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View Diary: Washington, D.C., city council passes large retailer living wage bill despite Walmart threats (116 comments)

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  •  I am self-respecting, and quite liberal, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JohnnyBoston, MikeCA, Jo Bob

    and I think that Walmart has some bad practices but overall they are a positive force economically for America's poor. You may disagree, but the fact that you think that there is no other way for anyone to look at something than how you see it is something you'll have to figure out for yourself. I could just as easily say that liberals who believe that Walmart is all bad aren't good liberals, but I would never think that way. Part of what makes liberals liberals is that they are supposed to understand that in life there are few black and white issues.

    •  LOL, I guess the Company Store was good too? (42+ / 0-)

      Let me get this straight.  Walmart, a company that pays its employees so little that over 1/3 are on Medicaid / food stamps / earned income credit, etc. is a positive force for America's poor?

      Walmart is the modern day Company Store - pay your workers so little and sell cheap shit that is all they can afford to buy.   The National Bureau of Economic Research shows they lower prices for all retail outlets wherever their stores are by 5%. How does that help the poor?

      Oh, but they've brought prices down.  Have they? Funny thing that. Let's take 2 examples. Vlasic Pickles - several years ago, Walmart demanded that Vlasic provide a gallon jar of pickels for $2.97. So, yes, the price came down - you could now buy a year's worth of pickles for 3 bucks. Did this help the poor? Hell no.  First, you can't eat a gallon of pickles - Vlasic did consumer studies which showed that 75% of the jar went into the trash.  Second, it decimated all pickle makers brands and their pickle spears and pickle chips product lines. Which in turn decimated the pickle factory jobs and, since the product was now just whole pickles in a jar, pickle product development went away.  Even back to the vegetable farms, without higher margin products, pickle makers had to outsource their purchases of cucumbers to get the lowest price possible, which hurt farmers.  So, all it resulted was in waste, loss of jobs and a trade imbalance.

      Or take Huffy bikes - same thing.  Walmart demanded cheap bikes, and Huffy complied, they had to. So, Huffy had to give up their higher profit models and just produce the low end models, which, of course, means that they were now producting a low tech, high volume product so the manufacturing was outsourced. Huffy doesn't make bikes in the U.S. anymore. Moreover, the cheap Huffy bikes imported from overseas? No quality - they broke more, and the price was so low that it didn't make sense to repair them anymore.  And of course, they didn't last, so the family with 3 kids now has to buy each one a new bike rather than passing one down, because the bikes don't last from one kid to the next.

      Remember the environment?  They have violated the clean water act in 12 states.  The cost of the infrastructure and energy to supply their stores and the localized heat islands created by their stores and parking lots contribute to global warming.  

      Here's a benefit of Walmart - a benefit to hate groups. Penn State University research shows that membership in hate groups increases when Walmart comes to town, due to their negative effect on community involvement. A behemoth national corporate store with no ties to the community compared to local retailers leaves a vacuum.

      The end result of Walmart is that it is a corporation subsidized by government social welfare policies which carries out monopolistic practices that have decimated American manufacturing, communities and greatly contributed to the decline in social mobility in this country.

      No, they are not a positive force for the poor.

      Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

      by absdoggy on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 04:49:28 PM PDT

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    •  I love my parents, but they incessantly whine (1+ / 0-)
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      About the old mom and pop grocery and hardware store being gone, while demanding more freedom for Walmart. I guess this ship has sailed.

      Since we are basically reduced to the one company store, I will give big kudos for Walmart banking for low income earners.

      “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

      by jeff in nyc on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 05:16:32 PM PDT

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    •  You are not a Washingtonian. (5+ / 0-)

      Stay out of it.

      Call WalMart and invite them to destroy your city/community/world/whatever.  

      We do not have to abide by your tenets of madness even if you believe we should just because you send a Congresscritter and a couple of Senators to this town.

      •  Stay out of it? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dinotrac, Shreve, Jo Bob, Jahiegel

        In other words, don't comment on this issue on Dkos unless you either live in DC or agree entirely with inclusiveheart? Do you realize how inane you sound? Do you think that any of us, by chitchatting here, are "in it"? This is just a blog man, this is not the real world. I AM staying out of it by just writing about it here. Doh!

