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Thu July 27 2017 11:52:38

Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amazon?

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I just came across this article after reading about "Amazon Business" on EcommerceBytes. I doubt that many readers will share my views, which are reflected in the article ("Amazon is monopolizing commerce - and we don't seem to care").  

I've watched WalMart destroy many many businesses, and many decent jobs. Partly funded by tax cuts to them, and food stamps for their employees who lack a living wage and benefits. And who are about to be replaced be even more mechanization.

Now comes an article about the real elephant in the room. I am reminded of how many of Amazon's employees live in campers. 

Personally I am hoping this article might start a serious discussion about the wealth of these companies, the lack of it for their employees, and the jobs that others have lost in supporting the accumulation of that wealth.
BJ




Comments (18) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz   Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Thu Jul 27 12:34:10 2017

Jeff Bezos became the world's richest man yesterday passing Bill Gates.

I don't do Amazon!

Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz   Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 27 14:00:56 2017

OK, I think I may well have already SKIMMED the National Media article you are addressing, but I don't SEE any link or indication just WHERE to find and read that article.   I certainly SHARE your view as to the way WalMart destroyed SmallTown and Middle-sized town's employment and enterprises.  ONE Super-WalMart less than a half hour's drive from just about EVERY citizen in Missouri (for example) means that the destruction of surely HALF or MORE of all the Drugstores, Supermarkets, Bookstores, Record/CD/DVD stores and even Auto Parts and TIRE shops can be laid at the feet of Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart doesn't have to siphon away ALL of those local merchants' trade.... just sucking away 1/4 to 1/3 can easily tip a company from a Going Concern to a FAILING BUSINESS.

Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz   Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 27 15:04:26 2017

We love WalMart since they now have the free shipping. Best part is when you buy something on Ebay or Amazon and it comes in a WalMart Box.

WHAT DOES THAT TELL YOU????

If people were so concerned about those wages and living standards of the employees they wouldn't be shopping there to send a message. BUT its the American way to buy at the cheapest price available irregardless of who is selling it. AMERICAN GREED AT ITS BEST,

Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz   Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz

by: dander This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 28 12:26:23 2017

As much as I don't like Amazon, they pay above average wages for the area and very good benefits. I use to provide field support at multiple amazon sites across several states, and I never heard of anyone living in campers that worked for them. They do provide jobs especially in areas that have been hard hit by factory closings.

Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz   Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz

by: RLS This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jul 29 11:01:20 2017

With all due respect to the writer. The whole living wage has been thoroughly debunked by the CBO (Congressional Budget Office)
that has concluded after much research that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour will cost several million jobs. Who needs that sort of help? Thanks but no thanks.  A recent study in Seattle concluded that wages went down for low income workers as businesses cut hours to lower expenses.
Not a huge fan of Walmart but whether you shop there or not you save money as it has forced down the prices of products across the nation.
Too many people think that by simply mandating higher wages you will solve the problem of low income workers. Oh if it were so simple. Please do everyone a favor and examine the unintended consequences and the effect of the so called "living wage"

Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz   Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Sat Jul 29 21:24:54 2017

RLS, can you explain why costs of so many products and services produced by minimum wage indivuduals have more than doubled while minimum wage has flat-lined?  Don't swallow this pitiful victimhood lie pushed by the billionaire class to set you against others who actually work for a living.

Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz   Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 30 18:18:25 2017

@RKTOYS

I can partially answer that. We have a neighbor who has a small business. Employes about 20 people at 10 to 12 dollars an hour. The cost of his product has gone up faster than the cost of living or wages. The reason is HEALTH CARE has tripled, ELECTRICITY has double, GAS is now 3 a gallon instead of 1 dollar, SHIPPING has doubled, PROPERTY TAXES have doubled, BUILDINGS has doubled, TRANSPORTATION costs have doubled, MANUFACTURING Equipment has doubled, INVENTORY has doubled. ETC ETC all this in the past 10 years.

Also into the mix is the fallacy that all employees are created equalily. They are not. He advertises for help. Applicants are drug users ( can't past a drug test ), Applicants don't even have a decent education. They come in for an interview dressed like they haven't had a bath in months. These jobs are for beginners and by their very nature are not something one could live on. Those jobs require and EDUCATION and most of these people can't even spell the word.

So higher wages don't go along with higher prices. As long as the cost of making an item keeps going up wages will not follow as the manufacturer is just going to pass their costs to consumers.

If one wants a good paying job they need to get off their backside and do something positive. Get a good education, Learn a trade. Don't think that people are going to raise their wages just to pacify a lazy arse. People are so used to the government giving them everything free that they can't even visualize having to really work for a living.

Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz   Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz

by: Coolstraps This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 31 06:59:52 2017

Oh, forgot to say... a business should not be expected to pay a "living wage" but to pay what the work is worth. Different work is worth different amounts based on the skills involved. If an employee wants to make more, then be more valuable to the company.

RKToys said, "If one wants a good paying job they need to get off their backside and do something positive. Get a good education, Learn a trade. Don't think that people are going to raise their wages just to pacify a lazy arse." Amen to that.

Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz   Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz

by: Flying Childers This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 31 07:35:57 2017

Excellent points by RKtoys and Bootstraps.  I was just having this discussion with a customer in my b&m shop.  A guy comes in and tells me how much he hates China, they are ruining our economy, etc. etc.  I said to him I'll bet everything you're wearing comes from China and by the way didn't you just tell me you love shopping at Walmart??

We live in free market, capitalist society, despite what some would have you believe.  If anyone thinks that Communism/ Socialism is such a great idea,  I have one word for you- VENEZUELA.  That's what happens when the "enlightened" socialists take over a country.  Cuba is another great example.

For many complex reasons, the factories have left the USA probably never to return.  It is cheaper to make things in China and abroad.  They don't have the liberties or the protections that our country has.  The market is flooded with Chinese goods- some are quality, some are not.  For many people Walmart is a paradise where they can buy all that cheap Chinese stuff for their kids and themselves.

A capitalist marketplace will eventually right itself, IF the government stays out of it and allows truly free trade to occur.  The problems arise whenever Big Government tips the scale and picks winners or losers.  Just look at E-packet for example.

Amazon, Facebook, Google are all monopolies that need to be broken up.  Jeff Bezos, Zuckerberg, the 3 guys who run Google- NONE of them pays their fair share of income taxes and therein lies another problem.  People would feel a lot better about Bezos et al if they knew that these guys were paying 50% income tax on their money.  Not getting away scott free because of a technicality that their lawyers figured out.

Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz   Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz

by: RLS This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 31 09:53:11 2017

@FeelingFroggy,
Well said and hope that it educates others. My larger point was their are repercussions to all policy prescriptions. The unintended consequences need to be examined before applying a one size fits all solution. Besides $15 an hour in one part of the country sounds great in NY not so much

Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz   Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 31 10:47:21 2017

The AMZ workers living in campers are probably in California.  I'm in Illinois and I never heard of AMZ workers in campers.

Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz   Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 31 11:44:22 2017

Amazon just opened one and are building another here in Michigan. Total of about 2500 jobs starting out at 15.00 an hour. Not to shabby for someone who might not have an education or job skill.

Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz   Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Mon Jul 31 16:07:39 2017

I think I was misquoted up there.

I buy American whenever possible.  I mean I'll will stay up all night for days to find an American alternative before I settle for Chinese or do without.  In fact, when I started selling toys, half of the reason was to, eventually, fund manufacture of one here because I was convinced Americans could do better.  I still say that would be true if business would stop snubbing small customers with small orders and preventing them from ever becoming big customers with big orders.

My point earlier is that working Americans are always scapegoated by capital trying to get something for nothing.  They want us to believe raising wages will raise prices, yet "somehow" never explain how inflation happens even with stagnant wages.  It's like the toy industry squealing about oil being behind price hikes and now that oil is down from $4/gallon they've moved on to different excuse like how expensive Vietnamese children are or (non-existent) regulations or (imaginary) taxes or copyright infringement (for a remarkably wide definition of "infringement") or the color yellow and C is for cookie.

People need to think this stuff through and not just take professional liars at face value.

Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz   Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Mon Jul 31 16:33:26 2017

And I find it absolutely laughable that people who need minimum wage employees for their business model to work can complain about those same employees being useless.  You know what, if you're so wonderful, do it all by yourself.  You run the register, you pack the boxes, you process the invoices, you answer the help desk.  That's what I do with my low-volume business.  Because I realize that I don't have a right to another's labor, let alone some one-sided "deal" presented by a market that achieves that "deal" through coercion.

If local businesses are any indication of the rest of the country, they should think about returning calls from customers before they lobby government to legalize indentured servitude or various schemes to squeeze free labor out of school-age kids.

Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz   Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 31 18:36:14 2017

@RKTOYS

Your low volume business is just the right size for one person. But most average businesses employ 10 to 20 people. THEY ARE NOT LOW VOLUME. It doesn't take a whole lot of brains or skills to put a box inside a box and tape it shut. Nor does it take a lot of skill to take a broom and sweep the floor. You are acting like all these low paying jobs require an advanced degree in sand box. THEY DON'T.

