the way it goes. I'm all for unions, all for strikes, and all for people shopping at Wal-Mart if that's what they want.

Fredstrong thinks people are stupid and they choose Wal-Mart because they're mindless sheep. I think they're making sophisticated choices about what they want to pay and where they want to shop. I think employees who work at Wal-Mart are USUALLY working there because they are very young, very old, uneducated desperate or, wait for it ... wait for it ... they want to work there and have chosen to do so. I don't think less of them because they take a job at Wal-Mart, and I'm not sure there's a better job out there for them right then.

Sorry. I said I wasn't going to fight this, but then I did. I'll shut up now.

EDIT 2: King responded to a post that has since been heavily rewritten.


message 11: by Shelly (new)

Shelly That shit's not even cheap when you consider that Wal-Mart has the highest number of employees on welfare!


message 12: by Fredstrong (new)

Fredstrong Brendan I disagree with nothing you've said, other than your understanding of my point, and I hate that. I think that people shop at walmart because it's cheaper. I do not think it's because they're mindless sheep. The term "sophisticated choices" may be a stretch...

You know what, I take that back, I do think they are mindless sheep, and your average person does not make sophisticated choices about almost anything. Anyone who who doubts that needs to take a look around them at the mess we're in. It's easiest to blame the leaders, but it's the majority who buys the bullshit, and accepts spin as reality. You'll never lose money underestimating the intelligence of your average American.


message 13: by Meels (new)

Meels (Amelia) "You'll never lose money underestimating the intelligence of your average American."

Maybe not, but you'll lose sleep understanding it...


message 14: by Fredstrong (new)

Fredstrong LOL, you're absolutely right, and I hate that.


Servius  Heiner I hate Wal-Mart for a vary superficial reason. The store is full of trash, both in the aisles and on the shelves. In this country you generally get what you pay for. That and Every time I walk into one I feel like I’m at a flea market… Not that there’s anything wrong with the flea market, well outside of the; scumbags, stolen goods, sketch heads, smog spu’n beaters from the 70’s. But whatever, I digress.

I will admit that Wal-Mart provides a service to a percentage of the population. If they want to spend there hard earned burger flip’n bucks on some trash from Wal-Mart fine. Who am I to say no?



message 16: by Meels (last edited Feb 12, 2008 03:32PM) (new)

Meels (Amelia) Their...t-h-e-i-r...their...possessive is "their"

Sorry, it's a pet peeve. My brother does it all the time and I have to edit his (college) papers. It makes me a little twitchy.

Sorry Nick, lost my mind for a sec...I hate that!



Servius  Heiner Yeah, I gave up a long time ago on there, their and...Eh.. I forgot the other one, I HATE Grammar. I don't care how necessary it is for proper communication ;)


message 18: by Jenn (new)

Jenn Wal Mart grrrrrrr. They have forced most of the places in my small little farming town out of business, even the grocery stores now close at midnight or eleven due to the number of customers declining so much. I still go to those smaller stores though. Who wants to walk a mile to get a gallon of milk? Just remember they price match and now sell beer and liquor!!! *puke*

We have the Super Store, and basically that is all we have. No competition at all. What are you supposed to do then? And Brendan, Go Union!!!





message 19: by Bryan (new)

Bryan >>Well Bryan, I hate your ignorance.

Sir, you're entirely free to disagree with me, but my opinion is not born of ignorance. I merely have a different perspective than you do. Imputing stupidity to the other side is unsportsmanlike.

Last year, a Wal-Mart opened in the Chicago area. It attracted 15,000 applicants for 400 jobs. 98% of the employees live in the neighborhood.

Pew Research did a poll and found that households making under $50k a year had a positive view of Wal-Mart and shopped there frequently. Of those making under $20k a year, 90% viewed Wal-Mart favorably.

It's entirely possible that all those people are fucking rubes and you, Fredstrong, know better than them.

>>Not only are they destroying the middle class, and local economy

Well, there's a lot of economic evidence that just the opposite is happening. When it comes to food discounting alone, Wal-Mart is estimated to save consumers about $50 billion a year. By making cheap goods available, Wal-Mart raises the standard of living b/c people can stretch their dollar further. It's Economics 101.

