Thursday, July 27, 2006

Smiling Bastards

Soulless corporate giant suffered a small loss in Chicago yesterday when the city passed an ordinance demanding that so called "Big Box" stores raise their minimum wages to $10.00 per hour by 2010, and provide an additional $3.00 per hr. in benefits. Wal Marts response was “It’s sad — this puts politics ahead of working men and women,” John Simley, a Wal-Mart spokesman, said in a telephone interview. “It means that Chicago is closed to business.” Boo-fucking hoo, Wal-Mart. In many ways I view Wal Mart as a metaphor for the U.S.: The largest, most powerful entity in its field, and rather than using this power to positively effect change for its participants, (or constituients), it is driven solely by its intent to benefit their most powerful and wealthy members.

I don't want to be attacked here by the rabid free market traders; it is obvious that a company (or country) can serve it's profitability desires and be compassionate and socially responsible. Sadly, the need for Greed overrules those aims.

Remember, that smiling tag isn't a greeting for the people, its an insidious laughing directed at the people.


Da Old Man said...

I have mixed thoughts on this. While I am opposed to government intervention into legal business practices, I believe that companies should support their workers. I do not shop at Wal-Mart for two main reasons. First, because, in the name of profit, they stopped supporting American manufacturers. Second, because of the way they pay and treat workers.
How much of the blame is on other Americans, though? Is the cheapest price the only important decision when making a purchase? It should not be, but sadly, for most, it is.

Woody said...

I agree with you Sav. Beyond the ethics, which I feel strongly about, if WalMart does not pay a fair wage, their employees go on government support and that costs taxpayers money. But I hope you know what employees are paid where you do shop and you are not just singling out WalMart.

I don't really get worked up over the American manufacturer argument. Throughout history, we let others do the lower value added things while America concentrates on the higher value added things. Yesterday's specialized skills are today's commodities. You need to adapt to grow. However, that philosophy only works when the rising tide lifts all boats, which is why I advocate companies paying a fair wage and benefits. But then you can't bitch if you have to pay more their products and services.

Katester said...

Sing it, Beast! I don't have time for a thoughtful reply like these guys but I totally agree with you. Wal-Mart is bad for America.

savvy said...

Old man, you say that you're opposed to govt. intervention into legal business practices. How do you feel about the oil companies these days? Recepients of billions in corporate welfare from the Bush administration, ostensibly to help with research and development, these scumbags have reaped incredible profits via their war profiteering practices during the invasion/occupation of Iraq. these profits further increased after Katrina hit New Orleans. The congressional hearing into the situation was a farce (like everything this regime does), demonstrated by the evil old bastard Ted Stevens, republican senator from Alaska. Legal, yes. Profitable for the economic elite, yes. Entirely unethical, damn straight!!! I know people like Woody's buddy Ronnie love it; but he comes from money, has money, and believes in the continued acquistion of money for the rich, on the backs of the poor. Do you?

Da Old Man said...

Corporate welfare is not a new idea put forth by the Bush admin. Has been around for many years. And, in nearly every case it is wrong. Just ask the American small farmer. ConAgra gets billions while the family farmer struggles to make ends meet.
Many agribusinesses get paid millions NOT to grow crops.
Absolute bullshit.

Concerning ethics vs legality.

Where mega bucks are concerned, rarely do ethics exist. It would be nice to think that we can legislate morality (ethics) but we haven't been able to do so in many years, I doubt we can do it today.
The system is so corrupt, only can an informed and involved citizenry take it back. Considering that only about 1 in 4 eligible voters can work up the energy to spend a few minutes to vote once every 4 years (and so many less for non Presidential elections,) I have my doubts about effecting change.

Woody said...


Two things:

1) Ronnie does not come from money at all. He worked his tail off for everything he has. I don't agree with all of his views, but he had, a Barkley states, "to ride the elevator up" - he wasn't born there. I just wish he wanted to send it back down more.

2) If you feel so strongly about his, pledge never to shop at Wal-Mart again. Even if they are the only ones to carry the limited edition collectibles you enjoy so much. Taking a stand requires making a sacrifice, my friend.

savvy said...

Woody, fair enough. I misspoke about Ronnie's background and officially retract that part of the statement.

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