Monday, May 23, 2011

In the end, we'll all be working here

First, let me express how impressed I am at the ability of this advertisement to capture the truly agonizing, painful, hopeless experience of having to work for the bloodless corporate giant that is Wal-Mart.

Confronted by a customer who has found a lower price on the cheap, Made in China item she's interested in purchasing because she hasn't received a raise in salary in eleven years and has long since given up hope of ever buying Quality again, we get roughly 200 Wal Mart drones bleating "Match It!" Each of these zombies seems to be enjoying their moment of delusion, as they pretend that they have some say in the policy they are promoting, or how it is enforced. Of course, in real life, none of these sad little worker ants has any authority whatsoever, and in fact are more likely to be chastised later by a manager who happened to see them on a security camera saying something other than "can I get that for you?," "you'll be wanting the extended warranty with that," or simply "Welcome to Wal-Mart" during business hours.

The "associate" who has been confronted with the lower price gives a mock "thank you" to her fellow Grateful to be Making Minimum Wage God I Once Had Such Aspirations How Did It Come To This apron wearers as she confirms that yes, Wal Mart's policy is to never, ever let any small business offer a lower price- after all, the principle goal of this environment-raping, community-pillaging, middle class-gutting behemoth is to push all such companies completely out of existence, leaving a world in which prices don't HAVE to be matched, because the only source of ALL consumables is your local Mall In A Box.

Enjoy the low prices for cheap crap while it lasts, America. Don't forget to stop by on the way home to grab a coffee at that new Starbucks which just opened at the site of the old hardware/furniture/grocery store you helped drive out of business because it couldn't match Wal-Mart. What a nation of selfish, penny-wise and pound-foolish idiots we are.


  1. You're being a little harsh towards Wal-Mart. Smaller stores may very well go out of business due to becoming obsolete, but that's not Wal-Mart's goal. Sam Walton's Market started small, too

  2. Wal-Mart drives smaller stores out of business by willingly taking a loss in the short term. It pays employees crap wages, driving down the economy further while shifting the burden of their care to society as a whole. It floods the market with cheap garbage produced by slave labor in Asia.

    If that's being "a little harsh toward Wal-Mart," sorry, the truth hurts. And I don't give a damn if Sam Walton's market started small- so did Rockefeller and Carnegie's first businesses. Starting small doesn't give you the right to devour all the other little fish once you get big.

  3. Not only does Uncle Sam's Retail Monster Box think that crushing competition and stiff-arming unionization is "good" for the consumer, the idiots in charge insist on ramming their hillbilly ethos down our throats.

  4. Again, not Wal-Mart's goal. Wal-Mart executives do not wake up every morning thinking "How can we drive more little shops out of business?"
    Now there are things about Wal-Mart i don't like. I don't like how they use Public Domain to get land. I don't like their grocery prices. I don't like their new (Star?Flower?Boat oars?) logo. But i don't resent them for being a large, successful company.
    As a side note, China does not impose slave labor. Wages may seem shockingly low to us, but in my studies of Japan's economy,so are prices. I'm not sure, but I think China's is the same way. You only need as much money as you will one day spend.

  5. What times are you on this thing? To approve comments, that is.

  6. Wal-Mart is anti-union. God forbid working people should unite. BTW, I remember when Wal-Mart bragged in its ads about buying American even if it cost a little more...

  7. Derek- whether it's Wal Mart's goal or not is totally immaterial. Driving smaller stores out of business and depressing wages is what Wal Mart does- and it has become huge by doing it.

    China does not require that companies pay subsistence wages. You don't want to call that "slavery," fine. But calling a pig a stallion doesn't make it a stallion.

    "What times are you on this thing (to approve comments?") Several times a day, if possible. If your comment hasn't been approved, it's almost certainly because I haven't had time to check my mail. I almost never fail to approve comments- only if they are obscene or abusive do I reject them.

  8. I'm rather anti- Union myself. My father has told me a story from when he was on an Army base in Montana. The Army did something to get some union mad, and since they couldn't protest on the base, they protested outside of the service gate. When a soldier on a motorcycle rode by, they union thugs pulled him off and beat him. That's sort of soured him and me both on unions.

  9. Wal-Mart exploits the entropy of the American retail, cultural, ethical, and economic landscape. We may just as well despise McDonald's and Wendy's for exploiting the American appetite for cheap, greasy food. The problem really rests with the fact that few businesses and trends in America in any way significantly oppose the sprouting of depressing Wal-Mart stores. I have noted with interest that Joplin, Missouri (which lost both a Wal-Mart and a Home Depot) was referred to as "destroyed", when the old retail district in Joplin wasn't apparently touched by the storm. No one in the recent press has mentioned the in-tact Downtown as a noteworthy survivor, though citizens may be able to obtain some limited services from what remains there. But what will the town count on? -- the return of their Mart and their Depot.
    It also occurred to me that the tornado may have returned a significant amount of merchandize to China, Mexico, Peru, Honduras, Costa Rica, Madagascar, and Ireland.
    Wal-Mart is a symptom, not a cause. It is not a happy place, smilie placards notwithstanding.

