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-   -   Sam Walton sold America. (https://www.huntingnet.com/forum/politics/79588-sam-walton-sold-america.html)

gleninAZ 11-18-2004 05:30 AM

Sam Walton sold America.
 
Anyone see the Frontline story on PBS about Walmart and China?? Very in depth analysis of the evolution of Walton's plan from starting out with buy in USA all products to support the American worker. He then began taking trips to the far east and meeting with the Chinese, ordered a lot of cheap products to start the relationship then began pushing American manufacturers to build factories in China. Rubbermaid took a price increase and refused to go offshore and Walmart discontinued their line and took them from America's most admired company in the early 90s to bankruptcy. It showed the auction of Rubbermaids plants and said the chinese bought the heavy production equiptment.

In comes Bill Clinton announcing his big trade deal with China and saying it will open a huge market for the US and create jobs. It then showed the head of the port of Long Beach today. She said we import 36 billion dollars a year from China into Long Beach and export 3 billion a year of scrap metal and scrap paper. How many of you make a living on scraps?? It said the average factory wage in US dollars in Sheng Ching factories is 50 cents and some are as low as 25 cents an hour. The bottom line is that a visionary capitalist decided to force American manufacturers to move production offshore so his company could sell cheap and run his competition out of business. He knew that we would line up like lemmings to save a few bucks. He got his Arkansas buddy the President to help him out with a wide open trade deal.

My grandson will never see the quality job opportunities we all grew up with unless we put embargos and trade restrictions in to play. Either way our economy has been hijacked by a foreign country and we can thank our own people for doing it. Sad days IMO.

badshotbob 11-18-2004 07:22 AM

RE: Sam Walton sold America.
 
Glen, I couldn't agree more. It is sad. I pointed this out over on the Kmart/Sears thread - they too will follow in Chinamart's footsteps in order to stay competitive, which will only drive jobs away, close plants, and contribute to the eventual collapse of this economy.

Speaking of Klintoon.... his library opened up today (what a waste of 30 acres!). I heard on the radio this morning (C-Span) a spokesman being interviewed - he said the drive behind Bill's intentions for this place was to promote a "One-America - One- World" philosophy. Hmmm........

I believe this country is in for some interesting times ahead.

vc1111 11-18-2004 07:33 AM

RE: Sam Walton sold America.
 

My grandson will never see the quality job opportunities we all grew up with unless we put embargos and trade restrictions in to play.
Really? Details please.

chipmunk 11-18-2004 07:33 AM

RE: Sam Walton sold America.
 
Many American companies are only concerned with the bottom line...as long as they can give their shareholders and CEO's big money they don't care who they have to screw to do it. The people at the top get richer and the working class continue to get the shaft.

I remember when I worked in Banking, one year no one "in the trenches" got a raise, but the CEO got a 2.5 million dollar BONUS...in addition to his 3 million/year salary and his stock options. Made me sick!


The government should make it harder for American companies to move their production and jobs overseas and be more selective about what it imports. IMHO

gleninAZ 11-18-2004 08:14 AM

RE: Sam Walton sold America.
 
VC-Did you see the documentary? Rubbermaid was the first company Walton drove out of business. 1000 high paying jobs in Wooster, Mass factory alone. The systematic leverage from Walmart to move manufacturing to Shen Cheng alone created a huge metropolis there where there were only rice paddys 20 years ago. The 36 billion a year from China is just into Long Beach so is a small percentage of the total impact. The 3 billion in export was primarily scrap metal to make tools for the US market and scrap paper for packaging. We don't have too many people earning 20 bucks an hour on either one.

I spent 35 years in the food industry and understand Walmart very well. They take over the majority of sales in a category then start the blackmail against the manufacturer to drive all costs out of the system. It does make the final cost on products much better but not necessarily to the consumer. They set their price below the lowest competitor but keep the majority of the savings for their bottom line. It is truly a free market economy at work but the highest cost of production in my factory now is labor. Cutting labor costs by exporting all of our manufacturing jobs---

ELIMINATES GOOD JOBS FOR THE FUTURE!

vc1111 11-18-2004 08:21 AM

RE: Sam Walton sold America.
 
Glen, good post, but it does not address the question. How do you legislate the inability to hire labor and buy products from abroad?

Alsatian 11-18-2004 08:39 AM

RE: Sam Walton sold America.
 
gleninAZ:

Good post. I think I understand your point but don't necessarily agree with your solution. Also, I don't know what the solution is. I'm a software engineer who no longer works as a software engineer at least in part, I believe, because so many companies are doing their software work offshore with cheaper Indian and Chinese software engineering labor, so I'm not speaking as someone without an interest or a few chips in the game.