        •  Yes. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Barton Funk, Janet 707, mconvente

          Stay out of it.

          You haven't even the first clue what it is to be a DC native or about what has gone on for decades in our "territory".

          Invite WalMart into your realm all you want, but don't force them down our throats.  You haven't the first clue what this town and the politics are about.

          •  I have a dinner reservation, but (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jo Bob

            if I wanted to comment further I would. You don't go around telling people to beat it. And anger does not make for a happy life. So what if I like Walmart more than you do? Why take it so personally and lash out? Anger = unhappiness.

            •  A dinner reservation at the local WalMart cafe? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Barton Funk

              Bully for you.  Have at it.  Enjoy.

              I don't take any of this personally, but when you swoop in trying to make other people live under your desired tenets from some far away place, you are likely to get pushback.

              Your problem, not mine.

          •  Ummm...We all have a role in DC, whether you like (0+ / 0-)

            it or not. DC is not just some city in some state. It is the nation's capital and it is under the jurisdiction of the United States Congress -- our representatives.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 07:34:29 PM PDT

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            •  LOL - well our very liberal constituency (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Barton Funk, Janet 707, smartalek

              should by all rights under your metric should have the power to decide how you live wherever you live, then.

              Let's do it!

              But seriously, we are in your estimation not just "some people in some state" who should be self-determined, right?  We who are born in this territory are your property to do as with you please, correct?  Really?  Yes, really that is what you are asserting, actually.

              But no worries.  We are happy to be your slaves or indentured servants - whatever term makes you more comfortable with discounting our rights to self determination in what is supposed to be a democracy!

              Have at it babe!  Protect us from ourselves.  LOL we haven't been stupid enough to even come close to electing a Republican in I don't know how many years.

              •  Facts are a tough nut for you to crack, eh? (0+ / 0-)

                "My metric" has nothing to do with it. It is a fact of D.C.'s status within the country. It is unique -- a city without a state, under the direct jurisdiction of Congress.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 08:35:31 PM PDT

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    •  you sound like their spokesperson (6+ / 0-)

      imagine for a second if our entire economy were structured like Wal-Mart - a mass of impoverished manufacturing workers in dismal sweatshops, a smaller class of working poor in retail, a tiny middle class of supervisors and managers, and a few superrich elites.  is this what you think liberalism is?

      plus, wal-mart can only survive because enough people have non-wal-mart jobs to buy enough to make them profitable.

    •  How is it there are Democrats who haven't (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      smartalek, JBL55

      studied the Big Box problem? CostCo is pretty much the only one that has made the model palatable. But really, the whole thing is unsustainable and undesirable on every level.

      I would ask any Democrat who thinks the only significant difference between Big Box and local is price to look into it a little more. If we can't even count on Democrats to figure it out, how the heck can we expect to get anywhere? Oh, that's right, we aren't.

      Big Box Swindle, Stacy Mitchell
      “This is the ultimate account of the single most important economic trend in our country—the replacement of local businesses, and all they represent, with the big boxes.” — Bill McKibben

      “In the muckraking tradition of Fast Food Nation, this is a searing indictment of the impact of behemoth retailers… Big-Box Swindle takes mega-retailers to task in convincing fashion. But Mitchell also provides inspiring lessons from places that are turning the tide.” — John Marshall, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

      In less than two decades, large retail chains have become the most powerful corporations in America. In this deft and revealing book, Stacy Mitchell illustrates how mega-retailers are fueling many of our most pressing problems, from the shrinking middle class to rising pollution and diminished civic engagement—and she shows how a growing number of communities and independent businesses are effectively fighting back.

      Pretty much any Get Local organization in any City has a website that'll explain the the issues, outline the benefits...

      Here's the homepage of a national association.

      This is not some crazy, left-wing, commie plot against capitalism. It's common sense.

      That's Funk, not Fink. Think Guy Fawkes with glide in his stride and pep in his step. Parliament-style. Ka-BOOM! Dude blew my mind.

      by Barton Funk on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 09:54:08 PM PDT

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