Monday, October 31, 2005

Wal-Mart is still evil

On Tuesday, September 20, 2005, I declared in this space that Wal-Mart is evil. Some might see that as a self-evident truth that didn't need declaring, but declared it I did, and let me declare it again: Wal-Mart is still evil. Yes, the retail giant is launching a "counteroffensive," war room and all, designed "to sell a new, improved image to reluctant consumers" now that its existing image has been justifiably tarnished by... well, by being Wal-Mart.

Memo to Wal-Mart: You're Wal-Mart! We know what you are! We know that you squeeze your suppliers, screw your employees (illegally, I might add), destroy small-town shops, and sell crap. Spin yourselves into a frenzy of deceit and marketing mayhem. Do what you will. In the end, you're still Wal-Mart! You're still evil!

(Alright, so I'm in an angry mood tonight.)

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  • One possible bright side of the increasing price of oil is that cheap plastic crap from China will no longer be so cheap to make or ship. That should hit Wally's World where it hurts. One can hope.

    By Blogger Susan, at 10:01 AM  

  • When you complain about Wal Mart squeezing their suppliers, why is that a bad thing? That's what keeps prices down. I have a lot of problems with Wal Mart, but let's face it, a lot of people who complain about Wal Mart would be complaining if they had to pay higher prices. I find it hypocritical, frankly, for people to complain about how the market works when at the same time they don't realize how they benefit from it and aren't willing to sacrifice those benefits. I want to know if the people that complain about what Wal Mart does to small business would be willing to pay more to keep those small businesses going.

    When Susan talks about hitting Wal Mart where it hurts, guess what--it's not going to hurt Wal Mart. I don't mean to single Susan out, but it's consumers that will be hurt, at least consumers that rely on cheap prices at places like Wal Mart. Of course, those of us that don't have to worry about prices can gloat over things like that. Much as you might not like to admit it, places like Wal Mart are important for a lot of people. And I haven't notice people refraining from shopping there in protest of their labor policies.

    By Anonymous Marc Schneider, at 5:25 PM  

  • Ah, you're probably right, Marc. What I didn't mention was that I bought a DVD at Wal-Mart the other night -- and, boy, was it cheap!

    There's certainly another side to Wal-Mart -- and to the sentimentalized small-town life that it has, in part, taken over.

    I just don't care much for Wal-Mart, especially how it treats its employees.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 8:37 PM  

  • In addition to Marc's point, I would add that looking at it from an internationalist perspective, the cheap crap that Americans buy is bringing millions of Chinese out of 3rd-world poverty. It seems a bit America-centric to ignore this fact.

    In addition, there are lots of people who are happy to work at Walmart. The Walmart that recently opened in the Bay Area got over a thousand applications for a couple hundred spots.

    I would also mention that Walmart and the liberals are in agreement on the fact that the government should be provide universal healthcare and it shouldn't be left to employers.

    Walmart is not evil.

    By Blogger Nate, at 12:55 AM  

  • Marc misses the point that in squeezing their suppliers, Wal-Mart destroys the level of quality of goods that are available in America. Wal-Mart is more responsible than even consumer demand in creating our disposable society because everything they sell breaks within a year and you have to go buy a new one.

    By Blogger flaime, at 10:51 AM  

  • First, every retailer tries to squeeze their suppliers. It's only common sense that you are going to try to reduce costs. Before Wal Mart, Staples was well known for being ruthless with their suppliers. Is anyone complaining that the stuff you buy at Staples breaks?

    Second, it's not as if these suppliers are mom and pop businesses. You're talking, for the most part about big corporations. Wal Mart doesn't make them reduce quality--they can always choose to take less profit and produce higher quality. It's naive to think that the suppliers are going to make stuff that lasts longer if Wal Mart pays more; they're just going to make more money.

    Look, I'm not trying to paint Wal Mart as this warm and fuzzy company. As I said, I have a lot of problems with the way they do business (although some of that is simply endemic to retailing and Wal Mart is just more obvious about it because it is more successful). All I'm saying is the way Wal Mart does business ignores that lots of people benefit from it. And I don't see the people complaining about Wal Mart refusing to buy there.

    By Anonymous Marc Schneider, at 3:25 PM  

  • what a stereotypical racist b!tch... not everything from china is cheap plastic crap

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:49 PM  

  • From the article:

    "Relying on a preview posted online, Wal-Mart investigated the events described in the film and produced a short video contending the film has factual errors."

    Is there a trailer online, or did Wal-Mart employees obtain a full copy illegally (a.k.a. P2P)?

    By Anonymous Matt, at 6:15 PM  

  • Actually Wallmart is not evil....hmmmmm, but if the people running the store in any location are evil than....the outcome of the store and its practices line themselves up on the dark side.
    If the evil choices are coming down from corp. headquarters, which it could be happening because the same evil practices are occuring at Sams Club's their sister store.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:17 AM  

  • By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:43 PM  

  • By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:18 PM  

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