Discussion in 'IntroSpectrum' started by Entrensical, Dec 12, 2006.
this was debated in my economics class
i was wondering what some of you guys thought on this
it's good for some in America and horrible for others. it has a number of positive functions....employs millions of people, yada yada. but in the end those positives could be even more positive if those who run wal-mart were satisfied with amazing pofits and could handle not having amazingly-insanely-gargantuanly-huge-profits.
Who exactly is walmart horrible for in america? it cant be those who shop there because if they considered the experience horrible there are any other number of alternative ways to precor the goods they want. It cant be horrible for those that work there because if they didnt consider a job at walmart superior to the alternatives available to them they obviously wouldnt work at walmart. It definately cant be horrble for progressives aka socialist scum since it offers them a face of corporate evil which they can cast as the villain to their hero.
The only people walmart is horrible for in america are its competitors in the retail industry.
"horrible" is a relative word...
if you're broke and someone offers you money to either drink a bowl of human diarrhea or eat a piece of animal flesh that has been sitting in the sun for a few weeks and you pick one over the other, then that choice doesn't all of a sudden become any les horrible...only in comparison to the other options available.
in terms of benefits, wages, workload the perks of the job istelf "horrible" compared to many others.
in terms of benefits, wages, and workload of lower level employees, the higher ups are, at best, doing a "horrible" job of providing them all they can while still making obscene amounts of profits.
and it doesn't relate to the original question, but i'm guessing it's not out of the question for people working in Wal-Mart factories abroad to use the word "horrible" to describe working conditions...especially those places where Wal-Mart moves in and makes the local economy dependent upon them (at a micro level this happens in small town USA as well). And as far as those places where Wal-Mart provides jobs that never existed before....see the above paragraph.
and as far as the larger economy goes...
Wal-Mart isn't competitive. It's anti-capitalist. Has anyone ever lived in a town of less than 25,000 when a Wal-Mart supercenter movies in?
the question is 'is walmart good for america?' not 'could walmart be better for america in the eyes of a fat plant murdering dyke?'. To judge whether walmart is good for america surely we must evaluate what walmart offers america and contrast it to what the state of affairs would be should it not exist. Im so obviously right that I can even use your highly sensationalised analogy to prove it. Is the person who can either eat the excrement or the human flesh any better if we take one choice away? Of course not, they would infact be worse off. Those who had elected to eat the choice which had been eliminated would now be forced to eat the other. Having more eating the remaining choice would mean either less for those that had initially selected the now lone choice or alternatively having a number who go with nothing at all.
That many may consider the jobs offered by walmart horrible in relation to other jobs is irrelevant since the existence of walmart doesnt harm their ability to get those jobs(if anything it improves their chances of being able to land a better job at some point). That you consider the higher ups horrible at what they do matters even less since you evidently know nothing about economics. This is made clear by your curious claim that local economies become 'dependent' on a walmart store in their area. This is obviously nonsense since dependence would see that store pay sustainance level wages and charge $10 per paper clip. Even if a walmart store managed to completely eliminate every other retail outlet in an area the area still wouldnt become 'dependent' on it since if they tried to offer wages too low or charge prices too high competitors would quickly be able to re-establish themselves.
what about the fact that it bullies its suppliers to the lowest price possible, basically forcing companies, such as Rubbermaid, to basically either outsource or die?
^that is a strange post for two reasons
- the choice of language. When a company drops the retail price of a product in response to poor sales I cannot recall anyone ever claiming this was an example of the public 'bullying' said company.
- the reduction of prices is typically cited as a positive effect
Setting that aside and focussing on your main point the fuss about outsourcing largely rests on a misconception. This being to judge an economy on the number of jobs it offers ie jobs being created is intrinsically good and jobs being lost is intrinsically bad. This line of thinking suggests that the road to national prosperity is to do everying as inefficently as possible. Afterall if the secret was simply to maximise the number of jobs we could achieve that easily. Why pay one man to drive a train when instead we could employ hundreds of men to transport the cargo on their backs?
That some jobs are lost to poorer countries is not a new phenomena nor is it a sign of impending doom. Increasing affluence is one of the greatest destroyers of jobs in the western world. Indeed it is this evil that is responsible for the record levels of unemployment amongst western children. Is america poorer that bangladeshi children have 'stolen' their jobs? Outsourcing would be something to worry about if it were other countries outsourcing lower skilled jobs to america.
As long as they're fair and legal, they're good for America. If they're doing business the right way (i.e. not hiring illegal scrubs for cheap labor), then yes they're good for America....
