Jump to content

      













Photo
- - - - -

Walmart Supercentre stores in Victoria and on southern Vancouver Island


  • Please log in to reply
226 replies to this topic

#21 davek

davek
  • Member
  • 670 posts

Posted 03 August 2009 - 07:34 PM

Intelligent commentary on Wal-mart here and here. From the first link;

A good rule of thumb to follow these days is that any book or article that blames Wal-Mart for some real or imagined evil should not be taken seriously. The meme "Wal-Mart is a destructive sorcerer spreading poverty and hardship throughout the world" is now so ingrained in the minds of so many Very Smart And Well-Read People that accusations against Wal-Mart are met with too little skepticism and scrutiny. It’s now a ritual to blame Wal-Mart — and following this ritual, while it might sell books and make the heads of Very Smart And Well-Read People nod, too often signals mental laziness or analytical weakness or both.

#22 Holden West

Holden West

    Va va voom!

  • Member
  • 9,058 posts

Posted 05 August 2009 - 08:14 AM

^That's a rather simplistic way of thinking about it. The problem is far more complex. Clearly we are in a quality crisis when it comes to the things we buy. How did we get here? Why are new appliances dumped at the landfill/recycler after a few years while old appliances get passed down to grandchildren and appreciate in value and are restored and resold because they're better than new? Wal-Mart and other box stores play a big role. Wal-Mart is singled out because they likely played the earliest and most aggressive role in convincing us that price is the sole criteria when buying stuff. If a retailer can stuff some cheap plastic resembling a coffee maker, that when assembled, makes a truly crap pot of coffee and it sells for $14.98--less than any other competitor--then you have a hot selling item.

All the old reliable brands of the past--Sunbeam, Remington, GE, Bell & Howell have been sold, merged or used under license so that they are barely a shadow of their former rock-solid reputation.

And yes, I have a lot of IKEA stuff too, and it's perfectly fine. The worst stuff is found in the full page spreads in the catalogs: $50 for a table and chairs? $10 for a bookcase? Too good to pass up, right? This is the loss-leader buyer-beware stuff that's shoddier than IKEA's regular furniture.

So I don't solely blame Wal-Mart but they're at the front of the parade.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#23 davek

davek
  • Member
  • 670 posts

Posted 05 August 2009 - 08:36 PM

The problem is far more complex. Clearly we are in a quality crisis when it comes to the things we buy... So I don't solely blame Wal-Mart but they're at the front of the parade.


The ability of consumers to purchase an increasing assortment of goods at increasingly low prices is not a problem, and the availability of appliances that range in caliber from cheap to heirloom quality is not a crisis.

As your links show, inexpensive, low-quality goods don't drive out expensive, high-quality goods. They simply mean poor people can have more of the things they want to lead the lives they want to live.

If someone wants to hate on Wal-Mart, they should do it for their willingness to exploit eminent domain legislation, rather than their merchandise.

#24 gumgum

gumgum
  • Member
  • 7,069 posts

Posted 05 August 2009 - 09:02 PM

Come on Davek. I know you know better than this.

There's a clear difference between investing in a product and tossing your money out the window. Sadly most don't know the difference. Companies like Walmart have this sort of exploitation down to a science.
Fool your customers with shiny stainless steel fronts and polished steel knobs then you're bound to convince a percentage into thinking it must be step up and an investment.

Are you saying that this doesn't matter? That companies absolve all responsibility and are allowed full access to the exploitation of its costumer?

#25 jklymak

jklymak
  • Member
  • 3,514 posts

Posted 05 August 2009 - 09:25 PM

^ Theater managers and ballet companies have been exploiting costumers for hundreds of years!

#26 martini

martini
  • Member
  • 2,446 posts

Posted 05 August 2009 - 09:28 PM

Douglas Street Wal-Mart briefly evacuated because of bomb threat


August 5, 2009 9:15 PM



A bomb threat led to the evacuation of the Wal-Mart store at 3601 Douglas Street Wednesday evening.

