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The sins of Wal-Mart.

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posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 11:05 PM
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Great big Way Above for FEMA.




posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 11:15 PM
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I usually poo-poo off religious groups' boycotts because they tend to be some pompous holier-than-thou attempt at restricting freedom of speech or other people's rights...

BUT - I actually agree with the letter completely.

mrwupy - you asked if we believe Wal-Mart has sinned? That's beside the point to me, and I actually don't read the two sentences (and thats the sum total of "sin" statements in the letter) the same way as you. I read the letter as follows:

"We are religious leaders. Our God has stated we should not exploit and abuse people. Our moral obligation on this earth is to spread the love of God via our treatment of other people. You, Wal-Mart, oppress people, and place profit above humanity. We condemn these actions and until you treat our fellow human beings who are your employees as fellow children of God - we're not going to shop at your stores, and we're okay with telling our church members that."

P. S. Sorry for the up yours...

lol.

I applaud the protestation of mistreatment of people.



[edit on 12-11-2005 by Valhall]



posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 11:56 PM
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if valhall says they are right....it must be right. end of the manner


lol reminds me of the south park episode about walmart.

on a serious note.....nah cant think of anything other then walmart sucks because they are so greedy. id say more but everyone has already pretty much got it covered. not much more to say.



posted on Dec, 11 2005 @ 12:24 AM
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YAY! 200 POSTS! I CAN CHAT NOW! YAY!


Okay, I work in retail. Wal-mart hasn't been providing their workers with good health care, they don't allow that much with-in store promotons for women, and they are even racist in some communities, and they have a different deal with the UFCW and their contracts, than their competitiors. But the biggest thing they have done is to lower the prices so low, that out sourcing has gone bongers, lowering the standard of living in the US and forcing most families to settle with minimum wage jobs. Considering, most of all college freshman classes only 25% usually graduate to a chance of a job of promotion.



posted on Dec, 11 2005 @ 03:48 AM
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Originally posted by FEMA


"Oh yes, $9.25 an hour with no health benifits and the lack of job secuirity where if your boss or supervisor doesn't like you he can fire you or make your live a living hell. Not to metion lay-offs or cut hours after the holidays. 9.25 is nothing and is well below the level of self-sufficiatancy.


I am now retired. During my professional life I worked for companies, mostly small business, whose policies were exactly as the above quoted example. Low pay, no job security, no insurance, lay offs after tax season. This was in the Accounting/tax preparation profession. I was a licensed IRS Enrolled Agent and worked in CPA (Certified Public Accountants) firms. I always felt that I was lucky to have a job in my chosen field of work and in the area of the country where I wanted to live.


"I have to laugh at some of these people. Suppose every Wal-mart were to permanently close tomorrow. Do people somehow think that new, better paying jobs are just suddenly going to appear out of thin air?


Wal-Mart does provide jobs for people who otherwise would be unemployed. Wal-Mart also provides goods at a cost that most of us can afford. I also like to shop at a small shop with the individual attention of the owner. I cannot afford this luxury. These "mom & pop" stores did not pay any more than Wal-Mart and did not provide insurance either.

My sister works at Wal-Mart and though she complains about the pay she continues to work there. Several times she was chosen for advancement. She did not want the responsibility of a management position. She likes being a cashier. There is nothing wrong with that, but she does have to adjust her life style to accommodate for this choice. She does not want to do this either so she complains. She can not make more money or have more benefits any where else as a cashier.



I own a business, a couple of them infact, aside from being a firefighter. I start my employees at 20 dollars (well, $19.45) an hour with 6 month reviews and raises based on performance of their tasks. I also, after they are fully vested in the company (9 months), offer to pay for their education - yes, their education. My company pays on a pro-rated basis. If the employee gets 80% or better my company pays for their education in full. If their marks fall below 80% to 70%+ then we only pay for 80% and the employee picks up the other 20%. If they fall below 70% we pay only 60% and if they fall below 60% they are on their own and we pay nothing. At every turn we encourage our employees to be the best they can be and our HR department will bring resources to bear on whatever they need to achieve excellence. So far we have had 4 employees get their Masters degrees. Eleven have earned BAs. Fourty-two have completed highschool upgrading with honors.


I congratulate you on your business practices. It would be a perfect world if all businesses were run this way. Unfortunately you are in the minority.


