We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Saturday, April 30. 2011
That explains it to me. It's the same reason the pols resist Costco in the big blue cities: unions vs. the citizens. Truth is, NYC needs WalMart much more than WalMart needs NYC. WalMart is doing just fine in the US and worldwide. These tough pols and union bosses are making fools of themselves and fools of the voters.
I have no WalMart in my area, but went to Costco this morning to get supplies for church coffee hour tomorrow (cheeses, strawberries, croissants, corn muffins, grapes, vegetables and veggie dip, bagels and cream cheese, etc), and remembered that Gwynnie had told me that they are now selling no-iron dress shirts that are as nice as the Brooks Brothers version at one-third the price. Despite being a loyal and life-long Brooks person, I bought one to try.
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Wallmart is the poor persons Costco.
Wallmart is dear to my heart, Special Kity, cat liter, 25lbs. $3.29.
Here’s a question for you all.
If a mainland Chinese owned warehouse retailer called "Slave Made" landed in your town selling stuff far cheaper than even WalMart did, would you shop there?
Yes, I ask the fun questions.
Charles Baron might be able to trade in his Neru jackets for some hipper styles at Walmart, maybe even get an apache scarf to go with it.
And then we could work on getting him some newer yelling points.
Charlie, babe. Selma and Birmingham and "The Man", are so long ago.
Would I buy from such a Chinese store? If they had an item I needed and the quality was good, my answer is, you bet I would buy from them. What goes on inside China is their business just as what goes on inside our borders is none of their business. Besides, the amount of business I would do with such a company would be so small in the grand scheme of things as to be negligible.
If someone else wants to impoverish themselves to make a point, I have no problem with it. Money comes too hard for me to just throw it away by paying $50 for a Union made American sweatshirt if I can get it for $9 from China.
As for Wal-Mart, all is not well. Their U.S. sales have been declining for 7 qtrs.
Yes, those shirts look good. I don't need any. I prefer not to buy Chinese-made goods (those shirts, for instance), but sometimes there seems to be nothing else.
I invite someone here to give us all a brief exposition as to why tariffs on foreign imports are generally held to be a huge mistake for the USA. Please limit Smoot-Hawley to one paragraph if possible.
I ask because it seems reasonable to me, 80 years afterward, to maybe try one or two surgical tariffs just to see what might happen now (and to garner some income for the country).
Feel free to call me ignorant - I can take it.
That's one of the huge problems, there just isn't much of anything made in the United States or anywhere else besides China for that matter. I was thrilled the other day to get something from India. Of course, that same product had been made in America 15 years ago. Personally my relationship with Wal-Mart is a "love/hate" affair. I love their prices, such as "Special Kitty" cat litter but I hate going there since it feels like a third world bazaar where English is not the language of choice.
Well, as a matter of fact, I shop at the SuperWalMart in Shanghai. Guess what? Thousands of Chinese shop there right along beside me. They enjoy the quality and the low prices.
Get off your high horse of slave labor. Do you make everything yourself? Of course not. That is another ignorant point brought up by those who don't travel and who don't know about the conditions in most of the undeveloped world.
10 years ago in Shanghai the workers in Shanghai were making about $1.50-2.50 per hour. That sounds like slave labor, but when you compare it to working in the countryside at 10 cents per day it is a king's salary.
Every item that is made by a Chinese laborer is helping tear down Communism one buck at a time. The standard of living in Shanghai has increased tremendously in just 10 years and the Chinese there don't want to go back to the old ways under Communism.
Yes, those $16.99 shirts at Costco are just as nice as the ones at Brooks Brothers and several other similar stores.
The sad thing is not that Costco is undercutting the other stores, but that you're being ripped off by the others for the sake of a "name."
You didn’t answer the question, did you? Is it safe to assume that if the labor came from Vietnam, at a fraction of what your Chinese neighbors were making, you’d be encouraging them all to shop at Slave Mart instead?
The point of my question, how low do you go?
I buy some groceries and vitamins at Wal-Mart, but that's about it.
I have maybe two shirts and two pairs of pants from Wal-Mart. There are other discount clothing stores in the area that have better selection, and if I buy off the final discount rack, they are as cheap or cheaper than Wal-Mart- sometimes at 10% of retail. A $70 shirt for $7, for example. And much better looking/ better quality than Wal-Mart.
Similarly, there is a good electronics store that has better selection than Wal-Mart, with lower prices. Not to mention Dell.
I have bought tires and oil changes from Wal-Mart.
If they sold something I wanted at a price I wanted to pay, sure. I care not what they call it, though "slave" might not be the most marketable moniker, nor is it very likely that any Chinese owned & operated retailer would be able to operate in the US.
Your point is?
(yes, I know, it's a troll, and a silly one at that. I'm sure it shops at "Union Yes" stores nationwide...)
If it was my store, and I was using Vietnamese labor, I'd call it "We Won The War But Now We Pay You Back Superstore".
I bought a Vizio 42 at Walmart a couple years ago. It broke just outside of warranty. Cost me $175 to fix. The repairman told me that company is American owned but bottom-bid component and China manufactured. “Crap”, he said, "but it's the way things are going". My previous GE, Quasar, and Panasonics never broke on me - one I had for 25 years.
Of course, Costco sells the same TV. Is this how it is now? Disposable electronics?
If you forget the absurdity that dollars have inherent value it becomes very clear that the Chinese, in exchange for a massive quantity of consumer goods, have received a small quantity of capital equipment and a huge pile of pictures of dead American statesmen. They cannot eat, kiss, wear, or live in those dollar bills. Unless and until they use those pictures to buy American-made products, they are not trading with us, but are in fact giving us megatons of free stuff. (Note that outright gifts would still have the same effect on our own economy as the current trade imbalance.)
