Law School Discussion

Off-Topic Area => General Off-Topic Board => Topic started by: Julie Fern on August 01, 2008, 08:52:25 AM

Title: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Julie Fern on August 01, 2008, 08:52:25 AM
apparently wal-mart not realize there lot more employees than managers:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121755649066303381.html
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: EarlCat on August 01, 2008, 10:06:17 AM
And with a weak economy, what better time to increase labor costs!
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Julie Fern on August 01, 2008, 11:50:50 AM
did you say that when took new job?  julie guessing not.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Maddie on August 01, 2008, 01:53:19 PM
I'd rather WalMart pay higher labor costs than have higher taxes because I am paying for welfare for Walmart's employees who are below the poverty line.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: EarlCat on August 01, 2008, 07:35:20 PM
did you say that when took new job?  julie guessing not.

No, the previous guy got paid more, so their cost of labor went down. 
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: EarlCat on August 01, 2008, 07:36:34 PM
I'd rather WalMart pay higher labor costs than have higher taxes.

How about both?
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: sheltron5000 on August 01, 2008, 08:09:08 PM
I'm sorry, but the walton family stealing a billion dollars less profit next year just is not going to hurt them or me. And if they take home less money, they also pay fewer taxes. Oh wait, they already don't pay taxes. Huh, why are they worried about unions?
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Maddie on August 01, 2008, 10:18:50 PM

I don't care about Walmart's profits, I care about my own taxes going up because of the cost of benefits for their underpaid employees. That, and the exploited workers themselves.  I have nothing good to say about Walmart.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: EarlCat on August 01, 2008, 11:59:34 PM
How about benefits for their soon-to-be unemployed employees?
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: sheltron5000 on August 02, 2008, 02:45:03 AM
Earlcat, be serious. Walmart makes over $12,000,000,000.00 in NET profit (http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/global500/2008/snapshots/2255.html (http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/global500/2008/snapshots/2255.html)) per year. As a privately owned company, even if they paid $1000 per year extra to each employee (approx. 2 mil.) for benefits,--considering how many of those people work part time this would be unexpected--they would still have over $10,000,000,000.00 in take home profits. If they want to keep making that money, they will have to keep employing people, and you can't outsource retail.

Making it POSSIBLE for walmart employees to unionize is not going to increase your taxes, instead it will be more likely to lower them when walmart can stop handing out brochures on how to obtain welfare support.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: jeffislouie on August 02, 2008, 08:52:21 AM
Earlcat, be serious. Walmart makes over $12,000,000,000.00 in NET profit (http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/global500/2008/snapshots/2255.html (http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/global500/2008/snapshots/2255.html)) per year. As a privately owned company, even if they paid $1000 per year extra to each employee (approx. 2 mil.) for benefits,--considering how many of those people work part time this would be unexpected--they would still have over $10,000,000,000.00 in take home profits. If they want to keep making that money, they will have to keep employing people, and you can't outsource retail.

Making it POSSIBLE for walmart employees to unionize is not going to increase your taxes, instead it will be more likely to lower them when walmart can stop handing out brochures on how to obtain welfare support.

Ah, I just love a good wealth redistribution argument.  Sure, I'm all for punishing the wealthy who worked hard, innovated, invested, and created a business!  Those poor workers, under threats of violence or death, have all been forced to work at wal-mart!  They DESERVE more money because they show up for work part time, sometimes even on time, and are occasional helpful to the customers.  Have you ever BEEN to wal mart?

Please explain to me the idea that wal mart owes their employees anything more than an agreed upon wage and some hours.  Last time I checked, no one is forced to work at wal mart.  And the wal mart starting wage is well above the minimum.  And their average hourly wage is well above the norm.  And most companies won't give part timers health insurance. 

So now that you've been confused by questions, I am wondering if you can explain to me why wal mart should lose a couple of billion dollars to pay unskilled laborers who get paid as well or better than other uninsured unskilled laborers?  I adore white, rich liberal guilt so....
People don't quit being accountants to work at wal mart as a greeter.  The average hourly wal mart employee has a high school education or less. They tend not to care about customer service, many of them steal from wal mart, and for the most part are some of the laziest workers our society has ever produced.  Having run businesses before, I can tell you first hand that hourly employees steal.  Alot.  Every chance they get.  Don't think they are lazy?  Go take a walk in your local wal mart.  Watch these people hide so they can't be asked questions.  Watch them take half an hour to stock a shelf that should take 5 minutes.  Watch them take breaks every 15 minutes.  I once went to a wal mart and my girlfriend ran in.  Two employees were sitting outside, in uniform, smoking.  It was a windy day.  I didn't see it, but a cart had been pushed by the wind, rather slowly, and was heading for my car.  I noticed it because I turned my head to see what they were looking at.  It rolled right past them and hit my car, scratching my door.  Yeah, these aren't the best workers on the planet.
No one DESERVES health insurance.  No one owes anyone health insurance.  There is no law requiring an employer to provide it.  There is no custom where it is expected.  The reasons liberal like to cry to the heaven about how unjust it is that companies that are in the business of making money make money without insuring their unskilled laborers is because they know that no matter what these people were paid, they wouldn't buy their own health insurance anyway.  And why would they when the new iPhone 3G is out?
Walmart didn't lie, cheat and steal to get where they are.  They worked hard.  They created jobs.  The provided a way for people to save money on the items they need.  The fact that they make money isn't something to be used against them.  It should be applauded.
Sam Walton grew up the son of a farmer during the great depression and eventually became the richest man in America.  I wonder if Sam whined about not having health insurance?
Welcome to America - land of the whiners.
When our parents parents couldn't find work, they moved.  We stand in unemployment lines and try to lay blame at the bush administrations feet.

And let's not forget what the unions actually do - they raise labor costs while stealing membership dues from every check, often resulting is a zero sum advantage or, in some cases, workers pocketing less money that before the union arrived.
Unions have become businesses of their own with their own money hungry leaders bilking their memberships while providing little actual help.

And none of this will matter if Obama wins because he's going to take corporate profits and raise taxes, forcing employers to lay off employees, plunging our nation into a depression (just like what happened just before the great depression - look it up.  it's called history).
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: brianwithani on August 02, 2008, 09:56:40 AM
Earlcat, be serious. Walmart makes over $12,000,000,000.00 in NET profit (http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/global500/2008/snapshots/2255.html (http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/global500/2008/snapshots/2255.html)) per year. As a privately owned company, even if they paid $1000 per year extra to each employee (approx. 2 mil.) for benefits,--considering how many of those people work part time this would be unexpected--they would still have over $10,000,000,000.00 in take home profits. If they want to keep making that money, they will have to keep employing people, and you can't outsource retail.

Making it POSSIBLE for walmart employees to unionize is not going to increase your taxes, instead it will be more likely to lower them when walmart can stop handing out brochures on how to obtain welfare support.

Ah, I just love a good wealth redistribution argument.  Sure, I'm all for punishing the wealthy who worked hard, innovated, invested, and created a business!  Those poor workers, under threats of violence or death, have all been forced to work at wal-mart!  They DESERVE more money because they show up for work part time, sometimes even on time, and are occasional helpful to the customers.  Have you ever BEEN to wal mart?

Please explain to me the idea that wal mart owes their employees anything more than an agreed upon wage and some hours.  Last time I checked, no one is forced to work at wal mart.  And the wal mart starting wage is well above the minimum.  And their average hourly wage is well above the norm.  And most companies won't give part timers health insurance. 

So now that you've been confused by questions, I am wondering if you can explain to me why wal mart should lose a couple of billion dollars to pay unskilled laborers who get paid as well or better than other uninsured unskilled laborers?  I adore white, rich liberal guilt so....
People don't quit being accountants to work at wal mart as a greeter.  The average hourly wal mart employee has a high school education or less. They tend not to care about customer service, many of them steal from wal mart, and for the most part are some of the laziest workers our society has ever produced.  Having run businesses before, I can tell you first hand that hourly employees steal.  Alot.  Every chance they get.  Don't think they are lazy?  Go take a walk in your local wal mart.  Watch these people hide so they can't be asked questions.  Watch them take half an hour to stock a shelf that should take 5 minutes.  Watch them take breaks every 15 minutes.  I once went to a wal mart and my girlfriend ran in.  Two employees were sitting outside, in uniform, smoking.  It was a windy day.  I didn't see it, but a cart had been pushed by the wind, rather slowly, and was heading for my car.  I noticed it because I turned my head to see what they were looking at.  It rolled right past them and hit my car, scratching my door.  Yeah, these aren't the best workers on the planet.
No one DESERVES health insurance.  No one owes anyone health insurance.  There is no law requiring an employer to provide it.  There is no custom where it is expected.  The reasons liberal like to cry to the heaven about how unjust it is that companies that are in the business of making money make money without insuring their unskilled laborers is because they know that no matter what these people were paid, they wouldn't buy their own health insurance anyway.  And why would they when the new iPhone 3G is out?
Walmart didn't lie, cheat and steal to get where they are.  They worked hard.  They created jobs.  The provided a way for people to save money on the items they need.  The fact that they make money isn't something to be used against them.  It should be applauded.
Sam Walton grew up the son of a farmer during the great depression and eventually became the richest man in America.  I wonder if Sam whined about not having health insurance?
Welcome to America - land of the whiners.
When our parents parents couldn't find work, they moved.  We stand in unemployment lines and try to lay blame at the bush administrations feet.

And let's not forget what the unions actually do - they raise labor costs while stealing membership dues from every check, often resulting is a zero sum advantage or, in some cases, workers pocketing less money that before the union arrived.
Unions have become businesses of their own with their own money hungry leaders bilking their memberships while providing little actual help.

And none of this will matter if Obama wins because he's going to take corporate profits and raise taxes, forcing employers to lay off employees, plunging our nation into a depression (just like what happened just before the great depression - look it up.  it's called history).


Are you f'ing kidding me?  First, the Walton Family didn't do squat to start that business or innovate or any of that other crap.  Sam Walton was possibly one of the great businessmen of the 20th century.  The Walton Family sits back and collects the billions from Sam's creation and the sharks they have running the corporation. So let's not hold them up as great innovators of industry.  Wal Mart is about the bottom line and that is okay in a capitalist economy.  But it is America and under the current laws of the land, folks have a right to unionize and fight for better working conditions, benefits and pay. 

Now I'm not a huge fan of unions, my dad used to always say, "without the unions the company will screw you...with the unions, the company AND the union screw you."  My lone exp with unions as a member of the Teamsters at UPS, sort of reinforced that.  As an employee of Wal Mart, what is worse, being in a union or having to go to those "Rah, Rah" sessions every morning?   

And the Great Depression was caused by something called laissez faire economic policies of a pathetic Republican President, you know Herbert Hoover?  The roarin 20's, a time of unregulated speculation and irresponsible business practices.  Sound familiar?  Say what you want about FDR's socialist policies but he inherited that mess from that idiot Hoover, just like Obama will inherit this mess from W. 
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Jamie Stringer on August 02, 2008, 12:19:55 PM

I don't care about Walmart's profits, I care about my own taxes going up because of the cost of benefits for their underpaid employees. That, and the exploited workers themselves.  I have nothing good to say about Walmart.

1.  Define underpaid. 

2.  Define exploited.

Seems to me the workers at WalMart get a fair wage for what they do.  If you don't want to pay higher taxes for someone's benefits, there's other ways to stop that.

http://www.mindfully.org/Industry/2004/Wal-Mart-Workers-Lock-Ins18jan04.htm

I know, you'll probably say that these employees have choices and could work elsewhere.  However, as has already been mentioned, when you don't have much education and you're living in a town where many other smaller businesses have likely gone under due to Walmart's presence, that tends to reduce your options quite substantially.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: jeffislouie on August 02, 2008, 01:08:50 PM

I don't care about Walmart's profits, I care about my own taxes going up because of the cost of benefits for their underpaid employees. That, and the exploited workers themselves.  I have nothing good to say about Walmart.

1.  Define underpaid. 

2.  Define exploited.

Seems to me the workers at WalMart get a fair wage for what they do.  If you don't want to pay higher taxes for someone's benefits, there's other ways to stop that.

http://www.mindfully.org/Industry/2004/Wal-Mart-Workers-Lock-Ins18jan04.htm

I know, you'll probably say that these employees have choices and could work elsewhere.  However, as has already been mentioned, when you don't have much education and you're living in a town where many other smaller businesses have likely gone under due to Walmart's presence, that tends to reduce your options quite substantially.

If you can't find a job you like, you have a few options:
1) Stop working altogether and suck at the teat of the government
2) Do like unskilled workers have done since the dawn of capitalism - move where the jobs are.
3) Suck it up, work, get a college degree and get a better job.
4) Suck it up and just work hard.  there are countless stories of people starting as stock boys, becoming store managers and moving up through the company.  OR
5) Whine and female dog, try to unionize, force walmart to go non-union anyway and hire other people while your unemployed ass whines and bitches even more.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: jeffislouie on August 02, 2008, 01:23:20 PM

Are you f'ing kidding me?  First, the Walton Family didn't do squat to start that business or innovate or any of that other crap.  Sam Walton was possibly one of the great businessmen of the 20th century.  The Walton Family sits back and collects the billions from Sam's creation and the sharks they have running the corporation. So let's not hold them up as great innovators of industry.  Wal Mart is about the bottom line and that is okay in a capitalist economy.  But it is America and under the current laws of the land, folks have a right to unionize and fight for better working conditions, benefits and pay. 

Now I'm not a huge fan of unions, my dad used to always say, "without the unions the company will screw you...with the unions, the company AND the union screw you."  My lone exp with unions as a member of the Teamsters at UPS, sort of reinforced that.  As an employee of Wal Mart, what is worse, being in a union or having to go to those "Rah, Rah" sessions every morning?   

And the Great Depression was caused by something called laissez faire economic policies of a pathetic Republican President, you know Herbert Hoover?  The roarin 20's, a time of unregulated speculation and irresponsible business practices.  Sound familiar?  Say what you want about FDR's socialist policies but he inherited that mess from that idiot Hoover, just like Obama will inherit this mess from W. 

Sam Walton started the business.  He ran it for decades, building it into the enormous empire that it has become.  He left it to his children.  That's 100% on Sam Walton.  You cannot blame the modern day Waltons without understanding that Sam left it to them, which is well within his rights to do.  How they run it is quite literally of no concern to you. 
You are correct.  This is America and WalMart has to follow the laws of this land.  There is no law that says that a company has to work with or recognize a union under all circumstances.  Unions have no power if they represent people who don't work for anyone.  WalMart doesn't want their workforce to unionize because this will drive up costs.  In response to this, Walmart is forced to make some business decisions.  They can bow to the unions and increase their prices, hurting the consumer and their business.  They can bow to the unions and not raise prices, which reduces net income and is bad for business.  They can fire every unionized worker and only hire non-union workers, which is bad for the morons who think $9+ an hour isn't a good wage for someone with no skills.  Or they can shutter the business and fade away, which is bad for everyone.
Let's not forget - the Waltons don't "need" anymore money.  Currently, that family is the wealthiest family in the United States, if not the world.  But who would be the most hurt by that, the billionaires?  The government?  The unskilled laborers who won't be able to find jobs now that tens of thousands of people just like them are looking for the same jobs?  The communities that rely on walmart to provide them with quality goods at affordable prices?  The local municipalities who rely on Walmart for revenue?
Please.  Your dad is correct.  All unions do is punish the workers further and the businesses.  Unions were necessary before we had discrimination polcies, the minimum wage and safety standards, but right now they do far more damage than they do good.
Look at the auto industry.  GM has to pay workers NOT TO WORK.  The unions are primarily responsible for the big 3 automakers massive problems.  When the next one falls and millions are put out of work, thank the unions for guaranteeing everything and delivering nothing.  Along the way, the unions have taken hundreds of millions of workers dollars and squandered it while destroying the very companies that pay these workers and provide them with a very good living.
The great depression was made greater by liberal taxation in the lead up to the depression.  It's a fact.  The country was in a recession and the left won the white house, then instituted massive tax hikes, plunging this nation into the darkest of economic times.
Go read about it from an economist viewpoint and you will see that raising taxes when people are struggling tends to destroy economies, not build them up.  Tax the rich and they'll stop creating jobs.  They will lay people off to balance their books.  The poor get poorer and the rich find a way to get richer.
By the way, Sam Walton wasn't rich.  He was poor.  His father was a farmer who later got into the mortgage business.  Sam joined the army and when he returned, he bought a franchise with $5000 of his own money that he saved while in the army and a small loan.  He then opened several franchises and eventually his own stores, gradually evolving them into walmart.
Hating the rich and accusing them of stealing is intellectually dishonest.  I've watched the anti-walmart documentaries and found them to be inherently ridiculous.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: EarlCat on August 02, 2008, 02:19:07 PM
If they want to keep making that money, they will have to keep employing people, and you can't outsource retail.