  10. And right wing union busting is one reason the middle class is an endangered species.

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  12. I live in Michigan. When GM started south the streets were lined with stupid sign lifters hooting & hollering and driving drivers to lock their doors. All the things you listed as Union caused wonders
    1. 5-day work week
    2. Minimum wage (what is that? The least you can legally pay someone? No? What good is that?)
    3. Pensions
    4. Safety standards ( not all union caused)
    5. the Middle Class ( Rome had a Middle Class (actually a merchant class, a little richer, but close) over 2,000 year before there were unions)

    All those thing happened at least 50 years ago if the happened at all. those people are dead or retired, and this bunch haven't done anything worth doing.just hold up signs saying something to the effect of "My Employer Stinks!" and " I am loyal only to the UAW!".
    Those bubbleheads need to go see Flint, where the whined so much the actually got their entire town fired.

  13. on a side note, do you ever look at the back of "Consumer Reports", the "Selling It" section?

  14. A Summary of World Weather Records (Rainfall)
    (As of April 1997.)
    Record Location Details
    Highest amount of rainfall in the northern hemisphere in 24 hours Paishih, Taiuan 124 cm/49 in.
    Highest amount of rainfall in 24 hours (not induced by the presence of mountains) Dharampuri, India 99 cm/39 in.
    Highest amount of rainfall in 24 hours Cilaos, Réunion 188 cm/74 in.
    Highest amount of rainfall over 5 days Cilaos, Réunion 386 cm/152 in.
    Highest amount of rainfall in 12 hours Belouve, Réunion 135 cm/53 in.
    Highest yearly average rainfall in Africa Debundscha, Cameroon 1,029 cm/405 in. (with an average variability of 191 cm/75 in.)
    Lowest yearly average rainfall in Africa Wadt Halfa, Sudan 3 mm/0.1 in.
    Lowest yearly average rainfall in Asia Aden, South Yemen 5 cm/1.8 in.
    Highest yearly average rainfall in Europe Crkvine, Yugoslavia 465 cm/183 in.
    Lowest yearly average rainfall in Europe Astrakhan, Russia 16 cm/6.4 in.
    Highest amount of rainfall in 20 minutes Curtea-de-Arge, Romania 21 cm/8.1 in.
    Highest amount of rainfall in Australia in 24 hours Crohamhurst, Queensland 91 cm/36 in.
    Highest yearly average rainfall in Australia Tully, Queensland 455 cm/179 in.
    Lowest yearly average rainfall in Australia Mulka, SA 10 cm/4.1 in.
    Highest yearly average rainfall in South America Quibdo, Colombia 899 cm/354 in.
    Lowest yearly average rainfall in South America Arica, Chile 0.7 mm/0.03 in.
    Highest yearly average rainfall in North America Henderson Lake, British Columbia, Canada 665 cm/262 in.
    Lowest yearly average rainfall in North America Bataques, Mexico 3 cm/1.2 in.
    Highest yearly number of days of rainfall Bahia Felix, Chile 325 days
    Longest period without rainfall Arica, Chile 14 years
    Highest yearly average period of thunderstorms Kampala, Uganda 242 days
    Highest sustained yearly average period of thunderstorms Bogor, Indonesia 322 days per year from 1916 to 1919
    Longest snowfall Bessans, France 19 hours with 173 cm/68 in. of snow
    Source: National Weather Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

    Microsoft ® Encarta ® Encyclopedia 2002. © 1993-2001 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

  15. OH, GOOD GRIEF! I'm sorry, I meant to paste my comment from Word-pad, but i forgot i had copied a table from Encarta. Oh, well, enjoy the global weather statistics, I guess. (I'm so embarrassed.

  16. John - thanks for posting all.
    We can see that politics (particularly labor politics) is a tougher subject than the nauseousness of commercials. However, history doesn't change. Unions were essential to civilizing the workplace within America's huge factory labrynth. The automotive industry, the steel industry, the trucking and railroad industry, the food service industry, the textile industry -- all of these benefited for years from unionization, in that the country benefited from unprecedented and unmatched employment conditions - envied by the world. But the industries which the unions nobly served, barely exist now -- done in partially by the unions' intransigence in adjusting its demands before a changing economy. The very facet, then, which the unions bolstered by its regulations and just demands (let us say) was partly undone by those same unions. Companies simply did an end-run around the unions and went beyond our borders to the badlands of cheap labor and goods.

    The joke is cyclical, though. Eventually these makers in China, Mexico, even Canada will become just as expensive, if not more, than our own former production sites. We will be using Rustolium and naval jelly on those abandoned factories to get them working again -- soon enough. It can't be too soon for this suffering nation. On another subject - can you please take on the Icelandic Mud Citi commercial? It's a bit sick-making in that it is definitely not "labor" but "bourgeoisie".