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Drop1
01-12-2006, 06:21 PM
Is Walmart a plus or minus for America? Opinions!

JPB
01-12-2006, 06:42 PM
A plus and it isn't close. Walmart just exposes people's fears.

When a wal mart comes to town, everybody there gets a pay raise. The people who think banning wal mart will somehow make it so shirts are made in the USA by workers making $19 an hour are delusional.

pooltchr
01-12-2006, 07:35 PM
Free and open competition is what drives our economy. WalMart figured out how to compete with K-Mart. K-Mart was sleeping and look at them now. Someone will figure out how to compete with WalMart and then they will be the big bad monster. I love free enteprise, and if WalMart has succeeded, so can SteveMart, or EdMart or even GayleMart. Just as long as the Government leaves them alone to run their business as they see fit. Yes, they have caused some small businesses to suffer, but most of them never had to deal with competition, and failed to become more efficient along the way.
I shop WalMart, and will continue to do so.
Steve

JPB
01-12-2006, 08:18 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote pooltchr:</font><hr> Free and open competition is what drives our economy. WalMart figured out how to compete with K-Mart. K-Mart was sleeping and look at them now. Someone will figure out how to compete with WalMart and then they will be the big bad monster. I love free enteprise, and if WalMart has succeeded, so can SteveMart, or EdMart or even GayleMart. Just as long as the Government leaves them alone to run their business as they see fit. Yes, they have caused some small businesses to suffer, but most of them never had to deal with competition, and failed to become more efficient along the way.
I shop WalMart, and will continue to do so.
Steve <hr /></blockquote>


I don't shop at wal mart often, but I do like stores that compete with them, and I like the pressure to compete they provide. Small stores can survive, but it is the ones that provide unique and high quality stuff with great service. I am glad we have the money to shop more for high quality and service at smaller places. But I am also glad wal mart exists. Small stores with non unique goods and bad service get chewed up. Funny tho, a watch I bought there over 10 years ago for $20 is still running on the original battery. I bet that level of watch costs less there now. Of course I wear something more expensive and less accurate now. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

dg-in-centralpa
01-12-2006, 08:20 PM
In some ways I agree with you, but as a former small business owner who had to compete with K-Mart and Walmart, there was nothing I could do to save my business. I sold records, cd's and tapes. W &amp; K Marts would sell the new releases at what I had to pay for them. This is called a loss leader. Sell something at a lower price to get people in the store, and they will usually buy something else. I couldn't compete with that and eventually closed up.

DG

JPB
01-12-2006, 08:40 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote dg-in-centralpa:</font><hr> In some ways I agree with you, but as a former small business owner who had to compete with K-Mart and Walmart, there was nothing I could do to save my business. I sold records, cd's and tapes. W &amp; K Marts would sell the new releases at what I had to pay for them. This is called a loss leader. Sell something at a lower price to get people in the store, and they will usually buy something else. I couldn't compete with that and eventually closed up.

DG <hr /></blockquote>

No, but why should somebody have to pay more for a CD? Not trying to make light of the situation for small business owners, but there is no way, economically or morally, that somebody should have to pay more for a fungible CD.

Also, some suppliers shy away from wal mart because they know it can hurt them. You have to be very efficient and willing to play ball with wal mart. So some businesses don't play. And perhaps they will sell a better product for more to another store.

SnakebyteXX
01-12-2006, 10:00 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Drop1:</font><hr> Is Walmart a plus or minus for America? Opinions! <hr /></blockquote>

"One of Sam Walton's earliest imports from Asia was team spirit. Enthused by a factory cheer he witnessed in 1975 at a Korean tennis ball plant, Walton instituted his own "Wal-Mart Cheer," still a staple of the company's corporate culture. He liked the dramatic device for its "whistle while you work philosophy."

Early in his company's spectacular expansion, "Mr. Sam," as everyone called him, decided to reach across the Pacific and make imports a pillar of Wal-Mart's business model. Forcing his American suppliers to cut costs, stressing sales volume over high margins, and wowing customers by showcasing one super low-priced item in each category -- all hinged on importing to find the cheapest prices.

"Sam was an advocate of importing. It was his vision," said a retired senior executive, who was a buyer in Wal-Mart's Hong Kong office in the 1980s, and who asked to keep his identity private. "Our first office was in Hong Kong, then Taiwan. Korea soon after. We'd visit factories, see how they store goods. You would look at every step of the process very carefully."

"From the beginning, Walton had bought goods wherever he could get them cheapest, with any other considerations secondary," writes Bob Ortega, author of the Wal-Mart history, In Sam We Trust. By the early 1980s, Ortega reports, Walton "increasingly looked to imports, which were usually cheaper because factory workers were paid so much less in China and the other Asian countries."

According to Ortega, Walton himself estimated that imports accounted for nearly 6 percent of Wal-Mart's total sales in 1984. But another observer of that period, Frank Yuan, a former Taiwan-based apparel middleman, who dealt with Wal-Mart in the 1980s, puts the number, including indirect imports, at around 40 percent from "day one." Either way, Walton's vision was a harbinger of far vaster global sourcing today.

And it is a far cry from the picture that many Americans have of the legendary founder of Wal-Mart: "Mr. Sam," the folk hero, who drove around the Ozarks in a pickup truck buying cheap goods for his early discount stores and who became the architect of Wal-Mart's highly publicized "Buy American" campaign in the late 1980s and early '90s.

In truth, Walton's "Buy American" campaign did rescue some U.S. manufacturers, but only those who followed his playbook. In a letter he wrote to suppliers in 1985, he made clear he was committed to buying U.S. goods only if they upgraded their operations and improved productivity to "fill our requirements."

"We're not interested in charity here; we don't believe in subsidizing substandard work or inefficiency," Walton wrote in his 1992 autobiography Made in America. "So our primary goal became to work with American manufacturers, and see if our formidable buying power could help them deliver the goods, and in the process, save some American manufacturing jobs."

As one retired senior Wal-Mart executive explained: "Sam wanted everything possible [made] in the U. S., but he was not going to pay [extra] for it to stay. The main thing he asked was: 'Is it good for our customers?' If not, we went and made it overseas."

And so it is equally true -- and far less well known -- that Sam Walton was the architect of Wal-Mart's unpublicized "Buy Asia" program.

In this strategy, Sam Walton was playing catch-up. Sears, Kmart, Target, and JCPenney all had established procurement networks in Asia long before Wal-Mart arrived. Wal-Mart's decision to arrive unfashionably late was deliberate, according to the retired executive. "In going to Asia and then into China," he said, "department stores always beat us. A lot of people were there long before we were. But it was part of the strategy to let them go through the initial tortures. [Wal-Mart would] step in when all the groundwork had been laid."

So by the time Wal-Mart opened its first buying office in Hong Kong in 1981, "manufacturers were already very competent in Taiwan," said Gary Hamilton, a professor of sociology at the University of Washington. "There was already a high level of confidence and responsiveness that allowed Wal-Mart to rapidly expand."

Other retailers' investments in basic infrastructure and manufacturing clusters primed the Pacific Rim for the eventual stream of Wal-Mart's logistics wizards, hard-nosed buyers and product developers to cash in on low-wage Asian labor. "All of the retailers in the world participated in it," said the retired Wal-Mart buyer, recalling the mood in the old days. "We keep moving around to chase lower wages. Or if there's a tariff, we'll move to a country that does not have the tariff."

