27 Nov

Maybe it’s time to drop the picket signs and pick up a copy of The Road to Serfdom [Reader Post]

                                       

It was with great interest that I watched Facebook catch fire with support of the calls for picketing and sick-outs at Wal-Ma

rt stores across the country on Black Friday. From what I could tell, most of those supporting the calls were liberals who attacked the company with claims that it doesn’t pay “a living wage”, “exploits” its workers, or owes its workers health care. I even saw one fantastical claim that a majority of Wal-Mart employees are on food stamps. The suggestion was that Wal-Mart should be forced (via government itself or indirectly via unions) to change completely how it deals with its employees in terms of salary and benefits.

To set the record straight, according to Business Insider, Wal-Mart pays its workers an average of $11.75 per hour, just slightly below retail’s national average of $12.04 and well above the federal minimum wage of $7.25. The company itself states that the average non-manager employee earns between $10 & $12 per hour.

Those wages are at least sufficient to make Wal-Mart the largest employer in the country, with a current headcount of over 1.4 million employees. And no one forced those employees to take those jobs. One of the beauties of freedom is that employees are free to work at Wal-Mart or they can take their labor and sell it to someone else… or better yet, they could start their own businesses.

I couldn’t help but think back to the nonsensical Occupy Wall Street protests of a year ago. Many of the participants were carrying around signs decrying Wall Street for its profit mongering and the harm big businesses were inflicting on small businesses and the little guy. Of course their solution of choice was more regulation. Naturally.

Both of these instances reveal more about the protesters than it does about the companies being pilloried. The very regulations they seek are one of the reasons big businesses are so successful verses small businesses in the first place.

It’s a simple example of liberals either not knowing or ignoring basic economics. Take economies of scale. One of its benefits is that you can spread fixed costs out over a larger volume. It works for rent as well as for regulations. Let’s imagine there are two widget stores operating next to one another with identical rents of $10,000 per month. With everything else being equal, the store selling 2,000 widgets a month can build a $5 cost per widget into his prices, whereas the store selling only 1,000 widgets per month has to build in a rent cost of $10 per widget. As such, the store selling more widgets will likely be more profitable, successful and eventually may be able to buy out the second widget store and start its journey to becoming a hated big business.

The same holds true for regulations. Frequently large businesses not only influence regulations to their benefit, but they can also absorb the costs of such regulations far more easily than can their smaller brethren, even if they were unable to influence their writing. Take the tax code for example. At 75,000 pages, a five billion dollar company can easily afford to hire a phalanx of lawyers to find ways to reduce its taxes or lobby for changes. Such luxuries are rarely feasible for small businesses.

According to the Small Business Administration, big businesses with more than 500 employees pay about $7,755 per employee to comply with federal rules each year, while small businesses with fewer than 20 employees pay $10,585 per employee. That is almost 50% more that small businesses have to pay per employee than do large businesses. All because of regulation.

This push for regulation is simply another example of the left using the cover of populism to disguise its real agenda: more government control over business. Whether using the fig leaf of environmentalism to further the nonsensical, inflation causing ethanol mandates or the lie of “the rich don’t pay their fair share” to push for higher taxes, the left rarely lets facts get in the way of their pursuit of a socialist, statist agenda.

Which brings us back to the Wal-Mart protests of Black Friday. The real goal of liberals is not to improve the lot of Wal-Mart employees, it’s control of the company via unions and their government enablers. In doing so they would be able to use government regulations to not only take money out of the pockets of Wal-Mart workers, but more ominously, they could harness the power of the NLRB to impose a wide range of costs, controls and dictates on the company.

To put a cherry on top, take Wal-Mart’s misguided and calculating support of Obamacare – calculating that it would impose greater costs on its small competitors – that has now resulted in the company itself dropping healthcare coverage for many employees while drastically raising the premium costs for others. By pushing such utopian, economically illiterate regulations as Obamacare, the Community Reinvestment Act, ethanol mandates and higher taxes for the rich, liberals not only fail in their stated objectives, but they also invite a wide range of unintended consequences, none of which ever seem to be good. Maybe it’s time to drop the picket signs and pick up a copy of The Road to Serfdom.

About Vince

The product of a military family, growing up in Naples, Italy and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and being stationed in Germany for two years while in the Army, Vince spent half of his first quarter century seeing the US from outside of its own borders. That perspective, along with a French wife and two decades as a struggling entrepreneur have only fueled an appreciation for freedom and the fundamental greatness of the gifts our forefathers left us.
This entry was posted in Class Warfare, Economy, Labor Unions, Liberal Idiots, Occupy Wall Street, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Tuesday, November 27th, 2012 at 9:35 am
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84 Responses to Maybe it’s time to drop the picket signs and pick up a copy of The Road to Serfdom [Reader Post]

  1. johngalt says: 1

    The simplistic idea that you describe about business is lost on those who do not understand simple economic principles, Vince.

    Large businesses are inherently better equipped to deal with increasing government regulation and taxation that kills the smaller businesses. And when the regulations and tax policies favored by those liberal/progressives and their idiot followers are implemented, the very corporations and businesses they decry are the ones left standing, and ofttimes left stronger and more imposing than they were before.