You can't? (http://www.walmart.com)
...and I didn't say they'd ALL be unemployed, but it's ridiculous to think WalMart would employ as many people at a higher wage as they would at a lower wage.  Those who either get laid off or don't get hired at all will be unemployed.

Quote
Making it POSSIBLE for walmart employees to unionize is not going to increase your taxes, instead it will be more likely to lower them when walmart can stop handing out brochures on how to obtain welfare support.

Fail.  The original discussion was about what would happen if Democrats win in November.  1) WalMart will get unionized.  2) Your taxes will go up.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: brianwithani on August 02, 2008, 04:02:24 PM
The crash had nothing to do with liberal tax policies.  Now it is arguable that liberal policies may have worsened the depression initially but laissez faire economic policies would have destroyed the country, literally.  Anarchy, chaos, revolution. Chicago School, laissez faire, free market, trickle down economics, etc. do nothing but concentrate wealth in a very small number of people...and lead to revolution.  See nearly all of South America in the last 40 years...
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Jamie Stringer on August 02, 2008, 04:02:32 PM

I don't care about Walmart's profits, I care about my own taxes going up because of the cost of benefits for their underpaid employees. That, and the exploited workers themselves.  I have nothing good to say about Walmart.

1.  Define underpaid. 

2.  Define exploited.

Seems to me the workers at WalMart get a fair wage for what they do.  If you don't want to pay higher taxes for someone's benefits, there's other ways to stop that.

http://www.mindfully.org/Industry/2004/Wal-Mart-Workers-Lock-Ins18jan04.htm

I know, you'll probably say that these employees have choices and could work elsewhere.  However, as has already been mentioned, when you don't have much education and you're living in a town where many other smaller businesses have likely gone under due to Walmart's presence, that tends to reduce your options quite substantially.

If you can't find a job you like, you have a few options:
1) Stop working altogether and suck at the teat of the government
2) Do like unskilled workers have done since the dawn of capitalism - move where the jobs are.
3) Suck it up, work, get a college degree and get a better job.
4) Suck it up and just work hard.  there are countless stories of people starting as stock boys, becoming store managers and moving up through the company.  OR
5) Whine and female dog, try to unionize, force walmart to go non-union anyway and hire other people while your unemployed ass whines and bitches even more.


There are a lot of responses to your points, but I don't feel like going line by line right now.  I do, however, want to address the main point behind your post.  Are you saying that Walmart's practice of locking in employees and threatening them if they attempt to leave (even when in need of medical attention) is not exploitative?
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Julie Fern on August 02, 2008, 04:55:48 PM
did you say that when took new job? julie guessing not.

No, the previous guy got paid more, so their cost of labor went down.

well, maybe if you in union...
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Julie Fern on August 02, 2008, 04:58:50 PM

Please explain to me the idea that wal mart owes their employees anything more than an agreed upon wage and some hours. Last time I checked, no one is forced to work at wal mart. And the wal mart starting wage is well above the minimum. And their average hourly wage is well above the norm. And most companies won't give part timers health insurance.


julie never say otherwise.  issue is for what they can contract.  (actually, issue wal-mart's political campaigning for mcsame.)
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Julie Fern on August 02, 2008, 05:38:11 PM
apparently wal-mart not realize there lot more employees than managers:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121755649066303381.html

Not really -- they're just focusing on the people they're allowed to speak with.

Also, managers are of course employees.

ok, preppie.  peons and managers.  and there always more peons.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: brianwithani on August 02, 2008, 07:07:53 PM
...and I guess you blame the miserable losses that GM and Ford are taking right now on labor costs, right?  Those evil unions are causing the 12 billion dollars in losses...surely it's not that the management refused to use any of the windfall profits from their SUV sales in the 90's and early 2000's to invest in better fuel economy.  Noooo, no corporate responsibility, that would be heresy.  No they just jacked up the compensation packages for the upper management and played hardball when it came contract time for the hourly employees.  Now all the fund managers are crying in their beer because their pyramid scheme in the mortgage industry is falling apart and the oil speculators are driving oil prices into the stratosphere.  And you can blame China and India for the high gas prices all you want but even conservative economists put $40-$50 of the price of a barrel of oil on pure speculative mark up. 

My point is, and I do have one, that every position in this argument has a scapegoat.  Mine is executive level management.  Yours is the working poor, wage earners.  You can claim it's the evil unions, but ultimately it's the workers getting the shaft. 
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: sheltron5000 on August 03, 2008, 01:28:11 AM
First of all, walmart is the largest single employer in the US. That means that there are more walmart jobs than jobs of any other kind, that is why we pick on walmart. That means that without unions the employees have absolutely no power to negotiate wages. Just as all the conservatives have said, if you work for walmart and tell your boss you want $0.50 extra per hour, they'll laugh at you or fire you.
Second of all, labor is not a resource like other things. If you have an ounce of gold and someone offers you a price you don't like, you can hold on it it and wait for a better price. If someone offers you a bad job with no health care, eventually you are FORCED to accept it--you have to pay for all those bigmacs somehow.

But the truth of the situation is that walmart is already running with as few employees as they believe they can and still make money. Increasing labor costs (or making them reflect the real cost on society) is not going to cause massive layoffs at walmart. And neither will it hurt the company, which does not operate at slim margins, it is wildly profitable.

So yes, walmart hates unions; they cost walmart money. But just as walmart negotiates with the factories in china (which by the way, lindbergh, I never complained about), unions negotiate with walmart. The problem is that as the law stands now, walmart can very easily quash any unions by threatening all their employees with firings.

As for the taxes issue, MY taxes aren't going up, and, likely, neither are yours, Earlcat. And yes, I do have a problem with walmart's not paying its fair share of the tax burdon.  Rather than trying to close the tax loopholes that they are sooo good at creating, I'm asking my congress person to ask them to shoulder it in a different way, by making it easier to unionize and force them to pay the REAL costs of labor.

If you have a problem with your taxes going up, I suggest you take that up with your congress person, you might mention corporate loop holes.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Gengiswump on August 03, 2008, 01:30:56 PM
Let me just note for the record that I think it's terrible that companies like walmart and costco provide low-cost goods for working class families, improving their standard of living. 

I think it's terrible that they purchase good from China, meaning a higher standard of living for people far worse off than the poorest american.  I also think it's terrible that such trade creates economic interdependence, and minimizes the risk of military conflict with such countries. 

Finally, I think it's terrible that such companies provide jobs for low-skilled people, until they can find better jobs. 

Given that the standard of living for most americans has gone up over the last few decades, not down, and that the unemployment rate has gone down over the last few decades, not up, it is clear that such policies are harmful to our nation, and must be stopped. 

Umm, just to chime in here, you can't put WalMart and CostCo in the same group at all when it comes to employee welfare and benefits.  For 1) it's just patently disingenuous to have them in the same group as they are not generally recognized as the same market - it should be Sam's Club and CostCo, not WalMart and Costco.  2) CostCo pays a much better average wage ($18 p/h on the floor, as I recall, yes there is, in fact, an article that articulates this fact while detailing the somewhat revolutionary managerial style of CostCo's CEO) than Walmart/Sam's Club and provides better benefits.

I mean, if you want to defend WalMart I think you're a raging loony, but at least be honest in your lunacy.  Let's not pretend like the salaries paid at Walmart are super reasonable, nor that the benefits provided are astronomical to the community at large.  Not to mention that WalMart just loves censorship.  C'mon now.  If you want a company to hold up as a positive example of non-unionization, at least pick one that's a wee bit less controversial in employee treatment, like IBM or something.  (Though IBM's controversy isn't exactly nonexistent, at least it's more difficult to assert that people aren't being paid and don't have other options.)

For the record, if it isn't clear, I'm distinctly pro-unions.  And very, very anti-WalMart.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: EarlCat on August 04, 2008, 11:30:02 AM
Are you saying that Walmart's practice of locking in employees and threatening them if they attempt to leave (even when in need of medical attention) is not exploitative?

This is already illegal, but nice job moving the goal-posts.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: EarlCat on August 04, 2008, 11:30:51 AM
oil speculators are driving oil prices into the stratosphere.

el oh el

Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: EarlCat on August 04, 2008, 11:48:03 AM
First of all, walmart is the largest single employer in the US. That means that there are more walmart jobs than jobs of any other kind, that is why we pick on walmart. That means that without unions the employees have absolutely no power to negotiate wages. Just as all the conservatives have said, if you work for walmart and tell your boss you want $0.50 extra per hour, they'll laugh at you or fire you.

If your labor is worth at least another $.50, someone will pay it. 
 
Quote
Second of all, labor is not a resource like other things. If you have an ounce of gold and someone offers you a price you don't like, you can hold on it it and wait for a better price. If someone offers you a bad job with no health care, eventually you are FORCED to accept it--you have to pay for all those bigmacs somehow.

How is it you're "forced" to sell your skills at a price you don't like, but not your gold.  Both would be sufficient for purchasing all those big macs. 

Quote
But the truth of the situation is that walmart is already running with as few employees as they believe they can and still make money.  Increasing labor costs (or making them reflect the real cost on society) is not going to cause massive layoffs at walmart.

Walmart is running with as few employees as they believe they can AT CURRENT WAGES and still MAXIMIZE THEIR RETURN.  Many jobs at Wal-Mart could be automated, but it's likely cheaper to hire a human being at current wages.  If a WalMart associate costs $10/hr to employ, and a machine that can do the same task costs $11/hr to operate, the machine will take the associate's place if the associate starts to cost $12/hr.

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And neither will it hurt the company, which does not operate at slim margins, it is wildly profitable.

WalMart's profits come from big volume, not big margins.  Their entire business plan is based on razor thin margins.

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As for the taxes issue, MY taxes aren't going up, and, likely, neither are yours, Earlcat.

You think Obama's lying when he promises to raise taxes?

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And yes, I do have a problem with walmart's not paying its fair share of the tax burdon.

What, exactly, is their "fair share" and who was anointed to determine it?

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Rather than trying to close the tax loopholes that they are sooo good at creating, I'm asking my congress person to ask them to shoulder it in a different way, by making it easier to unionize and force them to pay the REAL costs of labor.

What makes union wages "real"??  If I can buy your service elsewhere for cheaper than you want to sell it, am I not paying the real cost?

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If you have a problem with your taxes going up, I suggest you take that up with your congress person, you might mention corporate loop holes.

I wrote one for 8th grade civics class, and an intern sent me back a nice form-letter.  Good plan.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Maddie on August 04, 2008, 12:18:05 PM
Are you saying that Walmart's practice of locking in employees and threatening them if they attempt to leave (even when in need of medical attention) is not exploitative?

This is already illegal, but nice job moving the goal-posts.

It is illegal, but it still happens, and the fact that it still happens at one of our nation's largest employers when some of the biggest tragedies in labor history happened as a result of lock-ins is horrifying to say the least.  My home town is basically dominated by a Walmart.  It is definitely the largest employer in my town.  Several high school classmates of mine work there and had to take an anti-union indoctrination course, in addition to taking various forms of abuse including being forced to work off the clock.  And as someone else mentioned, quitting and getting another job is just not always an option.  Small businesses close up in towns dominated by Walmarts, and in this economy quitting a job that sucks is no guarantee you will be able to find another one.  I am usually opposed to anecdotal evidence, but based on the plethora of lawsuits surrounding Walmart for these and other tactics, I do not believe it is entirely anecdotal.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Jamie Stringer on August 04, 2008, 12:18:59 PM
Are you saying that Walmart's practice of locking in employees and threatening them if they attempt to leave (even when in need of medical attention) is not exploitative?

This is already illegal, but nice job moving the goal-posts.


How is that "moving the goalposts?"  My original post said that I believe Walmart's practices are exploitative.  Another poster said they weren't and I linked to an article.  The above point wasn't directed to you, but way to personalize the argument.

In any event, has this practice been deemed illegal in all states?  Last I read, it was legal in some states, provided there is a fire exit.  Of course, the problem came from the fact that these people were told that if they used that exit and there was no fire, they'd be fired (even if it was an emergency).

Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: EarlCat on August 04, 2008, 03:54:42 PM
How is that "moving the goalposts?"  My original post said that I believe Walmart's practices are exploitative.  Another poster said they weren't and I linked to an article.  The above point wasn't directed to you, but way to personalize the argument.

The discussion so far had been about unionizing Wal-Mart and the effect of increasing their employees' wages.  One might argue that WalMart's wages are exploitative (and thus require union intervention), but union negotiations are irrelevant when talking about activity that is already illegal.  And how was I personalizing the argument?  I didn't call you names or talk about your mother.

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In any event, has this practice been deemed illegal in all states?  Last I read, it was legal in some states, provided there is a fire exit.  Of course, the problem came from the fact that these people were told that if they used that exit and there was no fire, they'd be fired (even if it was an emergency).

This is silly.  Why not simply fire anyone who walks out the unlocked front door?
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Jamie Stringer on August 04, 2008, 04:02:21 PM

I don't care about Walmart's profits, I care about my own taxes going up because of the cost of benefits for their underpaid employees. That, and the exploited workers themselves.  I have nothing good to say about Walmart.

1.  Define underpaid. 

2.  Define exploited.

Seems to me the workers at WalMart get a fair wage for what they do.  If you don't want to pay higher taxes for someone's benefits, there's other ways to stop that.

http://www.mindfully.org/Industry/2004/Wal-Mart-Workers-Lock-Ins18jan04.htm

I know, you'll probably say that these employees have choices and could work elsewhere.  However, as has already been mentioned, when you don't have much education and you're living in a town where many other smaller businesses have likely gone under due to Walmart's presence, that tends to reduce your options quite substantially.

Within the scope of the conversation, the point was perfectly relevant.


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In any event, has this practice been deemed illegal in all states?  Last I read, it was legal in some states, provided there is a fire exit.  Of course, the problem came from the fact that these people were told that if they used that exit and there was no fire, they'd be fired (even if it was an emergency).

This is silly.  Why not simply fire anyone who walks out the unlocked front door?

Ummm...because it hasn't been unlocked, which has been the whole point????  Because threatening to fire people when they need to leave due to medical emergency (including emergencies that happen from workplace injury) is the mark of a shittastic employer?  If it were that simple and they could just fire anyone who left out of an unlocked front door, why didn't they keep them unlocked in the first place?

Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: EarlCat on August 04, 2008, 05:02:09 PM
Ummm...because it hasn't been unlocked, which has been the whole point????  Because threatening to fire people when they need to leave due to medical emergency (including emergencies that happen from workplace injury) is the mark of a shittastic employer?  If it were that simple and they could just fire anyone who left out of an unlocked front door, why didn't they keep them unlocked in the first place?

That was my question.  Why would they lock any doors if there was an unlocked fire exit, and if they could just fire anyone who left through the fire exit, why not just leave all the doors unlocked and fire anyone who left at all.  Something doesn't add up.

And I'm not condoning locking people in, nor am I saying WalMart isn't shittastic to work for (most employers of unskilled labor are), but what does this have to do with unions?
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: jeffislouie on August 04, 2008, 05:21:07 PM
"Just as all the conservatives have said, if you work for walmart and tell your boss you want $0.50 extra per hour, they'll laugh at you or fire you. "

And you know this because it's true or because you think it's true?

"Second of all, labor is not a resource like other things. If you have an ounce of gold and someone offers you a price you don't like, you can hold on it it and wait for a better price. If someone offers you a bad job with no health care, eventually you are FORCED to accept it--you have to pay for all those bigmacs somehow."

What?  So I am sure to understand you, in this country you HAVE to take jobs that pay less than you want without health insurance?  That sucks.  Because I went to high school every day expecting to go to college.  Then I went to college, dropped out, entered the work force, busted my rear end, made more money than some of my college buddies, returned to college, got my degree, got a job at a fortune 500, made loads of money, then quit to go to law school.  Somehow I managed to avoid bad jobs with no health care along the way.  Maybe I'm special.