>>When I buy from a local business, whose owner lives here, and knows me, I know that my community matters to them, and that I as an individual matter to them. The community and neighbors have both a face, and a value to a locally owned business.

If you want to attack Wal-Mart on aesthetic grounds, you'll get little argument from me. The stores ARE ugly.

But lots and lots of people don't have such concerns and I don't blame them. When they go shopping, it's not to feel warm and fuzzy inside. They want to get the most bang for their buck. Who am I to fault such a motive?


message 20: by Kirk (new)

Kirk One day we'll wake up and we won't be Americans anymore. We'll be Wal-Martians.


message 21: by Meels (new)

Meels (Amelia) You're a clever lad aren't you Kirk? :)


message 22: by Alison (new)

Alison Sorry, I didn't read every comment, so this may be a repeat. But the last time I was at a Wal-mart Super Center there were 74 check out lines (at least) and one person checking. That person had 104 people in her line. So I went to the self check-out which wouldn't scan one of my two items. So I left them on the counter and haven't been back since.

Wal-mart sucks.


message 23: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Kelly: Although I enjoy arguing the other side sometimes, most of the time I actually believe what I say.

It's a flaw, I know. :)


message 24: by Daisiemae (new)

Daisiemae Alison,
That happened to me last weekend. There was only one checker and 104 people waiting to check out in FRONT of me!

I hate Wal-Mart because they spread all of the merchandise out so you have to walk all over the damn store to find whats on your list...meanwhile, filling your buggy with mindless shit you don't need. So instead of spending thirty dollars, you end up spending 50 or more...bastards..ugh!




message 25: by Jillian (last edited Feb 12, 2008 09:16PM) (new)

Jillian I'd rather spend extra money at a store knowing the workers are treated well, the business cares about the community in which they do business (really cares not fake wal-mart cares), cares about what they are selling (not shoving tainted, poison China made shit down our throats) and believes in fair trade.

I guess I do shop for the warm fuzzy feeling. I feel better about myself when I know the company I am spending my hard earned money at is a good neighbor on this earth. When a company does something I think is right it makes me more likely to shop there. Like Whole Foods no longer using plastic bags. I like that. We've been using canvas bags for a few years. I like the Body Shop because of their values. They believe in giving communities fair price for their products. Unlike Wal-Mart who pays their slaves in China pennies to make us cheap christmas ornaments and clothes.

But hey I guess that is the American way.

Wal-Mart does not have good values. The idea of shopping there makes me ill and why we stopped shopping there close to 3 years ago.

Problem with our society is we are always looking for the better deal. Yes it is good to save money. But you have to look at who has to suffer so you can save yourself a few cents. This is the reason why so many jobs are shipped overseas because we stopped caring about quality, craftsmenship, values and people earning a fair wage for hard work.






message 26: by Xio (last edited Feb 13, 2008 07:03AM) (new)

Xio (XioJ) I know I'll have to spend my day looking for the source but I am certain I just read an article about a study that said Wal-Mart actually does not (adversely) affect local small businesses all that much.


I hate them cause their products are pieces of shit that tend to break after one use. Of course what I really hate are the people who talk all day about how they hate WalMart but then shop at Target. Fuckers.

Or Borders/Barnes and Noble. Or Whole Foods. Give to me the fucking break already.

EDIT

looked around and am reading this study (at work, falling asleep, etc)

http://www.econ.ucdavis.edu/seminars/...




message 27: by Jenn (new)

Jenn I read that until page five, what shite! I guess it's just coincidence that our Main Street died, and a month after the Super Store opened up the other groceries that were able to remain in business started closing early. They all claim it was due to Wal Mart but they must be wrong since the Wal Mart leaders say otherwise.




message 28: by Fredstrong (new)

Fredstrong Bryan, I apologize for the ignorance comment, the Hater's club get's me kind of snarky. I understand what you're saying, but you have not addressed a single one of my points. I have never contested that Walmart offers cheaper stuff, and saves the consumer some money. Nor have I ever said that people did not shop there, or did not like saving money. You've stated the obvious, but have not addressed my arguments.

My concern is that Walmart drives out smaller local businesses, takes the money out of the local economy, and is helping to destroy the middle class. That stores like Walmart make the economy resemble an aristocracy, eliminate the ability for middle class people to compete in the marketplace, which is monopolistic, and helps fuel the widening gap between the haves and the have nots. That Walmart does not care about their customers or host comminuties the same way a locally owned and operated business does.