Lowering Wal-Mart's Profile in Asia

Even as Wal-Mart was pushing its U.S. suppliers to be more efficient and promoting its "Buy American" program through the '80s, the company bought more and more from Asia, according to Jay Moates, a former accountant with Wal-Mart's overseas buying operation.

But to please American consumers concerned about the Asian threat, the retailer played down its buying operations in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, and the rest of Asia. Following the brutal suppression of Chinese students in Tiananmen Square in 1989 by the Chinese Communist leadership, Walton feared a consumer backlash if Wal-Mart were seen as operating in China. He was also disturbed by charges of human rights abuses in his Asian suppliers' factories.

To continue growing in Asia, Wal-Mart needed a buffer -- a middleman or a buying agency that would purchase Asian products without showing Wal-Mart's hand. According to the retired Hong Kong senior executive, Walton told Bill Fields, Wal-Mart's head buyer, that he wanted to "get out" of direct involvement in Asia. "The decision was to go to an exclusive buying agency," the buyer said. "The main reason for going into [the deal] was not to be exposed as going into Communist China."

Walton needed a trusted friend to act as his Asian middleman. He turned to a close friend and tennis partner, George Billingsley, to serve as the titular head of the operation. No matter that Billingsley, a former real estate salesman, knew next to nothing about retail or procurement. To actually run the operation, Walton found Charles Wong, a seasoned Wal-Mart vendor who knew the U.S. retail business well and was at ease operating in Asia. Billingsley would be a figurehead. Wong would run the day-to-day business of procurement out of Hong Kong.

Within two years, Billingsley and Wong had set up Pacific Resources Export Limited (PREL) as an exclusive buying agent for Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart sold its own Asian buying offices to PREL. The links were so close between PREL and Wal-Mart that "most of the people at Wal-Mart, referred to them as us," said Jay Moates, the PREL accountant. "We hired all the old people from [Wal-Mart's Asian buying] operation."

As PREL provided Wal-Mart cover for its Asian buying, Walton could both continue promoting his "Buy American" campaign at home and expand his overseas procurement out of PREL in Hong Kong.

But several months after Walton's death in April 1992, the "Buy American" campaign backfired when Wal-Mart became the target of a Dateline NBC expose that revealed "Buy American" signs adorning piles of imported goods from Asia. Overnight, an embarrassed Wal-Mart de-emphasized the "Buy American" campaign.

Catching the China Bug

China loomed large for Sam Walton's successors in the years following his death. Deng Xiaoping had opened the country to investment, easing restrictions on foreign businesses, and encouraging Chinese entrepreneurs to enter joint ventures with Westerners. Deng declared the fishing village of Shenzhen, just across the border from Hong Kong, a "special economic zone," with no taxes on foreign businesses for the first few years of operation. Across South China, the government began building roads, ports, and other infrastructure. In 1994, it devalued China's currency, from roughly 5 to 8 yuan to the dollar, further fueling the country's explosive development.

China, suddenly the cheapest workshop in Asia, attracted vast capital investment. Millions of migrant workers flooded industrial centers. World-savvy entrepreneurs migrated from Hong Kong and Taiwan, eager for a piece of the action. Many shut down their plants at home in the rush to set up new factories and hire mainland Chinese workers.

Shenzhen boomed. Growing at 20 percent a year, it became known as China's "Miracle City." In two decades, a fishing village mushroomed into a city of 7 million people, with high rises, miles of factories, and modern electronics headquarters. Here too, Wal-Mart sited its global sourcing headquarters.

Wal-Mart had caught the China bug. In a speech to business schools in the early '90s, David Glass, who succeeded Sam Walton as CEO, advised students to learn Mandarin Chinese. In regional meetings, Glass told Wal-Mart execs that if they didn't think internationally, they were working for the wrong company. "The only reason [manufacturing] moved from Taiwan was China's low level of wages," said one early Wal-Mart Hong Kong buyer. "We didn't have any trouble in China, because the Taiwanese went into China and built up the factories. We were dealing with the same people."

Working through PREL's Asian suppliers, Wal-Mart buyers became actively involved in developing products, and educating the mainland Chinese on how to make goods that would sell in America. "You'd go into a factory in Taiwan that's making men's shirts. You see what works," the Wal-Mart buyer recalled. "And then you go into China and tell a factory in China, 'This is why we're not buying from you.' Chinese people are not dumb. They're tenacious. They know they need to learn very quickly."

In 1992, with Wal-Mart clocking in at a 40 percent annual growth rate, Goldman Sachs analyst George Strachan released a study concluding that Wal-Mart was in the midst of "a major strategic merchandising revolution … breaking from a history of almost exclusive commitment to [U.S.] national-brand products, expanding and improving its private-label offerings … and marketing them more aggressively than ever before."

By lining its shelves with its own in-house brands, Wal-Mart began competing directly, on its own shelves, with its national, household brand-name suppliers. "It makes them more efficient," argues Ray Bracy, Wal-Mart's vice president of international corporate affairs. "I suppose you could suggest that they would like to not have that competition. But it makes them better."

The development of Wal-Mart's house brands proved to be a watershed. Consumer surveys had established that Americans cared less and less about buying national brands: Low price trumped brand loyalty. In the period following Sam Walton's death, when Wal-Mart's sales slowed and its stock price began to stagnate, this consumer trend freed the company to ramp up the production of its house brands through unbranded suppliers in China, who now had privileged access to Wal-Mart's 3,500 stores across America. The result was that Wal-Mart became its own de facto manufacturer, developing and designing products according to the taste of its customers, as analyzed by Wal-Mart's supercomputer. Profits soared.

Privately, long-time U.S. suppliers expressed dismay. "They invaded our core business model," said one apparel maker, requesting that his name be withheld. "Wal-Mart seems intent on managing the total product life cycle." If the competitive pressures of Wal-Mart's store brands continue, he said he would close his American factories, abandon his own brand, and try to solicit Wal-Mart's private label business in China. "We call it 'the race to the bottom,'" he asserted. "It's sad because I see that productivity increases [in America] are still possible through automation. There's room for improved efficiency. But it's impossible [to stay here] with retailers going for cheap Chinese labor."

By now, many American manufacturers, such as the apparel supplier, have little choice but to redefine themselves as "branded distributors" for overseas goods. In other words, instead of making their own products, they use their own brand names to market Chinese-made goods to retailers. They eke out profits by outsourcing production and marketing that production. The process is virtually the final step in the surrender to what Duke University Professor Gary Gereffi calls the Wal-Mart-China "joint venture."

For several years, Wal-Mart has been the single largest U.S. importer of Chinese consumer goods, surpassing the trade volume of entire countries, such as Germany and Russia. Global sourcing is now fully integrated into the company's operations -- giving Wal-Mart enormous leverage worldwide. Foreign products account for nearly all of Wal-Mart's trumpeted low opening price point goods.

During regularly scheduled conference calls with Wall Street analysts, Lee Scott, Wal-Mart CEO since 2000, touts global sourcing as the key to increasing company profits and continuing its expansion.

"No one can compete with China. Such efficiency, such manpower," said Frank Yuan, the former middleman who did business with Wal-Mart, and who now heads an international apparel trade show. "If you look at [Wal-Mart's] shoes or housewares, 80 or 90 percent is coming out of China. And apparel is not as big as it should be." After U.S. quotas on textile imports expire on Jan. 1, 2005, Yuan expects imports from China to rise to 80 percent of the apparel market."
Frontline: Is Walmart Good for America (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/walmart/)

SnakebyteXX
01-12-2006, 10:03 PM
Walmart at a Glance
*

100 million: The number of people who shop at Wal-Mart's 3400 American stores every week.
*

50 million: The amount of square footage Wal-Mart plans to add this year, including 50-55 new Wal-Mart stores, 220-230 new Supercenters, 35-40 new Sam's Club and 130-140 new international stores.