    But hey, at least the children and environments are better off, right?

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  2. Nan G says: 2

    Vince, what we are seeing is that there are various ways of dealing with one’s own lack of competitiveness.
    If the union goons (like the ones in our Ports) would simply have taken night classes in computer skills they wouldn’t need to STILL be fighting against the computerization of our ports’ inventories.
    But they want to do it all by hand because they refuse to educate themselves.
    Some teachers made the news this week because they all hired the same guy to take their certification tests so they could pass and have at our youths.
    They might have tried hard to be good in school instead, seeing as how they intended to TEACH school.
    In Gaza we saw the n’th degree of what happens when union goons get too much power last week.
    The original story was that 6 Israeli spies were executed and then dragged down the streets behind motorcycles.
    The truth was that these men were all imprisoned opposition to Hamas.
    They were taken OUT of PRISON where they could not have helped Israel (even if they’d wanted to) and executed.
    At least one of them had been competition for a Hamas man in some business.
    For that he was murdered.

    It sounds so easy to say, a worker can just shop his labor here or there.
    But it is the union goons who are keeping many laborers stupid, like our Port workers and those teachers.
    How long will it be before they start killing their opposition like their Hamas counterparts?

    http://www.lbpost.com/business/10098-port-strike-continues-not-affecting-shipping-traffic#.ULUC_IZj7Sg

    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/11/25/15430647-cheating-scandal-feds-say-teachers-hired-stand-in-to-take-their-certification-tests?lite

    http://frontpagemag.com/2012/dgreenfield/the-collaborators-hamas-executed-were-actually-al-qaeda-rivals/

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  3. deeepred says: 3

    Perhaps someday soon we can finally reach that true socialist ideal. Where were finally past the welfare/food stamp phase to “those who do not work, will not eat”.

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  4. retire05 says: 4

    Richard Trumka, and his fellow trough feeders, are pushing the unionization of Wal-Mart. Why? Because the union coffers are constantly decreasing as their memberships fall in number. So in order to continue paying people like the Baker’s Union (where 18,500 lost their jobs due to them) president a tony $270+K/year, they have to have more and more sheeple to support his salary.

    Yesterday I was in Wal-Mart and spoke with a couple of people who work there that I have known for a long time. None were unhappy with their jobs, most had been promoted over the years from cashier (entry level) to department/store manager, most complained that their health insurance costs had risen in the last year, but still felt it was worth paying. One fellow told me that he had just gotten out of the hospital, cost close to $100K. He said “It would take me a long time to pay that off at $150/month.” Yeah, about 56 years. Most were happy to be five minutes from work, and not have to pay for gas to travel the 50 miles to the nearest large city, Austin.

    But oh, what an untapped source of money for all those unions. How dare people want to work for Wal-Mart, and not be forced to give up part of their wages to support Richard Trumka’s six figure salary?

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  5. Mully says: 5

    For the low wage worker a place like Walmart does help them. For example groceries are priced lower on average there than most other food stores. Since lower income people spend a higher proportion of their income on groceries the lower prices help. The person making 100k per year may only spend about 4% of their income on food, whereas the 20k per year person will consume the same amount of food but the cost will take a much bigger bite out of their income. So this is why many lower wage workers flock to Walmart.

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  6. MOS 8541 says: 6

    Why not find a job and work. Bet you all $100 that she has been on welfare for years. She is part of the 47%.

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  7. Greg says: 7

    More than 70 percent of all products sold at Walmart are manufactured in China. Walmart is China’s 5th largest export market, buying more goods from China than either Great Britain or Germany. Walmart is responsible for factory closings, manufacturing job losses, and the closing of countless small retail businesses all across America.

    Pardon me if I fail to sympathize with Walmart’s anti-union attitude. Overall, Walmart hasn’t been at all good for American small businesses owners or for American workers. Their “Everyday Low Prices” have come at an enormous cost. I don’t know why they aren’t flying a red flag with five yellow stars over their parking lots.

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  8. Cary says: 8

    $10/ hour is not a livable wage… especially when hours are cut drastically. And it’s certainly not enough to start your own business. As far as choosing to work there… riiiight… and if that’s the only job they can find, it’s that or welfare. Some choice.

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  9. retire05 says: 9

    @Greg:

    I realize that progressives (like you) are not the sharpest knives in the drawer, but can you deny that Wal-Mart, more than any other retailer, has allowed the lower middle class, and the poor, to have a better quality of life? Do you think that if only “mom and pop” stores sold flat screen TVs that the lower wager earner could afford one? How about clothings? Groceries? Household items? True, most of those things are made in some nation you probably can’t pronounce, but to try to make the claim that Wal-Mart is the root of all evil is pure bunk.

    Why should Wal-Mart employees join unions? Or is it that you have this inner desire to see Wal-Mart go the way of Hostess Brands?

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  10. Greg says: 10

    @retire05, #9:

    While many so-called conservatives (such as yourself) are apparently dumber than a box of rocks, even the mentally deficient should understand that exporting their own nation’s manufacturing base in exchange for the promise of an endless supply of ever-cheaper foreign-made consumer goods is a fool’s bargain.

