You told the caller the problem is we need a new trade policy so don’t boycott Walmart for selling goods made in China!?

Let’s be clear about something Mr. bluedog, Walmart does not have only the one legal choice of Country – China - where it can get its goods. It’s just like either you or I being legally able to take a left or right turn at an intersection. It is choice between two legal options. This is all to say that Walmart can legally stock its shelves with only goods made in America or it can be boycotted. It might take a while for America to produce enough goods to fill those shelves but there is no better way to get on that path than having Walmart's Citizen's United enhanced voice demand it of Washington. If you don't reduce Walmart's profit's with a boycott they won't be in the position to attempt higher profits by increasing sales volumes with American made goods that might have a lower profit margin.

When and if the country gets a new trade law during these times of a HIGHLY unrepresentative, unresponsive, indifferent almost to the point of being depraved Federal Government is technically a separate issue. You assume that people should be able to sit and wait patiently to bring up the need for a new trade policy if and when the Citizens United ruling and comprehensive campaign finance reform elevates their speech to the same level of importance as a corporation like Walmart$$$?! This is a luxury that 99% of American people no longer have. Clearly, however, it is a luxury you have.

Another way of saying this Mr. Hartmann is that you lack a sufficient body of shared life experiences with 99% of your audience members to allow you to make appropriate recommendations about courses of action they should take.

Ref. Radio show of Tuesday October 25, 2011, circa 8:46 PM central time.

Thom Hartmann is a Blue Dog Progressive.


Bush_Wacker's picture
Bush_Wacker 8 years 12 weeks ago

I say don't boycott Walmart but boycott as many overseas goods as you can for a while. There are too many people employed by Walmart to start closing them down. Just be a little more picky when it comes to the products you buy. I can buy a lot of the same stuff at Walmart as I can buy at Best Buy.

Randy95023's picture
Randy95023 8 years 12 weeks ago

Quit Blaming Wal-Mart for making intelligent business decisions.

Re-direct your anger towards GATT, NAFTA, WTO, et al...

Right on Bush Wacker! Don't boycott Wal-Mart, but DO boycott foreign items on their shelves whenever a suitable substitute can be found. Wal-Mart keeps a very close eye on inventory and sales of individual items on their shelves. If enough people didn't buy any Chinese goods, insofar as that is possible, Wal-Mart will stock THE ITEMS THAT SELL and would not order any more items that didn't sell. "Retailing 101"!

I know a lot of people literally hate Wal-Mart but you must see through that "hate" and recognize the sheer genius of their business plan. The numbers speak for themselves. It's all about $$$, and common sense says that Wal-Mart will not stock items that don't sell, PERIOD. It's silly to blame Wal-Mart for making very basic Marketing decisions that are legal.

Boycott Chinese and other "3rd world" goods and Wal-Mart will get the message loud and clear. If, as a nation, we put a 20% Tariff on all Sweatshop (slave labor?) Nations and maybe American manufacturers can open up shop again. Until the laws are changed Wal-Mart, or some industrious competitor, will sell the "cheaper goods". Under current law you wouldn't stand a chance if you tried to open a general merchandise store that didn't sell any foreign goods. Again, "Retailing 101"...

Peace, Randy

leighmf's picture
leighmf 8 years 12 weeks ago

I have never been to Walmart because of their employee policies and failure to promote women. Target knows what's happening.


Robindell's picture
Robindell 8 years 12 weeks ago

I recently heard Thom say that he would rather see somewhat higher prices accompanied by higher wages for all workers than low-priced imported goods. You may have misinterpretted what Thom actually said.

Wal-Mart has not made good business decisions because despite their financial success, they are cutting back on employee health care coverage. I don't know the details, but part-time employees who don't work a certain number of hours either will not be eligible at all for insurance or will have to wait a long time before being eligble for coverage that may not be very adequate or affordable. Wal-Mart has grown large; I am not sure that big is necessarily better in the world of business.

One former Wal-Mart warehouse worker was required to work overtime but was not paid overtime. Wal-Mart has forced some employees to work off the clock. There have been various complaints and lawsuits alleging discrimination.

Good on you leighmf for recognizing the unfair and disrespectful employment practices that have been documented at Wal-Mart, including not promoting women who worked for the company for a long time.

Boycotting a giant like Wal-Mart will not put them out of business but may send a message that they need to change their employment policies and practices and find more American suppliers. Wal-Mart has been shown through economic research to force other retailers to go out of business in many communities where they open stores and that the introduction of a Wal-Mart store often seems to result in a lower average wage for a given area that existed prior to Wal-Mart's entrance into the local market.

Zenzoe 8 years 12 weeks ago

I think of shopping at Walmart as treason - - and a total, depressing bore.

Thom did say exactly what telliott... said he said. I had the same reaction. But then, Thom doesn't like boycotts, period. I think it's because he prefers pushing the "get active" meme.

Randy95023's picture
Randy95023 8 years 12 weeks ago

One more thing to remember...

Currently a couple of million people already ARE boycotting Wal-Mart! The sales/profits that we see each year reflect that boycott. Don't think Wal-Mart doesn't "notice" that their sales are a couple of Billion Dollars lower than they would have been if everybody loved Wal-Mart. Right now, in 2011, most "Wal-Mart Haters" are already boycotting so anyone who suddenly begins boycotting is just a drop in the bucket compared to the existing "boycott".

Our fight isn't with Wal-Mart specifically, but against the "Free Trade" monolith that has eaten millions of American jobs. If Wal-Mart would gain Billions of Dollars in sales by "buying American" they would do it tomorrow! They have high paid social scientists and economists on staff that watches these things quite closely and they've deduced where to optimize sales. If all the Free Trade laws and other Tom Friedman shenanigans don't change we shouldn't reasonably expect Wal-Mart to change their business model...

Peace, Randy

Robindell's picture
Robindell 8 years 11 weeks ago

I find that many people on this site tend to only talk about foreign trade to the exclusion of other trends in the American economy. In certain cities, there is in my opinion an over-development of retail. Retail jobs are o.k., but they tend to be part-time and not the highest-paying. When you have redundancy in a given geographic area, with more and more of the same type of store opening up, you put pressure on the somewhat better-paying retailers to cut back on raises and benefits. Some chains are unionized, and the non-union stores moving in can hurt the compensation and very existence of unionized stores.

In my area, I see small strip malls that have any number of unoccupied stores. So you have too many discounters who pay less than other stores, and yet, too many small shopping centers being built in some areas with empty spaces in them. In either case, there is a lack of good-paying jobs either through taking away business from someone else, or by building commercial property that cannot be leased.

In some communities, there is the irony of having several places to shop but little variety and originality in the availability of different kinds of merchandise, since all of the stores are standardized.

As I understand it, there is now an organization which includes actual Wal-Mart workers which is dedicated to geting the company to improve and reform its treatment of workers. Making the company take action to end discriminatory behavior and having employee schedules that are fair and stable in the number of hours and which allow part-timers to pursue outside activities are two of the goals. I don't remember the name of the organization, but it is endorsed by the UFCW. Wal-Mart does not allow unions even though it is illegal to keep them out if the employees want a vote on it, but the union apparently believes that raising the standards of employment at Wal-Mart will also help their own members, because other companies will not so readily be able to point at Wal-Mart and say, "See, they can get away with doing this stuff, so why can't we do the same?"

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