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Reminder: Walmart destroying our economies

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posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 08:21 PM
Wal-Mart is insidious. In my area, we already have two Walmart's that are probably about 6-8 miles apart, yet they've been in an ongoing controversy with the community because they want to build yet another WalMart in an area not too far from the other two stores. How many WalMarts are needed in a ten-mail radius?

We get lured in by the low prices, meanwhile the smaller businesses are unable to compete and go under. We're already starting to see WalMart's prices beginning to rise, and eventually, we'll wake up to realize WalMart is no longer cheap--and we don't have anywhere else to shop. Another example of how the rich are going to get richer at the expense of the average American..

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 08:25 PM
reply to post by Scarcer

well you lost me on that one. im not going to pretend to understand, so ill revert back to supposing you could be right, however i still stand by my own logic. to bring down the beast you must unionize.

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 08:42 PM
reply to post by Gmoneycricket

Um wth? LOL, I'm not sure what the point of that was but I found it a lil amusing to read.

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 08:45 PM

Originally posted by LurkerMan
reply to post by Scarcer

well you lost me on that one. im not going to pretend to understand, so ill revert back to supposing you could be right, however i still stand by my own logic. to bring down the beast you must unionize.

It's perfectly fine to agree to disagree.

I'd probably take part in a union, but I'm pretty much self employed in agriculture so I have no use for one. But I am doing my part locally.

posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 02:14 PM
Sorry for the huge post, but this stuff irritates the heck out of me.

It's another example of someone who has arbitrarily declared a something "problem", then exaggerated the problem citing their limited understanding of economics and occasional anecdotal evidence as justification for their position.

First let's summurize the argument:

Per the OP Walmart is destroying our economy. It is doing this by selling large volumes of cheaply produced products, at lower prices than smaller, locally owned competitors, which is or has forced many of said locally owned stores out of business.

As a result of driving them out of business, it has had the additional impact of increasing unemployment, while at the same time lowering job opportunity, or reducing the only job availability to the above mentioned Walmart.

This lack of job opportunity in turn means that Walmart can pay lower wages and treat employees unfairly, because the local pool of job applicants have "no choice" but to work there.

In addition to the local effect of forcing smaller stores out of business it also effects American manufacturing and American workers, because Walmart chooses to purchase their goods from Chinese "sweatshops".

Due to their Chinese origin these items are of inferior quality and will fail prematurely, compared to an item of American manufacture, prompting the consumer to return to Walmart and purchase it again.

Due to the premature failure, the excess money consumers saved by purchasing at Walmart will in turn be spent again at Walmart, where as had they purchased from a locally owned retailer, and purchased only American made goods, they would have only had to spend a higher price once.

So by selling "cheaply made" products from China at lower prices then local stores which, presumably, purcahse only American made goods, Walmart not only forces small competition out of business, but forces local communities to be dependant on them for all their purchasing needs, and locking them into a cycle of purchase and replacement purchases through Walmart. Through this, they are destroying the American economy.

The reality is:

1. Competitive retail markets, no matter what they sell, have always relied on adjusting their prices to deal with competition. Whether it be small sales or frequent-shopper preferences, to sourcing a cheaper supply or shipping method so they end product can be sold cheaper, under-cutting the competition is standard, not to mention age old, procedure.

Basic economics teaches us that if you have a larger store of the same item, or items, you can sell them cheaper and still make a similar, or improved, profit. In addition if you can source the product cheaper, your net gain will be larger, and you have increased room in the margin to sell the product at.

Walmart uses this to their advantage. So does Target, K-Mart, COSTCO, Sam's Club, Best Buy, Safeway, and oh yes, even your "small, locally-owned" businesses. This is standard fare for businesses.

The loss to smaller businesses is when they reach a point where they cannot buy the quantities of, or source cheaply enough (or both) to maintain a livable profit margin. What you ignore, or at least neglect to acknowledge, is businesses, small and large, have done this to eachother since long before Walmart. As another poster mentioned, just as the Department store reduces the number f General stores, the Megamart is reducing the number of various other types of retail stores. I say reduce, because they have in no way "destroyed" the independantly owned retail market.

posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 02:14 PM
2. Walmart increases unemployment. While some unemployment increases can be attributed to the afore-mentioned small-businesses closure, Walmart employs far more people, both in retail and corporate positions, then it has cost in small business jobs. Even when you look at it scaled to include suppliers. While that isn't necessarily a "good" thing ethically, ethics are considered by consumers who want the best value for the money they earn.

