Why Walmart's Critics Are Wrong, In 17 Tweets

On Saturday morning I had the opportunity to go on MSNBC's Up with Chris Hayes to talk about Black Friday and Walmart's role as both a cultural and economic force as part of a panel. You can watch a clip from the discussion below:

I really enjoyed the conversation with Hayes and the other guests. But there were a couple of additional points I wanted to make. So I followed up with a longer defense of Walmart on Twitter:

Watch Reason.tv's take on the war on Walmart, Who's Afraid of Cheap Groceries?

 

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  • The Late P Brooks||

    Hipster Douchebag Focus Group makes me want to puke.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Nice work, Suderman. Your fucking twatter feed has slowed my computer to a crawl.

  • Ted S.||

    The page stalled on "Element 31/31" for me too, claiming to be receiving data from platform.twitter.com....

  • Almanian.||

    Awsome takedown, Peter S. Damn you and your "facts"!!

    As I noted the other day, I HATE shopping WalMart for its...ambiance. I luv it for its LOW, LOW PRICES! So we shop there for what I consider "commodities". Who do I see a lot more of there than 2%ers like me and Mrs. Almanian (we're not QUITE 1%ers, damnit) - low income people savin' money on groceries and TV's and motor oil and whatever else. God love 'em.

    Why do the unions and the hipster douches hate poor people? Probably cause people like me and Mrs. Almanian came up from such stock...

  • iggy||

    Liberals secretly despise the poor. I've never heard worse things said about a human being than the things my hipster friends say about Walmart shoppers.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Those are just the wrong poor people.

    Inner city poor folk are the meek of the earth; it's those suburb/exurb/rural poor people who are icky.

    Because "Walmart shopper" is just a dog whistle phrase for "poor, white rednecks who refuse to vote Team BLUE."

  • Ken Shultz||

    I saw Suderman's tweet barrage covered at the Washington Post over the weekend.

    Excellent work!

    "3.So the benefits of Walmart’s substantially lower prices to the lowest earning cohort are huge, especially on food."

    A+

    "9. Raise prices to pay for increased wages and you cut into the store’s huge low-price benefits for the poor. It’s regressive."

    A+++++++++

    That's where the left is vulnerable--hit 'em where it hurts!

    The left always says it's working to help the poor, but their solutions always seem to end up hurting the poor the most.

    Need to make health insurance more affordable for the working poor? Just sic the IRS on the working poor if they refuse to buy insurance--that's an important part of their solution!

    So, now they want to help the poor by artificially raising the cost of shopping at Wal*Mart through unionization?

    Brilliant!

    That's where the left is vulnerable. They say they're out to help the poor, but they'd never let hurting poor people get in the way of what's in the best interests of their union masters.

  • sarcasmic||

    Pointing out the results of leftist policies doesn't matter, because they only care about intentions. Forcing Walmart to increase wages is not intended to increase prices, so they ignore it. Price increases are caused by greedy capitalist pigs seeking increased profits. Price increases couldn't be a result of being forced to increase wages, because that was never the intent.

  • Almanian.||

    Increased prices in response to increased wages is MARKET FAILURE and TEH GREEDY KOCHPORASHUNSZ!111!

    QED

  • robc||

    Iron Law time: Foreseeable consequences ARE intended.

    So they price increases ARE intended, no matter how much they lie about it.

  • Ken Shultz||

    They don't care about intentions.

    They don't care what the results of their program is either.

    It isn't about policy or intentions or consequences.

    They're like holy roller evangelicals speaking in tongues. Intentions and consequences don't have any meaning for them. Why do they do it? What are the consequences? Those questions have no meaning for these people:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whpHwKlM_8M

  • Ken Shultz||

    I'm not even sure they care about intentions anymore.

    Tony's probably a pretty good example. Tony doesn't care what the consequences of his misguided positions are, but I don't think he cares about what the intentions are either.

    For most of the committed left, it stopped being about actual policy a long time ago. They don't care what the position is--as long as it's Obama's position. Obama is more important than policy or intentions to them, and they can be oriented to do or oppose anything--so long as they perceive it as being the opposite of what the Republicans want.

    They're basically Moonies. They don't intend or want anything on their own anymore. They only care about moving "forward"--and that's just going in whatever direction they're told. They're lucky Obama doesn't make them stand outside the airport and hassle people for spare change.

  • sarcasmic||

    Might makes right. All they care about is being on the side of might. That makes them right. Even when they are wrong.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Honestly, I think it's basically instinctive somehow. Being on Obama's side seems to give their life meaning. Remember that part in 1984, when an enemy pilot is shot down, and all those oppressed victims in that 1984 society just instinctively lash out at him?

    Their positions on some of these topics is like that. You ask most of them why they're lashing out at this position or that position, and they don't generally have any good reasons. But then they don't care about the reasons. That's why someone like Tony can spend all day reading a libertarian website for year after year and still be oblivious to reasons.

    It isn't about reasons. It's about conditioning or something more like that. They've been conditioned to lash out at things they perceive as Republican or "other" than their leader. That's why reasoning with such people is so pointless. They don't need to be convinced. They need their conditioning broken.

  • JW||

    That's why someone like Tony can spend all day reading a libertarian website for year after year and still be oblivious to reasons.

    Or, you know, it's a sock puppet with no intention, ever, of doing anything other than trolling.

  • T o n y||

    It's because you're wrong. Sorry. I have an open mind. I work consciously at keeping it open. But you guys have not convinced me, most probably because you're wrong, which is what pretty much everyone but your tiny little clique of think tanks and corporate shill economists thinks anyway.

  • sarcasmic||

    I have an open mind. I work consciously at keeping it open.

    Yeah. It's so open your brain fell out.

    your tiny little clique of think tanks and corporate shill economists

    Google "ad hominem", Fallacy Boy.

  • ||

    So we're wrong because you and other idiots disagree?

    Maybe you shouldn't keep your mind so open Tony. I think someone took a shit in it.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "I have an open mind"

    If that were true, you wouldn't belong to either Team.

  • hotsy totsy||

    It's for sure not about the actual results of their policy and intentions comes close but not precise.

    It's about what kind of person they want to believe they are. They want to think that they are a compassionate and wise kind of person because they CARE about poor people, homeless people, people with addictions, people who have been exploited and/or despised such as women, Blacks, Palestinians, Hispanics, gays.

    Their feelings about groups of people are what define them as compassionate, caring, intelligent and hip. Not actions, and certainly not individual actions toward other individuals. Which is why the results of actions don't really bother them.

  • T o n y||

    You have concocted quite a fantasy there.

    It may be a shock to you but most liberals don't jack off to Obama's picture all day long. Most of us care about issues.

    Libertarians on the other hand care about dogmatic purity.

  • sarcasmic||

    We have principles other than "might makes right" and "you hurt my feewings".

  • Restoras||

    Fuck off, sock.

  • Sevo||

    T o n y| 11.26.12 @ 11:13AM |#
    "You have concocted quite a fantasy there."

    Shithead, facts matter.

  • Cavpitalist||

    Horse shit.

    If liberals cared about issues, Obama wouldn't have been their nominee. As it was, he didn't even face an opponent in the primary.

    The only "issue" your kind cares about is beating Republicans. You've admitted as much, so save your ridiculous lies that no one here is partisan or naive enough to swallow.

  • T o n y||

    But not as an end unto itself. Republicans are a clear and present danger to the civilized status quo that liberals are trying to preserve (making them conservatives, actually). Once Republicans come to their senses then the two parties can compete on real issues.

  • ||

    BUT BOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!

    Your mind can't be too open if you can only repeat the lowest common denominator of liberal handwaving.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "Republicans are a clear and present danger"

    You're only half-way right, Tony; you left out "and Democrats" in that sentence, though.

  • Redmanfms||

    But not as an end unto itself. Republicans are a clear and present danger to the civilized status quo that liberals are trying to preserve (making them conservatives, actually). Once Republicans come to their senses then the two parties can compete on real issues.

    Does this horseshit have some kind of meaning to mental midgets like you?

    Because you those of us in the reality-based world, it doesn't.

  • Redmanfms||

    *to

  • Ice Nine||

    So I followed up with a longer defense of Walmart on Twitter

    Um, following up with a longer defense of Walmart on freakin' Hit and Run would have been a great idea, you know, since you're a Reason.com journalist and all. Something about the big white space page I'm looking at that doesn't convey the gist all that well.

  • Almanian.||

    But he just did followup on reason.com.

    You can't see it?

    u mad bro?

  • Ice Nine||

    White space between two videos TLTW.

  • iggy||

    Not to mention the fact that they literally just had a Walmart article this weekend. Apparently Ice Nine thinks no Reason writer should ever write anything which does not appear on Reason.

