Walmart,the High Cost of Low Prices

Discussion in 'Economy' started by Working Man, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. Working Man
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    Working Man Member

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    www.walmartmovie.com

    I"""M SOOOOOOOOO Sorry for not posting this soooooooooooner!!!



    I watched this video this week. Pretty much the same stuff I thought I knew already. I have seen Walmart low ball prices, drive the competition out of business, then jack the prices up. I.E. Motor Oil.

    I know of young workers who work at the store and who were cheated out of breaks, and overtime. I know of an older woman who was "requested" to work past midnight, Wednesday, last week so that the store would be ready for Black Friday. No overtime was given. No compensation, PERIOD..

    I have seen the bags of lime and fertileizer left in the parking lots exposed to the weather. Come to think of it,,, many of these WalMart stores are built near wetland areas,,, hmmm??

    And anyone who has gone inside knows the reason why WalMart alone helps to cause an unhealthy imbalance of trade with China... Most of the crap they sell there is made in China.

    So,, I would gues that the movie/documentary is pretty informative.

    Some guy name Greenwald made the flick.
    Walmart,the High Cost of Low Prices
     
  2. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Hello Ace, what video? If the underlined was to be a link, it didn't work.
     
  3. Working Man
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    Working Man Member

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    www.walmartmovie.com

    Oye Veh!! So I am lazy too. At least I admit it!!! :bye1:
     
  4. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    I watched the video, RWA would be proud-blame China.

    Now what do I see? Walmart is having problems, some of which are no doubt caused by people like RWA not wanting to help China hurt people. Well and good. Some are people upset with cities like Chicago allowing Walmarts to open, disregarding the 'desire' for a 'living wage.' Well and good.

    What is your solution? Problem?
     
  5. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    I haven’t read any of the “Wal-mart in trouble stuff”. I do know Target has been on a major blitz lately, so I’d chalk any reduction in WM sales up to competition.
    WM is NOT going away.
     
  6. red states rule
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    red states rule Senior Member

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    The Union Conspiracy Against Wal-Mart Workers
    By Thomas DiLorenzo
    Posted on 1/23/2006
    [Subscribe at email services, tell others, or Digg this story.]


    Most of the commentary on the ongoing propaganda campaign against Wal-Mart ignores what is probably the most important aspect of it: It is primarily a labor union-inspired campaign against Wal-Mart employees, as well as the company in general. This is the essential truth of all union organizing campaigns. Historically, all of the violence, libel, and intimidation that goes along with "organizing campaigns" has been directed at competing, non-union labor, not management. The Wal-Mart campaign is no different.

    The propaganda campaign against Wal-Mart is what is known as a "corporate campaign" in the labor union literature. There are very few strikes these days in America; so-called "corporate campaigning" is the new form of organizing. Unions finally wised up to the fact that, while striking may be great fun, with all the name-calling antics, bashing in of car windows (of cars belonging to "scabs"), puncturing of tires, and destruction of company property, it rarely got them anywhere. In fact, if replacement workers are hired during a strike all union employees lose their jobs. Strikes increasingly became an all cost/no benefit proposition, which is why they are so rare these days.

    There are several rationales for corporate campaigns. For one, they have been a way of unionizing a workplace without directly involving the employees in cases where unions know they do not have employee support. There have been many instances where unions have lost certification elections by very large margins, telling them that they have no hope of organizing a particular company's employees. Rather than giving up, however, they will frequently initiate a corporate campaign against the company. The idea is to use every means possible to impose costs on the company, forcing it to increase its prices; embarrass the company's management with a campaign of slander; and portray the company in the media as some kind of social outlaw. It is easy for unions to generate such publicity with the assistance of various economically ignorant, capitalist-hating "nonprofit" groups, from clergy to environmentalists. If the company gives up and signs a union contract, all the complaints disappear immediately.

