November 15, 2005

Exposing the evil empire

I saw the Walmart movie tonight (the anti one). It wasn't very good. Its production values sucked---the sound mixing was terrible, and frequently drowned out the speaker with "background" music---and if I hadn't gone in knowing a bunch of stuff about Walmart, I would still be a little skeptical. In one interview, they kept flipping the image horizontally, I suppose to make it look like multiple camera angles. In nearly every interview, there were obvious splices, right in the middle of sentences, and while this may have been done to make the speaker sound more coherent, it's also hard to be convinced it wasn't changing the meaning of what they were saying.

I did learn two things, though, that I didn't already know: 80% of crimes committed at Walmarts occur in their parking lots, making them one of the highest-crime areas in many towns they invade; and appraised property values automatically go down throughout a town as soon as Walmart arrives, because the appraisers know that so many stores are about to close, empty space will soon be available.

It was neat to see that the showing required not one but two overflow rooms to seat everyone---many college affiliated people, but also some from the town---and that a lot of the attendees stuck around for discussion afterwards. There was actually a really good one in the room I was in, because there were two guys who were, if not pro-Walmart, at least pro-big-business and very free market about jobs (after all, if Walmart's not paying enough, the workers can just leave, right?). It's good for me to actually have to argue against an opponent in person every now and then. (One of the others in the room was a R-M reporter who took my name---I hope I'm not quoted to say something ridiculous tomorrow. :P)

In other news, I woke up with a slightly sore throat this morning, which maintained itself all day and started getting worse about two hours ago. And yet, all I can think is, if I was going to get sick, THANK GOODNESS that it waited until now. The very last immediate-deadline anything that I have for this term is FP meetings tomorrow; then after that, grades are due in two weeks. So I have time to recover, whew.

Mein bratwurst has a first name,
It's F-R-I-T-Z,
Mein bratwurst has a second name,
It's S-C-H-N-A-C-K-E-N-P-F-E-F-F-E-R-H-A-U-S-E-N. --Tony Nuval

Posted by blahedo at 10:47pm on 15 Nov 2005
Comments
People point to Walmart and cry "anti-union". Unions enable disfavored people to live satisfactorly without addressing their disfavor. This way their family's problems are never resolved. Without the union they would have to accept the heirarchy, their own inferiority. Unions serve to empower. Walmart is anti-union because they are good. They try to help people address and resolve their problems by creating an enviornment where there are fewer hurdles.

Media ridicule and lawsuits are creations to reinforce people's belief that Walmart is evil in a subsegment of the industry dominated by the middle and lower classes. Low-cost disfavored Chinese labor is utilized by corporate america to maximize margins. They all do it. Only WalMart gets fingered because they are the ones who help, and those who seek to create confusion in the marketplace want to eliminate the vast middle class who have a real chance and instead stick with lower classes who may not work otherwise. So they dirty him up while allowing the others to appear clean.

The coining of the term "Uncle Sam" was a clue alluding to this::Sam Walton's WalMart is one of few saviors of the peasant class.

Posted by Uncle Sam at 1:31pm on 21 Nov 2005
Without the union they would have to accept the heirarchy, their own inferiority. Unions serve to empower.
Some of us see the creation of a permanent underclass as a bad thing, empowerment as good, and unions a pretty decent solution to the problem. Modern unions have their issues, but as an institution they are clearly sorely needed to protect those with no voice and little individual bargaining power, from corporations that seek to exploit them. Such as Walmart.
Low-cost disfavored Chinese labor is utilized by corporate america to maximize margins. They all do it.
Sad but true. The big corporation that doesn't use cheap Chinese workers (or their counterparts elsewhere in Asia or the maquilas of Central America) are by now a rare, though welcome, exception to the rule. Walmart is simply worse than most, and they have so much more bad stuff they pull.
Only WalMart gets fingered because they are the ones who help,
Help?
and those who seek to create confusion in the marketplace want to eliminate the vast middle class who have a real chance and instead stick with lower classes who may not work otherwise.
I really can't make it past the incoherence here.
WalMart is one of few saviors of the peasant class.
I suppose I can take some consolation in the fact that you aren't even trying to convince the million WalMart workers and the millions more who are or feel trapped into shopping there---I can't imagine they're too keen to be lumped into your "peasant class". But in any case, whether you call them peasants, working-class, or something else, I think the moniker of "savior" is rather more appropriately awarded to those actually trying to get these people, say, decent healthcare and a wage that can actually let them support themselves and their families. Posted by blahedo at 4:19am on 22 Nov 2005
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