Wal-Mart & The Economic Multiplier Effect.

Discussion in 'Economics' started by SouthAmerica, May 30, 2005.

  1. jem


    #51     Jun 1, 2005
  2. The last sentence in the response above is the second phase of the plan that's not often talked about. The single mother also gets her job protected from competition. Then she has more money to pay for the goods that have received protection from competition elsewhere. Simple. Everybody should be able to require the disempowered consumer to pay more for the goods he creates. But you end up with an economy like an old Communist Bloc state. I believe the more vibrant economies are clearly economies which lean more toward free trade.

    Finally, it's not legal to discriminate against people in the U.S. because of ethnicity or skin color. Why should it be legal to discriminate against, say, Indian people simply because they live in a different location? You shouldn't be allowed to do it. This is one world now. We should share our jobs with them.
    #52     Jun 1, 2005
  3. I hope capitalism wins the battle against nationalism

    But history tells us otherwise...in the end people prefer flags over paper
    #53     Jun 1, 2005
  4. yeayo


    Please you people who talk of capitalism might as well talk of Santa Claus cause both exist in theory and fiction only.
    Only a libertarian government can allow real capitalism, and we haven't had that kind of government in over a 100 years.
    A true libertarian/capitalist society provides for a lean and self sufficient economic system. Obesity (like big government, big business) has no place in it because the excess fat will always get cut off because the competition is so real and so fierce. Huge commercial enterprises cannot exist with huge government, they are in bed with one another.
    I look at Walmart the same way I look at the post office, as socialist institution that would not exist without: free land, tax breaks, buying out local/state/federal politicians, etc.
    #54     Jun 1, 2005
  5. You mean to say that the US empire went out to conquer and enslave the meek chinese??

    Things are not at all that way nowadays, wouldn't you agree?

    Maybe, that's why globalization is so different. It sure looks to me like a two way street.

    From what I read, the chinese sweatshop worker is quite content, he lives better than before, and his living improves day to day. On the other side of the equation, I see the empire quite worried, they're afraid that China is becoming a black hole of production synergy, and that this process is moving too fast, and could gobble up the rest of the production process in a much shorter period, which would entail armageddon for the empire.

    (3COM in joint venture with China Telecom --- is selling--- 1,200 port network switches!! Pretty high-end to me...)

    The globalization process, in regards to the chinese, seems quite balanced to me. The difference today resides in that the chinese had a good negotiation leverage, their 1.3 billion potential consumers. They lured not only production, but, know-how. The atomic bomb, comes to mind. Previous enslavers, as you call them, had the guns, technology, and the capital. And, poor nations were exactly that, poor and needed, with nothing to offer, but labor and raw materials.

    And bro, yes, this has happened before... And, will continue to happen in the future, capital will move to newer areas where labor is inexpensive, or more generally, where resources are unexploited. And, in the process, will raise the standard of living of these newly incorporated populations to the world economy.

    Furthermore, these newly incorporated regions contribute enormously to the world's well-being, once the dust settles. A good example is the incorporation of the USA to the global economic theatre.

    In essence, entrepreneurs will always uncover more efficient or better ways to do things. That's all...
    #55     Jun 1, 2005
  6. I thought Marxism was dead??
    Since his writings, the rich lost much of their control to the managerial (managers, administrators, bureaucrats, i.e. Greenspan?) class, and the middle and lower classes are richer... That's why his teachings are obsolete, I suppose...
    Maybe it's b/c the poorest today are at the same level as the poor in the '60s, and everyone else is richer??

    I understand that we do not live in a perfect world. Would you care to share your views on how to solve these problems?
    #56     Jun 1, 2005
  7. i don't care if he writes book, his article was stupid.
    i should have explained my statement, agreed but it takes time for me and he does not seem to come to talk about the issue, rather about marketing his view.
    #57     Jun 2, 2005
  8. .

    SouthAmerica: Winn-Dixie announced yesterday that the company was axing 22,000 jobs about 28 percent of its workforce. Winn-Dixie has lost market share and it is the latest casualty of Wal-Mart.

