328 This is a terrible PR move for Walmart.

Comments

Tom Garrett 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I am no critic of Sam Walton or of Walmart. I shop at Walmart. I agree with many of their policies. Unlike most people, I have read the very warm biography written about Sam Walton. I like the way he fought hard for what he believed, but I am also a realist, and I can see where he went wrong.

His biography does its best to portray Sam Walton as something he wasn't--a man of vision. It tries to blur the truth that Walton became so wealthy because he was a cheapsake. He became rich by paying his workers at all levels less that they genuinely earned.

He, for crying out loud, would not allow an office coffee pot. He put coffee vending machines out in the hallway and told his workers if they wanted a cup of coffee they could d--n well buy one. And the way he treated companies who wanted to sell merchandise to him? Outrageous! And the current policy of buying Chinese crap that falls apart before you can get it out of the box? Criminal!

Sam was a hard working man. If he had stopped short of being the world's biggest cheapskate he still could have accomplished most of what he did. He just didn't know when to stop squeezing that nickel.

Read his biography and see if you don't agree.

And now?

Read the second post.

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Tom Garrett 8 months, 3 weeks ago

From AP:

"Wal-Mart won't build D.C. stores if living wage bill passes."

"Wal-Mart says it won't build three stores it had planned for the District of Columbia if lawmakers approve a bill that would force the retailer to pay its employees at least $12.50 an hour."

"The bill is backed by worker advocates and unions that say employees of big-box stores should earn a "living wage." It applies only to stores doing business in spaces of 75,000 feet or more."

I need say no more. Most of the time, states and cities do not pass "living wage" bills unless they are REALLY needed. In this case there is no doubt about it. The cost of living in Washington is out of sight. For Walmart executives to ignore that truth is a bad mistake.

Truthfully? Just look at the salaries the executives are paying themselves. They say it all. Walmart is now traveling the same road that so many at first successful retailers traveled. That road ends in bankruptcy a la Woolco and the other stores that have made the error of letting top executives set their own salaries.

Why does it always have to happen?

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Pat Randall 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I think the big corporations pay their top employees way to much, but who's business is it? Why not worry more about congress and the way they are paid? One term in office and they get freebies and retirement the rest of their life. No wonder the US is broke. Sam Walton is dead and I think his stores went public. Don't beat on a dead horse. Think how many people have jobs because of Walmart. If the employees don't like the pay go somewhere else. Most of them here don't earn whatever it is they are paid. I have never been in there when I didn't walk down at least one aisle where 2 or 3 would be standing there complaining. The ones out in the parking lot gathering baskets are a joke. If I was manager I would fire every one of them. I am almost 77 with a bad back and I could gather more baskets a lot faster than they do and they have a motorized cart to take the baskets in. They also stand around out in the parking lot bitching about every thing. LET THEM LEAVE. A living wage is something different to everyone. Some people think they have to have everything it took some of the rest of us 20 years to get. First you get a roof over your head and enough to eat. The TVs, boats and all the rest come later. Or at least it did with my husband and me. Some people spend more on alcohol and cigarettes in a week than on rent and food to support a family of at least 4. If you have it, fine, if not tough, give up the booze and tobacco. For those of you who don't smoke, I buy 2 cartons of cig. at the Rez and it is $118.50. Think what I could buy with that much. Yes, I do give to charity.

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Ronald Hamric 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Tom, I see this issue through a different prism than you. We have what we have because of capitalism. Let the market decide these things and government should by and large keep their noses out of it. Used to shine shoes. Charged whatever the client thought the job was worth. Did fairly well for someone my age. It taught me that I had to provide a good service or the compensation was commensurate with the quality I put out. Someone didn't like the way I shined their shoes, there was always another kid nearby doing the same thing. It was pure competition, plain and simple.

Why is it the responsibility of the business community to have to compensate for cost of living? Seems people want to accept that as inevitable as the sun rising in the East and simply do not want to look at the issues that affect that cost of living. Sam Walton could not have ever made it out of his state of origin had it not been for people WILLING to accept the working environment/wages he was offering. Had his prices not been competitive in the market place there would simply not be a WalMart today. If the unions (and this issue in DC is really all about unions) are able to make inroads to WalMart as they have other like businesses, then all those "prices" people go to WalMart for, will escalate. Just ask Detroit how they faired by continueing to bleed the business community. It's called "a business" because one takes the risks and invests the effort in order to make a profit. If overhead goes up, then so do prices. It is a never ending spiral. And much of the blame for the spiral is because the Feds keep printing money as if it were water and spending it at an even greater pace.

Cost of living in Washington DC is driven by the law of supply and demand. There is only so much living space in DC, the rest is devoted to housing the needs? of the Federal Government. And a large percentage of those that occupy the private land holdings are either on the government payroll or the government dole. With that amount of taxpayer cash pumped into the local economy, bingo!, high costs of living. It's the same in New York City. City-employed sanitation workers -- whose job requires a high-school diploma or a G.E.D. -- start at $27,842 and peak, after five years, at $44,441 (though raking in overtime increases this "significantly"). Be sure to notice that "significantly" . Those are salary costs only. By the time one factors in "burden costs", then some of those folks are costing the city right at $100K a year. It's easy for the government to support such as the above, they simply raise taxes. For the private or business sector, charge what the "market" will bear. That is capitalism at it's purest.
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Bernice Winandy 8 months, 3 weeks ago

People talk about the good of capitalism. And, it is good, we are all examples of that good. However, we must remember that capitalism is onl;y good when it is controlled. With the runaway salaries and perks of top executives and the widening divide between the haves and have nots, I think it is time to evaluate some of our policies.