The issue behind this thread as I see it is: "Is capitalism without conscience acceptable?" I say it is not nor do things have to be that way. You have to be a responsible player in your business community along with being a responsible person in your living community. My companies do not stand alone in our business practices; there are many out there that do what we do and more for their employees.


Keep up your good work



posted on Dec, 11 2005 @ 04:07 AM
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also to note:

Its not just walmart. Its the ripple effect. Companies that once produced all their product in America are pretty much forced to move over seas, to produce at costs neccesary to sell their goods to walmart.

Rubbermaid is a good example. They were fortune500 company of the year, then the next bankrupt. Why? They lost the walmart account. They couldnt give them the product at the price walmart was going to pay them.

What walmart does is this: They tell the seller how much they are going to pay for the sellers product. Usually the seller sets the price. Not with walmart. And every year, they want it cheaper then the year before. If you dont, they can just get someone else who will.

Anyrate, rubbermaid had to close down its American plants, and move over seas. So by walmart insisting on doin business like this, they are hurting the entire economy. I would be willing to pay a few cents more for an american made product than chinese produced. Plus all those factories employ more people with a descent living wage, and they can afford to pay a couple of bucks more. Its a ripple effect as well, only positive.

I live in northwest indiana and we have about 7 or steel mills here. A few of them closed, most bought and resold. Anyrate, my dad walked in there in '72 making 10 an hour. When he retired, he took a lump sum payment of somewhere around 400k. He was a maintenence supervisor in the BOF, not some exec. . You think we'll ever see that? No way. And its thanks to companies like walmart.



posted on Dec, 11 2005 @ 04:45 AM
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Interesting post Spliff. What you've touched on - whether you know it or not - are companies making money on the buy-end of the retail equation.

A fine example of this is a company called QEP. Ever see their name on some Home Depot products or tools? What they were in their infancy were resellers of already established products. QEP went to these companies and said, "Look, we are in Home Depot and we could use your product to round out our line of products. All you need to do is give it to us at the cheapest price."

They then turned around and branded it a QEP product thereby making their money on the buy-end of the equation. They did nothing more than repackage and negotiate the cheapest price. They also wanted the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) to make sure that the price they (QEP) got was even better than the companies who'd distributed the product forever, got. They didn't give a rat's hiney for loyalty to the (channel partners) distribtors who the OEM was selling to first, they wanted it all, right now, for the cheapest price.

Unfortunately Rubber Maid got caught putting all their apples into one basket. They forgot about the brand loyalty they had built over the years and forgot how they became so successful.

If what you do in business adversely affects your business partners, then you need to rethink what it is that you are trying to do. After all, if you hurt everyone you touch, soon no one wants anything to do with you.

In my companies we expect high quality offerings from our suppliers. We also expect a fair price. Yes we shop price, but only to know that the pricing we get is in the ballpark, not the cheapest.

You see, my companies can't afford to be down as a result of one of our suppliers going bankrupt. When our production stops so do our profits. So making sure our suppliers are being treated fairly is in our best interest. A day or two of lost production time will eat up ANY savings/extra profits we might have gotten from the cheapest supplier.

Good post Spliff, you helped me recall the buy-end profit senario.



posted on Dec, 11 2005 @ 06:59 AM
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FEMA and Spliff,

Really good points from both of you. As an accountant I have seen many small businesses go in the tank. Not only the small businesses but the small farms.

My family ties are from manufacturing employment. The woolen mills, the shoe factories, left New England for the south. That was the beginning of the slide as I saw personally. For many years my family searched out only American made products. Now it is a little difficult to tell by the tag where the items were actually produced. And...it really has become to expensive for lower income people to purchase.

My mother and father swore by the unions. And I could see from history where the unions were necessary, child labor, low pay and terrible working conditions. Even now the unions have come back to a place where they are needed.

For a time, it seemed to me anyhow, the demands of unions were sending prices higher and higher. Therefore the prices of the product kept rising also. I have lived in "company" towns and sure, the company supports the whole town by the trickle down effect. BUT, the people who work in these supporting businesses do not have the same salary, health benefits as the union companies.

Families purchase their goods at Wal-Mart because generally their incomes will not support the higher prices else where. We now usually have to have two people working in the family just to meet living conditions. Living condition needs have also seemed to change too. Too materially orientated. This seems to be the culture of the day.

So, by just getting rid of Wal-Mart I don't believe the world would go back to the way it was. I think that a new way of doing business is required, and perhaps you have the answer FEMA. If you can "sell" it.



posted on Dec, 11 2005 @ 03:10 PM
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Good points and good post Mahree. Let's take a look at one of your statements.


