Wednesday, September 17, 2008

For me, it begins with Walmart.

So, I have a theory I want to share. It is long but I am a big fan of it (so if no one else reads it, I will!)

Walmart sucks....there you go. That is my theory.

Walmart doesn't just suck, it has ruined our country. Let me tell you why....

Walmart started with Sam Walton, a good businessman who cared about his community and employees. He was a maverick in his field and he started an honest company that had integrity. But once daddy Sam died and the reins passed over to his (over-indulged) children, it all went to hell. His kiddos had no concept of community or the values that daddy Sam had. They used their daddy's good name and reputation to forever ruin the landscape of small town Ameica. They did it out greed.

Back in the day (when all the new walmarts were coming to the small towns) Walmart would open its doors with super low prices. SO LOW it was unbelievable. No one stopped to question that. Well, the prices were low and money was lost (at the store level) and that was part of the plan. In order to drive out the local (established) regional stores, Wal Mart would absorb the loss. Time goes by, competition has dwindled (or completely disappeared) and the prices were, all of sudden, much more than they originally were. In fact they were pretty darn close to what those regional stores were selling their wares for. (Baaaaaa says the sheep.)

Local economies were ruined, absolutely destroyed. Downtown America has now become a novelty...and we lost much more than cute stores when we lost downtown. We lost our communities, we lost our connections to each other, we lost our accountability, we lost our sense of identity.

People shop at Walmart because they believe they are saving money. I pay a little more to shop at my regional store but my regional store donates part of my purchases to my school store and they give back to their area. My regional store is a part of my community. Plus the employees look happier, it is more kid friendly (they have the cool race-car carts), the lines are shorter, they have sales (WalMart does not have sales.....just occasional falling prices). I, frankly, hate being bombarded by so much absolute junk when I just need a week's worth of leads to impulse purchases that throw my budget completely off (which is part of their plan, I am sure).

Walmart does not contribute to your community. The employees may contribute but the corporation really is pretty tight....they give enough to be able to say that they do. Walmart does not take care of their employees, your neighbors, in fact I think most of their employees are pretty miserable.

To sum it up: Walmart doesn't give a damn about me or you or any of us. They only care about their bottom is a soul-less machine.

Walmart started it all. They started the "gimme, I want that" mentality. They bombarded us with junk and we became convinced we needed it. They ran out the good guys that were a part of our towns, the guys that CARED. They contributed to the isolationist mentality where we can go days without having to really interact with anyone outside of our homes and offices (self checkout, anyone?). They contributed to a mentality that lead to the loss of manufacturing jobs all over this nation. They made it okay to screw our neighbors out of their own jobs because it was cheaper for us to buy a badly made shirt made in Pakistan.

Walmart doesn't care about you or me or the communities they are a part of. There is a reason why so many towns are now blocking them from coming in to their towns (Jackson Hole, Wyoming is a good example). There is a reason why their commercials are more like propoganda-infused political ads....they are attempting to overcome the rightfully earned negative-publicity. The commercials are there to convince you it is OKAY to shop there, shopping there will make you happy.

I, for one, avoid the place at all possible costs. I hate going there. I hate the narrow checkout lanes that are full of junk specifically placed there in an attempt to make me cave in and buy my tired children the buzzy-wuzzy just to keey them quiet.

I hate the greeters who aren't there to greet me. (They are there to make sure I didn't steal anything while patronizing this store, how welcoming!)

I hate the vasteness of the there anything worse than realizing that you have to go back to aisle 3 (200 yards away) because you forgot the friggin parmesan cheese. I hate that I have to traverse the entire friggin width of the store to get shampoo, a pretty common grocery list item!

I hate that after I have gone back and gotten the damn cheese, traversed the entire store for my kids' shampoo, denied my screaming children the M&M filled Spongebob in teh checkout lane, passed the McDonalds causing my over-tired children to now want hamburers instead of the healthy lunch waiting at home, passed the greeter who needed to see my receipt because I had an item not bagged (the big box of diapers which would be impossible to slip by the cashier) I have to remember where I parked my car in their stadium-sized parking lot that is absolutely packed with cars.

Ugh....the local store is smaller, community-friendly, trusting of their patrons, and they have fabulous race-car shopping carts that my children and I get to race through the store. I can usually find a good space to park, too!

Easy choice.
The moral is, you get what you pay for. This is true everywhere and not just at Walmart. Walmart helped to start it but they are, by no means, the only corporation chasing the bigger and bigger profit (at all costs). As citizens of this great land we have to make choices. It IS worth it to pay a little bit more, locally. It is worth it for those better-treated employees/neighbors, it is worth it for the sense of community you'll get, it is worth it for the better quality items). It is worth it. We are worth it.

Go shop somewhere is a great way to let your voice be heard! Corporate greed will only stop when our actions (and dollars) demand it!

No comments: