Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Wally World

We've all had them, and they suck.

Wal-Mart, that is.

Where I live, we're undergoing a development boom of monstrous proportions. Land that cost around $5500 an acre back when we bought our little slice of heaven, is being sold, less than a mile as the crow flies from my farm, for $100,000 an acre. While that is insane, the financial aspects of the situation do not escape me.

Momentary greed-induced delirium aside, I must make the point that money clouds judgment. Looking at all that money tends to skew your data. It's like a chocolate counter during PMS or a very short skirt when it's been too damn long; creative accounting begins at home.

Having a big pile of money for my dirt cannot replace what that dirt actually is: a safe haven of teaching, interacting and developing the minds of my children, a slice of rustic stress-be-gone for my husband and me. It's also, tied so intricately that the strings are unseen, the root-place of this little American family. This is where the tears fall, knees are skinned, children were made, and values (like tolerance, respect, and open-mindedness) are instilled.

Greed is the reason for the lies that are undoing this administration. Lies were told, and more lies to support the original lies, strictly for profit. Greed usurps the goodness in people, it overwhelms potential in the individual and replaces it with stuff. We're turning from a nation of creators into a nation of Wal-Mart shoppers.

And we're making China billions.


At July 19, 2005 9:36 PM, Blogger Brad said...

Damn dirty Wal-Mart. They're the retail version of Karl Rove: absolute genius, but completely rotten to the core.

At July 19, 2005 11:23 PM, Blogger Tom Harper said...

Wal-Mart sucks, and so does everybody who thinks land and property are just something to exploit and use for speculation. Too much farmland is being converted to malls and condos. Where do these people think food is going to come from if all the farmland gets paved over?

At July 20, 2005 4:41 AM, Blogger Jet said...

Hey Brad, glad you stopped by. Wal-mart is insidious. Remember how 10 years or so ago they had American flags on all their products and they were touting how thier stuff was all American made? Ain't happening. Hundreds of small American companies are now closed down, and China is Wal-mart's primary product source.

Mr. Harper's in the house! Cool beans. People think the food will come, and that's exactly what fertilizer and pesticide manufacturers want thought. Their products infuse the soil for a single crop, but leave nothing in reserve. Once a farmer relies on the product, they have to continue to apply them in order to force the depleted soil to produce. It's heroin for the earth, and we all enjoy the benifits of the trace elements of these chemicals in our systems. What's a little cancer if money is being made, eh?

At July 20, 2005 6:13 AM, Blogger frstlymil said...

It's quite telling that one of the most depressed areas of Los Angeles (Inglewood, CA) successfully fought against a Walmart going in to their area. They researched Walmart's practices, their history, knew only too well that Walmart makes empty promises to communities and ruins small businesses in those communities - they fought like hell and won. Walmart didn't think they'd do it, and were mighty surprised. We cheered.

At July 20, 2005 11:43 AM, Blogger Brother Kenya said...

Jet, I hope you hang on to that land of yours, pass it to your kids, and maintain an oasis of peace and loamy comfort (and cow smells) in the middle of the exburban desert for at least another generation. Watch out for eminent domain though. Yikes!

At July 20, 2005 1:40 PM, Blogger Unadulterated Underdog said...

Your post makes me think of Hillary's "It Takes A Village" theme, which is truthfully contrary to Santorum's "It Takes A Family" theme. I think Hillary should turn to her colleague and say, "Ofcourse you moron! A family is PART of the damn village!" Ofcourse, she's too civil for that.

As to Wally World- to hell with those stores. I hate them and always will for their dirty business practices and you won't get me being a loy al customer there. I'll grow my own vegetables in teh garden before I will go there.

At July 20, 2005 3:36 PM, Blogger windspike said...

I've always wondered why the building of giant rectangular retail opperations was considered "development," rather than scourge or blight inflicted upon us...just a thought....

At July 20, 2005 6:23 PM, Blogger Jet said...

Frstlymil, sounds like that little community had some real backbone. Theres a small city south of me who drew the line in the sand with Wal-Hell. They moved their action one small town up that has crappy commisioners. One blight, coming up. Small town at eleven.

Man BK, give me the willies won't you? Hey kids, I planned to give you the farm, but here's a nickle instead.

At July 20, 2005 8:09 PM, Blogger Jet said...

OK Dem, I admire you for voting with your feet. A business as immoral and profit driven as Wal-Mart only pays attention if people stop shopping.

Windspike, I thought you were a vacationing Super-Dad! Those boxes are the beginning of the end for many small businesses.

Ask not for whom the box tolls; it tolls for thee.

At July 20, 2005 11:47 PM, Blogger Tracey said...

I had an interesting converstation with my best friend the other day. I was up visiting, and she had to go shopping for some stuff for her girls. Well, I personally loathe Wal-Mart and won't willingly spend my money there...but she is on a very tight budget and has no other viable option. We were talking about it while we were shopping there, and she readily admitted that she had the same feelings for Wal-Mart that I did, but "it's expensive to shop according to your values."

It's too bad that there isn't another alternative for people that can't afford that extra couple of dollars to buy their necessities (baby wipes) or small joys in life (two pairs of swim goggles for their girls to take scholarship swim lessons at the YMCA). Perhaps if we came up with another solution, where people could still shop their values and not break their budget, then Wal Mart as we know it wouldn't be around as much anymore.