*

1.2 million: The number of Wal-Mart associates in the U.S. Any full- or part-time Wal-Mart employee, up to and including the CEO, is considered an "associate," in Wal-Mart parlance. Internationally, Wal-Mart employs an additional 330,000 associates.
*

600,000: The number of new employees Wal-Mart hires each year. The company's turnover rate is 44 percent -- close to the retail industry average.
*

1979: The year Wal-Mart's sales first top $1 billion.
*

$256 billion : Wal-Mart's sales in 2003. In the words of Wal-Mart CFO Tom Schoewe, Wal-Mart's sales are equal to "one IBM, one Hewlett Packard, one Dell computer, one Microsoft and one Cisco System -- and oh, by the way, after that we got $2 billion left over."
*

35: The number of Wal-Mart Supercenters in China.
*

$15 billion: The amount of Chinese products Wal-Mart estimates it imports each year; others suggest the number may be higher.
*

$120 billion: The U.S. trade deficit with China in 2003.
*

8 percent: The amount of total U.S. retail sales, excluding automobiles, accounted for by Wal-Mart.
*

$9.98: The average full-time hourly wage for a Wal-Mart employee. The average full-time hourly wage in metro areas (defined as areas with a population of 50,000 or more) is $10.38. In some urban areas it is higher: $11.03 in Chicago, $11.08 in San Francisco, and $11.20 in Austin.


web page (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/walmart/secrets/stats.html)

wolfdancer
01-13-2006, 01:42 AM
We are burdoned with tariffs and trade restrictions from exporting many of our own products, even our produce...to foreign countries,meanwhile, the trade deficit continues to rise....and you laud fair and open competition
It would only be fair if the playing field was level. Until we can reduce wages, to the standards of these countries....we can't compete......and when they are finally
on par...we won't even be able to buy the cheap, slave labor produced goods........
Sure somebody more ruthless then Wal-Mart will find another undeveloped country, with even cheaper labor...maybe Africa?
Let's do away with the 40 hr work week, holidays and vacations, medical and retirement benefits, etc....let's bring back the company owned towns and company owned stores.....let's get these labor costs down below Viet Nam's ..it's where we are headed....but it's all in the name of free and open competition.....even though other countries have regs to protect their industries
you're not shopping Wal-Mart....you're buying Asia, and selling America companies, American workers
I applaud every community that told Wal Mart to take a ***hike...I cannot believe that this company has not been indicted for it's monopolistic business practices. Maybe when we get an admin from either party that cares more about this countries people then campaign donations from these anti American , anti ethics, Corporations.

dg-in-centralpa
01-13-2006, 05:29 AM
W &amp; K Mart buy their CD's direct from the Record Companies. I was not allowed to do that since I couldn't buy enough quantity. I had to go through a middle man. Thus upping my expenses. I don't want to charge more than is necessary, but when my cost was $22.99 for a double CD, and K Mart is selling it for $21.99 and the MSRP was $31.99, this hurts. Retail is the most competitive business, in terms of trying to outdo one another or have a better price than another. I'm glad I got out of the business. Now that iPods and MP3's are here and downloading from the internet, our stores would be obsolete.

DG

Gayle in MD
01-13-2006, 05:55 AM
Tap Tap Tap...we just ran a big WM facility out of Md.....

I am glad I live near the Chesapeake Bay! When big business tries to infiltrate our shores, all we have to do is find a Bald Eagle nest, to run them off. That is why I am lucky enough to live on the shores of the beautiful Chesapeake Bay, in a rural setting, and still be thirty five minutes from Washington and Baltimore.

Gayle in Md.

pooltchr
01-13-2006, 06:01 AM
"Wal-Mart seems intent on managing the total product life cycle."

If a business can do this, the chances for success increase greatly. When you are no longer at the mercy of various vendors, you have a huge competitive advantage.

Steve

pooltchr
01-13-2006, 06:10 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr>
you're not shopping Wal-Mart....you're buying Asia, and selling America companies, American workers

<hr /></blockquote>

600,000: The number of new employees Wal-Mart hires each year. The company's turnover rate is 44 percent -- close to the retail industry average.
*


600,000 means there are a lot of Americans who have a job. In this area we probably have a dozen WM and another half a dozen Sams plus a huge distribution center. The distribution center alone employs more people than the population of the town where they located it. People commute from other communities to work there. I would bet the people in Pageland SC are quite happy to have an employer like that nearby. Yes, some of those jobs go overseas, but the great majority of them are right here in America.

pooltchr
01-13-2006, 06:18 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote dg-in-centralpa:</font><hr> W &amp; K Mart buy their CD's direct from the Record Companies. I was not allowed to do that since I couldn't buy enough quantity. I had to go through a middle man. Thus upping my expenses. I don't want to charge more than is necessary, but when my cost was $22.99 for a double CD, and K Mart is selling it for $21.99 and the MSRP was $31.99, this hurts. Retail is the most competitive business, in terms of trying to outdo one another or have a better price than another. I'm glad I got out of the business. Now that iPods and MP3's are here and downloading from the internet, our stores would be obsolete.

DG <hr /></blockquote>

DG,
You are probably correct that technology would have caused you to either change the concept of your business or close. Record stores had to go to tapes, then to CD's and we can only imagine what the future holds.
I do know that many independant business are joining together forming "buying clubs" where one group is buying much larger quantities of product and can get a better price. That is one way to take on the large buyers. And let's face it...WM is known for price, not for their customer service. We have a small music store in town that has set up listening stations so you can go in and preview the music before you buy. They have knowledgable sales people who can help customers. They will special order something if it isn't in stock. They offer a lot of alternative music that just isn't going to be on the WM shelves. The place is packed on a regular basis.
I'm sorry that it didn't work out for you, but there are some out there that are still making a go of it.
Steve

Qtec
01-13-2006, 06:20 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote pooltchr:</font><hr> "Wal-Mart seems intent on managing the total product life cycle."

If a business can do this, the chances for success increase greatly. When you are no longer at the mercy of various vendors, you have a huge competitive advantage.

Steve <hr /></blockquote>

Its now the vendors who are at the mercy of WM! They are forced to reduce their prices to the point that they either have to, cut the workforce, move the production overseas or fold.

Q

Qtec
01-13-2006, 06:36 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote JPB:</font><hr> A plus and it isn't close. Walmart just exposes people's fears.

When a wal mart comes to town, everybody there gets a pay raise. The people who think banning wal mart will somehow make it so shirts are made in the USA by workers making $19 an hour are delusional. <hr /></blockquote>





WAL-MART Drives Down Retail Wages $3 BILLION Every Year

"A recent study by researchers at UC Berkeley's Labor Center has quantified what happened to retail wages when Wal-Mart set up shop, drawing on 15 years of data on actual store openings. The study found that Wal-Mart drives down wages in urban areas, with an annual loss of at least $3 billion dollars in earnings for retail workers."


UPDATE: Since the completion of our film, the study has been finalized and published, and the published findings produced a different number for the annual loss in retail earnings than the preliminary figure we used in the film. The published study ultimately found that Wal-Mart actually reduced the take-home pay of retail workers by $4.7 BILLION dollars annually. Unfortunately for the retail workers this statistic concerns, Wal-Mart's effect on retail wages turns out to be worse than we had anticipated.