  • Ice Nine||

    Literally even? No shit?

  • Ice Nine||

    I'm jumping back from my conclusion, with an apology to Suderman. Apparently he posted that info and it just wasn't visible to some because of a format bug or something. My bad.

  • ||

    Oh, is that what you were talking about? I was pretty confused. Now that you've clarified, I remember it didn't show up on my iPod Reason app either. Had to open Safari, and it still took time to load.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    It is critical to maintain vigilant analysis of tyranny in government and business. Both are breeding grounds for predatory and dictatorial assaults on humanity and its variety of important rights within the context of the open society.

    However, I have little intellectual patience for the modern union and its staggering ineptitudes- even as they charade as victims of corporate largess. Critique of unfair wages, employee mistreatment, and so on from union thugs is just fucking noxious.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    We'll go with Number 7 in the Suderman Twitter Plan. It's the most fair.

  • Rick Santorum||

    TRUTH BOMB *sucks corporate dick*

    "I pay low wages. I can take advantage of that. We're going to be successful, but the basis is a very low-wage, low-benefit model of employment." --Sam Walton
    _________________________________

    I define a living wage as making enough money to afford basic necessities while having enough money left over to put in savings.

  • Almanian.||

    "Living wage" is meaningless. You run along and play with Choney.

  • iggy||

    I love that Sam Walton basically says his business model wouldn't work if they paid higher wages and Santorum's argument is 'well they should pay higher wages anyway!'

    If their business model was not feasible at higher wages and Walmart workers lost their jobs, they would be making $0. How's that for a living wage?

  • T o n y||

    Not true, since when Wal-Mart comes to town it tends to represent a net loss of jobs for that town.

    Wal-Mart represents a vicious cycle of lower wages, lower employment, and lower standard of living.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Even if that was true, it'd be meaningless.

  • iggy||

    Re: 'Net loss of jobs'

    You're an idiot. By your logic the assembly-line must have meant a vicious cycle of lower wages, lower employment and lower standard of living since the efficiency of the assembly-line meant fewer care workers were needed.

  • T o n y||

    Increased efficiency is fine as long as it goes along with civilized wages. When people community-wide are paid well it results in demand-driven economic growth that boosts employment. Wal-Mart represents the opposite approach: a vicious rather than virtuous cycle of lower wages and fewer jobs.

    The only thing that has sustained decent wages (without wrecking the economy I might add) has been strong unions.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Really? Henry Ford automated his car productiona AND increased wages WITHOUT unions.

    General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler destroyed themselves WITH union help.

    Toyota and a lot of other car companies built up car plants in the south WITHOUT unions.

  • Restoras||

    It's a sock. Telling it to fuck off is more effective than trying to reason with it.

  • Sevo||

    T o n y| 11.26.12 @ 10:55AM |#
    "Increased efficiency is fine as long as it goes along with civilized wages."

    Shithead, you have no way of defining 'civilized wages' other than offering a worthless opinion like your partner in stupidity.

  • ||

    "Increased efficiency is fine as long as it goes along with civilized wages."

    Tony: I want civilized wages!

    Employer: I pay market wages. People accept them. We both benefit. That's civilized.

  • T o n y||

    Markets always exist in a specific environment, including, relevantly, a policy/rights environment. Right now corporations have lots of government goodies and workers have very few. Rebalance the rights equation to give workers the leverage they are due and then we can talk about market wages.

  • ||

    Considering the special privileges unions get RIGHT NOW to force companies (and other employees) to deal with them, and how much it's screwed over workers and companies? You're not even trying even more.

  • Hopfiend||

    If you ignore it, it might go away. Nothing to substantiate the "net loss of jobs" closed loop repeat.

    The tripe about unions is BS anyway. Since union membership for Non gov employees is extremely low.

  • ||

    Shithead, you have no way of defining 'civilized wages' other than offering a worthless opinion like your partner in stupidity.

    Here, let me translate:

    "civilized wages" = MORE!

  • Sevo||

    T o n y| 11.26.12 @ 10:37AM |#
    "Not true, since when Wal-Mart comes to town it tends to represent a net loss of jobs for that town."

    Prove it, shithead.

  • Rick Santorum||

    I love that Sam Walton basically says his business model wouldn't work if they paid higher wages and Santorum's argument is 'well they should pay higher wages anyway!'

    Mike Duke earned $18.1 million last year. I think he can afford to earn a little less so that his workers earn a little more.

    "A 2002 survey by the state of Georgia's subsidized healthcare system, PeachCare, found that Walmart was the largest private employer of parents of children enrolled in its program; one quarter of the employees of Georgia Walmarts qualified to enroll their children in the federal subsidized healthcare system Medicaid." --Idiot lolbertarians, paying for Walmart's low wages and benefits. Nice job supporting corporate welfare.

    "Walmart has also faced accusations involving poor working conditions of its employees. For example, a 2005 class action lawsuit in Missouri asserted approximately 160,000 to 200,000 people who were forced to work off-the-clock, were denied overtime pay, or were not allowed to take rest and lunch breaks." --Walmart, not paying their employees. What do you call a business that doesn't pay its employees? Oh, it doesn't matter because it's a corporation, so the lolberts immediately run to slobber on its knob.

    Libertards are a joke.
    _________________________________

    I define a living wage as making enough money to afford basic necessities with left over to put in savings.

  • iggy||

    Well then Walmart should be punished for the poor working conditions and forcing people to work off the clock. That's already illegal, so what's your point? How does that have anything to do with a 'living wage?'

    Again, a forced increase in wages for Walmart would mean every person who does not work for Walmart, including the unemployed, would be forced to pay higher prices for every good. Why do you want unemployed poor people to pay higher prices so that unionized workers can earn artificially inflated wages?

    Many Walmart employees have no human capital and would not be hired for any non-retail job. I realize you don't bother responding to the fact that Walmart has similar wages to other retail outlets. The issue isn't Walmart, the issue is that people working retail outlets tend to be young, old or have skills that would allow them to work another job. If you artificially increase wages, you'd price all those people out of the market place and they'd make $0 instead of whatever Walmart pays.

    So Dick, do you think $0 is better than the $10 they're currently making at Walmart?

  • iggy||

    I meant 'have no skills that would allow them to work another job.'

  • Rick Santorum||

    a forced increase in wages for Walmart

    I don't support minimum wage laws, so I'm not sure where you're getting this. The concept of executives voluntarily taking less money so that the workers earn more seems an alien concept to libertarians.

    I realize you don't bother responding to the fact that Walmart has similar wages to other retail outlets.

    I'm fully aware of this. What if I told you that I found it grossly immoral for CEOs to be making 300-400 times what their average workers make?

  • Sevo||

    Rick Santorum| 11.26.12 @ 11:12AM |#
    a forced increase in wages for Walmart
    "I don't support minimum wage laws, so I'm not sure where you're getting this."

    OK, idiot, how do you think wal-mart wages would increase?

  • ||

    He doesn't support minimum wage laws! (But he does support a "living wage")

    That's called a distinction without a difference.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Did you NOT see the tweet about how, if the WalMart CEO gave up his entire salary, it would add less than 2 cents to the hourly wage of each worker?

    So what good would it do to hire a CEO for $30,000? Did you forget basic arithmetic?

  • Hopfiend||

    Shop elsewhere. Convince others to do the same.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Mike Duke earned $18.1 million last year. I think he can afford to earn a little less so that his workers earn a little more.

    Since when does your alleged "thinking" hold any sort of weight?

  • R C Dean||

    Walmart has also faced accusations involving poor working conditions of its employees.

    Accusations are cheap. Did they prove out? Did the class action win? If so, what?

    I define a living wage as making enough money to afford basic necessities with left over to put in savings.

    Working how many hours? What necessities? How much savings?

  • BelowTheRim||

    The joke is that you still think you are the decider of who makes too little money, who makes too much, and who makes just the right amount.

  • Brian D||

    Mike Duke earned $18.1 million last year. I think he can afford to earn a little less so that his workers earn a little more.

    Did you miss the twitter facts?

    Erase the Walmart CEO's entire salary, and you can raise average hourly wages by just a penny or so.

    WalMart employs millions of people. You could make their CEO work for nothing and all that money saved wouldn't change the workers' salaries in any appreciable way.

  • ||

    You need to RTFTweets.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    I live in Liberia, where tons of Liberians have ZERO wages, yet manage to go on living.

    Ergo, a living wage is zero dollars.

  • Sevo||

    Almanian.| 11.26.12 @ 10:29AM |#
    "Living wage" is meaningless"

    This moron thinks his fantasy opinion constitutes a 'definition'.
    I'd 'define' his worth at, oh $0.75/hr.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    I define a living wage as making enough money to afford basic necessities while having enough money left over to put in savings.