On the contrary, Wal-Mart is the most competitive entity on the planet. Just because Wal-Mart puts inefficient businesses out of business doesn't mean it's anti-capitalist. If anything, those who lose to Wal-Mart are the ones that are not competitive.
the only problem i have with walmart is the redistribution of wealth from my town to a town far away from where i live. a locally owned shop, has an owner with a vested interest in the town, his wealth is spent in his town, meaning the profit is spent in the town and on average will recurculate 7 times. when you spend money at a chain like walmart it syphons money from your town to where ever the chain is hq'd. sure employees of walmart live in the town but the majority of profit is not going to stock boys and register girls.
walmart is also the cause in making america look the same across the board. i dont like cookie cutter states, which is one reason i chose to stay in massachusetts, because it has local flavor and character. wlamart, and other chains destroy that.
anyone care to continue the walmart is good/walmart is bad conversation? do you agree with my two statements?
Is Walmart good for America?
-nationwide wage gains + 0.9% creates enormous economic opportunities for suppliers, building materials firms, supply & general merchandise
-increase new business activities in areas
-helps working families save money approx. $2300/a
- economies of scale reports grocery prices are 17-20% lower than other supermarkets
I think the above link can indicate some scenarios that would assist you in CIG(X-M) assumptions, and plausible conclusions.
You need to look up the (real) inflation & interest rates.
These are 2006 figures.
In the third quarter of this year, net sales were $83.543 billion, an increase of 12.0 percent over the third quarter of fiscal 2006. Income from continuing operations for the quarter was $2.594 billion, an increase of 7.1 percent from $2.422 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2006. Earnings per share from continuing operations were $0.62, up from $0.58 per share in the same prior year quarter.
Where would all the white trash shop or work?
Paying Millions Over Americans with Disabilities Act Violations. In 2001, Wal-Mart paid $6 million dollars to settle 13 lawsuits charging the firm with widespread discrimination and violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Even after these lawsuits, Wal-Mart continued to discriminate against Americans with Disabilities; in 2004, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit against Wal-Mart on behalf of a Kansas City man confined to a wheelchair. [29 U.S.C. S 706 et seq; Business Journal, 1/20/04.]
$9.5 Million for a San Diego Development. A San Diego development project anchored by a Wal-Mart and a Sam's Club received about $9.5 million in public subsidies -- yet the stores contribute only about $800,000 in annual sales tax to the city. [Brennan Center for Justice]
Costs Outweigh Benefits. A Penn State report on the economic impact of local subsidies found that "[t]he public costs that [Wal-Mart] imposes by raising the poverty rate suggest that public infrastructure subsidies may not be warranted." [Stephan J. Goetz, Hema Swaminathan, "Wal-Mart and County-Wide Poverty," Social Science Quarterly, 6/06]
Slapped with Fines Across the Country. In 2004, Wal-Mart faced fines for violations of environmental laws in nine states: California, Colorado, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Utah. [Associated Press, 5/12/04; New York Times, 4/13/05]
Forced to Settle Air Pollution Claims. In 2004, Wal-Mart agreed to pay $400,000 to the government to settle claims that Sam's Club had flouted federal air pollution regulations in eleven states. [The Business Journal, 1/30/04]
# Contaminating Water in Georgia. Georgia's Environmental Protection Division (EPD) fined Wal-Mart for letting polluted storm water run free into state waters -- resulting in $170,000 in penalties for pollution at two sites. Wal-Mart failed to take basic steps to help clean storm runoff, such as maintaining silt fencing around construction zones, installing ponds to catch storm water, and failure to keep records. The fines ranked among the highest paid in Georgia for violations of the Clean Water Act. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2/10/05]
In Florida, Oil Storage Problems. Florida forced Wal-Mart to pay $765,000 in fines for operating outside safety restrictions on petroleum storage at its auto service centers. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection flagged the company for failing to register its fuel tanks with the state or install devices that prevent gasoline overflows. According to the state, Wal-Mart also failed to perform monthly safety checks, lacked current technologies to prevent overflows, blocked state inspectors from reviewing records and failed to show proper insurance documentation. [Associated Press, 11/18/04]
Threatens Georgia County Over Rezoning. Wal-Mart's Real Estate Manager for Georgia and South Carolina told Clarke County Commissioners to rezone land for a superstore in Athens, Ga. -- and added that Wal-Mart had "identified several sites in [neighboring] Oconee County that meet Wal-Mart's site selection requirements." In an Online Athens editorial, Wal-Mart lawyer Mike Morris wrote, "The relocation of Wal-Mart to an adjoining county would be the worst of all worlds ... Customers would still use our roads to get to and from the store, but all tax generated would go to the county where it is located." [Athens Banner-Herald, 3/26/00; Athens Banner-Herald, 12/22/99; Athens Banner-Herald, 1/2/00]