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Pat Randall 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Bernice, A lot of the have nots are the ones that don't want to work, they get food stamps, free medical, and charitable org. give them housing and clothes etc. When I lived in Mesa, there would be people standing on the street corners usually on a off ramp of the freeway with a sign, need a job. need food, or whatever. My son offered jobs to some and they never showed up. What I noticed about them was most were smoking, had a big gulp in their hand and had on $120.00 Nike shoes. One evening I saw one walk down the street about 1/2 a block and climb into a newer car than I had and drive away. I met people while walking on the street asking for money to buy food. I offered to take them into a restaurant and buy them something to eat. Think they went? No they wanted the cash. There was even a place in Phx. where people could go to learn how to stand on the corner with their signs and then they made around $300.00 a day standing there. Didn't have to pay taxes. Just take the money and go home, probably to a better house than we lived in. No I am not really a scrooge, but I do watch who I give my money to. It happens here in Payson, some lady called into the radio station about her friends who were in Tucson while their child was being treated for something in the hospital there. There were containers in the stores and different places to donate money. I called the radio station and newspaper to see if she was legitimate. Was told yes. Took her $300. Well guess what, she was arrested later as a drug dealer. Then the police were at my door because they found my name on her computer. I am very careful now where my charitable money goes.

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Tom Garrett 8 months, 3 weeks ago

"Let the market decide these things and government should by and large keep their noses out of it."

That's exactly the same way I would feel about it if corporate executives weren't ruining the free enterprise system, which they are. There is NO free market when a few large companies control prices and wages, colluding with each other to control them, or buy out smaller companies against their wishes so they cannot compete (which was one of Sam Walton's tricks) instead of competing with them and winning with better prices, better service, and better products.

Face it, Ron. There are two causes of today's problems. One is greedy individuals who have taken capitalism and turned it back into what it was in the 1600's when the elite owned everything — including the government. The other is a pack of fools who think that if they give us handouts we'll look the other way why they loot the nation.

We need government regulation — but NOT government rules. The difference? We need laws which make it impossible for looters to ruin good companies by paying the profits to themselves, not a bunch of regulations that tell companies what they can't do.

See the difference? One is good for business because it fosters competition. The other one is anti-business because it makes it hard to compete.

All I see is in new laws are ones that make it hard to do business. I see nothing that keeps people from taking the money we invest and speculating with it. I see nothing that keeps people from looking at a small up-and-coming corporation and buying it to kill competition. I see nothing that requires the board of a corporation to work for the best interests of the corporation, not the best interests of a bunch of greedy employees.

And setting all that aside, what this string is all about is PR.

Walmart, as big as it may be, is beginning to make the same mistakes that has killed so many large companies before. If people do not like your policies they will not buy from you. The trouble with Walmart is that they started in rural areas where they bought out the competition and so ruled the roost. They work from that mentality. You can't buy out the competition in the cities, and you can't use the same steamroller methods you can in rural areas.

In the business world, when you let people begin to believe you're the bad guy, you're dead!

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Ronald Hamric 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Tom, The small businesses that Walton bought out, willingly sold to him, took the money and ran. They had no more allegiance to the towns they were in than does WalMart. One of the complaints I often heard when WalMart chose to set up in Payson was that it was going to drive out family businesses that couldn't compete. The flip side was many folks who said for decades those very family businesses were ripping them off because they were the only choice available and could charge whatever they wanted. Don't want to pay our price, you are welcome to drive to the valley otherwise. Everything has a price. If the price is too high, no one will buy it and eventually the price has to come down or the goods or services simply sit idle. As long as people will pay $150 for a pair of tennis shoes that shouldn't cost more than $15.00, suppliers will charge that price. As to the bloated corporate salaries, it's the responsibility of the shareholders of whatever corporation to control that . No doubt there are some sharks out there who are only in it for personal gain. Many, once they get to the point they think they have enough money, they become politicians. The very same people who are supposed to be "regulating" this problem. Starting to see a pattern here?

I sense you are still clinging to the notion that there are Americans in business as a community service or to provide jobs for people. There may be a small smattering of folks like that still around, but by and large the 1960's pretty much expunged any sense of doing anything for the national good. It's dog eat dog. Whether it's the corporation or those that work for the corporation. Each is trying their level best to extract from one another as much wealth as they can . We are pretty much back to the law of the jungle where the strongest and most shrewd survive. I can give untold reasons for that but it would only be my opinion and it really will not bring back the character of the America we lost and are now longing for.

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Ronald Hamric 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Just had Sunday brunch at Fargo's. Sitting there watching the traffic heading back to the valley from all points East, it would be hard for me to convince anyone who saw what I saw that people are really struggling out there. Could not count the large number of huge trailers, diesel pusher motorhomes, toy haulers, boats, etc. And all those towed were being towed by vehicles that cost at least $45K or more and cost $125 to fill up their gas tanks. If that is today's "middle class" they aren't doing to bad by all these robber corporations. As to the burgeoning poor, I've been one of them. The same opportunities that I used to pull myself out of that social slot are as readily available to them today as they were to me back when I was in the rat race. Actually there are probably more.

