Walton family wealth equals 40% of Americans combined

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Re: Walton family wealth equals 40% of Americans combined

Postby johnfajardohenry » Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:00 pm



Geez. Haven't we been fighting the (drum roll, please) War on Poverty since '65 or so?

And yet all this fighting only seems to make it worse.

What suggestions might you have, Detritus?

John Henry

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Re: Walton family wealth equals 40% of Americans combined

Postby Detritus » Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:06 pm

johnfajardohenry wrote:


Geez. Haven't we been fighting the (drum roll, please) War on Poverty since '65 or so?

And yet all this fighting only seems to make it worse.

What suggestions might you have, Detritus?

John Henry

I suggest you read the article rather than just jerking your knee in response to the title. Then maybe come back and make a positive contribution to the discussion, if you are capable of doing so.

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Re: Walton family wealth equals 40% of Americans combined

Postby johnfajardohenry » Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:56 am

Cornbread wrote:It'll have to be shipped locally, out of satellites. And that's the distribution market and the margins there are always low. (think auto parts stores).


I was working this week and trying to get 2 books finished so did not have the time to delve much into this. I suspect that they can service a 100-200 mile radius out of a single distribution center. The key, I think, is not delivering directly to the house. One article I read spoke of lockers in Rite-Aid drugstores. Order in the morning, say before 9, and they could probably get to a nearby Rite-Aid by 5 so you could pick it up on the way home.

Rite-Aid probably gets paid for the space but when you stop to pick up your locker, you will most likely remember that you needed aspirin, milk, paper towels or something from the store.

Cornbread wrote:I think walmart's model states they need 20K people in their market area before they open up a brick and mortar place.


It is more about the distribution centers than the stores themselves. They have to have a bunch of customers and stores in a 200 mile circle. Once they have the DC going, they can run some pretty small stores. They are (or were, I may not be up to date) experimenting with some very small stores something on the order of a very large 7-11.

Walmart's logistics are mind blowing. They are probably the most advanced company out there. That, and purchasing, are their real strengths and why they can sell cheap.

Cornbread wrote: Portage is a great example--there's a walmart and an IGA (grocery store) across the street from it.


Are you from Portage? I spent a couple weeks there (at the battery plant) about 10 years ago. I thought it was a very nice town and a beautiful area.

They had introduced a new business model that boosted market share considerably. Another example of some visionary thinking on someone's part.

It caused considerable disruption in manufacturing and I was able to help them straighten out some kinks. They were able to get from 24/7 to 5 days 3 shifts. Nothing real magical and not even very expensive. A little bit of product redesign and some better scheduling methodologies.

John Henry

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Re: Walton family wealth equals 40% of Americans combined

Postby Stebben84 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:02 pm

Not so much about Walmart, but more about what a CEO can do when they make a lot of money.

Yang Yuanqing distributed $3 million from his bonus among 10,000 junior-level employees, the China-based technology company confirmed Thursday. The employees, such as receptionists, production-line workers and assistants, each received an average bonus of 2,000 yuan, which is $314, in the name of their CEO.


http://edition.cnn.com/2012/07/19/busin ... index.html

This is the type of stuff I'd like to see more CEOs do. I also like that he gave it to "junior-level employees" They're the ones who need it most. What a rotten socialist this guy is.

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Re: Walton family wealth equals 40% of Americans combined

Postby Stella_Guru » Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:33 pm

Cornbread wrote:I wonder what it was like in germany during the thirties?

Overall you take events here too personally. Actually they are quite impersonal. A potent leader might inject some personality but no genius is in sight. Obama, Bush, Clinton, Reagan et al., are no more responsible for what happens than a conductor on a train. The train operates on schedule, the conductor rides, calls the stations, collects the tickets. The train follows the rails. Pick a new train crew and maybe help remake the schedules. Eventually the tracks will have to be relaid, and on a new railbed. One thing for sure, 'share and share alike' is unacceptable to those on top, and the super-individualism preached in this country is due to a carefully planned drive to destroy the Left as a political force.

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Re: Walton family wealth equals 40% of Americans combined

Postby johnfajardohenry » Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:50 pm

Stebben84 wrote:This is the type of stuff I'd like to see more CEOs do. I also like that he gave it to "junior-level employees" They're the ones who need it most. What a rotten socialist this guy is.


Good for him, more power to him. I can't imagine that anyone would object to this. Certainly not me. Hardly a socialist since he is giving away his own money.

I suspect that you will find that most CEO's do things like this with their own money. The US is the most charitable and giving nation in the world by far.

