Thursday, August 31, 2006
My Thoughts on Wal*Mart Will Probably Piss Some People Off
I wasn't going to get all serious today, 'cause I feel like my last few entries have been, so I was going to wax poetic or get all spiritual and touchy feely. Well, as I was reading yesterdays paper I happened across an article by Sebastian Mallaby, of the Washington Post, and I just couldn't help myself but to highlight, I always carry a highlighter in my purse as an old habit from my college days, and go along through his article entitled,"Centrist Democrats Lose Their Bearings". Now this is where I assume the outrage might begin.
Mr. Mallaby begins by pointing out that both Hillary Clinton & Sen. Joe Lieberman both have had ties, in the past, to the mega giant and have cut off anything to do with them. Hillary even went so far as to return a campaign contribution from them, but did accept one from Jerry Springer. Hey, there's a paragon of virtue!! But, I digress. The point of the article stresses this; some of these Democrats that consider themselves to be more centrist are now trying to put some serious distance between them and Wal*Mart. They are saying that the company needs to make certain changes in the way they conduct business with their employees and the US market. They are all on board for the "Wake Up Wal*Mart campaign." They claim that their beliefs have never wavered, but that the chain has changed. That in the early 1990's the company bought mostly American goods and today they purchase cheap stuff from China. "Since when did the party's centrists believe that trading with China is evil? It was the Clinton Administration that brought China into the World Trade Organization."
Sen. Clinton and Sen. Kerry have attacked Wal*Mart for their offering health care to too few workers. But Kerry's former economic advisor, Jason Furman of New York University, concluded in a paper last year that the mega giants health benefits are about as generous as those of comparable employers. You just need to read a few previous posts to read about the crappy and absolute joke of health coverage that my SO's company offers!! Maybe I should get a sign and protest where he works!!
Mr. Mallaby continues,"...perhaps the knowledge that the grocery workers union, which launched the anti-Wal*Mart campaign, is strong in the key caucus state of Iowa." According to a paper for the National Buraeu of Economic Research by Jerry Hausman and Ephraim Leibtag, neither of whom received funding from Wal*Mart, big-box stores led by Wal*Mart reduce families' food bills by one-fourth." Because Wal*Mart's price-cutting also has a big impact on the nonfood stuff that it peddles, it saves the American consumers upwards of $200 billion a year, making it a larger booster of family welfare than the federal government's $33 billion food-stamp program.
In closing he adds," By beating up Wal*Mart and forcing it to focus on public relations rather than opening new stores, Democrats are harming the poor they claim to speak for."
Now than you are totally pissed off let me just add my own personal thoughts here before you log off totally!! As someone who has been VERY poor for the last 4 years while SO was laid off, and just about $20 dollars too rich, to qualify for any government assistance, Wal*Mart was one of the VERY few places that we could actually shop and afford things AND actaully buy them. Sure places like Target have some nicer things and they have a better corporate image, but they don't have lay-a-way, which as any poor person can tell you is a MUST HAVE at Christmas time, birthday time etc. Lay-a-way is often a must for the poorer segment of society.
I don't drink cola any longer, but when I did how can I turn away from $2.00 for Sam's Club soda as opposed to $4.00 and higher for the big name stuff? Even Target doesn't have low enough prices on their food stuffs. I could not have gotten materials, such as tires, or clothing at the prices I did at any other sources. Making the kind of money I was, as a bottom feeder alternative school teacher and SO's unemployment benefits we were left to shop there for our misc. and other VERY low cost bag-your-own grocery stores. You know the kind, with name brands that you have never heard of type places.
I don't agree with many of their practices myself and I am sure if I worked there I would be especially pissed off, but necessity plays a different role than we sometimes wish.