LOL, where did I attack Walmart on aesthetic grounds? The quote you answer with that is speaking about a local businesses regard for neighbors and community -vs- a mega-corporations parasitic relationship to it's host community. I'm glad that we agree Walmarts are ugly, but I never said that anywhere in my comment.


message 29: by Bryan (last edited Feb 14, 2008 10:48AM) (new)

Bryan >>My concern is that Walmart drives out smaller local businesses,

Then your problem is with capitalism in general, not Wal-Mart per se. Companies that can take advantage of economies of scale have been driving out "smaller" business since the Industrial Revolution. I guess you would've been railing against the Sears catalog.

>>takes the money out of the local economy, and is helping to destroy the middle class.

What does that mean "take money out the local economy"? By your definition, doesn't any company with its corporate headquarters located outside the boundaries of the city/town in question, "take money out the local economy"? Wal-Mart pays its workers, yes? It creates jobs, right? So every two weeks on payday, isn't it injecting money into the local economy?

And, as I've pointed out, by saving consumers money, doesn't that also indirectly give the "local economy" more money? If previously the town was paying $10 for widgets, but Wal-Mart is able to sell widgets for $8, then the consumer now has two extra dollars to spend.

How does one "destroy" a socio-economic class by, essentially, making it richer and raising its standard of living? Did you hear me say that the food discounting saves consumers $50 billion a year? When other products are taken into account, the savings are estimated at $250 billion.

>>That stores like Walmart make the economy resemble an aristocracy, eliminate the ability for middle class people to compete in the marketplace, which is monopolistic, and helps fuel the widening gap between the haves and the have nots.

Again, replace the word "Wal-Mart" with "capitalism" and the sentence makes more sense. If your wider disagreement is with the free market, that's a bigger discussion.

>>That Walmart does not care about their customers or host comminuties the same way a locally owned and operated business does.

It's a fallacy to think that a business "cares" about its customers in any meaningful way. That's what family and friends are for. I can't count on a business to pick my kids up from school if I can't, or console me when a relative dies no matter how "caring" they claim to be.

And why should I want to? Businesses exist to please customers by giving them what they want. For Wal-Mart, who caters to middle to lower income people, that means giving them as low a price as possible because such people don't have a lot disposable income.

For Whole Foods, who caters to the middle to upper income people who have a lot of money, that means supplying its customers with products that those consumers believe are better for the environment. If tomorrow people started believing that highly processed foods increase life expectancy and reduce global warming, Whole Food would begin its slide towards non-existence.

With all due respect, Fredstrong, your arguments are entirely unoriginal. People have been bemoaning income equality and the destructive forces of capitalism since the first factory in Manchester (see Marx, Karl).

Yet, somehow, with all those intra-national and inter-national corporations sucking the working man dry, the standard of living steadily rises, the purchasing power of the dollar steadily increases, people live longer and have more.


Servius  Heiner kudos Bryan.


message 31: by Shelly (new)

Shelly i think bryan works for wal-mart


message 32: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony Bryan, how would you address the low wages and poor benefits offered by Wal-mart to their employees and how that impacts the members of the community?


message 33: by [deleted user] (new)

Booyakasha!


message 34: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Shelly: No, I just believe in the free market. :)

Randomanthony: The question is, "low wages and poor benefits" compared to what? Nothing? I'd take low wages and poor benefits over no wages and no benefits.

Was the average Wal-Mart employee making $15 a hour with full health benefits before the company came to town? Unlikely.


message 35: by RandomAnthony (last edited Feb 14, 2008 11:49AM) (new)

RandomAnthony Bryan, do you think there are any ethical limits as to how much or little a person should make or should that be market driven as well? Should it be connected to profits? Should low benefits that require taxpayers to cover for a major, profitable corporation in order to provide humane health care be allowed? Should we aim for only the poorest living conditions that a market will bear or aim higher for all?


message 36: by Bryan (new)

Bryan It seems like you're arguing for a higher minimum wage. There may well be a good argument that morality requires that we pay workers a certain base level income.

