Just a place for random rantings and ravings.....

Friday, September 01, 2006

In the news...

I think every adult gets to a point in their life when they realize they are a lot more like their parents than they want to be. They start saying things like, "These kids today..." or "I've got to get up early for work..." blah blah blah....Oddly enough, this epiphany happened to me when I was about 14 years old. I woke up one day and suddenly realized that I was sitting at the breakfast table, getting prepared for my day, eating toast and orange juice, and reading the damn paper- just like my dad. Now, most 14 year olds have trouble naming a newspaper section much less delving head first into the headlines of the day. But I was different, and proud of the fact that I found the daily events interesting- unlike most of my peers. Ever since then, the news has intrigued me, but these days, I SWEAR, I can't seem to latch on to anything of substance. It's almost as if every newspaper and cable news network has a cookie cutter outline for the news and all they have to do is fill in the blanks in order to start a news story- the same news story everyone else is reporting:

(Listed in it's implied importance from our news sources)

_______________________ had a bombing
(some international city)

_______________________got booted from American Idol
(someone about to get stuck up the ass with no vaseline in a record deal)

______________________ is having a baby
(some celebrity)

_______________________died
(some celebrity)

_______________________went up another 35 cents just for the hell of it
(gas prices)

_______________________is getting a divorce
(some celebrity)

_______________________got arrested
(some celebrity)

______________________won in a thriller/in 11 innings/in overtime/in sudden death
(some sports team or Tiger Woods)

______________________has a fierce storm on the way
(some American city/region)

______________________ said the same stupid shit he's been saying for 6 years
(George W. Bush)


So now it's my turn to give the events of the day, the way I want to do it:



Support for Iraq War Wanes



No shit America! It's safe to say that the various reasons for our prescence there are growing weaker by the day. It's like when you catch a little kid in a lie and they have to suddenly come up with ALL KINDS of other lies to cover up the first one. You know they're lying and they know their lying but the words keep coming and coming and the hole gets deeper and deeper. The current rationale is that "cutting and running" will be a mistake and lead Iraq into further turmoil. For those of you just waking up from your four year hibernation in the caves of Antarctica, here's a rundown of the various reasons the US population has been told that being in Iraq is a good thing:

Saddam has stockpiles of little viles of crack cocaine (WMD's) and is planning on unleashing it on major US cities (Colin Powell)

Iraq is a haven and breeding ground for terrorists- so is Wyoming, Michigan and Los Angeles, but who's counting? (Tom Ridge)

Saddam is a tyrrant and a threat to his neighbors, just like Charles Taylor, Hugo Chavez, and Michael Jackson (Donny Rumsfield)

Iraqi people want freedom from dictatorship......what Chinese sweatshop made YOUR sneakers? ("Sexy" Condi Rice)

The U.S. needs to keep Iraq from diving into civil war. Sunni kill Shia, Shia kill Sunni, Kurds bomb Turkey, hmmmm. (The Dick)

The US has an obligation to the Iraqi people and we need to help rebuild Iraq. Sing with me people, a one, a two, a three "ohhhhh when the Saints, go marchin' in......" (Dubya)

Needless to say, more and more people are waking up to the fact that we're in some shit we can't seem to get out of. Now once the people in POWER come to the same conclusion we'll be back on track fighting this war on drugs, I mean poverty, DAMN, I mean terrorism.



Gas Prices Rise Again




Apparently, Iranian president Ahmadadianjinanannaaannaaaa said some shit that scared the execs at EXXON, BP, Texaco, ESSO, the U.N. and all other oil companies that they MUTUALLY felt the need to raise gas prices five cents. The word on the street is that he invited them all, via conference call to Tehran for an "Iranian lap dance". Upon hearing the invite, they all pissed themselves and have tacked on the extra few cents to help pay for dry cleaning.


The US loses to Greece



Blame the big Black dude in white and blue on the far right..............
Damn Nick, you didn't tell me that Greece had Black folks! See if I ever use YOU as an anonymous source again!

20-inch Tall Teen Demands Recognition




Fourteen- year- old Khagendra Thapa Magar is thought to be the world's smallest human, standing a full 50 cm and weighing in at a whopping 4.5 kg. (For you non-metric types, that's about 1.5 feet and about 20 pounds give or take...) He has filed papers asking to be inducted into the Guiness Book of World Records, however, officials at Guiness are holding his application to conduct a background check and ensure he has no ties to terrorist organizations or terrorist activity. Magar admits that his "Muslim" sounding name has made life quite tricky in the past- even though he's probably a Buddhist.


War with Britain Averted!




A stealth bomber was scrambled and sent to bomb Windsor Palace when it suddenly reversed course and landed at it's base. Apparently while watching a British made-for-television film, U.S. p-p-p-p-President George W. Bush saw the above image from a scene and was immediately offended by the thought of someone making an attempt on his life. He called his mother, Secret Service, Tony Blair and the Pentagon demanding a stop to this horrid filmmaking and when he got no satisfaction, called upon his exclusive, congress-provided Executive Privaledges to do the job himself. Upon hearing the rationale for attacking England's prime symbol of monarchy, the F-115 pilot shook his head and exclaimed, "What the fuck?!?!". Luckily, cooler heads prevailed and the pilot, against executive orders, returned his multi-million dollar aircraft to base with no further incident.

25 Comments:

Blogger Kiyotoe said...

8 - News Roscoe style? Cuts like a knife brother. Watch your back, thanks to your constant attacks on "what's his name" you got the whole family looking over our shoulders AND I keep having these crazy dreams about joining the Marines every night after watching an hour of Fox News!

Thanks troublemaker.

Sat Sep 02, 08:31:00 AM

 
Blogger Lynn S. said...

Yes, Paz...cookie-cutter style news. It's all a part of our template-based, automaton way of life. This really feeds into "average America" easily. Expectations are lowered based on these repeater patterns. Look at the typical shopping mall, grocery store layout, suburban developments, urban zones, food production, mass market clothing, television shows, school curriculum, and, yes, journalism.

Being an individual with a unique flair for ANYTHING requires time and creativity.

Sat Sep 02, 08:41:00 AM

 
Anonymous igor said...

Lynn,

I am not sure I understand what's wrong with "typical shopping malls, grocery store layout, suburban developments, urban zones, food production, mass market clothing".

What's the analogy between typical shopping mall and lowbrow tv show?

Sat Sep 02, 11:53:00 AM

 
Blogger paz y amor said...

What she's saying- and forgive me if I'm wrong Lynn- it's the social mentality that everything has to be the same everywhere you go in this country. A strip mall in Omaha is "the same" as a strip mall in Cleveland- same stores, same food, same styles. It's a real struggle to find unique "anything" these days. Homogenizing society is not a good thing and limits our national creativity.

Sat Sep 02, 03:56:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanx, got it.

But ... it's convenient, isn't it?

I mean, when you are a tourist in London, you walk thru small unique shops for days. But when you go shopping - as in "purchasing groceries, goods and services" - I'd rather go to a mall. A bigger a better.

Sat Sep 02, 04:57:00 PM

 
Blogger Lynn S. said...

Paz, that's it, exactly!

I understand what you mean about the convenience-factor, Igor, and, yes, I think that it can save time on occasions. Paz's fill-in-the-blank journalism was so true, but to be fair to journalists, the readership does appreciate knowing when famous people hiccup. Basic who-is-doing-what news is always going to be a portion of any newspaper, but as Paz offered, the same-ole, same-ole stories do get overly played and tiresome when every channel picks up the same song and dance (good ole AP syndication can be blamed for some of this).

I don't believe that the news is done out of convenience, though. Most news is being done in the manner that Paz referred to, and it is such a cop-out to write stories this way. To me, it appears that there is a loss of individuality in our mass-market mindset. This is exactly what Paz was trying to convey with his personalized, bite-back news-bites. Personally, I loved those he wrote -- they had some excitement (And the heck with the political correctness.) After I chuckled over the little Tibetan kid being profiled as a potential terrorist, I realized that he was nothing more than a Punk Monk. LOL....

By removing individuality through this type of cookie-cutter, or template style, we are selling ourselves short. We then limit ourselves to having a set of choices because we have allowed a more narrow range and mindset. To me, that's frightening. It seems that we are dummying-down We The People and we're appealing to the 'average' person. Always! I am not a Walmart-shopper, for example, because of principles. The Walmart corporation goes into a region and wipes out long-standing family businesses by selling inexpensive (often loss leader) items. They provide no service and no expertise whatsoever. Consumers are stuck with the choice of only Walmart products (no specialty items) and the basic items that Walmart can sell with a specific discount price in mind. Why? Because no one can compete with the volume/discount that Walmart can do. Walmart is monopolizing a great deal of basic shopping and to me, this is disturbing.

Many people don't have a problem being this type of consumer, though. Many people don't have a problem shopping at the same stores no matter what mall they drive to. And a number of people don't mind living in a house that is just like the one next-door, down the block, and even a mile away. I guess I am just more interested in being an individual and not one-in-a-mass. I buy a great deal online. When I need hobby-related goods, I will travel the distance to my favorite shops, or I'll do mail-order. If I need to return something, or I need assistance, I get service. That slice-of-life from a real business person is important to me. I appreciate good business relationships, and good service will always ensure my repeat-business. Hope you understand what I was trying to say!

Sun Sep 03, 06:40:00 AM

 
Anonymous igor said...

I think I understand what you are trying to say, Lynn.

I am against Walmart, but due to different reasons:
(a) they sell cheap foreign labor
(b) they pay way too low salaries

Apart from these above, I don't see any problem with Walmart.

NOTE: All I say below is true provided (a)+(b) are rectified.

You say they kill small local retail businesses? Again, I say, life is tough. It's called The Competition. Or, The Change, depending on your ideology.

Take, for example, socks. When I want to buy some socks, I want good one, at reasonable price, and I don't want to spend hours strolling Main St. looking for them. So, big department store it is!

To me, the shopping process is irrelevant. From the shopping I demand results.

Or, in other words, I think that what I buy is much more important than how shopping is organized.

You may see Walmart+HomeDepot+VirginSuperstore+... for retail is what Internet is for data.

And, I think your fears of small retailer going out of business is exagerrated. well, if they dumb enough to try to compete with Bigs in selling socks, then, yes, they are dead meat.

But when I leave Walmart with my socks and weekly groceries, then - thanx to Walmart! - I still have time to attend to my personal shopping needs: I am aerospace buff - and no Walmart would ever be able to scratch that my particular itch.

So, after saving my time (and money) by buying food and clothes and home items in Walmart, I am ready to hit the specialty stores.

Main St, here I come! You guys are still trying to sell socks there? Well, bad for you. Where is an that little aviation bookstore near gas station?

Sun Sep 03, 07:48:00 AM

 
Blogger paz y amor said...

Definitely because I'm the same way! I won't set foot in Walmart unless I'm with someone else spending THEIR money. I'd rather pay more to get a higher quality product from some small mom and pop business than save a lot supporting Walmart. It's convenient to buy everything in one place- sure, but urban living has never been about convenience. People live in "the city" braving traffic, pollution and noise to have a variety of choices in their daily lives. New York City is one of my favorite cities in the country mainly because you can't walk three blocks without seeing different bakeries, butchers, delis, florists etc.- businesses run by people who SPECIALIZE in their products. It's all about choices for me and I feel those cultural choices that I appreciate most(music, media, food, movies etc.) are becoming more and more limited each year that passes due to the "big box phenomenon".

Sun Sep 03, 08:02:00 AM

 
Anonymous igor said...

Paz,

in your blog entry you described how the war with Britain was averted.

I am sorry to tell you that you had been misinformed. It hadn't been due to "cooler heads prevailing", as you wrote.

