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Author Topic: OT---Walmart---On the PBS show"Frontline"  (Read 5830 times)

Johnny B

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OT---Walmart---On the PBS show"Frontline"
« on: November 17, 2004, 12:52:29 am »

Sorry about this off-topic thread, but the PBS show "Frontline" is doing a special on WalMart. I think it is supposed to present 2 opposing views, so I would imagine it's fairly decent journalism. I dunno.

I'm not a big WalMart fan for a variety of reasons that have been documented elsewhere.

And the WalMartification of America is affecting all of us, at least for now. We can stop it, if we want.

In LA County they've taken steps to thrwart the onslaught of WalMart by passing "anti-Big Box" and "formula store" ordinances.

I think that's a good idea, I like my local mom and pop stores and don't want to see them disappear because they are part of the very fabric of any community.

I put this thread up to see what kind of reaction all you good folks would have to the show.

Fair...unfair?

Any change in your feelings about WalMart?

Or???


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hollis

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Re: OT---Walmart---On the PBS show"Frontline"
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2004, 01:44:10 am »

Last week's Frontline on Persuasion and Marketing was great, so I'll definitely tune in to this one, thanks for the heads up. I've despised Wal-Mart for as long as I can remember, whereas my roomate is living the Wal-Mart brand lifestyle--one pound pretzels and all. Trash.
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Johnny B

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Re: OT---Walmart---On the PBS show"Frontline"
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2004, 10:44:54 am »

Yes, I think some things have changed since Sam Walton died, not for the better either.

Now if the conservo-nazi-wackos wanted something legit to hammer Bill Clinton for, the terrible un-American trade deals that were done for WalMart would be sensible. That old Monica and BJ thing does not affect most people's day-to-day lives, but Clinton setting the stage for America's economic destruction with un-fair trade with cheap/slave labor countries impacts everybody, from the factory-line worker to middle management, to high-tech R&D. In short, everybody. And Bait and Switch Bush has made things even worse with his moronic belief system that ignore the sad facts. The Bush Regime's Official Policy is that it's good to export YOUR job.

NAFTA, WTO, WORLD BANK, IMF all suck!

We need to cancel NAFTA, CAFTA, and the WTO. And we'd better do it pronto.

The thing that also upset me was the way WalMart drove RubberMaid into bankruptcy, hurting the shareholders, getting 1000 employees fired, and destroying the town of Worchester (Wooster) Mass.

And I also did not like the fact that WalMart was forcing all its suppliers to open factories overseas and export good American jobs out odf the USA.

Think you're immune? Think again.

Here's the bottom line, according to Stanford University Economics Experts at the famous Hoover Institution, WalMart is leading America on a "Race to the Bottom."

America will soon be a Third World Country.

WalMart = Un-American Traitor

YMMV
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djui5

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Re: OT---Walmart---On the PBS show"Frontline"
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2004, 07:07:10 pm »

I love that place......it's so ghetto....always a crack up to visit....


But I buy things there.....a lot

It's cheaper than the grocery store...they have a stock of almost anything I need on a regular basis...and it's fun to go....(for tradition purposes I guess...I've been going there for years).

I used to live in Orlando right behind the first Super Target in America....couple of years ago....and I loved that more than wal-mart....but they don't have one near here....so wal-mart it is.


I don't understand why everyone's fighting them......they've changed things....keep up or die.....
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David Schober

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Re: OT---Walmart---On the PBS show"Frontline"
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2004, 10:29:06 pm »

I used to buy my stuff at a neighborhood hardware store.  But then the didn't have what I needed, the propane was more expensive, and the service stunk.  So I ultimately ended up at Home Depot.  I wanted to support these guys.  They were very nice local people with a great black Lab that was a fixture at the store.  But they didn't evolve.  They, like many Mom and Pop stores are not evolving and I'm not just talking about stuff only big buyers like WalMart can get.  Basic stuff....toilet repair kits, a bit of lumber....the things I need most often they rarely had.  And as I said, their staff, while nice folks, weren't nearly as helpful in how to fix things as the HD people.

To me Walmart is the same story.  I'm amazed at the hostility directed toward them.  It's not like the Mom and Pop stores are getting USA made stuff vs Walmart's Asia products.  They are all selling the same thing.  Nobody makes athletic shoes or electronics in the US.  Like it or not...that's reality no matter who you are.

I can see and am sympathetic to both sides of the issue.  But the main reality of business is evolve or die.  You can't expect the customer to pay higher prices, have less selection, and get poorer help just because.  Walmart didn't just drop out of the sky as a big powerhouse.  They grew into what they are by being better than the next guy, one store at a time.  They earned their way up....like any other business.
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David Schober

lucey

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Re: OT---Walmart---On the PBS show"Frontline"
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2004, 01:16:43 am »

David Schober wrote on Wed, 17 November 2004 22:29


I can see and am sympathetic to both sides of the issue.  But the main reality of business is evolve or die.  You can't expect the customer to pay higher prices, have less selection, and get poorer help just because.  Walmart didn't just drop out of the sky as a big powerhouse.  They grew into what they are by being better than the next guy, one store at a time.  They earned their way up....like any other business.