2a. Walmart pays poorly and treats its employee's poorly. Having not worked there, I can't say if that's the case. I can say that Walmart is certainly not the only business, both Large publically owned and Small privately owned, that treats or pays poorly. Historically or recently, you can ask just about anyone locally and they will have complaints about their treatment. Now you -can- say they don't have as -many- (in raw numbers) as Walmart. However that is just an effect of percentages. If there are 100 employees in a small business and 1% of them complain, it's going to be less then if 1% of Walmarts hundreds of thousands of employees complain. (Note that this is just an example; not an actual sourced statistic).

2b. People who lose their job because of Walmart only have Walmart as a resource to work for. To be honest, that's bull# really. I hate to denegrate my argument by swearing, but that's what it is. What forces people to work at Walmart if they lose their other job is either needing another job immediately, or an unwillingness to do a proper job search and resume, or leave your immediate vicinity for work. There is ample opportunity if you are willing to work for it. Yes it can be hard to find, but that's what persistance instead of complacence yeilds.

3. You make broad assumptions that all of Walmart's carried products are produced in China, and also that anything produced there is inferior to something manufactured in America. On both those counts, you are blatantly incorrect. Walmart carries a broad number of products, a large number of which are proudly produced in America. They also carry a broad number of products -outsourced- by American manufacturers to other countries, China predominently, but not wholly. In that case, you cannot hold Walmart responsible for an American owned company outsourcing to another country. Finally, many Chinese manufactured products have proven to be just as reliable as American products, and likewise, many "Made in the USA" products have shown themselves to be unreliable. While there are certainly quality issues to be aware of, for many products, that weakness rarely, if ever, becomes an issue, or if it does, it does so in the expected failure period in the life-cycle of that product.

4. The products fail prematurely, forcing consumers to go back to Walmart and buy again, creating a cycle that hurts the economy. Technically speaking even if they do go back and buy it over and over again...they are still contributing to the economy. Regardless of tax-loop holes etc etc portions of the money still go into the Government's pockets, and the pockets of its workers, who in turn spend it locally. Maybe not to the degree as before Megamart involvement, but a lot more then you certainly seem to want to give credit to.

More to the point, very few people buy something twice from the same vendor if it fails on them early. They either approach it for the manufacturers warranty, or use Walmart's nifty return policy if it falls into that timeline. More so if it does fail repeatedly, they are likely to spend their money on the better "American made" version. So they may have spent their money twice, and maybe more than they should have, but that's money spent on the economy.

posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 02:15 PM
Essentially Walmart is hurting the economy no more than any other business has when its snuffed out its competition. In turn it's saved people money, who in turn can spend money on other things. It's provided more jobs then it's taken, and those sweatshops? No where near as bad these days, in reality most workers are paid a decent wage (to them, based on the value of the dollar versus their local currency) and they are employed.

More to the point, and its been mentioned before, Walmart represents one FRACTION of the economy. They cater to the broad retail market of consumer goods, very very few speciality items, very few electronics, very few weapons. Obviously no cars, trucks, boats, motorhomes, houses, cabins, construction, secretarial, IT, the list goes on. At what point does Walmart's existence and effect on the retail sector of the market destroy the rest of the countries economy?

posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 02:19 PM
Now finally:

Personally? I don't really like Walmart and don't shop their often. However I'm a single father in the IT field. I make decent money, but I'm hardly rich. So if I can save money by shopping there and put that money to use elsewhere....guess what I'm going to do?

And if you need a more humane personal touch:

My grandmother. She's 92 and lives alone in her house in Montana, in a town of maybe 30,000 people. When Walmart and K-Mart came it hurt and closed several small businesses. Now it's just Walmart. Well you know something? Thanks to their low prices, she can afford to continue to live in her home she's had for 50 some odd years, surviving on the unfairly low amount her Social Security provides, because she can send someone once a month to get everything she needs and spend not even 1/3rd the amount she would have had to spend before these "evil" megamarts came to town.

posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 02:51 PM
reply to post by UnmitigatedDisaster

1. True true. Couldn't agree more. BUT Walmart currently is the largest and most aggressive of these. So does that make what they're doing ok? Small business competition has nearly every benefit to the consumers, but as soon as the competition is gone, the strategy is to raise prices to a new threshold since the community is now dependent on that business. Small business vs Large business competition is that the business profit is likely to stay more local, strengthening the local economy more.