    Someone has got stinking rich by way of such disloyalty. It’s not American consumers, American workers, or American small business owners. Most likely whoever it is can be found among the class of people which you believe needs to be rewarded for such behavior with additional tax cuts.

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  11. retire05 says: 11

    @Greg:

    Well, let’s just look at a little history, and where we can lay the blame for all those jobs being offshored, shall we, Greggie?

    Remember the old commercials “Look For The Union Label” that was put out by the United Garment Workers of America? Or has being eat up with the propaganda put out by the left wing pols and the media totally fried your brain causing you to not remember what happened to the “union label?”

    Seems I remember it wasn’t a Republican who signed NAFTA, with the promise that opening up new markets, like Mexico, and Canada, would be such a benefit to American workers. Of course, anyone with two grey cells bumping together understood that our trade relations with Mexico would be horribly imbalanced due to the per capita income between our two nations. And remind me again, who was the president that signed the trade agreement with China?

    Let’s take a look at just one industry, shall we? How about those textile workers that belonged to the United Garment Workers of America.

    “Between 1997 and 2001 (remind me again who was president then, Greggie)m growing trade deficits displaced an average of 101,000 jobs per year, or slightly more than the total employment in Manchester, New Hampshire. Since China entered the WTO in 2001 (again, Greggie, what president was it that pushed for China’s entry into the WTO?) job losses increased to an average of 353,000 per year — more than the total employment in greaker Akron, Ohio.”

    So why don’t you explain to us how the evil Republicans caused the trade imbalance with nations, Greggie? Give us the benefit of your infinate knowledge.

    I can tell you this; in 1992, I was a happy owner of a company that make women’s sportswear. I was proud that not only were my workers Americans (Texans, every one of them) but that every piece of fabric we used came from the textile mills in places like North Carolina. Now, by some standards, I was a “mom and pop” operation with just around 30 employees and a dedicated market. By 2,000 I could not buy fabric made in the U.S. It came from Mexico, China, Sri Lanka, Egypt. It was inferior fabric. And by 1998, the United Garment Workers of America had had their numbers so reduced by the loss of the textile mills in the U.S. they disbanded and joined in with another union.

    I sold my company in the early 2,000’s because if people wanted crap from China they were not going to get it from me.

    So shall we talk about why Wal-Mart is filled with Chinese manufactured goods and who is responsible for that? Because I am sure you want to lay the blame where it belongs, right at William Jefferson Clinton’s feet, right?

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  12. Cary says: 12

    @retire05:

    When Hostess CEO’s give themselves a 300% raise while cutting employees’ pensions and salaries, yes… perhaps someone else should buy the company out. Oh wait… that’s exactly what’s happening. As a liberal, I may not be the “sharpest knife in the drawer” but sometimes you just gotten be blunt.

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  13. bbartlog says: 13

    @Cary:
    If $10 an hour isn’t a livable wage, then why are the people working there still living? Actually, I know the lefty answer to this question: the government is subsidizing these workers (via food stamps, Medicaid or whatever). For some reason, it would apparently be OK if people received these benefits while sitting around the house all day, but if they go work at Wal-Mart (for less than they would otherwise have asked… maybe…) then suddenly the benefits are a problem because some small part of them might function as a subsidy to Wal-Mart. The possibility that any of the proposed solutions to this issue would also have side effects, and result in other economic distortions, seems to escape these critics.
    In any case, the fact is that not every job in this country is such a great deal that you can raise two kids on the salary in suburban style. That’s not new and it’s not something you can fix. People that do low-paying jobs might be retired, or living with parents, or living with a bunch of housemates, or married to someone with a better job, or waiting til later to have kids. When I was young and single I remember working for a year at $8 an hour as a file clerk. I had two people to share the rent in my apartment, and I saved up about $4500 in the course of that year. Different circumstances make for a huge difference in what constitutes a livable wage.

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  14. Cary says: 14

    @bbartlog:

    Point taken, though I wouldn’t argue that that justifies anything on the company’s part. Bottom line is that if I don’t believe a business operates in an ethical way in regards to fair treatment of their employees, or any other reason, I will give my business to another company that does (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=412252632177749&set=a.367288483340831.80063.367166820019664&type=1&theater)

    Nor does it cover the assertion that someone could possibly start their own business in order to make more money for themselves, when doing so takes a sizable amount of capitol to invest, and probably more than $4500. In fact, I’m getting ready to start a non-profit and that’s going to cost me at least twice that amount in initial costs. But I make a heck of a lot more than $10/hr (thanks to a negotiation between my union and my ethical employers) and it’s going to take me a year to pull what I need together. I personally don’t do loans or credit, I wait until I have the money to pay for things, but even someone who may want to take a loan may be ineligible for one with that sort of low income.

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  15. retire05 says: 15

    @Cary:

    If Wal-Mart is such an evil place to work, then explain to me why so many of its employees have been there for years? You see, Wal-Mart does something that most companies no longer do; promote from within.

    People who are under educated have to have some place to learn how to function in the world of business. Wal-Mart provides that opportunity. It also provides jobs in places where there are none, where the residents would have to drive many miles to a larger city to find work. So I’m really interested in what you think is not “fair treatment to their employees.”