Letting Workers and Families Rely on Public Programs. A memo written by Susan Chambers, Wal-Mart Executive Vice President for Benefits, for the Wal-Mart Board of Directors, said: "We also have a significant number of Associates and their children who receive health insurance through public-assistance programs. Five percent of our Associates are on Medicaid compared to an average for national employers of 4 percent. Twenty-seven percent of Associates' children are on such programs, compared to a national average of 22 percent (Exhibit 5). In total, 46 percent of Associates' children are either on Medicaid or are uninsured." Chambers wrote, "Wal-Mart's critics an easily exploit some aspects of our benefits offering to make their case; in other words, our critics are correct in some of their observations. Specifically, our coverage is expensive for low-income families, and Wal-Mart has a significant percentage of associates and their children on public assistance.'' [Susan Chambers Memo to the Wal-Mart Board of Directors; New York Times, 10/26/05]
Misled Legislators About Pushing Employees to Public Assistance. In a letter to state legislators, Wal-Mart wrote that they "provide the mechanism for associates to remove themselves from public assistance" and that they "certainly don't encourage our associates to apply for public health benefits." Documents bearing the Wal-Mart logo, however, revealed that Wal-Mart issues printed "Instructions for Associates" that tell employees how to sign up for public assistance. Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott has said: "There are government assistance programs out there that are so lucrative it's hard to be competitive, and it's expensive to be competitive." [Wal-Mart Letter to State Legislators, 6/20/05; Wal-Mart Social Services Documents; St. Louis Post Dispatch, 4/6/05]
Forcing Higher Medicaid Spending. Michael Hicks, an economist at the Air Force Institute of Technology at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, conducted a study analyzing state Medicaid data from 1978 to 2003 and found that Wal-Mart causes an increase in state Medicaid spending by as much as $898 per person. [Business Week, 10/26/05]
Giving Inaccurate Testimony to FDIC. In an effort to advance its bid to open in-store 'industrial' banks, Wal-Mart gave regulators misleading statements about whether the company could muscle out the traditional banks already based in its stores. Wal-Mart told the Federal Depository Insurance Corporation -- the nation's bank regulator -- that long-term leases with banks blocked Wal-Mart from moving into commercial banking, because the "leases signed by banks were renewed at the discretion of the banks alone." After a report by Reuters, however, forced Wal-Mart to admit that leases with at least some banks could be renewed only if both the banks and Wal-Mart approve. Rep. Paul Gillmor (R-Ohio), a member of the House Financial Services Committee, said: "We are beginning to see a pattern of misleading or false statements from Wal-Mart with regard to their interests in branch banking." [Reuters, 5/9/06; Cox News Service, 5/11/06]
Sanctioned for Unethical Trial Practices. An October 1999 article in Corporate Counsel magazine cited "two dozen cases during the past 18 months" in which Wal-Mart had been sanctioned for discovery abuse, including one $18 million fine. In Texas, a judge who imposed sanctions for discovery abuse said: "Unfortunately, nefarious conduct is all too common in lawsuits in which Wal-Mart is a party." [Wilson v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., 199 F.R.D. 207, 208 (S.D. Tex. 2001); ABA Journal, March 2002]
Abandons Buy American Program. In February 1985, Walton wrote 3,000 American manufacturers and wholesalers to announce that the chain wanted to buy more American goods. Walton said: "We cannot continue to be a solvent nation as long as we pursue this current accelerating direction. Our company is firmly committed to the philosophy by buying everything possible from suppliers who manufacture their products in the United States." Today, however, over 80 percent of Wal-Mart's 6,000 global suppliers are based in China. [Wal-Mart Press Release, 3/13/85; Wal-Mart Literature, 1994; PBS Frontline, 11/16/04]
China's Eighth Largest Trading Partner. In 2004, almost 10 percent of everything imported to the United States from China was imported by Wal-Mart -- making the company, if it counted as a sovereign nation, China's eighth-largest trading partner. [Business Week Online, 10/7/05; Charles Fishman, The Wal-Mart Effect, 2006]
Increasing Dependence on India. In March 2004, Business Line reported that Wal-Mart intends to outsource $11 billion in textile merchandise over the next few years. The company has planned to buy $1.5 billion dollars worth of goods from India in 2006, and has increased operations out of its Bangalore office -- which already employs 80 staffers focused on new outsourcing relationships. [Business Line, 3/26/05; Bloomberg News, 7/11/05; Women's Wear Daily, 3/13/06]
