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Your Experience With Wal-Mart? Or Your Impressions/Knowledge?

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Jul 19 in Banking by Virginia (4,094 points)

Still thinking about capitalism...and in Wal-Mart today I met a clerk who clearly loved her job. So I asked her about it!

Well she has worked at Wal-Mart 22 years, and she says you only hear the bad things, but there are lots of good things people don't know. Employees all get 401(k) accounts for their retirement, and there are quarterly bonuses for good performance that are easy to qualify for.

Truthfully, I don't really even WANT to be involved in the economy, it's not interesting to me, but we seem to be in ongoing world-wide economic troubles...so I am trying to learn! And multi-national Wal-Mart - world's largest company by revenue, $480 billion in 2016...

So your opinion please if you would be so kind, Wal-Mart as net wholesome or unwholesome in our problematic world?

2 Answers

Marianne Jul 19

On our side, we heard a lot about the Wal-Mart Giant - like about many other commercial and/or trade companies, their thrivings, their tribulations, their fans and opponents, their good and bad sides, strategies, etc., somehow like with famous persons and their life stories.

All I can say is, that we went to a Wal-Mart Store in San Francisco, along Market Street (a bit further south-west from the famous "Financial District" buildings), to buy a few things, like toothpaste, paper handkerchiefs, etc. The impression was good, i.e. that of a conventional, well-kept and successful store (with many customers). But that was some time ago ...

And there are many events and secrets, which remain hidden behind the scenes; views vary, as much as news, estimations, statistics or facts are controversed, or they leave incomplete, blurred impressions. We know, though, that business organisations, their structures, aims and strategies, are not so "transparent" and there are always several interpretations.

Actually, it is not so easy to find reliable, more complete information ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walmart

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discount_store

image

Virginia Marianne Jul 19

Marianne, I just learned something very significant in your links...so now I am thinking Wal-Mart has a net negative impact.

 The Wal-Mart CEO who took over in 2000, he introduced austerity measures that did increase profits by 23%, however, those same measures caused crime rates to increase in Wal-Marts everywhere! Changes like doing away with the greeters, and reducing the ratio of employees to store space.

"Police ... around the U.S., however, were quoted in the report stating that the problem (i.e., high crime at Wal-Marts) was continuing unabated, and that the need for constant police presence at Walmarts was a drain on police resources..."

This increased crime rate at Wal-Mart correlates with something else I am learning, which is that large corporations and the uber-wealthy in the USA have a decades-long pattern of shifting taxes and other costs from themselves downward, to the working classes and the general public. Thus Wal-Mart has increased profitability by cost-cutting measures that shift their responsibilities to the police.

We need to have other motives in life than maximum profits.

Marianne Marianne Jul 19

Yes, Virginia, I do agree with you; the maximum profit strategies are unsustainable, as too fast evolution causes losses, involving the wasting of products, materials and people - whether knowingly or not, as many seem to ignore certain physical laws or believe the wrong people. It is a throw-away and forging-ahead policy, regardless of what happens afterwards.

Instead, they blame others for their own errors. But who is really to blame? Why is extreme ambition (or blatant arrogance) more valued than fair-play and respect?

And the increase of unemployed or precarious, low pay jobs is hurting and impoverishing whole regions, and this - in return - will also reduce the number of customers from the working classes, and even the so-called middle classes will be losing jobs or their small businesses and, with them, their purchasing power.

And high numbers of unemployed, working poor, or impoverished people will cause the loss of taxes and stress also the health sectors, welfare, churches and aid organisations.

That is a very black and pessimistic rant, Virginia, but I am just getting rid of some "steam" - lol; I should also mention all those who are, without propaganda, pay or glorious performance schemes, curing step by step the damages left by overexploitation, squandering, mismanagement, accidents or errors, restoring patiently depleted or damaged environments, replanting native trees and flora, creating appropriate wildlife habitats in gardens and other green spots, recovering, repairing or recycling wasted products, tools, values, maintaining and cleaning abandoned or neglected sites, communities, monuments, facilities, recreation areas, buildings, informing and reeducating people and helping them to develop, reintegrate and restore sustainable, local businesses into viable activities and jobs.

