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Hey Walmart – If DC doesn't want you, we'll take you!
  • novasteve September 16, 2013 - 3:55 pm #86967 Reply

    What DC jobs will be lost due to Walmart?

     

    Will DC residents be better off if a lot more people pay more for items then the handful of people in comparison who would be employed getting paid the special rate? Which  impacts more people and thus DC more?

     

    Rankin September 16, 2013 - 3:55 pm #86968 Reply

     

    I don’t think they’re immoral – they’re amoral.

    Walmart is a very efficient machine for making money, at any cost.   When do we draw the line?  They would be even more successful if they managed to get the Government to re-instate slavery.  Basically, they have off-shored slavery as it is…

    Captain_Obvious September 16, 2013 - 3:57 pm #86970 Reply

    question to statement ratio — 3:0

    Rankin September 16, 2013 - 3:59 pm #86972 Reply

    “What DC jobs will be lost due to Walmart?”

     

    Why would you go to the corner store for groceries or clothes if there is a Walmart close by?

    How will the owners of those businesses  pay their employees when they have no business, thanks to Walmart undercutting them?

     

     

    Quoth the Raven September 16, 2013 - 3:59 pm #86973 Reply

    Sansa, thanks, as always, for the helpful advice.  I did read it again.  Especially the part where it talked about capitalism taken to its logical extreme.  When one business succeeds, often others fail.  That’s the way it is.  How did Wal Mart become so powerful?  By being successful.  So by criticizing their tactics and the result of their tactics, you are criticizing their success.  If they didn’t have such a large market share, then the vendors wouldn’t kow tow to them.  But they do.  Do they act unethically?  Perhaps.  But there is a difference between illegal and unethical.  If they aren’t breaking the law, then “don’t hate the player”, as the kids say.

     

    Quoth the Raven September 16, 2013 - 4:00 pm #86975 Reply

    Rankin, so we should prop these corner stores up so they can better face the competition?  Or, should we force people to shop at these corner stores, knowing that the loaf of bread they’re buying costs half as much as at the Wal Mart?

    Anonymous September 16, 2013 - 4:05 pm #86980 Reply

    “Especially the part where it talked about capitalism taken to its logical extreme.  When one business succeeds, often others fail.  That's the way it is.”

    You’re reading things into it that aren’t there.

    “How did Wal Mart become so powerful?  By being successful.  So by criticizing their tactics and the result of their tactics, you are criticizing their success.”

    Wow, you should be a GOP speechwriter, that was ridiculous spin.

    What’s next – if you criticize the way America does things, you are criticizing America?

    “If they didn't have such a large market share, then the vendors wouldn't kow tow to them.  But they do.  Do they act unethically?  Perhaps.  But there is a difference between illegal and unethical.  If they aren't breaking the law, then "don't hate the player", as the kids say.”

    He didn’t say it was unethical – he said it was harmful to our economy. In other words, not “success” for anyone else but Walmart.

    Capitalism is great – but we can do capitalism better than this. We used to.

     

    Anonymous September 16, 2013 - 4:07 pm #86981 Reply

    Just to be clear, MY argument isn’t about the corner stores, or DC. It’s bigger than that. I’m talking about the overall effect of low wages in the whole economy.

    Once again, wages haven’t gone up for pretty much any of us, past inflation, over the last 30 years or so. Think about that.

    Quoth the Raven September 16, 2013 - 4:11 pm #86984 Reply

    “…we can do capitalism better than this.  We used to.”  And you say I should be a speechwriter.  Give me a break.  Did you have a nostalgic tear running down your cheek when you typed that?

    John Fontain September 16, 2013 - 4:13 pm #86985 Reply

    Rankin said: “Walmart moves into an area and puts most of their competition out of business by undercutting prices, which eliminates area jobs, which makes the low-income folks more reliant on Walmart for jobs and goods.”

    Applying this to Arlington, if Wal-Mart came to Arlington (Shirlington, for example), do you really think they would put “most of their competition” out of business?  The Target on Route 50 would go out of business?  Best Buy in Pentagon City or Bailey’s would go out of business?  The area grocers would go out of business?

    Given the crowds the I experience at most of these places, it seems like our market has enough customers and demand that all of these places could continue to survive (not that in the world of business survival is a right).

    With respect to “eliminating area jobs”, it seems that opening a Wal-Mart in Arlington would actually bring jobs to Arlington since the target is in Fairfax County.

    Rankin September 16, 2013 - 4:13 pm #86986 Reply

     

    QtR, I don’t know what the answer is.  Competition is all well and good, on a level playing field, but Walmart has such a huge headstart now that it barely qualifies as competition. They are  a steamroller.  Will it be a good thing when there is ONLY Walmart available?