    If all those Wal-Mart employees who do nothing but scan products and punch the keys of the computerized cash register are being treated unfairly, they are more than free to seek employment elsewhere. I know few companies that will hire someone who doesn’t have at least a high school diploma, and then cover the cost of their GED exams.

    At my local Home Depot, the starting salary is $11.14/hr. And in order to get a job there, you have to have had some experience in the department you will work in. Do you think that Home Depot treats their employees unfairly?

    I don’t understand the vitriol towards Wal-Mart who provides products to people who normally could not afford them. Although I will admit their cell phone business has probably cratered since Obama took office.

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  16. Cary says: 16

    @retire05:

    If all those Wal-Mart employees who do nothing but scan products and punch the keys of the computerized cash register are being treated unfairly, they are more than free to seek employment elsewhere.

    Did you not read my previous comment that addressed this point of view? I’m not going to retype the same reply while you repeat yourself, sorry. And why would you disparage honest working people to make a point? How are they different from Wall Street bankers who also push buttons to simply move money around, and make millions doing so? They aren’t working any harder than WallMart workers.

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  17. Liberal1 (Objectivity) says: 17

    @johngalt: Still haven’t learned to make a rational argument without calling names, huh?

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  18. Aqua says: 18

    @Cary:

    How are they different from Wall Street bankers who also push buttons to simply move money around, and make millions doing so? They aren’t working any harder than WallMart workers.

    Are you serious? You’re comparing someone that has studied statistics, marketing trends, and business analysis to someone that scans groceries? A person on a road construction crew works pretty damn hard…physically. Should they make the same amount of money that an engineer makes? What about lawyers? They certainly don’t do very strenuous work, shouldn’t they be paid the same as a WalMart greeter?

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  19. Liberal1 (Objectivity) says: 19

    @retire05: Liberals are not saying Wal-Mart is evil—which sounds sort of religious—but we’re saying the average worker there gets paid an amount which is slightly above the poverty level. At that level of income, they can’t afford health insurance or even food. This makes it necessary for the government to take up the slack by paying for food stamps and emergency room services for illnesses that are not really emergencies. This type of corporate welfare—so the Walton family can make more money—should be offensive to conservatives. But instead they point out that the government should not help these people at all—they made their bed, so now sleep in it. If conservatives had their way, the economy would resemble an economic free for all—with those not capable of surviving in the market place dying in the streets of disease and injury (like a third-world country), if it weren’t for liberals.

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  20. Cary says: 20

    @Aqua:

    No I’m comparing the amount of work that the two actually do. Surely, lawyers, construction workers and such… well, I didn’t mention them in my argument, did I? So I’ll move on…

    I’ve studied a lot of things, not all of them are relevant to the job I do every day. Sorry, but gambling other peoples’ money isn’t something I see as a skill, any more than a line cook prepares your order at a restaurant, or the product, store, and inventory knowledge a person who helps you when you shop has. Yes, I’m serious.

    Oh, right…. we can get that new flat screen HD tv for 20% less THERE than if we order it at the local mom and pop appliance store! Gotta get our priorities straight and get our “stuff!” So much for supporting small business…. silly me.

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  21. Babydoc says: 21

    @Greg:

    Greg, what leftwingers like you absolutely refuse to acknowledge is that our manufacturing job transfers to other countries are precisely because of government overregulation and union thuggishness. Businesses do not provide jobs as an act of charity so that people can make a living. Businesses exist to produce a product or service in order to make a profit. Workers are free to choose whether or not to work at a particular place. Unions make it almost impossible for a business to make a profit for the same reason the governments do not make a profit. Neither produces anything, but they serve as parasites sucking the lifeblood out of the host.
    That is the bottom line. Businesses moved to other countries because they could not make the profit necessary to stay in business with all the dead weight unions and excessive government puts on US businesses. But because the left is so damned stuck in 5 year old magical thinking with regard to economics, progressives refuse to accept their ultimate responsibility for the effects of their retarded philosophy.

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  22. retire05 says: 22

    @Liberal1 (Objectivity):

    So you think it is better for people to depend soley on the government instead of contributing, at least partially, to their own subsistance? And while you wail how they can’t afford health insurance, or groceries, can they afford cable tv, or cell phones, or expensive athletic shoes, cigarettes or alcohol? You see, if you want to be helped by my tax dollars, I don’t think you should have any unnecessary items that you, yourself, cannot afford. No cable, no cell phone, no cigarettes or alcohol.

    And just how much do you think a high school dropout is worth in the world of commerce? $20/hr? $35/hr? How much is an uneducated slacker worth? Is the cashier at Wal-Mart, who has a 10th grade education worth the same money, in your mind, as the guy who Cary calls “the Wall Street banker” who has a Master’s in finance?

    And what about the in-kind contributions that Wal-Mart makes to their employees with a 10% discount on everything they buy in the store? Think that doesn’t add up to a unpaid dollar benefit?