    One tactic is to issue thousands of complaints about the company to regulators, who must then investigate the complaints, forcing the company to spend huge sums on legal fees. In addition, the union will issue press releases about how many complaints there have been about the company, implying that all the complaints are somehow real and legitimate. This may cost the company some customers if the publicity is bad enough. In the 1990s the corporate campaign against the non-union grocery chain Food Lion caused the organization to shut down dozens of stores. (The company subsequently recovered as consumers discovered for themselves that the union's charges against Food Lion were bogus, but it still cost the company millions).

    In Maryland recently, the state legislature — which is totally in the pocket of the state's unions — passed a law forcing Wal-Mart to provide its workers with expensive, governmentally-prescribed health insurance, something that will certainly drive up its costs and make it less competitive compared to unionized stores.

    The ultimate goal is to get the company to sign a union contract without ever involving the employees, a process that labor scholars call "pushbutton unionism." So much for the fable of "union democracy."

    The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), the largest union in the grocery industry, has been at the forefront of many corporate campaigns and is the chief organizer of the campaign against Wal-Mart. It is no secret that Wal-Mart's grocery prices are very much lower than they are in your typical, unionized grocery store chain. The "problem" facing the UFCW is that unionized grocery store chains tend to be much more expensive than non-union grocery chains (and often much dirtier and less consumer-friendly in general). Thus, they have waged long campaigns against such companies as Food Lion in an attempt to drive up grocery prices — all in the "public interest," of course.

    As long as there is competition by the superior, non-union grocery stores, the unionized stores cannot compete as well with their bloated costs and their low-quality goods and service. The unionized stores will lose business to their superior, non-union competitors and may even go bankrupt. The union will lose members and, more importantly, dues revenues. Thus, the role of the corporate campaign, if it is successful, is either to unionize the non-union stores so that they will become just as expensive and inefficient as the unionized ones, or at least impose costs on the non-union companies that will achieve essentially the same outcome.

    In either case, it is a patently anti-consumer policy that can only harm the employees of the "targeted" company. Consequently, the whole idea of a corporate campaign is based on a Big Lie: That the union is somehow concerned about the well-being of non-union employees at places like Wal-Mart. In reality, the objective of the union is to force every one of those employees to either join its union (and pay its expensive dues) or become unemployed. This is true of all corporate campaigns, including the ones against Nike and other companies operating in Indonesia.

    While the media may portray unions as collections of Mother Teresas, concerned only with the plight of poor Indonesians, the reality is that the real objectives of the unions is to throw every last Indonesian who is employed by Nike out of work, forcing many of them to resort to begging, stealing, prostitution, or worse. That way, competition for higher-priced/lower quality textile goods produced in unionized factories in America will be reduced or eliminated. And the unions pretend to take the moral high ground in this patently immoral crusade.

    America's universities are filled with economically ignorant haters of the free market, so university campuses have become major forums for union denunciations of such companies as Nike, Wal-Mart, and others. Faculty and students claim to be concerned about "social justice," but they are simply being used as dupes by unions who are not at all concerned with justice of any sort. Rather, their main concern is increasing the coffers of union treasuries by driving non-union competitors from the market.

    The great majority of today's college students may never learn the principles of supply and demand, or understand how many billions of dollars annually companies like Wal-Mart save American consumers (including their own families), but they are indoctrinated as freshmen that any "moral" person should hate Wal-Mart, Nike, and other "outlaw" corporations (as defined by the union movement).


    What's good for the country is freedom: $14
    Economically ignorant clergy often lend a hand in this union crusade to throw thousands of people out of work, lending an aura of "God's work" to this immoral and anti-social crusade. And of course there are all the other usual suspects — environmentalists, "consumer activists," trial lawyers, and Wal-Mart's higher-cost competitors — who are happy to be a part of such smear campaigns because it satisfies their own self interests (or fattens their wallets) as well.
    So far, millions and millions of Americans have expressed disagreement with the smears against Wal-Mart by the UFCW and its accomplices by shopping there in record numbers. As always, the public has nothing at all to do with such anti-corporate campaigns, which are always the work of small groups of union rabble rousers, intellectuals, and pundits desperate to portray themselves as being "on the side of the people." The danger is if these opinion makers succeed in convincing enough politicians to follow the actions of the Maryland legislature, which is arguably the most economically ignorant group of legislators in America (I speak from experience, having testified several times before committees of these jokers). If this happens then the grocery industry will become less competitive, costing American consumers billions and destroying even more billions of dollars in shareholder wealth along with it.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thomas DiLorenzo is professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland and the author of The Real Lincoln (Three Rivers Press/Random House, 2003). His latest book is How Capitalism Saved America (Crown Forum/Random House, 2004).


