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figaro
03-20-2008, 12:49 PM
I am just curious from the thread regarding Wal-Mart and the Easter bunny and quite a few have mentioned that they do not like Wal-Mart. I have never liked the store, every store that I go into, I get the feeling from the appearance and the way the employees look and act that they don't care about it at all. The one here in my town, everytime I go in there (maybe 2 times in the past 2 months) there are dead/dying fish in the what few tanks they do have there. I end up finding someone there and letting them know but I walk away feeling that they will leave it for the next employee to find. The employees, the way they look (and I am really not trying to be mean at all), they don't look like they care about themselves or the store they are working for. And I find it hard to send that company my money when that is the impression I get.

My brother though, he just loves the store! Thankfully though, Walmart has not infiltrated my home county and I don't seeing it happen too soon either. My brother was in San Jose for a few months for a bone marrow transplant and he was always at Wal-Mart (as soon as he was ok'd per the Dr.). He likes the prices and all that. I try to talk to him about what I think of it, and well, when was the last time you had a talk with a brick wall that listened? He really wants one to come in northern CA but I keep saying it is great that they are not there yet.

So, what are your thoughts (pro or con) on Wal-Mart?

maniago
03-20-2008, 12:54 PM
I love Wal-Mart. We live in a rural area and the local grocery is several dollars higher on food than either Food City or Wal-mart, so I drive 20 min to for better prices. I have heard they are low paying, but if employees feel that way, its America, find another job. My cousin has worked their for since high school and loves it.

stitchwitch
03-20-2008, 01:05 PM
I've slowed my shopping down there to just a few visits a year for stuff I particularly want to buy cheap (flowers, dirt, etc.)
I find some good deals here at our grocery store with buy one/get ones and I find that CVS and Walgreens has some deals on cosmetics, etc. if you use their card or coupon. I don't have the complete loathing for Walmart that some do, I just kind of got tired of it all one day and quit going. From the looks of the parking lot, they aren't missing me.:roflhard:

saracidaltendencies
03-20-2008, 01:23 PM
I can't stand it...I used to shop there a lot, but, the one by our house is always so crowded, the shoppers are rude (not saying excuse me, or bumping into you though they SEE you there, or, I'll be looking at something and they just get all up in front of me like I'm not even there), and, the employees don't seem to care about their jobs. Whenever we'd go, we could almost never find an employee when we needed help, and, on those rare occasions we did, if we'd ask where something was, they'd just point their finger and say, "over there" by such and such.

I also don't agree with a lot of their business practices so it has gotten to the point where we only go there if we can't find what we need somewhere else.

Silver
03-20-2008, 03:13 PM
Not a favorite of mine either. I used to shop there a lot more, even did my regular grocery shopping there, but have since stopped except for a few items here and there. I noticed the quality of their products was declining, and got tired of wasting money on crap. There's a reason they can keep lowering their prices, because they keep lowering the quality too. You get what you pay for!

Jan in CA
03-20-2008, 03:46 PM
Nope, hate them. I only go in if I have to and since we have Targets everywhere that rarely happens.

dustinac
03-20-2008, 03:50 PM
We shop there all the time...basically that is all we have unless we want to drive 40/50 mins...I don't think it's bad...I see rude employees in most stores now days...my brother works for them and was started off with minium wage...every few months they got a raise...now he is manager and likes it. :shrug:

vaknitter
03-20-2008, 03:51 PM
Walmart and I have a love/hate relationship. While I love the low prices and one stop shopping - oil for the car, toys for niece/nephew birthday, shampoo, fish food, plants, grass seed, and groceries all in one place !! Yet I really can't stand how nasty people can be so I stopped going to Walmart and went back to my grocery store and realize - wow, the girl in the deli is rude, the checker is clueless, and the people in the aisles are just as rude as the ones I encounter at Walmart. The SuperWalmart where I used to live was really nice and the people working there were nice too. I would go before church on Sunday and never had any issues. Really the only thing the regular grocery store has going for it is a better selection of wine and beer.
I've never bought clothing or shoes at Walmart so not sure about the quality there.

Eccie
03-20-2008, 05:39 PM
I worked at Walmart for awhile. I don't know about other stores, but in ours their were no women managers, if you didn't check 'availabe to work anytime' on the application it was discarded without a second glance, and we had a 'meeting' once a month about how unions were bad and how we should be espcially nice to children because 'it's important to get em while they're young'. i haven't walked through their door since the day i quit. It was a bit challenging at first, (the closest Target and stores of that kind are 30 minutes away) but it's possible. I also agree about the quailty of thieir goods going down, my extended family stilll shops there. It seems that they are encouraging the 'use it once and throw it away, it's cheap, you have the money to get another' mentaility that I absolutely hate.

Spikey
03-20-2008, 06:24 PM
We won't shop there.
If you have not seen the WalMart movie, it is quite an eye-opener. Not that other big-box chains don't do a lot of the same practices, but from what I understand, they are particular offenders of fair hiring and discrimination policies, environmental concerns, benefits for workers, etc.
http://www.walmartmovie.com/ has the trailer.

Mike
03-20-2008, 06:36 PM
Yes the Walmart workers tend to be clueless.
But I like the company. They try to sell American when they can, I remember when they changed from Mexican made cast iron to Lodge cast iron.

