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Thread: I hate Walmart and here's why...

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    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    Exclamation I hate Walmart and here's why...

    Wal-Mart lowers costs at a price: studies By Emily Kaiser
    Fri Nov 4, 1:14 PM ET



    Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT - news) lowers consumer costs and adds jobs but has also led to a decline in wages and an increase in the number of people relying on government aid for health care, studies released on Friday show.

    At a conference sponsored by Wal-Mart to examine its impact on the U.S. economy, researchers found that the world's biggest retailer accounted for some 210,000 net jobs last year while driving nominal wages down 2.2 percent.

    The world's biggest retailer also lowered consumer prices by 3.1 percent, and real disposable income was 0.9 percent higher than it would have been in a world without Wal-Mart, researchers at Global Insight concluded.

    The one-day event comes as rapidly expanding Wal-Mart tries to counter increasingly vocal critics who contend that the retailer drives competitors out of business and pays poverty-level wages that push employees to seek government aid.

    Wal-Mart, which stressed that it made no attempt to influence the studies, gave Global Insight access to its wage data from October 2004 and sales and employment information dating back to the mid-1980s.

    In addition to that study, the research firm also vetted papers from other researchers and accepted nine, some of which were far more critical. One found that Wal-Mart stores increase Medicaid spending, while another showed that the retailer actually reduced employment in the retail sector.

    "When Wal-Mart enters a market, we compete with some businesses, which can result in job losses," Tom Schoewe, Wal-Mart's chief financial officer, said in a statement.

    "But we expand opportunities for many other businesses, which results in job growth. Overall, Wal-Mart's economic impact on communities is a big net positive," he said.

    Schoewe was scheduled to speak at the conference here but had to cancel at the last minute for an undisclosed reason.

    OPPONENTS WEIGH IN

    The retailer accounts for just under 1 percent of the U.S. work force and has become a lightning rod for those who contend that its devotion to low prices ends up hurting the economy as profit-pinched suppliers shift jobs overseas to meet Wal-Mart's rigorous pricing requirements.

    The conference did not examine how Wal-Mart's suppliers affect the economy, however -- an omission that some participants said made the studies less useful.

    One of Wal-Mart's most aggressive critics -- Wake-Up Wal-Mart, a union-funded group that has pressured Wal-Mart to improve wages and benefits -- held a news conference at the same hotel as Wal-Mart's event to announce a new national association for Wal-Mart workers.

    The group said the association would "help empower Wal-Mart workers to join together in order to improve their working conditions, their lives, and change Wal-Mart into a more responsible and moral corporation."

    Wake-Up Wal-Mart was not invited to attend the Wal-Mart event, which was restricted to a few dozen journalists along with academics and economists.

    Wal-Mart has stepped up its public relations campaign in the hope of countering such criticism, which has become a bigger issue as the retailer faces increasing opposition to its efforts to expand into major urban areas.

    Friday's event offered ammunition both to Wal-Mart and its critics.

    Global Insight estimated that Wal-Mart's low prices saved consumers $263 billion in 2004, or about $895 per person. But other studies suggested those savings came at a cost.

    Michael Hicks, a professor at the Air Force Institute of Technology and Marshall University, studied Wal-Mart's economic impact in Ohio from 1985 through 2003 and found Medicaid spending grew, amounting to about 16 additional cases per county attributable to a single Wal-Mart store.

    A study by researchers at the Public Policy Institute of California found that Wal-Mart stores reduced retail sector employment by 2-4 percent. But they also found that Wal-Mart lowered prices, clouding the politically charged question of whether Wal-Mart is actually good or bad for the economy.

    "The evidence is, on balance, more consistent with the claims of critics of Wal-Mart, although questions remain," the researchers concluded.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Wal-Mart is a welfare state unto itself.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member miss_perfect's Avatar
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    Up until about a year ago, I had never been in any store that had a "mart" at the end of it - no Kmart, Wal-Mart, or Quickie Mart (lol). After the Wal-Mart incident, I intend to keep it that way. I'm a Target girl myself.

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    Elite Member Lobelia's Avatar
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    Girl, I just got through with a rant about Ashlee Simpson on another thread & my adrenalin is still high, & you done said the wrong word....Wal-Mart. (or is that 2 words?)

    I HATE Wal-Mart.

    I come from its state of origin. I remember when Sam was alive. They treated people right then, and the stores blended into communities without taking them over & grinding them into the dirt. The old man got older, others began having more influence, and things started to change for the worse. Now he's dead, and they are not even accountable to GOD.

    The economic stuff aside, (as you have posted a good article about the problem), let's look at the actual shopping experience there.

    God help you if you have to return something. Get in line, bitch, and shut up. We'll get to you when we're ready. Maybe. We've got jokin' around to do. We've got personal stuff to talk about.

    Ready to shop? Ok, make sure you have comfortable shoes, because everything is scattered over several acres of square footage. Try not to need any help with anything, because you probably won't find anyone, and if you do, it's a craps shoot whether or not you'll actually be helped. They're doing you a damn favor by letting you shop there.

    Ready to check out? If you're LUCKY, they'll put some of your bags in your cart. Usually, though, you have to pick it all up off the spinning thing & put it in there yourself. If you stand there & wait for them to put it in the cart (which I have done, as an experiment), they will turn & start ringing up the next person. Note the lovely ATTITUDE of many of the cashiers.

    Here's my favorite part, leaving through the front door. Hmm, do you have something too large for a bag, like a 12-pack of soda? Cough up your receipt to the jerk at the door & let him scan 8 inches of paper for that item. (I actually had one grunt at me & motion with his fingers, like *gimme the receipt.* No words.) Never mind that you have $300 worth of stuff, all bagged up in your cart, and you've just walked from the cashier. Never mind that they have fucking cameras all over the store, watching your every move. Never mind that there is an electronic thingy that yells at people who walk through it with unpaid-for merchandise.