Actually, the problem was that Dubya issued order to attack without first getting permission from Dick. And Dick was so mad with that outrageous breach of subordination, that the order was revoked immediately.

Sun Sep 03, 08:20:00 AM

 
Blogger paz y amor said...

Ha ha ha!!!! Good one Igor! With regard to your comment about Walmart, I think competition is good in every way and really, that's what my latest entry is about- the LACK of competition in the media. Good competition produces good quality, but as Lynn mentioned, Walmart comes in to smaller towns and eliminates well established businesses of quality that have been in these areas for YEARS. That's no exaggeration. No, life's not fair for sock makers, BUT who in East Hell, Nebraska makes socks? (I understand it's a metaphor) It's not that simple. Walmart affects EVERYONE- from furniture makers to small time farmers to local pharmacists to auto repair shops to local restauranteurs to gas stations. People go from competing against Walmart to shopping AT Walmart. You have the option to shop at Walmart or somewhere else, however, it has become the only place to buy necessities in some places and changes the culture of once close knit communities. The lack of national competition is not a good thing and eventually given time, those aerospace books you love so much will be available ONLY at the closest Walmart because your local bookstore had to close down....

Sun Sep 03, 09:15:00 AM

 
Anonymous igor said...

Paz,

I see your point, but I don't feel afraid - I am pretty sure there never would be aviation books in Walmart. Aviation books here, you of course understand, is a metaphor for special interest products.

You know, there are 3 types of goods people buy;

(1) 90% of life necessities: groceries, regular clothes, household items, stationary, etc

(1a) 10% of life necessities:
some fancy cookies, dress for special occasions, etc.

I, for example, buy bread at an european bakery, and some food at Russian deli... some clothes items at an upscale chain, etc.

(2) non-necessities: books you love, equipment for your hobbies, items for fun, gadgets, etc.

See? The stores that specialize in (1a) and (2) don't have to fear from Walmart&Co. Well, I cannot prove it here, in this casual discussion thread, - it is VERY complex issue, - but you cannot prove the opposite either, ok?

And, even if we accept your point of view - and Walmart is somehow (un-imagenable) able to cater to my special interests at the level or better than specialty stores ... - I don't see how I (or society) loose in this case. (remember the NOTE from my previous comment)

Sun Sep 03, 10:59:00 AM

 
Blogger Kiyotoe said...

You intellectuals need to exchange e-mail addresses or somethin'.....

Sun Sep 03, 11:39:00 AM

 
Blogger Lynn S. said...

Hey everyone....let's meet for coffee at Walmart!!

Sun Sep 03, 12:36:00 PM

 
Blogger Lynn S. said...

Goods that are purchased are pretty much divided into two categories: durable goods and soft/non-durable goods. Walmart does provide both of these types of goods, but doesn't sell cars or large appliance-type items (yet).

Walmart is starting to sell some services now -- automotive repairs. I would bet that the impact will be felt by a number of auto repair shops in some areas. Any other areas of service that Walmart is starting to provide?

Igor, I don't know why many of the Walmart employees should be making large salaries. Many of the employees are stockers or clerks at cash registers. Those jobs have no real skill so I'm unsure why they are deserving of 'better pay'. What do you mean?

I would think that if Walmart were to begin selling a specialty item such as aerospace publications, they would probably not be the best or the most outstanding books in the field. Walmart just has no areas of expertise. They only offer deep discounts and a big selection of a variety of goods. More doesn't necessarily equate to better.

Sun Sep 03, 12:59:00 PM

 
Anonymous igor said...

Coffee at Waaa...? Do your walmarts have coffee-shops? Not the case here in Toronto...

Sun Sep 03, 01:11:00 PM

 
Blogger paz y amor said...

Hell yeah! Some Walmarts even have cafeterias! I'll meet up with you Lynn. Which Walmart? We've got 20,00 to choose from....

Sun Sep 03, 01:24:00 PM

 
Anonymous igor said...

As you say Lynn: the walmart's edge (apart from cheap labor - which, I hope, we omitted in our discussion) - is the volume discounts and aggregated/well-managed retail chain.

