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Wal-Mart quotes

Les Jones on Wal-Mart:

Wal-Mart provides the libertarian ideal where Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms is a store rather than a government agency.

Glenn Reynolds on Wal-Mart:

You know, to me Wal-Mart is a lot like George W. Bush. It’s not that I’m that big a fan in the abstract, really, it’s just that the viciousness and stupidity revealed in its enemies tends to make me view it more favorably than I otherwise would.

I shop there on occasion and it’s because they have cheap ammo and I don’t have to carry a dumb little card to get the best price. Actually, the card isn’t to get the best price, it’s just to get a competitive price. And where else can you go grab some ammo, pick up a Ruger 10/22 for less than $120, a Leupold scope for less than $200, a six pack of Guinness, get your oil changed, grab a pack of underwear, sample snacks, get a fishing license, have your pictures developed in less than an hour, review popular brands of HDTV flatscreens, get tax software, and grab a pack of Chiclets?

There was a thread on arfcom where folks were discussing Wal-Marts ammo prices. One of the anti-Wal-Mart contingent said something about supporting China. Well, guess what, if you buy the same product at another store, it’s still made in China.

16 Responses to “Wal-Mart quotes”

  1. Brutal Hugger Says:

    There’s a lot of good reason to not shop at Walmart. Most of them center around really nasty labor practices and union-busting.

    I personally believe balancing the power of capital with stronger unions would improve America. Unioninizing Walmart could do an awful lot of good for an awful lot of people.

    The cost is we all pay an extra nickel here and there, which I think is worth it. Sometimes the market price isn’t the best price for overall welfare.

    The other big argument against Walmart is that it kills smaller businesses. This irks me, and I’m glad there’s no Walmarts in my town, but I don’t get up in arms about it. Big businesses out-competing little ones is the unfortunate price we pay for progress and for living when and where we do.

  2. cube Says:

    I remember reading an atricle that wal-mart added over a full percent to the GDP in america by saving people money they would have otherwise spent.

    What did you do last year? heh

  3. Les Jones Says:

    Uncle: that’s another reason I like Wal-Mart, too. It sure beats having to make separate stops at the grocery store, Lowe’s, department store, and lube shop, especially when you’re toting a kid around.

    Hugger:

    “I personally believe balancing the power of capital with stronger unions would improve America. Unioninizing Walmart could do an awful lot of good for an awful lot of people.”

    Except for all of the people who shop at Wal-Mart, which includes a lot of poor people.

    Having said that, I would like to see Wal-Mart pay their employees better and provide better benefits. They’re hugely profitable with multiple billionaires in the Walton family and on the executive board, and it wouldn’t kill them to pay their people a little more.

    “The cost is we all pay an extra nickel here and there, which I think is worth it.”

    It’s a lot more than a nickel. Last Christmas we bought a $12 Fantastic Four toy at Target and saw it a few days later at Wal-Mart for $8. That’s a huge difference. We normally pay around $21 for a box of diapers at Wal-Mart. Yesterday Melissa went to Kroger’s (a union shop) and the same box of diapers was $28. A family can easily save hundreds of dollars a month by shopping at Wal-Mart.

    BTW, Dateline had a report last Sunday on grocery store cleanliness, based on government inspections. Wal-Mart ranked second-cleanest, beating out Costco, Kroger’s, Safeway, Albertson’s, Sam’s Club, Publix, Winn-Dixie, and Safeway.

  4. countertop Says:

    Les, what was the cleanest?

    There’s a lot of good reason to not shop at Walmart. Most of them center around really nasty labor practices and union-busting.

    Really, I recall in one instance the union was protesting with hired temp-employee picketers (some of whom had applied to work at wal mart cause it paid much more than their current job).

    Seems to me the claims of Union busting are vastly overstatated and come mostly from union officials who have seen their power base disappear as a result of the rampant corruption that continues to plague unions as well as the utter unwilllingness of union officials to actually, ya know, represent the views of their members.

    To some extent, I think you can criticize Wal Mart for predatory pricing and perhaps some other anti trust violations, but really most of those concerns are going away as other savy outfits rise up to compete with Wal Mart, some doing it rather effectivly.

  5. Steve Ramsey Says:

    Yeah, you can get it all there.
    Sonn it will be the only place where you can get anything. All of it made abroad with cheap and or virtual slave labor. You will also have to buy it there because the American wage base is so erroded you will need the cheap prices.

    Reynolds is right that wally world makes jobs.
    And that you can work your way to the top.

    He neglect to mention they are mostly below living wage jobs, and there is a whole lot of poor bottom, and very little wealthy top. Other than cheap prices at the moment, nobody has yet to explain to me how wal mart is going to better America or our economy in the long run. And he fails to mention that the biggest job creatinbg engine in this country is small business, which is directly impacted by Wal mart’s strongarm buying tactics.

    Where I live, a wal mart superstore is being built right now. A scant 4 miles from the other one. If you think this is a good idea, your’e nuts.

  6. countertop Says:

    Hmm, I wonder . . . . could you let us know Mr. Ramsey – for Brutal Hugger’s sake, whether those small business jobs are unionized jobs or not?

  7. Captain of a Crew of One Says:

    So Many Topics, So little time

    Does it strike anyone as odd that it is typically NOT the people who have, do, or would work at Wal-Mart that are all up in arms about their “unfair” labor practices. It seems that there is a Chicagoan or 24,000 who don’t think the terms of employme…

  8. Les Jones Says:

    Countertop: Food Lion was the cleanest, believe it or not. They had some big problems (like old meat and old prescriptions) that made the news maybe 10 years ago, and I guess they changed their ways.