Sgt. Todd Bryant of Saanich Police said the store received a phone call at about 7 p.m. saying that a bomb was in the store. The store was evacuated for less than an hour while police searched the building, however, no bomb or suspicious materials were found and the store was re-opened.
© Copyright © The Victoria Times Colonist

#27 AnonAnnie2

AnonAnnie2
  • Member
  • 151 posts

Posted 06 August 2009 - 06:24 AM

played the earliest and most aggressive role in convincing us that price is the sole criteria when buying stuff.


^5!

#28 davek

davek
  • Member
  • 670 posts

Posted 06 August 2009 - 07:10 PM

There's a clear difference between investing in a product and tossing your money out the window. Sadly most don't know the difference. Companies like Walmart have this sort of exploitation down to a science.
Fool your customers with shiny stainless steel fronts and polished steel knobs then you're bound to convince a percentage into thinking it must be step up and an investment.


Ignorant consumers who are repeatedly fooled into buying poor value soon run out of money, and it would be impossible for Wal-Mart to succeed to the extent it has by pursuing that type of consumer. People choose where they shop based on a mix of cost, quality, and convenience, and Wal-Mart has simply been better at supplying the correct mix for a larger number of people than their competitors have. Dismissing all those shoppers as stupid is just bigotry.

That companies absolve all responsibility and are allowed full access to the exploitation of its costumer?


Companies must never engage in force or fraud. Beyond that, the only responsibilities they have are those they have contracted to with their investors.

And what do you mean by saying companies exploit customers? Absent government intervention, the only thing a company can do is offer a certain good or service at a certain price, and it is up to the consumer to decide for themselves if the value is good or not. Neither you, I, nor anyone else is capable of weighing and valuing all the complex variables they considered in making their decision, and we should not presume to interfere.

#29 gumgum

gumgum
  • Member
  • 7,069 posts

Posted 06 August 2009 - 08:02 PM

Dismissing all those shoppers as stupid is just bigotry.

Oh please, Davek. Don't use underhanded tactics like that with me. I have never called consumers that shop at Walmart stupid. And I think it's pretty low for you to make the accusation. You're welcome to read my post as many times as you'd like until you understand the actual point I was trying to make.

The fact is, not attacking Walmart specifically, that certain products are create to fool the people that haven't done their homework. And some fool people that have.
So yes, some companies do exploit their customers. I have an example right here as to how I was duped into thinking I was getting something that I wasn't.


But far be it for me to critisize the holier than thou private corporation. Evil government bodies such as Health Canada should be bought out by a private company so I can live in my little bubble and not worry about silly little things such as my toddler's long term health.

#30 osmich

osmich
  • Member
  • 205 posts

Posted 06 August 2009 - 09:57 PM

You get what you paid for.

#31 davek

davek
  • Member
  • 670 posts

Posted 06 August 2009 - 11:01 PM

So yes, some companies do exploit their customers. I have an example right here as to how I was duped into thinking I was getting something that I wasn't...


You were duped all right... by Health Canada. From the article;

Health Canada on Thursday sought to reassure parents that the "very low trace amounts" of the toxic chemical found in some "BPA-free" baby bottles raise no health concerns...

It turns out that not only did Health Canada do nothing but frighten you needlessly, they also probably drove down the stock values of perfectly good, trustworthy companies that were already getting private sector, third-party certification of the safety of their products. And of course, BPA-free products were flooding the market long before any ban took place. So while the government was taking its sweet time protecting your toddler's long term health, private companies were tripping over themselves to serve your interests.

Now, I'd like to get back on track... does anybody have something bad to say about Wal-Mart, specifically?

#32 gumgum

gumgum
  • Member
  • 7,069 posts

Posted 07 August 2009 - 03:24 PM

You get what you paid for.

Is this directed at me?

Do you know how much I paid for these bottles? I bought three supposedly BPA free bottles for 16 dollars each as soon as they came into the market. Before that I paid a premium and searched far and wide for glass bottles.