There is a flip side to this issue. True, Americans suffer because jobs go offshore, but you have forgotten to also address the fact that Americans thereby purchase goods at lower prices -- thus raising their standard of living. If we are compelled to buy the American products at higher prices, this is a subsidy for the factory worker extracted from all of the consumers. I personally don't think I support that. While the free market system has its problems -- such as offshoring and loss of jobs -- we moved towards a more free market system from a more protectionist orientation and price regulation system because the old way wasn't working. Inefficiencies were locked into the system and caused problems. So far I haven't been convinced that return to a situation in which business is highly regulated by government and domestic markets are protected with high import tariffs is the best solution, even though I personally suffer from the export of software jobs.

Maybe a path of attacking my position (and I don't have any personal loyalty or committment to my position, I'm just thinking out loud as it were) is to ask where does the saved money go? What if 10% of the saved money goes to the consumer by way of lower prices and 90% of the saved money goes to higher profits for the retailer, Wal-Mart? In this case the consumer really is a very minor beneficiary and the true beneficiary is the stock owning classes. Who owns 75% of the stocks or 80% of the stocks? If this critical mass of assets resides in the 401Ks and IRAs and pension funds that the mass of Americans depend upon for their retirements, then again the consumer can be viewed as the beneficiary. If this critical mass of stocks is owned by the wealthy elite of America, the upper 10% of our population, then something else is afoot. I don't know the story on this, but it might be a fruitful path of investigation or analysis.

gleninAZ 11-18-2004 09:00 AM

RE: Sam Walton sold America.
 
Al-See your point but then how will the average consumer afford to buy these attractively priced products if they are unemployed? My point is that a lot of jobs were exported in the 90s and the new ones you read about are nowhere near as high paying. I think we have been dumbed down into rolling over for execs and politicians. Isolating is not the answer so maybe we just need to get used to living in trailers and eating mac and cheese. I hope you young guys can afford to pay my social security payments but I know we are going to wreck soon due to us boomers getting old and losing our pensions and jobs. Who is going to pay? I just feel sorry for my grandson as he will have a tough time paying for our excess and greed.

Surly Old Man 11-18-2004 09:01 AM

RE: Sam Walton sold America.
 
"True, Americans suffer because jobs go offshore, but you have forgotten to also address the fact that Americans thereby purchase goods at lower prices -- thus raising their standard of living."

Alsatian, i'm new to the board, don't know any of you but thought I'd jump in here (havnt figured out that quote thing yet either)

I may be able to see your point you made but think other things overtake the standard of living increase. Like the cost of bigger ticket items - cars, houses, property tax, gas tax, gas, heating oil, these kinds of things. I'm not saying cheaper goods doesn't make it easier to live and stretch the old paycheck, but I don't think there is that much of an offset to help us out. Cost of living is right on up there these days.

gleninAZ 11-18-2004 11:42 AM

RE: Sam Walton sold America.
 
Old man(bet I'm older:D)-I agree that we are enjoying a higher standard of living with more stuff at lower prices. I also have lived through my entire industry going away like the dinosaurs due to Walmart and I bet we all know men in their 50s who are facing the loss of their careers before they planned or saved enough for that to happen. I was fortunate to have enough to buy a business so I can still earn a living but many are not that lucky and are working for low wages and suffering. We spent a generation working our butts off and believing the loyalty pitch that had the promise of lifetime employment and a decent retirement in return. Well we were sold a bill of goods and even though we are more efficient we have lost the security our fathers had. Also how many jobs are left in those Walmart and Home Depot towns working for the local hardware, fabric, clothing etc stores. None because there are none left in business. The Chinese helped Sam to git 'er done.

kevin1 11-18-2004 12:12 PM

RE: Sam Walton sold America.
 
The Chinese had a lot of help Glen ,
not the least of which came from our own business community who were smarting from having to pay more for what they could find cheaper . You can't fault them for sending the labor overseas because they didn't make the laws that made it possible in the first place .

Another facet that we all choose to overlook is that there are only 2 purposes for a corporation to exist: to survive and to profit . They can do neither here in a manner that will appease their stockholders . Also consider that most of the jobs that have been offshored were low to no skill manufacturing jobs , jobs that most of us wouldn't want in the first place . Some tech jobs are being exported too , but only because the lowest bidder barked the loudest , pretty standard for any business . Did the road crew who last redid the highway you drive on come from your own state ? In the world of competetive bidding the answer is probably no .

