2.24.2014

Sam's Club vs Costco Ruled No Contest, Sam's Club Fails for Profit Mongering

Sam's Club vs Costco: Do Lower Prices Trump Employee Happiness?

Hint: No.

I will never shop at a Sam's Club while I can go to a CostCo instead. I strongly prefer spending my money at a store that treats their employees like people and pays them livable wages.

"Sam's Club could treat its workers better, find ways to rev up sales and not lay people off just because they can. That, however seems unlikely as Wal-Mart will likely maintain its profit margin at Sam's Club by continuing to use its leverage to purchase at the best prices possible while squeezing and eliminating labor costs wherever possible."

Sam's Club and Wal-Mart have a long and disgusting history of treating employees like cattle to be used up and discarded. Which may work nicely for your bottom line for a period of time but the worm is turning and Wal-Mart's misdeeds are more and more known. And that leads more people to shopping elsewhere and marginalizing Wallyworld.

And that is a very good thing. People over Profits! Vote with your wallet and don't give your money to the evil empire that is Wal-Mart.

12.01.2013

This is what the Walmartification of Christmas Looks Like

The volume thing is a trap, no sound, sorry.
Black Friday has now become synonymous with violence associated with the pursuit of Christmas presents.

It has now become expected that there will be riots and brawls and mayhem as people FIGHT to get schlock at bigger discounts.

Would you want a present your mom got for you by boot-stomping someone else's mother?

I don't know about you but I'd rather not get anything at all for Christmas than to think that it was purchased via a violent confrontation or threat of violence.

We have become so inured to the violence thathyperbolic satire bits like this, Woman Kills 3 for XBox and then there's this mega-super-hyperbolic one from The Onion, 42 Million Dead in Bloodiest Black Friday On Record.

And now Black Friday is starting on Thanksgiving Day which is so insanely offensive and rude that it just boggles the mind.

People, NO BARGAIN IS WORTH ANY OF THIS. Christmas and the holiday season is and should be about spending quality time with your loved ones, not nursing black eyes received while SHOPPING.

America needs to remove its head from its ass and recognize these behaviors are animalistic, disgusting and further signs of the epic implosion of our entire society (expect the Chinese to step right in and "help" us get sorted).

11.19.2013

Pop Quiz Time (Hint, the Answer is Yes)

Is Walmart's request of associates to help provide Thanksgiving dinner for co-workers proof of low wages?

Yes, yes it is clear proof of Walmart's shitty employment practices.

The internets are kicking around this story about a donation zone set up in the employee area of an Ohio Walmart. These are not donations for local families, these are donations solicited for employees who don't earn enough in their crappy Walmart job to afford Thanksgiving.

Think about this for a minute or two. Also, toss in the fact that Walmart is the largest company on the planet and makes massive profits each and every year. Economists have examined the numbers and Walmart could easily pay livable wages and still pull massive profit (just not quite as much). They choose to screw over millions of people and force everyone to subsidize their profit margins by under-paying and under-employing people.

This is not a once off, this is a codified business practice.

And it is disgusting and should not be allowed.

Walmart is filthy and dirty and the money spent their goes into the Waltons' pockets or off to China. It does not trickle down, it does not re-invest in America, it sits in a bank account or is used by China to increase its grip on the US.

8.10.2013

WinCo Treats Employees Like People....Wins

Walmart's nightmare is a clear sustainable model that shows their rapacious and cheap ass way of doing business isn't necessary to make a buck. And that means treating employees like people who have real needs that their employment needs to provide the means to satisfy. Not crap like timesheet manipulation to prevent health benefits.

Nope, WinCo gives full benefits to employees working more than 24 hours a week and has a strong pension plan. And has, according to a spokesperson so take it with a grain of salt, some 400 non-executive employees with million dollar plus pensions.

A company that respects customers and employees and the towns in which they exist?

Uh-oh. That doesn't bode well for a company like Walmart that guts towns, foists healthcare costs, exploits workers and supply chains and is run by the most miserly richest family on earth.

