Sunday, December 10, 2006

Rosenberg's Loss Is My Gain

Jim Rosenberg has abandoned his long-time lover for another.


He doesn't realize that his first love has had a full-body makeover and has moved to a new neighborhood.

The new Wal-Mart at Pyramids Village is looking very good. Her skylights give her a natural-light freshness (unlike that tarty, neon-y Target). Her aisles are ample, with attractive dyed and polished concrete floors. Her parking lot is tidy.

Employees are keeping her merchandise in good order, and, unlike the Target where I have been going lately, her sales associates are plentiful, cheerful, and helpful. Yesterday, two young ladies helped me to find what I was looking for at Wal-Mart. Nice!

Not only that, but Wal-Mart had the 15-foot extension cords I needed yesterday. Target was sold out.

Eat your heart out, Jim. Wal-Mart and I will do just fine without you.

Update: Hoggard's fickle heart has also led him to the Scarlet Woman.


Anonymous said...

ummm a pig wearing lipstick is still a pig....

WalMart still kills off small businesses, keeps employees working 35 hours a week to keep them from getting benefits---etc. I know you know all this already. Surely you have seen the documentary where the Walmart employee is driving through the small town pointing at businesses that will be put out of business--gleefully.

I had the displeasure of waiting on Alice Walton, or whatever her married name is now. She drove up in a white hummer, and had a rock like I had never seen outside the Smithsonian around her neck. Presumably this is what this woman wears, and drives all the time. How embarrassing it should be for her to step into a store and have people wait on her who would be bankrupted by a trip to the ER.


It always astounds me that anyone would shop at this place, or extol the virtues of these vultures because they decorated nicely.

Bleah. Bah humbug to Walmart.

Please support local neighborhood hardware stores---it's a losing battle, I think--but, at least at the end of the day, one knows that they at least tried.

David Wharton said...

If it's local hardware stores you're worried about, you should be bashing Lowe's and Home Depot, not Wal-Mart, which doesn't carry all that much hardware.

Target is growing faster than Wal-Mart, and its employee benefits seem to be about the same. Why aren't you going after them, too?

Anyway, I do support my local hardware store, and shop there when they have what I need.

Anonymous said...

I fail to see how you could think I was "bashing" Walmart. Everything I wrote except for my commentary on waiting on Alice What's Her Name is well documented. Yes, the other stores you mentioned surely do also pay low wages, put other stores out of business, etc...but, does that make going to WalMart somehow "alright?" You also weren't commenting on those stores, and since I am responding to your blog, I thought I might stick to the subject at hand. I chose to make my comment on "local hardware stores" because that is where one might find the extension cord that you needed.

That said, there is a study in the Greensboro paper (todays? Can't remember, today or yesterday--recycling has already been taken out) about our poverty rates in our suburbs. Could this have anything to do with WalMart? Let's see the evidence-- from Wikipedia (whom I despise using as a source, but here it is anyway): in 1995 Walmart had about 2,000 discount stores, and more than a couple of hundred "Supercenters." (God help me, I went in one once. Thought I was going to have to contact a shrink--you think the new Teeter is bad?) By 2005 that number had jumped to 3,800 stores. Here is the scary sentence: "In fact, their U.S. presence had grown so rapidly that there were only small pockets of the country that remained further than 60 miles away from the nearest Wal-Mart" (I need a glass of wine now) Link:

Now, let's look at the other two links-

Really, when you think about it, it's pretty horrifying what our downright trashy shopping habits are doing to us.

Hope my links helped, and that I didn't offend you too much. I seriously despise WalMart---they could change their name, completely renovate their grounds and interiors, and sell 10 dollar laptops, and electric---I still wouldn't feel good about stepping foot in one.

BTW--I don't go in the other stores you mentioned either--I have a whole list of "evil companies to boycott" if you should ever wish to see it!

I do enjoy your blog- will continue to read--the Monty Python stuff was hilarious!

David Wharton said...

Glad you enjoyed Monty Python.

I think it is "bashing" when you point out only the negative economics of Wal-Mart, and none of the positives.

Low-priced consumer goods and groceries have benefits for poor people, and I know lots of low-income people were glad to see Wal-Mart come to the Carolina Circle property.

