Wal-Mart Good or Bad?

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
All the talk about Gas prices has me thinking about the protests that occasionally come with the opening of a Wal-Mart store/supercenter. I live in a suburb of New Orleans and we have had a Wal Mart there for probably 15 years but recently they have decided to upgrade to a Wal-Mart Supercenter. In the last couple of months I have seen some spectacular changes to the shopping center housing this monster that include asthetic improvments as well as a number of changes to the roads in surrounding neighborhoods as well as the addition of some much needed trafic lights to govern the flow of traffic in these residential neighborhoods which has grown tremendously.



I attribute these improvments to the Wal-Mart facility and really dont understand the Anti-Corporate marketing campaigns that protesters have launched to stop these developments. My feelings are that they do so much to improve the quality of life in the area that its foolish to impeed this sort of growth. You can still pay twice as much if you want to at Good Ole Bills Cornerstore, me I'm trying to save a few bucks while these Gas prices continue to fly out of control.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 62
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    I have gone from pro to anti and right now I sit in the middle. I really think it depends on the area.



    Some small towns are destroyed by Wal-Mart, some small towns would be dead were it not for Wal-Mart. Sometimes they smother all competition, other times they are involved in a healthy competition with other chains (usually big cities).



    I personally do not shop at Wal-Mart because (1) their non-food selection of items is low-rent crap (I think of Target as mid-low-rent, which is more my speed ), (2) I am more likely to see the fat-people-parked-in-handicapped-spaces-using-rascals phenomenon at my local Supercenter than at H.E.B. or Target and (3) their prices are not low enough to justify the abuse my car takes in the parking lot, I swear those little waterhead brats play destruction derby with the carts while I am shopping.



    I fully support the groups that work their asses off to keep Wal-Mart out and I try not to scoff when I see yet another one being erected.



    I am also amused that the current iteration of Wal-Mart has gone so far against Sam Walton's stated vision; no stores in big cities, no involvement in politics and countless other dictums they happily ignore in the name of corporate greed.
  • Reply 2 of 62
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by groverat

    I am also amused that the current iteration of Wal-Mart has gone so far against Sam Walton's stated vision; no stores in big cities, no involvement in politics and countless other dictums they happily ignore in the name of corporate greed.



    Yup. And don't forget that they treat their employees like absolute crap. Remember that story about the WM locking its overnight employees in?
  • Reply 3 of 62
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    Wal-Mart is the just the whipping boy for the labor left.
  • Reply 4 of 62
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Scott

    Wal-Mart is the just the whipping boy for the labor left.



    And that's a problem because...?
  • Reply 5 of 62
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,227member
    Walmart is evil.
  • Reply 6 of 62
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by midwinter

    And that's a problem because...?





    I don't know if it's a problem but the left/labor picked a target and started shooting.
  • Reply 7 of 62
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Scott

    I don't know if it's a problem but the left/labor picked a target and started shooting.



    I don't think they had much of a problem choosing the target. And it is, after all, the broad side of a barn.
  • Reply 8 of 62
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    yea and Wal-Mart "exports" america by sending jobs over seas and has teams of managers to thwart labor organization and ...
  • Reply 9 of 62
    progmacprogmac Posts: 1,850member
    well, let's take a small town



    in comes wal-mart

    out goes local grocer

    out goes local pet store

    out goes local sporting goods store



    local grocery and misc. store management staff needs work, they go to wal-mart. their pay goes from 25k-50k a year to 15k-30k a year. variances exist of course, but it is a severe cut.



    lower-rung employers who once earned $7-9 per hour plus benefits need a job...they go to wal-mart and earn $5.15-$9 per hour with no benefits. oh, and the average wal-mart employee works 28 hours a week and has no health insurance.



    so, big deal, the people at wal-mart don't earn as much money. well, it extends further...the biggest deal is what economics call the "multiplier effect," and this can really destory a local economy...basically, when local businesses are profitable, and the profits are recirculated within the local economy, everyone has more money and the economy is stronger because of it. every dollar spent at your hometown store is spent an average of 2.3 more times in the local economy than when you spend that dollar at wal-mart, which centralizes its profits ("corporate vacuum") and distributes them to shareholders, corporate execs, etc...the money is not distributed in any way that will spur local economic development.



    the big deal with wal-mart is in small towns. essentially, the small town in America is dead, and I find that to be sad. however, my arguments above apply to pretty much ALL big box stores, not just Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is probably the worst, but they are one of many.



    the reasons big-box is hurting us are complicated, and most people have no interest in thinking beyond the low prices.
  • Reply 10 of 62
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Scott

    yea and Wal-Mart "exports" america by sending jobs over seas and has teams of managers to thwart labor organization and ...