I don't like how they try to strong arm some companies into their prices.
I don't like how they try to get merchandisers to dress up like Walmart employees (which is when I stopped merchandising). I don't like their morning employee chants (but the employees are free to not work there).

I don't like their no-gun sales policy but I understand that was more of a financial decision than a political one like K-Mart. Plus I imagine with some of the idiots telling me how to fill out the forms incorrectly they also had quite a risk of legal issues with selling guns.
I can't stand that they shut down the hunting equipment a month after they start selling it (but I like getting the clearance items) and treat archery like it is only about hunting instead of a year round sport.
I'm pretty sure a lot of that is the specific manager because she also doesn't sell duck hunting stuff when we are a flyway and one a couple miles away does sell duck stuff.

I was very happy when we got a Super Walmart. Their vegetables are much better and so are their prices.

auburnchick
03-20-2008, 06:43 PM
For me, it depends on the store. Typically, the Super Walmarts are nicer and cleaner. We have one of each where I live, and I would prefer to shop at the Super Walmart, but the regular one is closer to my house.

My mom has worked for Walmart for years. They do not always treat their employees very well, so it is a roller coaster for them. Good managers get moved around a lot. Retail is a tough business.

Personall, I like shopping at Target best. The aisles are wider, everything is much, much cleaner, and the employees look more professional. BUT, Target doesn't have a craft section, so no yarn there. That's the downside.

newamy
03-20-2008, 07:29 PM
I've never been in a Walmart and hopefully never will be it is a deeply unethical place on both local and international levels.

I refer you to this documentary: http://www.walmartmovie.com/

PCwombat
03-20-2008, 08:45 PM
My family almost never ever shops at Walmart. In fact, I think there's only one thing my dad regularly buys from there, and that's a type of dishwasher soap they have. And, he buys like four boxes at a time, so he maybe goes three times a year. My family's all about Target. It is a nicer store, and the quality is better.

At school though, there's a Walmart in walking distance, however now that I have my car with me, I usually go to the Target, which is about a 5-10 minute drive. If I don't have to go to Walmart, I won't. It really is an awful business. The cheap prices may be good in the short run for some families, but they really hurt our economy. Especially with them making so many of their products oversees and forcing American factories and businesses to close. Plus, like everyone said, they have a really bad record for how they treat employees. Ugh, I think Walmart's disgusting.

princess
03-20-2008, 10:32 PM
Personall, I like shopping at Target best. The aisles are wider, everything is much, much cleaner, and the employees look more professional. BUT, Target doesn't have a craft section, so no yarn there. That's the downside.

I have been working at Target since january and i LOVE it. Its the best job i have ever had (in my five short years of working :teehee: )

they are incredible about the way they treat us employees. They really embrace that ideology that every employee counts, we cant get the job done without everyone including the cart attendant.
managers recognize people on a daily basis, and every friday there is something fun for the employees like a cookies or a game. tomorrow is the easter egg hunt and i cant wait :P it has totally changed the way i look at the company because i never really used to shop there

sorry for going ot, lol but i couldnt resist :P

gingerbread
03-21-2008, 09:00 AM
Lets see my re-in with walmart is taking back some dividers for silver ware. My husband bought them and were the wrong size. UGH men anyways it was around Christmas time and personal things got in the way of me bringing them back.
The minute I brought them into returns I knew there was going to be trouble. The woman gave me a look of I was trying to bring back something already used:tap:I just looked at her and the fighting began. With out giving me a second look she call another woman to look at them. Yup they looked dirty to her also. I just looked at her and said "if you think I used them I am sorry but that is the way my dh bought them. Then she says we do not sell dirty items!:shock: Then she said it was past the three months wrong again ladies. I guess they can't read it was only one month. I took them home, no way was I going to be insulted by people who do not know me.

jjminarcik
03-21-2008, 10:43 AM
I don't shop at Wal-Mart. I have never really been keen about the store anyway, but shopped there because of the lower prices. After seeing the Wal-Mart Movie (http://www.walmartmovie.com/) and reading The Wal-Mart Effect (http://www.amazon.com/Wal-Mart-Effect-Powerful-Works-Transforming/dp/0143038788/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1206110167&sr=8-1) I can honestly say I will never shop there again, for a multitude of reasons.

On a side note, at the end of my street there was a regular Wal-Mart, but the new Super Wal-Mart was being built across the street. Now the new one has opened, creating a new red light and TONS of new traffic, while the old blue store sits there like an eye-sore. :tap:

Banrion
03-21-2008, 11:30 AM
I don't shop there at all. Around here, the stores are dirty, disheveled and disorganized. The employees are just plain mean, and the clientele are even worse. The product quality is lower than other discount chain stores. Shopping at Wal-mart is a chore, while visiting my local Target or Kohl's is fun.

Wanda Witch
03-21-2008, 12:25 PM
I agree with all of the 'cons' written. We had a brand new Walmart open in a previous neighborhood. Six months later, it was such a mess one could not walk up and down an aisle without encountering rude employees who never think of moving their stocking cart. In other words, the store appeared to be old in a few months and dirty. I will take Target any day of the week, they are well-stocked, wide aisles and very clean with efficient checkout also. Walmart seems to come in, run out the friendly and helpful 'mom and pop' stores and all you are left with is junk and rudeness. Nope, no more Walmart in my future.

annomalley
03-21-2008, 12:43 PM
I only go to Wal-Mart for certain things, like soap, deoderant, and razor blades. I rarely buy clothes there and I will not buy meat, produce, dairy products, or electronics there because the quality is so poor. I would rather go somewhere else and pay a few dollars more for something of better quality that will last longer and have people assist me that have some knowledge of the product they are selling. Sometimes you get someone that actually knows the product they are selling, but those people don't stay at Wal-Mart for very long.