    You progressives think that no one should be responsible for their lot in life. If they didn’t finish school, they should be allowed to live in public housing and get free food, free utilities, free cable tv and free cell phones, not to mention free medical care. If they are hooked on drugs, same free stuff. Have three kids and no baby daddy? Same free stuff. But if you finished at least high school, don’t do drugs and don’t abuse alcohol, and work your ass off to increase your earning capacity, why, you’re the loser since the Democrats want to raise your taxes to pay for those slackers. If we are going to hand out all that free stuff, what is the benefit in doing what is right and trying to make a success of yourself while the U.S. government (especially Democrats) think you should be punished for that with higher taxes? And when people just say “The hell with it. Why should I bust my tail for someone else?” who is going to pay for all your slackers?

    So please, explain to all us “conservatives” how you judge a person’s worth in wages. It should be interesting to read your socialist view points.

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  23. Cary says: 23

    This past weekend at least 112 workers were killed in a devastating fire at a garment factory in Bangladesh — Tazreen Fashion Ltd. — which had been making clothes under a Walmart brand.1

    The stories coming from the surviving workers are horrifying. They were trapped in the fire as there were no emergency exits and an exit door was locked.2 According to a report, “fire extinguishers didn’t work and apparently were there just to impress inspectors, and that when the fire alarm went off, workers were told by their bosses to go back to their sewing machines.”3 Shockingly, 12 people died at hospitals after jumping from the eight-story building.4

    Walmart initially tried to evade responsibility by claiming it was not aware of any connection to that factory. But the corporation was finally forced to admit the connection after photos were published that showed clothing with Walmart’s exclusive “Faded Glory” label at that factory after the fire.5

    Tell Walmart to ensure basic safety for its workers by signing onto the fire safety inspection program that other international brands have already signed. Click here to automatically sign the petition.

    Bangladeshi factory workers are protesting the abuses of Walmart in the streets. And they are demanding that Walmart take responsibility for fire safety conditions in factories. Walmart must join the fire safety inspection program that brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein have endorsed to raise the standard for working conditions and prevent a tragedy like this from happening again to Bangladeshi workers.

    Walmart claims that Tazreen Fashion Ltd., was subcontracted by one of its suppliers — the Tuba Group. But the fact is that Walmart’s “elaborate system of contractors and subcontractors” is designed to allow the giant retailer to evade any real responsibility in tragedies like this while it continues to exploit cheap labor.6

    Walmart happens to be the largest buyer of garments from Bangladesh, which has a notorious record of ignoring the safety of workers and suppressing their attempts to improve their conditions.7 Yet Walmart appears not to have taken the necessary steps to enforce safe conditions of those workers, including making sure its contractors and subcontractors were complying with basic fire codes to protect workers.

    Walmart did not end its relationship with the supplier that had subcontracted to Tazreen Fashion, even though “the safety risk posed by Tazreen’s substandard equipments was understood well before Sunday’s blaze.”8 Walmart ended its relationship with the supplier after the deadly fire, when it was publicly forced to admit that its products were being made at the factory.9 This is not acceptable.

    Tell Walmart to ensure basic safety for its workers by signing onto the fire safety inspection program that other international brands have already signed. Click here to automatically sign the petition.

    Walmart, of course, has an appalling record10 that includes blatant disregard for the human rights of workers, discrimination against women, and infliction of damage on small businesses and the environment. As reported by the Nation’s Josh Eidelson:

    Walmart has come under repeated scrutiny for the labor conditions at its suppliers. In June, guest workers at C.J.’s Seafood went on strike over alleged forced labor conditions; after initially saying it had investigated and couldn’t substantiate the accusations, Walmart eventually suspended the supplier. In September, Human Rights Watch released a report finding widespread debt bondage at the Phatthana shrimp company in Thailand, and accusing Walmart of offering shifting and contradictory explanations of its relationship to the company.11

    We cannot let Walmart get away with ignoring claims of basic safety violations and human rights abuses. Speaking up in large numbers will make a difference now, as the company is already experiencing increased scrutiny as a result of U.S. workers striking for a safe workplace and a decent standard of living.

    Let’s show solidarity with workers fighting for basic safety and human rights. Click below to automatically sign the petition:
    http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=6991706&p=walmart_bangladesh&id=51186-6153891-9ZPlAFx&t=10

    Thank you for taking action.

    Murshed Zaheed, Deputy Political Director
    CREDO Action from Working Assets

    1. Farid Hossain and Julhas Alam, “Walmart Admits Bangladesh Factory Was Making Clothing For Retailer Before Fire,” AP, November 26, 2012.
    2. Ibid.
    3. Ibid.
    4. Ibid.
    5. Josh Eidelson, “Photos Show Walmart Apparel at Site of Deadly Factory Fire in Bangladesh,” The Nation, November 26, 2012.
    6. Laura Clawson, “Walmart clothing found in Bangladeshi factory after fire that killed 112,” DailyKos.com, November 26, 2012.
    7. “Massive Fire Kills At Least 118 Factory Workers in Bangladesh at Wal-Mart Supplier,” DemocracyNow.org, November 26, 2012.
    8. Zack Beauchamp, “More Than 100 People Killed By Fire In Bangladeshi Factory Allegedly Supplying Walmart,” ThinkProgress.org, November 26, 2012.
    9. Farid Hossain and Julhas Alam, “Walmart Admits Bangladesh Factory Was Making Clothing For Retailer Before Fire.”
    10. Walmartat50.com
    11. Eidelson, “Photos Show Walmart Apparel at Site of Deadly Factory Fire in Bangladesh.”