A friend of mine, who bought a bankrupt shell of a company and turned it into the biggest in his industry financed an entire school of pharmacy out of his own (not the company's) pocket. The figure I heard was $20 million.

Bill Gates is spending much of his fortune trying to find a cure and/or preventive for malaria.

Buffet is putting much of his money into that project too.

What percent of your income do you give to charitable causes? (Rhetorical question, don't answer. Just think about it)

The problem many of us have is that there are a lot of people, who often call themselves progressives, who think that taking money at gunpoint via taxes and giving it away is the same as giving it out of their own pockets. (It's not)

There would also be some legal and tax problems if someone tried to do this in the US. I suspect that a CEO could not legally give some employees money out of his own pocket. I doubt he could even divvy it up among all employees.

I would also suggest that, while it might not make the news, using the money to fund a library, day care, recreation center, school or something else along those lines might be a more effective use of it.

But it is his money. He can do with it as he likes (any legal issues aside). I will always applaud someone using their own money to try to help others.

It sure isn't socialism. Pretty much the exact opposite.

John Henry

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Re: Walton family wealth equals 40% of Americans combined

Postby Stebben84 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:56 pm

johnfajardohenry wrote:The US is the most charitable and giving nation in the world by far.


Although I don't see this as charity. He is giving to the people who work for him. I agree that many wealthy people give to charity. I'd also like to see them give the money they make off of the backs of their employees, back to their employees.

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Re: Walton family wealth equals 40% of Americans combined

Postby Stella_Guru » Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:46 pm

johnfajardohenry wrote:Walmart's logistics are mind blowing. They are probably the most advanced company out there. That, and purchasing, are their real strengths and why they can sell cheap.

Walmart's real strength lies in their ability to ballyhoo and bamboozle consumers into buying cheap shit they neither need nor want, and the belief that the essential questions of day to day living can be settled by a convenient stop at their store. They have perfected the 'open sesame' to working class wallets, compelling them to sell their labor power as a means of paying for their purchases.

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Re: Walton family wealth equals 40% of Americans combined

Postby rabble » Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:02 pm

Stella_Guru wrote:
johnfajardohenry wrote:Walmart's logistics are mind blowing. They are probably the most advanced company out there. That, and purchasing, are their real strengths and why they can sell cheap.

Walmart's real strength lies in their ability to ballyhoo and bamboozle consumers into buying cheap shit they neither need nor want to the point that they believe the essential questions of day to day living can be settled by a convenient stop at their store.

I disagree with both sentiments. Walmart's real strength is their "sell cheap, kill the competition, make the manufacturers dependent on them so they can dictate their purchase price, and then enjoy the monopoly" strategy which they apply to each basic commodity in turn, and they're very good at it.

When your contracts are the only thing keeping a host of small factories open and your stores are the only place to buy X for thirty miles in dozens of regions and all you have to do is THINK about closing a store to get your taxes adjusted, you've got a damn good business.

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Re: Walton family wealth equals 40% of Americans combined

Postby Cornbread » Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:43 pm

Stella_Guru wrote:Ideas of "making money" or "getting rich" have given people a perverted view of economic principles.

OK...what are these "economic principles" you speak of?

The object of economic effort is not money, but livelihood.

So you, me, barney frank, etc. work just to exist?
What is 'livelihood" exactly? Living? Existing?

Money cannot feed. clothe or shelter. Money is a medium of exchange, a means of securing the items that make up a livelihood.

OK, so we should all just barter for our basic needs?
Is basic needs how you define "livelihood"?

It is the necessaries and decencies which are important,

So these are the "livelihood" you've stated?
My wife and I and all of our animals can live in an 900 sf apt on the fifth floor in an urban area. We won't have any lawns to mow, any vehicles to buy or maintain, etc. This is the eurotrash model, so is this it? If, for some reason we want to live the city, we can go to a bus station and take a bus to, say baraboo and get a hotel/hostel/BB there, then take cabs, rent bicycles, or walk around there.

And money must be paid for like anything else, which means that a working class person must go to the owners of capital and secure permission to earn it.

assuming you have cash in your pocket, did you ask for permission to get it?
how about getting out of the typical leftist victim worldview and look at it this way:
"I have skills/experiences and these are something I will sell to people that want/need them. I will interview them and if I want to, I will sell (those imperialist pigs) my time, energy, experience, etc. In exchange for these things I sold those rich capitalist pigs, I'll take what they gave me (money), pay my house payment, pay my bills, then jump in my camper with my wife and drive around northern wisconsin, jumping from lake to lake, finding a good place to fish, chatting with the locals, etc.