But nothing, and I mean nothing, will ever stop some people from simply making poor life decisions and then whining about their lot in life. Pretty much why we have record numbers on very extended unemployment, food stamps, free cell phones, subsidized housing,free day care for their illegitimate children, and so much more. This is not the America you and I grew up in. Accept it because you and I are simply not going to change it.

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Pat Randall 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Ronald, I read part of the site and what struck me was one mother said her daughter didn't have any job or anything to do so she got on drugs. Where did the money come from to buy the drugs? The next thing was the woman that worked at a fruit and vegetable stand and was smoking a cigarette. Her and her boyfriend were living off his disability check, but she can afford cigarettes? All women that have babies and are not married, tie their tubes or whatever it takes to keep them from having more babies. Make them name the father if they know who it is and fix him too! Send the illegals home, don't let the American companies import any of their finished goods from other countries. If they aren't made in the USA keep them out. Stop people from other countries buying real estate in the U.S. if they are not citizens of the U.S. and I don't mean kids that were born here from illegals. OH TO MAKE ME RULER FOR A DAY. (:

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Ronald Hamric 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Pat, You shed light on the problem with your post above to Bernice, and in this post. I believe the reality is that the whole mentality, morals, self- image, self-worth, character and principles of Americans almost across the board have changed significantly since those of us posting here were plying away at our careers or simply making our way in the world, I know it's very discouraging and unpleasant to acknowledge, but that is the reality I see every day. Those that Tom and I served with in the military back in the day were a different breed than those today and the military they serve in couldn't be more different. The only commonality is their names. US Air Force, US Army, US Navy, US Marine Corps.

I believe most of us here look at the current state of our nation and view it through a totally different prism than those that are the makers and shakers. A lot of the faults we see seem so apparent we scratch our heads in amazement that out leadership doesn't also see it, an fix it. Something so insignificant on a national level as the issue with the PSWID board is indicative of these things we see that need correction but there doesn't seem to be a willingness to do what's right.. Truth is it took several decades to arrive at this point in time and state of our nation. As most of us are well on in years, we will not live to see any correction even if any occurs as it will take as much or more time to turn things around than it took us to get here. I know I come across as a completely negative fatalist, and I have never given up noticing or caring about this country I love. We can still contribute in small ways and make some difference perhaps on a local level. But I think we also have to be realistic and accept that this is not in our hands. It will continue to unfold in whatever fashion and there is little we can do but observe and hang our heads in sadness.

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Rex Hinshaw 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I haven't commented on the forum in a while. I've watched this string with interest. Tom, it doesn't happen very often, but I disagree with you ....and I agree with Pat.(: I also agree with Ron...with one exception. I'm in my mid 60s, and I feel it is not too late to make a difference in where this country is going, I'll take age and experience over youth and enthusiasm any day. Remember ...the bureaucratic staffers that seem to be running our country have bosses that are our age...with the exception of some of the present adminstration.We baby boomers still are the majority....let's use it.

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Pat Randall 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Ronald and Tom. Anyone that wasn't in World War II doesn't have a clue how easy they have it now. Military or civilians. This will probably start another war but you know what I am talking about. Sometimes no contact for months with your family. Years spent away from them, not 18 months. no computers, to see new born babies or be able to talk to your family, all mail going both ways was opened and censored. We never knew where anyone was. Here at home, many things had to have stamps to be allowed to buy them. Sugar, tires, gas, and other things. I missed my Hershey bars. People just think they have it tough now. Almost everyone worked, the women in plants making parts for airplanes, and whatever was needed. No new cars after about 1942, the plants were taken over to make war equipment. I remember smashing tin cans for the war effort.

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Ronald Hamric 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Pat, I don't disagree with you on that. But I would ask you to consider the frame of reference the last two or three generations have relative to their world view today. My "conservatism" comes from my parents and grandparents who all went through the Great Depression and help prosecute WW2. Impressed upon me to not trust nor depend on the "government" . Own the home you live in, the ground upon which it stands. Be personally responsible for the effects of the decisions and choices you make. I'm 70 years old! Those that are in the mix today are by and large much younger than that. To them WW2 and it's national ethic is as ancient as the pyramids in Egypt and have even less relativity. Yes, as Rex said, there are a few old "War Horses" still around but they quite honestly don't seem to be very effective. I've personally seen more and more of the younger folks on the internet acknowledging that us "angry old white folks need to hurry up and die so they can create the world the way they want it." I don't think it is any longer a numbers game where main street America can actually influence the direction of the country. But then that's just my opinion. Been wrong before, will be wrong again.

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Pat Randall 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Ronald, We are not only old angry white folks, we are a hell of a lot smarter if we just had the energy to do something. And with that, good night and sweet dreams.

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frederick franz 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Getting back to Walmart and it's PR image, I recall just one thought about Walmart, which I had when I first moved to Payson in 1990.

That was that Walmart had no automotive service department. The reason, I was told, was that the town council didn't want to foster the competition of a well run company. So I had to take my vehicles to a company which I had no information about. That turned out to be quite expensive.