#33 gumgum

gumgum
  • Member
  • 7,069 posts

Posted 07 August 2009 - 03:40 PM

You were duped all right... by Health Canada. From the article;

Health Canada on Thursday sought to reassure parents that the "very low trace amounts" of the toxic chemical found in some "BPA-free" baby bottles raise no health concerns...

It turns out that not only did Health Canada do nothing but frighten you needlessly, they also probably drove down the stock values of perfectly good, trustworthy companies that were already getting private sector, third-party certification of the safety of their products. And of course, BPA-free products were flooding the market long before any ban took place. So while the government was taking its sweet time protecting your toddler's long term health, private companies were tripping over themselves to serve your interests.

Unlike you, I remain skeptical from the private sector and the public sector alike. If Health Canada suddenly signals alarm bells, and then the next day backpedals on their warnings, I see red flags all over the place.

And these specific private companies were hardly tripping over themselves to serve my interests. If that were the case the print on the bottle would that said BPA FREE would have actually been BPA free. Instead, they obviously rushed ahead without following through on the proper tests. And decided to slap on the "It's all good!" stamp prematurely.

Honestly Davek, if anyone has enough balls to critiszie the private sector, you're the first to come to their defense, no matter what.

To argue the private sector is innocent 100% of the time is just like saying all black labs are cute and cuddly and could never hurt a fly.

There is always a bad apple in the bunch. Always. In government and the private sector. It is a statistical fact. Period.

#34 davek

davek
  • Member
  • 670 posts

Posted 08 August 2009 - 10:27 PM

Unlike you, I remain skeptical from the private sector and the public sector alike. If Health Canada suddenly signals alarm bells, and then the next day backpedals on their warnings, I see red flags all over the place.


Like you, I also see red flags. Are the bottles safe? If not, either the government is letting them get away with it through incompetence, or because government is crooked. The only way we will ever know for sure is by checking with a reputable private sector testing agency.

Honestly Davek, if anyone has enough balls to critiszie the private sector, you're the first to come to their defense, no matter what.


A great deal of the criticism heaped upon the private sector is based on poor reasoning, bigotry, and ignorance, all aided and abetted by the media and the public school system. It almost always ignores the role of government, and usually ends up calling for more action from the same saints and geniuses we elected to protect us from the very difficulties they themselves caused. It is my pleasure to expose those flaws when I can.

To argue the private sector is innocent 100% of the time...


Oh please, Davekgumgum. Don't use underhanded tactics like that with me. I have never called consumers that shop at Walmart stupidargued the private sector is innocent 100% of the time. And I think it's pretty low for you to make the accusation. You're welcome to read my post as many times as you'd like until you understand the actual point I was trying to make.

Further to my criticism of Wal-Mart in post #23, I offer this. From the link;

Four years ago, the city of Alabaster, Ala., used "blight" as a pretext to take 400 acres of rural property, much of it owned by low-income black people, for a new Wal-Mart. Many of the residents had lived there for generations, and two other Wal-Mart stores were located less than fifteen miles away. Several of the landowners, particularly those who lacked political clout and legal aid, ended up selling out at a discount.

#35 gumgum

gumgum
  • Member
  • 7,069 posts

Posted 09 August 2009 - 08:38 AM

I never called you a bigot - and labeling someone as ignorant really should only be resorted to if all other tactics within a debate fail. You've peaked too early.

Lashing out, and statements like the ones below only goes further to prove my point:

...because government is crooked. The only way we will ever know for sure is by checking with a reputable private sector testing agency.


A great deal of the criticism heaped upon the private sector is based on poor reasoning, bigotry, and ignorance, all aided and abetted by the media and the public school system


Of course I was exaggerating when I said you saw the private sector as innocent 100% of the time. I was merely pointing out that your opinions are a far cry from objective. You seemingly have this axe to grind and this theme soaks through most every thread you participate in. Government is bad and private is good. (Notice how carefully I'm using my words here.) You seem, from my standpoint, to have a very black and white stance. It gets tiring.