Like I said before. Instead of having your hands out for the government handout. GET AN EDUCATION AND LEARN A SKILL. Then you will be paid what you are worth. If you want to flip hamburgers for a living go for it. BUT don't except a living wage doing it. Get off your backside and get an education and quit whining about how much you think your uneducated skills are worth. If your not happy then quite and find that 50.00 dollar and hour job. Or wait until the government gives you some more hand out.

Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz   Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz

by: lectiodivinabooks This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 31 19:06:47 2017

The big picture is this.  Because of the rich and powerful, we really don't have a democracy anymore.  They line the pockets of many in our congress as well as those who serve in the individual states.
Why for instance do you think we get so little protection from known sources of carcinogens in various pesticides and herbicides such as Roundup.   The chemical companies interests are much more important to our elected leaders than those of  American human beings. It is interesting to note that the entire province of Quebec as well as many many cities in Canada have banned lawn chemicals  (check pesticides.org  to see what this stuff does to you , pets & wildlife)
Why are drugs so much more expensive here than in other countries. Why doesn't Medicare and Medicaid work out reduced prices for drugs   - The interests of the drug companies are of more concern  to our so called leaders than our health. It is interesting to note that the entire  Why is the US not collecting the trillion dollars every  year that companies are hiding abroad-  Yet happily not raise social security .  The poor get shafted over and over.   The whole ethic that all people who are poor and can't find jobs must be lazy bums.   In the 50's you could have a job selling shoes and on that money, you could support your family and the spouse did not have to work. and more than likely you were not treated as an it at your workplace.  The rich are getting richer, the poor poorer and the middle class is getting smaller.  And it is the middle class that provides the stability in this country.  Why do you think barbarism and social chaos is getting worse and worse?

I find Amazon increasingly scary. It has far far too much power and is basically a monopoly.  Where is anti trust when you need it.  It makes me want to upchuck when I read that Bezos is the richest man in the world with 80 plus billion.   Why does ANYONE NEED THAT MUCH MONEY I no longer buy anything from them and funnily enough I find   equal or even better bargains on other websites. I have been a bookseller there for 17 years with 100% positive feedback for 10 plus years.  We sellers are now being totally judged by algorithms and it is all negative. Amazon is taking a bigger and bigger cut from our sales.
I am looking to transfer my inventory to Alibris which is NOT owned by Amazon.  

Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz   Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz

by: The Not So New Guy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 31 21:17:05 2017

It's quite the world we live in...... Everyone wants to pay nothing, but they want whatever they bought to last ''the way it used to''. Everyone wants to pay the very least amount of money to get the job done, but everyone wants the ''best job possible done''. And the stories go on, so many more examples. ''Janitors'' have gotten a lot of critique here on this thread so far, people saying things like ''get an education'', ''Don't be a lazy *&%'', and whatever. Yet I'm sure those same people find themselves in a dirty public restroom wondering ''Holy crap why can't the guy keep this place clean, why does it look like a sh*t hole?'' then lamenting about the good old days and how this would never happen. Remember? Back in the days when the janitor was actually paid a wage to support his family? When he cared to do a good job because he had a decent job, and felt valued? Never forget, every employee in your business plays a part, not only in how your company appears, but in the success of your company. The difference between a valued janitor, who feels valued and one that doesn't could be the difference in thousands in theft a year. When he sees those kids in the bathroom stealing depending on how he feels will depend on whether he laughs or reports it to security. Add to that what he tells the people he knows about your company, whether he badmouths you or sings your praises could indeed be the difference between someone buying from you or elsewhere.

We could move on to the argument of ''get an education'' because I'm sure no one here posting knows anyone that is underemployed because there are no jobs in their fields, or no jobs in their education bracket etc. Even funnier is all the people with degrees who got them because they ''needed them to get a job'' and now everyone has one, so they're still going to give the job to the guy who'll work for the lowest $$$. So go, get an ''education'', bury yourself in debt, go ahead.

UPS adds a ''Fuel Surcharge'' because supposedly fuel is up, yet when it comes down what happens to the ''surcharge''? Nothing, it's an easy profit stream. People yell ''Oh we can't have this open here because taxes will go up'', and yet the taxes go up almost every year anyway so what's the difference?

Here's one we can all relate to- eBay CS reps, how many times do you have to call to get one that knows their job? You think there's a reason? There is, it's called hiring the lowest paid employees to do a job. Oh wait, guess what, like everywhere else in life, surprise! You get what you pay for!

Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz   Walmart Provides Lesson on How to Think about Amaz

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 2 01:14:36 2017

"beginner job"  is that the new excuse for not paying enough to live on?

education and working hard does not mean that you will get a job that pays enough to live on.  some of the people working these "beginner jobs" have worked at them for years, not because they are lazy, but because there are no other choices.



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