Pat is correct. Let Walmart make it's business policies and let the employees work where ever they want to.

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Tom Garrett 8 months, 3 weeks ago

"As to the bloated corporate salaries, it's the responsibility of the shareholders of whatever corporation to control that."

And that's where the rub is: The boards don't do it; they are in the hands of the execs, and that's not the way it's supposed to be. That is where the law has to step in. That, and making executives legally responsible for anything they do, instead of hurting the business itself, which after all can't make decisions, can it?

"I sense you are still clinging to the notion that there are Americans in business as a community service or to provide jobs for people."

Not a chance! A company is in business to make money. But if it is a corporation it is in business to make that money for the people who OWN it — the investors — not some bunch of clowns who are nothing more than employees. What's the difference between the guy who polishes a desk and the guy who sits back of it? They are both employees, and it is not THEIR welfare that the business is concerned with, it is its own welfare.

By the way, you would not believe this if you read his biography: "Tom, The small businesses that Walton bought out, willingly sold to him, took the money and ran."

"...doing anything for the national good."

Phooey on the national good! It's the good of the company and that of the people who own it that interests me. Of course, a crook is a crook, and if he breaks the law he should spend some time looking through bars, but that's a different matter. In the case of the decision not to open stores in DC, the negative PR that derives from that mistake will cost Walmart more than they will save by doing it, and it is greedy people at the top who make such decisions, worried that it will lower the level of the hog trough they wallow in.

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Tom Garrett 8 months, 3 weeks ago

"The same opportunities that I used to pull myself out of that social slot are as readily available to them today as they were to me back when I was in the rat race."

Sorry, Ron. Check the numbers. You and I are part of the last generation that made more real money that its parents. For 40 years that has no longer been true. The wealth, the power that goes with it, and the immunity to prosecution that accrues from that power and wealth, are the root causes of many of our current problems. Do you really want to see an America as what it is steadily becoming? The America of colonial days, where there were the owners and the rest of us?

Rex, "but I disagree with you ....and I agree with Pat." I think you only imagine you disagree with me. I am no more in favor of welfare and such crap as anyone else. My you, I believe in helping someone who has been hurt through no fault of his own. Things happen. Companies go out of business and someone may need help while he gets another job.

But the major causes of our current problems are two: One, too much control of the law by the wealthy. Two, a pack of wealthy fools (Al Gore is the poster boy) who think that the way to fix problem One is by doling out bread crumbs to the poor. The ANSWER is simple! Make it worth your while to get a job! Why? a) because if you don't you're going to starve. And b) because the pay is what it should be.

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Tom Garrett 8 months, 3 weeks ago

"Anyone that wasn't in World War II doesn't have a clue how easy they have it now."

Pat, you have got to be kidding! Compared to WWI, WWII was a walkover. But I get what you mean. You're trying to say that it was tougher being away from your family for the duration. True.

But I'll tell you what, Pat. take it from someone who was born ten years before you were, the war years for civilians were a piece of cake. Yes, we hated the fact that sons, brothers, and fathers were off in some place and in danger, but as far as the living was concerned? We were so much better off during the five years between 1941 and 1945 than we had been between — say — 1935 and 1940 that there is no comparison. Rationing? A piece of cake! Try being hungry as we were sometimes when I was a kid. There's a whole lot of difference between wishing you had some to eat — anything — and wishing you had something "tasty" to eat. Shoot! I got the very first pair of new shoes I ever owned in 1944, right during the worst part of the fighting. And the first pair of pants that weren't a hand-me-downs came in January 1945. My feet are only size 6 1/2, and all of my toes are hammer toes, because they had to be stuck into shoes that were too small.

I'm not complaining. As far as I'm concerned life has been wonderful. I've worked for every nickel I ever had. And I was glad to be able to find a job because I saw my two oldest brothers have to drop out of high school to shovel snow, or whatever — anything to make a dollar here or there.

But watching blood sucking leeches kill corporations over and over again while the average wage goes backwards is more than I can watch without saying something about it. Sure Obama and his type are wrong to think they can fool us by staying in office with handouts. But who trains people to want things? It isn't the government; it's %$#@! TV! And who makes movies and programs that glorify cheating? I'll tell you who: The people who profit by it!

Logic is what it takes folks. Just follow the money. It ain't coming my way, or yours.

As for that sound bite "middle class." I am so sick of hearing it I could puke!

Who, exactly — in numbers! — are the middle class?

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Ronald Hamric 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Tom, You've pretty well laid out your view of the problems. Now, share with us what you think YOU can do about it. Not the logical, common sense approach , but the realistic approach considering the state of the nation. Not what some group of elected politicians SHOULD do about it if only they would listen to YOU, but what is likely to happen even if we ALL wrote letters ad infintum to those very politicians. I think you have always seen from where I am coming . I saw Iong ago the writing on the wall and recognized that, short of a major revolution, we are mere subjects to he elitist aristocracy. Certainly some are comfortable enough that we won't take any extreme actions that might rock the boat, but there are a growing number of disenfranchised that are growing more and more frustrated. It is those people I am watching as they will be the catalyst of any extreme efforts to bring down the current system.