Source: Arindrajit Dube, "Impact of Wal-Mart Growth on Earnings throughout the Retail Sector in Urban and Rural Counties" [PDF File], UC Berkeley Labor Center, November 2005.

Average Wal-Mart Hourly Sales Employee Wages - $13,861

"On average, Wal-Mart sales clerks -- "associates" in company parlance -- pulled in $8.23 an hour, or $13,861 a year, in 2001, according to documents filed in a lawsuit pending against the company."
Source: Anthony Bianco and Wendy Zellner, "Is Wal-Mart Too Powerful?" Business Week, October 6, 2003. Primary source information on 2001 wage data is from the testimony of Dr. Richard Drogin, in Dukes v. WM.


http://www.walmartmovie.com/facts.php


Q

pooltchr
01-13-2006, 06:41 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote pooltchr:</font><hr> "Wal-Mart seems intent on managing the total product life cycle."

If a business can do this, the chances for success increase greatly. When you are no longer at the mercy of various vendors, you have a huge competitive advantage.

Steve <hr /></blockquote>

Its now the vendors who are at the mercy of WM! They are forced to reduce their prices to the point that they either have to, cut the workforce, move the production overseas or fold.

Q

Q...Nobody says they have to sell to WM!!!!!!! They are entitled to sell or not sell to anyone they choose at any price they can get...that is how free enteprise works!
Steve
<hr /></blockquote>

moblsv
01-13-2006, 07:37 AM
Minus

The Good - Their use of technology to control inventory and cut costs.

The Bad - Their health care program is so bad that employees often end up relying on govt. services. IOW The taxpayer subsidizes the WalMart health care for their employees.

More Bad - There are three seperate fights withing 30 miles of where I live where the community has VOTED not to REZONE to allow walmart to build where the people would prefer a park or a more community oriented shopping development. In ALL THREE CASES the VOTERS WERE IGNORED and LAWS WERE CHANGED to allow the walmart to go in anyway. WALMARTS VOICE HAS BECOME MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE VOTERS.

Qtec
01-13-2006, 08:00 AM
Free enterprise only works when you have competition. When WM moves to a town it wipes out the competition and the free market becomes a monopoly.
Q

JPB
01-13-2006, 09:38 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote moblsv:</font><hr> Minus

The Good - Their use of technology to control inventory and cut costs.

The Bad - Their health care program is so bad that employees often end up relying on govt. services. IOW The taxpayer subsidizes the WalMart health care for their employees.

More Bad - There are three seperate fights withing 30 miles of where I live where the community has VOTED not to REZONE to allow walmart to build where the people would prefer a park or a more community oriented shopping development. In ALL THREE CASES the VOTERS WERE IGNORED and LAWS WERE CHANGED to allow the walmart to go in anyway. WALMARTS VOICE HAS BECOME MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE VOTERS. <hr /></blockquote>

First to respond to Qtec. When I said everybody in town gets a raise, I meant that everybody has more disposable income because goods get cheaper. It doesn't surprise me that a Berkeley center for labor boo hoos lower wages for retail workers. Fighting such a trend ruins an economy, which lefties at Berkeley (and many other universities) know and want to do deliberateely for a variety of reasons.


As to the quoted post. Whose employer pays for their car insurance and homeowners insurance?? Why should employers be expected to purchase a certain benefit for employees? It is weird. If you want health insurance go buy it. If you want your employer to take it out of your wages or pay for it or whatever, go work somewhere that pays for it. I have been an employee with health benefits and out on my own buying health insurance. My family has health insurance. We buy it. Like we buy car insurance, homeowners insurance, and disability insurance. It is totally illogical to argue that because the government has chosen to be a socialistic benefit provider that somehow private industry can be burdened because the socialist state chose to pay for benefits. If I give money to a poor person that doesn't mean I have the right to steal from another person to recoup what I paid. This is where our government has devolved from a government of a free nation to a kleptocracy where anybody with a lobbyist can steal money from another group of people to pay for a pet project. As a taxpayer you are right, I don't want to subsidize walmart employees. This is why I want to eliminate all forms of welfare, from crop subsidies to medicare.

As to zoning, I have had the unfortunate experience of serving on a local zoning commission. What a statist nightmare. Zoning laws need to be drastically curtailed in this country. I live in a relatively free state, but the zoning mavens still wanted to shut down businesses if the business disagreed with the commissions taste in shrubbery. The bureaucrats wanted single mothers with small businesses to build city infrastructure - like paving alleys- to secure a permit to have a business they should be able to run withour government interference. needless to say, bringing the voice of reason and capitalism to such a commission was a lot of fun. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

I quit before walmart asked for a permit for a certain parcel. I sort of wish I was around to fight the good fight for their big store. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif I am glad in your area zoning laws were relaxed to allow what should be allowed without regulation in the first place. If the people who wanted a park really wanted it they simply should have outbid walmart for the land and opened a park themselves.

Qtec
01-13-2006, 10:15 AM
[ QUOTE ]
First to respond to Qtec. When I said everybody in town gets a raise, I meant that everybody has more disposable income because goods get cheaper. <font color="blue"> Goods may get cheaper but if income falls ,they cancel each other out. The cost of living goes up every year, if you are earning less, you are less able to pay for the things that WM doesnt provide. If you earn less, do you benefit from tax cuts? If your rent/mortgage goes up, does WM help?</font color> It doesn't surprise me that a Berkeley center for labor boo hoos lower wages for retail workers. Fighting such a trend ruins an economy, which lefties at Berkeley (and many other universities) know and want to do deliberateely for a variety of reasons.
<hr /></blockquote>

How do you expect US workers to compete with the Chinese who earn $3 a day?
How do you expect small firms to compete with WM when they have a 250 billion turnover and can sell at a loss for as long as it takes to wipe out the competition?

WM would drop a US firm in a heartbeat if they could buy the same product elsewhere for 5ct less.

So much for buy American.

Q..there are plenty of sources that all say the same thing.

eg8r
01-13-2006, 10:22 AM
It is a plus for those looking for cheap prices. It is a plus for all those employed at Walmart and all those whose paycheck revolves around the operation of Walmart (not necessarily employed by Walmart).

It is definitely a negative for small business owners in little towns that have to shut the doors because people would rather shop at Walmart. It is negative for our trade deficit, because people flock to by all the crap built in China that is sold in Walmart.

There are definitely other pros and cons, but that might get you started.

eg8r

eg8r
01-13-2006, 10:27 AM
[ QUOTE ]
Goods may get cheaper but if income falls ,they cancel each other out. <hr /></blockquote> I am willing to bet they are not, so your generalization is pointless.

eg8r

supergreenman
01-13-2006, 10:32 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> We are burdoned with tariffs and trade restrictions from exporting many of our own products, even our produce...to foreign countries,meanwhile, the trade deficit continues to rise....and you laud fair and open competition
It would only be fair if the playing field was level. Until we can reduce wages, to the standards of these countries....we can't compete......and when they are finally
on par...we won't even be able to buy the cheap, slave labor produced goods........
Sure somebody more ruthless then Wal-Mart will find another undeveloped country, with even cheaper labor...maybe Africa?
Let's do away with the 40 hr work week, holidays and vacations, medical and retirement benefits, etc....let's bring back the company owned towns and company owned stores.....let's get these labor costs down below Viet Nam's ..it's where we are headed....but it's all in the name of free and open competition.....even though other countries have regs to protect their industries
you're not shopping Wal-Mart....you're buying Asia, and selling America companies, American workers
I applaud every community that told Wal Mart to take a ***hike...I cannot believe that this company has not been indicted for it's monopolistic business practices. Maybe when we get an admin from either party that cares more about this countries people then campaign donations from these anti American , anti ethics, Corporations.