    Reorganization Information

    On February 21, 2005, Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. filed a voluntary petition to reorganize under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

    On June 21, Winn-Dixie announced a series of actions intended to enhance the Company’s financial performance and position it for profitability in the long term. The cornerstone of Winn-Dixie plan consists of focusing on the strongest markets, where they have typically a significant market share position, and reducing its store from 913 stores in the U.S. and the Bahamas to 587 stores.

    Winn-Dixie currently operates 901 stores in nine states and 12 in the Bahamas. Once the plan is implemented, Winn-Dixie will operate approximately 587 stores in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi, and the Bahamas. Of the 326 stores that the Company will sell or close, 233 stores are in areas the Company is leaving entirely. The other 93 stores are located in areas in which Winn-Dixie will remain, but these particular stores do not meet the Company’s financial requirements going forward. Winn-Dixie’s anticipated annual revenue following these store dispositions will be approximately $7.5 billion, compared to approximately $10 billion today.

    #58     Jun 24, 2005
  9. .

    Infoshop News - Sunday, June 17, 2007
    Noble Gestures and Effective Boycotts: Wal-Mart, McDonalds, and the Struggles Ahead

    In my new hometown-- selected as a progressive alternative to the conservative burg of my rearing-- the politics of an individual are telegraphed by her attitude towards Wal-mart (the behemoth "Big Box" retail store on the outskirts of town). Unpoliticized shoppers browse the store's aisles in blissful ignorance; others, better informed but not very active politically, bemoan their lack of choice, and frequent independently owned stores when possible (and when the financial sacrifice is not too great); but the most radical members of my adopted community flat-out refuse to spend a dollar at "Wally World".

    …Union efforts to rein in Wal-Mart's power (the UFCW)

    In addition to community groups, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) has attempted to organize Wal-Mart's workforce. But these efforts must be branded unsuccessful as well, given that after many years not a single US store has been organized, and Canadian efforts have only been slightly more successful (both having been met by a full scale effort on the part of the behemoth retailer to nip unionization in the bud. Wal-Mart's abysmal treatment of its workers, and aggressively anti-union polices have been explored in depth elsewhere, and will be accepted as a given here.) [2]

    Furthermore, Wal-mart's aggressive union-busting, coupled with its workforce's precarity (low wages, meager benefits, and unskilled jobs resulting in high turnover), makes the scenario of organization arising organically from within the workforce, or revolutionary unions such as the IWW making significant inroads, highly unlikely.

    In the wake of their lack of organizing success, the UFCW has also launched Wakeup Wal-Mart [3] , an attempt to develop a national network of community groups whose goal is to reform practices at existing stores (and presumably, also to provide Wal-Mart with bad press, in an effort to form a more favorable climate for further organizing attempts by the union).

    Laudable though the goals and organizational model appear at a glance-- and despite claims of a certain measure of success by the campaign [4]-- most of the specific actions recommended on the Wakeup Wal-Mart web site are of the liberal/reformist variety, that is, petitioning politicians to pass legislation that would require Wal-Mart to be less predatory, more humane. In the absence of a more militant tactical approach-- unlikely from a business union such as the UFCW-- there would seem to be little cause for hope from this avenue, either.

    Lessons to draw from other campaigns
    In contrast to repeated failures to slow the proliferation or reform the policies of Wal-Mart, some of the most encouraging victories by workers in recent years have been spawned in the Southeastern USA in the form of consumer boycotts called by Latino farmworker unions. These include the Farm Labor Organizing Committee's (FLOC's) boycott of Mt Olive Pickles, and the Coalition of Immokalee Worker's (CIW's) boycott of Taco Bell, as well as the CIW's subsequent publicity campaign against McDonald's that forced the fast food giant to pay a penny pound more for tomatoes, and to offer other concessions to worker's in its supply chain. Might lessons from these successes be applicable to the less fruitful campaign(s) against Wal-Mart?

    Significant differences exist between the Latino farmworker campaigns, and efforts to organize Wal-Mart's workforce, or reform the company's policies. For instance, FLOC and the CIW organized successfully among workers before taking any further, more public action. To date, the same cannot be said of the UFCW. Nor is public opposition to Wal-Mart uniformly workerist, as is the anti-sweatshop coalition that supports the farmworker boycotts; any successful action against Wal-Mart is likely to involve a coalition of environmentalists, community activists and labor advocates.