"Earned?"  By forcing the use of pennies on the dollar labor in countries with no standards for the environment or the labor, and with low interest money handed out by a Government with no human rights ideology to speak of?

China is not a Freedom loving country ... why does the Religious Right allow them a free pass on Values?  

(Why did Clinton not see this coming?  Because he is as naive to the world as Bush is narrow.)

China is as bad for America as Terrorists ... and because we all secretly hope to be the capitalist that might cash in on the next Gold Rush, the next Deforestation, the next China... we let it go.  



Did Branson earn his money?  How about the Artists whose catalogue he sold off ... did they make any money on their labor and creativity? NO.  The capitalist wins, and the unbridled capitalist system allows China to ruin America, one cheap item at a time, one thousand lost jobs at a time.






"Evolve or die?" you say.  How about Grow or die? ... evolution is not always growth.  And this is only the motto because of public companies and their quarterly needs.

A private company can choose a size and a lifestyle and stick to it.  A private company can have morality in a community and a country.

A corporation is amoral by it's design, and the fact that Religious Righties and Corporations are bedfellows is a real irony of this era.



Why does Wal Mart threaten America?   Wal Mart is sytematically and intentionally driving labor away from the US, and at FASTER rates then necessary, while defining success as a price point, not a value or a quality point .. watch Frontline, it's very accurate.

Bottom line ... the Capitalist model is flawed, profit and expansion are not infinite ... and the wall is coming for America.  We will have rich owners and lots of poor everyone else, a middle class vacuum right in this lifetime.



America is not a country of UNLIMITED FREEDOM, nor are we a PURE CAPITALISM, now or ever.  Smith lost out long ago to a fairness and religion/love of neighbor influenced model of economics.

We are a regulated economy, and a liberty with boundaries based on a social structure of LIBERTY RECIPROCITY.  My freedom is only as good as your freedom.  And the boundary is defined as the place where my freedom negatively effects my neighbor ...  Wal Mart is just such a negative-for-neighbors business model.
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Brian Lucey
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Re: OT---Walmart---On the PBS show"Frontline"
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2004, 10:03:06 am »

I don't make a habit of watching persuasion pieces, but Wal-Mart isn't all good or bad. I shop there for toiletries mostly. I don't think I could stand the thought of having to rely on one place for everything. These super Wal-Marts with the grocery items disgusts me.

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David Schober

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Re: OT---Walmart---On the PBS show"Frontline"
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2004, 10:38:09 pm »

Hello again Brian,

you have said in several posts:

"Bottom line ... the Capitalist model is flawed, profit and expansion are not infinite"

So in your view, what is the solution?  No one has ever claimed any system was perfect, except maybe Marx.  You got any better ideas?

As for the idea that expansion is not infinite, I'm not sure I'd claim that it was...nor has any capitalist-believing econmists that I'm aware of.  Unless you make some other comment I'm not sure your statement has any meaning.  Still, I remember the days when ecomomists dreamed of the day that the Dow would crack 3000.  The ecomomies of the world seem to be holding to the capitalism model as the best system.

What say you?
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David Schober

lucey

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Re: OT---Walmart---On the PBS show"Frontline"
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2004, 03:49:16 pm »

David Schober wrote on Tue, 23 November 2004 22:38

Hello again Brian,

you have said in several posts:

"Bottom line ... the Capitalist model is flawed, profit and expansion are not infinite"

So in your view, what is the solution?
What say you?


Well that's a big one that is not up to any one of us right now ... and since I have no authority to fix anything on that scale, nor does anyone as the system is out of control ... I see no point in providing alternatives just yet.  Global Corporate domination is here to stay, and when it crashes, we can pick up the pieces then.

Here at home, a government that is not tied to corporate(or religious) interests would be nice.  A goverment is not supposed to be everything, the American Federal Govnt is not supposed to mirror our every pleasure and whim and private morality ... it has grown too personal and is truly a service provider, a structure within which life takes place.

With the 524s in the last election this grassroots revival began to fire up, yet I fear it will be doused by legislators on both sides ... the Republicans leading the charge.

If we had a real democracy with actual openness of information everything in the public discussion would be more truthful so there could be a tide stemming nationally and our international influence would be more responsible vis a vis the corporate irresponsibility model and it's influence.  The Bushies are horrific in this regard, Bush despises openness and argument.  Intellectually uninterested in opposing views he sets the tone for a lemming like country and global economic lemming model.

Sadly, even now we have Americans like you who are curious, yet bring up Marx anytime the economic model is threatened with realistic criticism ... we are so insecure about our system as we all know the rich get richer and the world suffers for our greed.  On some level, every golden parachuted multi millionaire failure CEO knows that the system is wrong ... yet our denial and insecurity stifle any discussion in the public ... only the demonized 'Liberals' do it now.  And in smaller numbers.