"But the truth of the situation is that walmart is already running with as few employees as they believe they can and still make money. Increasing labor costs (or making them reflect the real cost on society) is not going to cause massive layoffs at walmart. And neither will it hurt the company, which does not operate at slim margins, it is wildly profitable."

You mean walmart is doing what every other business and government agency (supposedly) does?  They run efficiently and profitably?  CRIMINALS!  Find me a business that runs with more employees that they need and I'll show you a business that is on the way out.  Unionizing will result in increased labor costs, which will cause walmart to do what a lot of companies will have to do - lay people off, keep the best they can, and ask those that stay to do more.  Just ask your grandfather.  He'll set you straight.

"The problem is that as the law stands now, walmart can very easily quash any unions by threatening all their employees with firings."

And your problem with this is........ what?
In this country, private companies owe no duty to employees to continue their employment beyond the employment contract.  If they have a reason to fire employees that is legitimate, I fail to see an issue here.

"As for the taxes issue, MY taxes aren't going up, and, likely, neither are yours, Earlcat. And yes, I do have a problem with walmart's not paying its fair share of the tax burdon."

How much did Walmart pay in taxes last year?  How much should they have paid?
I'm curious, because people like to talk about loopholes yet rarely, if ever, know what the heck they are talking about.
For example - oil companies.  They pay more in taxes to the government than they clear in profits.  Alot more.
"Take Exxon Mobil, which on Thursday reported the highest quarterly profit ever and is the main target of any "windfall" tax surcharge. Yet if its profits are at record highs, its tax bills are already at record highs too. Between 2003 and 2007, Exxon paid $64.7 billion in U.S. taxes, exceeding its after-tax U.S. earnings by more than $19 billion."
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121780636275808495.html?mod=opinion_main_review_and_outlooks

"If you have a problem with your taxes going up, I suggest you take that up with your congress person, you might mention corporate loop holes. "
[/quote]

And I suggest you vote for McCain so you don't have to worry about bleeding heart libs bilking you. 
Here's a fun fact:
McCain and Obama are virtually tied as of today (a deat heat).  And this is with the MSM treating Obama like a rock star, refusing to ask difficult questions, fawning over him, and covering his campaign with glitz (Obama coverage far exceeds McCain coverage).  If he couldn't seal the deal with "The Obama world tour - 2008" rock show, what is he going to do to win (you know, besides change all of his position after feeding the democrats with his liberalism to beat out the more moderate, but far crazier, Hillary in the primaries)?
Closing 'loopholes' isn't going to help anyone but the government prosper.  Closing these 'loopholes' isn't going to mean more jobs, better jobs, or health care.  It's going to mean that the government takes more money from the very industries and people that pay the overwhelming bulk of the taxes collected.  Check your facts - you are being led astray by illogical, completely innaccurate political double speak, written and performed by clowns trying to win elections so they can attain power and wealth.
Admittedly, I pay more attention to the clowns that lean right.  Clearly you listen to the clowns on the left.  Try not to forget that they are still clowns!
Indulge your lawerly mind and let the emotional and illogical melt away.  Focus on the analytical.
Good luck with your civic action.  Even though we disagree, I hope your efforts pay off.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Saxby Clemens II on August 05, 2008, 06:26:36 PM
The worst thing about this entire debate is people who chastise Wal-Mart, but somehow Target is ignored or exempt from the critical eye of the consumers concerned for the well-being of the little, unskilled worker.  It isn't like Target is any better. Their workers are paid just as little, if not less, and receive as little health care as Wal-Mart's.  Yet, where are the rallies preventing Target from building in a new area? Or the websites setup for propaganda against Target? Or the documentaries? Or the political condemnations?

I'd rather WalMart pay higher labor costs than have higher taxes because I am paying for welfare for Walmart's employees who are below the poverty line.

Wal-Mart is paying for them too - it isn't like Wal-Mart is exempt from taxes.

I'm sorry, but the walton family stealing a billion dollars less profit next year just is not going to hurt them or me. And if they take home less money, they also pay fewer taxes. Oh wait, they already don't pay taxes. Huh, why are they worried about unions?

While Wal-Mart is clever in their methods of avoiding taxes, they still pay taxes.  If you have issue with the fact that Wal-Mart pays less taxes then you think they deserve, you should take that up with a congressman. 

Wal-Mart is worried about unions because unions have been historically bad for big business in the United States.  There is a reason the big three automakers are brought up whenever the word "union" is mentioned - their failures to compete in the auto industry can be linked to unions. 

 ::)

That has to be the most simplistic statement on this entire thread, and that's saying something. 
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Saxby Clemens II on August 06, 2008, 08:04:40 AM
Why do you think it is that people who can "barely make ends meet" shop at Wal Mart?  Maybe because they work there?  Perhaps because in parts of the country where there is little alternative to Wal Mart, in towns where most people work there or at other lower paying jobs, there is no choice but to pump wages earned right back into Wal Mart? 

Wal Mart is not some benevolent force bringing products to the poor masses who didn't get any book learnin'.  They know exactly what they're doing, and what they're doing is taking advantage of people with limited options, because they can.  WHEN THEY DON'T NEED TO in order to stay ridiculously profitable, as has already been pointed out.  It's disgusting when people say that it's fine for 14-year-olds in the third world to work for 10 cents an hour, because what would they do otherwise?  It's even more obnoxious when people try to justify pretty much the same thing in America.

Also, Wal Mart doesn't make all of it's money off the poor who would have to, apparently, live on the streets were it not for the kind hand of the Walton family.  There is one Wal Mart where I live, in RichWhiteVille, USA.  I can assure you that none of the Cadillacs or Lincolns or BMWs in the parking lot are driven by people who can't afford to pay five cents more down the road at KMart.  Or ten cents more at Target.  They're driven by people who so selfishly want to save five and ten cents on toilet paper they don't care what their patronage means for people in America and around the world who are abused by the Wal Mart system.  That's not affluence, it's not class, it's not sophistication.  It's straight up nouveau riche trash, and it's f-ing pathetic. 

Further, unions haven't destroyed the auto industry.  That's absolute crap spouted by people with little understanding beyond what they learned in freshman economics.  The American auto industry is in a pickle right now because they gave away the keys to the future while they were making bank in the 90s and early 00s with minivans, trucks and SUVs.  Their moronic WHITE COLLAR leadership pumped endless resources into areas that don't help a company survive an abysmal economy and $5 a gallon gas.  They didn't listen to anyone or anything not concerned with the immediate bottom line, they didn't really concern themselves with what consumers actually wanted, and they let foreign companies lure people away with cheap *&^% that'll run for 140,000 miles and get 30 miles to the gallon in the process. 

Has anyone bashing unions ever actually worked in an auto plant?  Clearly not, or you'd have a much better understanding and respect for the role unions have played in American industry.  I'm so tired of hearing a bunch of pansy-ass, paper-pushing, future dime-a-dozen lawyers, who would crap their pants if they had to actually WORK for a living, female dog about organizations that have given protection and security to the people who've kept America running for 200 years.  People who, for generations, have busted their asses, literally, keeping this country running.  In return, they got a living wage and $5 prescription drugs.  Oh, the horrors!  Especially since they clearly volunteered to be factory workers and shunned the readily available opportunities for higher education available to all Americans for free!  Riiight. 

Hrmm.  This post was a little harsh.  Oh well.  Last day of work and I'm bored.  And I wouldn't mind a donut, so, a little cranky?
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: brianwithani on August 06, 2008, 08:08:46 AM
Yeah!!  What saxby said!...MMMMM donuts....
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Matthies on August 06, 2008, 09:12:34 AM
It's disgusting when people say that it's fine for 14-year-olds in the third world to work for 10 cents an hour, because what would they do otherwise?  It's even more obnoxious when people try to justify pretty much the same thing in America.


Personally Iím glad there are kids out there willing to work for pennies an hour to scrape up enough money to put a bowl of gruel on their familyís table at the end of the day. I guess Iím not naÔve enough to think its precisely because some countries have such cheap and ill treated workforces that I can afford to drive the cars I do, have two flat screen TVs and a BlueRay player. If all nations had the same working standards of the US our quality of life would go way down. *&^% would be really expensive!

I mean I have tried far trade coffee, its gross, coffee picked by a 12 year old Honduran boy tastes like the sweet success that it is to live in a consumer society. Donít get me wrong I hate Wal-Mart, evil corporations and the WTO as much as the next guy. Iím just glad I can live in a country where I can drive my SUV, wear by $75 sandals, and my $200 sunglasses take a vacation day from work to protest the evils of mega corporations at same time as I convince myself Iím making a difference! Pay your workers! Donít hire children! Promote Fair Trade! Increase the living standards of your employees! Donít make excessive profits! Wow all that protesting made me hungry luckily I can afford to go to Whole Foods and buy some pesticide free, organic, free range Tuna for $19 a pound and still do my part to protect oppreseed workersí rights and still live like a king!
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Saxby Clemens II on August 06, 2008, 09:37:28 AM
I know that was tounge-in-cheek, but I don't think anyone should take pleasure in their ability to purchase needless luxury items because native corporations have figured out a way to benefit from making poor, hungry, oppressed peoples in other lands very slightly less poor and hungry while keeping them just oppressed enough to continue the cycle. 
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Matthies on August 06, 2008, 10:07:49 AM
I know that was tounge-in-cheek, but I don't think anyone should take pleasure in their ability to purchase needless luxury items because native corporations have figured out a way to benefit from making poor, hungry, oppressed peoples in other lands very slightly less poor and hungry while keeping them just oppressed enough to continue the cycle. 

Agreed, but for that cycle none of us would be here we are today. Higher education and being able to take 4-8 years off of working to support ourselves is a luxury paid for on the backs of peasants willing to work for pennies so we can live so good. The fact of the matter is unless you live completely off the grid and sew your own clothes and grow your own food your consumer decisions result in corporations making the choices they do not the other way around. None of us are guilt free, and I find it ironic that some of the biggest protesters are also consumers of the most expensive poo. I canít wait for the DNC to arrive here later this month and watch the free traders come out and protest in their Birkenstocks and Northface Backpacks about how bad the people have it who made their $200 Okleys. Joke about it or not, if not for the exploitation of people in other countries we as Americans would be living very different lives.

You can be against it all you want, but so long as you partake in it as well Iím not going to agree that we are all not born with original sin. Denying it just makes us feel better about the part we play, it does not change anything.  So long as consumers demand and pay for $200 shoes companies will respond to that and exploit workers to make a profit. Workers in the US will demand higher pay in so they can buy more stuff made by exploiting workers elswhere. It does not start with the idea to exploit workers then end up with people paying $200 for a product they did not want. Consumer demand drives exploitation in my book. If Segways were the hottest selling thing in the US they would be made in Mexico where the labor is the cheapest, and people would still buy them even if 5 y.o. put they together. Then the next weekend they would pack a picnic lunch put on $500 worth of clothes drive their SUVs to some protest against child labor and feel good about making a difference but if the price goes up for any of those goods they are goona female dog about how much they have to pay first. I think its hypocritical. I donít disagree with your arguments, but I also donít think any of us are guilt free, and I will point that out with humor when I think its being sidestepped as part of the problem.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Saxby Clemens II on August 06, 2008, 11:31:05 AM
Well, no.  Certainly none of us are faultless.  If no one shopped at Wal Mart, Wal Mart wouldn't exist.  I saw that South Park.  Great episode.  But, any advantages I have in life have nothing to do with companies like Wal Mart taking advantage of the working poor in this country and peoples from other parts of the world.  If I'm considered rich via my parents, then the money I spend comes from the American automotive industry, which doesn't, to my knowledge, employ children in Latin America to build its cars.  I also spend my own money, and when I'm through with school and relying solely on what I earn, I can assure you I won't have earned it by working for a company that succeeds through a complete lack of regard for human rights.  I actually had a job at such a company already and I resigned when I discovered they did indeed have no regard for human rights.

I'm sure I've owned/own things that were made under less than ideal circumstances.  But, I have almost $1,000 worth of clothing on today, and none of it was sewn by children in sweatshops.  I don't not buy clothing at places like Wal Mart just because I'm a snob, or just because I don't have to.  I don't buy clothing at Wal Mart because I'm not interested in saving money at the expense of the people the company abuses.  Granted, I am very fortunate to be in a position where I can make that decision, and I understand that not everyone is.  Likewise, the convention protestors in Birkenstocks won't be worrying about whether or not a child crafted their shoes.   

My problem is with others who can make the choice to shop somewhere else, without suffering any real disadvantage and don't, out of pure selfishness.  And, again, it's with the Wal Martian cycle of thriving on the backs of classes in this country and around the world that the company is all-too-happy keeping down as long as it brings in an even more ridiculous profit.     
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: EarlCat on August 06, 2008, 12:03:59 PM
Why do you think it is that people who can "barely make ends meet" shop at Wal Mart?  Maybe because they work there?

Yes, because there are no poor people who don't work at Wal-Mart.  They can be completely self-sustaining by selling things to their employees.  ...oh wait

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Perhaps because in parts of the country where there is little alternative to Wal Mart, in towns where most people work there or at other lower paying jobs, there is no choice but to pump wages earned right back into Wal Mart?

So the alternative to Wal-Mart is lower paying jobs?  Interesting.

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Wal Mart is not some benevolent force bringing products to the poor masses who didn't get any book learnin'.  They know exactly what they're doing, and what they're doing is taking advantage of people with limited options, because they can.  WHEN THEY DON'T NEED TO in order to stay ridiculously profitable, as has already been pointed out.

Who gets to define when profit becomes ridiculous?  Can I decide when you make too much?

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It's disgusting when people say that it's fine for 14-year-olds in the third world to work for 10 cents an hour, because what would they do otherwise?

Work for 5 cents and hour?

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Also, Wal Mart doesn't make all of it's money off the poor who would have to, apparently, live on the streets were it not for the kind hand of the Walton family.  There is one Wal Mart where I live, in RichWhiteVille, USA.  I can assure you that none of the Cadillacs or Lincolns or BMWs in the parking lot are driven by people who can't afford to pay five cents more down the road at KMart.  Or ten cents more at Target.

What is KMart paying these days?

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They're driven by people who so selfishly want to save five and ten cents on toilet paper they don't care what their patronage means for people in America and around the world who are abused by the Wal Mart system.  That's not affluence, it's not class, it's not sophistication.  It's straight up nouveau riche trash, and it's f-ing pathetic.

Hmmm.  Toilet paper for $3.50 or $3.60.  I'll pay $3.60 so I can feel better about the helping poor.   

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Further, unions haven't destroyed the auto industry.  That's absolute crap spouted by people with little understanding beyond what they learned in freshman economics.  The American auto industry is in a pickle right now because they gave away the keys to the future while they were making bank in the 90s and early 00s with minivans, trucks and SUVs.  Their moronic WHITE COLLAR leadership pumped endless resources into areas that don't help a company survive an abysmal economy and $5 a gallon gas.  They didn't listen to anyone or anything not concerned with the immediate bottom line, they didn't really concern themselves with what consumers actually wanted, and they let foreign companies lure people away with cheap *&^% that'll run for 140,000 miles and get 30 miles to the gallon in the process.

This would be a good argument if the auto industry's problems were a recent phenomenon.
 
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Has anyone bashing unions ever actually worked in an auto plant?  Clearly not, or you'd have a much better understanding and respect for the role unions have played in American industry.  I'm so tired of hearing a bunch of pansy-ass, paper-pushing, future dime-a-dozen lawyers, who would crap their pants if they had to actually WORK for a living, female dog about organizations that have given protection and security to the people who've kept America running for 200 years.

So I assume you're going to forego law school to work in an auto plant?

Quote
Hrmm.  This post was a little harsh.  Oh well.  Last day of work and I'm bored.


So you complain about people who don't actually WORK for a living, then complain about being bored at work.   Nice.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Saxby Clemens II on August 06, 2008, 12:27:28 PM
Dear God.   

I gave my thoughts on the ridiculous arguments you and other Wal Mart "fans" have already given in this thread already.  I don't need to rehash them so you can again reply with the same tired commentary.  If you see nothing wrong with Wal Mart's strategy, good luck when karma rolls around, my friend.   