    and locks its employees in at night. Why can't they just chain them to their registers?
  • Reply 11 of 62
    progmacprogmac Posts: 1,850member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by progmac

    well, let's take a small town



    in comes wal-mart

    out goes local grocer

    out goes local pet store

    out goes local sporting goods store



    local grocery and misc. store management staff needs work, they go to wal-mart. their pay goes from 25k-50k a year to 15k-30k a year. variances exist of course, but it is a severe cut.



    lower-rung employers who once earned $7-9 per hour plus benefits need a job...they go to wal-mart and earn $5.15-$9 per hour with no benefits. oh, and the average wal-mart employee works 28 hours a week and has no health insurance.



    so, big deal, the people at wal-mart don't earn as much money. well, it extends further...the biggest deal is what economics call the "multiplier effect," and this can really destory a local economy...basically, when local businesses are profitable, and the profits are recirculated within the local economy, everyone has more money and the economy is stronger because of it. every dollar spent at your hometown store is spent an average of 2.3 more times in the local economy than when you spend that dollar at wal-mart, which centralizes its profits ("corporate vacuum") and distributes them to shareholders, corporate execs, etc...the money is not distributed in any way that will spur local economic development.



    the big deal with wal-mart is in small towns. essentially, the small town in America is dead, and I find that to be sad. however, my arguments above apply to pretty much ALL big box stores, not just Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is probably the worst, but they are one of many.



    the reasons big-box is hurting us are complicated, and most people have no interest in thinking beyond the low prices.




    however, progmac, you must consider that in some cases, people within small towns were travelling inconvenient distances in order to, you guessed it, shop at big-box stores where they can find what they need and find it cheap. as such, wouldn't you say that a small-town wal-mart would recentralize some tax dollars that were otherwise lost to neighboring communities?
  • Reply 12 of 62
    kirklandkirkland Posts: 594member
    The problem with Wal-Mart is that it drives out of business small retail businesses where owners and a few employees were making a decent wage, with some benefits and a lot of community loyalty. These people then end up working at Wal-Mart for LESS with little to nothing in the way of benefits. It's a downwardly-mobile situation.



    Wal-Mart, like all of the massive corporatification that strips away private ownership and turns former owners into wage drones. It moves middle and upper middle class folks into the lower middle class, or lower. It increases income disparity and in damaging the middle class, it cuts into the foundation of democracy.



    In political science we call the middle class the "carriers of the creed." WIthout them, democracy cannot be sustained.
  • Reply 13 of 62
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    Walmart is like M$, it is there so people (includeing me from time to time) flock to it like lemmings, frankley, K*mart has better cloths for better prices and some up scale dept.stores, IF YOU KNOW HOW TO SHOP (thank God for a mother who does ) are very reasonable, when quality is taken into account.



    and as for the store itsself, Every walmart that has been opened for more a month look like, well, a place I maynot want to be after dark.



    but the staff, in my experiance, is always willing to help in any way they can but they know nothung about their products, want proof? ask someone in the electronics area any relevant and slightly non-obvious question. - I don't expect brilliant minds, but if they are going to sell it, then their people should know the differance between HD and progressive scan DVD.



    overall, every time I enter walmart, I dislike it a little more.
  • Reply 14 of 62
    I like Walmart, and I don't like Bush.
  • Reply 15 of 62
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by midwinter

    and locks its employees in at night. Why can't they just chain them to their registers?



    Used to do that.
  • Reply 16 of 62
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Scott

    Used to do that.



    Yeah. Lots of folks did. And then the 19th and 20th centuries happened, much to the dismay of captains of wealth.
  • Reply 17 of 62
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    I'm convinced now. Wal-Mart is evil.
  • Reply 18 of 62
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Scott

    I'm convinced now. Wal-Mart is evil.



    Oh. You wanted me to present you with evidence that WM's business practices are evil? I thought we were talking about how greedy capitalists would love to get back to the eighteenth century when they could employ small children in dangerous jobs, work people 15 hours a day, and chain employees to their looms.



    I'll try to keep up next time.
  • Reply 19 of 62
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Not Unlike Myself

    I like Walmart, and I don't like Bush.



    I Don't like Walmart, and I like Bush.



    Gee, steriotypes are falling all over the place tonight, whats next, soccer moms for bush or nascar dads for kerry?
  • Reply 20 of 62
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by a_greer

    I Don't like Walmart, and I like Bush.



    Gee, steriotypes are falling all over the place tonight, whats next, soccer moms for bush or nascar dads for kerry?




    He's going to win the soccer mom vote again, I'm predicting. Seriously.
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