The biggest problem is the miseducation of America ... we're not an economic model ... or said another way, Capitalism is not the goal of our, or any Democracy.  Our values are profit and winning ... and these are neither family values or Chrisitian values or responsible leadership values for the people of the world.

We have won this leadership position through wealth and the promise of wealth, which makes a shaky basis for real leadership.  Money is important, but life is so much more than money.


On the other hand our Foreign policy debate is hindered by the lack of any real public discussion on the expansion model and it's effects.  The push for "democracy" is almost always a lie, disguising the need for Corporate expansion to suit the expansive model.

All of this is irresponsible and doomed to limit wealth to a few at the expense of the civil values intended by this country's founders as well as leading to the rape of the environment globally by new market governments, before it all crashes in any way that's meaningful.

In the short term, hundreds of years of American innovation are being given to Chinese in exchange for their labor and the wealth of a few American corporate leaders ... there is only Lou Dobbs talking ... now demonized as a Liberal.




Then we have the so-called Big Money running our country ... so at this rate the global playing field is never going to be even, or even pushed in that direction.  And we will all suffer for the short term wealth of a few leaders and stockholders in the largest companies/conglomerates.

I hope it goes fast so we can get on the next stage, but until then ... we wait and watch.
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Brian Lucey
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analog Tom

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Re: OT---Walmart---On the PBS show"Frontline"
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2004, 08:26:32 pm »

Quote:

"Sadly, even now we have Americans like you who are curious, yet bring up Marx anytime the economic model is threatened with realistic criticism ..."
 

This is so true, and also so revealing about the wilful ignorance or intent to mislead of the modern "conservatives".  They throw around catch phrases and terms like Marxism, while fleeing at their fastest speed when anyone seeks to contemplate the terms they toss.  

Marx proposed a breakdown of any distinction between government and industry.  He wanted government and business to be the same thing.  His intention was that this would lead to better times for the victims of unrestrained business - the workers, consumers, etc.  

Marx was simply wrong.  Here in the U.S. we have achieved his dream.  There is no longer much distinction between business and government.  Business buys politicians and tells them what policies to pursue.  

Marx was wrong about the result.  To the unending glee of Mr. Schober and his conservative friends, the merging of business and government has ended any balance in "news" coverage, has resulted in roll-backs of environmental, safety, civil rights and other progress, and has led us to a point where the rest of the industrialized world no longer considers our elections to meet the standards of banana republics.  

It's interesting to realize that what Marx wanted is what corporate apologists want.  Corporate apologists simply have a more realistic view of human nature than Marx.  They understand that if they could only gain control of government, they could undo all the pro-worker, pro-safety, pro-environment things that had been accomplished while government and business were separate.  

The success of corporate politics is perhaps best exemplified by the public adulation of such sociopaths as Schwarzennegger and McCain.  Schwarzennegger has campaigned AGAINST public education from his earliest political action.  To start his political career, he pushed a ballot initiative which mandated after school programs, but carefully made it impossible for any school system to fund the mandated programs (maybe this is where Shrubya got the plan for No Child Left Behind!).  

After getting elected, Schwarzennegger savaged all the U.Cal. and community college budgets he could, before turning his machete on social service programs for society's least powerful families and children.  He has increased corporate control of state government by orders of magnitude over the preceding very conservative (although nominally "democrat") governor.  (When one thinks of Grey Davis, one must remember that Strom Thurmond and John Stennis and Zell Miller were once "democrats".)  And while giving corporate lobbyists direct decisionmaking authority in government, he has searched out and destroyed as many consumer and worker protection agencies as he can.  

Even as a few isolated press voices point out that he has taken bribes directly from companies and industries with matters before him, in much higher numbers than any previous governor, he remains a 'hero' to what Marx would call "the masses", including some otherwise intelligent voices on these forums.  

Similarly, John McCain has a track record of supporting the most corporate-centric bills in congress. But he becomes a 'hero' for co-drafting a 'campaign finance reform' measure which has so many loopholes built in that it is meaningless.  Then he throws all of his political muscle into helping Bush move his corporate church agenda into high gear.  The man has no interests in life other that what power and greed he can exercise - yet he remains a 'hero' to "the masses".  

Maybe Lincoln was wrong - maybe you can fool all the people all the time.  

Cordially,  
Tom
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David Schober

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Re: OT---Walmart---On the PBS show"Frontline"
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2004, 01:32:35 am »

analog Tom wrote on Fri, 26 November 2004 19:26

Quote:

"Sadly, even now we have Americans like you who are curious, yet bring up Marx anytime the economic model is threatened with realistic criticism ..."
 

This is so true, and also so revealing about the wilful ignorance or intent to mislead of the modern "conservatives".  They throw around catch phrases and terms like Marxism, while fleeing at their fastest speed when anyone seeks to contemplate the terms they toss.  


Cordially,  
Tom


I'm afraid Tom, you and Brian took the bait.  The Marx comment was well intended and deliberately trap set to see if I'd get a rise out of you.  It did.