Sure, the low prices are great, but are you really saving money when it falls apart in a few months and you have to go and replace it?

DianaM
03-21-2008, 02:30 PM
Hate WalMart, but have found myself buying stuff there because it's open 24 hours and I will often get off work when other grocery stores are closed.

Mal-Mart by the LatinoComedyProject

Rorshach
03-21-2008, 03:43 PM
Hehe, I liked that video, Diana, especially the "Pride of Idaho" flan.

ArtLady1981
03-22-2008, 02:27 AM
I didn't read anything except the subject line:

What are your thoughts on Wal-Mart?

I am posting my answer purely based on the question:
I think Wal-mart is a cancer on the face of Mother Earth.

No need to go into my reasons. If you agree with me, you already know why Wal-Mart is cancerous.

If you don't agree with me, you won't care about my reasons anyway.

Didn't post to cause any offense to any of our dear KH knitters. ;)
So let's allow the love to continue flowing! :heart:

knitncook
03-22-2008, 10:05 AM
Artlady, I love your reply! Wal-mart is one of the leading instigators in the modern "throw away society" There is a wonderful 20-ish minute movie at Story (http://storyofstuff.com) of Stuff. It's very educational in the way in which we use "stuff."

I haven't shopped at Wal-mart in over 3 years. I stockpile groceries by what is on sale, so my actual grocery prices are less than at Wal-mart and I'm getting better meat (actual butcher who will custom cut meat for me and split packages) and produce. The butcher and most of the cashiers know me by name or call me the "Bag lady" (because I bring my own reusable bags). The store is always clean and the employees friendly. Most of the employees have been there for the 3 years I have been shopping there and like working there. The store is also active with the "Abled Adults" program that gives jobs to adults with special needs.

There is another website Wake Up Walmart (http://www.wakeupwalmart.com) which has a lot of statistics on how bad Wal-mart is for our society and environment. The biggest impact that Wal-mart has had is on our society is the mentality that we deserve to have things at a lower cost no matter what the impact is on other people, cultures or the environment.

Cypher
03-22-2008, 10:35 AM
Are a big issue here. We finally got one in the city limits, and there is talk of trying to build one on the south side. It's a fight because of our mayor's attempt at an ordinance to get higher wages for folks working in "Big Box" stores like Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, etc...

I don't know honestly. I'm a loyal Target gal and the only time I'm in a Wal-mart is when I've visiting family in Alabama. I guess their prices are great but unless they really cut them to compete in areas where Target and Sam's have a strong presence I see them dying out in cities where's there's already established super center's for one stop shopping and retreating to the suburbs where folks are more than likely to need a Wal-Mart than folks in the city proper.

And by need a Wal-Mart I'm envisioning the family with 2 kids and up, etc that need to stock up on staple goods that likely are cheaper at Wal-Mart than Target.

I'm not too invested in it as long as it doesn't become another retail carcass on the block.

maniago
03-22-2008, 11:59 AM
Sam's
is Wal-Mart in bulk

jjminarcik
03-22-2008, 01:20 PM
Well said, ArtLady!!! Well said! :thumbsup:

bjc1050
03-22-2008, 03:42 PM
Generally, I like Walmart a lot! I've gotten some great bargains there over the years...for example my heavy duty Rival mixer which is the same as the Kenwood that the Chef's catalog was asking $300+, I got for $75.00, also my Toastmaster Bread Maker's Hearth oven and bread maker, and just recently a really nice 500 watt GE food processor for $15. I'm not too thrilled with their recent remodeling, but bargains can still be found.
I was in a Walmart near Egg Harbor, NJ this summer and it's not nearly as nice as our super center...was very disappointing...more like the one the super center replaced locally. My brother tells me that the one in Mays Landing is about the same as the one near Egg Harbor. So you can't really compare the NJ Walmarts to the ones in other states. All the ones I've been in in the south...South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida have been comparable to our local super center.

BTW, we have TWO super centers in Winchester and another opening in Front Royal soon.
Some employees are better than others...not much different than any other large store.

Plantgoddess+
03-22-2008, 04:40 PM
Never been in one, don't plan on ever shopping there. I don't shop a lot anyway and I haven't liked Walmart since the news program I saw over 15 years ago about them advertising Made in America items and it turns out they were made overseas.
I just don't often need cheap junk and when I do I go to the dollar store or Goodwill.

Pat in Ca
03-26-2008, 02:18 PM
CONSIDER THAT WAL-MART:

- Provides employment to 1.9 million people; the best defence against poverty is a job.

- Creates thousands of job opportunities for people in developing countries like China and India; this keeps hunger at bay in many households.

- Doles out hundreds of millions of dollars each year in dividends that help fund the retirement of millions of people; the company had sales in excess of $348 billion and a net profit of $11.3 billion in 2007.

- Sells food, clothing and other necessities to Canadians, Americans and others at prices that are 15 to 25 per cent below what other supermarkets charge; this helps millions of low-income families stretch their dollars.