People who think Walmart simply cannot afford to pay a livable wage are simply dead wrong. Businesses can be profitable, sustainable AND respectful to the people who make them run (staff and customer).

That is, I believe, Check and Mate, Wally.

6.20.2013

California Says No More Subsidies Walmart

California To Wal-Mart: Enough! No More Taxpayer Subsidized Profits For You

Legislation is now making its way through the California legislature—with the support of consumer groups, unions and, interestingly, physicians—that would levy a fine of up to $6,000 on employers like Wal-Mart for every full-time employee that ends up on the state’s Medi-Cal program—the California incarnation of Medicaid. 
The amount of the fine is no coincidence. 
A report released last week by the Democratic staff of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce, estimates that the cost of Wal-Mart’s failure to adequately pay its employees could total about $5,815 per employee each and every year of employment.

Way to go, California. Make it so that the price of doing dirty business is MORE than the cost of doing honest and clean business that doesn't shave profits from employee paychecks. Of course, if it were up to me, the amount of the fines would assess how much profit they made by breaking the law and then multiplying that profit by 5 or 10 to get their fine. Profiting from crime should NEVER be so easy, especially not for a mega-corporation like Walmart.

And an important fact for the Tea Party knobs out there,
 "Note that these are not people who rely on ‘government handouts’ because they do not wish to work. Rather, these are people who show up to do their jobs for as many hours a week as their employer will permit them to work."
I hope more states start to follow California's lead in clamping on Walmart's profit maximizing by shoving costs on to taxpayers. There is, simply, no way to justify what Walmart is doing outside of runaway greed.

6.18.2013

Walmart Passes Nearly $1 Million Per Store Operating Cost to the US Taxpayer

I don't know about you but I don't shop at Walmart, won't shop at Walmart and advise others to spend their money elsewhere as well.

So why in the hell should my tax dollars be going to support Walmart employees who aren't paid enough by the wealthiest corporation on the planet? Seriously. Think about that. Walmart is the richest company on earth and they REFUSE to pay their employees wages and benefits that they can live on.

Low Wages at a Single Wal-Mart Store Cost Taxpayers about $1 Million Every Year

The report finds that a single 300-employee Wal-Mart Supercenter in Wisconsin may cost taxpayers anywhere from $904,542 to nearly $1.75 million per year, or about $5,815 per employee. Wisconsin has 100 Wal-Mart stores, 75 that are Wal-Mart Supercenters.
“Wal-Mart is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, yet they pay such low wages that many of its workers are unable to provide their families with the necessities of life. The labor policies of Wal-Mart, and those of companies that emulate its low-road approach, end up leaving  taxpayers holding the bag,” said Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), senior Democrat on the committee.
This isn't an accident, this is a codified and shareholder approved business practice to wring every last penny out of profit out of the stores and to hell with the employees and customers because to hell with them anyway.

Make no mistake, Walmart absolutely could pay better than they do. They do not because they are greedy assholes bent on extracting as much from America as they possibly can.

Shopping at Walmart is unAmerican and anti-America.

6.06.2013

Why I Hate Walmart In a Single Quote

If the graphic doesn't load for some reason, the quote reads "I work full-time for one of the richest companies in the world, and my kids get state health insurance and are on food stamps." - Sara Gilbert, striking Wal-Mart manager.

Not just the bottom grunts, Walmart doesn't even pay their managers enough to live on.

Shop at Walmart and you're helping perpetuate the cycle of exploitation.

Shop elsewhere if you can.

6.04.2013

Walmart is Worse Than You Think, Much Worse

I read Think Walmart is an Evil Empire? ended up learning several new things about the world's largest (and dirtiest and greediest and most exploitive) corporation. Here's an excerpt:
When you first get hired you’re given an orientation, like at most jobs. In this orientation you’re shown several videos, one of which is called “The Benefits of Working for Walmart.” But it’s really a 30 minute video bashing unions. No, I’m not kidding. It’s literally a video about 30 minutes long of people telling you how terrible unions are to work for.