However, if you'd care to read what I said, you'd see your reactions were wrong and misdirected.  I didn't call anyone, Brian, or anyone else a Pinko Commie.  I was merely pointing out that it was Marx who seemed the most dogmatic about his views on economics.

But when a conservative says the name, "Marx" you get a brain freeze, stop hearing what's being said and start spouting liberal talking points.  There's nothing pejorative about what I said, "No one has ever claimed any system was perfect, except maybe Marx."

Brian, to his credit, did try to answer the question posed...well sort of.  His answer, "since I have no authority to fix anything on that scale, nor does anyone as the system is out of control ... I see no point in providing alternatives just yet." sounds eerily reminiscent of John Kerry's answers to what he'd do in Iraq once elected.  Still, he did go about commenting on several points.  It's just that everyone knows it's easier to criticize than take a position.

As for your comments about Marxism and California, I find it amusing that you'd take the position of defending the pre-Schwarznegger status quo, when the state, which I called my home for almost two decades, was awash in massive debt.  California has consistently led the country in many areas.  From Prop 13, 187, and others, to music and fashion are some of the ways CA has led the nation.  Now CA has proved the liberal model of entitlement just doesn't work.  You should be thankful that finally someone, while not perfect, (and no governor has ever been) is at least saving your state from certain financial ruin.

As for the comment, that conservative, supply-side economics has turned into a type of Marxism....Michael Moore would be proud.  It takes some work to be able to spin falsehoods to sound truthful.  
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David Schober

lucey

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Re: OT---Walmart---On the PBS show"Frontline"
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2004, 09:24:46 am »

David Schober wrote on Sat, 27 November 2004 01:32



As for your comments about Marxism and California, I find it amusing that you'd take the position of defending the pre-Schwarznegger status quo, when the state, which I called my home for almost two decades, was awash in massive debt.  California has consistently led the country in many areas.  From Prop 13, 187, and others, to music and fashion are some of the ways CA has led the nation.  Now CA has proved the liberal model of entitlement just doesn't work.  You should be thankful that finally someone, while not perfect, (and no governor has ever been) is at least saving your state from certain financial ruin.

As for the comment, that conservative, supply-side economics has turned into a type of Marxism....Michael Moore would be proud.  It takes some work to be able to spin falsehoods to sound truthful.  


Your ignorance in full bloom ... the government and the business sector as one is Marxism, and if you dont see that the Government as a regulatory agency that protects people from each other's dark side (a very religious idea - that there is a dark side)is gone or going fast, you are not living in truth.

As for CA in debt ... Enron had nothing to do with that debt did they?   And deregulation had nothing to do with Enron, right??? What a joke ...  Supply-Side Economics does not work .. .even Reagan saw that and pulled back on his tax cut.  If only Bush were so smart.

A society of hope with the "values" of fairness and justice for all, not a society of fear and power for the economically successful, is what makes people FEEL GOOD AND SPEND MONEY.  And it is in fact FEELINGS that run any economy, not numbers or ideologies that say "if the rich are richer we all win"!

The basis of our system is debt, like home ownership.  And when people feel positive about the future they go willingly into debt.  If we spent only what we had and the rich invested their extra money in the market the economy would be sluggish at best.

Good vibrations is what it takes for the other 99% to FEEL GOOD and for our economy to crank up.  Bush like his father cannot make people feel good for the life of him, as he's not a loving person, just a crafty liar who talks about love and caring.

Credit the market all you want but Clinton was perfect for creating an optimistic consumer.




David Schober wrote on Sat, 27 November 2004 01:32



I'm afraid Tom, you and Brian took the bait.  The Marx comment was well intended and deliberately trap set to see if I'd get a rise out of you.  It did.

However, if you'd care to read what I said, you'd see your reactions were wrong and misdirected.  I didn't call anyone, Brian, or anyone else a Pinko Commie.  I was merely pointing out that it was Marx who seemed the most dogmatic about his views on economics.

But when a conservative says the name, "Marx" you get a brain freeze, stop hearing what's being said and start spouting liberal talking points.  There's nothing pejorative about what I said, "No one has ever claimed any system was perfect, except maybe Marx."  


WHY SAY ANYTHING AT ALL ABOUT PERFECTION?   Perfection was never the point, discussing our Capitalist/Socialist system and companies like Wal Mart, globalizations ... this was the point.

So YES ... you were being defensive by bringing the concept of perfection in to counter the criticisms I made.

See ... this is not new ... any criticism of capitalism for MY WHOLE LIFE has been met by an insecure and extremist reference to Communism, Marx, or "leaving the country" if I'm not happy.  A pejorative reaction that is now acceptable.

I'm so tired of it I could puke, and you did the same thing, just as predictable as any conservative, as any insecure American.

As a secure American who loves this country and what it has been for moments and what it can be, I feel no reservation in leveling any and all criticisms that might make it better based on the Constitutional intents of the founders and it's current position.  