The ugly truth , and I don't like it either , is that we have all priced ourselves out of the labor market . Probably the only reason I still have my job right now is that my employer hasn't found someone who will do it cheaper or better than me . The problem for most of us , and Glen illustrated it beautifully , is that we grew up expecting to have a "career" . Career implies lifelong employment , and that just doesn't exist anymore .

Charlie P 11-18-2004 12:18 PM

RE: Sam Walton sold America.
 
If your a coprporation why would you have the work done here when you can basically take advantage of slaves labor in other countries. Especially when our goverment gives you incentives to move out.

muley69 11-18-2004 03:34 PM

RE: Sam Walton sold America.
 
Couldn't agree more with Kevin1, the sole purpose of any for profit business is to make money. Not to employ people, not to provide benefits, not to promote political correctness, and not to establish carreers. Thats not to say that some of the benefits are not realized and that's good, but it's not the purpose. As a nation the argument shouldn't be about imports per say; but about imports/exports and the trade deficet. As a business owner my employees are there to make me money, not for me to keep them working. If they stop making me money, they're gone, plain and simple.

gleninAZ 11-18-2004 05:38 PM

RE: Sam Walton sold America.
 
I am also a business owner. I employ 12 people who have been with the company for 15 to 20 years. Half escaped communist Romania under a dictator when they were only 17 or 18. They are the finest Americans I have ever met and they understand what loyalty and freedom are worth. I bought the business over two years ago and I have cashed in my retirement and taken a second mortgage to keep paying them for building furniture for me during bad times when I should have laid them off. I know I am a dumbass for giving away money I could keep but I just have been raised to do what I think is right knowing I will die soon enough and a couple of people might think I made a difference. I am wayy too much of a dinosaur to stick around much longer.

kevin1 11-18-2004 06:16 PM

RE: Sam Walton sold America.
 

ORIGINAL: gleninAZ

I am also a business owner. I employ 12 people who have been with the company for 15 to 20 years. Half escaped communist Romania under a dictator when they were only 17 or 18. They are the finest Americans I have ever met and they understand what loyalty and freedom are worth. I bought the business over two years ago and I have cashed in my retirement and taken a second mortgage to keep paying them for building furniture for me during bad times when I should have laid them off. I know I am a dumbass for giving away money I could keep but I just have been raised to do what I think is right knowing I will die soon enough and a couple of people might think I made a difference. I am wayy too much of a dinosaur to stick around much longer.
That's damned thoughtful of you Glen ,
if more business owners were like you then more business owners would get the loyalty they crave . No , you're not a dumbass for doing it .

I'll bet your employees would almost kill for you , you lucky dog . ;)

AlaskaMagnum 11-18-2004 08:02 PM

RE: Sam Walton sold America.
 
In light of the recent election, and the controversy, and the new found "Moral Reasons". I would like to hear some opinions on the following:


Is it moral to shop at WalMart knowing most of their products come from China where

1. The human rights violations are so extreme, half of the world will not do business with them, and it was almost a shock that they get to hold the Olympics

2. Child labor is very common

3. Childbirth is restricted to one child in general. Female children are abandoned and sent to orphanages simply because -- they are female.

4. China is a known Communist regime


I would like to hear some views on this.

muley69 11-18-2004 10:54 PM

RE: Sam Walton sold America.
 

ORIGINAL: gleninAZ

I am also a business owner. I employ 12 people who have been with the company for 15 to 20 years. Half escaped communist Romania under a dictator when they were only 17 or 18. They are the finest Americans I have ever met and they understand what loyalty and freedom are worth. I bought the business over two years ago and I have cashed in my retirement and taken a second mortgage to keep paying them for building furniture for me during bad times when I should have laid them off. I know I am a dumbass for giving away money I could keep but I just have been raised to do what I think is right knowing I will die soon enough and a couple of people might think I made a difference. I am wayy too much of a dinosaur to stick around much longer.
If my employees are not making me money, there will be no business to employ them with. It's just business. I'm not prepared to say anybody is a dumbass for doing what they think is right. One of the things I learned very early in my business career was to separate business from emotion. Decesions are best made with the head, not with the heart. That doesn't mean you have to be unethical or devoid of a soul, just careful and astute. I would never tell anyone else how to run their business, but if your a for profit company, in the long run everybody is better off if your turning coin.

gleninAZ 11-18-2004 11:20 PM

RE: Sam Walton sold America.
 