I like my version better. I'm not a powerless victim of vague, abstract theories. I'm empowered. Isn't that what leftists are all about anyway, self-empowerment?

BTW, I've had to re-invent myself a bunch of times for various reasons. It empowered me and made me better, faster, smarter, richer...more independent. It was either that or sit in government housing, with government health care, waiting for a government check......

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Re: Walton family wealth equals 40% of Americans combined

Postby Stella_Guru » Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:53 am

Cornbread wrote:BTW, I've had to re-invent myself a bunch of times for various reasons. It empowered me and made me better, faster, smarter, richer...more independent. It was either that or sit in government housing, with government health care, waiting for a government check......

Why did you feel you had to re-invent yourself a bunch of times? Why didn't you enjoy the freedom this country offers of being yourself, taking life into your own hands, making a living as independent as possible from the exploitation of employers, doing what you want to do and facing the consequences? Re-inventing yourself or "waiting for a government check" are interesting choices for a "freedom loving" person as you profess to be.
Last edited by Stella_Guru on Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Walton family wealth equals 40% of Americans combined

Postby wack wack » Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:58 am

Cornbread wrote:BTW, I've had to re-invent myself a bunch of times for various reasons. It empowered me and made me better, faster, smarter, richer...more independent.


Holy crap... this is the better, smarter, faster, richer, more independent you? What were you before, a sea slug? Blue-green algae? Wooly mammoth trapped in ice?

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Re: Walton family wealth equals 40% of Americans combined

Postby Stella_Guru » Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:43 pm

rabble wrote:
Stella_Guru wrote:
johnfajardohenry wrote:Walmart's logistics are mind blowing. They are probably the most advanced company out there. That, and purchasing, are their real strengths and why they can sell cheap.

Walmart's real strength lies in their ability to ballyhoo and bamboozle consumers into buying cheap shit they neither need nor want to the point that they believe the essential questions of day to day living can be settled by a convenient stop at their store.

I disagree with both sentiments. Walmart's real strength is their "sell cheap, kill the competition, make the manufacturers dependent on them so they can dictate their purchase price, and then enjoy the monopoly" strategy which they apply to each basic commodity in turn, and they're very good at it.

When your contracts are the only thing keeping a host of small factories open and your stores are the only place to buy X for thirty miles in dozens of regions and all you have to do is THINK about closing a store to get your taxes adjusted, you've got a damn good business.

Right on, and apparently the heros of free enterprise have no problem sticking their fingers in the public jam pot, a practice I thought conservatives deplored.
http://www.walmartsubsidywatch.org

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Re: Walton family wealth equals 40% of Americans combined

Postby johnfajardohenry » Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:46 pm

rabble wrote:I disagree with both sentiments. Walmart's real strength is their "sell cheap, kill the competition, make the manufacturers dependent on them so they can dictate their purchase price, and then enjoy the monopoly" strategy which they apply to each basic commodity in turn, and they're very good at it.


How do they kill the competition?

Every Walmart I have ever seen, and I get around the US quite a bit in the course of my practice, is in a shopping center. Usually, in the shopping center, there are a bunch of stores all selling the same things, often the same brands, that Walmart sells. Why does Walmart permit this?

Most have a Target within a 1/4 mile or so.

Sure is hard for me to see how they kill the competition.

As for US manufacturing, I've been working in manufacturing since 1976. From 1985 to 2007 I owned a business selling manufacturing, mostly packaging, machinery. In 96 I founded my consulting business. Ran it as an adjunct for a while, full time since 2007.

I have been in hundreds, maybe even thousands, of manufacturing plants within and without the US in a wide variety of industries. Most of my clients rely on Walmart for 40-60% of their total sales. Walmart is a tough customer. They DO. NOT. PERMIT. waste in any manufacturing process. More importantly, they will not pay for it.

Walmart and this attitude has been one of the best things to happen to US industry. They have forced US industry to become better. This usually do this only when forced to. There are a few exceptions. The guy I mention who paid for a school of pharmacy is one. (He is also the one who got me interested in changeover). He has taken a bankrupt, division of a multinational and made it one of the most efficient companies in the US.

Henry Ford did something similar in the teens.

The battery company I mentioned did it 10 years ago without waiting for Walmart to force them to.

These are exceptions, not the rule. Most companies will keep chugging along, wasting 20-30% or more of their resources until someone forces them to stop.

For that, Walmart has been one of the best things ever to happen to US manufacturing.

And to the US consumer and worker as well.

John Henry

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Re: Walton family wealth equals 40% of Americans combined

Postby peripat » Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:03 pm

They also require lower quality so they can sell for less and still make their obscene profits.


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