"Families purchase their goods at Wal-Mart because generally their incomes will not support the higher prices else where."


You are completely correct. Some people have trouble with such an observation in that they think these families are supporting Wal-Mart when in fact they have no choice. I have not equated their inability to shop elsewhere with that of supporting Wal-Mart - they really have no choice.

Yet others feel that price is the final common demominator in a sales equation. It is not. This will be a long post, please bear with me.

You have experience in the textile industry (woolen mills) so let's arbitrarily take a look at the carpet industry as an example. Let's examine what happens when you take things to the lowest level of a sales equation, price.

Back in the early to mid 80s the carpet mills engaged in a process called vertical integration. This meant that they were licenced extrusion tower technology by Dupont. In effect, they could now do for themselves what Dupont, Monsanto, BASF, Celanese et al., had been doing for them for years - extrude their own yarn filaments. Rather that Dupont do the process, Dupont now only supplied the polymere pellets. This saved Dupont a lot of money and allowed the mills a unique opportunity to engage in what is commonly known as JIT (just in time) ordering.

In no time at all the Mills had lowered costs of their products and soon came to a point where they had more carpet than they could traditionally sell. The mills started to lock up channels of distribution. In effect what they did was to go to their regular retailers and says: "Look, if you give us a percentage of your floor sales area for our samples, we'll give you never before seen low, low pricing." This was witnessed in such programs as the Shaw TrustMark dealer plan or the Peerless Fashion Show Place program.

The mom&pop retailers said, "YEEE HAWWW!! Let's do it!" So mills started locking up channels of distribution in an effort to get their "over capacity" off their storage shelves. A good thing for the public, right? Read on.

The mom&pop retailers, or retailers in general, loaded up on stock, they stuffed themselves to the rafters with cheap, cheap carpet only to find out that everyone and their dog had done the same thing. Now they were left holding the "over capacity" bag. Enter, predatory pricing.

Carpet became a "product at a price." You want fuzz? We got it, and cheap!" This was the sales mentality of the retailers who lost the art of selling on features, benefits, quality and value. You saw this mentality manifest in sales pitches such as "lowest prices, free pad, free installation!" What the retailers did not understand was that they were removing all value associated with the purchase of flooring out of the mind of the public. Retailers started to drop like flys. There was no margin left in selling carpet.

At one time there were over 100 carpet mills in the United States, now there are 4 or so super mills. The others lost the war of attrition to predatory pricing. The bigger mills could afford to sell at lower prices while their competitive counterparts could not. Soon, the smaller mills were bought out or simply went bankrupt at the hands of the bigger mills.

A gallop poll survey conducted in the mid 90s showed that 80% of the people that went to purchase flooring would have paid more had they known the differences between the products the retailers had - against being steared to the lowest priced carpet. The retailers had lost sight of selling on features, benefits, quality and value. They were leaving money on the table and selling products that wouldn't last.

This opened the door for ceramic, laminates, vinyl, hardwood. The carpet industry has seen a huge decline in sales against these other flooring choices. Why? They did it to themselves. Granted, the mills and retailers have gotten a lot smarter and are now selling the public what it wants, not selling the public only on price.

There is a difference between the lowest price and a fair price and gouging.

I could go on about the carpet industry but I'm sure you understand the down-side of selling on price alone.

Remember noname food products? Not a bad selling concept unless you were the company selling a product that was significantly better than another and you had a story to tell. You got lumped in with all the others under a noname umbrella. Your product was just another also-ran. Enter President's Choice products - a Canadian company. They were higher quality and had a story to tell. Despite being higher priced they had a guarantee of quality ALONG with value. People ate them up thus allowing for the sustained and viable building of that man's business. He understood there was a difference between lowest price and highest price - call it fair pricing of a product with value or middle of the road pricing.

Look at Vlasic pickles. They got into bed with Wal-Mart. Read the whole story here: Vlasic

Any way, I've gone on way too long but I did it in an effort to help folks understand.

If you've read this far I nominate you for a readership award!



posted on Dec, 11 2005 @ 04:09 PM
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Originally posted by theshadowknows
Geeze.

Other than the way they treat they're workers, I see no "sin" at Wally World (as we southerners call Wal-Mart)

They dont sell Parental Advisory CD's, No pornography, no handguns, ect.

