Have You Ever Shopped at Walmart? Then You're Suporting Socialism.

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posted on Nov, 25 2012 @ 04:28 AM
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reply to post by alumnathe
 


First off I think Wal-mart sucks.

But my opinion has to do with their unfair business practices and horrible wages and nothing to do with what you've attempted to proclaim in this threads premise.

They suck for very real reasons all on their own.




posted on Nov, 25 2012 @ 04:28 AM
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Originally posted by alumnathe
How did "competitive prices" replace the original function of capitalism: competitive quality? It used to be who had the best product. Now it's who has the best going-going-gone sale. What is going-going-gone in that transaction is what capitalism was supposed to generate in the first place: QUALITY.


The OP's premise is simply ridiculous, Socialism is the worker ownership of the means of production. Quantity over quality is a capitalist business simply trying to maximize their profit.

But the function of capitalism is not "competitive quality", other than at one time in history consumers demanded quality. The function of Capitalism is to make profits for private property owners, nothing more, nothing less. People have become used to the throw away society, which suits capitalism just fine. Cheaply produced throw away products make more profit.

We used to have quality products when workers were still craftsmen, and not replaced by machines and cheaper unskilled outsourced labour.



posted on Nov, 25 2012 @ 04:44 AM
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reply to post by ANOK
 


Whilst I agree the OP's premise is ridiculous, I do disagree with your assertion that we're all about throw away items and it's the fault of outsourcing labour.

Yes, outsourcing has given us access to items that can be made far cheaper elsewhere, but that doesn't neccesarily mean a drop in quality.

A shirt made in Thailand will be the same as a shirt made in the USA and will be of comparable quality, but the USA worker will demand more pay, driving up the price. In that instance, the "consumer", faced with negligible difference in quality, will go for the lowest price.

On the flip side, high-end goods such as cars will sell based mainly on their build quality and operation, rather than on price. European cars, despite having high production costs from the highly paid workforce, still sell very well owing to the higher build quality.

Conversely, US made cars never sold well outside the US because the build quality was low and fuel efficiency was treated like some sort of myth, much like the fact than anything made outside of one's own country must be of a lower quality.

The USA never really had a massive export manufacturing business, rather relying on the home market and protectionism. "Made in the USA" was as much a sign of shoddy work as "Made in China" is nowadays, which is why it made perfect sense to outsource the work as it could be done to the same level for much less.

If any country in the West wants to boost it's manufacturing, it must go into high-end production where quality matters and make sure it stands up to scrutiny. Even today, the latest "supercars" of the Chevvy production line are tacky, of low build quality but yet command the same price tag (owing to high costs) as a Porsche, Audi, Ferrari or BMW which are undeniably superior cars technically and of better build quality.



posted on Nov, 25 2012 @ 04:53 AM
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Well, I go to walmart once a week, and I spend about $110 every time I go. I live alone.
I do socialize a lot when I got to walmart. I often find very social people at walmart. Now that I think of it, the socialization that goes in walmart is pretty strange, considering that I go at 10:00 pm every Wednesday.



posted on Nov, 25 2012 @ 05:01 AM
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If it was only true, I'd make an especial effort to shop at Walmart just because it supported Socialism.

Unfortunately, this is fiction, and they'd otherwise also have to clean up their act in regard to employee treatment among other things.

As an alternative, I support Local, whatever and wherever local happens to be.
Local made products.
Local grown food.
Locally owned mom/pop independently operated restaurants
etc.

Once in awhile I'll run into a Socialist or Commune(ist) venture business which I'll happily support.



Support local!
Support equal distribution of sales in profits!



edit on 25-11-2012 by Druscilla because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 25 2012 @ 05:06 AM
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Originally posted by stumason
A shirt made in Thailand will be the same as a shirt made in the USA and will be of comparable quality.


I disagree. I could show you a vintage Ben Sherman shirt made in the UK, compared to a modern one made in China, the difference is huge. And nothing compares to a vintage US made Brooks Brothers.




posted on Nov, 25 2012 @ 05:13 AM
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There are fine materials in china just like we make cheap crap too.

Cheap imports are pursued for cost savings. That is the whole reason they go to the trouble of importing it in bulk from the other side of the world. Of course you are not going to get fine Asian fabric at a discount store.
edit on 25-11-2012 by NotAnAspie because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 25 2012 @ 05:13 AM
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reply to post by stumason
 



A shirt made in Thailand will be the same as a shirt made in the USA and will be of comparable quality, but the USA worker will demand more pay, driving up the price. In that instance, the "consumer", faced with negligible difference in quality, will go for the lowest price.