As for the auto industry, their problems have always been the same.  Launching the wrong product at the wrong time to the wrong audience.  Chrysler was putting out enormous tanks throughout the 70s that were not only dated but impossible to maintain due to quality issues and the high price of fuel.  They almost drove themselves bankrupt.  How did they bounce back?  By releasing the Aries and the Reliant.  Two decent cars that looked good, were easy to maintain, fuel efficient and practical for potential buyers.  They then cemented their comeback with the minivan, an enormous success for the same reason.  Same with Ford.  They were putting out poorly executed, dated vehicles no one was interested in.  They were at the brink of extinction until the modern, efficient and reliable Escort, Tempo and Thunderbird pulled them far enough from the fire until the Taurus could prove to be a complete stay of execution. 

For someone who would surely agree that Wal Mart is successful simply because they put out products customers want, how interesting that you choose to blame the auto industry's problems on unions rather than on their failure to simply give customers what they wanted.

I also never claimed I wasn't a dime-a-dozen pencil pusher myself.  I just have enough respect for those who went before me and did the jobs that needed to be done to make this the sort of country where snot-nosed kids like you could make $150,000 a year doing, again in the grand scheme of things, nothing of particular importance, and only demanding a completely reasonable share of the pie in return.   
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Gengiswump on August 06, 2008, 01:28:09 PM
Sax, that was hot.  If I were your type, I'd do ya.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: EarlCat on August 06, 2008, 03:09:03 PM
I gave my thoughts on the ridiculous arguments you and other Wal Mart "fans" have already given in this thread already.

Author presumes without providing justification that I and other posters are "fans" of WalMart, rather than simply people who oppose forced unionization.  -1 for ad hominum.

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I don't need to rehash them so you can again reply with the same tired commentary.  If you see nothing wrong with Wal Mart's strategy, good luck when karma rolls around, my friend.

How about answering direct questions (such as how much does KMart pay?) rather than (incorrectly) ASSuming my positions and condemning me to bad karma.  You don't know *&^% about me, where I shop, or how I treat others.

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As for the auto industry, their problems have always been the same.  Launching the wrong product at the wrong time to the wrong audience.  Chrysler was putting out enormous tanks throughout the 70s that were not only dated but impossible to maintain due to quality issues and the high price of fuel.  They almost drove themselves bankrupt.  How did they bounce back?

Government bailout.

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I also never claimed I wasn't a dime-a-dozen pencil pusher myself.  I just have enough respect for those who went before me and did the jobs that needed to be done to make this the sort of country where snot-nosed kids like you

-2 for ad hominum

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could make $150,000 a year doing, again in the grand scheme of things, nothing of particular importance, and only demanding a completely reasonable share of the pie in return.

I don't make $150,000 a year (please feel free to write your congressman about how I'm exploited), and again, who exactly gets to determine what is "reasonable" (or "important" for that matter)?
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: mugatu on August 06, 2008, 05:26:12 PM
The split isn't between more and less expensive goods.  The split is between more and less goods.  Chances are, less is better.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Saxby Clemens II on August 06, 2008, 06:16:50 PM

Saxby, I generally like you but you're living in the world of 'good' and 'bad'.  You feel Wal-Mart is bad for being profitable selling cheap items.  Eh.  Thus, anyone who defends Wal-Mart must feel that company is "good".  Wal-Mart's far from benevolent or altruistic.  It is neither Ben nor Jerry.  However, Wal-Mart is a necessary entity for those who do not enjoy a middle class standard of living and middle class guilt. Without Wal-Mart, goods and services will be more expensive.  NOBODY is forced to shop at Wal-Mart.  Wal-Mart does not require folks to spend their pay checks at their registers.  I live in a little town with a Wal-Mart in competition with a few other smaller shops.  People shop at Wal-Mart to save money.  Since when does buying cheaper toilet paper equal exploitation?

You mention rich people frequent Wal-Mart too.  Yeah, well.  How is that relevant?   

Take someone on a limited income and ask what's better for them - cheap goods or more expensive goods?  Thus, I am completely unconcerned with whether Wal-Mart's profits are "unreasonable" or "bad" and I'm not in the business of deeming them "good" either.  They are what they are and many Wal-Mart costumers are much better off with the company's existence than without.

I generally like you, too, but a few things:

I don't think that Wal Mart is bad because they profit from selling cheap items.  There's nothing at all wrong with that.  I didn't mean to suggest, nor do I think I did, that everyone should shop at Neiman Marcus or live in a town filled with only independent retailers. 

Wal Mart is not a store I patronize because I do not believe in many of their corporate practices.  Plain and simple.  I think their anti-union stance is completely ridiculous.  I really don't have the interest in reading through yet another example of Earl Cat's amazing quoting skills, but I believe he mentioned something earlier about not being able to say when someone's made enough money.  IMO, when a company could easily provide their employees with higher wages and/or important benefits and still reap enormous profit, and not only refuse to do so but actively run a decades-long campaign against any attempts to unionize, that company is not one I will support.

I usually don't think anyone or anything is all good or all bad.  I'm a big fan of nuance.  When it comes to Wal Mart, I just see very little "good" to defend.  They give poor people in small towns access to cheaper goods.  OK.  So does KMart.  So does Target.  So does Sears.  So does Costco.  Do any of those stores invade small towns, taking advantage of lucrative tax breaks and incentives, only to bail from said small town once the tax man calls, leaving hundreds unemployed and a mega-structure it's impossible to find another tenant for?  No.  Certainly not with the frequency Wal Mart does.  Do those companies have a long history of denying advancement opportunities to women and minorities?  No.  Certainly not to the extent Wal Mart does.  Do those stores, as a matter of constant practice, deny employees overtime pay by "suggesting" they work during lunch breaks and off-the-clock?  No, I don't believe they do.  I certainly don't mean to suggest that Wal Mart is the only retailer with troublesome corporate practices.  Are they the worst?  I would definitely say so.  Have I posed and answered an annoying amount of my own questions in this paragraph?  Totally.     

In closing, the rich people thing is completely relevant.  Much of this discussion has been framed around the idea that people shop at Wal Mart because it saves them much needed money.  People who have a choice of discount retailers yet continue to shop at Wal Mart are supporting a company I don't believe deserves support, for all the reasons listed above.  It's particularly obnoxious if there's no actual need to save the extra pennies one might save at Wal Mart as opposed to KMart. 

I was raised to believe that to whom much is given, much is expected.  I think people of any means keeping or enhancing their means at the expense of the less-affluent in this country and in other parts of the world is a disgusting abuse of that principle.     
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Susan B. Anthony on August 06, 2008, 09:18:11 PM
A few things:

Some studies suggest that Wal-Mart reduces the total number of jobs available (http://www.newrules.org/retail/neumarkstudy.pdf) and depresses wages (http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/retail/walmart_downward_push07.pdf) when they enter a market. I confess I haven't read them in their entirety, or thoroughly analyzed their methodology, but food for thought for the "Wal-Mart creates opportunity!!" crowd.

Regarding the argument that those who work at Wal-Mart and in Wal-Mart style jobs could have gotten an education and gotten a better job: I find this argument incredibly disingenuous. This may be true on the micro level, for at least some individuals, but on the macro level it is far from being true. The fact is, we need people to fill the low-skill sector of the economy. At some point getting an education and seeking out other opportunities, if everyone did it, simply wouldn't be enough to get some people more lucrative jobs with better treatment. Someone is always going to be at the bottom. So putting aside all of these Horatio Alger-style arguments about pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, the question remains: how do we as a society want to treat the people who take on, by choice or by necessity, low-skill, menial, dirty, or otherwise onerous jobs that need to be done by someone? Do we think it is right and good and fair that those people face abusive and/or exploitative working conditions at a wage that is insufficient to meet their basic needs, or do we think that everyone should earn a wage that allows them to provide for themselves and be treated with dignity and respect in a safe (or as safe as possible, depending on the task) work environment? Which dovetails nicely into my next point...

Regarding "who decides what's appropriate": We do. We individually and we as a society are responsible for determining if a particular practice or business model meets our standards. That is, in large part, what this discussion is about. Now sure, coming to a general societal consensus is difficult, and is the stuff debates and elections, etc., are made of. But "who decides?!" is a cop-out. Even disregarding my socialistic leanings, it's perfectly acceptable for a society to say "no, it's not okay for you to get rich by treating people like that."

And finally

Quote from: earlcat
Hmmm.  Toilet paper for $3.50 or $3.60.  I'll pay $3.60 so I can feel better about the helping poor.   

It's not about feeling better about helping the poor. It's about acknowledging that there are these things called externalities. Maybe you'll learn about them in law school. That extra savings comes at a cost somewhere along the line. The question is, is that cost worth the savings?
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Saxby Clemens II on August 06, 2008, 09:34:31 PM
Quote
As for the auto industry, their problems have always been the same.  Launching the wrong product at the wrong time to the wrong audience.  Chrysler was putting out enormous tanks throughout the 70s that were not only dated but impossible to maintain due to quality issues and the high price of fuel.  They almost drove themselves bankrupt.  How did they bounce back?

Government bailout.

Which they repaid by...yes, selling a huge amount of K Cars and Caravans.  And then continued their success into the 90s by introducing the cab-forward concept with the Intrepid/Concorde and, later, the cloud cars.  The Neon, snicker if you will, was also one of the only small cars to turn any auto company any profit, as it introduced an entirely new, much appreciated styling concept, had tons more horsepower and torque than any of its competitors and seated four adults in comfort.

Thus, if automotive companies would have continued putting out cars that served peoples needs and wants, they'd be in fine shape today, unions or no unions.

But, thanks for playing.   
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: jeffislouie on August 06, 2008, 10:23:33 PM
Why do you think it is that people who can "barely make ends meet" shop at Wal Mart?  Maybe because they work there?  Perhaps because in parts of the country where there is little alternative to Wal Mart, in towns where most people work there or at other lower paying jobs, there is no choice but to pump wages earned right back into Wal Mart? 

Now THAT was funny.
Walmart did $350 billion + in revenue.  Either they have way more employees than we thought humanly possible or other people, besides walmart employees, shop there.  My friend dave and his wife shop there and neither are employed by the company....
And the truth is, not only poor people shop there.  I know plenty of rich guys looking for tv's and other assorted crap at a good price.  The truth is most people shop there because it is reasonably close, has an excellent blend of products, and their prices are low.  That's it - the big secret to walmart's success.
The facts don't jibe with the accusations.  The average wage of an hourly walmart employee (and there is some question, valid or not, about this) is between $8.23 and $9.68.  That's not only well above the minimum wage (which eliminates the argument that they pay their workers minimum wage for maximum work), but very competitive.  I used to pay line cooks at great restaurants between $9 and $11 an hour, and they had a skill, tougher working conditions, and far more pressure to perform.  And we didn't pay for their health insurance either.  My dad's firm just hired a receptionist for $10 and hour.  If you or I walked into starbucks right now and applied for a gig, we'd get $8-$9 an hour too.
So I guess my question is - why should walmart pay more per hour and provide health insurance?  Is it because they have a lot of revenue?  Is it to punish them for being profitable?  I just don't understand it.  We aren't talking about doctors, lawyers, judges, teachers, electricians, plumbers, or any number of professions that require talent, education or training, or any real lifetime dedication.  We are talking about people who wear blue vests and jeans and unload boxes for a living.  we are talking about cashiers, stockers, greeters, cleaning crews, and other non-skilled, traditionally crappy paying jobs.  So why is walmart evil for doing exactly what everyone does?  You aren't guaranteed a living wage by the mere fact that you work.  I knew and know far too many hard working, undereducated people who work 2 jobs, 6 or 7 days a week to pay their bills to accept this notion of entitlement that seems to come with the people who complain about walmart.  Walmart is a company, not a government entity or charity.  Their business is earning money, not providing welfare or handouts.
I am sorry for the people who don't get more than a GED, never try to find a job that moves them into a better situation, never obtain skills, and/or think the world owes them cable tv, a car, and a mortgage.  In this country, you have all the opportunity in the world.  The choices you make mean something.  Don't want to work hard in high school?  There's a result to that.  Don't want to go to college?  That effects your life too.  Don't want to take any classes or get any sort of specialized training?  Guess what - that's your choice.  Not walmarts.
End of rant.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Saxby Clemens II on August 06, 2008, 10:31:37 PM
Enlightening, as usual.

All of your points have been refuted, by people who make sense. 

I didn't suggest that all of Wal Mart's profits came from its own employees.  Perhaps read my statement again, paying close attention to the portion that says "in parts of the country where there is little alternative to Wal Mart."
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: eruffin on August 06, 2008, 10:38:38 PM
Threads like this should be left alone, however...

The American auto industry profited the 90's and early 2000's precisely because they were making products that satisfied people's wants and needs.  At the time, satisfying people's wants and need involved American auto makers building lots of trucks, SUVs, etc.

Sure, they failed (institutionally) to anticipate $4 a gallon gas and the market repercussions, but I would be interested to read about someone who did anticipate these changes in say 1995-2000.  Sure, Japanese automakers made more small cars, but I would submit that they did so because the Japanese market differed from the American market and they segued their expertise in small car sales into strength in the American small car market.

Labor costs far above the market cost of labor have almost incontrovertibly hampered Detroit's ability to compete with Japanese automakers with far lower fixed labor costs.   

It seems that Japanese automakers did not anticipate the dramatic increase in gas price because these companies were aggressively attempting to gain market share in America's Truck/SUV market (think Toyota tundra, Nissan Titan, etc).  Had they been so prescient to anticipate the rise in fuel costs and the market repercussions, perhaps those companies would have been contented to make soon to be even more profitable small cars?

Whether Wal-Mart's labor practices are fair or not is essentially a philosophical question.  I personally see no problem with them, in general, for many of the above stated reasons. 

It should be noted, however, that those opposed to Wal-Mart's current practices have a very real way to change them.  Simply band together and refuse to shop at Wal-Mart.  It seems that if Wal-Mart is as demonstrably exploitative as is suggested in this thread, and K-Mart and Target etc. provide as adequate a replacement as argued in this thread, then groups opposed to Wal-Mart should be able to make enough dent in Wal-Mart's profits to encourage Wal-Mart to change (precisely because paying more , providing health insurance, etc. would make it more profitable) without using the coercive power of the state to compel change.

An inability of those opposed to do so might suggest that 1) Wal-Mart is not as demonstrably exploitative as claimed 2) that Wal-Mart does something (provide a bevy of specific products at lower prices than its competitors) that Target cannot do, meaning that its competitors are not replacements or that 3) enough people are perfectly aware of the negative externalities associated with Wal-Mart's approach, but feel that saving 10 cents on a package of toilet paper is worth those negative externalities (on aggregate I have no idea how a negative externalities v. benefits analysis would turn out.  I suspect, however, that given individual's obvious willingness to shop there, Wal-Mart might come out on top.)

As an aside, invoking the notion of a "fair share" really is silly.  Markets efficiently decide what a product or service is worth.  Claiming that a company like Wal-Mart doesn't pay its employees their "fair share" demonstrates a disturbing willingness to mandate (by force if governmentally mandated) one belief system on those who honestly ascribe to another system.  This thread demonstrates that the definition of a "fair share" is essentially arbitrary--there are 6 pages here dedicated in no small part to arguing over what exactly a "fair share" is and the discussion could go on forever without resolution.  In brief, why should any other person's definition of a "fair share" be better than another person's definition?  Moreover, why should any personal definition be better than the market's?   
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Susan B. Anthony on August 06, 2008, 10:40:40 PM
jeffislouie: please see my post above.

Also...without sources I'm not going to credit any statistics you cite. But regardless...just because other industries don't pay a living wage either doesn't mean wal-mart is off the hook. Also, the minimum wage isn't an objective "minimum" (thereby making your cute little argument that because they pay more than that, on average, they're not paying minimum wages for maximum work complete bunk unless the only way you define "minimum wages" is by the statutorily determined minimum wage). Someone working 40 hours a week at minimum wage with no unpaid time off in the year is just barely above the poverty line if they are the only person in their household, and below it if they are supporting anyone else.

Also, learn the difference between effects and affects.