    The Capitalist model is a good one in a young country, but the USA has matured into an endgame that leaves only Walmart / Monsanto /JP Morgan / Exxon  / etc in the running

    Dezlboy September 16, 2013 - 4:17 pm #86987 Reply

    Good point about Capitalism run amuck.  Capitalism is supposed to be a system that allows everyone to work hard and prosper. But, Walmart’s low wages and poor benefits creates employees that don’t earn a living wage, and manufacturers who inorder to meet Walmart’s low price specifications also provide poor pay and benefits.

    Henry Ford’s policy was to pay his workers well above the going rate so they could buy his product. Walmart’s success largely depends on uncutting  the competition via their personnal policies and low prices. By “creating” a “lower class” Walmart ensures a customer base. They are a very wealthy company. Walmart could provide better for their workers.

    Capitalism isn’t always the answer.  How about compassionate capitalism?

    Rankin September 16, 2013 - 4:18 pm #86988 Reply

    @John Fountain       Best Buy is hanging on by it’s fingernails, and has been for quite a while.

     

    http://www.theatlanticcities.com/jobs-and-economy/2012/09/radiating-death-how-walmart-displaces-nearby-small-businesses/3272/

    John Fontain September 16, 2013 - 5:15 pm #86995 Reply

    Rankin said: “Best Buy is hanging on by it's fingernails, and has been for quite a while.”

    So if we’re worried about losing local jobs, should we get rid of Amazon, Best Buy’s biggest competition, so Best Buy doesn’t go out of business?

    In all seriousness, Best Buy had a pre-tax profit of $552 million for the first six-months of this year.  I don’t think they are hurting quite as bad as you’ve been led to believe.  So again, I’ll ask my question: if Wal-Mart came to Arlington (Shirlington, for example), do you really think they would put "most of their competition" out of business?  The Target on Route 50 would go out of business?  Best Buy in Pentagon City or Bailey's would go out of business?  The area grocers would go out of business?

     

    dezlboy said: “Walmart's low wages and poor benefits”

    I thought we already hashed most of this out as being nothing more than hype coming from old research reports sponsored by Wal-Mart’s competitors?  Remember this:

    http://www.arlnow.com/topic/hey-walmart-if-dc-doesnt-want-you-well-take-you/page/4/#post-79644

    sansabelt - you supported your claim that Walmart pays below average wages (on page 1) by linking to an almost 10 year old "study" paid for by competitors and related strictly to the state of California.  Do you have any more recent studies more broad in scope that are independent and, therefore, more reliable?  Thanks.   For what it is worth, Walmart says the following:

    "Walmart's wages are at or above the retail industry average. In addition to competitive pay, our benefits include a 401K plan with a company match, education assistance, merchandise discounts and health care. Health care plans are available to eligible hourly associates starting at $17 per pay period. All employees -- full and part time -- receive quarterly bonus opportunities based on store performance. Last year, these bonuses earned by hourly associates totaled more than $770 million."

    If you have recent, factual, information that disputes this I'd be interested in reading it.  It would be a real shame if people who oppose Walmart for allegedly taking advantage of employees were in fact being duped by "studies" paid for by the very competitors of Walmart whose business strategies are to charge consumers the highest price they can get away with.  That would be a real shame.

    Or this:

    http://www.arlnow.com/topic/hey-walmart-if-dc-doesnt-want-you-well-take-you/page/5/#post-79661

    To those interested in timely data on employee wage rates at Walmart, an article from yesterday on Huffpost has this info:

    "full-time store workers [at Walmart] now earn $12.78 per hour on average"

    "With exceptions like Costco, wages are generally low throughout the retail industry, be it at Walmart, Target or mom-and-pop stores. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, retail sales workers earned on average around $11.35 an hour last year, with cashiers at $9.81."

    I am genuinely interested in having a fair and honest debate about this, and I don’t think we make meaningful progress when we fall back on unsubstantiated assertions like suggesting that Wal-Mart pays less than market rates (Costco is an exception, I’ll certainly give you that).  And to me, the suggestion that Wal-Mart pays less than market rates fails the smell test, because if other places were really paying more, everyone would chose other places of employment rather than working at Wal-Mart.

    John Fontain September 16, 2013 - 5:31 pm #86996 Reply

    sansabelt said: “But Walmart also brings low wages to the market, causing workers to have less to buy stuff with in the first place. It's self-defeating.”

    How does Walmart “bring” low wages to the market?  Let’s use Arlington as an example.  If a Walmart opened in Shirlington and it paid less than other retailers, are you suggesting that workers would leave their purportedly higher-paying jobs at Best Buy, Target, Giant, etc. to go work at the lower-paying Walmart?  Or are you suggesting that Best Buy, Target, and Giant would lower their wages to match Walmart?

    As far as I can recall, adding demand for something usually causes its price to rise.  Therefore, adding another employer to an area would increase demand for employees, therefore causing wages to actually increase, not decrease as you suggest.

    I look forward to your thoughts on this as it relates to lowering wages in Arlington.

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