However, one must realize the trade-offs involved. The higher the minimum wage is, the less profits are involved. At the margin, that will drive firms out of business. Thus, a higher minimum wage means less jobs.

So where do you draw the line? I don't know. We could mandate tomorrow that every worker gets $15 an hour but it's foolish to believe it would have no impact on the economy. Some people would do better, and many, many more would do much worse.


message 37: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) ...and then small business owners (like the independent book stores and coffee shops we all love) would be forced to close, because they wouldn't be able to afford to pay employees, and then you'd all be forced to shop at Big Bad Fox Books and drink Starbucks coffee.


message 38: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony Hm...I wasn't arguing for a higher minimum wage. I guess I was asking questions. So I'll ask again.

Do you think there are ethical limits as to how much or little a person should make or should that be market driven as well? I'll add a bit here...what about in the case of a major corporation with well-paid excecutives and billions in profits?

Should low benefits that require taxpayers to cover for a major,profitable corporation in order to provide humane health care be allowed?

Should we aim for only the poorest living conditions that a market will bear or aim higher for all?


message 39: by mara (last edited Feb 14, 2008 01:03PM) (new)

mara I hate that whenever people talk about this, someone always brings up the point that if corporations lose profits the economy will suffer. If (pick a corporation) Barnes and Noble was forced to bring in a profit margin of - I don't know - 2 billion instead of 3 billion - than they'll be forced to fire masses of workers. To what? Maintain the 2 yacht standard/2 summer home standard of living of their top CEOs? Maybe I don't really understand how it all works, but that's just madness to me.

It brings to mind the image of a child screaming for a fifth slice of chocolate cake and its overindulgent mother pleading - Please, please! Give him what he wants or he'll make us all suffer!

If the right of the average person to make a decent wage and receive benefits was enforced more rigorously (including measures to discourage slave labor and outsourcing) businesses would just have to adjust.


message 40: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) Mara, I'm not sure who that was directed to, but my own post was about SMALL businesses. Not big corporations. If the minimum wage is increased, many, many small businesses would be forced to close. Others that could stay open would not be able to hire help, or not as much help as they would at a lower wage. So all you'd be left with would be the big corporations.


Servius  Heiner If a corporation loses a billion dollars profit from one year to the next, due to a wage increase. The corporation is just going to raise its prices across the board to make up for the losses, in addition to layoffs. Or are you suggesting in addition to mandating a 15/hr minimum wage, they also mandate how the Corp. functions hence forth?
They are a business, they exist to make money. They hire people to do it for them. I have to refer to a previous post of ”Is the community better off with those people not having a job at all?” I am no fan of Wal-Mart, but you have got to be fair.
This may be a localizes observation, but the last time I was in a Wal-Mart (a few years ago) the majority of the employees were teenagers or seniors. If one is under the age 18, they are probably covered under their parent’s policy, or by SCHIP. Seniors have a level of coverage under Medicare (again, Medicare needs to be fixed, but they are covered)

I hate that I am sticking up for Wal-Mart by the way!



message 42: by Bryan (new)

Bryan >>Do you think there are ethical limits as to how much or little a person should make or should that be market driven as well? I'll add a bit here...what about in the case of a major corporation with well-paid excecutives and billions in profits?

Alright, who is to determine what is "ethical"? You and mara? My next door neighbor? What's the "ethical" salary for a university professor in Wisconsin? How could anyone determine such a thing? "We know you've worked hard to earn your college degrees and get a job teaching, but really, your youngest child doesn't need that new toy. There's a person in rural Arkansas working at Wal-Mart who dropped out of high school that needs it more."

But maybe we should talk just about CEOs. After all, they didn't work THAT hard to earn their money, right? It's easy running a corporation. Some of them didn't even go to college, so it can't be that difficult. So let's take the money they lawfully earned and already paid taxes on because them having too many zeros on their bank statement makes us uncomfortable.

What do you think companies do with those billions in profit? Stow it under the mattress? Spend it on a fleet of gold-plated yachts? No, they reinvest it in the company to keep it going. The continued existence of Wal-Mart is by no means a foregone conclusion. There's always a competitor out there who's trying to break into the same market and steal your customers. So they grow the business, which usually means hiring more people, or they create new businesses. Some of them even give it to charity. (Isn't Bill Gates donating the bulk of his fortune to Buffet's foundation?)