Gotcha on that. I am turning coin and pay off what I borrow but could be turning a lot more. I was a corporate division president for 35 years and saw the really bad part of greed. I understand the bottom line and the P&L as well as anyone and just made a decision to take less while building a good business. I will sell it in five or six years and the next guy will have plenty of fat to cut to pay his way. For now I am backing the employees and figure it will give me good kharma for the business. It has worked well so far. They definitely have my back and that is a thing of the past anymore. Good luck in yours.

m.t.hands 11-18-2004 11:21 PM

RE: Sam Walton sold America.
 
most of the crap started after sam died


wal-mart is the devil

muley69 11-19-2004 01:39 AM

RE: Sam Walton sold America.
 
So, M.T. hands, what is your opinion on Walmart, don't hold back now.;)

badshotbob 11-19-2004 08:26 AM

RE: Sam Walton sold America.
 

ORIGINAL: kevin1
Did the road crew who last redid the highway you drive on come from your own state ? In the world of competetive bidding the answer is probably no .

I understand your point on competitive bidding here Kevin, so I'm not disputing that. I did want to bring up an interesting deal though - the Chicago Skyway (toll road) is being sold to the Brits to the tune of 1.2 billion or some crazy figure like that. A freaking toll road - sold to an offshore company who will manage it, and drain more money out of this country. Wild.

Aught Six 11-19-2004 08:54 AM

RE: Sam Walton sold America.
 
I've been sitting back and watching the discussion here, but I have two quick points.

1. The economy will continue to change rapidly. I don't understand why people insist on vilifying companies who buy products overseas. Yes, on the surface it looks pretty crappy. However, the future is not in manufacturing or industry, but in service. That's what we've come to in this country. We want things cheap, and we want to be spoiled. Go with the times, or be swept away. Learn some new skills and you have an excellent chance to make more money then you did before. Work isn't just about showing up to the same job you've had for years, it's about selling something in demand at competitive rates.

2. China is a communist nation, and a cold enemy of ours. I will not buy from China for that reason only. I have no problem buying products from non-hostile nations, although they do run a bit higher in price than things from third world countries. I feel good about supporting American labor, but I just can't afford to do so all of the time. Reality is a real b____ sometimes.

badshotbob 11-19-2004 10:12 AM

RE: Sam Walton sold America.
 
Aught, with fear of sounding like a "broken record" as muley69 puts it, let me only point out two things you said, chew on it, and maybe you and others can see why I hold the position I do on this subject.


ORIGINAL: Aught Six
I don't understand why people insist on vilifying companies who buy products overseas. Yes, on the surface it looks pretty crappy. However, the future is not in manufacturing or industry, but in service.
True.


2. China is a communist nation, and a cold enemy of ours.
True.


Fill in the blanks. ;)

Aught Six 11-19-2004 10:43 AM

RE: Sam Walton sold America.
 

Fill in the blanks.
Trying, but not succeeding. I don't like China, but our government and businesses seem to feel differently. I would like to stop trading with them, but that doesn't seem feasible at this time. If there's one thing that will drive the economy under, it's cutting off cheaper goods so that Americans can't afford to buy anything. Then not only people producing the goods, but also those distributing and selling them, will lose their jobs, no?

If we're going to stop the importation of Chinese goods, we need to first find alternative sources who sell things at comparable prices (whether domestic or international), and then we need to go after the communists like we mean it. Personally, I don't think the reds will maintain a strangle hold on the country forever. We've witnessed some preliminary capitalistic reforms over there, and once the people get a taste of the good life, they'll want more. I wouldn't have any problem dealing with a friendly state, and I think it could be mutually beneficial.

jetblast 11-20-2004 05:52 PM

RE: Sam Walton sold America.
 
I think every product that is sold at Wal-Mart has a "made here" sticker. And WE still buy it.

14mercs 11-20-2004 08:23 PM

RE: Sam Walton sold America.
 
Walmart employs about 1.5 miilion people don't forget! Steady jobs and no lay offs.

trac209 11-23-2004 06:24 PM

RE: Sam Walton sold America.
 
Wal-mart is frieght train plowing over everything in it's path.They are going to take over the retail industry sooner than you think

Briman 11-26-2004 06:02 AM

RE: Sam Walton sold America.
 

VC-Did you see the documentary? Rubbermaid was the first company Walton drove out of business.
You shouldn't believe anything you hear. I just checked Rubbermaid stock, and they look very much OK. Symbol=NWL http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=NWL&t=my

The same people that complain about corporations fixing prices too high are the same that squak about corporations setting prices too low.:eek:


I have no problem with obsolete jobs in obsolete indutries moving elsewhere. It means less polution in our lands, lower prices, and the possible development of a middle class in other parts of the world who will eventually be buying our higher tech goods. As for jobs being lost- no one is guaranteed in life to be able to hold a job, be overpaid for it, and to never have it taken away.

Who moved my cheese?


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