Richard Barron's article in today's N&R attributed the increasing poverty in the Triad to the continuing loss of textile manufacturing jobs.

If you're against globalization, fine, but I'm not. Protectionism doesn't decrease poverty.

Anonymous said...

How can you possibly justify the CEO's salaries, and the incredible profit margin of that place while their employees are having to use public assistance--which you are paying for? So much for low prices..every time you pay your taxes; everytime your Dr. charges your insurance company out the wazzoo, you are paying higher prices?

How can you justify horrifying conditions in those third world countries, and pay a hundred bucks STILL for athletic shoes?

These greedy jerks didn't lower our prices--they are having their cake and eating it too, while you are cheering them on.

I am not opposed to globalization; I am opposed to mindless greed.

Bob Grenier said...

"I am not opposed to globalization; I am opposed to mindless greed."

But not, it would seem, to mindless bashing of WalMart.

We've already had this discussion over at my blog, haven't we?

Anonymous said...

OK, tell you what, Bubba....point out a neighborhood that has benefited from having a WalMart show up. Please make sure that you back this up by showing me some sort of study that this (right now imaginary) WalMart's employees are doing OK financially and aren't on the public dole.

What's so funny about this is that on this same blog there have been comments about public housing safety---and trying to attract the cultural creative class.

So, what's it going to be? Responsible housing and business owners (because surely it cannot be reponsible to have your employees on public assistance, right? please tell me you agree with this)--

And a city that attracts WalMart shoppers or the cultural creative class?

If Greensboro wants to have both types, then I can I assume that we are now discussing economic arartheid? I haven't read the book yet, but I suppose I am willing to go there.

David Wharton said...

Anon, there are Wal-Marts in Silicon Valley, too. All economies (even creative-class ones) need service and retail jobs.

If you want to take a Manichean-dualist approach to economics (some companies are "good," some are "evil"), go ahead, but I don't think that's the way the world or economies work.

If I used your criteria for my economic decisions, I wouldn't be able to buy a car or drive one, I wouldn't be able to obtain a mortgage or use credit, I wouldn't be able to buy electricity from Duke Power, etc. etc. etc.

Yes, there are lots of greedy CEO's out there, and lots of good ones.

I have zero interest in joining an economically blinkered, anti-Wal-Mart witch hunt.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, there are some good CEO's and some bad. However, the other services that you mentioned aren't well known for moving into areas and driving wages down-- in fact, having banks, car manufacturers (look at Greenville/Spartanburg SC), and energy companies (Duke is now getting into wind power--how cool is that) actually seem to propel the economy in positive directions.

As I wrote, I am not opposed to globalization. However, it will, and is, going to have an osmotic effect on this economy, and I seriously doubt that anyone wanted to watch our nation devolve into a great divide of haves and have nots. I don't know if you have ever traveled to a third world country--or even a carribean island where there are a bunch of vacationers...but, it's not pretty.

Globalization should have had many government stipulations put on the trade agreements (wages, medical, environmental impact) in ALL participating countries. But, we didn't do that--instead we cried about capitalism and free markets--expecting once again that somehow people would just "do the right thing."

One of the definitions of mental illness is to continue to repeat actions that do not work-- if the Robber Baron age of the US didn't wake people up---and if the sight of people living under bridges, families being evicted, and the number of people in financial ruin because of an illness in the "greatest country in the world" aren't going to set off alarm bells--well, then that's that.

It's a real shame--but, pure unbridled capitilism,with liimited governmental oversite, while giving the Rand Roids goosebumps of excitement--is going to eventually create a grand canyon of despair between the socio-economic classes in this country.

The funny thing is...all of the free market, no government people--didn't have a word to say on this blog about corporate welfare--not one word. Doesn't it bother anyone, anyone at all, that Walmart's employees are a drain on the system, or that they wouldn't exist without their tax breaks? Or are we to assume that they are a rich company because they are economically brilliant, and got to where they are because of rugged individualism on the part of the kids following the death of the father? I guess no one here wants to admit that Walmart goes against what used to be Republican values--but, that in the new age of insanity....profit for a few is the desirable bottom line.

Anonymous said...

Dude, you are so whipped. Sometimes when you shop, is the honesty too much -- and you have to clothes your eyes and hide? Please confirm receipt of hidden gag in this comment.