But, the specialty items are special exactly because demand for them is rather limited. So, walmart edge doesn't work here. No mentionable volume discounts! So, walmart cannot compete with a specialty store, other things being equal...

So: Main St. forever! And Walmart nearby! Better yet, let's put them all together into big, comfy mall. The mall can also serve as the public transport hub... (hint;-)

======

As for the salaries.... you may call me a communist, if you want, but I don't believe in paying sub-subsistence salary to a person just because s/he is not a Ph.D, or the job doesn't require one...

I think along Mr. Henry Ford's line: workers should be able to buy cars they make.

Sun Sep 03, 01:28:00 PM

 
Blogger Lynn S. said...

Igor, I don't think that Walmart COULD compete with specialty items very well, but what they do is drive out a number of specialty shops because the offerings that they do have are so discounted that specialty shops can't compete. A few examples I can think of would be scrapbooking shops, fabric stores, cooking stores. Where they would normally operate with retail sales coming from basic supplies, they would have to become MORE specialized to remain competitive. These shops might need to offer classes and more specialized products to lure their customers in through their doors.


I have mixed feelings about the salary issue, in general. I understand where you are coming from, Igor. People need to work to live, but if someone works at a menial job, should they receive a higher pay scale just for a 'cost of living' reason, or should they strive to better themselves, to get advanced education, or a specialty that makes them more "valuable"? I have a hard time justifying that a Walmart clerk should get $10/hour when so many college-educated substitute teachers don't make much more. Seems too unequitable to me.

I have bigger issues with the way that businesses have avoided benefits for many employees. In other words, hire only part timers with no benefits required as opposed to hiring several full time employees who would qualify for health benefits.

The Walmarts that I've seen are not in malls, they're stand-alone buildings. They are the 'anchor' to other stores, yes, but in strip-malls adjacent to the Walmart store. What about your Walmarts -- same or different?

I don't know of a Walmart with a coffee shop (give it time...) but locally, one of the 2 Walmarts here has a McDonalds inside. Figures, doesn't it??? LOL

Heh heh....I love this one of Igor's: "I think along Mr. Henry Ford's line: workers should be able to buy cars they make. "
I remember that concept of his and now this has gotten me thinking. What workers can't afford the product or service they are responsible for? An easy one would be that architects can't afford the buildings that they design. Another one: Michelangelo could not afford to buy his art from the Sistine Chapel.

Sun Sep 03, 02:31:00 PM

 
Anonymous igor said...

Lynn,

1) they ... drive out ... specialty shops because the offerings that they do have are so discounted...

and why, may I ask, their offering is so dicounted? because of cheap foreign labor! As I said: on a level playing field no walmart can compete with a specialty store...

let's level the playing ground. Or, are you a free (at any cost) trade zealot?

2) I have a hard time justifying that a Walmart clerk should get $10/hour when so many college-educated substitute teachers don't make much more.

Who says that clerk should get more than a teacher !?! Name me that person and I kick the shit out of him !

It's all inter-related: if clerk's salary's high, the teacher's one should be much higher.

3) our walmarts: mostly they are stand-alongs, or a "big fish in a small mall". But, there are exeptions: the best walmart here is the one that competes with 3 other big dept. stores in the same mall.

yeah, McDonalds + Walmart - here as well!

4) Henry Ford's:

Touche!

still, I stick to old Henry's idea: yes, you can pay your workers as low salary as labor market permits. But, should you do it?

Mr. Ford wanted to say (i think) that when his workers leave the factory after work, they became consumers - and if they don't have much money - who's gonna buy all those fords?

And I'd like to add: your workers are the people you live with in your society. If you allow them to earn (earn, not receive) decent living, you give yourself a decent living among decently living people.

Otherwise, like in Mexico or Brazil, you'd have to hire bodyguards to accompany your kids to school...

Sun Sep 03, 03:26:00 PM

 
Blogger Lynn S. said...