    Do I show them the receipt? HELL NO. It blows their minds. One guy just sputtered & stammered, and finally said, "well, do you want me to call the manager?" It was so funny. It was like I was a little girl, and he was going to call the principal. I told him to go right ahead, I was going to my car. And I did.

    I used to shop there at least weekly, but now I go about 2-3 times a year. It's when I need a somewhat pricey item, & the discount is worth the resulting feeling of SHAME I get for selling out.

    When you have the lowest prices, you can treat people like shit, and it doesn't matter. They still keep coming.

    Two rants in one night. I have an idea. Ashlee Simpson needs to be the spokestramp of Wal-Mart. It's just white-trash perfect.
    "I've cautiously embraced jeggings"
    Emma Peel aka Pacific Breeze aka Wilde1 aka gogodancer aka maribou

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    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    hahahaa I'm exhausted just reading that rant!

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    Elite Member Lobelia's Avatar
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    You're exhausted? I AM. No more rants tonight!
    "I've cautiously embraced jeggings"
    Emma Peel aka Pacific Breeze aka Wilde1 aka gogodancer aka maribou

    Yip, yip, yip in your tiny indignation. Bark furiously on, lady dog.

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    Elite Member muchlove's Avatar
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    That rant was awesome. It made me happy.

    Someday, I will be brave enough to refuse to show my receipt.

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    Hit By Ban Bus! DisruptiveHair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miss_perfect
    Up until about a year ago, I had never been in any store that had a "mart" at the end of it - no Kmart, Wal-Mart, or Quickie Mart (lol). After the Wal-Mart incident, I intend to keep it that way. I'm a Target girl myself.
    Target is almost as bad!

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    Hit By Ban Bus! DisruptiveHair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by muchlove
    That rant was awesome. It made me happy.

    Someday, I will be brave enough to refuse to show my receipt.

    Or you could just not shop there anymore. It's an idea.

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    Elite Member muchlove's Avatar
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    Oh? Considering that in my town, the Target has closed down and the only store that carries... "stuff" (not groceries) in town is the Walmart, where am I supposed to go? I could drive 40 minutes to the nearest city, I guess, but when all I want is a pillowcase and a pack of tealight candles, it really doesn't seem worth the drive.

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    Hit By Ban Bus! DisruptiveHair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by muchlove
    Oh? Considering that in my town, the Target has closed down and the only store that carries... "stuff" (not groceries) in town is the Walmart, where am I supposed to go? I could drive 40 minutes to the nearest city, I guess, but when all I want is a pillowcase and a pack of tealight candles, it really doesn't seem worth the drive.

    Ah, your town has been Wal-Marted. That sucks. I thought you might have lived in a city.

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    Hit By Ban Bus! UndercoverGator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by muchlove
    Oh? Considering that in my town, the Target has closed down and the only store that carries... "stuff" (not groceries) in town is the Walmart, where am I supposed to go? I could drive 40 minutes to the nearest city, I guess, but when all I want is a pillowcase and a pack of tealight candles, it really doesn't seem worth the drive.
    I have to do that but I willingly do it rather than shop at the epitome of all evil that is Wal Mart.

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    Elite Member Mr. Authority's Avatar
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    I'm lucky to live in a college town, so there's alot of local businesses and markets in the downtown area, and the only chain stores here are target, Costco, Home Depot, and Sears.

    I do remeber going to a Wal-Mart while I was visiting my friend in another town. Lobelia's rant is spot on about how crappy the Wal-Mart is. The employees there looked miserable, and knowing that the workers are probably living below the poverty line then I ca'nt blame them. Not to mention that I saw this handicapped worker getting bitched out by a manager because the worker could'nt stock something on the top shelf. It was really fucked up and I felt bad for that worker.

    I remeber getting into a deate with someone about Wal-Mart on the "other board" and she was all "I don't care about the workers, the stuff there is cheap!!!", and that's a shameful way to think. The people who work at Wal-Mart are people too and they should be treated equally. And Wal-Mart should stop accepting shit from China and start giving their workers benefits so they can actually be "an All-American company".

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    Super Moderator NoDayButToday's Avatar
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    Not only do I shop at Walmart, it is a source of entertainment late at night. I live in a college town where there is a Super Walmart (so people can do grocery shopping there), and it is open 24 hours. If you are bored late at night, it is pretty much the only thing to do, so you wander the aisles for awhile (and usually don't buy anything). Walmart actually did a good thing in this case, in my opinion. There are a lot of homeless people in my town, and Walmart was the one to give them jobs. Also, this town is literally the middle of nowhere. Before Walmart, there was a Jewel, and a lot of small businesses. The closest place to get pretty much anything was 40 miles away. When Walmart came in, they brought a lot of big business to the town. Things like mechanics, hair salons/Supercuts type places, restaurants, a Target (for healthy competition), an Aldi, clothing stores, some department stores. All these types of stores used to consider our town not worth it and they didn't think the money was there. When Walmart came in they realized it, and it has helped to build us up and make our town more functional. The mom and pop stores have not been forced out and they aren't failing in any way.

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    I hate Walmart. Pretty much all big box stores like that make me itch. I try to avoid them. But, when I was in search of valve replacements for my son's sippy cup and when I needed a pool noodle for his car seat, walmart was the only place I found them at the time. I was in and out, and felt kinda skeevy the whole time.

    Did anyone catch the documentary on them? It was weird. The stockholders meetings were a little cult-like.

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