At July 21, 2005 12:41 AM, Blogger Unadulterated Underdog said...

Tracey, the problem is that Wal Mart is getting government subsidies by the billions and that is how they are so cheap. Their employee health care system is nonexistent except for the higher-up management who can afford to buy his/her own insurance. The rest of the employees have to rely on Medicaid and Medicare when they can get it. Every state that Wal Mart operates in is losing millions, in some cases billions, of dollars a year to paying for Wal Mart employees' health care. Add to that the fact that many states also give Wal Mart tax breaks including in some cases nearly tax exempt status for being such a large employer, and basically no state anywhere actually turns a revenue because of Wal Mart. Wally World is actually costing the states money. What we need to do is take the money back. Then we can use it to help the poor people who need it more than Wal Mart in the first place.

As to other ideas, I would suggest asking local churches for help. Churches love to help people and, at least in Oklahoma, they don't require that you be a member or anything like that. Your friend should go around and ask them for help. I am sure they will offer her assistance in small ways as she needs it. Cheers!

At July 21, 2005 4:37 AM, Blogger Jet said...

Tracey, here in Florida, we have two chains, Dollar General and Family Dollar, where I purchase all my stuff. Cleaning supplies, food staples and kids clothes are comparable quality and frequently less expensive than Wally World. The Wal-Mart marketing strategy is to place the loss leader on the endcap. It is always really cheap. Where the money is made is down the aisle, where people buy similar items that perhaps have better features, etc., but the assumption that they are also the cheapest is incorrect. This strategy has proved extremely profitable for Wal-Mart.

There are other retailers with good value. They get my business.

OK Dem, I'm with you. All that corporate charity by taxpayers burns my butt.

At July 21, 2005 9:43 AM, Blogger PATCAM2005 said...

*off the subject*

It's working again, or at least it is from where I'm at. Did you get it fixed?

At July 21, 2005 10:44 AM, Blogger Jet said...

Yes! I sent you an email on it. No more pre-mature post cut off! Woo hoo!

At July 21, 2005 10:48 AM, Blogger Tracey said...

OK Dem - Yeah...I used to have some friends that had worked at Wal Mart back on the east coast...and the stories they told made my skin crawl. I wasn't aware about the net drain on the State economy, though. Interesting info. Thanks for pointing that out.

Jet - my friend does do the church handout thing for stuff like clothes and food...but try as I might, I cannot think of that many dollar stores in that area. Good suggestions, however. I'm pretty sure she uses any means possible to save a few pennies. One thought, though, would stores like Dollar General carry stuff like swim goggles? I honestly don't know. From the times that I've gone into dollar stores, the biggest things I see in there are cleaning supplies, kitchen stuff and a WHOLE bunch of decorative crap--not a great variety of stuff, at least as far as I've seen. Great points, though. I hadn't even thought of stores like that before you mentioned them. :)

At July 21, 2005 11:35 AM, Blogger Jet said...

Dollar General and Family Dollar are not "everything's a dollar" type stores. They are discount retailers who offer dry-goods, cleaning supplies, clothing, garden items, paper products and a host of other stuff, including swim goggles. ;-D

Their prices are always rounded to the nearest dollar or half dollar. For example, cans of vegetable are 50 cents, 3 pack plain paper towels are $1.00. You won't find 99 cent items that creep up to $1.09, then $1.29 etc.

For my family, this solution works, and eliminates a lot of the impulse spending Wal-Mart seems to induce.

At July 21, 2005 7:17 PM, Blogger windspike said...

Hey Jet - No longer vacationing. Done with the visit with family. I need a vaction from the vacation.

Blog on Sister.

At July 21, 2005 7:28 PM, Blogger Tracey said...

Jet - very cool. Didn't realize that there were stores like that. I wonder if there are any near where my friend lives? I really can't seem to remember anything like that near that area though...bummer!

At July 25, 2005 5:32 PM, Blogger Gun-Toting Liberal said...

Jet, you are so correct. As you, and anybody else who regularly swings by my blog knows, I *despise* Wallyworld, and I has some disdain for their shoppers who are aware of their anti-American practices, yet ignore them with a shrug of their shoulders. THEY are a big part of the problem!

I *refuse* to give them a red cent, and I try my best to inform my friends and family on what they do to threaten our very existence as a nation by lining the pockets of our cold war lite enemy; China. I try to point out how they harm small cities and communities, as well as our environment. On top of that, I try to explain ways you can shop elsewhere and even save money over that which Wal-Mart would save you IF you are willing to get away from the need for "instant gratification" by shopping more on the Internet.

Wallyworld is truly a wicked, evil Monopoly and I wish them, and their co-horts nothing but bad luck. W/W represents the true evil that can come of pure capitalism allowed to run amock within a society.

At July 26, 2005 4:46 PM, Blogger Jet said...

Hey Windspike, I know the feeling. Nothing like non-stop parenting to wear a body out. ;-D

Tracey, I don't know where your friend is, but a little googling might give you some answers on whether those chains are represented in her area.

GTL, I completely agree, and my money doesn't go there. It's the only thing they'll listen too. I saw today that Costco stock was up and Sam's was down. I don't think we're the only ones drawing the line. Costco, while not perfect, is a far better corporate citizen than their competition.


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