<hr /></blockquote>
Wolfdancer has pretty much summed up my feeling on the wallmart in a nutshell. Exploiting cheap labor in another country does nothing for the well being in your own country, or the well being of the people in the country you are importing from.

James

eg8r
01-13-2006, 10:33 AM
[ QUOTE ]
Free enterprise only works when you have competition. <hr /></blockquote> No kidding. You really are not paying attention. The competition in this part of the discussion is with the vendors. If a vendor cannot get his price low enough to compete he will lose Walmart's business. Hello, are you even reading before you reply?

Your mention about Walmart wiping out a town and removing competition has nothing to do with the subject, pooltchr was talking about the vendors, not other retail competitors.

eg8r

Fran Crimi
01-13-2006, 10:33 AM
Walmart is the pool hustler of the retail industry. They're as big as they are for one reason: They appeal to shoppers' greed. It's the old "Me Me Me" thing. Dangle a 'get more and pay less' carrot in front of shoppers and they're there, with no sense of loyalty and no sense of consciensiousness.

"I need a bathing suit. Bathing suits are cheaper at Walmarts. Therefore I will get my bathing suit at Walmarts."

It's very simple. PEOPLE DON'T CARE. As long as that remains true, hustlers like Walmart will continue to bully and control.

I don't buy into the "that's all I can afford," BS. We just stopped a Walmart from going up in my neighborhood and I'm damn proud of it. I don't have a lot of money, but I support my neighborhood shops. I just buy a little less...that's all. No big deal. My needs are all still met.

Fran

supergreenman
01-13-2006, 10:42 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote pooltchr:</font><hr> "Wal-Mart seems intent on managing the total product life cycle."

If a business can do this, the chances for success increase greatly. When you are no longer at the mercy of various vendors, you have a huge competitive advantage.

Steve <hr /></blockquote>

Actually, wallmart is only concerned with a product up till it leaves it's doors. If it was concerned about the products complete life cycle they would have depots set up to collect all the post consumer broken junk that came from thier store. If that was the case, the cost and quality of the products would go up because it would cost them too much to deal with thier products after the usefull lifecycle has past.

Wouldn't that be nice, to be able to buy a product that the seller took care of from cradle to grave. Our taxes would go down because less stuff would end up in a landfill.

J

wolfdancer
01-13-2006, 11:09 AM
Fran, Congratulations on your neighborhood's decision.
In order to meet the cost cutting production requirements, walmart demands of it's suppliers, many companies are forced to manufacture in third world nations. To attain the same efficacy here, our labor laws would have to be adjusted to allow worker canings for those that don't meet the unrealistic goals....OSHA would have to be dismantled so that unsafe, unsanitary, working conditions, could be reintroduced, as a byproduct of cutting corners.
You can't place 6 family members on the list of the 10 richest people....without excessive profiteering at the expense of both your labor force, and your supply chain.
Wal-Mart is in effect a defacto oligopoly, and getting closer to the Japanese Keiretsu model. I thought we had laws in place to prevent such a happening.
Many years ago, the Atlantic &amp; Pacific Tea Company was sued as a monopoly for their price undercutting policies, their loss leaders, that were putting neighborhood groceries out of businesss....we've come a long way since then.....and now unchecked, no retailer can stand up to the new "800 lb gorilla' that is Wal-Mart.

SnakebyteXX
01-13-2006, 11:25 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> Fran, Congratulations on your neighborhood's decision.
In order to meet the cost cutting production requirements, walmart demands of it's suppliers, many companies are forced to manufacture in third world nations. To attain the same efficacy here, our labor laws would have to be adjusted to allow worker canings for those that don't meet the unrealistic goals....OSHA would have to be dismantled so that unsafe, unsanitary, working conditions, could be reintroduced, as a byproduct of cutting corners.
You can't place 6 family members on the list of the 10 richest people....without excessive profiteering at the expense of both your labor force, and your supply chain.
Wal-Mart is in effect a defacto oligopoly, and getting closer to the Japanese Keiretsu model. I thought we had laws in place to prevent such a happening.
Many years ago, the Atlantic &amp; Pacific Tea Company was sued as a monopoly for their price undercutting policies, their loss leaders, that were putting neighborhood groceries out of businesss....we've come a long way since then.....and now unchecked, no retailer can stand up to the new "800 lb gorilla' that is Wal-Mart. <hr /></blockquote>

Good points Jack. Here's a taste of a three part article on WalMart from the LA Times that earned them a Pullitzer prize:

"An Empire Built on Bargains Remakes the Working World
Wal-Mart is so powerful that it moves the economies of entire countries, bringing profit and pain. The prices can’t be beat, but the wages can.

Chastity Ferguson kept watch over four sleepy children late one Friday as she flipped a pack of corn dogs into a cart at her new favorite grocery store: Wal-Mart.

The Wal-Mart Supercenter, a pink stucco box twice as big as a Home Depot, combines a full-scale supermarket with the usual discount mega-store. For the 26-year-old Ferguson, the draw is simple.

"You can't beat the prices," said the hotel cashier, who makes $400 a week. "I come here because it's cheap."

Across town, another mother also is familiar with the Supercenter's low prices. Kelly Gray, the chief breadwinner for five children, lost her job as a Raley's grocery clerk last December after Wal-Mart expanded into the supermarket business here. California-based Raley's closed all 18 of its stores in the area, laying off 1,400 workers.

Gray earned $14.68 an hour with a pension and family health insurance. Wal-Mart grocery workers typically make less than $9 an hour.

"It's like somebody came and broke into your home and took something huge and important away from you," said the 36-year-old. "I was scared. I cried. I shook."

Wal-Mart gives. And Wal-Mart takes away.

From a small-town five-and-dime, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has grown over 50 years to become the world's largest corporation and a global economic force.

It posted $245 billion in sales in its most recent fiscal year — nearly twice as much as General Electric Co. and almost eight times as much as Microsoft Corp. It is the nation's largest seller of toys, furniture, jewelry, dog food and scores of other consumer products. It is the largest grocer in the United States.

Wal-Mart's decisions influence wages and working conditions across a wide swath of the world economy, from the shopping centers of Las Vegas to the factories of Honduras and South Asia. Its business is so vital to developing countries that some send emissaries to the corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., almost as if Wal-Mart were a sovereign nation.

The company has prospered by elevating one goal above all others: cutting prices relentlessly. U.S. economists say its tightfistedness has not only boosted its own bottom line, but also helped hold down the inflation rate for the entire country. Consumers reap the benefits every time they push a cart through Wal-Mart's checkout lines.

Yet Wal-Mart's astonishing success exacts a heavy price.

By squeezing suppliers to cut wholesale costs, the company has hastened the flight of U.S. manufacturing jobs overseas. By scouring the globe for the cheapest goods, it has driven factory jobs from one poor nation to another.

Wal-Mart's penny-pinching extends to its own 1.2 million U.S. employees, none of them unionized. By the company's own admission, a full-time worker might not be able to support a family on a Wal-Mart paycheck.