When people are not as secure in their basis, it's obvious.  You were either reacting emotionally to losing a few points by bringing up a fact of life with no relevance (it's not perfect!), or you had confusion in understanding my points (which you did not admit) and instead it was the Marx thing.



Either way ... if you want to push buttons Mr Schober, or act like you're smarter then the rest of us, go elsewhere.  I have no interest in such crap.

I assume we all have some things in common here and that we are NOT pushing buttons for sport... that's why I bother posting ...

I dont enjoy argument, I enjoy truth seeking.  And you have made your intentions clear.   So if you're just playing power games (what a shock, a Republican more interested in the power game then the content) you can play with yourself.




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Brian Lucey
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Re: OT---Walmart---On the PBS show"Frontline"
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2004, 12:33:29 pm »

Quote:

"As for the comment, that conservative, supply-side economics has turned into a type of Marxism....Michael Moore would be proud. It takes some work to be able to spin falsehoods to sound truthful."


Thank you for underscoring my point:  When caught up in your intentional misdirection with your comment about Marx, you simply shift to another boogeyman - Michael Moore.  When confronted with deeper challenges, can we expect to see you arguing that Clinton is responsible for the Bush deficits and Hillary forced Bush to award all those no-bid contracts?  

Quote:

"California has consistently led the country in many areas. From Prop 13, 187, and others, to music and fashion are some of the ways CA has led the nation. Now CA has proved the liberal model of entitlement just doesn't work."


If you lived here, then you are certainly aware that Prop. 13 was a carefully marketed statewide move to increase corporate welfare.  For those around the nation who don't know, Prop. 13 was the "tax relief" measure which mandates that real estate taxes on apartment buildings, office buildings and shopping centers are LOWER than the real estate taxes on single family homes surrounding those commercial properties.   Mr. Schober, as an eager corporate booster certainly knew this when he made the intentionally false linkage between this measure and "liberalism".  

Prop. 187 was one of the Republican parties white supremacy measures, intended to institutionalize discrimination against 'brown' latinos in the name of 'anti-immigration' while leaving white Canadians and most Asians unaffected.  Racist governor Pete Wilson (republican of course) fronted the camapaign for the measure.  Klan leader David Duke was brought in from Louisiana to campaign for it.  Again, Mr. Schober knew this when he intentionally misidentified this as part of California's liberal history.  

Quote:

"You should be thankful that finally someone, while not perfect, (and no governor has ever been) is at least saving your state from certain financial ruin."
 

There is UNIVERSAL agreement among economists that what Republican sociopath Schwarzennegger has done is to shift all the budget problems down the road to a date past his presidential campaign, without doing ANYTHING to solve any of the underlying fiscal problems.  Everyone now agrees that his campaign to destroy public education (which Mr. Schober was too evasive to comment on) lays the groundwork for a much poorer, less financially sound state in the future.  But it also helps his corporate sponsors to reap much greater short term profits.

Unlike Lucey, I'm happy to have you continue to promote intentional, and easily addressed lies here.  Readers can recall that you promoted fabricated claims about unions being responsible for a fall in public safety; and promoted justifications for discrimination based on bigotry, not science.  One of the benefits of this sort of forum is that we can see when patterns emerge in a poster's messages - we can see when one clings to racism, greed, religious bigotry, and basically hate oriented policies.  That helps us understand when someone we're talking to may be consumed by fear of the world around him - and thus needs to cling to fantasy versions of reality.  

Cordially,
Tom
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lucey

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Re: OT---Walmart---On the PBS show"Frontline"
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2004, 10:05:03 am »

David Schober wrote on Sat, 27 November 2004 01:32

I was merely pointing out that it was Marx who seemed the most dogmatic about his views on economics.



Dear readers ... this is totally untrue.

Sorry to chime back in ... but to double clarify to anyone still reading  ... hardly true.  No economist has ever been "dogmatic" that's just a poor choice of words.

Economic models are theories.  Theories about humanity.  John Smith was as confident as anyone in his theories ... Marx was confident.  Reaganomics and Bush Economics (supply-side) are all equally confident to Marx and similarly deriviative of flawed world views from limited experience, poor premises about human beings, and the inevitable selfishness quotient misunderstood.

Marx undervalued it, Supply-Side over values it.


The Lucey model, if you will, says the following:  

*Self interest is one building block of any sucessful system.   The "self" can be defined narrowly (me) or broadly (we).

*Morality is another building block of any successfull system.  Morality is defined as the inevitable recognition of the interconnectedness of all things. (note: morality is NOT religious in any way. Ethical behaviour is non denominational.)

Narrow self-interest should be saddled up and encouraged to lead yet not allowed to dominate.  Concurrently we must educated ourselves to expand the definition of 'me' for a sucessful AND sustainable economy/society.


*Balance is the third building block of any economy/society.  A Universal law is this:  What is not balanced is lost.  So an eye to balance in all things is in the intetest of the self and the society as whole.