- Pushes the inflation rate down and helps keep interest rates low; this comes in handy for millions of families when borrowing to buy a house or household appliances.

- Disburses $415 million in cash and in-kind merchandise annually to 100,000 charitable organizations around the world.

- Pursues environmental sustainability; sells more organic produce than most retailers; works with the Clinton Foundation to lower prices on sustainable technologies such as energy-efficient lighting and building materials; has opened the first in a series of high-efficiency stores that will use 20 per cent less energy than a typical Wal-Mart. And its proposed Vancouver store is more environmentally friendly than any building in the Lower Mainland."

AND

"Improving business productivity is the sure-fire way of increasing living standards. Ask any economist of repute.

While Wal-Mart's primary intent is not to do all the aforementioned social good, what it has done and is doing is raising the living standards of millions of families around the world."

My favorite part!...

"There is not much evidence that Wal-Mart puts mom-and-pop operations out of business. In fact, studies demonstrate that if shopowners adapt to the ever-changing retail market, they can thrive after Wal-Mart comes to their town."

The left has their awards for achievement... we need the Capitalist Golden Globe awards. Too bad its the people that do not get rewards everyday that deserve them.

Like Adam Smith said:

"It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest."

Wal-Mart for Nobel Peace Prize!

What do you think?


Posted by The Public Choice Capitalist at 12:18 AM
2 comments:

Hildegard_von_Knittin
03-26-2008, 03:10 PM
i saw a story on the news the other day about a walmart employee who was in a terrible accident; her health insurance paid for her treatment--she's in a nursing home now--but walmart is suing the family to get that money BACK, because a clause in the agreement gives them the right to do so.

food for thought

snowbear
03-26-2008, 07:28 PM
Wal mart has its own insurance. They finance it themselves. The insurance form they sign state if the insurance pay out money for medical insurance & the insured is reimbursed, then the insurance will be paid back.
When my brother was in a car accident, the same thing happened. However, my brother sued for medical costs to be reimbursed, and pain & suffering.
It is very sad the situation she is in. I do wish her lawyers had read the insurance form and sued similar.
I have good & bad feelings on Wal-mart, I do know it has changed significantly since Sam Walton died. It was much different in those day.

Cynamar
03-27-2008, 01:47 AM
I prefer Target for some stuff but Wal-Mart does generally have more variety and better prices. I lie them much better since the one by me has Lion Wool yarn now! Knitpicks is still a better bargain, though.

Jen81Andi06
03-27-2008, 09:41 AM
well i have worked for walmart for 5 years..its the customers decision to shop there..no one is making them come in and spend their money there..
I personally love that store..i shop there and sams club when i go grocery shopping..
i shopped at kroger one day and their prices are higher..
except whats in their ads but walmart price matches it all..
so personally i dont see anything wrong with walmart..its the customers choice on where to shop..no one is making them..its just a store..

Pat in Ca
03-27-2008, 01:34 PM
Yes, it is just a store, so why whenever anyone talks about it , why oh why has it become so "politically correct" to hate Walmart...If we really looked at how much that one store helps the the "little guy".. first by providing lots and lots of JOBS, nobody talks about it but UNEMPLOYMENT is at historic LOWS..that means everyone who wants a job can get one...providing jobs is the best defense we have against POVERTY...
Then it helps the "little guy", by providing goods and FOOD (that helps ELIMINATE HUNGER ) ..if you can buy more food for less, it helps more people eat!!! Don't we all SAY we want to help more families provide food for their families???

you can argue that the "quality" of the stuff is not good enough for YOU...well the hard facts are some of us may not be able to AFFORD the highest quality products..the way I see it, it gives EVERYONE the opportunity to own things that in the past were only available in "high end" stores..

Why would anyone want to deprive the "little guy" the chance to own the same products all of you do?

Sorry guys, I just get kinda passionate about our Capitalist Society.
It has become the BEST PATH TO PROSPERITY.. and I think we are shooting ourselves in the foot to try to tear down big Corporations..

None of them are perfect, but what makes them work is our dollars,
so we can "vote" where to spend our dollars ..so only the ones that work for the most of us survive!!

feministmama
03-27-2008, 03:23 PM
Has anyone noticed how much crime goes on in Wal Mart parking lots? There was a story about it on 60 minutes a while ago.

snowbear
03-27-2008, 03:33 PM
In the last few months, there has been more mall shootings, kidnapping, etc. In Kansas it made national news. What happens in the parking lots of malls, stores, etc. is sad. There has been numerous kidnapping from Target stores as well. It seems as if criminals are more interested in what people buy or the $ they have before going in the stores, than the stores themselves.

Plantgoddess+
03-27-2008, 03:38 PM
Walmart doesn't actually create very many jobs. The people who worked in the small local stores that are put out of business by Walmart end up working there. Walmart also twists local politician's arms to get all kinds of tax breaks so that citizens of the communities walmart comes to end up subsidizing that huge corporation.
From people I talk to who used to shop at Walmart say they are not cheaper on a lot of items. They use loss leaders and then price other stuff higher as do other stores.
It is everyones choice whether to shop there unless you live in one of the small towns that Walmart came to and drove local businesses under.
I just heard a news article on the radio today. The US is 2nd in prosperity and security in the world. So goes crony capitalism.

sakura-panda
03-27-2008, 06:55 PM
Heated discussion! Wow. ;)

I shop at Wal-Mart all the time; I almost never buy anything though. :rofl:

That's the extent of my thoughts. (Deep, I know.)

