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Old 03-27-2008, 07:40 PM   #41
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- 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.
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Old 03-27-2008, 11:10 PM   #42
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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!

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Old 03-28-2008, 11:26 AM   #43
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walmart is not all bad....
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.

Copyright 2007 CanWest Interactive, a division of CanWest MediaWorks Publications, Inc.. All rights reserved.
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:38 AM   #44
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I just happened to be looking on ( 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...
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Old 03-28-2008, 10:05 PM   #45
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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.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."--Margaret Mead
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Old 03-29-2008, 01:13 PM   #46
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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.

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Old 03-29-2008, 02:22 PM   #47
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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.
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Old 03-29-2008, 05:32 PM   #48
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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.
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Old 03-29-2008, 05:39 PM   #49
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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.

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Old 03-30-2008, 11:16 AM   #50
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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.
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