An example:

http://www.womenofchina.cn/womenofchina/html1/news/newsmakers/1603/1169-1.htm


There are also many projects, programmes and initiatives, trying to restore biotopes to protect and reintegrate native flora and fauna, and with them, essential natural resources.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080428133928.htm

https://water.usgs.gov/nwsum/WSP2425/restoration.html


Virginia Marianne Jul 19

Marianne, I could just feel a sense of soothing relaxation and beauty as I watched the YouTube you found...the only hope I can see is that the efforts of people like this DO somehow act as a prayer...

Because it seems like just a few people at the head of a bad corporation or government can devastate the land and the people SO much faster than we can repair and restore. So, I agree with what I think is one point you make, that even when we may rant we need to abide always with the hope and beauty of humankind - and the world.

Oh, btw...when your video ended, there was another, similar one that popped up which sounded so interesting I bookmarked it for future watching...it is an hour long, but the topic again China and some fascinating environmental history.

Marianne Marianne Jul 20

Virginia, I couldn't help smiling when seeing pictures, or reading about "beauty" relating to human kind, as I tend to think about all the beauty models imposed by fashion, arts, advertisement and business, historical eras, cultures and even religions or fables and fairy tales. And beauty standards do not really agree with nature - lol.

Yes, there is beauty, but you have to look inside "the package" - and I do not refer to striptease. :angel::D

Now to the ecological initiatives: I'll have to see this video too, when I get some time.

Actually, I have been looking a lot into documentary info and literature about ecological problems, the loss of biodiversity and natural environments since rather long, also about pollutions, alternative energies, overwasting, hazardous wastes, industrial and agricultural emissions, and about the different systems dealing with waste and sewage, all the more as I have been translating various reports, letters, articles and presentations in these domains. And I have been reading since childhood about animals and plants, visiting as often as possible botanical gardens, zoos, fairs, shows, etc., trying to collect more information.


Virginia Marianne Jul 20

I did watch the video above, about the Loess Plateau in China, Marianne...

Quite fascinating; the Loess Plateau along the Yellow River is an area the size of France! And, along with Mesopotamia, it is believed to be an original area of human agriculture, beginning 10,000 years ago. 

But people degraded the ecosystems because they did not understand how to live sustainably, and as a result became very poor. However, after several years of study, a plan was developed to restore the fertility of the land, and it worked! So the people there, now have much more wealth because the land is alive and healthy.

Quite inspiring.

Marianne Marianne Jul 21

Yes, Virginia, yes, it is inspiring. And many inventions and technological improvements came, formerly, from China. 

Already in ancient cultures, many fertile regions were exhausted by over-farming, over-grazing, overhunting and overpopulation.

Even nomads caused significant damages with too big herds of lifestock. And if wars decimated a region, other populations took over ...

And there is a difference between natural and cultural landscapes:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_landscape

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_landscape

Virginia Marianne Jul 21

Marianne, I appreciate your differentiation between the natural and cultural landscape, thank you!

Marianne Marianne Jul 22

You're very welcome, Virginia. :)


Rooster Jul 19

I'm not too privy to the Walmart Corporation problems but only go there once in a while. Makes me wonder that almost every time I do go There? There are always different employees than the last time. Sometimes they have the things I want in stock and the next time they don't. I've seen bakery employees drop loaves of bread on the dirty floor and just pick them up and put them back on the shelves. I bought a TV there once a few years back and was talking to the employee who I finally found to help me and he couldn't wait to get out of that place. He said almost the opposite if what Virginia's employee said.

My overall impression of Walmart is fair at best. Some of their brands of products are pretty cheap but I have found some things that are more expensive there than at other places. Pool chlorine for example.

I have read a few articles here and there about their business actions and wasn't impressed.

But Walmart is here to stay and not much we can do about it.

Virginia Rooster Jul 19

Rooster, yes; the pool chlorine you mention...where I live in SW Washington State, Wal-Mart is known locally for some of their prices getting really out-of-line high...that they are riding on their "bargain" reputation.

I learned from Marianne's links that there are a few places in the world, like Germany and South Korea, where the Wal-Marts failed, they could not make a go of it!

Rooster Rooster Jul 19

@Virginia: I'll try to read those links when I can as I just don't have the time now.

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