I've heard all the talk and discussions, but personally I find that their products don't seem to be the quality that I want; I'd rather pay a little more and get a better product.

I still go, once in a while, and occasionally buy, but very very rarely. Especially now that we have a Target down the road. :)

spectorkitty
03-27-2008, 07:08 PM
I really really hate Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, I live in an area where there is nothing else, especially when you are on the poor side of things, like me.

There is no Target, and the smaller "mom and pop, local stores" are an arm and a leg higher in cost than Wal-Mart. I'd love to support the smaller stores but on my limited budget, with two step kids and three cats it's just much cheaper to get things like clothing, shampoo, cat food etc at Wal-Mart.

The employees, at least in my neck of the woods are rude and very unhelpful. They just point if you ask them where something is and don't even try to help you. When I worked retail, if it wasn't my department I always said "well I don't know where that is but let's see if we can find someone to help you." and then did just that. That's part of being in retail.

so yes I shop there, and no i really don't like it.

knitncook
03-27-2008, 07:40 PM
- Provides employment to 1.9 million people; the best defence against poverty is a job.

- Creates thousands of job opportunities for people in developing countries like China and India; this keeps hunger at bay in many households.

- Doles out hundreds of millions of dollars each year in dividends that help fund the retirement of millions of people; the company had sales in excess of $348 billion and a net profit of $11.3 billion in 2007.

- Sells food, clothing and other necessities to Canadians, Americans and others at prices that are 15 to 25 per cent below what other supermarkets charge; this helps millions of low-income families stretch their dollars.

- Pushes the inflation rate down and helps keep interest rates low; this comes in handy for millions of families when borrowing to buy a house or household appliances.

- Disburses $415 million in cash and in-kind merchandise annually to 100,000 charitable organizations around the world.

- Pursues environmental sustainability; sells more organic produce than most retailers; works with the Clinton Foundation to lower prices on sustainable technologies such as energy-efficient lighting and building materials; has opened the first in a series of high-efficiency stores that will use 20 per cent less energy than a typical Wal-Mart. And its proposed Vancouver store is more environmentally friendly than any building in the Lower Mainland."


Can you provide any statistics that back these up? These are all dandy statements, but they are fairly lacking without the facts. Also some things to consider is that while Wal-mart may emply millions of people, most of those people are not making a living wage. The same goes for the people overseas who have jobs because of Wal-mart. MOst of those people live in horrible conditions, are still hungry every night and have no extra money for things that we take for granted like sanitary supplies and medicine.

Jan in CA
03-27-2008, 11:10 PM
We all have different opinions and we need to say them in a way that doesn't hurt anyone's feelings. Let's try to keep this impersonal and friendly, okay? Thank you!

Pat in Ca
03-28-2008, 11:26 AM
Friday, March 28, 2008

Presented by
In Wal-Mart We Trust
Who did the most to help victims of Hurricane Katrina? According to a new study, it was the company everyone loves to hate

Colby Cosh, National Post
Published: Friday, March 28, 2008

Scott Morgan/Getty Images
Shortly before Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the U.S. Gulf Coast on the morning of Aug. 29, 2005, the chief executive officer of Wal-Mart, Lee Scott, gathered his subordinates and ordered a memorandum sent to every single regional and store manager in the imperiled area. His words were not especially exalted, but they ought to be mounted and framed on the wall of every chain retailer -- and remembered as American business's answer to the pre-battle oratory of George S. Patton or Henry V.

"A lot of you are going to have to make decisions above your level," was Scott's message to his people. "Make the best decision that you can with the information that's available to you at the time, and above all, do the right thing."

This extraordinary delegation of authority -- essentially promising unlimited support for the decision-making of employees who were earning, in many cases, less than $100,000 a year -- saved countless lives in the ensuing chaos. The results are recounted in a new paper on the disaster written by Steven Horwitz, an Austrian-school economist at St. Lawrence University in New York. While the Federal Emergency Management Agency fumbled about, doing almost as much to prevent essential supplies from reaching Louisiana and Mississippi as it could to facilitate it, Wal-Mart managers performed feats of heroism. In Kenner, La., an employee crashed a forklift through a warehouse door to get water for a nursing home. A Marrero, La., store served as a barracks for cops whose homes had been submerged. In Waveland, Miss., an assistant manager who could not reach her superiors had a bulldozer driven through the store to retrieve disaster necessities for community use, and broke into a locked pharmacy closet to obtain medicine for the local hospital.

Meanwhile, Wal-Mart trucks pre-loaded with emergency supplies at regional depots were among the first on the scene wherever refugees were being gathered by officialdom. Their main challenge, in many cases, was running a gauntlet of FEMA officials who didn't want to let them through. As the president of the brutalized Jefferson Parish put it in a Sept. 4 Meet the Press interview, speaking at the height of nationwide despair over FEMA's confused response: "If [the U.S.] government would have responded like Wal-Mart has responded, we wouldn't be in this crisis."