Advises Supplier: 'Open a Factory in China.' To land a supply contract with Wal-Mart, the Lakewood Engineering and Manufacturing Company -- a Chicago fan manufacturer -- had to locate manufacturing operations in Shenzhen, China. Workers there make $.25 an hour -- while the company's Chicago workforce earned an average hourly $13. [Los Angeles Times, 11/23/03
Advises Mr. Coffee to Move Overseas. Mr. Coffee -- which won awards for moving manufacturing operations back to the United States -- faced pressure to shift production to China even at the height of Wal-Mart's 'Buy American' program. After Wal-Mart demanded a $1 reduction in the wholesale price of a brisk-selling four-cup coffeemaker in 1985, Mr. Coffee executives scouted for factory sites in China -- and executives say Wal-Mart encouraged offshore production even as it promoted its 'Made in the USA' campaign." [The Commercial Appeal, 6/8/01; Cleveland Plain Dealer, 11/14/04]
Dropped from Socially Responsible Investing Index. In 2001, Wal-Mart was removed from the nation's largest "socially responsible" mutual fund, the Domini 400 Social Index, because of its human rights standards. The Domini Index is described as the "the first benchmark for stock funds to screen for social responsibility." Kyle Johnson, the project manager for the index, stated "Wal-Mart is a market leader in retail, yet has not taken a leadership position on labor issues and has been unresponsive to calls for change from shareholders." [Palm Beach Daily News, 6/12/05; International Shareholder, 4/17/01; The Los Angeles Times, 5/18/01]
Wage Violations at Supplier Factories. According to Wal-Mart's own audit, "several serious violations are still found consistently at the factory level, including problems with payment of overtime compensation, coaching of workers for worker interviews, and the use of `double-books' to hide true numbers of hours worked or wages/benefits paid." [Wal-Mart Stores Inc. 2005 Ethical Sourcing Report]
Toys Built in South China Sweatshop. A China Labor Watch report detailed the mistreatment of workers in a factory making small toys for Wal-Mart. As of early December 2005, violations against workers at the Lungcheong factory were as follows: the systematic denial of maternity leave, work-related injuries leading to termination, illegally denying health insurance, mandatory overtime work, insane quotas and employing underage workers. [China Labor Watch, December 2005, China Labor Watch Source (PDF)]
Sweatshops for Kathie Lee Gifford Products. Charles Kernaghan, director of the New York-based National Labor Committee, testified before Congress in 1996 that Kathie Lee Gifford's clothing line was being produced in sweatshops around the globe. He reported that Global Fashion Plant in Choloma, Honduras -- a Wal-Mart vendor that produces clothing for the Kathie Lee apparel line -- employed pregnant women and children under harsh conditions and paid only 31 cents an hour. In 2000, The National Labor Committee reported that workers at Qin Shi Handbag factory in Zhongshan, China -- which made handbags for Kathie Lee Gifford's Wal-Mart line -- were forced to work 14-hour shifts, seven days a week for little or no money. [Arkansas-Democrat Gazette, 5/24/96; National Labor Committee, "Made in China: The Role of U.S. Companies in Denying Human and Worker Rights," 5/25/00]
Missing Overtime Pay. In 2004, the International Labor Rights Fund (ILRF) documented violations of overtime pay rules at Wal-Mart garment supply factories in Nicaragua, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Swaziland. In September 2005, ILRF filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of workers in China, Bangladesh, Nicaragua, Swaziland, and Indonesia. Workers in these countries complained of being "kicked and beaten, locked in factories, fired for supporting a union and not paid the minimum wage or overtime." [Institute for Policy Studies; New York Times, 9/16/05; Corporate Legal Times, 11/05]
Chinese Workers Earning Too Little to Afford Wal-Mart. The influx of cheap labor from the Chinese countryside allows Wal-Mart to produce its goods at extremely low prices. The Pearl River Delta, home to some of China's newest and largest factories, is a breeding ground for poor working conditions, environmental destruction, and inadequate urban planning. With the help of the Chinese government, infrastructure improvements mean more and more workers will descend upon this area to toil away in horrible conditions. With wages around $100 dollars a month, most workers cannot even afford the products they produce. [BusinessWeek, 7/26/05; China Daily, 11/29/04; San Francisco Chronicle, 12/29/04]
Coverage Lags Far Behind National Average. Nationally, 63 percent of workers in large firms (200 employees or more) receive their health benefits from their employer. More than 80 percent of Costco workers are covered by their company plan. According to Wal-Mart's own website, "In January 2006, the number of associates covered by Wal-Mart health care insurance increased to 46%." [Walmartfacts.com][Employer Health Benefits 2006 Annual Survey, The Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research and Educational Trust; New York Times, 10/24/05]