Hi Igor. Actually, a large portion of Walmart's discounted items are due to volume sales. They buy items in very large quantities and can afford to offer items at less than the 100% retail markup that smaller stores typically do. Nothing wrong with doing this, but at some point when the anti-trust laws are questioned, Walmart will have to do some serious scrambling.....We already have the phrase, "The Walmarting of America". Some towns actually implement laws to halt Walmart from entering their town. Walmart isn't just a corporation that shuts down small shops, but it alters traffic patterns, creates traffic problems, and changes the cosmetics of a community in a number of ways.

Walmart also has loss-leader items for customer enticements. And, Walmart, being a large chain, works in reverse of most stores in their buying practices. Walmart will put bids on-the-table for many items and it is up to the wholesellers to decide if they'll offer their product at the price Walmart wants to pay. Walmart is essentially setting the price.

Specialty stores don't work their wholesale end in that manner. They receive the typical 50% discount off of the suggested mfr/retail price, and then their reseller's profit would be the difference between their discounted price and the price they retail the items for.

I don't see that 'cheap labor' as the #1 reason for their corporate profitability, although it is a large contributor to their profits. They have a number of ways to turn profits and I believe the volume of sales at Walmart is their #1 reason. I'm unsure though.

(And, no, I didn't want NAFTA and still see huge problems with our international trading schema as it stands. We're still in a huge trade deficit and it will continue for years.)

I wrote this:
2) I have a hard time justifying that a Walmart clerk should get $10/hour when so many college-educated substitute teachers don't make much more.

You responded with:
Who says that clerk should get more than a teacher !?! Name me that person and I kick the shit out of him !

It's all inter-related: if clerk's salary's high, the teacher's one should be much higher.


This would do nothing more than fueling an inflationary event with salaries. Where would it end if this mindset were employed, Igor??

Igor wrote: Mr. Ford wanted to say (i think) that when his workers leave the factory after work, they became consumers - and if they don't have much money - who's gonna buy all those fords?


The teachers. They make more money than a Walmart cashier.


And I'd like to add: your workers are the people you live with in your society. If you allow them to earn (earn, not receive) decent living, you give yourself a decent living among decently living people.

Otherwise, like in Mexico or Brazil, you'd have to hire bodyguards to accompany your kids to school...


This smacks of sociological bribery. If I work hard, advance myself through advanced education, plan, and dedicate myself to my goals, I should make sure that people who do not care about advancing themselves receive good salaries and a "decent life" so that they can live as I do because they 'deserve as much' ?

Minimum wage is not about having a "decent living", but is the minimum hourly wage that a worker can receive according to the US Government. If you want to discuss a "decent living", we would need to add health benefits, vacation, retirement planning. Those added benefits are not included in minimum wage because the US Government does not equate the minimum wage to be THE "decent living" -- it is merely the national wage minimum based on their measurement of employee labor.

Funny group, the US Government. They decided that full-time employees needed health benefits so they laid down the law. Businesses didn't want to be forced into providing those benefits because of the cost. The businesses implemented their own changes: they stopped hiring full timers. Now, working America is filled with part-timers who have even less than they would have if they'd been full-time employees with no benefits. At least full-timers with no benefits might have gotten a short vacation and wouldn't have to try juggling 3 part-time jobs to equal the one full-time job they lost when the Government decided to get everyone a "decent living".

Mon Sep 04, 07:37:00 AM

 
Anonymous igor said...

Lynn,

(1) I am afraid you don't quite grasp how walmart works:

(a) I repeat again - you cannot win big on specialty items (other things equal) because the demand (and the volume) is very limited.

That's why before china period Walmart was just another - very strong, though - competitor. It was time when profit margins in big retail were several percent and Walmart's ability to self-manage and press manufacturers was impressive, but it wasn't killing.

(b) now enters the dragon - the "chinese price". It's what makes walmart a killer of small local businesses, because it can move savings from "made in china" products to discount selling price of any product it seems fit, in any market, - like specialty products, etc...

not only walmart demand "chinese price" (or close) from any manufacturer,- if one cannot meet their demand and they want the product, they "offer" to "help" to transfer your production to a cheap labor country they work with. Or, they "offer" to buy your blueprints...