Also, spaces between paragraphs? Is it that hard?
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Saxby Clemens II on August 06, 2008, 11:14:03 PM
Their institutional failures went far beyond not anticipating $4 gas, although there was adequate concern about foreign oil dependence at least 10 years ago that should have given someone a clue that perhaps shuttering Oldsmobile in favor of, say, Hummer, was a poor choice.  Honda has two divisions.  GM has nine in the United States alone.  Ford let the Taurus turn into a joke.  When Ford put out the Mustang, GM put out the GTO, a complete waste of time.  Now they're going to launch a muscle car when gas is $5 a gallon.  As is Chrysler, with the Challenger (although it's an amazing car). 

There are many, many decisions that have been made over the past 20 years alone that have helped put Detroit in the hole.  Blaming everything on unions or acting like the same employees would have been available to put out the same successful products that allowed these companies to see 100 years of existence had unions not fought for financial and physical security is disingenuous.     
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: brianwithani on August 07, 2008, 05:37:54 AM
I suppose a more legitimate comparison would be between unionizing Walmart and what the employees at Kroger experience with their union.  In the state of Kentucky, employees of Kroger, the giant grocery chain headquartered in Cincinnati, OH, are unionized both in the stores and warehouses.  Unfortunately, they are affiliated with the Teamsters.  The people I know personally who are employed by Kroger are disappointed with the union.  But again, as I stated in my earlier post, the Teamsters are such a rotten example of what a union is or should be. 

Unions are NOT the reason the auto industry is in a hole right now and anyone who says otherwise is not looking at the industry with any intellectual honesty.  While I do support the right of any employee or any group of employees to stand up and demand fair treatment, I'm not sure that unionizing Wal mart will improve the quality of life for its employees nor will it eliminate a significant amount of the corporate rottenness towards the employees.  If anything, it will probably increase the harshness with which the management behaves. 

If they could unionize, not under any existing union because most are riddled with corruption, with a new paradigm of getting back to what unions were created for, I think it would be great for both the company and the union.  Or if Walmart could just learn from Toyota who has successfully prevented unions from entering their plants by basically TREATING THEIR EMPLOYEES WITH SOME DIGNITY.  I know people who work at Toyota in Georgetown, KY who swear that Toyota employs the Yakuza to bust unions, but they still make an excellent wage, have excellent benefits, and produce a high quality product.  It just seems unAmerican to hate your employees as much as Walmart does. 

Boy, that was all over the place...haven't had that first cup yet...sorry
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Saxby Clemens II on August 07, 2008, 10:24:40 AM
 :D

It IS un-American to hate your employees!
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Saxby Clemens II on August 07, 2008, 10:35:09 AM
Sax, that was hot.  If I were your type, I'd do ya.

Oh, here it is!

I am always willing to try new things, as long as the new thing isn't shopping at Wal Mart. 
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Matthies on August 07, 2008, 11:00:40 AM
:D

It IS un-American to hate your employees!

Unless they are illegal immigrants from Mexico, thatís seems to be all the rage these days.

::jumps on badnwagon starts the hate'n::
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: brianwithani on August 07, 2008, 01:18:07 PM
:D

It IS un-American to hate your employees!

Unless they are illegal immigrants from Mexico, thatís seems to be all the rage these days.

::jumps on badnwagon starts the hate'n::


Suppose in some circles it's not unAmerican to hate unAmericans...
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: vjm on August 07, 2008, 02:02:07 PM
I have worked in both unionized and nonunionized kitchens so I just thought I would chime in here with some real life observations.

1. Every union is different. Some suck for the workers, some suck for the owners, some are neutral. Some unions are very strong, some are weak. Some are corrupt, some are not. You get the picture. When you are talking about unions, you need to really do a lot of research into the particular union you are addressing.

2. Everybody worked their asses off in the nonunionized restaurants. Long days, harsh conditions, temperamental bosses that throw things when their cocaine delivery is late. Guess what? Exact same story in the unionized places. You bust your ass or you will be out on it.

Here's the difference, when I worked in unionized places I actually got paid correctly for all my work. That has happened only once in any nonunionized shop. If my boss wants to have a skeleton kitchen staff, and work us all to death six or seven days a week, he can. But he has to compensate me according to our employment agreement. If there is some kind of problem with pay or hours or vacation or whatever, I have two choices in a nonunionized shop- STFU or leave. In a unionized shop, I have backup. I don't have to pay for a lawyer (impossible) and I don't have to take a lot of unpaid time straightening it out. I can just continue earning the money I so desperately need to work paycheck to paycheck.

I never had to work for a bad union, maybe it is a whole different kettle of fish, but the hotels and resorts where I did have a union card seemed to managed to continue with the profitability they have always enjoyed.

And no, I am not even addressing the whole Wal-Mart question directly.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Matthies on August 07, 2008, 02:17:58 PM
:D

It IS un-American to hate your employees!

Unless they are illegal immigrants from Mexico, thatís seems to be all the rage these days.

::jumps on badnwagon starts the hate'n::


Suppose in some circles it's not unAmerican to hate unAmericans...
\
That's just UnAmerican ask Lou Dobbs
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: EarlCat on August 08, 2008, 12:05:34 AM
Still waiting to find out how well paid employees of Target and KMart are...  Let alone how much the local mom and pop is hiring for.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: sheltron5000 on August 08, 2008, 12:20:49 AM
It's not about how well k-mart and target employees are paid, its about walmart employing over 10 million people. Being that size gives walmart much greater power as an individual entity to influence the labor market: what walmart does target and k-mart can too, but not necessarily vice versa.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Majmun on August 08, 2008, 07:26:17 AM
It's not about how well k-mart and target employees are paid, its about walmart employing over 10 million people. Being that size gives walmart much greater power as an individual entity to influence the labor market: what walmart does target and k-mart can too, but not necessarily vice versa.

Where did you get that number from?
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: SCK2008 on August 08, 2008, 08:11:39 AM
One of my favorite parts of all this is WM's @#!* YOU ATTITUDE.  Specifically, I'm speaking about when they changed their slogan to "SAVE MONEY, LIVE BETTER"...

(Playing off of the union's famous "LIVE BETTER, WORK UNION")...


(It is possible that I'm the only one that thinks this is funny though).

Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Majmun on August 08, 2008, 08:18:01 AM
The split isn't between more and less expensive goods.  The split is between more and less goods.  Chances are, less is better.

Mugatu is anti-consumerism?

The apocalypse draws near.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Julie Fern on August 08, 2008, 10:32:42 AM
republican perspective:

http://collinswatch.blogspot.com/2008/08/collins-unions-worse-than-mafia.html
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Matthies on August 08, 2008, 10:49:47 AM
It's not about how well k-mart and target employees are paid, its about walmart employing over 10 million people. Being that size gives walmart much greater power as an individual entity to influence the labor market: what walmart does target and k-mart can too, but not necessarily vice versa.

Where did you get that number from?

From the number one LSD research source: out of ones ass    :P

"Welcome to Wal-Mart careers. As our 1.9 million associates can attest, working for Wal-Mart is the chance to be a part of a company unlike any other in the world. Itís more than a job; itís a place to develop your skills and build a career with competitive pay and health benefits for you and your family. To work for Wal-Mart is to be welcomed into a diverse family, where the individual contributions of every associate are respected and valued. Above all, itís an opportunity to join a team 1.9 million strong who is helping the world live better every day." http://walmartstores.com/Careers/

Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Saxby Clemens II on August 08, 2008, 10:53:38 AM
It's not about how well k-mart and target employees are paid, its about walmart employing over 10 million people. Being that size gives walmart much greater power as an individual entity to influence the labor market: what walmart does target and k-mart can too, but not necessarily vice versa.

It's so obnoxious when people talk about them like they're genius retailers.  They've found a way to take advantage of half their customer base and appeal to the worst in the other half, in many cases, driving any other options out of business, which really sucks when they pull out and move down the road.  They're just awful, awful stores.  Poorly organized, poorly lit, cheap merchandise, frequently censored departments.  It's clear that the family's main priority is making as much money as possible as cheaply as possible, with little to no concern for their employees or their customers.  Crap operation, from top to bottom.   

I didn't grow up in Small Town USA with only independent retailers, but I've never frequented a mom and pop OR a big box retailer like Wal Mart.  I thank God it's never been my only option. 
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: mugatu on August 08, 2008, 11:22:59 AM
The split isn't between more and less expensive goods.  The split is between more and less goods.  Chances are, less is better.

Mugatu is anti-consumerism?

The apocalypse draws near.

it's mostly a desire to see people purchase high quality goods and make them last. 
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Julie Fern on August 08, 2008, 11:25:41 AM
you such radical!
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Majmun on August 08, 2008, 11:30:11 AM
The split isn't between more and less expensive goods.  The split is between more and less goods.  Chances are, less is better.

Mugatu is anti-consumerism?

The apocalypse draws near.

it's mostly a desire to see people purchase high quality goods and make them last. 

Do the children of Malaysia make high quality goods?
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: mugatu on August 08, 2008, 11:36:40 AM
The split isn't between more and less expensive goods.  The split is between more and less goods.  Chances are, less is better.

Mugatu is anti-consumerism?

The apocalypse draws near.

it's mostly a desire to see people purchase high quality goods and make them last. 

Do the children of Malaysia make high quality goods?

that's simply about maximizing profits. 
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Saxby Clemens II on August 08, 2008, 01:12:31 PM
I find they're better at housekeeping than goods manufacturing. 
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Gengiswump on August 08, 2008, 02:01:15 PM
I find they're better at housekeeping than goods manufacturing. 

Don't be that guy. (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/12/nyregion/12slaves.html)
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Matthies on August 08, 2008, 02:04:03 PM
I find they're better at housekeeping than goods manufacturing. 

Don't be that guy. (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/12/nyregion/12slaves.html)

Yea don't let them escape!
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Saxby Clemens II on August 08, 2008, 02:23:51 PM
WTF is wrong with Long Island?

First the Lohans, now this. 
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: jeffislouie on August 08, 2008, 05:21:52 PM

It's so obnoxious when people talk about them like they're genius retailers.  They've found a way to take advantage of half their customer base and appeal to the worst in the other half, in many cases, driving any other options out of business, which really sucks when they pull out and move down the road.  They're just awful, awful stores.  Poorly organized, poorly lit, cheap merchandise, frequently censored departments.  It's clear that the family's main priority is making as much money as possible as cheaply as possible, with little to no concern for their employees or their customers.  Crap operation, from top to bottom.   

I didn't grow up in Small Town USA with only independent retailers, but I've never frequented a mom and pop OR a big box retailer like Wal Mart.  I thank God it's never been my only option. 

Your argument makes no sense.  Specifically:
"They've found a way to take advantage of half their customer base and appeal to the worst in the other half"

How are they taking advantage of their customer base?  What do they do to appeal to the worst in the other half?  Is that appeal targeted or simply a byproduct?

"They're just awful, awful stores.  Poorly organized, poorly lit, cheap merchandise, frequently censored departments.  It's clear that the family's main priority is making as much money as possible as cheaply as possible, with little to no concern for their employees or their customers.  Crap operation, from top to bottom."

So what you are saying is that people shop at walmart despite these things?  Is it possible that people don't care?  Is it possible that the walmart stores you are describing is an exaggeration of the conditions of stores?  Is it possible that most stores are organized and well lit?  Why does it bother you that the merchandise is cheap?  If a mom and pop store sold the same merchandise for more money, would that balance your equation?  Does their censorship bother you?  Isn't a better place to point your displeasure the people who bow to any perceived censorship and release materials that have been censored to walmart's standards?  Do they HAVE to sell their wares at Walmart?  Couldn't they, theoretically, find other avenues to sell their wares while maintaining artistic integrity?  What perplexes me most about your argument is that you seem to believe there is a duty that simply doesn't exist.  Walmart doesn't have a duty to sell everything in the world.  They have a duty to provide a safe environment for shoppers, run an honest business, and follow up on their promises.  Beyond that, I don't believe they have a duty to provide much else.

They owe no duty to competitors, save from running a legal business.  Walmart somehow became a scapegoat simply by growing too fast, doing what they do too well, and running a profitable business.  Their business model, like every other business model out there, rests on the notion of buying a product for a low price, selling it for more, and clearing a profit.  The rest is just frilly lace.  I am all for calling them bad citizens, but saying their operation is 'crap' just doesn't work.  I know I'm risking sounding like I'm a bit simplistic, but how much revenue did you do last year?  How profitable were you?  Walmart did billions in revenue and billions in profit.  They are doing something right and while your criticism may be meritorious to some extent, your advice is literally of no importance in the grand scheme.  If enough people felt the way you did, walmart would shutter stores and gradually tumble into obscurity.  Like Marshall Fields.  Or Montgomery Wards.

They aren't failing - sales are strong.  That means many, many, many people appreciate walmart, shop there, and like it.  Otherwise, they could go elsewhere (this is a free country and no one shops at walmart with a gun to their head).  Yet they don't....  It sort of makes you wonder who is wrong in this argument - millions of loyal shoppers or a few socially liberal philosophers......
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Thistle on August 08, 2008, 06:16:21 PM
i saw ricklax's book for sale at walmart
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: SCK2008 on August 08, 2008, 06:27:36 PM
i saw ricklax's book for sale at walmart

Bargain bin?
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Saxby Clemens II on August 08, 2008, 07:13:44 PM
Jeffislouie, could you possibly have any more questions per paragraph?  Good Lord.

I've already explained my thoughts on how Wal Mart takes advantage of and appeals to the worst in their customers.  If you care to, scan back a few pages and read. 

I also already addressed why I believe people shop at Wal Mart.  I really do not know how anyone in their right mind could consider shopping there to be a pleasant experience.  A cheap experience, perhaps, but not pleasant.  Considering Wal Mart is such a cookie-cutter institution, I seriously doubt that there are any huge differences between locations. 

This has nothing to do with liberalism or conservatism.  I know liberals who shop at Wal Mart and I know conservatives who don't.  Not everyone approaches every issue from a political perspective.  Some people are able to remove their head from their ass and ponder without prescribing labels to every last train of thought.     
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Thistle on August 08, 2008, 07:25:41 PM
i saw ricklax's book for sale at walmart

This is part of Wal-Mart's devious plan to make us - the ignorant consumer - believe their frozen fish is reasonably priced... "$15 for a f-ing fish sandwiche?!"


AND i tried to exchange a bag of french fries for whole potatoes and was told "no"

i raised hell with the manager until he charged me an extra $2
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: jeffislouie on August 10, 2008, 08:40:54 PM
Jeffislouie, could you possibly have any more questions per paragraph?  Good Lord.

I've already explained my thoughts on how Wal Mart takes advantage of and appeals to the worst in their customers.  If you care to, scan back a few pages and read. 

I also already addressed why I believe people shop at Wal Mart.  I really do not know how anyone in their right mind could consider shopping there to be a pleasant experience.  A cheap experience, perhaps, but not pleasant.  Considering Wal Mart is such a cookie-cutter institution, I seriously doubt that there are any huge differences between locations. 

This has nothing to do with liberalism or conservatism.  I know liberals who shop at Wal Mart and I know conservatives who don't.  Not everyone approaches every issue from a political perspective.  Some people are able to remove their head from their ass and ponder without prescribing labels to every last train of thought.     

I could have more questions.  That was the lite version of what I was planning to write in response to your post.  I noticed that you managed to avoid all of the questions though.  It would appear one of our minds are very closed to actually discussing our viewpoints and considering another perspective.  I assure you, it isn't me.

And why is it that you seem so fixated on politics?  All I said was 'socially liberal philosophers', which is one statement of politics - and an accurate one at that.  Your position is pure social liberalism.  Does that bother you?  It sure doesn't bother me.  My head isn't in my ass, but I wonder where yours is when I try to discuss your points and show you a different perspective and all you can come up with is a defensive posturing wherein you attack my composition from an artistic viewpoint while ignoring every point I made.  Yes, I've read your thin defense of who you think shops at walmart, as well as your silly opinion on how walmart takes advantage of their customers.  Neither position is propped up by much in the way of analytical reasoning and is pure speculation.

Just because you don't know anyone who shops at walmart because they enjoy it doesn't mean that doesn't happen every day, millions of times.  I'm sorry to have mentioned the word 'liberal' - it seems to have soured your ability to debate and discuss your opinion, which is rather sad.  I was looking forward to an open discussion about walmart from you and instead, I've been ignored each time I write something, criticized for my construction, and called names.  Fair enough.  Write your opinions and refuse to back them up.  Refuse to discuss them with anyone who might disagree with you.  Chastise anyone who is willing to try and actually discuss something with you from a different viewpoint.  Truly, that is the best way to engage in discussions about your closely held, albeit misguided, opinions.