    Define "basic necessities", Mary.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Rick Santorum,

    I define a living wage as making enough money to afford basic necessities while having enough money left over to put in savings.


    Is the "living wage" accompanied by a reciprocal "living productivity" so the employer can afford the "living wage" earner, or are you talking about more pay for less work, damned economic law?

  • Rick Santorum||

    http://thecurrentmoment.files......-wages.jpg

    _________________________________

    I define a living wage as making enough money to afford basic necessities with left over to put in savings.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Rick Santorum,

    I define a living wage as making enough money to afford basic necessities with left over to put in savings.


    Is the "living wage" accompanied by a reciprocal "living productivity" so the employer can afford the "living wage" earner, or are you talking about more pay for less work, damned economic law?

  • Rick Santorum||

    More pay for the same amount of work.

    _________________________________

    I define a living wage as making enough money to afford basic necessities with left over to put in savings.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Rick Santorum,

    More pay for the same amount of work.


    So NO, the "living wage" does NOT come with a "living productivity" so the employer can afford the "living wage" earner. You just said so.

    Explain to me how does that work?

  • Rick Santorum||

    Explain to me how does that work?

    The executives take a pay cut. The working class gets a pay raise.

    _________________________________

    I define a living wage as making enough money to afford basic necessities with left over to put in savings.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Rick Santorum,

    The executives take a pay cut. The working class gets a pay raise.


    Which executives are you talking about? Aren't executives deserving of a "living wage" that allows them the basic necessities and left overs for savings? Who says that their pay is not their "living wage"? You? Me? Your dog? My cat?

    Besides, are you peddling the fantasy that almost everybody works for a big company?

  • Rick Santorum||

    Which executives are you talking about? Aren't executives deserving of a "living wage" that allows them the basic necessities and left overs for savings? Who says that their pay is not their "living wage"?

    We're talking about people making millions a year, you fucking autist.

    _________________________________

    I define a living wage as making enough money to afford basic necessities with left over to put in savings.

  • ||

    If you gave every penny the CEO earns to Walmart employees, they still wouldn't have "living wages." Maybe you should learn basic math before you start spouting bullshit.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Why would you deny the poor the motivation required to make oneself great? Why would you deny human beings true self-esteem based upon their personal efforts? Better everyone remain low than any achieving greatness?

    You are evil, underneath the guise of caring. Please kill yourself before you "help" someone into dependency.

  • A Mathematician||

    Can you guess which year we left the gold standard?

  • Bam!||

    That corresponds with women entering the work force. More competing for the same number of jobs drove down wages.

  • A Mathematician||

    That makes no sense. The number of jobs is not constant, neither is the annual number of workers entering the workforce. That event would have caused a small blip.

  • hotsy totsy||

    What makes you think that the number of jobs is constant, and people just compete for them?

  • Ken Shultz||

    "I define a living wage as making enough money to afford basic necessities while having enough money left over to put in savings."

    Why should you be allowed to impose your idea on everyone else?

    Why should you be allowed to impose your views on the people who are offering these jobs?

    Why should you be allowed to impose your views on the people who want these jobs?

    Why should other people have to consult you before they offer someone a job or before they accept a job offer?

  • Rasilio||

    I can design a healthy 2000 calorie a day diet for about $4 a day, throw in an extra $50 a month for household cleaning and hygene supplies, $50 a month for clothing and miscellenous personal supplies, $250 a month for a 1 room efficiency apartment, $250 a month for transportation, and $200 a month for "health care" then we'll throw in $80 a month for "savings and emergencies

    Total needed = $1000 a month.

    $$1000 take home * $1.1 = $1100 a month GGross Pay.

    $1100 a month/150 hours a month on average = $7.33 per hour.

    Federal Minimum Wage = $7.25 per hour.

    In otherwords Wal Mart by law is required to pay a "living wage"

  • Juice||

    Where the hell is this magical $250/mo apartment? Maybe in Turdlick, KS. And don't forget about electricity/gas and water. And you really can't live without a phone. Well, maybe you can get an Obamaphone.

  • Rasilio||

    I did say 1 room effiency right?

    You know, the 200 sq foot single room that is little more than a glorified dorm room with a single burner stove and possibly an oven in it?

    Can't get one of those in your local area? Ok you can get a crappy 2 bedroom 800 sq ft apartment with utilities for under $1000 in pretty much every city in the country, split that with 3 room mates.

    What you want your own apartment?

    Get a friggin better job than Wal Mart. We are talking about subsistance level wages here, enough to actually live on, not enough to live well on.

  • Bobarian||

    OUTRAGEOUS!

    What about my Smartphone, and my Big Screen, and my XBox, and all the other shit I'm entitled to?

    You...you...racist!

  • Almanian.||

    This also brings to mind the recent series on History - "The Men Who Built America". It had its pluses and minuses, but for me it mostly reinforced the point that we have so few "titans of industry" who just have the BALLS to go out and do a Standard Oil and then sit in front of a congrssional hearing our a court and say, "Fuck you." Yeah, they were doing their rent seeking back in the day, attempting to buy presidencies, etc. - but most of the purpose and result was keeping government OUT of "business". I think we've seen the results of having government all the fuck OVER and IN business, and it hasn't created any new Carnegie Halls or Henry Ford Health Systems and precious few jobs.

    So fuckin' you go Sam Walton's progeny - keeping out the unions and gummint as best you can, like a modern (and much less violent and capricious) Henry frick. There are few (I'd argue none) like you any more.

  • Juice||

    Microsoft tried to say nicely "Thanks, but no thanks" but it's not possible for DC to leave them alone.

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/.....le/2500453

  • SIV||

    What the fuck is a "storify" and why did it just fill my screen with a long empty white column?

    Fuck twitter too.

  • Ice Nine||

    Thank you.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    And who is this Lachlan Malarkey chick. Why is this chair full of cats? What smells like mustard? THE PRESIDENT IS A DEMMY-CRAT!

  • T o n y||

    We can start with the $1/hour raise by eliminating the Walton family fortune. I realize how much effort they put into choosing their parentage.

    But seriously, what about the analyses that show every Wal-Mart job represents 1.4 jobs lost from local retailers? (It also reduces average payrolls in a county.)

    Yes this means Wal-Mart is more efficient (thank you cheap Chinese sweatshop workers who make 85% of Wal-Mart's products!) That doesn't mean it's good for people in general--and in fact its efficiency has net bad effects on people in general. Maybe one day libertarians will learn that business efficiency and human welfare aren't always the same thing, and that one is more important than the other!

    Since Wal-Mart is the largest private employer in the country, it would seem to be fruitful to acknowledge that its workers' low wages and inability to unionize (which are quite connected) might have a negative effect on the economy as a whole. The fact that Wal-Mart workers can afford Wal-Mart crap isn't an argument. It's just a restatement of the problem.

    Finally, big box stores like Wal-Mart have benefited enormously from government development subsidies and tax advantages, with little community improvement to show for it.

  • sarcasmic||

    The derp is strong in this one.

  • Almanian.||

    Yes, I know when the WalMart came into our town, it drove nearly EVERY OTHER BUSINESS AWAY.

    Oh, except it didn't. Try again - the analyses you cite have been PWNED more than once already.

    Also - "little community improvement to show for it" -

    a) [citation needed]
    b) so what?

  • T o n y||

    There may be one Mises Institute study that apologizes for Wal-Mart, but the bulk of the ones out there show it has a negative impact on community employment and wages.

    And I don't know how even the Mises Institute could justify Wal-Mart benefiting from government goodies while actually harming the community.

  • ||

    And where does the cost of higher priced goods without Walmart factor in?

    Ah, nowhere. Good.

  • Hopfiend||

    Get the government the hell out of business for all then. The horseshit you peddle is worth all I am paying for it. The govt has been fighting poverty for forty years. The policies and programs (and the same crap you advocate)are a failure. Deal with it.

  • sarcasmic||

    I can recall Walmart coming to town and a half dozen businesses closed. At the time I thought it was a bad thing, until I actually went to Walmart and found out why those businesses closed. Walmart sold the same stuff for a third or more less money. I looked around and recognized the faces of the employees as the same people who had worked at the shut down businesses.

    No one was actually put out of work, and people could buy more stuff since everything was cheaper! Win, win!

    Any criticism of Walmart is simply an appeal to emotion.

  • T o n y||

    Actually people are put out of work and wages are depressed on average. Wal-Mart can afford to sell stuff more cheaply because it is a huge outfit with an efficient sweatshop workforce in China. I'm not saying Wal-Mart is the devil, I'm saying it may not represent the best of capitalism in all respects.