Anonymous said...

Shopping and all its strategy
Leaves me battling with my pride
But through the insecurity
Some tenderness survives
I'm just another consumer
Still trapped within my truth
A hesitant prize seeker
Still trapped within my youth

David Wharton said...

Mock me, will you, Jim?

OK, you've had your fun.

Now pay for it.

(It's so sad that Dan Hill has been reduced to making Geico commercials, isn't it?)

Bob Grenier said...

"OK, tell you what, Bubba....point out a neighborhood that has benefited from having a WalMart show up. Please make sure that you back this up by showing me some sort of study that this (right now imaginary) WalMart's employees are doing OK financially and aren't on the public dole."

No, friend, the responsibilty is yours to support your agenda that David has accurately called "an economically blinkered, anti-Wal-Mart witch hunt".

Anonymous said...

You play dirty, DW. I'm going to put my weapon back in its holster and walk away. We'll fight another day.

meblogin said...

I would rather see the Walmart employee employed at a low wage than no wage at all. Agreed?

I think Walmart and the other similar companies have helped our planet to globalize and potentially help to decrease some of the threats that existed in yesteryears.

A friend of mind that travels to China tells the story that 10 years ago the greatest risk was being run over by a Mercedes.

Anonymous said...

Hi Meblogin-

I am sorry,, I do not agree that low wages are OK. I don't know what has happened to this country to even make someone think that way. When did we become so complacent to the corporations--when in the world did we start thinking that the interest of these companies was far more important than human need. And...taking that one little tiny step can we call ourselves a "Christian" nation. If the love of poverty is "Christian," then I guess I need to find another label for my feelings about God.

Those low wage workers are being forced to use welfare to survive--some of them are even on food stamps.

Where will they live? Not close enough to walk--so, they have to drive, or take our pathetic excuse for a mass transit system. (Anyone that thinks we have a fabulous mass transit system...use it for a week--no car, and no cabs. In Feburary. No matter what. Even for emergencies. I dare you.)

If they are are they affording the upkeep on the car? I drive fairly old car by today's standards....and just paid over 700 for a timing belt with some other regular maintenence stuff--that yes, had to be done. Where are paycheck to paycheck workers going to get that?

It's a vicious cycle. And no. I will never agree to it.

I wish those people would unionize--except they are terrified to. Terrified to try to band together and make their lives better---because that neato great cheap Chinese made crap store might fire them.

Believe me---they would fire them too---there are plenty more proles where they came from.

But, I am supposed to think all this is great because....the Chinese are driving mercedes? Our people are starving, but those pesky bicycles are off the street in Beijing?


The saddest thing about this discussion for me is that I seriously doubt that ONE person has responded to this discussion who wouldn't be bankrupted by a small series of unfortunate events. Your lives are NOT that secure in this country...

Anonymous said...

"financially secure" was how I meant for my last paragraph to read.

I assume that we are secure enough otherwise--unless we work at Walmart and are forced to live in a high crime area--in which case--well...we are insecure.

I am sorry; this is going to be my last post on this subject. I never meant for it to go this far. It's just too upsetting for me to read these comments about how great it is to be able to go spend money on cheap crap whenever we want to--at the expense of so many people.

What the hell has happened to this country.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, don't waste time on Bubba or meblogin -- not great thinkers, either of them, and that's being kind.

You're right about the financial insecurity Americans will increasingly suffer, and the causes for it. You're not the only one that sees it and its dire consequences to come.

I don't know what David Wharton's excuse is, it sounds like he just doesn't want to think too hard today about people who don't have jobs and health insurance like his.

It's easy to say that some companies are "evil" if evil means exploitive and bad for 99% of the worlds' population. Wal-Mart is an excellent example of such.

David Wharton said...

David Wharton is still working through his CCI 340 (Ancient Cosmology) blue books, but he hasn't read anything here yet that makes him think he should start singling out Wal-Mart as the focus of evil in the world's economy.

I will say, however that the insults in the previous comment are not at all welcome here. Argue all you like, but address the arguments, please, and leave the ad hominems at home.

(Unless you're Jim Rosenberg, in which case you have a License to Insult.)