    Furthermore, as agricultural workers (to whom a rather unique set of labor laws applies in the USA) FLOC and the CIW were legally free to call secondary boycotts (boycotting companies who do business with the offending entity). Conversely, it is not immediately clear what options are legally available to consumer advocates opposing Wal-Mart. And too, boycotting Wal-mart would require a more drastic sacrifice on the part of many supporters, than simply refusing a given brand of pickles or bypassing a certain fast food joint: many smaller communities have been reduced, for all practical purposes, to one store towns. But despite these readily apparent differences, perhaps certain lessons may still be drawn.

    To begin with, the successful campaigns against Mt. Olive, Taco Bell, and McDonald's were coordinated nationally-- in the CIW's case, "action days" took place in numerous cities simultaneously, coupled with nationwide "Truth Tours" that reached a crescendo with a mass convergence on corporate headquarters timed to coincide with stockholder meetings.

    This approach stands in stark contrast to the isolated community groups that arose and attempted to do battle with Wal-Mart largely unaided, then disappeared as soon as a store was built. Also, the CIW's local actions as well as national convergences utilized common, specific demands; this, in contrast to the grab bag of complaints typically lodged against Wal-mart (often with little more strategic focus than a vague desire that the store's disappear-- a demand unlikely to be met.) Any successful campaign to rein in Wal-Mart will be both national in scope, and require the retailer's diverse opponents to agree on some limited, immediate, achievable demands.

    Can discontent with Wal-Mart be translated into effective action?
    As we have seen, awareness of, and dissatisfaction with Wal-Mart is likely more widespread than that associated with the corporations involved in the recent farmworker struggles. And yet, through a combination of coordination over a wide geographical area, specific and realistic demands, and sheer pluck, the farmworker's organizations have produced results that a host of community activists tilting at Wal-mart have been unable to. This state of affairs may follow in part from the fact that a rich history of union experience exists for FLOC's and the CIW's organizers to draw on, whereas the phenomenon of community organizations in the USA is a fairly novel one. I should emphasize that the purpose of this article is not so much to criticize the performance of these community groups, whose very existence I find encouraging, but rather to seek tactical and strategic approaches by which they can become more effective.

    Many obstacles stand in the path of an effective anti-Wal-mart, pro-consumer movement: bringing diverse constituencies into agreement on specific, realistic, demands; convincing neighborhood leaders to forgo a measure of autonomy, and forging instead a coordinated campaign of tenacious nationwide activity; and perhaps, somehow availing itself of the assistance of institutional structures such as the UFCW, without falling into their lethargic orbit. The labyrinth of laws would also need be researched, regarding such things as the legal ramifications of consumer-called boycotts: for example, could Wal-Mart itself be boycotted until it agreed to discontinue the sale of genetically modified produce/raises wages/provides healthcare benefits?

    Or would targeting one objectionable product or practice at a time be more legally defensible, as well as strategically productive? (Not to imply that illegality should be ruled out, out of hand, only that such decisions should be made carefully and consciously.)

    But in spite of these challenges and unanswered questions, potential benefits exist. Consumption is only a portion of any individual's role in the economy and society; a revolutionary strategy cannot be built around the role of the consumer, considered in isolation. However, given that consumers of inexpensive products are disproportionably members of the working class, neither should the impact of corporate rule on this aspect of our lives be entirely neglected.

    If the latent consumer discontent that finds expression in anti-Wal-Mart sentiment were to be melded into a nationwide organization, and if the initial demands of the organization were carefully selected and persistently pursued by direct means such as consumer boycotts, and if the follow-up demands were planned well in advance and implemented immediately on the heels of an initial victory, it is not inconceivable that a permanent grassroots consumer organization could come into being more resembling the best of the historical labor movement, than the legal reformism typically associated with the term consumer advocacy. And that would be a welcome development indeed.

    [1] http://walmartwatch.com/

    [2] Mother Jones magazine featured one of many articles documenting Wal-Mart's low wages, poor benefits, and anti-union policies. http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2003/03/ma_276_01.html

    [3] http://www.wakeupwalmart.com/

    [4] An Associated Press article relates a securities analyst's evaluation of the financial effect of Wakeup Wal-Mart on the company's bottom line at http://www.wakeupwalmart.com/news/article.html?article=668

    #59     Jun 18, 2007