    But you did just seriously say there is no legitimate criticism of Wal-Mart. You guys take this pro-market bullshit to cult-like levels, you do realize that?

  • sarcasmic||

    Like I said, appeals to emotion.

  • T o n y||

    You are such a fucking idiot it's painful. You have never once made an argument that I can tell. You just pick something you think is a term for a logical fallacy at random and type it. You are useless. Go away.

  • sarcasmic||

    You are such a fucking idiot it's painful. You have never once made an argument that I can tell. You just pick something you think is a term for a logical fallacy at random and type it. You are useless. Go away.

    Google "ad hominem".

  • Ken Shultz||

    You can predict what Tony will do at the top of a thread, and watch him do it in the same thread!

    Tony resents trying to be reasoned with.

    You tried to reason with Tony--and Tony find that offensive!

    Just goes to prove everything I said up top. Reasons have nothing to do with anything Tony thinks. ...if the conditioned regurgitation Tony spews on these threads can be called "thinking".

  • sarcasmic||

    Tony does not think. He emotes.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Almost every post in this thread has an emotional element to it. The unemotional human is a myth.

    Perhaps you are referring to HYPER-emotional sentences tactically-designed to appeal to the base nature of the unthinking? I don't see this.

    I do see your run-of-the-mill liberal espousing a bit of typical Leftist ignorance along with some relevant points about corporate largess and its affects on the various social strata which IS useful fodder, imo.

  • KPres||

    "Actually people are put out of work and wages are depressed on average."

    They're not put out of work. They choose to work less because they can buy the same for less thanks to Wal-Mart. If they didn't choose that, and instead choose to work the same while purchasing more goods/services, they would do so. There's nothing stopping them.

  • Hopfiend||

    And you take prostrate govt worship to enormous heights. All of your government "solutions" make the problems worse.

    It isn't that libertarians "worship" the market. We just know that the mediocre people in govt that you love so much suck. Bottom line.

  • Rick Santorum||

    people could buy more stuff since everything was cheaper! Win, win!

    And their wages were lower, so, uh...

    Well, good luck with that.

    _________________________________

    I define a living wage as making enough money to afford basic necessities with left over to put in savings.

  • sarcasmic||

    I knew a guy who worked for McDonalds for something like thirty years. He was in the Guinness Book of World Records for flipping the most burgers. He was quite wealthy. Rode a bicycle to work. Lived below his means. Saved. Invested. Couldn't have made that much money. After all, he was a burger flipper.

    At another shop there was this Mexican dishwasher would couldn't have been making more then eight bucks an hour. Yet he was able to send money back home. Every year he'd take a few weeks off to go back to Mexico to spend his saved money and live like a king.

    A living wage is what you make it.

  • iggy||

    How are their wages lower? Prove it. What would they be doing without Walmart? Do you think the average small business would pay their retail workers higher wages than Walmart? I seriously doubt it since small businesses operate on such razor thing margins that by necessity small retailers offer pay rates similar to Walmart's.

    More importantly, you still haven't explained the impact of your 'living wage' on every single other person in the economy. This is the exact same logic that results in arguments in favor of tariffs. What you're advocating might help a small percentage of people, but EVERYONE ELSE would be damaged. The people who lose jobs at Walmart when they're priced out of the labor force? Hurt. Poor people who don't work for Walmart? Hurt. Middle class people like me who shop there periodically and take advantage of low prices? Hurt.

    Why do you want to hurt everyone else in the country so that a small percentage of the workforce can get slightly higher wages?

  • ||

    In my neighborhood, there was a shopping center that saw a succession of stores come and go in the 12 years I have lived there (at least 5, which means one went out of business almost every two years). Michael's, then KMart, then a line of cheap-ass furniture and carpet outlets, until finally the place was all but abandoned (except for the Welfare Office and a Chuck-E -Cheeses in smaller spaces, next to the big box space).

    Walmart came in and refurbished the shopping center. Now there's not only a Super Walmart with their cheap organic & free-range groceries, but now a whole host of satellite stores and restaurants are moving into the shopping center.

    Boy, that there Walmart sure does suck.

  • In Time Of War||

    I grew up in a town with one hobby store. The "mom and pop" who ran it appeared to hate children. They finally closed because their store sucked, but I'm sure if we tried we could find a way to blame it on Walmart.

  • iggy||

    Well, that analyses means that whoever wrote that is full of shit. 'But Iggy,' you may be saying, 'It's an analysis! How can it be full of shit?' Allow me to explain.

    Notice how you say '1.4 jobs lost to local RETAILERS.' You do realize that other jobs exist in a market than just retail positions, correct? When people spend less money on necessities at Walmart, be it food or clothing, they have more money left over than they would have had before. They can then spend that extra money on other things.

    For this reason, I've seen other studies which have shown that, although retail jobs may decrease, after a Walmart opens you tend to see more restaurants, clothing stores, hobby shops, etc. open up near the Walmart. That's why every time I drive by Walmart I see Red Lobsters, Hooters and all sorts of other business within a few blocks of the Walmart.

    Therefore, although it may decrease RETAIL jobs, all sorts of other jobs open up for people to do because of the extra money they have from Walmart.

    Using your logic, we should have been in a recession for the last 200 years because of all those people who lost their barrel making jobs once barrel making became more efficient. Now do you see why your argument ins fucking stupid?

  • sarcasmic||

    When people spend less money on necessities at Walmart, be it food or clothing, they have more money left over than they would have had before. They can then spend that extra money on other things.

    You point out the unseen. Leftist deny the unseen. Broken windows for the win!

  • T o n y||

    But people don't have extra money from their savings by shopping at Wal-Mart. Because Wal-Mart exists their wages are likely to be lower than they were before. The net result isn't guaranteed to be more money in people's pockets.

  • sarcasmic||

    Because Wal-Mart exists their wages are likely to be lower than they were before.

    That's just plain stupid.

  • iggy||

    So in Tonyland Walmart magically makes the wages of everyone decrease. Walmart doesn't even pay lower wages than other retail outlets, so they aren't even lowering wages in their own industry, much less lowering wages in all other industries. Given that purchasing power increased across the board over the entire period in which Walmart was expanding, how in the hell can you argue that it's resulted in lower wages?

  • Rick Santorum||

    The net result isn't guaranteed to be more money in people's pockets.

    Libertarians don't care. The only care that the Waltons have more money to spend. It doesn't matter how poor the lower class gets. It doesn't matter how many people live in poverty. It only only matters that someone, somewhere is getting rich. And the people here will use whatever means necessary to justify such.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Libertarians don't care. The only care that the Waltons have more money to spend. It doesn't matter how poor the lower class gets. It doesn't matter how many people live in poverty. It only only matters that someone, somewhere is getting rich. And the people here will use whatever means necessary to justify such.

    His levels of idioticlorians are off the charts.

  • iggy||

    Hey, Dick, I care that poor people actually have jobs, as opposed to getting priced out of the labor force by unions like people in Detroit have been.

    Why do you not care about the 40% of people in Detroit that don't have jobs thanks to unions? Why do you not care about poor people who aren't in unions? Why do you hate poor people so much, Rick?

  • Cavpitalist||

    I don't give two shits about whether or not the Waltons have money, as long as they didn't steal it or kill for it. They built their fortune, more power to them. If it goes away tomorrow, oh well, fuck them.

    You and your ilk DO very much care about what money other people have, obviously.

  • ||

    There's one little problem: wages aren't lower and people aren't poorer when you compare before Walmart to after Walmart.

  • KPres||

    "The only care that the Waltons have more money to spend."

    Actually, we care that people like the Waltons aren't discouraged from exploiting inefficiencies and improving the general standard of living the way they do.

  • Hopfiend||

    I tend to avoid ad hominem but....

    you can't be this eff'n stupid...or could you?

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    But people don't have extra money from their savings by shopping at Wal-Mart.


    You're jesting, right?

    Because Wal-Mart exists their wages are likely to be lower than they were before.


    No, they would not. You're looking at flawed studies that do not take into account the net gain in jobs due to Walmart for the unskilled that add to the universe of the employed, thus making it appear as if the "average wage" is falling. This is nothing more than statistic sophistry.

    By the way, the idiotic conclusion derived from those "studies" that show that Walmart "destroys" retail jobs does NOT take into account the peripheral jobs created around the CUSTOMER MAGNETS that are the Big Box stores. Any statistician can tell you that.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    But seriously, what about the analyses that show every Wal-Mart job represents 1.4 jobs lost from local retailers? (It also reduces average payrolls in a county.)

    Yes this means Wal-Mart is more efficient (thank you cheap Chinese sweatshop workers who make 85% of Wal-Mart's products!) That doesn't mean it's good for people in general--and in fact its efficiency has net bad effects on people in general.