I'll say it again - walmart is a bad corporate citizen.  But the damage you ascribe to them is rather silly, especially in light of the revenue they produce, the level of repeat business they garner, and the money they put back into the economy by paying people a fair wage to do menial labor.  What I see in your arguments is fairly typical of people who rush to get a 'cool' opinion without bothering with silly facts.  Add a dose of classic white, rich guilt, and you end up with the exact same position you already published.  Never mind that they pay well above minimum wage.  Never mind that their pay structure is right in line with other companies.  Never mind that you insist that walmart owes workers more money for jobs that require zero skills and zero education.  And never mind that far more skilled, trained, and pressured workers earn the same or less at other, smaller companies.  Evil walmart has the audacity to sell products at a profit - products people want, in a store they like.  Never mind that walmart's custoemrs are some of the most loyal in the retail industry.  Never mind that they bring low prices and good paying jobs to areas that need both.  They had the bad taste to make money for the owners while overpaying their employees.  They should pay them more to do work that anyone who managed to pass 4th grade can do.  The employees have earned it!  They all have degrees, experience, training, unique skills and tons of integrity.  None of them are high school dropouts or people who got their GED's because going to school wasn't cool.  None of them do meaningless jobs designed for the laziest members of society.  They SHOULD be paid more than receptionists, police officers, teachers, plumbers, electricians, baristas and cooks.  If they can come to work in a blue vest and say hello to every guest that walks into a walmart, they deserve $12 an hour with full medical and profit sharing.

I'll make a note when responding to your posts to keep the questions that I come up with for you to a minimum - I wouldn't want to inspire thought or ask you to use your gray matter.  Next time I'll just agree with whatever silly opinion you may post, no matter how ridiculous, baseless, or illogical it might be.  I wish I could live in candyland with you where everyone makes a great living, all companies give their profits to uneducated menial workers, and companies like walmart accept losses on their effort.  After all, you are so right - Sam Walton is dead and his lazy kids are making money off of his theft and swindling.  They've lived the good life for far too long and should be put out on the street for daring to be born into a rich family that created the largest company in the world for the selfish, evil purpose of earning money and making their families lives as good as possible.  Evil bastards!

Let's tax the crap out of them and destroy the largest company in the world!  USA, USA, USA!
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Saxby Clemens II on August 10, 2008, 10:18:13 PM
Did you miss the part where I asked you to go back and read the answers to your 1,001 questions, as I'd already addressed them in previous posts?  Yes, you did?  OK, then go back and read them now.  Or, if you're not interested in doing that, then shut the @#!* up and don't talk about how I "avoided" you.  It's not my responsibility to repeat myself because you failed to comprehend or retain what you read prior to making a post. 

If you seriously think that Wal Mart brings "good paying jobs" to anywhere on Earth, I suggest you investigate the facts you ask the rest of us to consider.  Or, if they're such lucrative opportunities, how about you go apply there and a year from now you can come back and tell us what a prosperous life you're leading?  I'm quite certain you'd never return (golf claps), because the employment opportunities at Wal Mart are not, in fact, lucrative. 

Perhaps you can read Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickle and Dimed for some clearly lacking perspective on what it means to work a Wal Mart-esque job in the United States.  While you apparently suggest Wal Mart positions can be filled by anyone breathing, they do actually require skill and training and frequently make mental and physical demands that far outweigh the low level of pay, benefits and respect that are granted to Wal Mart employees.  Frankly, if your posts here are examples of your intellectual acumen, I'd not be entirely eager to have you gather carts in the parking lot.  Pot/kettle, much?   

There is an enormous difference between "white guilt" and having respect for fellow human beings.  I assure you I do not feel the former but do have the latter.  I've worked hard to get where I am, as did my parents and grandparents.  The difference between myself and, say, the Walton children is that I recognize that despite whatever natural or carefully honed talent or ability I may possess, I owe much of my good fortune to accident of birth and the opportunities that followed through no real acts of my own. 

Sure, some Wal Mart employees were/are screw-ups.  So was the president of the United States.  Yes, some Wal Mart employees probably squandered opportunities for advancement and are now stuck in the unfortunate position of working for a company like Wal Mart.  Many more did not have anywhere near the opportunities to achieve that I (or you) was granted merely by being a sperm that stuck.  I get that.  You don't.  I feel no sense of entitlement because of it.  You do.   

Those of us without a wholly undeserved stick up our asses have a responsibility to speak out when the uninformed feel as though it is the natural order of things in the United States of America to write-off those who may have slipped through the cracks, or those who were never on the boardwalk to start with.  There would be no Walton wealth were it not for the adults you insultingly referred to in your post as being the equivalent of fourth graders.  There would be no corporations in need of big fancy law firms to make their misdeeds disappear were it not for people like those who work at Wal Mart. 

There would, in fact, not really be a United States as we know it were it not for people stocking shelves, building cars, answering phones, drawing blood, waiting tables, growing produce, cleaning houses or taking care of children.  If it is beyond you to have any sense of fidelity with your fellow man, then that's really your cross to bear.  Hopefully, you won't ever find yourself in a position to be looked down upon by the lesser angels of our nature you very much seem to represent, if your posts are indeed an accurate representation of your every day beliefs. 

Life doesn't always go the way one plans it to.  People often end up in positions they never thought they'd be in and can do nothing but work with what they have, or with what frequently limited opportunities are available.  How completely short-sighted and morally empty someone must be to cast the sort of aspersions you do on a massive group of people you've clearly considered in the simplest, most pedestrian manner possible.   
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: vjm on August 11, 2008, 06:43:29 AM
Very, very well said Sax.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: jeffislouie on August 12, 2008, 07:57:42 AM
You miss the point, Saxby.  I'm not entitled.  I worked my butt off to get where I have been.  I left a respectable career to attend law school.  I was successful in my job, which I had gotten to through hard work, training, and careful planning.  The difference between you and me is more along the lines of perception.  You feel that the world owes the undereducated, lazy, unskilled worker a living wage as a reward for their lack of desire to succeed.  I feel that they earn what they are worth.  When unions come along, they tend to earn far more than they are worth.  I don't have any lack of respect for menial laborers.  Quite the contrary - I've employed many of them and have respect for them.  But those workers humped away at two or three jobs to make ends meet.  You seem to propose the entitlement - that unskilled, menial workers deserve a living wage.  I believe that if they want to do better, they can.  They can work harder than the next guy, get some training, and get promoted.  Just like I did.
See what your assumptive reasoning allows you to ignore is that you don't know the first thing about me.  You only know about you.  While you may have had a silver spoon in your mouth, I worked hard to move up at jobs.  When I was 21, I was a bouncer and barback at a busy pub in the third largest city in the states.  By the time I was 24, I was the general manager of the most profitable store in the $40 million a year restaurant group.  I didn't achieve that because my daddy knew someone, or because I had a college education (I didn't).  I achieved that because I wasn't willing to whine all day about how the world owes me more money than my employer was willing to pay.  I got there by working harder than everyone else.  I got there by going the extra mile, working more hours than I got paid for, and paying attention.  The laughable part of your opinion is that you dare to call me entitled.
Tell me about your past work experience.
One huge difference between your perception and reality is that you assume too much.  My grandfather came to this country with a third grade education and an inability to speak english.  He worked two jobs.  My grandmother also worked two jobs.  They didn't whine.  They earned what they could and worked as hard as they could.  By the time my grandfather retired, he had done very well for himself having owned a construction company that built up most of a few of the wealthier suburbs in the chicago area.  He never demanded to unionize, nor did he ever once complain that an employer owed him a living wage.
Yes, this nation was built by people who did menial labor - but those people believed in working hard and getting an honest wage.  Your average walmart worker does not.  The fact is that they are paid the industry average.  And I also find it rather funny that you have the audacity to complain about the condition of walmart stores while at the same time ignoring the very real fact that those stores suffer BECAUSE of the very people you seek to force walmart to pay at a premium.  That's right - for every disgusting, filthy, disorganized, unstocked store you see, there is an entire team of lazy, half-assed, overpaid, whiny menial laborers taking advantage of the fact that people like you will take that decrepit condition out on corporate instead or realizing that the condition of stores is directly related to the amount of work and effort the employees put in.
So spare me your sanctimonious attacks about how evil and wrong I am.  As a side note, I didn't ignore your previous posts - I found them lacking and based on false reality.  I asked you very different questions, which you ignored.  Then, in a subsequent post, changed my style to try and get you to respond to anything I wrote.  And you ignored that as well, instead choosing to go off on a holier-than-thou, liberal volcanic eruption of a tangent that has little to do with reality, but at least identifies you as the social liberal that you are.
But here's a clue - companies do not have an obligation to pay employees a living wage.  There is no 'living wage act'.  They DO have an obligation to pay at least minimum wage, which was just increased and is partly responsible for a slight bump in unemployment (a rate still lower than Clinton acheived, btw).  Walmart pays well above that rate.
I don't care that they've put mom and pop's crap store out of business (walgreens and cvs did this to pharmacies - do you hate them too?).  Mom and pop couldn't compete.  That's how business works.  There is no guarantee in this country that your business will forever be profitable.  You must adapt or die.  Deal with it.  I've helped shutter 3 restaurants that failed - should the owners have whined about TGI Fridays and Ruby Tuesdays?
Grow up and stop behaving like a child - I've tried several times to illicit reasonable discussions with you and the best you can do is personally attack me repeatedly.  That sure shows how smart, mature, and reasonable you are and in no way makes your view point appear diminished.
Did you miss the part where you called me names several times in each and every post?  Just curious.....
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Matthies on August 12, 2008, 09:26:18 AM
Jeffisloiue, first, for god sakes use paragraph breaks. It was hard as hell to read that garbage. Secondly you seem to get mad at anyone who disagrees with you then you start calling them names, yet at the same time you female dog about others calling you names. Donít be a hypocrite. People can have differing views thatís what makes the country great. If you disagree fine, post your disagreement (and use some facts or references if you got them) fat lazy poor people is not a fact.

Moreover you donít need to go off telling other people how they think or attacking them to make your point, thatís juvenile and certainly wonít hold up in law school debates. I glossed over your entire argument, if you had one, because it was a chuck full of personal attacks thrown in with some un backed up ďfactsĒ and mushed together into one long rambling post.

Of course youíre going to take this as a personal attack on you, but its not, its constructive criticism. If you want to be a lawyer youíre going to need how to learn to argue by backing up your statements with reliable sources and avoiding attacking your opposing council or the judge just because they wonít completely agree with your point. This is not talk radio where everything is Clintons fault and you donít have to back up anything you say because the minions will blindly believe your every word. Try making a coherent argument without accusing the other side of being too stupid to understand. Maybe then more folks might listen to you and your views.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: jeffislouie on August 12, 2008, 10:30:04 AM
Jeffisloiue, first, for god sakes use paragraph breaks. It was hard as hell to read that garbage. Secondly you seem to get mad at anyone who disagrees with you then you start calling them names, yet at the same time you female dog about others calling you names. Donít be a hypocrite. People can have differing views thatís what makes the country great. If you disagree fine, post your disagreement (and use some facts or references if you got them) fat lazy poor people is not a fact.

Moreover you donít need to go off telling other people how they think or attacking them to make your point, thatís juvenile and certainly wonít hold up in law school debates. I glossed over your entire argument, if you had one, because it was a chuck full of personal attacks thrown in with some un backed up ďfactsĒ and mushed together into one long rambling post.

Of course youíre going to take this as a personal attack on you, but its not, its constructive criticism. If you want to be a lawyer youíre going to need how to learn to argue by backing up your statements with reliable sources and avoiding attacking your opposing council or the judge just because they wonít completely agree with your point. This is not talk radio where everything is Clintons fault and you donít have to back up anything you say because the minions will blindly believe your every word. Try making a coherent argument without accusing the other side of being too stupid to understand. Maybe then more folks might listen to you and your views.


Fine, I will use paragraph breaks.  I have received similar criticism to NOT use paragraph breaks, but if that's going to make a difference, I will use them to please you.

Now, I didn't use a personal attack until several were directed at me.  So my complaint is reasonable.  And I do not have an issue when people have differing opinions than mine - my issue is when people have differing opinions then refuse to discuss them, accept any challenges to them and ignore follow up questions which are posed with the intention of either showing them that their opinion isn't reasonable or showing me that mine is problematic.  Instead of answering those questions, I get made fun of for asking questions, ridiculed for my compositions style and ignored.  Last time I checked, conversations are supposed to include questions, followed by an exchange of ideas.

I also find it rather funny that you tell me not to tell people how they think, then you tell me that I'll probably take this as an attack.  I don't.  I noticed that you chastised saxby (and others) who engaged in blatant personal attacks.  Is it okay for them to do that because you agree with them, or is it okay because you approve of their writing style?

And my facts aren't merely opinions or simple minded 'talk radio' talking points.  The last time I posted in this forum and provided links, I was told that it wasn't necessary and that other people didn't approve of my sources.  Talk radio, which I listen to with some regularity, is rarely if ever not backed up with actual, documented, verified fact.  You use generalizations to tell me not to generalize?

What facts that I provided require documentation?  That most hourly employees at walmart are either high school grads or GED recipients?  Who do you think is stocking walmart shelves, PHD candidates?  Is it the hourly salary data?  Here's a link:

http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Employer=Wal-Mart_Stores%2c_Inc/Hourly_Rate

Here's some competitive data from other retailers:

http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Employer=Target_Corp_(Retailer)/Hourly_Rate

http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Employer=Kmart_Corp/Hourly_Rate

http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Employer=Sears_Roebuck_%26_Co/Hourly_Rate

If you look at it, walmart is not only competitive with these other companies, but in some cases pay more.  There is the data.  So why aren't we discussing these companies?  Because Walmart is the easy target, even though they are right in line with most other large retail companies.

So yeah, what arguments remain?  That some people believe that unskilled retail employees deserve health care and higher wages?  Based on what, idealism?  The reality is that the alternative is simply not possible - no company can afford to pay menial workers a living wage.  Unskilled laborers often have to work more than 40 hours a week at more than one job to make ends meet - that's why education, training, and personal drive are so essential to a career.  Working as a cashier at a walmart isn't a career - it's a job.  What bothers me most is this notion that I have a sense of entitlement while those who claim workers are entitled to more than they get are not.  My sense of entitlement comes commensurate with my education and skills, not my upbringing or social status.  Realizing that I didn't want to work for minimum wage, I went out and got skills, training, and education so that I could earn more money, have health insurance, and have a career that allows me to live a better lifestyle.  Walmart, like other companies, don't 'owe' their workers a living wage.  They owe them a fair wage, which is exactly what employees get when they agree to work for a specific hourly rate.  If it isn't fair, don't accept the job.

Ah yes, the unemployment rate argument may be what you are pointing to as unsubstantiated:
http://www.perkel.com/politics/clinton/accomp.htm
"Unemployment has fallen from 7% when President Clinton took office to its current rate of 5.6% "

The current unemployment rate, touted as the worst since 2004, is 5.7%. 
http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

Strange how that happened just after the minimum wage increased, no?  Let me know what other sources you would like me to find for you.  I'm happy to comply.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Saxby Clemens II on August 12, 2008, 10:42:08 AM
Jeffislouie, you're ridiculous.  If you think anyone in this thread with half a brain believes that I just went off and called you names because I didn't like what you said, you're nuts.  Grow up?  Please.  Try not basing a post around the equation of working class adults with fourth grade children and I'll try not pointing out that your inane arguments and absent grasp of English writing style suggest you're hardly in a position to judge anyone else's intellectual aptitude.  I proudly stand by everything I wrote.  For your own sake, I seriously hope you don't feel the same way.   

I didn't grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth.  Again, this is where reading comprehension would have come in handy.  You apparently missed the part where I said that I, along with my parents and grandparents, worked hard to get where we are/were.  Or, you didn't miss that part, but chose to read it and then ignore what I said/respond as though I'd written something completely different (this is what you did the first time around, under the guise of finding my posts "lacking" and then offering "very different questions").  If you don't think your statements reek of a sense of entitlement, we can add lack of self awareness to the list of personal failures your posts in this thread illustrate. 