Then there are casualties like Kelly Gray. As Wal-Mart expands rapidly into groceries, it is causing upheaval in yet another corner of the economy. When a Supercenter moves into town, competitors often are wiped out, taking high-paying union jobs with them."


web page (http://www.pulitzer.org/year/2004/national-reporting/works/walmart1.html)

Gayle in MD
01-14-2006, 07:23 AM
Tap Tap Tap. We just passed a law in Md., against the wishes of our republican governor, forcing Walmart to pay more for health insurance for their employees which were mostly working for Wlamart, and drawing on Medicare and Medicade. They got pissed and said, ok then, we won't build our big recieving facility on your state. Md. folks said...GOOD~! We didn't want it in the first place.

Southern Maryland does a good job keeping big business out, and preventing sprawl. Safeway tried to build a store and shopping center near my home on land it had owned for over twenty years. People down here who were fighting the republicans who were for it, formed a group to protest, found a bald eagles nest, nearby. That was the end of it....we already have a small family owned grocery store, and they even deliver our groceries. If we need anything they don't have, we can always drive fifteen to twenty minutes up the road to the zoo in Edgewater or Annapolis to get it. I am surrounded by land which is preserved, part of Marylands protected areas plan. If a house near me goes up for sale, it sells in two days.

Gayle in Md.

Fran Crimi
01-14-2006, 09:19 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle in MD:</font><hr> Tap Tap Tap. We just passed a law in Md., against the wishes of our republican governor, forcing Walmart to pay more for health insurance for their employees which were mostly working for Wlamart, and drawing on Medicare and Medicade. They got pissed and said, ok then, we won't build our big recieving facility on your state. Md. folks said...GOOD~! We didn't want it in the first place.

Southern Maryland does a good job keeping big business out, and preventing sprawl. Safeway tried to build a store and shopping center near my home on land it had owned for over twenty years. People down here who were fighting the republicans who were for it, formed a group to protest, found a bald eagles nest, nearby. That was the end of it....we already have a small family owned grocery store, and they even deliver our groceries. If we need anything they don't have, we can always drive fifteen to twenty minutes up the road to the zoo in Edgewater or Annapolis to get it. I am surrounded by land which is preserved, part of Marylands protected areas plan. If a house near me goes up for sale, it sells in two days.

Gayle in Md. <hr /></blockquote>

This law? (see below)

I don't see where it guarantees anything other than businesses giving up money to the State. They aren't forced to increase their employees health care coverage up to 8%. Instead they're forced to either increase coverage for their employees OR pay the difference to the state medicaid fund. So the employees for these companies could conceivably get nothing more. What's the sense in this???

Am I missing something here? This looks to me like extortion rather than 'fair share'.

Fran



Fair Share Health Care Summary:

Starting in 2007, all employers with 10,000 or more employees would be required to attest to the amount of money they spend on all health expenditures for workers, dependents and retirees:

Eligible expenses include only those deductible for federal tax purposes, as defined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Earnings per employee would be assessed up to the median family income in Maryland (currently $55,213) but the assessment would not apply to wages for workers eligible for Medicare.
Expenditures would be reported in gross dollars and in % of payroll.
Sworn statements submitted by companies would be subject to random state audit for verification.
Employers must also submit information on the number of part/full time employees and whether their uncovered employees receive health care through another source.
Private employers who spend less than 8% of payroll would pay the State the difference between what they spend on benefits and the 8% payroll amount. Non-profit employers who spend less than 6% of payroll would pay the State the difference between what they spend on benefits and the 6% payroll amount.

Companies not doing their "fair share" could choose whether to increase their spending on health care benefits or pay into a special fund to help expand Medicaid eligibility.

cheesemouse
01-14-2006, 10:13 AM
Cheesemouse,

Here is what is happening in my home town NOW.
Walmart is building a Super Store...there was no opposition locally. Mine is a small town on the plains of the Dakota's. WM's coming has spurred other business expantions. The small local mom/pop shops had gone the way of the dinasors 30 yrs ago when the local city fathers built the first mall on the edge of town, the idea then was build a Miracle Mile or die, just like it was the soup of the day every small town had to have on the menu.
I don't like the idea of Walmart but at the same time my neighbors do like the idea of Walmart, they may not dig below the surface but they do look forward to the opening of a Super Store...There is a K-Mart in the local mall and it has been the mainstay(anchor store) for 30yrs...I predict they will close in 6 months of WM's opening...so what else is new.

moblsv
01-14-2006, 10:18 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr>
I don't see where it guarantees anything other than businesses giving up money to the State. They aren't forced to increase their employees health care coverage up to 8%. Instead they're forced to either increase coverage for their employees OR pay the difference to the state medicaid fund. So the employees for these companies could conceivably get nothing more. What's the sense in this???

Am I missing something here? This looks to me like extortion rather than 'fair share'.

Fran
<hr /></blockquote>

See my earlier post. People who aren't able to afford their health insurance still need medical care the same, if not more, than those who can. "fair share" means the business still puts some money into the taxpayer supported programs that these people will be forced to rely on to help with their health care cost and compensates for these business' using the taxpayer to supplement their health care plan (or lack there of)

SnakebyteXX
01-14-2006, 10:33 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr>
This law? (see below)

I don't see where it guarantees anything other than businesses giving up money to the State. They aren't forced to increase their employees health care coverage up to 8%. Instead they're forced to either increase coverage for their employees OR pay the difference to the state medicaid fund. So the employees for these companies could conceivably get nothing more. What's the sense in this???

Am I missing something here? This looks to me like extortion rather than 'fair share'.

Fran
<hr /></blockquote>

You make a good point, Fran. However it would appear that Wal-Mart has been abdicating their responsibility to provide basic health care for their lower echelon employees while tacitly expecting the State to pick up the bill.

They do something very similar with their wage scale. First year employees are often paid at or near minimum wage levels. Minimum wages are not sufficient to allow those employees to pay their cost of living and the difference has to be made up by 'someone else' - social services - parents - whom ever.

The savings that are passed on to Wal-Mart customers by these false economies translate into additional expense for those who are called upon to pay these hidden costs. The difference between what Wal-Mart is willing to pay and what it takes to survive has to come out of someone's pocket. In the case of the medical insurance issue mentioned by Gail, that additional expense has been foisted on the State - until now.

Too bad there's not some way to compel them to pay something closer to a living wage for their employees so that the rest of society didn't have to make up the difference between what little they pay and what it actually costs for many of those employees to live on their own.

Snake

DickLeonard
01-14-2006, 11:53 AM
JPB, Walmart is trying to open a SuperCenter out side of Troy, they have a store there now. Everyone in Troy is upset because it will take 20 to 30 minutes extra to go to Vermont with the backup of traffic. Troys only solution is to have a cop on every corner writing tickets to everyone who blocks an intersection,runs a red light etc. Making it impossible to get there. We will fatten our cities budget at the Shoppers expense.####

pooltchr
01-14-2006, 12:27 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle in MD:</font><hr> Tap Tap Tap. We just passed a law in Md., against the wishes of our republican governor, forcing Walmart to pay more for health insurance for their employees which were mostly working for Wlamart, and drawing on Medicare and Medicade. They got pissed and said, ok then, we won't build our big recieving facility on your state. Md. folks said...GOOD~! We didn't want it in the first place.