By their actions in DC, WalMart made a simple statement, "You will not dictate to us how we run our business". The loss of any revenue they may have made by opening those stores would have rapidly been eaten up nationally as the unions would smell blood in the water and demand like wages for all WalMart employees across the entire country. Considering the size of that corporation, I sense whatever PR hit they may have taken is insignificant when compared to the potential had they relented to the local powers to be in DC. It's still all about the bottom line and in light of their success, I imagine they have plenty of qualified advisors helping them make such corporate decisions.

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Rex Hinshaw 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Just today I saw,on Fox, all of the protests to raise the minimal rate to 15.00 per hour. Do any of these people understand what has happened in Greese. The minuim rate of 15.00 ...don't go to college....don't get an education....attack capitalism. Count on the government for your well being. THAT IS SOCIALISM.

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Rex Hinshaw 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm sorry about my spelling, do not have spell check.

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Ronald Hamric 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Rex, I saw that as well and the thought that came to my mind was why would anyone expect to be able to support their family by flipping burgers at a fast food take out? Those type of jobs were primarily for young people to make a few extra bucks while finishing school. They are definitely not a "career" as far as I can ascertain. That McDonalds , Burger King, etc. should start paying such an hourly wage would cause their products to cost as much as they would in a fine restaurant. Then those supposed "take-out's" would probably disappear. Then where are any of those folks going to work. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

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Pat Randall 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I didn't get my point across about WW2 but won't try now. You had to be here and live thru it. I am glad we lived on a ranch and could raise our own food, and we had butter to eat. A lot of people won't understand that either, about the butter. The unions were good when they were started but then they got to much power and screwed up a lot of things and caused businesses to go broke. I will let someone else explain how that was done. some people don't understand how much employees have to pay the unions to be able to work and if the big wigs call for a strike they don't lose their pay days. But it takes years for the worker to make up for what they lost while out on strike to get a 25cent an hour raise.

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Tom Garrett 8 months, 3 weeks ago

"Tom, You've pretty well laid out your view of the problems. Now, share with us what you think YOU can do about it."

Ron. See my post on another string. There are ways to regain our freedoms. We have to use the weapon we were given by the Constitution — the Supreme Court.

As to when, and what, was good, there's no question that as a nation we are still very well off, but that does not excuse greed. And it especially does not excuse buying Congress.

We all know that free enterprise is the only way to go. We also know that unions are good things as long as some greedy so-and-so doesn't get his hands on one of them. We also know that as a nation we choose to do some things where all of us work to protect each of us (Social Security, Medicare, other programs that are called entitlement programs because we pay for them). We also know that there are times when even welfare becomes necessary. We also know that the cost of taking care of some mentally handicapped kids (especially as they become adults) is beyond the means of some people, and we choose to create programs to help. We also need the military. We need a lot of things that some people try to whip us into a frenzy about so that we think we have to make an either/or choice, when it's truly BOTH.

The problem is not those things, not in and of themselves, but what happens is this: To feather their own nests, or to gain power, some people stir the s--t and set us against each other. The solution is to take those folks and hang them from telephone poles, not to go around yelling at other. Since they won't let us do that, we need to learn to use the courts better than we do. Right now politicians take bribes, lie to us, steal, cheat, make laws that benefit crooks, make laws that benefit the lazy and useless — make all kinds of destructive laws and get away with it. But where's the watchdog group which has been created to catch them at it and stash them so deep in prison, and for so long, that they look like moles blinking at the light when they finally get out?

Hey! All it takes to catch them is to spend the time it takes to do it. But if we spend our time joining phony political parties and doing what they want us to do — hate each other instead of them — they win.

It's a choice. I've already made it. Show me a group whose avowed purpose is to get this nation running according to the principals embodied in the Bill of Rights and I'll join it in a heartbeat.

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Ronald Hamric 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Tom,

" Show me a group whose avowed purpose is to get this nation running according to the principals embodied in the Bill of Rights and I'll join it in a heartbeat."

You would have to stand in line and it would be a very long line. Look, I don't disagree with any of those solutions you elucidated in the above post. But they were still, "if someone would just...!" That's what I'm referring to. We all think we can point to the specific problems that brought this country to this pitiful state, and as well we can all come up with viable solutions as well. The real problem is WE are ALL waiting for someone else to get the ball rolling. We're waiting for that first shot of the revolution and then, and only then we collectively might be able come together to right things. But all of us on this blog are in a place that most of those that got us here never heard about or even give a tinker's damn about. That's the facts and jawing about it simply is going to sustain the status quo. I feel real confident you know in your heart where I'm coming from.

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robbin flowers 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Shame on Wal-mart! "When one considers Walmart's company slogan -- "Save money. Live better." -- it almost seems as if they are referring to their corporation's big shareholders -- the super-rich Walton family -- rather than their employees or the communities they squeeze. After all, Walmart is the same company that has recently made headlines for firing workers for verbally protesting against unfair wages and lack of health care benefits. This situation forces Walmart employees to work second jobs or rely on government assistance to make ends meet.

According to a recent report from the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce, the low wages provided by a single Walmart store costs taxpayers upwards of $1 million in governmental support for those workers and their dependents. "The report finds that a single 300-employee Wal-Mart Supercenter in Wisconsin may cost taxpayers anywhere from $904,542 to nearly $1.75 million per year, or about $5,815 per employee. Wisconsin has 100 Wal-Mart stores, 75 that are Wal-Mart Supercenters." " Per the Huffington post. 7/12/2013. And shame on the people who support these business practices!