They haven't "destroyed", keyword "destroying," they have clearly damaged many local economies. There are many cities to demonstrate and even posters on here that have already agreed and had this happen in their area. So, there IS damage.

2. Likely much more dependent on the location IMO. But I'd like to see some sources to back up that statement.

2a. True. I believe there are some exceptions to that statement, but I don't have much of an opinion, not something specifically brought up, unless I'm mistaken.



"What forces people to work at Walmart if they lose their other job is either needing another job immediately, or an unwillingness to do a proper job search and resume, or leave your immediate vicinity for work. There is ample opportunity if you are willing to work for it. Yes it can be hard to find, but that's what persistence instead of complacence yields."

I find this to be a blind statement. Our unemployment wouldn't be as high if this were the case. Near Seattle, I know people who have been sending out countless resume's and still do so to this day. I've even attempted to help them do job searches. NO ONE is leaving their jobs in that area because every one is afraid they can't find another job. May not be exactly Walmart related, but that statement is blind.

3. Ok? So where did the assumption come from that I meant ALL were? Unless I forgot that I clearly stated ALL, then I'll eat my words for my own stupidity.. but I don't think I did.

4. Good point of view, and I agree

Walmart is one of the largest, if not the largest contributor to snuffing out competition, it's not the only one, but does it make more sense to swat the horse fly or the hornet? Or ignore them because there is more than one?

Sigh... Walmart is but a fraction of the economy, but it still carries a large roll. It competes with a large percentage of local retail. Every bit all ads up in the end.

Ok, and sorry about not keeping up on sweat shops. But last I heard, the conditions were bad for some of the children workers. And the money going to them to strengthen their economy rather than ours.

[edit on 20-4-2010 by Scarcer]

posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 03:36 PM

Originally posted by Miracle Man
Leftists don't hate success to a point.

Lets say you are a small buisness employee. The lefties love you. Then you find yourself able to expand, they still love you. Then you find yourself able to become this super company and that is when they hate you.

Its okay for you to have success as long as you stay the little man. As soon as you start becoming something huge, such as wal mart, they will turn their backs on you.

You meant *small business employer*?

I don't think its purely a jealousy issue, as it has been demonstrated again and again, that BIG BUSINESS many times gets "too big to fail"; thus too influential with government, too arrogant with employees and customers, eventually the prices go up after dissolving or absorbing the competition, smaller employers become megamart employees thus leading to smaller income and loss of personal status.

If it was up to me, I would either ban corporate retailing or at least regulate it in attempt to prevent it from getting "too big to fail" in the first place. When you go to other countries beside the USA you still get the 18-19th century outlook in life such as going to the bakery for bread and cookies, the fish market for fish, the butcher for meat, liquor store for liquor, shoe store for shoes, etc.

Oh how romantic and fair things used to be; now we are all becoming corporate slaves! At least support AMERICAN CORPORATISM instead of international corporatism by allowing the american government to TAX THE HELL out of asian imports. We definitely need to go back to protectionism in an effort to curtail the globalists and their one world corporate "state". The elite will fail!!!

posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 04:26 PM

Originally posted by spaznational
Let's not forget it was the progressives in America that originally embraced Hitler--until he became toxically unpopular--because he was one of them, a leftist. Post-WWII there was a concerted effort to paint Hitler and Stalin as extreme rightists, which is quite contradictory to the societal ideals of both dictators.

Hitler employed socialist economics but was right wing in every other aspect. Stalin was an ultra-left wing paranoid COMMUNIST dictator who killed anyone he suspected was not left enough.

I would NOT use either "leader" as a classic example of socialism because NEITHER represented socialism! Communism and facism were such dirty terms due to their extreme nature, that they had to call themselves socialists in an effort to conceal their agenda.