We're consumers AND workers. How can I afford quality consumables if my wages are set low?



European cars, despite having high production costs from the highly paid workforce, still sell very well owing to the higher build quality.


The European workforce fought for the pay levels by forming unions and demanding them. They weren't gifted to them by the business owners. Indentured servitude and other abuses of the average working man or woman came to an end from protests and action. You and I owe more to them for the quality of our lives than we do to the employers.

In relation to cars, another example of positive action in the face of business owners are the developments of safety in the motor industry. Seat belts took an Act of Congress to force car manufacturers to fit them as standard; Europe was a little more willing. I'm not *against* people making money or business in general, I'm just trying to point out that it's inaccurate to blame the workforce for high prices.



posted on Nov, 25 2012 @ 05:16 AM
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reply to post by ANOK
 


High end Brooks Brothers stuff is still made in either the US or Europe and that's where the quality matters.

For run-of-the-mill, day-to-dayl clothing, however, I still maintain a shirt is a shirt. If I want to buy a good shirt though, I look for one made in the UK or Europe, you pay more but get your quality which is kind of the point I tried to make in a laboured fashion - day to day stuff, people want the lowest price and it matters not where it is made but for the good stuff, you know where to go.. When it comes to quality, the developed world leads the way but it comes at a price.

I've never been a fan of Ben Sherman at all though, no matter where there stuff is made



posted on Nov, 25 2012 @ 05:24 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


I think you may have misunderstood, I wasn't blaming anyone for higher prices, just pointing out the facts of the matter without any kind of inference as to the why.

My point was, for day to day stuff, people want the lowest price and are generally unconcerned with quality quite as much as if they are forking out a lot of money. The lower the price, the less concern there is over quality and longevity, hence why business has outsourced much of the high volume, low quality work overseas.

However, for quality work it's always best when done by a well-motivated and educated workforce, as found in the West precisely for the reasons you have said.

The bottom line is you get what you pay for, as true today as at any other time. If you want the lowest price, be prepared for shonky work.



posted on Nov, 25 2012 @ 05:32 AM
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reply to post by stumason
 
As one Englishman to another, I wasn't picking a fight...



I appreciate your argument and think it's less clear to me than it is to you. In some ways it's a fact that we get what we pay for - we agree on that part. On the other hand, I can remember when European car producers inflated prices for branded parts. It was during the 90s when generic parts became available that they were forced to lower their prices. In fact, even Ford were notorious for their prices and that was all made locally. Bastards!



posted on Nov, 25 2012 @ 06:30 AM
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Originally posted by alumnathe
How did "competitive prices" replace the original function of capitalism: competitive quality? It used to be who had the best product. Now it's who has the best going-going-gone sale. What is going-going-gone in that transaction is what capitalism was supposed to generate in the first place: QUALITY.
edit on 25-11-2012 by alumnathe because: grammar matters


It's never been about 'quality'. The notion of quality is always a compromise on price and it always has been. If someone wants to produce an item that's the best available of it's type, then it's certainly a capitalist business model of sorts but it's always going to be seen as a 'high-end' item and not going to be a realistic purchase. The vast, overwhelming majority of people never, ever buy the best quality item available and high-end producers acknowledge this and pitch their products to a niche market. Everything else (i.e. everything else that is ever sold) is a balancing act where producers/retailers maximise as much in the way of profit as they can against what they can sell something at and what the item was produced for.

The idea that "socialism" plays any part in this is ludicrous. If anything, in this model, the potential 'socialism' element is removed as much as possible: the idea that workers (not machines) will add value through the production process due to the transformation of raw material through to the end product. The emphasis in capitalist models is on a bid to increase the profit margin through reduced production and retail costs, which is usually achieved by automation (taking people out of production) and both the removal of worker rights and the stake the worker has in the firm. The things that are being removed are the very socialism element you seem to have a problem with.

WalMart, which uses cheap labour where the people who produce the items on sale have no rights or stake in the means of (automated) production, and also uses cheap labour through the people who run the stores who have little or no rights or stake in the firm, are the very antithesis of socialism.



posted on Nov, 25 2012 @ 06:37 AM
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Walmart .... no problem .... get lots of things I need at a good price. I wish we had a super WalMart nearby. Instead, I have to drive a half hour to get to a regular WalMart. I used to love the Super WalMarts when we lived in Alabama. It was practically the only thing I liked about living down there ....



posted on Nov, 25 2012 @ 06:44 AM
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Originally posted by alumnathe


The principle of providing cheap goods through mass production is what makes socialism work so well in those countries that don't fool themselves into believing they are operating on some Disneyland notion of competition that makes people believe they are "free" to buy a new car every five years to replace the "old" car.


