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Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Walmart Paradox

I went to my local Walmart today, to grab some assorted stuff. The place was packed, on a Sunday afternoon, with people of all backgrounds.

Interestingly, I saw a few cars with Obama stickers in the parking lot, and this made me wonder. Isn't this ironic? The left in general, including Obama, have long been pounding Walmart for their resistance to labor unions. Walmart has been accused of squeezing suppliers, being stingy with health insurance for its employees, and many other sins. So why are Obama people shopping at Walmart?

Could it be the low prices?

And what will happen those low prices, if Obama and the majority Democrat congress have their way, and make it easier for unions to organize by eliminating secret ballots and instituting card check elections? Aren't Obama's supporters trying to undermine the very thing they are using to save money?

And have you noticed, how some liberals, would-be defenders of the "working people" love to hammer Walmart as being a "white trash" magnet. But isn't it the "working people" who shop at Walmart, to stretch their paychecks further? And the very phrase "white trash" is inherently racist, because of the implied contrast to non-white trash.

Kroger, which is unionized, does not have elderly or disabled folks employed as greeters and return checkers, while my local Walmart does. Kroger's employees have gone on strike, causing inconvenience to their customers.

I am unrepentant Walmart shopper. I don't care if I am seen as downwardly mobile by my high-brow neighbors. I often shop at Target, the darling of the bargain hunting style conscious types, but I will not avoid Walmart if they have something I need.

Where else can you go to buy a wireless G router, and also score a good deal on pickles, pumpkin pie components, 9mm ammunition, toothpaste, and motor oil?


money magnet said...

good article

Anonymous said...

We all like cheap prices. Especially for disposable goods found within the walls of Wal Mart. Unfortunately those goods are often imported from China, Mexico and elsewhere outside the US. The argument you make which attempts to justify low prices ignores, in my opinion, a greater econmoic impact. The US economy cannot survive with a model that imports foreign goods to keep prices low and increase share holder value while employing greeters and clerks. Our economy needs to refocus on manufacturing, which employs engineers, technicians, buyers and (unfortunately) accountants and bankers among other disciplines. You work in the automotive industry, as do I. We have seen tremendous pressure in recent years to source tooling and parts, and design engineering, to low cost countries. This eliminates good jobs in the local economy, and there are fewer and fewer good salaries to afford even slightly cheaper cars. Yes prices are higher, but there should be more money in the home economy which allows the burden to be beared. I am all for low prices, but the average US family is paying more in the end.

Anonymous said...

True we all like cheap prices. And true, Walmart is full of items imported from overseas. But so is Target and all the other similar stores. The basic method of deflection - well done - which is practiced repeatedly by those who have no leg to stand on, is seen in the comment by anonymous. The point is they are not unionized, and this is why they have done so well over the years. The origin of their products is completely irrelevant, so by shifting the focus to this unrelated fact, you are admitting that you've already lost the argument. Walmart is a fine example of what makes America great, and without the revolutionary structure of that company which has been their sustenance, our economy would be much worse.