Wal-mart is the least of the corporate sinners.


no, google is the least...

but it's mostly how they treat their workers and annhilate small businesses



posted on Dec, 11 2005 @ 04:47 PM
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I could post my thesis on the "Homogenization of the American Retail Landscape"
but this doesn't seem like the correct forum for it.

*** and there was much rejoicing! ****



posted on Dec, 11 2005 @ 04:50 PM
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Originally posted by FEMA
Interesting post Spliff. What you've touched on - whether you know it or not - are companies making money on the buy-end of the retail equation.

A fine example of this is a company called QEP. Ever see their name on some Home Depot products or tools? What they were in their infancy were resellers of already established products. QEP went to these companies and said, "Look, we are in Home Depot and we could use your product to round out our line of products. All you need to do is give it to us at the cheapest price."

They then turned around and branded it a QEP product thereby making their money on the buy-end of the equation. They did nothing more than repackage and negotiate the cheapest price. They also wanted the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) to make sure that the price they (QEP) got was even better than the companies who'd distributed the product forever, got. They didn't give a rat's hiney for loyalty to the (channel partners) distribtors who the OEM was selling to first, they wanted it all, right now, for the cheapest price.

Unfortunately Rubber Maid got caught putting all their apples into one basket. They forgot about the brand loyalty they had built over the years and forgot how they became so successful.

If what you do in business adversely affects your business partners, then you need to rethink what it is that you are trying to do. After all, if you hurt everyone you touch, soon no one wants anything to do with you.

In my companies we expect high quality offerings from our suppliers. We also expect a fair price. Yes we shop price, but only to know that the pricing we get is in the ballpark, not the cheapest.

You see, my companies can't afford to be down as a result of one of our suppliers going bankrupt. When our production stops so do our profits. So making sure our suppliers are being treated fairly is in our best interest. A day or two of lost production time will eat up ANY savings/extra profits we might have gotten from the cheapest supplier.

Good post Spliff, you helped me recall the buy-end profit senario.


That's dangerous to average worker anywhere, and can only lead to bad economic things.
STUPID CEOS! STUPID!



posted on Dec, 11 2005 @ 05:16 PM
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You're quite right bsbfan1. It is dangerous to workers everywhere.

One fix to the problem might be to encourage Wal-Mart, when they enter a market place/city with a manufacturing base, to sell products from that city in place of cheaper products purchased outside of the US. After all, the very people that will be supporting their retail store are the very people who need their jobs to pay for Wal-Mart's products.

In the least, Wal-Mart should be encouraged to offer the products manufactured in that city along with the others. I'm fairly confident the people of the city would buy accordingly.



posted on Dec, 11 2005 @ 05:53 PM
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OK, so we've pretty much established that the Wally World bunch are immoral and soul less but that doesn't make them sinners, just greedy. Bet they'll be glad to hear that


I appreciate the replies i've received on this thread. It's been very informative and I appreciate your taking the time to respond.

Love and light my friends,

Wupy



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 12:27 AM
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FEMA & Mahree --

Glad to see we're on the same page here. And I agree, closing every walmart tommorow wouldnt change a thing. Sadly, I dont think anything will change the pattern now.

The only thing that would work, would be massive laws, pretty much taxing the hell outta imports, and simply make it more profitable to produce the goods here. If more people were working at decent paying factory jobs, the couple extra bucks here and there would matter not.

I dont know what its going to take to make people realize the trouble this country is in. The pattern cant continue. Not everybody goes to college. Most people dont. Theres only so many trucks to drive.

[edit on 12-12-2005 by spliff4020]



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 01:20 AM
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So, assuming the general consensus is correct and that Wal-mart is the epitomy of an evil corperate entity, what solution do any of you propose that is actually workable?

How do you correct the situation without imposing a brand of socialism, or would that solution suit some of you just fine? Suppose we decide to socialize Wal-mart, by taking control over what they charge the consumer for goods and what they pay their suppliers. Is it fair to only do it to them or are you ready to impose socialism on the entire economy repeating the obvious mistakes that doomed the USSR?

I see a lot of griping and moaning about the problem, but very little in the way of viable, fair solutions that aren't draconian in the extreme. Do you really want the same govenment that so many of you dispise to determine things like this? I find it difficult to believe that.



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 01:55 AM
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Hello Ambient Sound, I sighted one fix which was to encourage Wal-Mart to sell products manufactured in a city they wanted to do business in. In effect, if Wal-Mart entered a town that had a manufacturing base they'd be encouraged to retail those products rather than sell imports.