When we all win together, we each win better.  And when we play on different fields at the same time, this imballance is a loss to the sytem and a pain to individuals, and thus the whole system.   A balanced society, or one working toward balance is in tune with the universe and will be helped in kind.


One might extend these three ideas to ponder the role of government, which is to promote increasingly educated and subtle understandings of self-interest, morality and balance through it's multi-faceted influences on society.   Balance and morality in it's exercise of power is the mandate for a successful and sustainable economy.

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Brian Lucey
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Re: OT---Walmart---On the PBS show"Frontline"
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2004, 11:13:21 am »

Interesting thread y'all, not much to add here other than the "i miss that old corner store" rant.

I buy at local full service joints whenever i can, it's good karma, shit, i'm running a small local full service shop...

The big box crunch really cae down hard on me two months ago when the local specialty fly fishing store closed due to the encroachment of Bass Pro Shops. It wasn't the better pricing, it wasn't the convenience, it was a multitude of slash and burn tactics that killed the little full service shop. Below cost pricing for the first few months, hiring away (or trying to) employees by calling them at work and a host of other things not designed to compete with, but instead crush the competition. Now we are left with a store where the people behind the counters know nothing about fishing, our local waters and what works for our neck of the woods.

A few weeks after the flyshop closed i had to get some shit at BPS for an offshore trip a friend had invited me to go on. These are some quotes from the staff:  "I dunno I haven't fished in years---Never caught a bluewater fish on a fly, you can do that?"
"Dunno... I'm just filling in, I'm normally in the shoe section."

Shit, i could go on, the fact is the only adaptation is the fact that their adverts and perceived value is keeping them afloat. Bigger isn't better, it's just dumber and to be honest people are going back to the other shops in town because of the service, unfortunately most Bubba's don't know the difference between service and being serviced up the...

Anywho, the same could be said for record labels, fruitcakes and marital aids.
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Tim Halligan

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Re: OT---Walmart---On the PBS show"Frontline"
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2004, 06:10:48 am »

Being from Australia, I don't really have a perspective on the Walmart issue, but I can add to the comments made by Fibes in his post.

In Australia, we have a wonderful (...not!) chain of stores called Harvey Norman. They have an interesting business model, in that each section of the store (furniture, electrical etc) is a seperate franchise, but with centralised advertising/admin etc. I believe that this is the first business of this type in the country.
Whenever they move into a new area, they practice aggressive tactics in an effort to carve themselves a niche...not uncommon in any country. As a post-guy who used to handle the radio and TV spots for one of the competition chains (now sadly defunct) I learned through the client just how ruthless HN are prepared to be...
HN management rang the CEO of this chain and basically said that HN were there to put him out of business. HN use below-cost pricing and other tactics as blunt instruments. The (now former) CEO told me that HN were prepared to trade in the red for 12-24 months, as long as at the end of that time period "HN came away with 100% of the market" (his words quoting HN management).

Quality service seems to lose everytime to cheaper pricing...which I guess is fine until there is a problem with the item. Certainly not a brilliant way to buy the kind of stuff that WE use every damn day.

Cheers,
Tim
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lucey

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Re: OT---Walmart---On the PBS show"Frontline"
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2004, 12:57:07 pm »

Tim Halligan wrote on Fri, 03 December 2004 06:10

 ... through the client just how ruthless HN are prepared to be...
HN management rang the CEO of this chain and basically said that HN were there to put him out of business. HN use below-cost pricing and other tactics as blunt instruments. The (now former) CEO told me that HN were prepared to trade in the red for 12-24 months, as long as at the end of that time period "HN came away with 100% of the market" (his words quoting HN management).



hit it on the head ..

in many instances Wall Mart has done this ... most easily spotted are it's gasoline prices. (which have been adressed in a few lawsuits, but it continues)

when you are that big, it's easy to undercut ... and in this case they are not only doing that, they are pricefixing by demanding that all prices meet the chinese import pricepoints.  in effect forcing american business to china and american workers to unemployment.

unemployment tax is not paid by a company that goes to china, so the economy is hit twice as the deficit grows and the income stream is diminished.


the rich chinese then buy up our bonds for cheap so in the long run they'll be even richer.
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David Schober

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Re: OT---Walmart---On the PBS show"Frontline"
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2004, 02:48:16 am »

Tom,

In your last post you said about me:

“Unlike Lucey, I'm happy to have you continue to promote intentional, and easily addressed lies here. …One of the benefits of this sort of forum is that we can see when patterns emerge in a poster's messages - we can see when one clings to racism, greed, religious bigotry, and basically hate oriented policies. That helps us understand when someone we're talking to may be consumed by fear of the world around him - and thus needs to cling to fantasy versions of reality.”