After that, depending on your job, the training is fairly typical. But the true nature of the greed of this company is found in how they run their business. 
See, everything is controlled in Arkansas. From the air conditioning and heat, inventory to the scheduling system. Everything is controlled at their home office in Arkansas.
There is more, plenty more to chew on and think about and be pissed off about. I mean, really, how many dollars is enough? At what point will the Walton family realize that they can't do anything with the gigantic piles of money they have? At some point doesn't there have to be a wake up call, a coming to consciousness moment where the blinders are removed and the reality of the situation can be seen?

That Walmart absolutely cares more about their bottom line than, literally, anything else. Not people, not towns, not laws, not governments, nothing is more important to Walmart than profit and maximizing that profit no matter what.

Walmart is what happens when unfettered greed isn't checked. Spend your money at a store where they treat their employees like human beings, where they pay their own costs for healthcare and don't rig hours to make sure that nobody outside of management gets health coverage.

You do NOT have to shop at Walmart. You are not saving any more money there then at other stores that don't exploit so heavily and harshly. Stores that pay living wages like CostCo and don't force stores to cut employee hours while maintaining sales quotes and other BS.

I'd never ever shop at a Walmart, I can't even imagine what kind of a hell it would be to call that hell hole your place of employment.

5.20.2013

The World is a Vulgar Place, Deal. With. It.

Here's the thing. I swear. Deal with it.

If you don't like it then don't read my blog. Period.

Don't email me and tell me (TELL ME?) to remove certain words that offend your Victorian sensibilities. Seriously. Just don't.

By the way, how did you get my email address anyway? I have gone well out of my way to remove contact information from this blog because I do not want to be contacted on it.

I will continue to write as I choose here and you can choose to read it or fucking well not.

I. Simply. Do. Not. FUCKING. Care.

5.19.2013

Fighting Back with Technology

Scan and know where the money goes.
Got signed up and rolling with Buycott tonight.

Mind. Blown.

First some good news. Godiva Chocolates are clear of conflicts with regards to the Koch Brothers and GMO Labeling. Eat Godiva Chocolates happily and with a clean conscience (though perhaps they conflict on other campaigns, I don't know).

Bad news that I kinda, sorta already knew: Coca-Cola is on the No side. $1.75 million to fight GMO labeling? Tsk, mother fucking, tsk. 

I hate spending my money where it is going to be used to fight against things I believe in. Now I don't have to.

Now, I will grant that the contact information on the site is, ummm, mysterious, there are no named personages on the site. The WhoIs info is informative,http://www.networksolutions.com/whois/results.jsp?domain=buycott.com. Based in LA, protected name on the registration. They clearly do not want to be known who they are and that isn't confidence inspiring. And there aren't sources for the data which isn't especially comforting either, okay, alot of cool and a few question marks. Kind of big question marks. 

Some, but not all, of which were resolved by reading this Forbes article about Darcy Burner her idea that she demonstrated and other developers have since run with.

But, in the end, the concept is sound and the resulting information /appears/ reliable but maybe should be verified randomly a few times just to make sure, ya know? The app is going to be put to use in my house for sure and I expect my cash will start going more towards places I can be happier supporting.

I'm going to send some feedback to the contact email on the site, feedback@buycott.com and ask for some transparency in the operation. Data sources at the very least. Not that I don't trust them but I don't trust them. Nothing personal. I just like sources I can look over myself or have verified by other third parties without potentially vested and nefarious interests.

Thanks to +Ole Olson for bringing the app to my attention in the first place. Much appreciated as this is one of those things that will change my day to day in a better way and that, my friends, is okay.

Further product updates:
Hansen's is clean for my campaigns. Krusteaz is clean, Jif is evil, Planters is clean. Doritos are the very epitome of evil but you already knew that regardless of any campaigns. And, most shockingly, Santa Cruz Natural Santa Cruz Organic Lemonade is on the no fly list because they contributed some $485,000 to fight GMO labeling. Seriously? By the way, Santa Cruz, Natural Santa Cruz Organic Lemonade is made in Chico, not Santa Cruz. So, yeah. They'll not be getting my money anymore.