A reckoning is coming for the Chinese economy as surely as it is coming for our federal budget situation, and with the exception of simply importing more American-made goods, any action they take will only postpone that reckoning and make it worse.
As long as we stop them from using those dollars to purchase legislation, and vote more Democrats out of office in 2013, everything will ultimately right itself.
This is a all too typical misunderstanding. Yes, not much low tech, low skill labor products are made in the U.S. and why should they? The U.S. is still the leading manufacturer in the world and growing. The problem for labor is that technology in these manufacturing segments are replacing labor.
If the U.S. could afford to make lots of textiles, trinkets and other low skill products, then something has gone terribly wrong.
China's labor, by the way, is starting to price itself out of this low skill manufacturing segment and they're trying to work themselves up the technology food chain.
Depends, names aren't everything.
But if shopping at one store provides a better tomorrow for the Chinese underclass, and shopping at another store is more expensive so that union fatcats and their political cronies can stifle an American (or in my case European) underclass, I'll take the former.
I especially like the lady concerned that Walmart, with their effective store security, will mean the little criminals will end up with records. Not like those small businesses they prey upon who just have to try to survive and hope to pass the cost of persistent thievery on to their customers.
Or the organic market owner, who fears Walmart. He is perfectly situated to compete since Walmart isn't the place for the best fresh produce or meat. Plus, Walmart is abandoning organic products since the ill-fated move prompted by hiring Progressives into their executive suit has led to losses.
But this does endear me to the urbanistas. I can't wait until they come with their busses and force us back into the urban core. You know, the place where there are not jobs since they ran all the manufacturing and small businesses out. But there'll be high speed rail to nowhere. So there is that.
Still a few of em out there. Wacky folks...
Commander, we are all shopping at someone's slave mart. You need to open your eyes to see that fact. The question was answered.
Depending on one's point of view, buying a Toyota is buying from a slave mart. Buying jeans made overseas rather than Carhartt pants is buying from a slave mart. If you don't buy union label you are buying from a slave mart. If you don't buy American or buy local you are buying from a slave mart. You get the idea.
Unless there is a world wide economic disaster that forces America into manufacturing again, everyone will continue fussing over slave marts. So questions like yours are really doofus questions and don't help anyone.
By the way the Vietnamese are thriving now and Uncle Ho's economic policies are relaxed in Vietnam and instead are being applied in our country instead. Forgive me if I sound acedic.
Happy Lord's Day.
That it broke just outside of warranty has little to do with where you bought it and much to do with the nature of the technology you bought, and the markets it is sold into.
The EU banned lead in electronics products, so until we get a handle on the "tin whisker" problem we can all expect our electronic devices containing VLSIC chips to have abbreviated life spans.
Also, the most common failure on large flat-screen TV's is the backlight. Guess what? Lamps burn out.
40 years ago TV repair shops were a common sight, and TV repairmen would make house calls because the sets were furniture sized and couldn't be moved easily. They typically replaced parts like electron tubes that had limited lifespans but occasionally there would be another failure from a bad batch of components or whatever.
Now TV repair shops are becoming a more common sight, and TV repair techs make house calls because the sets are furniture sized and/or wall mounted. They typically replace parts like backlights and DLP projection-lamps that have limited lifespans, but occasionally there will be another failure from a bad batch of components or whatever.
Just before I bought a Plasma TV about 6 years ago I looked at the MTBF hours and compared it to the number of hours a week I expected the thing to be "ON" in my household. I decided then that the cathode-ray tube TV would last a few more yers before replacement. Now LCD sets are OK in terms of fast-action picture quality and MTBF, but I still don't expect them to last more than a few years.
Now I see. There is no bottom in any race to the bottom because it’s all good. And when we’re all buying at RoboMadeSlaveMart, it won’t be “reeks and wrecks” but asceticism at the monastery! Superb, my brother.
you're being ripped off by the others for the sake of a "name."
Very true. My father spent 25 years in the garment-manufacturing business, before that business pulled up stakes and left this country. If it were revealed that the Brooks Brothers shirts and the Costco shirts are being made in the same factory using the same material, equipment, and workers, that wouldn't surprise me at all.
At least here in California, Costco is a Teamsters union shop. Oddly enough, the sole exception is the truck drivers who deliver there; Costco doesn't have its own fleet, and often hires cheap non-union trucking firms such as Swift.
You know what's funny? I live in Michigan. There are a dozen Costcos, all unionized and every single one of them is located in an upper middle class suburb. Not a one south of I94 and not a one north of Grand Rapids or Oakland County. There are about 110 Walmarts [or Sam's Clubs or SuperWalmarts] in Michigan and they're found everywhere in the state pretty much except Detroit [which *desperately needs big grocery stores, but, God, not a Walmart one]. Even the Upper Peninsula had 5 or 6. They're non-unionized.
However. When you compare a Costco to the nearest Walmart [instead of comparing Costco averages to Walmart averages], Walmart pays its employees better and has better benefits, including health insurance. Go figure. When they moved the Walmart from a nearby suburb to our suburb and turned it into a Sam's Club & a SuperWalmart, over 3000 people applied for the 300 jobs there. Included in that was about 80% of the local Costco employees [one of my former students was their HR person at the time, and she like to died laughing when she told me this].
Evidently, the highly paid UAW and the Teamsters and the public employees hate poor people. [Much like, I guess, Commander Putzfeeler seems to.]
Just like in I.T....cheaper all the time...soooo horrible!!