High Out-of-Pocket Premiums. According to the Center for a Changing Workforce, in 2003, Wal-Mart employees paid 41% of insurance premium costs. At the time of the report, Costco employees paid about 10% of premium costs. Nationally, workers today pay an average of 16% of premiums for single coverage and 27% of premiums for family coverage. [Employer Health Benefits 2006 Annual Survey, The Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research and Educational Trust; Wal-Mart and Healthcare: Condition Critical, Center for a Changing Workforce, 10/26/05]
Less Money for Benefits than Other Firms. In September 2003, Wall Street Journal reported, "Last year, average spending on health benefits for each of the company's roughly 500,000 covered employees was $3,500, almost 40% less than the average for all U.S. corporations and 30% less than the rest of the wholesale/retail industry, according to estimates by Mercer Human Resource Consulting, a unit of Marsh & McLennan Cos." [Wall Street Journal, 9/30/03]
Confusing to Even the CEO. In a speech before the National Governors Association, Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott "conceded that one of Wal-Mart's new efforts, the introduction of health savings accounts, had gotten off to a slow start because setting up the accounts was 'too complicated.' He said he found the process confusing and had not yet set up his own account." [New York Times, 2/27/06]
Admitting to a Part-Time Strategy. "Wal-Mart executives have acknowledged that the retailer will also shift to a heavier reliance on part-time workers, who now account for roughly 20% of the work force, higher than the national average for retailers. A recent JP Morgan report said Wal-Mart plans to increase the ratio of its 1.2 million-member U.S. hourly work force on part-time schedules to 40% from 20%, meaning the hours of as many as 240,000 workers could be cut below 34 a week, the threshold to be considered full-time." [Wall Street Journal, 4/11/06]
Phasing Full-Timers Out. Citigroup analyst Deborah Weinswig predicted that Wal-Mart's proportion of full-time workers is declining. In a 60-page research report, she predicted that "Wal-Mart will reduce its ratio of full-time workers to 60 percent over the next year or two, with the remaining 40 percent slated for part-time status. Wal-Mart's proportion of full-time U.S. workers -- which currently stands at about 75 percent -- could further fall to 50 percent in the future." [Associated Press, 5/3/06]
CEO: 'Disagree? Then Leave.' In 2006, the New York Times reported that "in a confidential, internal Web site for Wal-Mart's managers, the company's chief executive, H. Lee Scott Jr., seemed to have a rare, unscripted moment when one manager asked him why 'the largest company on the planet cannot offer some type of medical retirement benefits?' Mr. Scott first argues that the cost of such benefits would leave Wal-Mart at a competitive disadvantage but then, clearly annoyed, he suggests that the store manager is disloyal and should consider quitting." [New York Times, 2/17/06]
Obviously, the topic is more complicated than "is walmart good for America?". Other questions should be asked as well like "who is negatively affected by Wal-Mart and in what ways (not even "if")?", "who benefits at who else's expense", or "do the benefits outweigh the costs?"....
instead of cutting and pasting statistics why not engage me in the two points i brought up.
In review of your first statement, the premise is not economical and is social. As a result, the local politician shold be addressing these concerns.
Social aspects of business is to ensure an improvement in the standard of work and compensation that is equitable in like situations.
A business is there to make a profit, this is the primary premise of a business. Government is responsible for the people and therefore you may find that neighboring towns have partnered rather than remain competitive.
Walmart is recognized as an entity acting solely as an individual in law. Again, the statement is a social response and every community is entitled to its own definition as it is consolidated by the same right of the individual but collectively considered.
the question of whether walmart was good for america had no definition. i chose to take a personal view on walmart as it impacts me and those around me. you chose to pretend you were in a freshman college economics course. get that weak sauce out of here and get back to me after you graduate and start thinking for yourself.
additionally discussing affluency within my community is not a social issue. small business directly invests in the area in which it operates and in turn money remains local. the same can not be said for a large corporation headquartered far far away. my response had nothing to do with the ideals of capitalism that any and every company both large and small have a right to compete nor did i bring up any ideas of outsourcing, third party logistics or supply chain management. if you feel like discussing this topic on a level other than your superficial responses go ahead and get back to me
otherwise please stop trying to impress people with vocabulary and text book knowledge it makes you look stupid and uneducated.
why did you hate on me???
as far as "ideals on capitalism"...
you straight up hated.
stupid and uneducated.... hating.
know better do better...
good luck buddy.
I will wait for you to know that I am 100% correct and earn your brownie points be inferring a cooperative approach, which is a higher level of leadership than comprimise alone.
Separate names with a comma.