Or maybe it DOES sit in the bank. Doesn't that mean the bank can lend it to others, say someone starting a business of their own? Or maybe they DO spend it on a fleet of gold-plated yachts. Doesn't that mean more employment from everyone who raises the lumber for the hull to the miner who mines the ore?

This talk of ethics has got me excited, though. How about next we talk about ethical limits to government intrusion in the marketplace that make services like health care so expensive. I just read an article today that government regulations in Washington state add about $200k to the average home price. All well intended and for the "benefit" of the home buyer, no doubt. You don't think the same phenomenon applies to health care? Maybe it would be more affordable and society could rely on the beneficence of corporations less if government got out the business of health care.


message 43: by Jenn (new)

Jenn Thank God Wal-Mart discounts their food, as noted before. I mean after all, with paying their employees minimum wage and only letting them work just enough hours to be part-time they need that extra money to have health insurance and pay their bills.

And gimme a break, no one does such a hard job that requires their every waking moment to make the kind of money we are talking about concerning CEOs. You'd think their college education must've set them back at least 20 million, their backbreaking climb to the top must've taken decades, and during that time they were only making $15000 a year. No one, and I mean no one, should be making the kind of money they are especially when they are making it at the expense of the poor they are employing to work for the company.

Someone also brought up (bryan it was you I believe) that it's a fallacy to believe small businesses care about their customers. I think you might have said "in a meaningful way". It might not be meaningful to you, but when I used to be able to call down to the small drug store and ask them to deliver medicine to my home because my child was so ill I couldn't leave it meant something to me. They would always ask if there was anything more I needed, if so they would bring it. The cost to me? Nothing. I always tried to tip the man who brought it but he would never take it. I've also had many incidents where these small business owners/workers would completely go out of their way for me in other ways. None of these things can be expected from Wal-Mart. Not now, not ever.





message 44: by RandomAnthony (last edited Feb 14, 2008 02:09PM) (new)

RandomAnthony Hm...funny...you really didn't answer the questions, Bryan. However, I'll respond as directly as I can.

1. I do think some conversation about ethical behavior of corporations is reasonable. I think conversations about the ethical behavior of Wisconsin professors is reasonable too. I've had many conversations in hiring processes about what's a fair wage for a University professor. Also, in my position, if I take tuition money and don't provide quality instruction in return, yes, there should be consequences. If my University pollutes the neighborhood and treats its employees badly the same conversations should take place. However, ethically, I work very hard to make sure we're on the level. Would everyone agree with my definitions of ethics? Of course not. That's why I work with strong-minded people who work through these questions together, come hell or high water. I also work hard to make sure our tuition doesn't go up too much, to work with donors to provide scholarships, etc. If I didn't do that, yes, I think the ethical nature of my behavior should be questions. I want to look back on my life and think I made a difference in the world. Is that so wrong? Shouldn't those same conversations take place about Wal-Mart? Why not? Why can't people ask about their role in the community? About the dead, ugly buildings they use, about the horrid conditions, about low wages? What is Wal-Mart afraid of?

I certainly hope my doctors, mechanic, and the teachers of my children are held to ethical standards, too. However, if I'm reading you correctly, since establishing these ethical standards would lead to difficult conversations, you seem to be saying that these people shouldn't be held to ethical standards because it's just too hard to come up with a baseline. Is that a correct assumption?

Now, I don't believe we were talking about Bill Gates of Buffett, so I'm going to focus on Wal-Mart. Feel free to add other comments on other corporations if you'd like. I don't mind. Should Wal-Mart provide better health care for its employees, even if that means the upper management gets paid less? I think so. I think that's an ethical decision that would make the world (in my opinion) a better place. Are you interested in creating a better world, or is it everyone for him/herself? Is that your aspiration? Can they make money and take care of their employees? Is that not a fair question?

I will agree with on your commentary (although inflammatory, as you're bringing my children into the conversation) on many American's spending habits and our own responsibility on that end. I don't shop at Wal-Mart in large part because I don't feel like I need that much stuff. Our economy is in large part dependent on people buying shit they don't need. That worries me greatly. I get frustrated when people who drive huge trucks for no good reason bitch about the price of gas, too.

