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View Diary: "The Real Walmart"?!? Six Big Fibs in Walmart's New Ad Campaign (121 comments)

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  •  Walmart is a middleman, a merchant. (27+ / 0-)

    Walmart did not invent the strategy of pressuring manufacturers to reduce production costs to the point where quality suffered, just so they could drive competitors out of business. That practice was common to Montogomery Ward, Spiegel, Sears Roebuck and other mass-merchandisers that are now mostly defunct or on the ropes.
    When Walmart started up, it was able to promote itself as selling stuff made in the U.S.A. largely because other merchandisers had made the track over-seas ahead of them and ended on the rocks.
    Eventually, Walmart followed the same trajectory. Making the stores bigger and adding more lines of merchandise did not help counter the fact that quality kept going down. Eventually, when the trajector is straight from the store to the dump, the customers are going to wise up.
    American business failure used to be explained as the result of some sort of autonomous cycle, perhaps controlled by the stars. The fact is that American businessmen are bad at business. They keep looking to subsidies and monopolistic advantages and regulatory adjustments to compensate for an apparent inability to deliver high quality goods and services and, perhaps more important, plan ahead. American enterprise seems never to get out of debt.
    In theory, capitalism involves preserving a current surplus of assets and resources for future use and anticipates that capital assets are going to be routinely replenished. But, that's not the capitalism practiced in the U.S.  Here it's always someone else's savings and resources that are tapped (as investments) and then used up until the enterprise goes bust. Then they close up shop and move somewhere else. You'd think American enterprise were modelled on herding, which depletes the landscape and then moves on.
    There is nothing creative about American capitalism. It's predatory. Perhaps that's the problem. In a sense, it's not capitalism at all. It doesn't kill outright like natural predators. The use of money makes it virtual. Virtual predation.  It's still destructive, the opposite of intelligent creation. Failure by design.  But, I suspect, they're not aware of it.

    •  Yes. I agree. (4+ / 0-)
      You'd think American enterprise were modelled on herding, which depletes the landscape and then moves on.

      Oil is depleted,
      then the billionaires
      buy land in South America,
      with good water,
      like the Bush family.

      But,
      in general,
      I think you're right,
      they're not aware
      they're destroying everything.

      Bringing a child into the world at this point in history is a crime, the crime of child endangerment.

      by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 08:59:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not ALL American Businesses (6+ / 0-)

      IBM, UPS, Apple, Cisco, REI, Container Store, COSTCO and many more are well run American businesses.  They also pay good wages, provide good benefits, and for the most part practice good corporate citizenship (not perfect, good).

      Wal Mart has never even attempted to be a "good" business, just a profitable one.  

      It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

      by ksuwildkat on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:45:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dumb capitalists (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk

      Apparently the quality of at least some stuff Walmart sells is agreeable to its customers. We know this because they buy and then they come back to buy more. And as near as I can tell, Walmart then funds its expansions out of its profits. In other words, Walmart is good at business. In general, America has been pretty good at business. As Tocqueville clearly understood 150 years ago—ours is a commercial republic.

      As for the business cycle, it's hardly astrological. It's simply a fact of human economic life. If there is some system that has managed to move past that fact, the news has been well hidden. Things rise, and then they fall. Always have, always will. You should a) get used to it, and b) plan prudently.

      If Walmart has created a monopoly, apparently Target and Costco and Kmart haven't heard that news. As for exhausting resources and moving on, I can't say that we've heard much about Walmart abandoning America for greener pastures elsewhere.

      Is there such a thing as crony capitalism?—sure. Should that kind of rigged system be reined in?—absolutely. Is this the hallmark of capitalism simply?—not even close. Moreover, I think you confuse profit motive with predation, and willing buyers and sellers with wolves and sheep.

      Overall, I'd venture that more people have been lifted out of wretched poverty and given a chance at decent lives by the (imperfect) attempts to establish free societies and free enterprise than by anything else that has ever come down the pike. And if this is a system that is failing, we need more such failure.

      As for Walmart—if you don't like the place or they way they run their business—shop elsewhere, would be my advice.

      •  Well, the money is worthless, isn't it? What else (0+ / 0-)

        are they going to do but spend it? Give it to the church? Bloody unsatisfactory, that!
        Traders exploit. That's their schtick. Buy low; sell high. Or better yet, get free stuff and take it to market for a profit. That's the "free market," oh yeah!

        •  Huh? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sparhawk

          Money is worthless, so they spend it??

          Let me try an alternative: Money buys stuff, so it's not worthless. And because it's not worthless, neither you nor Walmart simply gives it away (although both they and you do make charitable contributions).

          Traders trade, in order to make a profit. People trade with traders because they want what's being traded. Both sides profit. If you get what we term, "a good deal," then you exploit each other. As a seller, you exploit your estimate of what people will want, you exploit your saved capital to acquire those things at a favorable price and then you exploit your time and energy to get them to a place of sale, and finally, if you estimated correctly, sell them at a higher price. Of course if you estimated poorly, then you may have to sell the stuff for less than you paid—at which point the customer is exploiting your poor judgment and his good fortune.

          That's the free market. Oh yeah!

      •  Most Wal-Mart stuff is equal in quality (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hmi

        To stuff at mom & pop stores and other places. THAT is the reason why Wal-Mart is still doing so well today.

        Foods = equal to the Shoprite in my area.
        Electronics = equal to the Best Buy in my area (most times).
        Clothing = equal to the Sears in my area and less pricey than Sears.

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