    Steve:

    “Other than cheap prices at the moment, nobody has yet to explain to me how wal mart is going to better America or our economy in the long run.”

    As cube mentioned, Wal-Mart is helping keep consumer prices in check, which leads to an increase in real wages.

    And if that’s your standard, then how are Target or Kmart going to make America or our economy better in the long run?

  9. Lyle Says:

    I’m sure glad I didn’t have to justify starting my business by explaining to a board of socialists how my business was going to “make America or our ecconomy better”. The reason I can start a business in America is because I damned well feel like it. People can then decide on their own, individually and without having to justify it to a board of inquiry, whether or not to buy from me.

    This, ladies, is called “Liberty” and if I’m not altogether mistaken, it has resulted in the most spectacularly successful society in all of human history – that’s if anyone gives a crap about such things. Bitch all you want about Wall Mart or any other “eeeevil corporation”, then let its employees decide where they choose to work, and its patrons decide where to shop.

  10. Dave Says:

    I won’t spend a dime in there. I’d rather pay more and travel more to try to make sure I don’t get chinese made stuff.

  11. not me Says:

    Does it strike anyone as odd that it is typically NOT the people who have, do, or would work at Wal-Mart that are all up in arms about their “unfair” labor practices.

    Actually, family members do work at Walmart, and ARE up in arms about their labor practices. They claim to see a major difference in the corporation since Sam died. If they could afford to start over, they probably would.

    Also, let’s not forget that many, many Walmart employees get their healthcare through TennCare. You can have extra low prices when you don’t pay squat. Add THAT to the cheap price you paid for a toy.

  12. countertop Says:

    Les,

    That doesn’t surprise me actually. We used to have a food lion about 20 minutes from us that I would travel to for baby food when the son was younger. They stocked Beach Nut baby food and no one else around here did (the others all carry Gerber exclusivly). Anyway, I was always impressed at how clean and organized it was, but sadly, its been shut down for about a year now.

  13. Steve Ramsey Says:

    countertop Said:

    “Hmm, I wonder . . . . could you let us know Mr. Ramsey – for Brutal Hugger’s sake, whether those small business jobs are unionized jobs or not?”

    Since you put the question, I would guess most aren’t.
    But both the question as well as the answer are totally irrelevant as to whether Wal Mart, it’s methods and practices are destructive long term to the United States. Always low prices DO have an analgesic effect for a declining wage base, but eventually the pain will outstrip the drug, and those prices won’t be low enough either.

  14. Jim Says:

    Strictly speaking from a low-budget college student perspective, I shop at Walmart for the low prices. I used to go to Albertsons here in Boise (where Albertsons is based) but they are MUCH more expensive that Walmart (not just a nickel here and there). Even the poor CEO Larry Johnston had to squeak by with a 50 million dollar severance package. And I wondered why their prices were high….

  15. Steve Ramsey Says:

    Jim, you shop at wal mart to stretch a buck. That’s fine.
    The problem is Americans are increasingly, out of latent necessity having to stretch bucks to get by. They are having to stretch them because the middle class job base is being destroyed by acronyms like NAFTA, CAFTA, and MFN (China). The high tech jobs that the globalists claimed Americans would have are also being outsourced or fiilled by foreign H1-B visa holders willing to undercut American citizens, It’s a race to the bottom that nobody really wins in the end. A massive trade deficit combined with all time high federal and consumer debt are stark evidence.

    Unemployment at 5%?
    Great, but middle class housholds are just making it with both parents working full time. And there will come a day when that isn’t good enough either. The changes in the bankruptcy laws to favor creditors wasn’t an accident, or even an answer to an existing problem. It was preparation for the problem to come.

    Now, I’m no fan of guys like Paul Krugman, as a lot of his theory is politically motivated. But so it that of guys like Lawrence Kudlow, the famous free trade cheerleader. They are both wrong to a large degree.

  16. Chris J Says:

    I’m not sure what amazes me more –

    People who hate WalMart because it saves people money,
    or
    People actually think that the WalMart work force is the driving force in this countries economy
    or
    People actually think that uneducated/unskilled people who have no real marketable skills actually deserve to earn high wages

    For all of you WalMart bashers let me ask you a few questions.

    1. If the economy is so bad, then why is the economy documented and proven to be thriving?
    It may be true that companies are downsizing and cutting back, but these companies are doing so to remain profitable. At the same time, newer, and more modern industries are growing. Why don’t those of you who complain actually go back to school and gain more skills?

    2. Why do you WalMart bashers act like the world owes you something? You sound just like union workers who have managed to convince themselves that just because they belong to a union, they are OWED something for their privelage to have a job.

    3. How many streams of income do you have in your lives? What does your investment portfolio look like? (the poor can have an investment porfolio) How much product did you move on ebay? (the poor can sell on ebay) How much do you have in mutuals? (the poor can still save money in mutuals) How many properties do you own? (still possible for the poor to achieve) How much stock have you traded last week? (the poor can even buy stocks)

    Even better, how much time did you spend in the last month learning about how money works? (the poor can go to library for free)

    4. Why are you so negative and jealous of other’s success? All that foot traffic from thousands of people a day! I would love to rent space next to a WalMart and move a business next door that would actually compliment the retail store.

    5. Why do you have to be so grim, and why do you have such a small vision for your life and the lives of others? My city has a WalMart that actually boosted the quality of life for my home town, and it didn’t suffer that nightmareish loss of small businesses. The company actually helped the small businesses around it.