This benevolent improvisation contradicts everything we have been taught about Wal-Mart by labour unions and the "small-is-beautiful" left. We are told that the company thinks of its store management as a collection of cheap, brainwash-able replacement parts; that its homogenizing culture makes it incapable of serving local communities; that a sparrow cannot fall in Wal-Mart parking lot without orders from Arkansas; that the chain puts profits over people. The actual view of the company, verifiable from its disaster-response procedures, is that you can't make profits without people living in healthy communities. And it's not alone: As Horwitz points out, other big-box companies such as Home Depot and Lowe's set aside the short-term balance sheet when Katrina hit and acted to save homes and lives, handing out millions of dollars' worth of inventory for free.

No one who is familiar with economic thought since the Second World War will be surprised at this. Scholars such as F. A. von Hayek, James Buchanan and Gordon Tullock have taught us that it is really nothing more than a terminological error to label governments "public" and corporations "private" when it is the latter that often have the strongest incentives to respond to social needs. A company that alienates a community will soon be forced to retreat from it, but the government is always there. Companies must, to survive, create economic value one way or another; government employees can increase their budgets and their personal power by destroying or wasting wealth, and most may do little else. Companies have price signals to guide their productive efforts; governments obfuscate those signals.

Aside from the public vs. private issue, Horwitz suggests, decentralized disaster relief is likely to be more timely and appropriate than the centralized kind, which explains why the U.S. Coast Guard performed so much better during the disaster than FEMA. The Coast Guard, like all marine forces, necessarily leaves a great deal of authority in the hands of individual commanders, and like Wal-Mart, it benefited during and after the hurricane from having plenty of personnel who were familiar with the Gulf Coast geography and economy.

There is no substitute for local knowledge -- an ancient lesson of which Katrina merely provided the latest reminder.

ColbyCosh@gmail.com

Copyright 2007 CanWest Interactive, a division of CanWest MediaWorks Publications, Inc.. All rights reserved.

Pat in Ca
03-28-2008, 11:38 AM
I just happened to be looking on www.realclearpolitics.com ( a great site!) and saw this article (the one above) this AM.. it really says it so much better than I do...
Trust Govt and we get Social Security (broken)
Medicare (Bankrupt)
Schools (Subpar)
(and we want to turn our heathcare over to them?

The private sector has always done more to help us than the Govt. and yet there is a growing resentment about them..
IMHO Just another viewpoint to think about...

Plantgoddess+
03-28-2008, 10:05 PM
It's not trusting govt that's the problem. It's believing some polititcians who run on the platform that govt doesn't work and when elected make sure that that is the case. SS is not broke, though medicare may be soon because of the prescription boondoggle.
Private industry is buying our govt and is making sure it has more rights than do the citizens. Industry has no loyalty to our country.
The press release from Walmart you posted does not make it true and charity for profit does not make a charitable company.
You are certainly entitled to like Walmart and shop there, as are those of us who try to spend our dollars where they do less harm to the world, ie fair trade, and green.

Jan in CA
03-29-2008, 01:13 PM
Please do NOT turn this into a political thread or it may have to be closed. If you wish to debate politics there are plenty of forums dedicated to just that. First and foremost this is a knitting forum.

Thank you. :hug:

salos
03-29-2008, 02:22 PM
When you have a problem at Wal Mart, first talk to a local manager. If that doesn't work, call the district manager. If that doesn't work, call their national number. If you do this, you will probably get what you want.

I used to work at Wal Mart. There are several things I liked about it, and some things I didn't like about it. They hire people other stores won't hire, and they have good training/promotion opportunities. To do well as an employee, you mainly need these qualities: honesty, dependability, ability to get along with others, physical strength to work full time, average intelligence, willingness to learn their ways of doing things, willingness to relocate.

Some people have started out without even a HS diploma and gone on to become managers. A large store manager earns very good money. They are very pro-minority.

Weaknesses include being open on Sundays. No one liked to work on Sundays. They tend to pay people who do the same job every year the same money every year. That sounds fair unless you consider cost of living increases and improvements that come from experience. They are building a financial empire using people no one else wants (which is kind of amazing), but not for the benefit of the employees.

cindycactus
03-29-2008, 05:32 PM
I have shopped in many Walmart stores and have mostly had good experiences. I do notice they hire people who others may not hire. Older people and some people with disabilities. Every time I had to return an item for what ever reason, I was either refunded my money or the item was replaced. Never was treated badly by any employee. I have shopped in Target and KMart and they do have wide empty aisles and neater stores. But then the aisles are not packed with customers either. Just my opinion.

Cynamar
03-29-2008, 05:39 PM
I had a big problem in the automotive department once and the manager blew me off. My mom had the exact thing happen a few years later and they blew her off. Made my blood boil! I don't generally have complaints about the other departments. I'm so disappointed that they got rid of cross-stitch stuff. The one by my house is only two years old and it seems much older. It's just dingy or something. Maybe the part of the city we're in.

Inis
03-30-2008, 11:16 AM
There are so many reasons NOT to shop at Walmart.

I think Walmart has people convinced based on fast history that they're always cheaper. So, everyone stopped shopping around and now just assume walmart is lowest. Not true.

I always do better at the grocery store -- more groceries for less money because I shop the sales. Buy one get one and double coupons are a much, much better deal than regular prices at Walmart.

Walgreens has my makeup buy one get one at least once a month. So, I stock up then

I've had horrible experiences with meat (going bad within a day or two of purchase) and with produce (really, it looks half rotted in the case).