As I said - readily available cheap foreign labor makes the game un-fair.

(2) salaries.

(a) inflation:

inflation would be a factor only during the transition period.

Also, is "inflation" a bogey-word for you? FYI, unlike many other financial problems (like real estate debt/bubble, for one), inflation is not as bad as layfolk think.

(b) sociological bribery:

see how different people are:

- when I feel obligated (as a human) to move my ass to allow those less fortunate to get a decent living,

- you see them as competitors in life and you are not satisfied with your life unless there are others whose life is worse then yours...

did I read you correctly?

(c) minimal wage:

why did Congress create the minimal wage? - this is what's missing from your speaking about the minimal wage.

(d) part-timers:

I agree with you. And I understand that my views will never become a reality, my ideas are just wishfull thinking...

But I don't despair - there (possibly) is a way out for humans.

Mon Sep 04, 09:08:00 AM

 
Blogger Lynn S. said...

A business can 'win' with specialty goods if there is a viable market and the business-person knows what they are doing.

I think that I understand how Walmart operates, even though I don't (and haven't ever) worked there. I have misunderstood what you were saying about 'cheap labor', Igor. I assumed that when you talked of 'cheap labor', you were speaking of Walmart employees. Now, I realize you are speaking of China. DUH.

What you are actually trying to say is that Walmart makes a large percentage of its profit from Chinese imports which are very inexpensive. TRUE. This isn't actually what would be classified as 'cheap labor'. This would be 'inexpensive commodities' or 'cheap goods'. Your statements have been quite misleading to me!

Walmart is in the business of undercutting every business it possibly can. To allow this to occur, Walmart sets their pricing schedules and essentially forces their suppliers into such marginal profit areas that the effects can harm the operations of those suppliers. I'm speaking of DOMESTIC suppliers....not Chinese suppliers.

Walmart's goods from China have definately increased their sales and their profitability. Walmart's purchases from China have single-handedly increased the trade deficit between China and the USA. Cheap goods can be brought to America and sold competitively against American made goods. Walmart is doing this, and because of the quantity of goods and dollars involved, this practice is seriously hurting American businesses. Many people who are shopping bargains and on a budget will buy Chinese goods instead of American goods. And Walmart will replace any of their domestic goods with Chinese goods if the price is right for them.

I don't believe in Walmart, don't shop at Walmart, and won't support Walmart.

Again, statements like this one, As I said - readily available cheap foreign labor makes the game un-fair are very misleading. Walmart is not buying labor, Walmart is buying goods. Although it does take cheap labor to produce the cheap Chinese goods, Walmart is buying and selling goods, and the Chinese labor is just a factor that puts the value onto those goods sold.


On minimum wage: Minimum wage earners make what they earn because they are not skilled at any specific craft. Those wages also reflect that they have not gained any expertise in a specific field of study that is directly related to the job they are being paid to do.

Someone with a PhD in Zoology can work as a cashier at Walmart. They may be very bright and have an advanced education, but to Walmart, that skill is not required to carry out the tasks for the job. That person receives minimum wage. That same person with a PhD in Zoology is hired by a State Zoo and earns a salary of $32,000 with benefits. This salary is COMMENSURATE with the person's ability to perform the job.

Huge difference. Minimum wage and menial job versus annual salary and professional job.



I wrote: If I work hard, advance myself through advanced education, plan, and dedicate myself to my goals, I should make sure that people who do not care about advancing themselves receive good salaries and a "decent life" so that they can live as I do because they 'deserve as much' ?

You also wrote: you see them as competitors in life and you are not satisfied with your life unless there are others whose life is worse then yours...

Nope, Igor I didn't say that at all and you can stop the bullshit.
People who EARN the right to work in a field requiring expertise should be justly compensated. People who do nothing but the bare minimum to get by do not get that same compensation because they have earned nothing noteworthy or special.