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  24. Babydoc says: 24

    @Liberal1 (Objectivity):
    I will partially agree with you that it is completely offensive to me that food stamps and welfare exist. Such programs teach people to give up on self-reliance and to become junkies to the government drug pusher. Then, as the user becomes addicted, they will do whatever is necessary to keep getting their government fix. This, of course, is precisely what the democrats intended when they foisted social security, welfare, foodstamps, medicare, medicaid and now socialist health care. We are all forging the chains of our own slavery on the leftist political plantation. Hard work is to be punished with greater theft err…taxation…by the slimy politicians wanting to buy the votes of the uneducated. To be characterized as greedy, simply for wanting to actually be able to keep what I earn, by leftist thugs who are in essence stealing ever more from me each year would be laughable if it weren’t so criminal and totally un-American.

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  25. Babydoc says: 25

    @Cary:

    Using Thinkprogress, The Nation, and DemocracyNow as sources provides ZERO credibility to any argument, as they are nothing but disgusting leftwing agitprop groups. Simply listing sources doesn’t make something factual. Unless Walmart owned the shop in question in another country they are not responsible for the tragic deaths of the clothing workers in that third world country. The factory owners in Bangladesh are the ones responsible, but the union thugocracy wants to falsely put the blame on Walmart for political purposes.
    Using your stretched logic I could just as easily argue that American Unions are responsible for the tragic deaths in that textile fire because they forced Walmart to have to buy clothing manufactured there because unions drove textile manufacturers out of business in the US with unreasonable demands.

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  26. retire05 says: 26

    @Cary:

    OK, so Bangladesh doesn’t have any fire safety codes. And that is Wal-Mart’s fault why? At one point, the U.S. didn’t have any standard fire safety codes either.

    Ever wonder why we have such rigid fire codes, Cary? Guess you never heard of the Triangle Shirt Factory fire where 146 people, mostly women, died? Did the state of New York hold the businesses that bought product from Triangle responsible for the fire like you are trying to hold Wal-Mart responsible for the Bangladesh fire simply because they bought product from that company? No, they held the company responsible and out of that came the push for fire safety in the workplace in the U.S. Perhaps the nation of Bangladesh should create fire safety codes and hire engineers to inspect their factories. Nah, that wouldn’t fit in with your agenda of hatred against Wal-Mart, now would it?

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  27. Aqua says: 27

    @Cary:

    I’ve studied a lot of things, not all of them are relevant to the job I do every day. Sorry, but gambling other peoples’ money isn’t something I see as a skill, any more than a line cook prepares your order at a restaurant, or the product, store, and inventory knowledge a person who helps you when you shop has. Yes, I’m serious.

    Luckily the world doesn’t have to live by your rules. The amount of money a person gets paid is solely dependent on the demand for their skill. I am not a big fan of lawyers, but they get paid large sums of money because we are a society of laws; hence the demand for people skilled in the art of law. Same with stock brokers; a person that can take your money and invest it so you can retire is worth the money they are paid. The ones that can’t make that happen don’t stick around long. Your own Union almost certainly has a group of stock brokers investing your pension. Seeing as you despise these folks, I’m sure they would allow you to back out of your pension plan.

    So much for supporting small business…. silly me.

    I support my local stores. I rarely go to Lowes or Home Depot unless I can’t find what I need at the locally owned Ace Hardware. My last TV was bought at BJ’s Wholesale. I have nothing against WalMart, but I personally can’t stand shopping there.

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  28. Cary says: 28

    @Babydoc

    Sorry you don’t approve of my source. I often don’t approve of the right’s sources, either, so I feel your pain. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNN56bpoN9M

    No, unions did not force Wal-Mart to use foreign labor. Your consumer demand for cheap stuff did that. You wanna support the American economy and labor? Put your money where your mouth is and spend a little more on the stuff you don’t actually need anyway. That’s the point the evil liberals have been making, which you don’t seem to get. Can’t afford that American made new tv at actual cost? Save your money, buy with cash, and avoid the interest rate on your credit card. You’ll be doing yourself and the country a favor. Move your money from millionaire bankers to the workers who make and sell the stuff you’re getting.

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  29. Cary says: 29

    @retire05:

    Thanks for the history lesson, I know all about Triangle Shirt Factory fires, I walk by there all the time. The tragedy was a catalyst towards the growth of the garment workers union. So, good point.

    You’re right, Wall-Mart didn’t break any Bangali laws…. they just didn’t take care of their workers because it was too much trouble. And you wonder why we fight against lifting regulations here in the US… We have laws here because people don’t always do the right thing on their on volition. This kinda proves that, doesn’t it?

    @Aqua:

    I invest in my own IRA, and I don’t despise stock brokers. Some of the nicest people I know work on Wall Street, but I don’t think that what they do is more valuable than someone who sells or makes actual product. Of course doctors and lawyers should be paid for their skill, I never argued that. I do despise anyone who operates any business without ethics (breaking actual laws or not), which is what is being addressed here. I’m glad you support your local small businesses. That’s what will help your local economy more than anything.