Tom, it is here that you and I will be either to continue this conversation or not.  I have never called you a liar or any other name. Nor have I claimed you are lying, or even insinuated that.  You and I see things differently.  Yet you seem unable to have a conversation without resorting to calling those you disagree with various names.  You have called me a liar multiple times, and as I showed above, made clear implications that I am a racists, greedy, religious bigot, and promote “hate oriented policies”…an amazing feat considering you and I have only exchanged a few posts, never spoken and have never met.  I’m afraid to say this is typical from those on the left.  I have found that the left, liberal, progressive, Democrats, who pride themselves as being “open minded,” and “tolerant” in these posts are the ones who are the name callers.  They are, and you Tom, are the ones who when confronted with views that conflict with their own try to win the argument by calling someone a pejorative and spew sophistry, claiming their victory.

For starters, you called me a liar in the Prop 13 & 187 issues.  My little list of things Californian weren’t a list of liberal items.  Didn’t you read what I wrote?  They were examples of things that started in CA, and moved across the country.  Prop 13 & 187 are perfect examples of this.  Whether you like them or hate them, these propositions have been copied in various states.  

You said re: Prop 13
“Mr. Schober, as an eager corporate booster certainly knew this when he made the intentionally false linkage between this measure and "liberalism".

And re: Prop 187
“Again, Mr. Schober knew this when he intentionally misidentified this as part of California's liberal history.”

I never said either of those things.

Here’s what I said:
"California has consistently led the country in many areas. From Prop 13, 187, and others, to music and fashion are some of the ways CA has led the nation. Now CA has proved the liberal model of entitlement just doesn't work."

How you could claim that I was saying those initiatives were liberal is beyond me.  The point I made is that the liberal policies of high property tax rates resulted in Prop 13.  The liberal mandates for CA citizens to pay for goods and services to illegal aliens resulted in Prop 187.  As CA resident, you should know that.  The fact that you disagree with them doesn’t change what they are.  Those initiatives are conservative, not liberal.  Other states have adopted such measures.  Again, CA is moving away from some of their liberal policies.  And those actions are being repeated across the country.  At best I can consider you didn’t really see my point.  At worst you raised a straw man argument.
 
While you accuse me of lying about Prop 13 I find it rather ironic that you managed to leave out the most critical part of the initiative…tax relief to homeowners.  You however, told only the side of the story you wanted people to know.  The truth is before Prop 13 CA homeowners had their property taxes raised annually on appraised values.  And in a state like CA, where property values were going through the roof, people like our Moms and Dads, who lived in a paid-for home for 30 years, were forced to move out of their homes because they could no longer afford the property tax.  Other new homeowners were often not able to buy a new home because of the annual rate increases.  Now CA homes, like TN where I now live, are limited to a 1-2% rise in taxes per year.  I’m not aware of the commercial tax issues, but let’s presume that is true.  Surely you must realize when apartment owners are faced with large increases on their property taxes, those increases will be passes right along to the renters.  If property taxes on apartments are stable, who is the beneficiary?  It is the renters of those apartments.  I’m not saying apartment rates don’t go up.  But I am saying that had property taxes on those building continued to be raised at 10-20% a year, an easy rate of appreciation in CA, the renters would be paying for it.

Just today, the Christian Science Monitor ran a story regarding the problems of property taxes being raised at rates homeowners couldn’t afford.  The solution referenced was the actions of Prop 13.  See for yourself:

http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/1203/p01s01-usec.html


Also, CA is a liberal leaning state by anyone’s view.  Yet these Propositions you hate so much were passed by a wide margin of the voters.  How do you reconcile that?  Are you saying that the citizens of CA are corporate-loving, racists too?  For that matter, do you really think that a nut like David Duke has such credibility in your state that he influenced voters to his kind of views?  I was a resident of CA during 187.  I don’t remember him being there at all, but if you say so, I’ll take your word on it.  Frankly, I’d suspect that he would have hurt the measure, rather than help it.  

(By the way, anyone wanting to know what Prop 187 really said only need to do a google search and see.  It was essentially a measure that would restrict state services to LEGAL residents.  Despite Tom’s assertion, not all who supported this initiative are, were, or ever have been a racist.)

As far as your statement:
“There is UNIVERSAL agreement among economists that what Republican sociopath Schwarzenegger has done….”

Ignoring the name calling, whenever I hear a blanket statement about the views of economists, or anyone else, I know what is true is probably the exact opposite.  Are you telling me you know that statement to be a fact?  All economists are in agreement on this?  If so, please let us know how you obtained such information.  I’m not saying there aren’t plenty of those who disagree with your Governor, but that’s an obvious exaggeration.  Additionally, you contradicted yourself.  In your previous post you complained the Gov. was carelessly cutting programs right and left.  Yet in your last post you seem to say he’s not doing anything about spending, and leaving it to the next governor.  Both cannot be true.  

And, no I have not ascribed the deficits to Clinton.  This is another of your straw man arguments. I made no mention of the debt or Clinton, yet you seem to feel free to accuse me of believing this.  Of course the deficit has occurred on Bush’s watch.  And I for one am not pleased with that.  9/11, the recession that began during Clintons last term, and the war have had a major effect on the economy.  However, if you had cared to ask, you’d know I do agree this needs to be dealt with, and dealt with quickly.