The difference between you and I, or you and my parents, or you and anyone else on this board who's worked their way up the ladder without kicking at the people still on the bottom rung, is that no matter how many advanced degrees, fancy clothes, fast cars or big houses we have or may one day possess, none of us would ever consider making the sort of degrading, insulting, condescending and ultimately uninformed statements about hard working men and women that you did here. 

Those statements, despite any other annoyances you represent (seriously, paragraphs are our friends), are really the only reasons I have for not feeling as though you're worth any further attention.   
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Matthies on August 12, 2008, 11:17:34 AM
Jeffisloiue, first, for god sakes use paragraph breaks. It was hard as hell to read that garbage. Secondly you seem to get mad at anyone who disagrees with you then you start calling them names, yet at the same time you female dog about others calling you names. Donít be a hypocrite. People can have differing views thatís what makes the country great. If you disagree fine, post your disagreement (and use some facts or references if you got them) fat lazy poor people is not a fact.

Moreover you donít need to go off telling other people how they think or attacking them to make your point, thatís juvenile and certainly wonít hold up in law school debates. I glossed over your entire argument, if you had one, because it was a chuck full of personal attacks thrown in with some un backed up ďfactsĒ and mushed together into one long rambling post.

Of course youíre going to take this as a personal attack on you, but its not, its constructive criticism. If you want to be a lawyer youíre going to need how to learn to argue by backing up your statements with reliable sources and avoiding attacking your opposing council or the judge just because they wonít completely agree with your point. This is not talk radio where everything is Clintons fault and you donít have to back up anything you say because the minions will blindly believe your every word. Try making a coherent argument without accusing the other side of being too stupid to understand. Maybe then more folks might listen to you and your views.


I noticed that you chastised saxby (and others) who engaged in blatant personal attacks.  Is it okay for them to do that because you agree with them, or is it okay because you approve of their writing style?



I personally donít agree with Sax or you, Iím a classist. I donít think the classes should mix. If you were born poor you should stay poor regardless of how hard you work or what education you get. The idea of some pov marrying up into my family scares the crap out of me. Stay where you belong Ėin you class. But I donít believe all wal-mart workers are fat and lazy just like I donít think all food service workers are. They have to work to make ends meets, pay their bills and support their families and allow me to live in the leisure class. I donít see anything wrong with people starting at wal-mart or other stores and working their way up to management if they want. Great they can earn a middle income buy an Acura and Iíll see them coming and keep my children from playing with the new rich. 
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Thistle on August 12, 2008, 12:10:21 PM
matthies dont you think a caste system like india would work better?  then you could tell by their clothes.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Julie Fern on August 12, 2008, 12:34:41 PM
why not just put colorful dots on their face?
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Julie Fern on August 12, 2008, 12:39:42 PM
that sound good, but dots very nice.  you could change color or move.  very creative.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Process Server on August 12, 2008, 01:06:37 PM
I like Walmart - I can buy like 10 suits there for the price you fools pay for just one.

And why does the argument always devolve into a screaming match and then a brigade teams up on one poster and tries to shut her up by squawking the loudest?
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Julie Fern on August 12, 2008, 01:27:50 PM
but what your point, exactly?
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Julie Fern on August 12, 2008, 04:56:14 PM
julie want copy of rules.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: jeffislouie on August 15, 2008, 12:36:10 PM
I like Walmart - I can buy like 10 suits there for the price you fools pay for just one.

And why does the argument always devolve into a screaming match and then a brigade teams up on one poster and tries to shut her up by squawking the loudest?

Welcome to LSD, where the nuts run the asylum.....

As I expected, the conversation devolved the moment I posted an opinion and became a game of insult and attack (a game I don't like to play).  You'll notice that the points I made were completely ignored and instead, this thread became about my composition skills.  Another waste of my time.  I find it rather humorous that anyone would find anything I wrote to have anything to do with entitlement.  My best guess is that Saxby simply doesn't know what the word entitlement means.  So, in an effort to right the ship, here's a definition of the word (and I'll back it up because even the most obvious and easy to find facts are challenged unless linked, and then only by a source that the questioning party finds credible):

From Merriam-Webster:
"belief that one is deserving of or entitled to certain privileges"

So when I say that workers aren't entitled to a living wage and that walmart pays their workers on par with industry standards, somehow that makes ME entitled?

Saxby is either confused or has reading comprehension issues, neither of which I am willing to mock.  Saxby, you win.  All workers are entitled to a living wage, a fancy car, three plasma tv's, and should have free health insurance.  Who cares about those evil corporations paying more than their fair share of taxes, providing jobs, and running businesses where they provide goods at a reasonable price.  All corporations should have one goal and only one goal: paying their employees a living wage no matter the value of their work. 

Saxby - I wonder how long any company you run can remain in existence with a business plan that revolves around paying workers more than they are worth while providing free health insurance instead of, you know, turning a profit.

Since we seem to be invested in the idea of how all large companies are evil, are we aware that Exxon-mobil pays $4000 a second in taxes?  You probably didn't know that, and you won't bother accepting it because I just don't have to time to dig up a link to prove it to you.  It's called google, and if you ever want to know if something is true, I recommend searching there first.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Julie Fern on August 15, 2008, 01:36:55 PM
spoken like someone who never suspect he an inmate.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Matthies on August 15, 2008, 01:42:22 PM
I like Walmart - I can buy like 10 suits there for the price you fools pay for just one.

And why does the argument always devolve into a screaming match and then a brigade teams up on one poster and tries to shut her up by squawking the loudest?


Saxby - I wonder how long any company you run can remain in existence with a business plan that revolves around paying workers more than they are worth while providing free health insurance instead of, you know, turning a profit.


IKEA, Whole Foods, Container Store and many others are examples of comapnies that pay thier workers higher than the going wage in thier industries, and provide health insurnce and make profits.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Saxby Clemens II on August 15, 2008, 01:50:18 PM
Good list, Mattypie. 

Costco, too. 

Not to mention Wal Mart is a massive company that pulls in something like $10 billion a year.  That could easily support higher employee pay/benefits.   

You know, as has been pointed out by at least three other posters in this thread.   
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: mugatu on August 15, 2008, 02:30:42 PM
And, for the record, a "living wage" doesn't equal a fancy car or 3 plasma tvs.  At least, it doesn't in my book. 
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Susan B. Anthony on August 15, 2008, 02:44:24 PM
And, for the record, a "living wage" doesn't equal a fancy car or 3 plasma tvs.  At least, it doesn't in my book. 
youre just not living right without TWO nice cars and FOUR plasma TVs
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: mugatu on August 15, 2008, 02:46:54 PM
And, for the record, a "living wage" doesn't equal a fancy car or 3 plasma tvs.  At least, it doesn't in my book. 
youre just not living right without TWO nice cars and FOUR plasma TVs

right.  it's actually far greater than the presented standard
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Matthies on August 15, 2008, 02:50:49 PM
And, for the record, a "living wage" doesn't equal a fancy car or 3 plasma tvs.  At least, it doesn't in my book. 

Yes, those would just be scraping by for me
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Saxby Clemens II on August 15, 2008, 03:17:21 PM
(http://failblog.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/fb181.jpg?w=500&h=340)
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: EarlCat on August 15, 2008, 11:11:59 PM
IKEA, Whole Foods, Container Store and many others are examples of comapnies that pay thier workers higher than the going wage in thier industries, and provide health insurnce and make profits.

I can't afford to shop at any of those places with any regularity (although I did have some great cajun blackened tofu at whole foods that kept me quite regular).  The only employee-friendly company I can think of with competitive prices is Costco, and I don't know how they pull that off.  (Of course, Costco and Wal-Mart are very different stores...a comparison to Sam's would be fairer, but I have no idea how Sam's is perceived to treat their employees.)
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: mugatu on August 15, 2008, 11:58:36 PM
Sam's = Walmart

Same company.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Thistle on August 16, 2008, 05:13:10 AM
I like Walmart - I can buy like 10 suits there for the price you fools pay for just one.

And why does the argument always devolve into a screaming match and then a brigade teams up on one poster and tries to shut her up by squawking the loudest?

Welcome to LSD, where the nuts run the asylum.....

As I expected, the conversation devolved the moment I posted an opinion and became a game of insult and attack (a game I don't like to play).


then why do you keep playing it?  like a moth to a porch light......



You'll notice that the points I made were completely ignored and instead, this thread became about my composition skills.  Another waste of my time.  I find it rather humorous that anyone would find anything I wrote to have anything to do with entitlement.  My best guess is that Saxby simply doesn't know what the word entitlement means.  So, in an effort to right the ship, here's a definition of the word (and I'll back it up because even the most obvious and easy to find facts are challenged unless linked, and then only by a source that the questioning party finds credible):


youre playing again....

From Merriam-Webster:
"belief that one is deserving of or entitled to certain privileges"

So when I say that workers aren't entitled to a living wage and that walmart pays their workers on par with industry standards, somehow that makes ME entitled?

Saxby is either confused or has reading comprehension issues, neither of which I am willing to mock.
  Saxby, you win.  All workers are entitled to a living wage, a fancy car, three plasma tv's, and should have free health insurance.  Who cares about those evil corporations paying more than their fair share of taxes, providing jobs, and running businesses where they provide goods at a reasonable price.  All corporations should have one goal and only one goal: paying their employees a living wage no matter the value of their work. 


and again..........


Saxby - I wonder how long any company you run can remain in existence with a business plan that revolves around paying workers more than they are worth while providing free health insurance instead of, you know, turning a profit.

Since we seem to be invested in the idea of how all large companies are evil, are we aware that Exxon-mobil pays $4000 a second in taxes?  You probably didn't know that, and you won't bother accepting it because I just don't have to time to dig up a link to prove it to you.  It's called google, and if you ever want to know if something is true, I recommend searching there first.

and again.....






btw, exxon reported a 22 BILLION dollar PROFIT during the first SIX MONTHS of this year. 
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Matthies on August 16, 2008, 08:30:49 AM
IKEA, Whole Foods, Container Store and many others are examples of comapnies that pay thier workers higher than the going wage in thier industries, and provide health insurnce and make profits.

I can't afford to shop at any of those places with any regularity (although I did have some great cajun blackened tofu at whole foods that kept me quite regular).  The only employee-friendly company I can think of with competitive prices is Costco, and I don't know how they pull that off.  (Of course, Costco and Wal-Mart are very different stores...a comparison to Sam's would be fairer, but I have no idea how Sam's is perceived to treat their employees.)

I've actually never even been inside a Whole Foods, I like my food processed and with lots of preservatives. But I think IKEA is really affordable for quality design, however its dispoable furniture, don't try and move it more than once or it falls apart. Container Store on the other hand has taken me for $1,000s that place was desgined for people like me with serious OCD about orginizing things. Oh I would add to the list Crate and Barrel and Apple Stores.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: jeffislouie on August 16, 2008, 08:41:05 AM
I like Walmart - I can buy like 10 suits there for the price you fools pay for just one.

And why does the argument always devolve into a screaming match and then a brigade teams up on one poster and tries to shut her up by squawking the loudest?


Saxby - I wonder how long any company you run can remain in existence with a business plan that revolves around paying workers more than they are worth while providing free health insurance instead of, you know, turning a profit.


IKEA, Whole Foods, Container Store and many others are examples of comapnies that pay thier workers higher than the going wage in thier industries, and provide health insurnce and make profits.

This is true.  That makes them excellent corporate citizens.  But none of them are required to do that.  Are any of these companies unionized?  I applaud them for paying their workers well and providing them with some sort of insurance.  But what is even more interesting to me is that these examples are of higher end stores.  To work at any of these places, you are expected to be trained and knowledgable about the products in the store.  Ask someone at Ikea about one of their modular closet systems and you'll get help putting one together.  Ask a question about olives or fresh meat in a whole foods, and you are likely to receive a knowledgable response brought about by training.  If you talk to anyone at the container store, you'll find that they are very much in the know.  Seriously.  The same cannot be said about walmart employees.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Matthies on August 16, 2008, 08:45:49 AM
I donít really have a problem with the oil companies making huge profits. I do have a problem with them making huge profits while still getting the tax breaks and subsidies they got ten years ago when the industry was really struggling. Get rid of those now that they can afford to stand on their own.

Oh and re-regulate the airline industry. I remember when I was a kid and it was so expense to fly it kept the trash out of the skies. Now when I am forced to fly, and forced to fly on Southwest I half expect to see people carrying chickens and pigs on the plane like those buses you take in Mexico.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: jeffislouie on August 16, 2008, 08:55:37 AM
I like Walmart - I can buy like 10 suits there for the price you fools pay for just one.

And why does the argument always devolve into a screaming match and then a brigade teams up on one poster and tries to shut her up by squawking the loudest?

Welcome to LSD, where the nuts run the asylum.....

As I expected, the conversation devolved the moment I posted an opinion and became a game of insult and attack (a game I don't like to play).


then why do you keep playing it?  like a moth to a porch light......



You'll notice that the points I made were completely ignored and instead, this thread became about my composition skills.  Another waste of my time.  I find it rather humorous that anyone would find anything I wrote to have anything to do with entitlement.  My best guess is that Saxby simply doesn't know what the word entitlement means.  So, in an effort to right the ship, here's a definition of the word (and I'll back it up because even the most obvious and easy to find facts are challenged unless linked, and then only by a source that the questioning party finds credible):


youre playing again....

From Merriam-Webster:
"belief that one is deserving of or entitled to certain privileges"

So when I say that workers aren't entitled to a living wage and that walmart pays their workers on par with industry standards, somehow that makes ME entitled?

Saxby is either confused or has reading comprehension issues, neither of which I am willing to mock.
  Saxby, you win.  All workers are entitled to a living wage, a fancy car, three plasma tv's, and should have free health insurance.  Who cares about those evil corporations paying more than their fair share of taxes, providing jobs, and running businesses where they provide goods at a reasonable price.  All corporations should have one goal and only one goal: paying their employees a living wage no matter the value of their work. 


and again..........


Saxby - I wonder how long any company you run can remain in existence with a business plan that revolves around paying workers more than they are worth while providing free health insurance instead of, you know, turning a profit.

Since we seem to be invested in the idea of how all large companies are evil, are we aware that Exxon-mobil pays $4000 a second in taxes?  You probably didn't know that, and you won't bother accepting it because I just don't have to time to dig up a link to prove it to you.  It's called google, and if you ever want to know if something is true, I recommend searching there first.

and again.....






btw, exxon reported a 22 BILLION dollar PROFIT during the first SIX MONTHS of this year. 

And I congratulate them for it.  As far as I can tell, they earned that profit by remaining a model of efficiency, not by raping the public (the way the left tries to portray them).  And please tell me how much they paid in taxes during the first 6 months of the year.  And please tell me how much they paid in salary and benefits this year.  What was their profit MARGIN?  I'd be willing to guess that you have no f-ing idea.  The problem with people who like to point out how much a company or person makes (you know, besides the obvious wealth envy), is that you tend to see things in a bubble.  Black or white.  Chocolate or vanilla.  Consider looking at other factors before deciding a company is evil merely because of its profit.  

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/2008/07/31/media-near-secret-exxons-taxes-almost-3x-much-profits

http://www.istockanalyst.com/article/viewarticle+articleid_2459357&title=Exxon_Posts_Record.html
While the majority of elitist liberals in the media and on the hill want you to focus on profits in an effort to demonize companies like exxon, the reality is that while exxon earned (yes, I said earned) $11.68 billion last quarter, they paid out over $32 billion last quarter in taxes.  3X what they earned.

And if you feel I am attacking or making fun of saxby, I would like the opportunity to tell you that I am not (at least not where you quoted) - I am pointing out an issue:  You can't make the argument that workers are entitled to more money than a company is willing to pay with more benefits than a company is willing to provide merely because they are workers and then tell a person who believes that walmart workers generally earn more than they are worth that his opinion reeks of entitlement.  That is unless you don't understand what the word entitlement means or you are having trouble comprehending what has been written.  I don't find that funny, nor am I using it to hurt anyone's feelings.  The very notion that someone could consider the opinions I've provided as containing some sort of sense of entitlement is preposterous.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Matthies on August 16, 2008, 08:57:38 AM
I like Walmart - I can buy like 10 suits there for the price you fools pay for just one.