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  30. Common Sense says: 30

    @Greg: Greg, now there you go with your BS accusations. Please prove your statements about Walmart or crawl back in your hole. You do this all the time and when asked for proof you provide less than none!!

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  31. kellys says: 31

    @deeepred:

    @Babydoc:

    Maybe its just selfish greed. Why outsource when you have the most productive workers in the world here in the USA? I dont think basic safety is over regulation, evidently you and Wal Mart do. You both seem to think that lives lost for the sake of increased profit is only fair, as long as it is someone else I am sure.

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  32. sweetsuzee says: 32

    @Cary:

    I never thought I’d find myself defending Wall Street bankers but give me a break. If you truly believe that they only push buttons, etc. then your ignorance is truly glaring. What cracks me up the most is that most OWS protesters and ALL union members have the retirement benefits and pension plans that they do have thanks to those WS bankers. They are the ones that take the company portfolios and increase their profits. Whether it be stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc. 99% of all portfolios are managed by Wall Street and without them, all would fall flat on their face. Bain Capital, for instance, has made more money to benefit school teachers, retail cashiers, etc. than most other money management fund companies combined and people pointed fingers at Romney. That just shows you how ignorant most people in America are regarding what it is that Wall Street really does. Wall Street is the financial backbone of America !!!

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  33. Elaine Connelly says: 33

    @deeepred: It used to be that way, services for the indigent were met by Churches and the Salvation Army. Now it has become a sport to make fun of Christians (most of whom will give freely of their time and money to help). It’s that d*** muslim in the white house and all demon rats who are keeping poor people poor.

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  34. sweetsuzee says: 34

    @Cary:

    Would not this be the fault of the Bangladesh government? Wouldn’t this also be the fault of the American government for allowing trade with such countries?

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  35. kellys says: 35

    Wal Mart is a predator. They have destroyed small business all over America, they are also responsible for many of our factories large and small leaving the USA. When Sam was alive it wasnt so bad but as soon as he was gone the feeding frenzy began. Anyone who shops at Wal Mart must hate themselves, they are only helping their own demise.

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  36. David Gell says: 36

    @Greg: Greg, I believe you have some mis-conceptions on a number of fronts. Milton Friedman was perhaps the most brilliant economist who ever lived — including John Maynard Keynes. Milton also possessed the rare quality of common sense — in GREAT abundance. What’s more, he could tell you that you were wrong about something in such a fashion that it didn’t offend you. I believe you’d enjoy some of his videos. They can be found on youtube. Good luck, young fella.

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  37. David Gell says: 37

    @retire05: Cary, what you don’t mention is how many Wal-Mart employees are multi-millionaires. I don’t know if they still have a stock plan or not, but I remember reading an article in Business Week about 25 years ago of the large number of Wal-Mart cashiers and stockboys who were millionaires yet continued working for Wal-Mark.

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  38. Old Gringo says: 38

    @<a href="http://floppingaces.net/2012/11/27/maybe-its-time-to-drop-the-picket-signs-and-pick-up-a-copy-of-the-road-to-serfdom-reader-post/comment-page-1/#comment-396012″>Greg:
    It is the politicians in D.C. that are reaping the financial rewards. The unions are furious because they can’t increase their income to justify their nefarious schemes and subjugating their “subjects” by taking a great portion of their wages. They also want to be able to dictate to the employer what they may/may not do with their businesses. If one doesn’t play by the union “rules” then the union will strike causing financial difficulties for the business in addition to possibly drive them out of business. Does Hostess ring a bell with you?

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  39. Elmer Ross says: 39

    In regards to your article: “picketing and sick-outs at Wal-Mart stores across the country on Black Friday”,you are totally out of touch with facts and reality. I am retired from the Boeing Company and, following retirement, worked for Wal-Mart for
    nearly 5 years. Everyone “Associate” starts at MINIMUM WAGES, which, in Washington state is $9.05 an hour, and in Kansas, where I
    first worked for them, it is, I believe, still only $7.24 an hour. They are so cheap, that when I returned to work for them last
    September, after working close to 5 years, I again started at minimum wage.

    They intimidate and abuse their employees and you will never read about that thru your
    media and reference sources.

    There is a conspicuous lack of leadership at every level of Wal-Mart management and
    If you are an Associate pushing their carts and they Maintenance Custodial members are too lazy so empty the garbage containers in the parking lot, when the containers overflow, rather than making forcing Mintenance to do their job, they will insist
    that the Cart Associate clean up the mess.
    Perhaps you have never heard of things like that happening at Wal-Mart. I believe that is called abuse,and when I was working at Boeing under protection of International Association of Machininists,(IAM)union
    union, things like that would have never happened.

    Elmer Ross

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  40. Old Gringo says: 40

    @David Gell:
    I see you are a Progressive of the highest order.

    ReplyReply
  41. David Gell says: 41

    Vince, you left out the fact that it is often big business who lobbies for more regulations and who, in many instances, actually WRITE the regulations (or, at the very least, help write them). And, when a big business writes the regulation, guess who it tends to favor and who it tends to penalize!

