Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Maybe WalMart ain't all bad

A few months ago, I got on a kick to boycott walmart. Perhaps I was mistaken. Afterall, Walmart is a fine purveyor of American Culture to the Chinese....well, that is not all. Check out this article from the New Yorker:


...Wal-Mart and other superstores contributed to the trend. They undercut their competitors, and forced the rest of the world to adapt. But now Wal-Mart is stuck; it has no choice but to keep selling things cheap. That’s what it does. Which means Procter & Gamble—even super-sized—is stuck, too. Few products are irreplaceable. So-called private-label products—the kind that, in the tradition of generics, are hardly advertised or marketed—are now big sellers at many stores. Ol’ Roy dog food, Wal-Mart’s house brand, is the best-selling dog food in the country. CyberHome, which makes DVD players for companies like Radio Shack, sold more of them last year than Sony. It’s getting harder and harder for manufacturers to charge premium prices for so-called premium brands. Of course, this is how it should be, according to the economics textbooks. In a genuinely competitive economy, the company that ends up selling a good is going to be the one that produces (and therefore sells) it at the lowest cost. This is a case where, as the Princeton economist Alan Blinder put it, “the economy came to resemble the model.

End slice:

Inexpesive retail items that are of a high quality are good in my book.


frstlymil said...

Actually you might want to re-evaluate that - they are now under investigation and being charged with child labor law violations for putting children as young as 14 to work. According to an article in the NY Times, Feb 12, ...the retailer has agreed to settle dozens of violations of child labor laws at its Connecticut, Arkansas and New Hampshire stores. Wal-Mart had been employing children under age 14, and letting minors operate heavy machinery.

Sixlegged said...

I shop at Wal Mart for the produce. When other mega produce peddlers have limes on sale for 4 for a dollar, Wal-Mart has them at 6 for a dollar. Let's face it, their produce is of higher quality and better price than other supermarkets.

Chicken is cheaper at Wal Mart too, as well as various sauces.

Maybe they are under investigation for child labor laws, but I doubt the producers of soy sauce and tropical produce are. Am I to quit eating fresh foods because Wal Mart employed a 14 year old to handle produce picked by a 10 year old Mexican?

Sally said...

WalMart is bad...Never have shopped there, never will either!

JVP said...

Dude, I don't think this is a wise position.

I'm still chuffed about the Walmart HQ up the road busing 1,000 employees in last May and forcing them to cheer during a Dick Cheney campaign visit.

The worst part is that Cheney urged them to vote in November for "the confident, steady, disciplined leadership of George W. Bush." Later investigations by the Arkansas media discovered that Cheney considered this an "official White House visit" and expensed it to taxpayers.

Combine this with Walmart's censorship of music CDs, lies about carrying 'Made in America' merchandise, job promotion policies that discriminate against women, the oppressive employment practice of locking employees in stores during the graveyard shift, and economic scorched earth policies on small-town America, and it all adds up to represent everything that is wrong with corporate America.

I don't recommend eating the chicken, either.

Anonymous said...

See no evilSally apparently makes judgments based on hear-say.

JVP? If the Walmart employees were paid for their time to rally for Cheney, where's the beef? they could still vote for whomever they liked. No one likes a dog and pony show better than an employee paid not to work.

Were I a Walmart employee, your not shopping Walmart is taking food out of my mouth. Suggesting that Walmart is a bad employer is patronizing, like you know better than I what's good for me.

As far as ''everything that is wrong with corporate America,'' who doesn't work for corporate America? Either that or you are corporate America.

Walmart isn't Enron fixing electricity prices in CA.