As for the no-contract bids to Halliburton, your point is invalid unless you are also willing to criticize Clinton for doing the same thing in the aftermath of the Balkan war.
(Straw man argument #3.  I never said anything about Halliburton.)

You said:
“When caught up in your intentional misdirection with your comment about Marx, you simply shift to another boogeyman.”  This is getting comical.  It was then you brought up the deficit and Halliburton comment.  Talk about shifting direction!

As for the Michael Moore issue, my point to you was that he is the current king of spin and misdirection.  As far as I’m aware, the only person he’s ever entered into a debate with was Bill O’Reilly.  (So much for the view that Fox never airs opposing viewpoints)  And for that matter, the only way Moore would agree to come on was for there to be no editing of the interview.  Moore himself is a master editor, and has been proven that he will edit out portions of his films that work against the point he is making.  Obviously he wouldn’t subject himself to the very tool he uses on others.   Nevertheless, my point was taking on your spin that conservative economic policy was akin to Marxism.  You either don’t understand Marxism, supply side economics, or both.  While I do agree that business has a large and at times improper effect on our government, I simply don’t accept your premise that they are one and the same.  Ask Bill Gates, the Tobacco companies, the Detroit carmakers and other companies about the various lawsuits they’ve been dealing with lately.  No it’s not perfect, but if they were truly one and the same, as you say, then things would be much different.

Also, you attempted to minimize Grey Davis liberalism because there have been other Democrats who have changed parties.  This is seriously flawed logic. Are you saying Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton (or put your favorite liberal Democrat here) are moderates because Zell Miller is a conservative Democrat who changed parties?  (If A=B, and B=C, then A=B.  Putting your logic to work; Zell Miller is a Democrat.  Zell Miller is a conservative.  Ted Kennedy is a Democrat.  Therefore, Ted Kennedy is a conservative!  By the way, that same logic is the mistake you made with Marxism. )

Lastly, and back to my first point, I am caused to wonder if it possible for you to discuss politics without ad-hominem attacks on those you disagree with.  I was recently in England after the election and had a nice dialog with a good left-leaning Brit.  He is as anti-Bush as they come, and couldn’t comprehend how so many Americans could have voted the way they did.   But he said something I wish we in this forum could adhere to.  He said, “It’s okay to disagree. But we don’t have to be disagreeable.”  Tolerance is one of the things that those on the left claim to hold dear.  Yet I find an extreme lack of tolerance from many of those on the left in these conversations.  When those on the left speak of those whom they disagree it’s quite incredible how quickly attacks on intelligence and name-calling springs up.  Yet I find few conservatives resort to such childishness.  Over the last month or so I’ve collected a large number of examples of this and will be happy to post them if anyone disagrees.  (the names have been omitted to protect the guilty)

An intellectually honest person understands their view is not the only reasonable one.  And a truly intellectually honest person knows that just because someone disagrees with them, that doesn’t make them unreasonable.  There’s an old saying, “Whenever you call someone a name, you lost the debate.”  This forum has been rampant in those on the left wielding personal attacks on those they disagree with.  These positions we hold are just ideas.  Lord knows I’ve changed my views over the years.  Probably all of us have.  While I enjoy political discussions, I’m not a fan of doing it with those who attack the character of those that they don’t even know.  I appreciate the passion you, Brian, and others have for your views.  Yet I must politely insist that this methodology you have in your discussions must cease if there is to be further dialog.  I appreciate you signing-off, “Cordially.” Yet when you do it after calling me a racist, and implying me to be a greedy, religious bigot, and various other names, your sign-off seems insincere.  When you so carelessly throw about such attacks with no proof, it only diminishes your position.  It is clear to all that this ridiculous name-calling is a poor attempt at debate.  If you slander those with who are dialoging by wild unsubstantiated name calling, who can believe anything else that you say?  It would appear there is nothing you won’t say to promote your view.  

Tom, it is you in fact, who, in your own words, “continue to promote intentional, and easily addressed lies” when you create straw-man arguments and name calling in your posts.  Try sticking to the issues, arguing ideas, and leaving the name calling to those of lesser mental capacity on other forums.  These forums are filled with intelligent, hard working professionals and I don’t believe that any of them deserve such attacks.  I don’t think any of us are likely to change each other’s minds, but that’s not the point.  I think we owe each other respect even when we disagree.  Frankly, I think it would be proper for you to recant the heinous accusations you have leveled against me and apologize.  But as I don’t think it’s likely, I would be happy just so see your dialog improve to a higher level.  If it doesn’t, you’ll have to find someone else to slander.  I for one won’t stand for it and refuse to dialog with anyone that resorts to such childish actions.

This is a professional forum.  I think we should act as such.

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David Schober

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Re: OT---Walmart---On the PBS show"Frontline"
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2004, 03:59:05 pm »

i can't address the personal attacks, but shopping at walmart is clearly unamerican.

the idea of people driving japanese suv's with "patriotic" bumper stickers to walmart is funny in a sad ironic kind of way.
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