Competition abounds in America, so maybe you forget that because you are obviously foreign-born. But here, when you compare a person with motivation to succeed against someone who just wants to take the easy-road, which one will probably be more productive in life? And if the person who is motivated to succeed takes the time to plan, get an education, and then works hard, they get the better opportunity to advance? I live in America where applying yourself and working hard DOES oftentimes pay off. If someone chooses the lazy route of life and doesn't want to go beyond high school, doesn't want to study a trade, can't hold down a job, so be it. Their choice. But I'd bet my last dollar that the unmotivated person lives on a treadmill with zero accomplishments and nothing to look foward to. Can you honestly say that the person who lives day-to-day waiting for Godot without achievements will get the same treatment and same success out of life as the motivated person who strives to accomplish things in life?

It's not a judgement of who is 'better'. In other words it isn't who is in the game, but how the game is played when you look at the final score.

Tue Sep 05, 10:39:00 AM

 
Anonymous igor said...

Lynn,

(1) I think we generally agree on wlamart issue... at least now, after all said, I cannot say I disagree with you.

(2) minimal wage.

Lynn, I am just teasing you. Anyway, the source of this our arguing is a simple mis-understanding.

Maybe it's because my English is not good enough. I noticed that you mis-read me 2 steps ago, but decided to let it be and see where it goes...

Now it's time to make things straight:

You said:

If I work hard, advance myself ... and dedicate myself to my goals, [should I] make sure that people who do not care about advancing themselves receive good salaries and a "decent life" so that they can live as I do because they 'deserve as much' ?

I highlighted in bold the mis-understanding in your words.

===============================
Lynn, I did NOT say that a clock-puncher SHOULD HAVE THE SAME living standard as a hard-working person!

Please, read again my original comment. I didn't say anything like that.
===============================

What I said is that the bottom-line salary should provide for a decent living. If a person works hard, advance herself, etc - OF COURSE she should earn much more than a clock-puncher.

Tue Sep 05, 02:49:00 PM

 
Blogger Lynn S. said...

DAMN!!! I had a comment that went to the other-side for some reason....I'll have to comment later -- I'm out of time now, Igor.

Wed Sep 06, 07:05:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Condoleezza Rice entered the room wearing only a red satin bra and panties. On her feet wasa pair of black stiletto sandles. I immediately drop to my knees and began to grovel at herfeet." I love you Condi " , I whimper. While kissing her toes. I caught her musty scent mixed with Aimez Moi perfume by Caron. I become aroused . I attempt to run my hand up the back of her calf. but Condi instructed me to go to the black leather couch. Condi sat down and I laid face down across her lap andshe began to spank me. At first the slaps were light but after a few moments they came harder and more rhythmic . Her fingers left red welts in my pasty white ass. After a few minutes my ass checks became sore and I began to anticipate the slap before it came. The pain was becoming unbearable and Condi was showing no signs of letting up, she was clearly enjoying inflicting this pain on me. In her slapping frenzy her long red finger nails removed bits of skin from the inside of my ass cheeks making the pain exquisite. About three minutes later the slaps began to waver, clearly Condi's right arm was getting tired. It was good for me as the pain was becoming almost unbearable . Now my ass cheeks felt red hot and although I felt like crying out, I did not. I could not let Condi see my pain . If she sensed I was in agony this would provoke her to hit me harder and I couldn't take much more . Shortly after that the spanking stopped altogether, she was exhausted . I looked over my shoulder to see her beautiful black skin covered with sweat and could hear her heavy breathing. I became aroused even further. I sat up and we embraced. I kissed her forehead and could taste the saltiness of her skin. I repeated again " I love you so much Condi ". We then traded positions , now it was my turn to spank her. "Condi lowered her panties and lay across my lap."Condi " I said, "you have been a very bad girl and now I'm going to give that sweetass a properspanking." I feel Condi's wetness on my legs. Now she is aroused.

Sat Sep 09, 11:05:00 AM

 

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