Southern Maryland does a good job keeping big business out, and preventing sprawl. Safeway tried to build a store and shopping center near my home on land it had owned for over twenty years. People down here who were fighting the republicans who were for it, formed a group to protest, found a bald eagles nest, nearby. That was the end of it....we already have a small family owned grocery store, and they even deliver our groceries. If we need anything they don't have, we can always drive fifteen to twenty minutes up the road to the zoo in Edgewater or Annapolis to get it. I am surrounded by land which is preserved, part of Marylands protected areas plan. If a house near me goes up for sale, it sells in two days.

Gayle in Md. <hr /></blockquote>

Gayle,
You have over 800,000 people in your state that have no medical coverage. The number of WalMart employees in Maryland with no coverage is less than 1/2 of 1% of that number. Was the law passed to help the people of your state, or to keep WalMart out? I think we know the answer...you supplied it in your post:

"We didn't want it in the first place."

Not to mention, you grab on to the environment as an excues to keep them out. How many people did you prevent from having a new job? How many people in your community who are struggling to get by (you know, those poor middle class people who can't get a break on their taxes) might have been able to afford more clothes and groceries for their kids? But no, you don't want a big bad employer to come into your pristine back yard. Talk about elitist!!!!
Steve

Fran Crimi
01-14-2006, 02:46 PM
Yup. I get what you're saying. But there are several things about this 'law' that sound unconstitutional to me.

One is the 8% calculation of total payroll figure. It's clear that this number isn't just about looking after those employees who have been denied coverage---Otherwise the calculation would be based on number of employees multiplied by the average medical insurance premium cost per full-time employee. This looks to me like it's about adding to the pot to help the state fund the other unemployed people residing in the state. That's why I think they're demanding a percentage of payroll rather than a per-person calculation.

What about other businesses who DO adequately cover their employees? If their coverage doesn't meet the 8% mark, they will still have to turn money over to the State. Why?

Can you picture a hi-tech company like Cannon or Microsoft setting up a division there with their higher paid employees? No way. I would really like to see how many large companies will opt to pull out over the next few years.

Another problem with this law is that it encourages companies all the more to outsourse their labor to other countries. I see that two other states are considering this law as well.

Also, this is a slap in the face to people with high-paying jobs who will now find that their company is forced to calculate their high salary into the mix, thus possibly affecting their future salary raises. Are we now to assume that everyone who earns a high salary doesn't deserve a raise?

I hate to say it, but this looks awfully close to socialism.


Fran

JPB
01-14-2006, 03:34 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr>





Another problem with this law is that it encourages companies all the more to outsourse their labor to other countries. I see that two other states are considering this law as well.

Also, this is a slap in the face to people with high-paying jobs who will now find that their company is forced to calculate their high salary into the mix, thus possibly affecting their future salary raises. Are we now to assume that everyone who earns a high salary doesn't deserve a raise?

I hate to say it, but this looks awfully close to socialism.


Fran <hr /></blockquote>


All such laws do this. All such laws assume high earners don't deserve a raise. It isn't awfully close to socialism, it is socialism really. The logical conclusion to it is what happens to all socialist countries. The country collapses if it goes far enough. The US has not gone so far as to make it unprofitable for the best people to show up for work, but if we keep going it will be. And the beauty of globalization is that you won't have to build a place from scratch that is a haven for the productive. The productive can just find a country that understands capitalism and appreciates them. This will take time, but is slowly happening, and then the socialists will have to change or collapse.

Small example is medicine. Let's say the socialists succeed in ruining medicine and say that 125,000 is enough for a transplant surgeon to make. Eventually the transplant surgeons will go elsewhere, say Costa Rica. They can make 1,000,000.00 a year there and rich people who don't need walmart insurance go there. They get the best care. Now the walmart worker is doubly screwed, because that health insurance that was taken at the barrel of the government's gun is worthless. The worker gets treated by a hack willing to work for peanuts. This is several steps down the line, but it is where we are headed. Fortunately though, the world is evolving fast enough and is getting small enough that there will always be pressure against ruinous collectivism.

Gayle in MD
01-15-2006, 11:47 PM
LMAO...Oh, so now you want to argue with me about what I want going on in my neighborhood, that's a good one...

I live practically on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, West River, and also do a lot of volunteer work in the Save The Bay Organization. AND, hell no, I don't want any Walmart, or Safeway to be built anywhere near where I live. This area is quaint, quiet, and rural in nature. Paving over parking lots is the worst thing for the Bay. Southern Maryland, surrounded by Rivers and the Bay, does a grand job holding down construction, and I hope we continue to succeed in preserving the beauty of our area, and the health of the Bay. I love the fact that I live in an area that is protected through environmental regulations, and was happy to pay the price in order to do so. If you Need to call me an elitist for wanting to preserve my neighborhood, and I do mean Need, then have at it. Label, name call, rearrange the facts, what ever blows your socks off....I don't have any Walmart nearby, and I don't want one. I don't buy anything from Walmart, and don't intend to in the future. I don't approve on many of their business practices.

Gayle in Md.

wolfdancer
01-16-2006, 01:09 AM
Steve, there are many communities where a Wal-mart, would change both the neighborhood and the scenery. It might impact the quality of life, and lower the value of nearby real estate. And not everybody agrees with your enthusiasm over their business ethics.
The thing is....I don't think that you and I have any business telling someone who lives in that area, what to do, or berating them for voting out this neighborhood blight...
You think Wal-Mart should come ahead of any environmental considerations? Wow!!!
I don't know the figures, but if Wal Mart is a big employer in Md. and if they not only pay a substandard wage, but offer no health benefits.....then it seems to me they are asking the state to pick up the bill.
If WalMart can't afford to meet the same obligations that other major employers do....then perhaps, they need to adjust their prices a bit. i see in a recently leaked memo....they are concerned that senior employees, making more then new hires, might only be meeting the same "production" goals.

What if WalMart decided to build in the Hamptons????
or half a block away from your house???? The noise, the traffic...I'm sure it wouldn't bother you.

pooltchr
01-16-2006, 06:27 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> Steve, there are many communities where a Wal-mart, would change both the neighborhood and the scenery. It might impact the quality of life, and lower the value of nearby real estate. <font color="red"> Exactly why most communities have zoning laws. Of course you don't want a big business in a residential area, but with a little planning, they can co-exist. </font color> And not everybody agrees with your enthusiasm over their business ethics.
The thing is....I don't think that you and I have any business telling someone who lives in that area, what to do, or berating them for voting out this neighborhood blight... <font color="red"> No, but anyone who campaigns for the cause of the poor and over taxed middle class needs to consider how it might be a benefit to them...even if they choose personally not to do business with them. Jobs are jobs, and I'm sure the unemployed would appreciate the opportunity to earn a pay check, or to save some money by purchasing products at lower prices. </font color>
You think Wal-Mart should come ahead of any environmental considerations? Wow!!! <font color="red"> I think the environmentalists tend to use the cause when it's to their advantage. </font color>
I don't know the figures, but if Wal Mart is a big employer in Md. and if they not only pay a substandard wage, but offer no health benefits <font color="red">That was my point. There are a small percentage of WM employees who don't have benefits. And that total is less than a half a percent of all those in Maryland who don't have coverage. The law is obviously another money grab by the state. Here's something else to consider. I don't have benefits through my job...However my wife has us both covered. Even if offered, benefits are not always taken by the employees. </font color> .....then it seems to me they are asking the state to pick up the bill.
If WalMart can't afford to meet the same obligations that other major employers do <font color="red"> only half of a percent are WM employees. 99.5% are from other employers. This is not a situation unique to WalMart. </font color> ....then perhaps, they need to adjust their prices a bit. i see in a recently leaked memo....they are concerned that senior employees, making more then new hires, might only be meeting the same "production" goals.