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Ronald Hamric 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Well Robin, You go ahead an start a business as a community service. Remember, it's all about providing people the means to have a low end job that permits them to live a middle class existence. That will be your reason for the business. WalMart's business plan, whether we like it or no,t is the most successful in America. Why would they fool with that formula? It's a business and it's all about the bottom line, not welfare or social support. If people simply quit patronizing WalMart and make sure corporate knows they are not shopping there because of the compensation they provide their employees, perhaps there may be some movement in that area. You will literally have to affect their "bottom line" before they will respond. And I suspect we won't see you shopping at that despicable store we have in Payson. No excuses, such as "well, where else are we supposed to shop?" If you are truly principled about this issue, you will make whatever sacrifice necessary to correct it. You'll need to convince a lot of WalMart shoppers that it is the right thing to do. Good luck with that.

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Tom Garrett 8 months, 3 weeks ago

If we keep arguing with each other the result is exactly what the people in Washington want. Does anyone disagree that some Walmart policies are wrong? Does anyone disagree that we do not have enough jobs? Does anyone disagree that it is partly because they are being sent overseas by corporations who make things there and sell them back to us, pocketing the money? Does anyone disagree that the root cause of the need for governmental support is the fact that worker salaries have gone down for 40 years? Does anyone disagree that we are going broke?

Well, if we all agree on those things, it must mean that when we argue about things like whether or not Walmart is wonderful we are doing exactly what Washington wants us to do: Fight with each other instead of with them.

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Pat Randall 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I shop at Walmart because of price. Why should I pay twice as much for my coffee and ice cream at Basha's, so I will get a warm fuzzy feeling? Safeway doesn't have it at any price. And I don't shop where they have two different prices if you have a card with their name on it and then they sell my name and address so I will get more junk mail. They put the card price up in big numbers then underneath in small numbers showing the price if you don't use a card. Not nice.

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Ronald Hamric 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Tom, Remember what Ross Perot said about NAFTA? Are we starting to hear that giant sucking sound as jobs leave this country only to set up in a NAFTA partners front yard? Oh, he was just that funny little guy from Texas who was a right wing extremist. The working class in this country somply cannot compete with those in China, Mexico, Bangladesh, India, Thailand, etc. Look, we get the government we deserve and that is what we have currently because people refused to listen to the "extremist " who told us ever chance they had, that those things would be the ruin of this nation. Well, duh! Not likely you'll get anybody to say they should have listened. I don't think any of us disagree on your points. Where we have an issue is just what can we here in Payson/Pine/Strawberry Arizona do about taking hold of the helm and changing the course of this nation. I would offer that we are pretty much doing what is within our power to do, and that is mourn the loss of this once great country. Anyone who thinks that our votes actually count simply has not been paying attention. Whatever our votes might have implied, they were more than off-set in large numbers by those that think we are actually headed in the right direction FOR THEM! They could care less what their big government/entitlement mentality does to the country as a whole.

And Pat, that is exactly why the majority of shoppers go to WalMart, for the prices. They may have an issue with the "corporate" stance towards their employees, but that will not stop them for looking out for their own best interest when it comes to cheaper prices.

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Tom Garrett 8 months, 3 weeks ago

"Tom, Remember what Ross Perot said about NAFTA?"

Do I ever! You're talking to a Ross Perot fan. Ever read anything about him? There's a lot more to the man than people realize. Try reading. "On Wings of Eagles."

"The working class in this country somply cannot compete with those in China, Mexico, Bangladesh, India, Thailand, etc"

How do you mean that, Ron? I hope you mean in making cheap trash because the American working man excels in work ethics, quality work, knowledge, skills, brains, innovation, and every other aspect of business except making crap. And that includes paying their taxes so that we can run the country! I am so sick of not being able to buy something worth owning I could puke!

You know what's going on over in China right now? The Chinese government is trying to squeeze pharmaceutical companies that built final product plants there into dropping their prices. Why? Because the Chinese people will NOT buy medicines made in their own country because they know what they would be getting, so the government, instead of cracking down on crooks, wants pharma companies to drop their prices so the crooks can compete.

Every time you read about India, China, et al you read about buildings collapsing, hundreds of kids being poisoned by contaminants in their school lunches, buses falling apart in the road, trucks running backwards off mountain roads because their brake pads were made of hog skins, houses burning down because radios and TV's short out and set fire to them, gasoline that turns out to be part fuel oil — and the worst, hundreds of cases of food contamination by every kind of pollutant imaginable, including human waste and just plain dirt dug up from some field.

And you have the wrong idea about the people who vote for Obama and others like him. That's a backlash caused by not being able to do as well as your father even though you work just as hard. You and I retired before that. Check the pay scale now. That "vast sucking sound?" It resulted in lower wages. That's THE issue of our day.

And please don't talk to me of boobies who want $175 shoes, have six kids with different last names, and look like dirigibles. They've always been around. One vital thing to do is to separate them in our minds from honest, hard working people who can't find a job. If we don't make that connection, we are fighting people like ourselves who were unlucky enough to be born 30 years too late. Ask yourself what would happen if the 15 million people who don't have jobs (the unemployment figure added to those who have just given up). That's 10% of all the working people in the nation. It is getting close to what we had at the end of the Depression. That's why people are scurrying around in Washington with giveaways; they don't want us to realize that Ross Perot was right, and that we have to stop, reverse, and get back on track.