    Will no one think of the horse and buggy driver and his family of four? Of the lamplighter? The cobbler? The weaver?

    Tear down the looms! All hail General Ludd!

    Since Wal-Mart is the largest private employer in the country, it would seem to be fruitful to acknowledge that its workers' low wages and inability to unionize (which are quite connected) might have a negative effect on the economy as a whole.

    Question begging. Next.

    The fact that Wal-Mart workers can afford Wal-Mart crap isn't an argument. It's just a restatement of the problem

    Which you've failed to state in the first place. Next.

    Finally, big box stores like Wal-Mart have benefited enormously from government development subsidies and tax advantages, with little community improvement to show for it.

    I guess this means we ought to disempower the government from being able to hand out development subsidies and tax breaks, right, Tony?

    Tony w/spaces, you're the worst sockpuppet ever.

  • T o n y||

    Libertarians are the most unjustifiably self-satisfied people on earth.

    These are just things to think about. You don't have to be TEAM WAL-MART. It's possible--likely even--that the biggest private employer in the country might do things that are net harmful, and thus that the people in the country and in local communities might have a stake in.

    I don't know how you would go about removing the power of every state and local government to make development and tax policy. Should there be a national standard?

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Libertarians are the most unjustifiably self-satisfied people on earth.


    "Unjustifiable"?

    It's possible--likely even--that the biggest private employer in the country might do things that are net harmful,


    Harmful to whom? Because I know that the biggest employer in the net number of employees do a LOT of harm, and they don't even sell anything either useful or cheaply.

    and thus that the people in the country and in local communities might have a stake in.


    You seem to have a totally dogmatic view on Walmart, as you seem not to want to accept the fact that when a SELLER offers products at a more affordable price, the people who are least able to afford things - the poor - are greatly benefited from by the seller.

    I don't know how you would go about removing the power of every state and local government to make development and tax policy. Should there be a national standard?


    Walmart is not a government. 'Nuff said.

  • T o n y||

    Yeah Wal-Mart isn't government. You don't get to vote out its board when it shits on your town. It can, however, persuade your government to give it goodies at the expense of the community.

    Yes, one tiny part of the whole picture is that goods are cheaper. But that's not the whole picture is it? The poor whose welfare you so selectively care about are likely to be working at Wal-Mart, after all.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    The poor whose welfare you so selectively care about are likely to be working at Wal-Mart, after all.

    Walmart has 1.4 million employees. Our population is about 320 million. You do the fucking math, asshole.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    You don't get to vote out its board when it shits on your town.


    Yes, I do - I stop shopping there if that was the case. Can you stop paying your taxes when government shits YOUR town?

    Yes, one tiny part of the whole picture is that goods are cheaper.


    I beg to differ, you callous buffoon - it is THE whole picture for poor people. They can better afford the goods that other retailers almost denied to them.

    The poor whose welfare you so selectively care about are likely to be working at Wal-Mart, after all.


    Maybe. So? Do you really think that the poor were making higher wages before Walmart? I want to know how that works.

    And even IF the wages that Walmart is offering are lower in the net compared to those from other retailers in the past (which I seriously doubt,) the PURCHASING POWER of the wages increases as prices are lowered through better sourcing and distribution. This is a net benefit for wage earners, not a loss.

  • T o n y||

    It is not the whole picture. They might be less poor if not for wage-depressing (government subsidized) big box retailers coming to town taking jobs and lowering wages community-wide.

    I've pointed to studies that show this to be an overall negative outcome. You're just claiming that cheaper chicken cutlets make it a wash or a net benefit to consumers. So prove it.

  • sarcasmic||

    Big box retailers are government subsidized? Funny, because I thought they paid all kinds of taxes. Local extortionists, er, I mean governments love those stores because they can totally rape them for property taxes.

    paying tons of taxes != subsidy

    Moron.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    It is not the whole picture.


    Yes, it is.

    They might be less poor if not for wage-depressing (government subsidized) big box retailers coming to town taking jobs and lowering wages community-wide.


    No, they're less poor NOW because their money has MORE purchasing power.

    I've pointed to studies that show this to be an overall negative outcome.


    And I showed you why they're flawed.

    You're just claiming that cheaper chicken cutlets make it a wash or a net benefit to consumers. So prove it.


    Prove what? That cheaper chicken cutlets are a net benefit to consumers?

    Easy:

    Chicken cutlets before Walmart: $1.00 LB
    Chicken cutlets affer Walmart: $0.50 LB

    You just gained $0.50 in extra spending money you can use to buy another pound of chicken cutlets. Even if your wage is lowered by 30 or 40%, you can still afford the chicken cutlets thanks to the lower price. Basic economics.

  • KPres||

    "They might be less poor if not for wage-depressing (government subsidized) big box retailers coming to town taking jobs and lowering wages community-wide."

    Cite?

  • KPres||

    "But that's not the whole picture is it? The poor whose welfare you so selectively care about are likely to be working at Wal-Mart, after all."

    Yes, and their wages are exactly the same as they would have been otherwise.

    But even if you (falsely) assume they're not, Wal-Mart employs 1.8 million Americans, or less than 1% of the workforce. In other words, the number of poor people benefiting from the low prices outnumbers those that work there by tens of millions.

  • Hopfiend||

    Sounds like your problem is with the local government, not Wal Mart. Oh wait, that contradicts your worldview, can't be true.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    These are just things to think about. You don't have to be TEAM WAL-MART. It's possible--likely even--that the biggest private employer in the country might do things that are net harmful, and thus that the people in the country and in local communities might have a stake in.

    Based on the attendance of the walk-out protest of actual Walmart employees, there isn't any problem at all. The only ones with a problem are union workers who work for competing companies that are at risk of going out of business because they can't adequately compete.

    When ACTUAL Walmart employees start having problems, Walmart will change its policies. They can't maintain their position if they have labor issues which don't result in policy changes, and I trust that maintaining their position is their goal.

  • T o n y||

    First, Wal-Mart workers have little or no leverage. There have been some lawsuits and some attempts at collective action, but mostly they exist in a sort of corporate serfdom.

    You are articulating race-to-the-bottom economics that by definition results only in worse outcomes for everyone except the people at the very top. Don't forget that in the mix of this competition for labor are Chinese sweatshop workers. How far to the bottom do you want to race in the name of efficiency of one company?

  • mad libertarian guy||

    First, Wal-Mart workers have little or no leverage.

    Except their ability to leave at any time they see fit. Walmart doesn't work without people there to work.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Don't forget that in the mix of this competition for labor are Chinese sweatshop workers.

    So Wally World is going to get visas for the Chinese sweatshop labor and have them staff the SuperWalMarts of Bumblefuck, USA?

    That should work out just fine.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    First, Wal-Mart workers have little or no leverage.


    What the hell are you talking about? We're not talking about North Korea, you nincompoop - a worker can choose to work for the competition, and usually does: Walmart has a very high rate of turnover, something that is already considered in their business model. This notion that workers have no "leverage" is nothing more than a myth perpetuated by the economics ignoramus.

    You are articulating race-to-the-bottom economics


    This is a myth, Tony. Only the economics ignoramus think this because they do not take into consideration the Law of Opportunity Costs.

  • sarcasmic||

    Law of Opportunity Costs

    That's the unseen. The left refuses to acknowledge the unseen.

  • T o n y||

    Considering one of the major reasons behind the points I was making is that Walmart destroys competition, workers voting with their feet does not amount to significant leverage, especially with high unemployment. If that were the kind of leverage that mattered, nobody would work at Walmart, since it pays shit and has shit benefits.

    I have a Law: the more words you capitalize and declare laws when we're talking about economics, the more full of shit you are. You don't believe in vicious cycles of decreased wages leading to decreased consumer demand leading to decreased employment/wages? Why not? What's to prevent it?

  • Sevo||

    T o n y| 11.26.12 @ 1:06PM |#
    "Considering one of the major reasons behind the points I was making is that Walmart destroys competition,"

    Shithead, given that your major point is a lie, I guess we can simply ignore the other waste spewing off your keyboard.
    ---------------------------------
    "I have a Law:"

    No, you have a moronic opinion.

  • KPres||

    "You don't believe in vicious cycles of decreased wages leading to decreased consumer demand leading to decreased employment/wages? Why not? What's to prevent it?"

    Uh, the fact that prices adjust to demand, you fucking idiot.

    Decreased wages = decreased prices = increased demand.

  • Tonio||

    they exist in a sort of corporate serfdom

    Nope. My father's family were/are coal miners in West Virginia. That was as close as we've ever come to serfdom in this country. Wal*Mart? Not so much.

  • KPres||

    "First, Wal-Mart workers have little or no leverage."