It seems a fair proposal seeing how Wal-Mart would be expecting those very people to support their store. Actually, this is being suggested as we post here in a California town. We'll see how it goes.

Perhaps a better question for this thread might have been: "Is it acceptable to treat people immorally in the name of business?"



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 03:01 AM
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Whoa! Before we write off Walmart as a Godless pack of sinners, let me ask...why isn't there a Sinful thread for each of these Corporations?

1. Cosco
2. Sun Micro
3. Dell
4. RedBull
5. Virgin
6. Levis
7. Earthlink
8. Firestone
9. Fisher
10. Spaulding

Could it be because these corporations are considered "hip" and protesting them would be "bad form"? They most certainly DO make use of cheap foreign labor!

IMO, Walmart really IS targeted by a bunch of whackos who, for whatever reason, (Lord knows, THEY don't buy cheap stuff from China) want Walmart OUT of the retail picture. Nothing Less will do.





[edit on 12-12-2005 by Toelint]



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 03:16 AM
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Originally posted by FEMA
Hello Ambient Sound, I sighted one fix which was to encourage Wal-Mart to sell products manufactured in a city they wanted to do business in. In effect, if Wal-Mart entered a town that had a manufacturing base they'd be encouraged to retail those products rather than sell imports.

It seems a fair proposal seeing how Wal-Mart would be expecting those very people to support their store. Actually, this is being suggested as we post here in a California town. We'll see how it goes.


Hmmmm. Well, that idea has some merit, but do you propose a law requiring Wal-mart to do this? If so, then what is to keep the local company who now has no competition for this particular product from overcharging Wal-mart in return? This, if done by force, does away with the free market, doesn't it?

I will say that if Wal-mart were a socially responsible company, they should be doing this type of thing anyway, but as soon as you make it "must" instead of "should" then the door is opened for abuse of this system from the other end.

Under what circumstances is Wal-mart permitted to go elsewhere to get a supply of this product should the local company not be able to meet the demand? What if that town's company makes an inferior product compared to the other town accross the state who's company makes an excellent product? Is Wal-mart required to buy the inferior product, just because they are in that town and not the other?

Suppose your local company makes a type of widget that Wal-mart sells. Do you think that one Wal-mart will sell enough widgets in that town to actually help that comapny any? If that many widgets were needed just in that town, don't you think the townpeople would bypass Wal-mart completely and just buy their widgets directly from that company in their town that made them in the first place? No, to stay in business that company in most cases has to sell their widgets in more towns than just their own. If the one town can support the company like that, they probably already are.

Should Wal-mart, just because they are in that town have to use that widget company for all of their stores? Suppose there are two towns both with widget factories in them and a Wal-mart right between the two towns. Who's widgets do you force Walmart to buy? Who decides that? Multiply this question by how many stores (1000s?) that Walmart has and you need a whole army of lawyers and accountants just to keep track of where everything is supposed to be coming from. As a result, Wal-mart marks up everything since odds are, you will require Wal-mart, evil doers that they are, to foot the bill for these extra lawyers and accountants.

I'm not even getting to what happens when cities start sueing each other over this, but that is where the lawyers come in and of course with the lawyers comes corruption and graft, technicalities and loopholes, bought officials and kickbacks.

Might as well just turn Wal-mart over to the govenment then, since this plan would work about as well.



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 07:20 AM
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I have a bit of trouble dispatching the lot of them off to the fiery furnace for good business sense, even if it comes at the expense of their workers.


You my friend have answered the problem about what is wrong with this country today.

Afraid to dispatch for "good business sense"? This organization and many Titans like it are making a mockery of America. They hire part time help whcih in turn means their workers receive no health benefits. Yet the Walton Family and many high executives roll in BILLIONS of dollars.

You and many millions of Americans are willing to overlook this fact to save $1 on something. This type of nonsense is why this country has more EMPLOYED workers not able to receive any sort of health insurance.

Either this system is fixed or this country is going to go down the tubes because many are losing their homes now when hit with health problems, and unable to get help. Thoughts like the "good business sense" are way off base. These giant retailers pulling this stunt are taking over this country and lowering it's standard of living right under the radar.

Go save a buck. Yet, remember the worker who hurt his back, has no insurance, and will lose his home when saving that dollar.

It's time for National Health Insurance.



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