I'm not perfect, trust me, but as I get older I've come to believe that, well, if you don't want to shop at Wal-Mart, then don't. If you do, live with the ethical consequences. It's your party. I honestly in some ways THANK Wal-Mart for becoming a caricature of corporate greed because it's caused some people to stand up and take notice. Maybe in thirty years or so we'll be further along. I hope so. I think the conversations that emerge from questions about Wal-Mart's role in our country are worthwhile and will eventually pay (pun intended) dividends.

And I'd buy you a beer, Bryan, too, but it would be a microbrew. Hand-crafted.

No, I can drink cheap beer too. We could get drunk together and argue loud enough to scare the people at other tables.:)

By the way, go back and read your Aurelius before you get too excited. He's not a big fan of getting angry about these types of things.


message 45: by RandomAnthony (last edited Feb 14, 2008 02:16PM) (new)

RandomAnthony I'm not necessarily trying to change Bryan's mind. I'm trying to further my understanding through the conversation. It's kind of fun, intellectual exploration that way. I guess we could just not talk. That would be stimulating. And that scroll down button is just SO hard to find on the keyboard.

And King, my dissertation was WAY longer than this. I can send it to you if you have a hard time sleeping. It's boring, trust me.


message 46: by Bryan (new)

Bryan >>However, if I'm reading you correctly, since establishing these ethical standards would lead to different conversations, you seem to be saying that these people shouldn't be held to ethical standards because it's just too hard to come up with a baseline. Is that a correct assumption?

I think it is a correct assumption because it's not for you or me to decide what someone "really" needs. Other peoples' needs are subjective, not objective.

>>And I'd buy you a beer, Bryan, too, but it would be a microbrew. Hand-crafted.

Wow, buy me a beer and indulge in my libertarian rantings? Maybe Wisconsin professors DO deserve a raise.


message 47: by Bryan (new)

Bryan >>I've also had many incidents where these small business owners/workers would completely go out of their way for me in other ways. None of these things can be expected from Wal-Mart. Not now, not ever.

Of course they could. Like any business, they'll do what's necessary to keep you as a customer. If customers started demanding such service from Wal-Mart, of course they'd change their ways.

I read somewhere else that Wal-Mart is the largest purchaser of organic food in the U.S. Because they care so deeply about the environment? No, because their CUSTOMERS do and they care about retaining them.




message 48: by Shelly (new)

Shelly bryan-- in a free market system should tax payers subsidize the expansion of a multi-billion (if not trillion) dollar corporation?

i saw John Mackey (ceo/founder of whole foods) speak a few years ago and one of his main issues was this idea that if you're a for-profit business you're evil, where as if you're a non-profit you're good. he said his problem with this is that without profit you a) won't succeed and b)won't have anything to give back to the community. so we see that there are folks like him, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet etc. that are out there but I certainly wouldn't lump the Walton family in with them.
whole foods employees not only enjoy a living wage, but also receive health insurance (automatically) and have 401ks. Mackey has also established a cap on what the highest paid person can earn compared to the lowest paid person so that the wealth is distributed fairly evenly. and last year he stopped earning a salary from the company yes, he has stock options--but that doesn't seem to inspire other ceos to forgo their salaries-and not that i'm suggesting they should. what i am saying is there is a reason that you have heard all the same arguments about wal-mart and that they are so vilified--they're greedy.
and yeah, i guess if people were told that high-processed, unnatural foods were good for their health and the environment whole foods would start closing its doors--but that's ridiculous. that's like the surgeon general announcing that, as it turns out, cigarettes are good for you.





message 49: by Meels (new)

Meels (Amelia) Ha Sarah, Big Bad Fox Books...Lovin it!

-Shop girl.


message 50: by Bryan (new)

Bryan >>what i am saying is there is a reason that you have heard all the same arguments about wal-mart and that they are so vilified--they're greedy.

If it's possible for a company to charge the prices Wal-Mart does, give its workers a "living wage" and health care benefits, AND remain a profitable business -- well, that means there's an untapped market for some other business to exploit. They'd be the most loved company in America. Why hasn't anyone done that yet?

Of course Whole Foods can give its workers high wages and good health care. They charge you $10 a pound for chicken breast and $5 for a loaf of bread!


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