    They have the exact same amount of leverage as any other unskilled worker, and the exact same amount of leverage an unskilled worker had before Wal-Mart moved into town.

  • Hopfiend||

    What government action do you advocate to solve this problem (assuming there is a problem that I don't believe exists).

    I guarantee you your "cure" is worse than the alleged "disease."

  • Anonymous Coward||

    These are just things to think about. You don't have to be TEAM WAL-MART.

    Silly assed assumption on your part. I don't particularly like Wally World based on my time working there. While I would not work there again, I recognize that the store, rent-seeking notwithstanding, increases the purchasing power of customers. Which is why I buy my food from Aldi.

    Even lower prices FTMFW.

    the biggest private employer

    What does this have to do with anything?

    do things that are net harmful

    This is a conclusion, not a premise.

    and thus that the people in the country and in local communities might have a stake in.

    You need to work on this whole argument-premise-conclusion thing.

    I don't know how you would go about removing the power of every state and local government to make development and tax policy.

    Why to not-so-subtly move those goalposts. No, there is no need for a national standard since most rent-seeking and development deals occur at the local level. Eliminate zoning boards and write state laws that create a single tax rate applicable to every business entity, from WalMart to Mom-and-Pop #3871.

  • T o n y||

    I think you missed my point, which was that people have a stake in how a large business affects their community. My only point was that maybe, der, Wal-Mart isn't a shining angel of pure goodness whose actions can never harm communities, because capitalism!

    So we eliminate all zoning boards and standardize tax rates across all local communities how? National standard? Localities compete with each other too to get businesses to come. Unless you want the US Congress to make them stop I'm not sure how you accomplish the abolition of rent seeking.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    I think you missed my point, which was that people have a stake in how a large business affects their community.

    They can vote with their wallets and not patronize Wally World. They can vote with their feet and leave the locality. They can actually vote and disallow WalMart to set up a business there.

    My only point was that maybe, der, Wal-Mart isn't a shining angel of pure goodness whose actions can never harm communities, because capitalism!

    Yes, Tony, because if you don't beat the strawmen, who will?

    So we eliminate all zoning boards and standardize tax rates across all local communities how?

    Legislative action or referendum.

    Localities compete with each other too to get businesses to come.

    So you first wring your hands about Wally World taking sweetheart development deals and "not paying their fair share", but when I offer you a solution, you blanch?

    Unless you want the US Congress to make them stop I'm not sure how you accomplish the abolition of rent seeking.

    Why bother with Congress when the statehouse will suffice? Rent seeking exists because politicians and bureaucrats have the power to give businesses deals that put them ahead of their competitors. Remove that power, you remove the problem.

  • T o n y||

    If it's a strawman then make one criticism of Walmart's practices that isn't a restatement of "government is evil."

  • KPres||

    They have shitty customer service, and a lot of their products are cheaply made. But that's OK, because of that, Target sprung up to fill that niche (exactly like a libertarian applying market-based logic would have predicted).

  • KPres||

    They have shitty customer service, and a lot of their products are cheaply made. But that's OK, because of that, Target sprung up to fill that niche (exactly like a libertarian applying market-based logic would have predicted).

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "I don't know how you would go about removing the power of every state and local government to make development and tax policy."

    That's been the wet dream of Team Blue for decades: Demonize "states' rights", and eventually take over decision-making for all fifty states at the federal level.

    While jacking off to Obama's picture, at least for the next four years.

  • R C Dean||

    I'm trying to figure out why the Walmart employees are "unable" (as opposed to "unwilling") to unionize.

    Little help here?

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Because Tony says so.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    We can start with the $1/hour raise by eliminating the Walton family fortune.


    When you say "we", do you mean you and your merry band of thieves, rapists and murderers (the government) or "we" in general?

    But seriously, what about the analyses that show every Wal-Mart job represents 1.4 jobs lost from local retailers?


    The buggy whip industry! Oh, not the buggy whip industry! Oh!!

    (It also reduces average payrolls in a county.)


    It does not, that's a lie. You're looking at analyses that show average pay for employed people without considering that Walmart increases the universe of employed people, thus bringing down the average. But this does not mean that Walmart lowers the wage, that's statistical sophistry.

    That doesn't mean it's good for people in general


    Yes, it's better if things become less affordable.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    "it would seem to be fruitful to acknowledge that its workers' low wages and inability to unionize (which are quite connected) "

    I understand critiques of large corporate retail and its supply chain of cheap goods produced by the often exploited and underpaid sold by low-wage workers stateside.

    However, insisting that unions are a viable alternative illustrates a disconnect with reality. Unions are bastions of inefficiency and inflexibility. It's little wonder most corporate entities despise them. And, to continually witness the financial rape by public unions of the American coffer is proof to me that unions are a poor alternative oversold by automaton Leftists who are shrilly lockstep in line with collectivist ideologies which have been proven time and again to benefit no one but the collectivist leadership structure.

  • T o n y||

    Private-sector unions have been practically eliminated country-wide. Scapegoating them is, at this point in history, a ridiculous exercise in distracting from the real problems.

    When unions were strong, by contrast, the economy as a whole was doing just fine. Yes, businesses were less the personal duchies of CEOs and more of a cooperative endeavor. But that was a good thing for everyone. All that's sacrificed is the accumulation of obscene (and unearned) wealth by the CEO.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    When unions were strong, by contrast, the economy as a whole was doing just fine.


    Unionism hasn't been as strong ever as it was during the 30's. Tell me again how the economy was doing "just fine"?

  • iggy||

    Tony's also using the old 'but the '50s were great' argument that every hack uses when trying to prove a point that doesn't actually exist. The '50s were good because America had a virtual monopoly on worldwide manufacturing as a result of every other country on the planet having their industrial base bombed to oblivion.

    Hey Tony, why don't you talk about the impact of unions post-1970 once our industrial advantage evaporated? Why don't you talk about the near total collapse of union related rust belt manufacturing?

  • Sevo||

    Shithead could also tell us about how great the '50s were for blacks.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    When unions were strong, by contrast, the economy as a whole was doing just fine.

    Repeat after me, Tony w/spaces:

    Correlation does not equal causation.

  • R C Dean||

    Private-sector unions have been practically eliminated country-wide.

    Yeah, and you might want to think about why their business model has failed.

    When unions were strong, by contrast, the economy as a whole was doing just fine.

    Private sector unions peaked in the mid-70s. Ponder, if you will, what else happened around then, and has been happening, that might make the union business model less viable. Ponder, as well, whether unions are a product of an economy lacking in competitive pressures, or a driver of a productive economy.

  • KPres||

    "When unions were strong, by contrast, the economy as a whole was doing just fine."

    Duh. That's because the unions hadn't chased all the manufacturing overseas, yet. Unions are a parasite that killed their host.

  • Rasilio||

    "But seriously, what about the analyses that show every Wal-Mart job represents 1.4 jobs lost from local retailers? (It also reduces average payrolls in a county.)

    "

    First off I highly doubt those numbers are accurate and not based on finely tuned surveys designed to show exactly this result for union propaganda purposes but I will grant for the moment that they are accurate.

    What about those "lost jobs"? Do those people sit on their buts and say "well the ole Five and Dime went out of business, guess I'll have ta just sit here and starve"?

    No, they go out and find other jobs, jobs which make them far more productive to their local communities because now they have both the Wal Mart AND whatever else those people are doing available to them.

    This entire argument that Wal Mart (or anything else) destroys jobs is just ridiculous ignorance of basic economics. Destroying less efficient jobs is ALWAYS a good thing for the economy no matter what scale you are looking at it from. Sure it may suck for those workers who now need to go find new jobs and in a tiny fraction of a percent of cases due to age or lack of mental capacity there may be individuals who simply cannot go get new jobs, the net result from a societal level however is ALWAYS 100% a positive benefit.

  • T o n y||

    There are not always jobs available!

    Fewer jobs, lower wages, less localism/diversity subtract somewhat from 100% positive.

  • Sevo||

    T o n y| 11.26.12 @ 1:03PM |#
    "There are not always jobs available!"

    Proof, shithead.

  • Rasilio||

    Over a short time horizon sure.

    It might take 6 months, a year, maybe even 5 to get established in a new career when your prior one is rendered obsolite, and like I said for a tiny fraction of a percentage it may result in a forced retirement, but we are not talking about the impact on individuals, we are talking about the economic impact to a region and at that level even in the worst economies 90% of the laid off workers will be back at work doing something within a year.

  • KPres||

    There are not always jobs available!

    Sure, when people don't need to work as much because they can get all their shit so much cheaper at Wal-Mart than before, you end up with less jobs.

  • Cavpitalist||

    We can start with the $1/hour raise by eliminating the Walton family fortune. I realize how much effort they put into choosing their parentage.

