Sunday, February 12, 2006

runaway capitalism?

"Wal-Mart is on a rampage across America but no one is doing anything about it," says hardware store worker John Faenza in the film. Greenwald reports that wages and property values fell when Wal-Mart came to town.

a rampage? no one is doing anything about it? lets play a little game shall we? its called lets be honest here. i'm going to be brutally honest and you are going to try and do the same.

corporate rampage?
wal mart started out the same way every other business did. it battled competition, it survived, it grew. so what is so evil about it now?

poor healthcare options?
i would like to know when it became a private firm's responsibility to provide healthcare to the people it employs. sure, its a nice thing to do, but is it a requirement?

"the average wage is between $7.50 and $8.50 an hour, the average-on-the-clock workweek is only 32 hours."
7.50 & 8.50? thats nothing to laugh at. 32 hours a week? about what you'd expect for your average american job. that is what we get when we work jobs like this. a wal mart employee will not make as much as say, a sewage treatment expert. but the average american may not have gone to school to learn the viscous and slightly odiferous ways of the sewage treatment professional. you need little to no education to work at wal mart, it is not a career (which those in capitalist societies should seek) but a job. the people who work at wal mart are not forced into their work. they work there because to them, it is better than not working at all. wal mart does well and employs people because of the very things that the WM haters complain about. non union employees, poor healthcare options and lower than low prices. but these people work at wal mart because they choose to, just as the people who shop there choose to. that is the beauty of the capitalist system. walmart is not putting small merchants out of business because it is an "evil corporation", consumers are putting small merchants out of business because they are opportunists, and in a word, capitalists. they will shop where the price is best and the place most convenient. these people need to realize that it is not corporate greed, but simple economics that they are angry at. but everybody loves a target...
Image hosting by Photobucket
img courtesy of meetup dot com


Poonem said...

So these people actually think...

a.] Wal-Mart is going to take over society with it's low low prices.


b.] That we can actually stop them.

I'm drunk and this is too much.

Anonymous said...

Points well made.

But: here is my opinion on the walmart shopping experience, from a pure consumer's p.o.v:

I think they have a poor selection, the service is poor, and I find it hard to find things. And most of the products they carry are geared toward the tastes of a poorer demographic..

But- they are open 24/7. That is why I find myself most often shopping there.

My opinion is that I just don't feel that a retailer that offers such poor quality and service should be dominating the market...simply because it can offer the most departments of stuff for the cheapest, and be able to stay open the longest..

that is my opinion.
And don't big box retailers, of which walmart being the grand example, help to create sprawl...which is an inefficient use of land.. not on a city or town grid, but based off of freeways...

well I'm not the expert on sprawl, but I find it fascinating.

But that leads me to the question-- what came first, the big box or the sprawl? methinks I have some research to do.

I, personally, do not enjoy the big box store environment.. but, if the walmart is literally the only thing around, like in more rural areas... then people are, in fact, de-facto forced to shop there.

But I do suppose you can come up with the argument that people can make a trip out of the boonies to do their shopping if they really do want a better selection, and better service..

And that maybe the stores in "the boonies" did not have much of a selection before walmart came along..

The more uncharted territory I wade into here, the more I realize I do not know..

Hopefully, I have made some fresh points though.

I didn't know you were so anti-socialist. This is gonna to be fun, as I have never talked to one of those before *wide grin*

Anonymous said...

^^ I also think it's hellza funny that they are protesting because of the low wages. Because I agree with you on that.. their wages are not low for cashier's all.

The Mrs. said...

Wal-Mart is totally fucked up. Their ethics are nonexsistent. They're complaining about putting 8% towards their employees health benifits....but this will only be in the state of MD. Only ONE STATE!!! Christ on Crutches! I will continue to not shop there (yes even poor kids who are going to school and working for shitty pay can afford NOT to shop at Wal-MArt!).

PS Justin... I like your blog... you chutney loving fool! <3

staticwarp said...

im so happy to get some feedback! this is pretty killer...

mo: ethics nonexistent? what is so unethical about the practice of minimizing cost and maximizing profit? every business does it. one reason wal marts prices remain low because they have limited healthcare options. many walmarts advocate the HSA (health savings acct.), which encourages people to (god forbid) take some responsibility for their own health care by saving and investing money instead of looking for a redistribution of wealth from a corporation or government agency. this 8% that you speak of was legislated and passed by the overwhelmingly liberal and democratic politicos here in MD. thats why its only one state: so far only maryland legislators have been weak enough to pander to the union lobbyists who are demanding that walmart unionize, pay full medical benefits, and raise wages, among other things. i find it unfortunate that they succeeded in MD, because other states are next on the list. unions started out as a way for workers to get what they deserve. now they are working fervently to impinge upon other citizen's and business' rights to not unionize. this is economic fascism, and it is working. lets not forget that the bigger the union, the more workers it has, the more dues it collects. the unions of today are trying to make money for themselves, while masking it as concern for other workers. unions have a history of putting their employers out of business.

BTW i applaud you for not shopping there if you dont approve of their practices. this absence of hypocrisy is difficult to find. you get +5 respect points! ^_^

The Mrs. said...

Ok justin my sweet, they are certainly not making employees take health care into their own hands. They're putting in OUR hands (the tax payer). Wal-MArt encourges their employees to be on medicare and other gov't supported health programs. So when the 10,000 or so employees decide to except these programs they boost our taxes up. Now im not a super liberal but Wal-Mart needs to take care of their employees. Wal-Mart is fucking US!!! And people seem to like it >:(

staticwarp said...

point taken and well made, mo. the absence of employee benefits does encourage wal mart employees to take part in the various medical welfare programs which our government is currently funding with our tax dollars. however, i still cannot concede that it is wal marts responsibility, nor any other company's, to provide anything more than a stable work environment for the employees who choose to work there. it is wal mart's prerogative to do business as its shareholders and executives see fit. what bothers me the most is when the government kowtows to union lobbyists and passes legislation dictating how wal mart is to spend the money it earns. it does not state anywhere in our constitution, wherein the powers, checks, and balances of government are delineated, that elected officials can decide how, when, and where a private company spends its profits. they get away with this because of the considerable proliferation of wealth envy that is ever present in our country. just look at how the government rounded up those oil executives a few months ago and browbeat them about how much money they make, and attempted to force them to pay for poor american's heating oil. would have been nice, but these are not non profit groups. they are in business to make money, and they stay in business because they do.

as to the issue of our tax funded medical welfare programs, my god, thats another sticky ball of wax, one that i am not yet informed enough to comment on... ~_O

The Mrs. said...

Im glad you have an opposing opinion (that is thought out and intelligent) on this subject. Hope your day is splended my friend :)

staticwarp said...

you too, mo! this type of debate is effective and enlightening, instead of heated and enraging. i started this for this very reason, to have intelligent debate on issues that are important and interesting to me. opposing arguments stimulate thought, and without them our thoughts and opinions would stagnate, become outdated and rot away into uselessness. now if only our government and news media could figure this out...

thanks very much for your thoughts on this subject and your support. y'all come back nah... ^_^