But fight among ourselves? See working people as the enemy? That's not the way to solve the problem.

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Ronald Hamric 8 months, 3 weeks ago

What I meant was they cannot compete in the "costs of labor". Just as we have seen in the last few days, people who have found themselves in non-career jobs ie. fast food and burger flipping, cannot afford the American "standard of living" on what they are paid. Not that those jobs were ever intended to be a career path in the first place. America's quality of life and living standard is such that a hard worker needs adequate compensation to even begin to make ends meet, without any of the luxury stuff. They cannot compete in the Global market place as far as cost of labor goes. Why else would all those corporations off shore. And not just American corporations but those in other countries as well? They go where the cheapest labor costs are. Although they are not exclusively the root cause, American labor unions brought that situation on themselves. They are also the reason practically every American auto manufacturer has multiple recalls of their brands. The quality is no longer there in an effort to offset labor costs. Simple economics. And always remember, it's all about the "bottom line". Globally!!

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Pat Randall 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Ronald, Define American "standard of living." It is different ways for different people, isn't it?

Now as for no work. There is work. First of all you have to want a job and not live off someone else's money. Get up off your rear and look for it. I have 2 grandsons that live in Punkin Center and they are working in New Mexico because that was where they found a job.

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Ronald Hamric 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Pat, You are right. Standard of Living is not a universal term. Of course it is manifested differently based on one's economic status. But if we accept that "blue collar workers" pretty much built the middle class in this country after WW2, then that phrase is used synonymously with achieving the American Dream. You know, home ownership, steady work, kids education, cars, a decent retirement, etc. Like your grandsons, I went where the job market was and did okay by that approach. Sure I missed my family and friends where I grew up, but one does what they have to do to reach whatever potential they have set for themselves. The one caveat to that would be "unless the government makes it too easy to NOT let the government take care of all their needs".

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robbin flowers 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Well Ronald, I do have a business, and I do not need to take subsidies from tax payers to run it. Wal-mart isn't providing people the means to have a low end job that permits them to live a middle class existence. The US tax payers provide this to Wal-Mart employees. I have observed many times how Wal-mart operates. A recent example, a divorced mother of three small children gets hired a the Payson Wal-Mart. Now she is on AHCCS and Food Stamps. So, in order for Wal-mart to keep that employee on those benefits (her food stamps of course get spent at Wal-Mart) that company gives her $9 per hour at 28 hours per week. If they gave her 40 hours per week and $10 per hour then she would loose her benefits and get kicked off the public dime. So, when you think you are getting a bargain at Wal-Mart, the off set costs are not considered in. That store takes money out of our community and puts it right in there profits. The top eight of Waltons' decedents have as much money as the bottom 40% of Americans. And the American tax payers are the ones who give it to them. . WalMart's business plan, whether we like it or not is the biggest rip off to American interests, but it is definitely good for Chinas interests. As far as business and the bottom line, this company is completely about perpetuating the welfare and social support, and the bottom line is NOT good for America. "If people simply quit patronizing Wa-lMart and make sure corporate knows they are not shopping there because of the compensation they provide their employees, perhaps there may be some movement in that area. You will literally have to affect their "bottom line" before they will respond." I TOTALLY AGREE. And you are correct, you will not see me shopping at that despicable store we have in Payson. I say my Pledge to America and not China. I am truly principled about this issue, and have to make no sacrifice necessary to correct it, except spending a extra buck here and there. But, the way I look at it is, America - my country is worth it. The only shoppers that are able to even see the atrocity of this dragon corporation, probably wouldn't shop there any way. I'm tired hearing people complain about no good US jobs, while it is they, through there own actions who do the very thing that keeps the jobs in China. Luck will do no good. What will make a difference, is when people say the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, it would be nice if they actually meant it.

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Ronald Hamric 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Good for you Robin. I admire a person of principle. You could not be more correct in your observation about WalMart's customers are the only one's that can affect that corp's policy. Until such time as people quit looking out for their own personal interests and focus on what is in the nation's interest. the problems, not only with WalMart but many others operating just like it, will not change. Sad to say we only see that kind of patriotic unity during events such as WW2 or even 9-11 (although that only lasted a short period). My wife has been a partner in a small business in Payson for years and we see it all the time. People will come into their store to get "ideas" and then go to WalMart and purchase the items they need to make the projects as, of course WalMart is cheaper. We make every effort to support local businesses. Sometimes that simply does not work and we tend to go to Flagstaff or the valley.

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Tom Garrett 8 months, 2 weeks ago

"What I meant was they cannot compete in the "costs of labor"."

I agree. We pay more money to people. The reason for that is that as a nation we have more money, and so we can afford to do it. There's a fine line here. We want to make sure that we have a nation with full employment because with what we have now, where close to one quarter of our potential workers are no longer working, we end up with too much outflow for the amount of inflow (high taxes). But on the other hand we do not want to pay people so much that wages become an even worse burden on the nation.

What would I do about it?

First step would be to ban the sending of jobs overseas.

Second would be to give companies which have already done that twelve months in which to return the jobs to the United States.