And why does the argument always devolve into a screaming match and then a brigade teams up on one poster and tries to shut her up by squawking the loudest?


Saxby - I wonder how long any company you run can remain in existence with a business plan that revolves around paying workers more than they are worth while providing free health insurance instead of, you know, turning a profit.


IKEA, Whole Foods, Container Store and many others are examples of comapnies that pay thier workers higher than the going wage in thier industries, and provide health insurnce and make profits.

This is true.  That makes them excellent corporate citizens.  But none of them are required to do that.  Are any of these companies unionized?  I applaud them for paying their workers well and providing them with some sort of insurance.  But what is even more interesting to me is that these examples are of higher end stores.  To work at any of these places, you are expected to be trained and knowledgable about the products in the store.  Ask someone at Ikea about one of their modular closet systems and you'll get help putting one together.  Ask a question about olives or fresh meat in a whole foods, and you are likely to receive a knowledgable response brought about by training.  If you talk to anyone at the container store, you'll find that they are very much in the know.  Seriously.  The same cannot be said about walmart employees.

Well I know Safeway is unionized and they make a profit, and they pay their employees really well, I know a guy in the meat department who is making close to 60k after 10 years with the company and anyone from any department can advance to become managers, full medical and dental plus he has a pension to boot thatís vested after 25 years.

BUT I think what you point out about Wal-mart is exactly what some of us are saying, they hire people without skills and donít train them precisely because they can keep them low paid and make more corporate profits.  Some companies see more benefit in training and keeping good employers at the expanse of more profit, because that is their business model. I, like you, like when an employee knows more about their products then just where it is on the shelf (places like Home Depot are the worst, Iíll pay more to go to Ace and be able to easily find a real person who can actually tell me not only what I need to buy but how to use it and how to make my project come out the best) I'll only go to Home Depot as a last resort and when I have 4 hours of free time to wonder the eilses until I can actually find what I need becuase you never seen anyone there who can help you.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: vjm on August 16, 2008, 08:58:39 AM
I like Walmart - I can buy like 10 suits there for the price you fools pay for just one.

And why does the argument always devolve into a screaming match and then a brigade teams up on one poster and tries to shut her up by squawking the loudest?


Saxby - I wonder how long any company you run can remain in existence with a business plan that revolves around paying workers more than they are worth while providing free health insurance instead of, you know, turning a profit.


IKEA, Whole Foods, Container Store and many others are examples of comapnies that pay thier workers higher than the going wage in thier industries, and provide health insurnce and make profits.

This is true.  That makes them excellent corporate citizens.  But none of them are required to do that.  Are any of these companies unionized?  I applaud them for paying their workers well and providing them with some sort of insurance.  But what is even more interesting to me is that these examples are of higher end stores.  To work at any of these places, you are expected to be trained and knowledgable about the products in the store.  Ask someone at Ikea about one of their modular closet systems and you'll get help putting one together.  Ask a question about olives or fresh meat in a whole foods, and you are likely to receive a knowledgable response brought about by training.  If you talk to anyone at the container store, you'll find that they are very much in the know.  Seriously.  The same cannot be said about walmart employees.


I am not following you here. You seem to be saying that there is some inherent intellectual difference between workers at Wal-Mart and workers at the aforementioned stores. I am pretty sure the differences you are seeing are more readily attributed to the training programs with which employees are provided. The positive shopping experience at places other than Wal-Mart is a result of corporate culture, best leadership practices and respect for customers. This plays out in great training programs and responsiveness to employees on the floor. In turn, customers get an improved shopping experience.

jeff, we have both worked in the restaurant industry for a long time. You know as well as I do that if there are is inadequate training for new hires, poor mentoring, *&^% leadership and a constant message of "we don't give a crap about customer experience and all you employees are know nothing dipshits" you get a bad restaurant. People steal, its dirty, there is no incentive to improve systems, etc. It doesn't matter if you hire highly educated people, geniuses, white folks, black folks,brown folks- your restaurant is going to be a hell-hole. I think the differences in retail are attributable to the exact same source.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Thistle on August 16, 2008, 11:14:58 AM
I like Walmart - I can buy like 10 suits there for the price you fools pay for just one.

And why does the argument always devolve into a screaming match and then a brigade teams up on one poster and tries to shut her up by squawking the loudest?

Welcome to LSD, where the nuts run the asylum.....

As I expected, the conversation devolved the moment I posted an opinion and became a game of insult and attack (a game I don't like to play).


then why do you keep playing it?  like a moth to a porch light......



You'll notice that the points I made were completely ignored and instead, this thread became about my composition skills.  Another waste of my time.  I find it rather humorous that anyone would find anything I wrote to have anything to do with entitlement.  My best guess is that Saxby simply doesn't know what the word entitlement means.  So, in an effort to right the ship, here's a definition of the word (and I'll back it up because even the most obvious and easy to find facts are challenged unless linked, and then only by a source that the questioning party finds credible):


youre playing again....

From Merriam-Webster:
"belief that one is deserving of or entitled to certain privileges"

So when I say that workers aren't entitled to a living wage and that walmart pays their workers on par with industry standards, somehow that makes ME entitled?

Saxby is either confused or has reading comprehension issues, neither of which I am willing to mock.
  Saxby, you win.  All workers are entitled to a living wage, a fancy car, three plasma tv's, and should have free health insurance.  Who cares about those evil corporations paying more than their fair share of taxes, providing jobs, and running businesses where they provide goods at a reasonable price.  All corporations should have one goal and only one goal: paying their employees a living wage no matter the value of their work. 


and again..........


Saxby - I wonder how long any company you run can remain in existence with a business plan that revolves around paying workers more than they are worth while providing free health insurance instead of, you know, turning a profit.

Since we seem to be invested in the idea of how all large companies are evil, are we aware that Exxon-mobil pays $4000 a second in taxes?  You probably didn't know that, and you won't bother accepting it because I just don't have to time to dig up a link to prove it to you.  It's called google, and if you ever want to know if something is true, I recommend searching there first.

and again.....






btw, exxon reported a 22 BILLION dollar PROFIT during the first SIX MONTHS of this year. 

And I congratulate them for it.  As far as I can tell, they earned that profit by remaining a model of efficiency, not by raping the public (the way the left tries to portray them).  And please tell me how much they paid in taxes during the first 6 months of the year.  And please tell me how much they paid in salary and benefits this year.  What was their profit MARGIN?  I'd be willing to guess that you have no f-ing idea.  The problem with people who like to point out how much a company or person makes (you know, besides the obvious wealth envy), is that you tend to see things in a bubble.  Black or white.  Chocolate or vanilla.  Consider looking at other factors before deciding a company is evil merely because of its profit. 

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/2008/07/31/media-near-secret-exxons-taxes-almost-3x-much-profits

http://www.istockanalyst.com/article/viewarticle+articleid_2459357&title=Exxon_Posts_Record.html
While the majority of elitist liberals in the media and on the hill want you to focus on profits in an effort to demonize companies like exxon, the reality is that while exxon earned (yes, I said earned) $11.68 billion last quarter, they paid out over $32 billion last quarter in taxes.  3X what they earned.

And if you feel I am attacking or making fun of saxby, I would like the opportunity to tell you that I am not (at least not where you quoted) - I am pointing out an issue:  You can't make the argument that workers are entitled to more money than a company is willing to pay with more benefits than a company is willing to provide merely because they are workers and then tell a person who believes that walmart workers generally earn more than they are worth that his opinion reeks of entitlement.  That is unless you don't understand what the word entitlement means or you are having trouble comprehending what has been written.  I don't find that funny, nor am I using it to hurt anyone's feelings.  The very notion that someone could consider the opinions I've provided as containing some sort of sense of entitlement is preposterous.


no, i am merely pointing out that you have a history of behaving the way you say you hate, which i find somewhat humorous.

eta:  7.6% is exxons profit margin.  doesnt seem like much when you compare it to other manufacturer's average of 5.8%, however their return on investment of 27% is 10 points higher than all other manufacturers.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Saxby Clemens II on August 16, 2008, 01:45:59 PM
Let us indulge the ridiculous notion that Wal Mart employees are all semi-retarded illiterates who squandered every chance for advancement they were ever given and thus deserve to spend their lives working in Hell. 

What exactly is the motivation for any Wal Mart employee to go out of their way to serve people who shop there?  Since they aren't all semi-retarded illiterates, most surely know they're getting the short end of the stick, employment wise.  And, no, I won't indulge the ridiculous notion that anyone who's unhappy working at Wal Mart can just go somewhere else.  In rural America, Wal Mart's bread and butter, there often aren't readily available alternatives.  You get what you pay for.  If Wal Mart employees don't deserve better pay or benefits because they don't meet some subjective standard of helpfulness, then perhaps Wal Mart doesn't deserve to be patronized at all, having created the type of shopping environment where their own employees couldn't care less about their crappy jobs (or especially about the rich folk who care more about discount paper plates than how the people who stock them are treated).   

I just came back from Costco.  Their employees are happy.  They seem to enjoy what they're doing.  They're friendly, helpful and informed.  I actually know people, people with college degrees, who started working at Costco in high school and college and still work there, not because they have to, but because they're adequately compensated for work they enjoy and are given fair opportunity for advancement.  That is not the case at Wal Mart, and it's not the case simply because Wal Mart is focused entirely on pocketing $12 billion a year instead of $10 billion. 

Here is a very interesting article that I know some in this thread will ignore, since it comes from that awful liberal rag otherwise known as the NYT.  In it, Costco's chief executive discusses how treating employees well is actually good business.  Shocking, I know.  As for the Sam's Club comparison, it also states that Costco pays its employees 42% higher than Sam's Club and still manages to avoid selling cheap *&^% manufactured by Asian children at ridiculous markups:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/17/business/yourmoney/17costco.html?ei=5090&en=8b3103305fea6d68&ex=1279252800&adxnnl=1&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=1&adxnnlx=1121705296-Q4tqPzmKJ9sYl9Q2a0xDYA (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/17/business/yourmoney/17costco.html?ei=5090&en=8b3103305fea6d68&ex=1279252800&adxnnl=1&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=1&adxnnlx=1121705296-Q4tqPzmKJ9sYl9Q2a0xDYA)
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Matthies on August 16, 2008, 03:48:18 PM
avoid selling cheap poo manufactured by Asian children at ridiculous markups:


If products said "Made in Asia by Children" I would go out of my way to buy them!
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: EarlCat on August 17, 2008, 02:07:13 AM
Well I know Safeway is unionized and they make a profit, and they pay their employees really well

The Safeway where I grew up went out of business... :-[
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: EarlCat on August 17, 2008, 02:12:17 AM
I just came back from Costco.  Their employees are happy.  They seem to enjoy what they're doing.  They're friendly, helpful and informed.

I have to say, Costco is my new favorite place to shop.  However, I did go into a wal-mart the other day (er, middle of the night, really) to buy a birthday cake.  The three employees I spoke with all seemed happy and were very friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful.  It's anecdotal I know, but these were not what I would classify as people suffering in hell.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Thistle on August 17, 2008, 05:45:31 AM
Well I know Safeway is unionized and they make a profit, and they pay their employees really well

The Safeway where I grew up went out of business... :-[


ours did too.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Saxby Clemens II on August 17, 2008, 10:11:08 AM
I've never seen a Safeway out of DC/VA. 
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: goaliechica on August 17, 2008, 10:12:58 AM
I've never seen a Safeway out of DC/VA. 

We have them in California! AND they sell liquor 24 hours a day. Oh yeah.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Matthies on August 17, 2008, 10:42:01 AM
I've never seen a Safeway out of DC/VA. 

We have them in California! AND they sell liquor 24 hours a day. Oh yeah.

Yea they are big out west, 3 within 2 miles of my house, and you get a 10 cent discount on gas for every $100 you spend at thier stores (they have safeway gas stations now) I love Safeway becuase they call you buy name when you check out and thank you for shoping with them, nice touch. Plus you can shop online and they deliver!
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: goaliechica on August 17, 2008, 12:13:56 PM
I've never seen a Safeway out of DC/VA. 

We have them in California! AND they sell liquor 24 hours a day. Oh yeah.

24 hour a day liquor?  This is why California is going to hell in a hand basket.  Where are the blue laws?

True story. When I moved back here from Massachusetts I could hardly credit the marvelousness of it all.

::skips stumbles off to handbasket::
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Gengiswump on August 18, 2008, 12:42:55 AM
Wait a sec - 24 hour hard liquor at a Safeway in CA?  They never had that when I lived there.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Saxby Clemens II on August 18, 2008, 12:44:06 AM
The Safeway at the Watergate doesn't even have red wine vinegar. 
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Julie Fern on August 18, 2008, 05:52:09 AM
Wait a sec - 24 hour hard liquor at a Safeway in CA? They never had that when I lived there.

maybe they just waiting for you move out.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Gengiswump on August 18, 2008, 01:17:46 PM
Are you kidding?  I'd be their best customer.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Julie Fern on August 18, 2008, 01:24:54 PM
maybe that problem.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: jeffislouie on August 19, 2008, 03:49:01 PM
Although in retrospect, it appears that I did leave the impression that I think that walmart employees are illiterate morons, I don't really believe that.  However, only an illiterate moron would work for $8.50 an hour, then complain that they aren't paid enough and deserve health insurance.  I guess my point could be finer tuned to say that if you work at walmart, you should have an idea of what to expect.  It's not like walmart lies to their employees.  If they choose to stay at a low paying menial labor job, so be it.

And I am well versed in costco's culture.  They DO pay more and their employees are happier.  Costco's CEO is always getting heat for paying as well as he does and keeping margins restricted regardless of product category.  I shop at Costco for a lot of reasons, and their employees are a part of that equation (whereas walmart's employees tend to be a highly listed reason why I don't ship at walmart).  Costco employees are well trained and valuable to the brand.  That's a result of their corporate culture.  Walmart's culture isn't the same, much like Ford and Honda have differing cultures.  I'd love to be a fabulously wealthy actor or musician, but I'm just not good enough to get those jobs.  I have to suffer as a law student and future attorney....

What we have here is a chicken and egg question.  Walmart hires people for a specific number of hours at a certain salary level.  If the employees don't like that, they are free to quit at any time and obtain other employment.  If they can't find another job, that's on them, not walmart.  I don't buy the argument that they 'deserve' more, nor do I support the conclusion that walmart is evil.  They sell products at a profit while maintaining affordability.  They employ people with (usually) minimal job skills and prospects.  I used to hate my job.  I was overworked, underappreciated, and underpaid.  So I stuck it out, got some education, and moved onward and upward.  When previous generations couldn't find work, they would move to an area where they could.  Nowadays, people prefer to whine and form unions so they can force companies to allow costs to spiral out of control.  Could walmart pay their menial laborers more?  Sure!  Do they have to?  Absolutely not.

That said, walmart is not wanting for customers or employees, so we are all pissing in the wind, enjoying an argument that means little to either of us in the grand scheme of things.  No hard feelings, but I can't agree with the notion that walmart owes its employees.  If they don't care to train them more, so be it.  It is their choice to make.  If they don't want to pay them more, it's on them and nothing any of us will say matters much.

And good restaurants spend a fortune training employees to do their job better.  But each restaurant, like each big box retailer, is free to make their own choices and live with them.  If you don't care to shop at walmart, no one is going to lose sleep over it.  If a walmart employee feels trapped in their crappy job, it is up to them to change the situation by finding another gig, getting more education or training, and move on OR to accept their fate and deal with the cards they've dealt themselves. 
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: Matthies on August 19, 2008, 04:01:36 PM
This wal-mart debate has become completely redundant.  We should agree to disagree.

Better yet we should just agree I'm right and everyone else is wrong, seems the logical conclusion to me
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: jeffislouie on August 19, 2008, 04:42:50 PM
This wal-mart debate has become completely redundant.  We should agree to disagree.

But it is SOOOOO important!
 ;D

I agree to disagree.  Not only that, but I respect your opinion.
Title: Re: wal-mart and unions
Post by: jeffislouie on August 22, 2008, 10:18:03 AM
This wal-mart debate has become completely redundant.  We should agree to disagree.

But it is SOOOOO important!
 ;D

I agree to disagree.  Not only that, but I respect your opinion.

Noted. ;)

We're actually agreeing to agree.  We share similar free-market viewpoints.  That being said, I still think your defense of RickLax was 100% tardish.  ;D