    Why don't we start by cutting Wal-Mart's taxes? The government has less right to that money than the heirs do.

    When you die, you get to decide who gets your property. Just because the hordes of jealous pissants with no money of their own begrudge you your birthright, doesn't mean that it belongs to them.

    You have reaped unthinkable advantages because of your parentage, parentage you had both jack and shit to do with. Let me know when you're living in a North Korean shack, and we'll pretend as if your junior-high-pot-circle musings have anything to do with rational thought.

  • T o n y||

    As long as you admit the extent of your philosophy of economic morality is "finders keepers" and doesn't have anything to do with "the fruit of one's labors."

  • Mr. FIFY||

    There is no such thing as "economic morality". Economies cannot HAVE morals; they are not people.

  • T o n y||

    So the libertarian argument for a laissez-faire economy is that it just works so well?

  • Redmanfms||

    So the libertarian argument for a laissez-faire economy is that it just works so well?

    WTF are you asking?

    Taken literally, then the answer is "yes."

  • Ice Nine||

    Dying to see Suderman's points. Anyone know how/where besides this blank "Storify" thing, which is all I get on Goog.

  • sarcasmic||



    Really enjoyed talking Walmart and Black Friday on @upwithchris this morning. I'm going to add a few stray observations on twitter.
    24 Nov 12

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    Peter Suderman @petersuderman

    1. Walmart’s customer base is heavily concentrated in the bottom income quintile, which spends heavily on food.
    24 Nov 12

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    Peter Suderman @petersuderman

    2.The bottom income quintile spends about 25 percent of income on food compared to just 3.5 percent for the top quintile.
    24 Nov 12

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    Peter Suderman @petersuderman

    3.So the benefits of Walmart’s substantially lower prices to the lowest earning cohort are huge, especially on food.
    24 Nov 12

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    Peter Suderman @petersuderman

  • sarcasmic||



    4. Obama adviser Jason Furman has estimated the welfare boost of Walmart’s low food prices alone is about $50b a year.
    24 Nov 12

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    Peter Suderman @petersuderman

    5.Walmart’s wages are about average for retail. Not amazing. But not the worst either.
    24 Nov 12

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    Peter Suderman @petersuderman

    6. Paying Walmart’s workers more would mean the money has to come from somewhere. But where?
    24 Nov 12

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    Peter Suderman @petersuderman

    7. Erase the Walmart CEO's entire salary, and you can raise average hourly wages by just a penny or so.
    24 Nov 12

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    Peter Suderman @petersuderman
  • sarcasmic||



    8. Erase the entire Walton family fortune and you get an average $1/hour boost to Walmart workers.
    24 Nov 12

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    Peter Suderman @petersuderman

    9. Raise prices to pay for increased wages and you cut into the store’s huge low-price benefits for the poor. It’s regressive.
    24 Nov 12

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    Peter Suderman @petersuderman

    10. But what about Costco? They pay more, right? Yes, but it’s a different, smaller market.
    24 Nov 12

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    Peter Suderman @petersuderman

    11. Walmart’s average customer earns roughly $35k. Costco’s average customer earns about $75k.
    24 Nov 12

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    Peter Suderman @petersuderman
  • sarcasmic||



    12. Costco only has about half as many employees as Walmart. What would happen if Walmart adopted a Costco model and shrank to Costco size?
    24 Nov 12

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    Peter Suderman @petersuderman

    13. Not at all clear that the remaining half of Walmart workers would be better off. Many would almost certainly be worse off. Unemployed.
    24 Nov 12

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    Peter Suderman @petersuderman

    14. Obama econ adviser Jason Furman did a lot of the work on Walmart's progressive benefits. His case: slate.me/R3bkc2
    24 Nov 12

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    Peter Suderman @petersuderman

    15. Finally, as someone who's actually been a regular, small-town Walmart shopper, I'd like to argue for its community benefits.
    24 Nov 12

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    Peter Suderman @petersuderman

    16. Yes, some small stores close when Walmart opens. But in small towns, Walmart can become real community hubs - more so, because of size.
    24 Nov 12

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    Peter Suderman @petersuderman

    17. As for Walmart workers getting health benefits thru Medicaid, that's due in part to a policy liberals argued for: wapo.st/axXXNE
  • Ice Nine||

    Thank you very much. I really appreciate that.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Might want to have made it clear that liquidating the Walmart heirs fortunes for $1/hour pay raise would only be for one year.

    Didn't know all the rest of that. Thanks.

  • Bobarian||

    Followed by Wal-Mart going bankrupt because the cupboards were bare.

  • KPres||

    Yep, he undersold his point. To be consistent, he should have stretched that one out over 30 years or so, since that's how long it's taken to build up the Walton's fortune.

    In other words, taking their wealth amounts to 3 cents/hour wage increase.

  • Ornithorhynchus||

    Wal-Mart first opened in my town in the late '70s. A lot of small businesses did go under shortly after that, but those were the days of stagflation and rapidly rising oil prices, so it's likely Wal-Mart had little or nothing to do with that. But the important thing is that a few years later, new businesses were opening. Anytime a new company grabs a large chunk of market-share, other businesses soon learn to compete, or they go under. And sooner or later, new businesses appear that make use of the lessons provided.
    That's how markets work. (If the Government lets them.)

  • Rasilio||

    Can someone please explain this Wal Mart saves money on groceries thing to me?

    I mean sure they are cheaper than Whole Payche..I mean Foods and if you buy mostly preprocessed junk I'll conceed they may be cheaper but their produce selection is virtually non existant and rarely worth eating what they do have and their meat selections are little better but not actually priced much cheaper than a normal mid tier supermarket.

    The one thing I do know is that when I have tried grocery shopping at Wal Mart the food bill averaged from 20 - 50% higher than anywhere else because there were very few options to highly processed foods that came in a box, stuff which normally makes up less than half my grocery bill when I shop anywhere else.

  • sarcasmic||

    I think it depends on the store. One Walmart round my way has an excellent produce section. Another does not. Walmart is very sensitive to what its customers purchase, and if they don't purchase much produce the store will not carry much produce.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Poor people don't eat produce, even when it's available.

    So basically, you're doing it wrong.

  • Rasilio||

    Well no, Poor I am not, although I have been poor at various points in my life and I know what you mean.

    When I was poor I ate more processed foods. Now that I am not so poor we eat much healthier even though in many cases the food we eat is cheaper than the processed food we used to eat.

    Of course a large part of that was based on a conscious decision to try and eat healthier combined with my wife discovering that she was Gluten intolerant rather than any economic choice.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Rasilio,

    Can someone please explain this Wal Mart saves money on groceries thing to me?


    If you go to the supercenter, their groceries are usually cheaper compared to their competition. Not that the quality is higher, and I don't buy meat from them, but overall my shopping bill is lower because of their non-perishables and their own brands. I also get cheaper tomatoes, strawberries, bananas and herbs from Walmart than from the membership stores.

  • Rasilio||

    Yeah I am talking about at the Supercenters.

    Until earlier this year I used to live in Louisville Ky.

    We had Whole Foods, Kroger, Wal Mart, Meijer, Aldi, Costco and Sams Club.

    Those were listed in the order of price and we occasionally shopped at all of them but the bulk of our shopping came from Costco/Sams (whichever we had a membership to at the time) and Kroger.

    Costco and Sams had by far the best prices on Meat, Kroger had the best produce selection and usually it was just easier to get the staples at Kroger while we were there rather than take a seperate trip to Meijer.

    But, for those occasions where we made a 1 stop trip Kroger and Wal Mart cost about the same but with better quality foods but Meijer was much cheaper with either with quality close to Krogers and still better than Wal Mart's.

    Aldi and Whole Foods were reserved for specialty food purchases (typically Fish at Whole Foods, you wouldn't want to trust anything but the farmed Tilapia at any of the other stores)

  • robc||

    Agree about Meijers. I used to driver further to get to Meijers before the Walmart grocery opened near me.

    If the distance wasnt so different, I would still go to Meijers.

  • Almanian.||

    The Meijer in our town is across the street from the WalMart. I generally prefer Meijer, but shop both.

    Competition FTW!

  • robc||

    I have a Walmart neighbor grocery as my nearest grocery.

    Its cheaper than the Kroger (2nd nearest), but yeah, its meat sucks, I dont buy meat from Walmart.

    Produce is okay for basic things, but Kroger is generally better on that.

    But for 90% of my grocery needs, Walmart is closer and cheaper.

    And the clientele isnt like a Walmart supercenter, so it doesnt weird me out shopping there. Its just a grocery store.

  • JW||

    Not that the quality is higher, and I don't buy meat from them, but overall my shopping bill is lower because of their non-perishables and their own brands.