Whether you shop there or not, all of us are paying for Walmart's low wages. Since Walmart doesn't pay a livable wage, your taxes are paying for some of their employees' medical, food stamps and welfare to make up the difference -- while Walmart shareholders pocket extra profits.

Remember when Walmart began? Their slogan was Made in America. Too bad they didn't stick with that. Imagine how great our economy would be right now.

bjc1050
03-30-2008, 06:57 PM
There are so many reasons NOT to shop at Walmart.

I think Walmart has people convinced based on fast history that they're always cheaper. So, everyone stopped shopping around and now just assume walmart is lowest. Not true.

I always do better at the grocery store -- more groceries for less money because I shop the sales. Buy one get one and double coupons are a much, much better deal than regular prices at Walmart.

Walgreens has my makeup buy one get one at least once a month. So, I stock up then

I've had horrible experiences with meat (going bad within a day or two of purchase) and with produce (really, it looks half rotted in the case).

Whether you shop there or not, all of us are paying for Walmart's low wages. Since Walmart doesn't pay a livable wage, your taxes are paying for some of their employees' medical, food stamps and welfare to make up the difference -- while Walmart shareholders pocket extra profits.

Remember when Walmart began? Their slogan was Made in America. Too bad they didn't stick with that. Imagine how great our economy would be right now.


Walmart may not ALWAYS be cheaper, but many things are. Roman Meal Sandwich sliced Bread is only $2.48 a loaf as opposed to $3.39 at Food Lion. Also bananas which they have a wide selection of ripeness stages are only $.44 a lb. Granted I've been disappointed with their lettuce and celery sometimes, but over all their produce is quite good quality. Have never had a problem with their meat.

Mostly I purchase our cereal there. They are the only store locally that carries the Malt-O-Meal Mini Spooners with Maple and Brown Sugar. And they offer a little different selection in their frozen food section such as their brand of breaded chicken breast chunks which are terrific. They also have a better brand selection of ready made meatballs.

I shop Food Lion for many of their specials, too, but would really miss Walmart if it were gone.

Remember some of Walmart's shareholders are people like you and me. Even employees who have invested in Walmart have shared in any increase in profits.

hocns
03-30-2008, 07:00 PM
Can't stand Walmart, never could. For years before we got one here, I would hear about how much better lif would be when Walmart came. Well, the only difference is that there are now more closed stores on Main Street, and on top of that, our Walmart is apparently badly stocked and they never seem to have anything.

The few times I have shopped at Walmart, 1. the lady in the fabric dept was bitching and snarling non-stop while she prepared my order, not at me, but where were all the well-advertised smiles?

2. We desperately needed something during a business trip, found an open walmart at 9:50 pm, and had the greeters barking at us as we went in, that they were closing soon and we shouldn't go in.

I have also found, during times when I accompanied other people there, the prices are no big deal. Sure they have a lot of stuff, and sure they have low prices, but 99.99% or more of the crap they carry is not something I would ever need or want. Cheap s**t is still s**t. Aisle after aisle of stuff that will be in a landfill soon. Walmart and other stores of its kind are a monument to the greed of North Americans.

bjc1050
03-30-2008, 07:02 PM
Go to any of the merchants that compete with Walmart and see just how much of THEIR merchandise is "Made in America". Not much different. I like Target for some things and just a different selection of products, but generally their prices ARE HIGHER.

Jen81Andi06
03-31-2008, 10:50 AM
There are so many reasons NOT to shop at Walmart.

I think Walmart has people convinced based on fast history that they're always cheaper. So, everyone stopped shopping around and now just assume walmart is lowest. Not true.

I always do better at the grocery store -- more groceries for less money because I shop the sales. Buy one get one and double coupons are a much, much better deal than regular prices at Walmart.

Walgreens has my makeup buy one get one at least once a month. So, I stock up then

I've had horrible experiences with meat (going bad within a day or two of purchase) and with produce (really, it looks half rotted in the case).

Whether you shop there or not, all of us are paying for Walmart's low wages. Since Walmart doesn't pay a livable wage, your taxes are paying for some of their employees' medical, food stamps and welfare to make up the difference -- while Walmart shareholders pocket extra profits.

Remember when Walmart began? Their slogan was Made in America. Too bad they didn't stick with that. Imagine how great our economy would be right now.

me and my husband both work for walmart (me for 5 years and him for 10) and we make very livable wages from working there..
after 5 years there i make $9.90 an hour..i think that is good!
did you work there? you have to earn your higher wages...you get a raise every year..mine this year was $.60 cents..
my husband makes $44,000.00 a year there..he is a business manager at sams club..people in the claims department make about $11-15 an hour.
there are even cashiers who make more than i do and i work at customer service..
so their wages are livable..they may not be the best but you have to make them work just like everyone else..
there are people who make less than we do and work at other places (not just at walmart)..i cash peoples checks and they come in every two weeks to get them cashed and they make less than i do..
so other places of employment have less livable wages than walmart..you have to make it work with what you have..

Inis
03-31-2008, 03:04 PM
Go to any of the merchants that compete with Walmart and see just how much of THEIR merchandise is "Made in America".

This is true. Although I buy American when there's an option, it isn't an option often enough.

I also try to buy handmade -- must be the crafter in me.

VictoiseC
03-31-2008, 05:51 PM
Hi! Whew what a topic and what a lot of interesting replies! Might as well add my 2 cents. We live in Manhattan and also upstate New York in the Catskills. For the past 10 years I've gone through a love/hate relationship with the Oneonta Walmart. (and I do agree how there is a thing about hating Walmart) At first we felt really lucky to be able to get so many things MUCH cheaper than in the city.