You have to realise TRUE SOCIALISM is the middle ground between facism and communism. Government and multi-national corporations HATE socialism because they lose their tight grip on the people and have to represent us fairly.

Originally posted by spaznational
When I refer to leftists I am referring to those individuals who are interested in collectivism and statism. I consider myself on the right because I am anti-collectivist (individualist) and anti-egalitarianism, and even anti-altruistic to an extent.

That tells me your not a communist. Great! That makes two of us....

Originally posted by spaznational
Leftist policies in post-WWII America have been almost exclusively the drivers for racial disparities, even moreso than racism itself. It has been the nonstop assault of altruistic entitlement programs that has literally formed a dependency subculture. Generations have been stuck in this trap of modern serfdom.

Are you reffering to state welfare programs or what? I can agree state welfare has been getting abused by minorities, especially in the north, to create dependency. This is quite unfortunate because people need to fend for themselves and allow the state to use those wasted funds elsewhere.

Originally posted by spaznational
BTW, I didn't bring up socialism in my last post. You brought it up. I suppose that's in your Leftist Action Plan Guidebook and you were expecting me to be screaming SOCIALIST PIG! or some kind of racist remarks....

...but that must be SO confusing! Uncle Adolph was a leftist but racist? How can that be? Only those rednecks on the right can be racist!

Again, most(if not all) racists are and continue to be right wing fascists.

Fascism grew in italy during the early 20th century and since only two socio-economic systems existed prior to that, those being socialism and monarchism, both communism and fascism grew out of socialism but in reality they had(and continue to have) nothing in common with original socialism.

[edit on 20-4-2010 by EarthCitizen07]

posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 04:51 PM
OP your 100% right, they are a scam, A get cash out of the poor at their own expanse in the long run. I only have bought one thing from wal-mart a coffee maker that I took back because it made cold coffee, it had a name brand on it but it was so cheaply build I think they just stuck a name brand tag on it.

also about a 3-4 years ago, they got busted for putting tags Made in USA on their stuff! when it was made in ROC they will gut you or anyone to make a profit.

The other reason I won't shop there is the stores are DIRTY and Dimly lit. The employs unhappy and look like zombies.

IMHO They are what America has become a sellout gut everyone zombie eating machine that will not be happy till every dollar is in their hands.

posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 05:07 PM
I can see both sides of the argument so I'm only gonna say one thing:

In most of the local stores around here I have to pay double the $ to buy the same amount of food I would get at Wal*Mart. I personally don't buy anything but groceries there though.

posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 05:30 PM
Scarcer -

Thanks for clarifying your position by responding to my post (long as it was).

I agree that as a major, and realistically, dominant Megamart (or Megastore?) they indeed effecting local economies, but I have to stand by my point that they are not single handedly undermining our economy.

From a retail perspective, though I don't have a direct source to quote to, sales and dollars spent nationally have probably increased in overall gross sales now that people can get more items for their money, it tends to prompt them to spend more for one, and that they don't have to do multiple trips lets them get everything in one go.

If you broke it down to dollars spent per store, or maybe better yet, percentage of money spent per retail store in an area, you would definitely see the kind of trend you are pointing to, but money spent is still money spent. Whether someone spends $500 at Walmart or $100 at five different stores in the same county, from an economic slush standpoint, the result is the same.

What this has, as an effect on the community, I gather; is the basis for your concern? Smaller communities, I know, can have a very symbiotic relationship between their retailers. For example Business A sells all the groceries in a town, so he gets a lot of business, but he in turn buys his product from local farms and ranches, putting that money back into their production.

However as bad as an impact as that is, it still doesn't grossly undermine our national economy. As long as the money spent is being paid to people in the community (invariably it's workers) they in turn will spend that money on items both that Walmart carries and that other companies carry.
Unless the area they live in is more expensive to live in than what they make per year (in which case there's far more that causes that then Wallyworld moving in) it just doesn't equal out to be the big negative factor in an economy, even a retail economy, local or national.

I can see the trend you're pointing to, but it still smacks of a scapegoat claim than anything else. If we want to improve our economy, we need to start looking at employment opportunities, which as I said earlier, Walmart has created more than it's killed. Let's start trying to stop out-sourcing our needed employment opportunities for one.

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