    http://www.mises.org/story/2016
     
  7. theHawk
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    theHawk Registered Conservative

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    I went to my local Super Walmart the other day. I was saw a nice CHEAP computer desk I wanted real bad, but I saw it was Made in China. :eek: So, I didn't buy it, everything else I got was made in the u.s.a. In all though, I really don't like Walmart that much.
     
  8. red states rule
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    red states rule Senior Member

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    Wal-Mart: Always Under Attack. Always.
    World’s most successful example of free-market retailing doesn’t go unpunished, as media jabs continue on many issues.

    By Amy Menefee
    Business & Media Institute
    Feb. 22, 2006

    When journalists start referring to “the retailing behemoth,” a “giant” or a business that “destroys other companies,” it’s time for another Wal-Mart story.
    The Washington Post’s Kathleen Day called Wal-Mart the “behemoth” on February 12; CBS’ Russ Mitchell used the popular “giant” on January 14; and CNN’s Andy Serwer doled out the “conventional wisdom” of the company’s destructive ways on February 17. New York Times reporters said on January 16 that Wal-Mart “has come to symbolize corporations that do not provide adequate health benefits to their employees.”

    The media continue to jump on every opportunity to attack Wal-Mart, the employer of about 1.3 million Americans. From health benefits to its CEO to bicycles and banking, Wal-Mart might as well change its slogan to “Always under attack.”





    The Benefit Battle
    Maryland passed a law aimed directly at Wal-Mart, and unions and the media have been hailing it as “precedent-setting” and “groundbreaking,” as CBS’s Russ Mitchell and Anthony Mason put it on the January 14 “Early Show.” The law, which is now facing a legal challenge from the Retail Industry Leaders Association, fashioned a health-benefits mandate applying only to Wal-Mart in that state. It forces the company to spend at least 8 percent of its payroll on employee health care or pay the difference to Maryland’s Medicaid program. The 400-member retailers’ group is calling the law discriminatory, as it recognizes Wal-Mart isn’t the only business threatened by more government cost mandates.

    Most media reports don’t point out that Wal-Mart’s percentage of workers on Medicaid is almost even with the national average. As Washington Post columnist Sebastian Mallaby wrote on Nov. 28, 2005, Wal-Mart has 5 percent of workers on Medicaid, which is “a typical level for large retail firms,” while the national average for all companies is 4 percent.

    The union campaign to raise others’ costs is their own twisted version of competition, as Washington Post writers Amy Joyce and Matthew Mosk explained on January 14. “Companies that provide higher pay and benefits under union contracts are battling lower-cost competitors here and abroad,” they wrote. “The companies are attempting to level the playing field by cutting back on pay and benefits, sometimes by filing for bankruptcy. Labor is trying the opposite tack: making others pay more.”

    Wal-Mart’s detractors are led by WakeUp Wal-Mart and Wal-Mart Watch, both union-related groups. While Wake Up Wal-Mart calls itself a collection of “grassroots leaders, community groups and activists, “ the Web site’s copyright betrays the reality, stating clearly “© 2005 United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.” The Washington Post reported that Wal-Mart Watch was originally funded by the Service Employees International Union.


    Cleaning out the ‘Garage’
    Wal-Mart Watch garnered new headlines with its recent release of communications from Wal-Mart CEO H. Lee Scott’s “Lee’s Garage” Web site. Scott answers questions posed by Wal-Mart employees who access the intranet site.