Mind-boggling. Cheap goods through mass production is nothing to do with socialism in any country and is a model that's been embraced by capitalism as much as anything else because of the role it plays in cost reduction and subsequently profit margins. Arguably, by itself, it's a neutral element; it's how it's exploited that's the issue and if there is an economic/political model that does exploit it, it's capitalism.

If you follow the history of mass-production and manufactories from the Industrial Revolution onwards you'll see that it all happened in places that were anything but socialist. Socialism was practically invented because of the concerns of people responding to what has happening during urban industrialisation. You've got the cart before the horse.



posted on Nov, 25 2012 @ 07:20 AM
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Most of the things that people buy at Wal Mart are identical to the things they buy at higher price stores. That Huffy bike is the same everyone, as is the box of Frosted Flakes. The prices are just lower. If anything Wal Mart is the classic case of capitalistic competition and supply and demand. True capitalism ensures that eventually we will get everything down to the lowest possible price with the slimmest profit margin. It is the rest of our capitalistic society that is not working how it was designed. Supply is artificially held back so that demand will keep prices high. I look forward to the day that everything that is produced is available at Wal Mart. That would be true capitalism.

Of course, once at that point, we would be much closer to communism than we are now. Communism is really the final result of capitalism. Eventually efficiency will drive all the profit out of the system.



posted on Nov, 25 2012 @ 07:41 AM
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Originally posted by alumnathe
How did "competitive prices" replace the original function of capitalism: competitive quality? It used to be who had the best product. Now it's who has the best going-going-gone sale. What is going-going-gone in that transaction is what capitalism was supposed to generate in the first place: QUALITY.
edit on 25-11-2012 by alumnathe because: grammar matters


The primary function of a business in a capitalist economy is to generate profits for its shareholders. Walmart has certainly done that and done it well.

As for quality, the simple fact is that most consumers are not interested in paying a premium for 'the best'. Consumers have finite purchasing power, and for most products, this means that they have to balance quality with cost. For most, that means choosing 'good enough' at a reasonable price point. Walmart is merely responding to the free market demand for those products. People are generally satisfied with decent-to-good at a low cost, not 'the best' at a high cost. Walmart simply provides what the market wants. They're successful because they're exactly what a capitalist business model should be.

Look at another business type where this type of quality vs cost equation clearly comes into play. A good example is the PC market. Why spend $2000 on the top of the line model when $800 will get you 80-85% of the performance? Most people simply don't need or even want to spend the premium for the best. There's nothing 'socialist' about that. Far from it. Its simply a case of people making value based decision, much the same as they do when they buy at Walmart, and the principle behind that is capitalist to its core.



posted on Nov, 25 2012 @ 10:39 AM
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reply to post by Merriman Weir
 


The only beef I have with your post is the generalization of "Americans". While a huge amount of what you say is true, I see the same phenomema in non-Americans posting about America. Buying into that version of the same media hype as perpetrated in the US about socialism, for example.

The "buttons" being pushed are different, the mechanism is identical.



posted on Nov, 25 2012 @ 10:45 AM
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reply to post by alumnathe
 


What are you smoking. You clearly don't have a clue about how economic systems work.



posted on Nov, 25 2012 @ 10:53 AM
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Originally posted by nwtrucker
reply to post by Merriman Weir
 


The only beef I have with your post is the generalization of "Americans".


I'm not generalising Americans per se , I'm pointing out that the vast majority of people I see that have a twisted view of socialism - to the point of thinking it to be the opposite of what it is - are Americans. It's a different thing from what you're suggesting. I'm not saying that the majority of Americans think this - which is what the analogy would be.



posted on Nov, 25 2012 @ 02:42 PM
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Walmart is the epitome of capitalism. Low quality products are a product of capitalism. Planned obsolescence is a product of capitalism. Materialism is a product of capitalism.




Planned obsolescence or built-in obsolescence[1] in industrial design is a policy of planning or designing a product with a limited useful life, so it will become obsolete, that is, unfashionable or no longer functional after a certain period of time.[1] Planned obsolescence has potential benefits for a producer because to obtain continuing use of the product the consumer is under pressure to purchase again, whether from the same manufacturer (a replacement part or a newer model), or from a competitor which might also rely on planned obsolescence.[1]


en.wikipedia.org...

Socialism is the workers owning the means of production, do the workers own walmart? No, they do not. The workers are abused by their corporate overlords.

edit on 25-11-2012 by Trustfund because: (no reason given)





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