    ReplyReply
  42. Cary says: 42

    @sweetsuzee:

    The backbone of America are the hard working people who actually get their hands dirty so that you can live in comfort. The backbone of America are the people in uniform who protect us everyday. The backbone of America are the people who educate tomorrow’s backbone. Moving other peoples’ money around isn’t backbone, and neither are CEOs who profit with great disproportion while their workers scrape. Sure, what they do certainly has a purpose, that’s never what I said. But their value is as overrated as what the top movie stars and athletes are. And, being both an artist and an athlete myself, I’m not disparaging them by saying so.

    Sanctions on Bangladesh? Really?

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  43. babygirl825 says: 43

    @Greg: … you are an idiot !!!!! these days, thanks to YOUR lord and savior, people are damned lucky if they even HAVE jobs, and YOU want to cut down the largest employer in the country ?? Guess what……..there are tons of companies that use Chinese goods. just because W-M employees refuse to go union doesn’t mean that the unions have the “right” to force it upon them. most of the numbnuts who “picketed” on Black Friday were bused in to do that protest, and most were NOT W-M employees, but union thugs. So get down off your high horse, get your nose out of the air, and shut up !!! You aren’t even smart enough to realize that most people would love to have a job !!!!!!!!

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  44. Greg says: 44

    @Common Sense, #30:

    Here’s a documentary film about Walmart. Walmart: The High Cost Of Low Prices I suppose a lot of people only see what they want to see.

    A part concerning a Walmart factory in China begins at 1:00:12. These are the conditions of the Chinese workers that American workers are now expected to compete with. The competition in China is making $3 per day.

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  45. Cary says: 45

    @babygirl825:

    Shutting people up who disagree with us and calling them stupid isn’t how we do things in USA. I’d defend you if any liberal said such a thing to you.

    ReplyReply
  46. babygirl825 says: 46

    @Cary: There are a lot more than just W-M who got their clothing items there !!!!! And did the company making those items do a number on the inspectors ?? I guess AMERICANS can just go to a company overseas and inspect it to see how their workers are doing ??? You are a true IDIOT !!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  47. David Gell says: 47

    Folks, bear with me because I’m a bit new at this. Just an observation, mind you, but I have a hunch that name calling and incendiary language ain’t about to convince your opponent of ANYTHING. As a Grand Master Hot Head myself, I know well that it’s often very difficult to restrain yourself from venting on your opponents, but it’s probably just increasing the chasm between us — not building a bridge over it.

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  48. retire05 says: 48

    @Elmer Ross:

    Most people would have checked company policy on a) bridging service and/or b) re-hire starting salary. Guess you were not smart enough to do that. Seems Wal-Mart didn’t gain anything hiring you. And it doesn’t speak too well for Boeing.

    Now, I am sure that the national management team of the IAM were more than happy to take part of your salary in union dues considering twenty-two of the IAM national officers make over $207,000./yr, including the General Secretary-Treasure who earns a pathetic $398,701.00 a year. Guess the IAM wants to benefits their hiarchy more than they wanted to benefit you so they took your money and in true Democrat fashing, redistributed it to the union’s national officers.

    I am sorry no one ever told you that you have the freedom to work for someone else if you didn’t like Wal-Mart.

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  49. retire05 says: 49

    @Greg:

    Greggie, your movie reference was made by Robert Greenwald, a radical left winger who is nothing more than a Michael Moore-on wannabe. Of course, he is heralded by the NY Slimes, and MoveOn.org, a wholly owned subsidiary of George Soros.

    But unfortunately for progressives like you, low income families don’t give a hairy rat’s ass about your propaganda film; they simply want cheaper prices so they can live better.

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  50. Elmer Ross says: 50

    @retire05:

    Carey,
    Please forgive my late response, but as a former Wal-Mart employee and retiree from the Boeing Company, I don’t think Wal-Mart is an evil employee – it supports a lot of good causes, and the
    founder was an admirable man with principles, however I found Wal-Mart to be the most
    unprofessional employer I have ever worked for. I was awarded their “Employee-of-the-
    Month” award, the 3rd month I worked for them, just for doing what I was expected to do,
    as so many of the employees I worked were incompetent, unmotivated and lacking in
    work ethics.
    Vince, the author of the article on Wal-Mart and Black Thursday, obviously nevery worked for Wal-Mart
    as his information about Walmart “Associate” employees wages is totally inacurate – ALL Associates (non-
    managerial employees” start at MINIMUM WAGES, which is $9.05 in Washington State, but only
    $7.25, the Fedral Minimum wage, in Kansas, where I first worked with them. for the holiay season.
    When I returned to work at Boeing in Everett, Washington following retirement, Boeing gave me a $5.00
    increase in pay, because of my previous employment with them. Wal-Mart, being the cheap employer that it is, when I returned to work for them followng nearly 5 years, employment with their company, I again began at minimum wages.

    I just recently quit Wal-Mart for the 3rd time…, and no longer have any desire to ever work for them again.

    Read more: http://MinuteMenNews.com/2012/11/incomprehensible-idiocy-hows-that-regulation-working-for-you/#ixzz2DY9JUAP8

    with

    ReplyReply

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