What if WalMart decided to build in the Hamptons????
or half a block away from your house???? <font color="red"> My house is in an area zoned for residential. If I bought a house close to an area zoned for retail, that would be my fault for not doing my homework first. </font color> The noise, the traffic...I'm sure it wouldn't bother you. <font color="red"> I live in a city where noise and traffic are a way of life. It also means that most everything I need is within 2 miles of my house. I guess my contribution to the environment is not burning several gallons of gas to get to the grocery store. </font color>

These issues are never black and white. There has to be balance in everything. If we were truely interested in the environment, this country would look much the same as it did in 1492. Everything we do to improve our way of life has a consequence. The computers we use daily mean that somewhere there is a factory making the plastic and electronics to put them together. The homes we live in are the result of a tree being cut down for the lumber, and more trees cut down to clear the land to build it on. If you live 10 miles from any shopping area, you are burning more (imported) oil products to get to the store. Usually (not always, but usually) when someone says they are fighting for what is best for the "community", they really mean what is best for that particular individual.
There are prices to pay for the lifestyles we choose for ourselves.
Steve


<hr /></blockquote>

wolfdancer
01-16-2006, 08:27 AM
Steve, you made several good points. My thoughts are that there is a hidden cost of doing business with WalMart, and communities should be free to say "No"
And while we impact the environment negatively, in our daily lives, it shouldn't mean we have to give up. The Japanese, some years back bought the Pebble Beach properties, which include the 17 mi drive....and wanted to both privatize the Golf course, and develope the area....closing it off to the general public. The state stopped them, and they sold.
As someone who has played both Pebble Beach and Spyglass, and made the 17 mi drive many times, enjoying the natural beauty of the area......I thought it was a great decision....someone with laissez-faire beliefs, I'm sure would probably disagree.

Qtec
01-16-2006, 09:32 AM
Tesco 'bullies councils to get its way'
By Susie Mesure, Retail Correspondent
Published: 16 January 2006
Tesco, Britain's biggest supermarket chain, is accused today of "bypassing the democratic planning process" and bullying local authorities in its relentless hunger for new space.

An analysis of 200 planning disputes by Friends of the Earth, an environmental pressure group, argued that Tesco is the worst culprit of a phenomenon that is threatening the future of the UK's high streets.

Almost two in every three new stores are still being built outside town centres almost 10 years after the introduction of a blueprint to stop that happening. Tesco is on track to triple the number of its biggest Extra hypermarket stores in the next 10 years to 300 and double its convenience stores to 1,200 unless councils clamp down on the group's "strong-arm" expansion tactics, the pressure group says.

The report finds there is a growing trend of some supermarket groups flouting planning restrictions, backing recent claims made to an MPs' inquiry into the retail landscape in 2015. It calls for an overhaul of planning legislation to remove the existing bias it says favours superstores over local shops.

FoE's analysis suggests some supermarket groups are getting their own way because councils are afraid of being bankrupted by the costs of an appeal. They are also too easily swayed by so-called "planning gains", which allow supermarkets to offer to build local amenities in return for permission; and are unable to withstand years of concerted lobbying from companies with immense resources.

Robin Webster, a supermarket campaigner at FoE, said: "The system is stacked against local authorities. The planning process is structured to help supermarkets get their planning permission. Examples of where Tesco has ignored terms of their planning consent, such as in Stockport, are not just isolated incidents but a pattern."

In Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, Tesco built a bulk storage facility without planning permission, while in Gunness, Lincolnshire, it has ignored restrictions banning it from selling more than 25 per cent non-food goods since it opened the store in 2001, FoE says.

Tesco said the number of disputes shows the planning authorities are not a pushover. A spokesman said: "The important thing is that developers and planners work together to find a solution that benefits the local community and here Tesco has a good track record.

"A new Tesco store brings a better shopping experience for customers as well as new jobs and in many cases investment in affordable housing, transport and other public facilities."

There is a growing groundswell against Tesco, which will report another strong increase in UK sales tomorrow. Spurred by fears that the group has become too powerful, multiple pressure groups have formed a coalition, Breaking the Armlock, aimed at checking the company's ambitions to take even more than one in every eight pounds spent on the high street. Local campaigners, such as Pam Leadbeater, chair of the Liverpool branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, have even threatened legal action against the group, although acknowledge that they would struggle to raise the necessary funds.

The FoE report will stoke the debate over whether supermarket groups are too powerful. The competition watchdog has until April to decide whether to recommend another inquiry into the sector. This month, a cross-party committee of MPs will reveal their verdict on the future of Britain's high streets, which is bound to make grim reading for the tens of thousands of independent shops under threat from the expansion of the four major supermarket chains.

"Tesco Towns" have sprung up all over the country, the FoE report says. In Inverness, the retailer controls 51 per cent of the market yet is still looking to build a fourth store.

Asda, which is owned by the US's Wal-Mart, also comes in for criticism, especially for its exploitation of a planning loophole to use mezzanine levels to boost its total floorspace. In another instance, FoE's research shows that Asda bypassed the planning process to strike an agreement with planning officials in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire that went against previous restrictions the council had sought to impose.

The FoE report criticises the planning system for failing to deliver real diversity and choice, pointing out that the latest guidance, Planning Policy Statement 6, favours big stores at the expense of smaller ones. To redress the balance, FoE wants planning rules to introduce a 3,000 sq m (27,000 sq ft) cap on net retail floor space in retail outlets. It also wants the loophole that allows mezzanine floors to be built without planning permission to be closed.

The report attacks the land bank of sites built up by Tesco, which it says puts the chain in an influential position. Reports have suggested the group is sitting on 4.5m sq ft of land - 185 sites - more than the combined might of Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons put together. It says the practice creates a barrier for local councils that want to develop housing or other facilities.

"Supermarkets like Tesco are very clearly exercising their muscle in the planning system," says Ms Webster. "They have such vast resources that local councils are not really on an equal footing when it comes to negotiations. It can be very difficult for them to refuse."

The Tesco behemoth strides across the country

* In Inverness, the retailer controls 51 per cent of the market yet is still looking to build a fourth store.

* In Portwood, Stockport, Tesco built a Tesco Extra hypermarket which failed to comply with planning conditions. At 120,000 sq ft, the store was 20 per cent larger than the size limit that Stockport Borough Council had imposed on it when it granted planning permission.

* In Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, Tesco built a bulk storage facility without planning permission, prompting a councillor on the local borough council to remark that "it seems to me that the planning authority is Tesco and not the council".

* In The Wirral, Merseyside, Tesco was convicted of repeatedly breaking conditions that had been imposed on it by its planning permission decision notice concerning delivery vehicles. Tesco was fined a total of £1,800, which prompted a councillor to suggest that "this kind of fine won't touch them" and so was not a strong enough message.

* In Bangor, Gwynedd, in September 2005 Tesco opposed an application by Asda for a store in the town centre, on the basis that it would damage the town centre by competing with local shops. Two months later, Tesco opened its own store in Bangor, a hypermarket outside the town.



Its happening all over.

Q

pooltchr
01-16-2006, 12:06 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr>
As someone who has played both Pebble Beach and Spyglass, <hr /></blockquote>

OK, Now I'm jealous!!!
Steve