    In The New York Times February 17, Steven Greenhouse and Michael Barbaro said Scott “tries to strike a chummy, ‘in the trenches’ tone,” but said “his responses often serve to remind managers of the gap between them and their chief executive, who earned more than $17 million last year, including stock options, who hops around the globe on Wal-Mart’s fleet of jets and who lives in a gated community called Pinnacle.”

    But the Times also reported that Scott worked his way up in the company. He “joined Wal-Mart in 1979 as its assistant trucking manager” and was named CEO in 2000. In fact, the company says it promotes many from within, and 76 percent of its store management started in hourly positions.


    ‘World’s Largest’ Must Be Bad
    Slanting the news toward the negative has been common in Wal-Mart stories. CNN’s Andy Serwer delivered several Wal-Mart items on the February 17 “American Morning.” He started off saying “Conventional wisdom has it that Wal-Mart destroys other companies, other businesses, other retailers, and puts them out of business if they’re nearby. No doubt that is true of thousands of times over, over the past couple decades.” And that was how he introduced a positive story – about “new evidence that shows that companies like to be near Wal-Mart because it helps their businesses.”

    Serwer also took a shot at Wal-Mart for bringing yet another low-cost item to its customers. “We want to talk about the continued power of Wal-Mart because it does continue to exercise this kind of clout,” he said. The “clout” of the moment was the company’s introduction of a new store brand – its version of the popular alternative sweetener Splenda. Serwer said “this has Wall Street analysts very, very, very concerned about the prospects of Splenda. Because once Wal-Mart comes in with sort of a store brand like this, it can really do some serious, serious damage to a product.”

    He didn’t mention that the 138 million customers who shop at Wal-Marts worldwide each week appreciate the lower prices and new options – especially lower-income families who are able to afford other goods because of their savings. The Post’s Mallaby wrote on Nov. 28, 2005, about Jason Furman of New York University and his report of some facts about Wal-Mart. Mallaby said “Wal-Mart’s discounting on food alone boosts the welfare of American shoppers by at least $50 billion a year. The savings are probably five times that much if you count all of Wal-Mart’s products.” That’s very meaningful to Wal-Mart’s customers, who have an average income of $35,000, Mallaby said.

    CBS took a recent opportunity to capitalize on a tragedy that made Wal-Mart look bad. Parents of nine children sued after their children were injured while riding bikes bought at Wal-Mart. A California jury ruled in February that the bikes were not defective and Wal-Mart was not at fault. Wal-Mart hasn’t sold the bikes in question since 2001. But on January 26, when the issue was still unresolved, CBS’ “Early Show” did a one-sided story highlighting the plaintiffs’ claims – without any statements from the company. The report featured angry parents like Cathy Belyeu, who accused the company: “They knew about this bicycle. They knew that it was defective. They knew it was hurting children.” The report said about 500,000 of the bikes had been sold at Wal-Mart, but did not mention other injuries aside from the plaintiffs.

    Another story that has gotten the Wal-Mart treatment is the company’s application for an industrial loan corporation (ILC) in Utah. Although the firm is not seeking to enter retail banking, its critics and the media have made it appear that way. Target Corp. already has an ILC, which it uses to offer credit cards, as The Washington Post’s Kathleen Day reported on February 12. Wal-Mart says it would use its ILC to cut down on the cost of processing credit transactions.

    But that information was buried deep in Day’s story. At the top of the story, she chronicled “the Wal-Mart effect” on other business sectors, as the store’s competitive prices beat its rivals in the grocery and toy industries. Day asked whether federal regulators should “permit Wal-Mart to use a legal loophole to enter banking and potentially do in that arena what it has done to nearly every other consumer product and service it has touched?” She later said that the real opposition to Wal-Mart’s ILC application didn’t come from customers. It came from its potential competitors – bankers.

    http://www.businessandmedia.org/news/2006/news20060222.asp
     

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