Then I started getting depressed when I was in there because I swear, I have never seen such LARGE people as there, so many in electrical chairs because they are too big to walk I guess and also many mentally challenged people wandering around. Then I had a cat food issue (thought theirs is weird/ worse then usual... in another posting here). So we vowed to stop going.

Ha. Then, well we needed a water pick for my dh's teeth and they have a great price. Also, I decided I shouldn't let those people depress me, who am I to ... be affected by less fortunate people. It's very obvious when we're there that so very many people are really poor, famers and whatnot. And things are definitely much cheaper, not just from Manhattan but from all the grocery stores up here. The last two times I went, (just 2 days ago)I also noticed how the employees, say they are pushing a big load of supplies, they STOP for you and let you go infront of them. IN the city (Fairway to be exact) the employees will run over you if you get in their way and the Spanish speaking cashiers will glare at you (or worse) if you do something wrong. The cashiers could not be nicer at the Oneonta Walmart.

But the real kicker is, the produce, greens & vegetables are simply stunning at this Walmart... HUGE bunches of parsley/cilantro/leeks, local produce... everything is glistening gleamingly fresh and beautiful and still cheaper than elsewhere. The place is extremely clean, the meat is pretty good and we have oysters for tonight. It's still a challenge to make it from the front to the back it's so FAR (good exercise) and I'll never forget shopping in little specialty shops in Paris but heck, we don't have a lot of money right now and we need to buy 5 cans of tomato soup for $2. In the city that's $1.60 or more for ONE can. Ok, I'm done.

Oh, I appreciated reading those job statistics and also about New Orleans, didn't know that. I think, since that movie, Walmart has made an effort to change. Maybe I'm wrong but I've seen that at this Walmart here.

vaknitter
03-31-2008, 09:21 PM
WOW - 44K ! My mother is a teacher with a Masters degree and 25+ yrs experience and doesn't make that much !!

princess
03-31-2008, 10:34 PM
thats the beauty of america...freedom of choice, you can shop wherever you want to :)

Jenn_Knitter
04-02-2008, 02:58 AM
I despise Wal-Mart. I think Sam Walton is probably turning in his grave right now over how the company is being run. My husband and brother practically live there, but I only go in cases of dire emergency. Our other closest store is a Publix and they close at 10pm.

sinistral_needler
04-02-2008, 10:14 AM
Well, Walmart is apparently TRYING to be a little nice:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/law/04/02/walmart.decision/index.html?eref=rss_topstories

Pat in Ca
04-03-2008, 12:03 AM
I really appreciate the information that the employees of Walmart provided... I have heard the pay at Walmart was competitive, it is great to know that the jobs that Walmart is providing to skilled and nonskilled workers are good paying ones!!...It is refreshing to hear a positive attitute toward Corporate America....I love the many opportunities this country provides!!

ChrissyB
04-07-2008, 11:22 PM
I definatly have a love hate relationship with walmart. I do find myself shopping groceries there more often these days. Food is getting soooooo expensive, and walmart is signifigantly cheeper in the things I buy. I do try to stay away from other "cheep" stuff, toys, etc. Something that swayed me a little more twords the love, in the magazine Green Guide (put out by natiional geographic) there is a big article on walmarts recycling efforts with plastic bags. They are apparently the first big chain store to do this, pretty good if you ask me.
As far as people who work at walmart, it is a choice. I would not guess that they have the best wages or benefits in the world, but in the end some people just need a job. It seems that walmart will hire lots of people, and if you are someone who has made lots of mistakes, has no work history, dropped out of schoo etc, do you really expect to get a coushy job with excellent benefits, vacation time and the works? Probably not. Yes everyone should be treated fairly, but sometimes our expectations of what that means can be a little unrealistic. Just my 2 cents!

bjc1050
04-08-2008, 01:20 PM
The "Mom and Pop" stores that have gone out of business probably didn't pay any better than Walmart and probably offered no benefits. My 1st job was for a small drug store. The pay was $.50 an hour - the only benefit was that I cold nibble at the lunch counter. Left there to work for Tastee Freeze (big business comparatively) and was paid $1.25 per hour - still with no benefits although much better pay.

salos
04-25-2008, 09:18 AM
The wages at our local WM have always been bad. They vary that a lot from one location to another.

Cynamar
04-25-2008, 12:54 PM
One thing I've heard a lot, and experienced during a very short employment there, is that they don't like to give you full-time hours. I don't know if it's to avoid providing other benefits.

JessicaR
04-25-2008, 01:23 PM
I'm jumping in here late but I just quit my Wal-mart job a week ago. Actually, I loved it but it was more then I could handle personally. And when my manager said to me "You better care because it's your livelihood" my little rebel inside said "F**k no it ain't! I'll turn tricks on the street before I ever depend on Wal-mart for anything!"

So, yeah, character flaw I suppose :roll: I made more there starting off then I was at with 4.5 years in at Target. And the benefits were good. But Wal-mart needs to be your life and I have too much other stuff going on in mine. So, I just got a job up at the local restaurant as a prep person and dishwasher. That's what I wanted, something low stress. But since I worked for big box retailers my whole life this is quite an adjustment!