Third would be to investigate every case of welfare and SSI, toss out the phonies, and end all future payments for more a second or later child conceived by some on welfare (leaving those getting the money now alone because they went by the current rules).

Then I'd watch the results and do a lot more, but exactly what would depend on how things were going.

"...that company gives her $9 per hour at 28 hours per week..."

That crap is one thing I would immediately change. How? One simple law. If you work full time (40 hours) you get full benefits. If you work less you still get benefits equal to the percentage of 40 hours you work. BIngo! We now have all full time employes!

As for it being only Walmart customers who can change things, I do not agree. Why should the rest of the people in the country be disenfranchised on any vote?

Nor do I agree with street solutions to problems. I had enough that crap during Vietnam. Picketing Walmart is not the way to go. Requiring our %$#@! representatives to represent us is the way to go.

Besides, how can you expect the very people who need low prices — those being cheated by the system — to pay higher prices as their contribution to getting Walmart to pay a decent wage? You know full well what will happen:

a. A shop elsewhere movement.

b. Walmart raises wages.

c. Instead of the raises coming out of the blood sucking leeches at the top it will come out of the very people who campaigned for the change — in the form of higher prices.

Nothing will have changed. Instead of funneling our tax money to Walmart workers through the system, we will now pay them more directly through higher prices, but the same fat cats who are looting the corporation will continue to do it, and our taxes, which should be lowered to balance out the fact we are now paying direct support to Walmart workers instead of indirect support will stay as high as they are now. The winner? The same old money grubbing fat cats who were the problem in the first place.

The cure for a sickness is not to treat the symptoms, but to address the disease.

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Ronald Hamric 8 months, 2 weeks ago

So how about the Federal government regulate corporations and all other businesses to a specific percentage profit. Anything above, say 5% profit must be rolled back in to wages and benefits for the employees, and tie executive salaries to that as well? There are many approaches to dealing with these "problems", but to do so requires us to accept more government intervention into the market, and as history has demonstrated, they are abysmal failures at every attempt they try that approach. I give you farm subsidies, Solyndra, General Electric, Bain Capital, and any number of "Green Industry" corporations. Just yesterday I read that the Feds are going to give Boeing employees a sweet deal.

“Compared to what Joe Worker gets when they get laid off, our members have a pretty extensive safety net,” said Connie Kelliher, spokeswoman for the International Association of Machinists (IAM).

The U.S. Department of Labor has approved Boeing workers — union or nonunion, production workers or engineers — laid off between April 2012 and June 2015 for a package of benefits that includes drawing unemployment pay for up to 2½ years, rather than the regular six months.

The Labor Department ruling also means that if laid-off Boeing workers need to travel, say to California, for a job interview, the government will reimburse 90 percent of the costs.

If they relocate for a new job, the government will pay 90 percent of their moving expenses and provide an additional lump-sum relocation allowance of up to $1,250.

While unemployed, they’ll also get a tax credit for nearly three-quarters of their health-care premiums. And they’re eligible for a grant of up to $25,000 toward the cost of a degree.

And for those workers over 50, if they have to take a lower-paid job after leaving Boeing, the government will provide up to $10,000 over two years in supplementary pay to make up some of the difference.

Now there is a government that cares!!!

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Tom Garrett 8 months, 2 weeks ago

"So how about the Federal government regulate corporations and all other businesses to a specific percentage profit."

Ron, I am thinking on a much higher plane that that. I would never vote for a law like that. I would never vote for government regulation of business in the way you mention. What we need is not nit-picking regulation, and another bureau bloated with desk flyers. We need laws! LEGAL penalties for doing things which are contrary to the best interests of corporations. Something that could be taken to court.

Therefore, what I WOULD vote for is a law that does what the Bill of Rights does in general, but instead of dealing with the rights of individuals, it deals with the rights of those who own a corporation, which right now are completely disregarded.

Okay. Bottom line: The primary principles which shall guide a corporate board are to ensure that the company remains in business, makes a profit for those who own it, promotes the fiscal health of the United States, and breaks no laws.

I see four things which need to be done to foster those principles. Someone who is far better at wording such things would have to lay down some legal (!) guidelines which set the responsibilities of boards so that those purposes were promoted, but I'll give it a shot.

  1. The Board shall set no executive salary above the level at which that position can be filled by individuals capable of ably executing its duties, the goal being be to find the most competent individual at the lowest salary, both with regard to open competition and to a reward for length and excellence of service.

  2. The Board shall work to foster employee loyalty through wages, benefits, and working conditions which compete in the market place for highly competent individuals whose primary focus is the welfare, profitability, and good name of the company.

  3. The Board shall monitor activities to ensure the highest professional plane regarding business practices.

  4. The Board shall place the responsibility for illegal or immoral actions upon the shoulders of individuals who plan, approve, execute, or abet such actions; reporting and actively assisting in the investigation of both civil and criminal liability of said individuals.

See? A four part Bill of Rights for corporate investors. Very general. But when a court looked at the stated principles on which those four parts are based, it would not be hard to decide a case. I'll repeat them: The primary principles which shall guide a corporate board are to ensure that the company remains in business, makes a profit for those who own it, promotes the fiscal health of the United States, and breaks no laws.

The recourse if a board was seen to not be doing its job would not be through some interfering government agency, but through the courts.

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