    The quality of the meat at Costco, particularly the steaks, is pretty remarkable for a warehouse store. Good prices compared to the local grocery store. I had a 3 or 4-inch thick porterhouse over the summer from Costco that had amazing flavor.

    Produce there is problematic if you don't have a lot of mouths in your house, it'll spoil before you can finish it, but the quality is very good.

  • Sevo||

    "if you buy mostly preprocessed junk I'll conceed they may be cheaper"

    Three-state smug alert!

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Rick Santorum,

    The concept of executives voluntarily taking less money so that the workers earn more seems an alien concept to libertarians.


    It's alien because it makes no economic sense. People are paid according to their output, not a penny more - otherwise whoever tries to pay more than the productive effort of the employee will find himself going bankrupt pretty quickly.

    Don't you believe me? Let me show you how it works with a simple exercise:

    You have a company that has 10 workers, all being paid $10.00 an hour making yo-yos. Your factory makes 1000 yo-yos a day. With an 8 hour shift (to simplify things), your cost to make a yo-yo is $0.80 in labor. Let's say that energy and materials cost you $0.20 per yo-yo, making each yo-yo cost $1.00. Let's say that you sell each yo-yo for $3.00 and you sell your whole production run per month. That means that your before-taxes and overhead profits are $2.00 per yo-yo, or $60,000.00 each month (for a 30 day month).

  • Rasilio||

    "It's alien because it makes no economic sense. People are paid according to their output, not a penny more"

    While the general thrust of your thesis is correct a more accurate phrasing would be ...

    "People are paid according to the percieved value of their output"

    Realistically it is very difficult or impossible to measure the actual value of the output of most workers including all executives and managers.

    The reason I point this out is because even though RS is an idiot there is a legitimate argument to be made that many executives are probably overpaid because the perception of their value does not match the actuality of it.

    If you pay executive A $400,000 a year but could have gotten executive B to take the position for $250,000 a year you are essentially saying that you expect A to provide at least $150,000 a year more in value than B. The question is whether than expectation is accurate. With no counterfactual and no realistic way of measuring the value add from any individual executive saying that $400,000 a year for the position is not an unreasonable position to take.

  • Rasilio||

    Personally I happen to think most executives and virtually all CEO's are overpaid, however I do not think this is so because of the multiplier between their pay and other workers pay, or because I think their pay should be distributed to other workers in some misguided sense of fairness but rather because I think that one could easily find people who could do the job at least as well for half or less what the current crop are being paid and that those excessive salaries could be better directed into business development or R&D.

  • OldMexican||

    From the $60,000 you pay your executive $10,000 for a $120,000 per year salary. You pay $30,000 in taxes, $10,000 in overhead (electricity, rent, your secretary, paper products, leases, etc.) leaving you with $10,000 in profits after overhead.

    IF you decide to give all workers a "living wage", which - let's say - some goody two-shoes calculates at being $15.00 per hour, then your cost per yo-yo goes up to be $1.50 in labor plus the $0.20 in materials and energy.

    Your cost per yo-yo is still $1.40 USD for the 8 hour shift, 10 employees + materials/energy. You can't just raise the price for the yo-yo like that to compensate, because of competition from other yo-yo manufacturers. So your monthly earnings are now down to $48,000, from which you pay your executive the $10,000; taxes $24,000 and overhead $10,000, which leaves you an after-tax and overhead profit of $4,000.00 USD. This is with NO increase in productivity, as you stated.

    That would mean that you would have to slash your executive's pay by $6,000 per month just to maintain your previous profitability. Let's say the executive is YOU - would YOU take a 60% paycut?

  • OldMexican||

    Sorry, it was $1.20 per yo-yo in labor costs plus the $0.20. Sorry for the confusion. It is still $1.40 per yoyo in total. Still a 1000 yoyo production per day.

  • Rick Santorum||

    I'm not going to dissect that argument because it's a strawman. I'm not talking about the executives making $120,000 a year; I'm talking about the executives who are raking in millions a year.

    Sure, the executive deserves to make more. (Well, a lot of times not, as we see companies driven into the ground by poor management, but let's talk about thriving companies.) They don't deserve to make 300 times as much as the low-end workers.

    This is how the world used to work back in the '50s and '60s and even '70s. It wasn't until recently that the wage disparity really took off. Even then, I don't care as long as the workers are getting enough to live on.

    _________________________________

    I define a living wage as making enough money to afford basic necessities with left over to put in savings.

  • ||

    Then you really have nothing to complain about. Walmart employees make enough to live on.

    Thank you for pointing out that complaining about wage or income inequality makes no sense.

  • KPres||

    Uh, words have meanings idiot. A living wage means enough to live on. You don't need savings to live on.

  • Sevo||

    What's more is that there is no definition there, just an opinion.

  • Tonio||

    I, for one, am henceforth going to make it a point to bring Wal*Mart brand products to any gathering I attend which is hosted by liberals, or at which liberals predominate.

  • ||

    The big box business model doesn't work without massive transportation subsidies, unfair tax breaks, sweetheart land deals, currency manipulation, and deeply unfree Chinese labor. It deserves as much libertarian defense as Lockheed Martin, Goldman Sachs, or GE (which is to say, none).

  • Sevo||

    Jersey Patriot| 11.26.12 @ 12:15PM |#
    "The big box business model doesn't work without massive transportation subsidies"

    Moronic opinion stated as fact!

  • Rhywun||

    deeply unfree Chinese labor

    All Chinese are "deeply unfree" but they are free enough to demonstrate in their hundreds of millions that working in a factory is better than farming.

  • Sevo||

    JP is deeply stupid.

  • T o n y||

    It's not big government when the US Chamber of Commerce doesn't bitch about it.

  • Sevo||

    T o n y| 11.26.12 @ 2:45PM |#
    "It's not big government when the US Chamber of Commerce doesn't bitch about it."

    It's guaranteed to be moronic when shithead posts it.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Evil boss alert:

    Nice supermarket boss gives his employees the business for Christmas

    Some bosses give their employees a small token of their appreciation as a holiday gift. Joe Lueken, who owns two supermarkets in Bemidji, Minn., and one in Wahpeton, N.D., is giving his employees the whole business. Lueken, 70, is retiring and, instead of selling off Lueken's Village Foods to the highest bidder, has decided to transfer ownership of the business he spent 46 years building to his 400 workers. Their tenure will begin January 1, through an Employee Stock Ownership Program.

  • SIV||

    So commenters argue with "Tony" and Rick Santorum" while failing to address the REAL ISSUE which is this twitter shit.

  • Almanian.||

    Unlike OJ, we're not focused on the REAL killer(s).

    *hangs head*

  • SugarFree||

    Thanksgiving came just a few days late for the trolls, I see.

  • injanear||

    "You can be big and unionized as GM has shown."

    Where were you Suderman?

  • ||

    Yes, I know when the WalMart came into our town, it drove nearly EVERY OTHER BUSINESS AWAY.

    It's been a fucking ghost town here in Honolulu since a couple WalMarts set up shop. Every other store shut down.

    /sarcasm

  • Redmanfms||

    When Walmart came to my town it brought with it a Martin's, Batteries Plus, Grand Home Furnishings, Radio Shack, Game Stop, Dollar Tree, an independent clothing store, Sonic, McDonald's, Chik-fil-A, Quiznos, Applebee's, TGI Fridays, a Chinese food joint, a Japanese food joint, an Italian food joint, and an independent sports bar/restaurant. All these stores are within a quarter-mile of the Wally World. When the Walmart was being planned a Home Depot opened, a short time after Walmart opened a Lowe's opened.

    A few years later and two miles away a Target and bevy of other stores opened.

    One store closed, a Big Lots, which was dying anyway.

    So much for Walmart costing local retail jobs.

    On the worker "dignity" issue, I've worked at both Walmart and Target stores, and at their respective warehouses. Walmart store paid $.80/hour more as a part-time cashier. Target offered a healthcare plan to part-time cashier that Walmart didn't (at the time), but it sucked and I was able to find an alternative that was both cheaper and had better coverage. The warehouses paid the same. Hours were more consistent at Target as Walmart let us leave for the day when all the units were thrown, but pay was higher with Wally World as Walmart paid $2.00/hour more (the shift differential at Walmart was a lot higher too). Walmart had better retirement/investment plans, Target had better healthcare plan options.

  • CE||

    I thought the point of Twitter was to make short, pithy observations, not chop up an essay.

  • Sevo||

    T o n y| 11.26.12 @ 1:12PM |#
    ..."I have an open mind."...

    Shithead posted that. Really. Check the time-stamp and look; it's near the top.
    Shithead actually posted that.

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