#36 davek

davek
  • Member
  • 670 posts

Posted 09 August 2009 - 12:39 PM

... Government is bad and private is good. (Notice how carefully I'm using my words here.) You seem, from my standpoint, to have a very black and white stance. It gets tiring.


Government is bad when it goes beyond its optimal bounds. The private sector is good when violations of prohibitions against force and fraud are strictly prosecuted and government is not permitted to protect private sector participants from market forces.

It is government collusion that enables Wal-Mart to buy property at below market values from unwilling sellers. When industry pumps pollutants into the air, land, and water, they do it almost exclusively on publicly held property and with the government's purchased consent. When existing businesses and professional associations wish to keep their incomes high, they protect themselves from competition by lobbying the government to implement restrictive licensing regimes under the guise of consumer protection.

Although the private sector has its share of bad actors, those who break the law do not do a fraction of the damage to us that is committed by those who lobby the government to turn the law to their advantage.

Now, back on topic. Here is another example of Wal-Mart attempting to use government as a weapon against their competition, by supporting an employer mandate for health protection. From the article;

Why would Wal-Mart do this? In part, because it's a good PR move. The company has long been the target of complaints that it treats its labor force shabbily. Partnering with a big union like the SEIU and supporting universal coverage allows the company an opportunity to soften its corporate image.

But it's also a good from a competitive standpoint. Wal-Mart, the nation's largest employer, can afford the costs imposed by an employer mandate. Smaller competitors are likely to find it harder -- and they're not too happy about Wal-Mart's announcement.


#37 Phil McAvity

Phil McAvity
  • Member
  • 1,238 posts

Posted 09 August 2009 - 06:08 PM

^Yes, but the only problem with what you are saying is that very few people know about that. I doubt most care either. Socialists would rather rail (inaccurately) about Wal-Mart's underpaid work force, labour conditions and it's unfair competitive advantage.

Briefly, many believe that Wal Mart (and IKEA etc.) have forced costs down through the supply chain in order to get the lowest price possible regardless of quality or ethical/legal concern, giving us merely the illusion of good value.

For example, was that IKEA bookshelf (that sags in the middle) made with illegally harvested wood from the China/Russia border? Who cares? Was that Wal Mart shrimp cocktail ring made from unsustainable Thai fish farms that used so much fake food and antibiotics the water is poisoned and the fishermen are out of work? Who cares? Will that cheap appliance be thrown in the landfill after a year because it stopped working? Who cares?

Critics say the lure of unreasonably low prices has driven out actual "good value" retailers and manufacturers, leaving two options for consumers: cheap, useless crap and high-end luxury. Try buying a stereo or coffee maker and see what I mean.



That was awfully nice of Holden West to answer a question I asked Osmich, but now maybe Osmich can answer it. Why do you think Wal-Mart should be closed 24 hours a day?

By the way, what are "Costumers"? Customers that wear costumes?
In chains by Keynes

#38 Phil McAvity

Phil McAvity
  • Member
  • 1,238 posts

Posted 13 August 2009 - 07:16 PM

Clearly we are in a quality crisis when it comes to the things we buy.


I don't know what you're talking about because most things I buy are still working just fine when a newer version comes out that has some really neat features that I want so my experience is that if anything, stuff lasts too long.
In chains by Keynes

#39 Holden West

Holden West

    Va va voom!

  • Member
  • 9,058 posts

Posted 29 October 2009 - 08:29 PM

I'm dying to buy this product:

http://www.walmart.c...uct_id=12569361
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#40 Sparky

Sparky

    GET OFF MY LAWN

  • Moderator
  • 10,240 posts

Posted 30 October 2009 - 01:23 PM

Maybe there is a cheaper one at Costco in "pine"

You're not quite at the end of this discussion topic!

Use the page links at the lower-left to go to the next page to read additional posts.
 



0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users