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  • 1. Epicenter - Wired Blogs Page 1 of 11 Top Stories « Gateway Acquisition Helps Acer; But Will it Help Gateway? | Main | Google Cuts AdSense Deal with CNN.com » Facebook Users Hijack Wal-Mart's Roommate Style Page By Bryan Gardiner August 27, 2007 | 7:33:31 PM Categories: Web Apps A third attempt by Wal-Mart to be Web 2.0 savvy hasn't turned out much better than the first two. Slashdot notes that angry Facebook users have hijacked a page aimed at selling back-to- school supplies to college kids and turned it into a missive on the evils of Wal-Mart's labor and business practices. Of the more than 200 posts, only a handful relate directly to dorm decorating. And instead of color coordinating with roommates, users seem to prefer talking about how the retail giant quot;destroys communitiesquot; and prevents unionization. To be fair, there was one comment on a 4-pack of men's environmentally friendly organic socks for $4. Last year, the company set up a blog quot;written by two independent consumersquot; that was later revealed to be backed by an Wal-Mart PR initiative. The company then tried its hand at its own social network, The Hub. It was closed after 10 weeks. Reddit It | Digg This | Add to del.icio.us Ha Ha, corporate faggots. Tried their own social network, did they? Maybe next time they'll decorate their stores with baby seal fur and infant skeletons. Fucking geniuses. Posted by: Tenpin | Aug 27, 2007 10:02:38 PM I still don't see a reason why people hate Walmart. If you're so worried about unionization and poor business practices, don't work there. They got good goddamn deals, and they're open when I'm drunk at 3am. Posted by: Anti | Aug 28, 2007 9:28:56 AM Corporate quot;faggotsquot;? Nice. You just won yourself the bigot + moron of the day prize. Good work! Posted by: winner | Aug 28, 2007 9:36:13 AM http://blog.wired.com/business/2007/08/facebook-users-.html 9/3/2007
  • 2. Epicenter - Wired Blogs Page 2 of 11 quot;I still don't see a reason why people hate Walmart. If you're so worried about unionization and poor business practices, don't work there. They got good goddamn deals, and they're open when I'm drunk at 3am.quot; Posted by: Anti | Aug 28, 2007 9:28:56 AM Maybe because not EVERYONE only thinks of themselves, or feeding their greed... a concept I am sure is alien to you. Walmart drives wages and working conditions down for everyone in the community, they destroy the middle class, they import and sell poisonous chinese crap and drive U.S. jobs away. Anyone who gives a shit about the greater good hates walmart and their race to the bottom. Posted by: asg | Aug 28, 2007 11:50:23 AM ASG, instead of ranting about quot;The greater goodquot; and quot;destroying the middle classquot; and making broad and impossible to back up statements about quot;Anyone who gives a shit about the greater goodquot;, I'd would like to see you back up your statements with some hard numbers. Ultimately, I would rather have a convenient and cheap place to shop, then worrying about some fuzzy and immaterial concept of quot;the greater good.quot; Posted by: Ironhead | Aug 28, 2007 12:29:21 PM Yes, and they roast and eat little babies -- even baby cows! They run slave camps: I HAVE SEEN THEM. They are pedophiles and pornographers, idolaters and rapists -- OH THE HUMANITY. If they weren't there to catch the low end minimum wage workers someone else would be. It might be Sears or Kmart that everyone was deriding. Stop being stupid and grow up. Posted by: gnopgnip | Aug 28, 2007 12:29:43 PM There is a new place for your rants and raves. And it pays 5 bucks per post am told. Check this out http://www.e4d5.com/ Kinda weird but looks like fun. I shop at Walmart occasionally. The prices are good. Costco is my favorite though. They have a better HR policy. I would rather pay a little extra and sleep better at night. Posted by: curious_george | Aug 28, 2007 12:37:46 PM Perhaps if walmart were not there some other company would be.... but wal mart makes a policy of putting underpaid employees without benefits on the public rolls and gives precious little back to local communities where they have stores. Posted by: Jerone Anderson | Aug 28, 2007 12:37:59 PM Stupid socialist kids! What the hell do they know about how the real world works? They all love Che Guevara because he fought against quot;THE MANquot;, never mind he was a mass murderer hell bent on telling peasants what they wanted, because god knows, liberals don't think the unwashed masses are smart enough to make their own decisions. Stupid ass, spoiled, ignorant, juvenile kids. Long live Walmart! Tom Posted by: Tommie | Aug 28, 2007 12:46:22 PM it is true that wal-mart does take out a niche in American society. They drive down prices so much, (which is good for the average consumer) that they force local mom-and-pop operations to close down because they simply cannot compete w/ that kind of buying power. Then, the people that used to work for these mom-and-pop operations are forced to get a job (usually for the company that put them out of business)at a far lower pay rate than before. While they are raking in profits from the communities, they don't even bother to notice that the people in those communities are making less money and the local economies fall into a deep slump. They even made a movie about it because it has raised many concerns about the National Economy as well. The movie is called quot;Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Pricequot; Check it out...theres your proof. Also, I used to work for them for about 6 months, and I quit due to the way they treated me and my fellow co-workers. TRUST ME...they only care about the bottom line, nothing else. Posted by: Dave | Aug 28, 2007 12:47:19 PM quot;Maybe because not EVERYONE only thinks of themselves, or feeding their greed... a concept I am sure is alien to you.quot; Feeding their greed? Your whole comment screams liberalism at it's worst - that this giant corporation is world bent at quot;their race to the bottomquot;, and Wal-Mart is the anti-christ of every Ma and Pop shop in America. They dont destroy the middle class, they create hundreds of thousands of jobs for the elderly and minorites, and if you have actually stepped foot into a Wal-Mart (which seems highly unlikely since you are condeming everything about it), most of the goods they sell are the exact same things you can get elsewhere just at a slightly better cost to you, the consumer. I'm tired of people like you making vast assumptions that quot;Anyone who gives a shit about the greater good hates walmartquot;, as if that would make me stop and say wait a minute! I care for the greater good! I had better start hating Wal-Mart, and all their convenient low priced goods because, boy, the world would be a better place if we all had to pay more money. That's fine if you dont want to have anything to do with Wal-Mart, I really dont care, and I'm sure Wal- Mart wont either. But dont go around telling everyone else that they shouldn't shop at there just because YOU have some issues with it. It's rude, annoying, and people are tired of having others peoples political agenda's shoved in their face as it is, especially when you are trying to tell people to stop saving money. Good luck asg, you'll need it. Posted by: fx | Aug 28, 2007 12:51:04 PM Hey, here's a thought, maybe they pay minimum wage because that's all the employee's who get that pay are worth! Duh! check out people, stock people, YOU ARE NOT IN A CAREER! It should be a short term job while you are going to a two or 4 year college. And NO, you are not 'owed' anything, you WORK FOR IT. Don't expect others to give you more then you are worth. Stupid liberals! Barry http://blog.wired.com/business/2007/08/facebook-users-.html 9/3/2007
  • 3. Epicenter - Wired Blogs Page 3 of 11 Work (51) Posted by: Barry | Aug 28, 2007 12:52:22 PM This is exactly what they deserve. Wal-Mart is not now, nor will it ever be, anything resembling hip or cool. Who actually WANTS to shop at Wal-Mart? Most people shop there because they have to. There are millions of us who avoid Wal-Mart for any number of reasons, and we are the educated and affluent who Wal-Mart wants, and will never get. Target and other discounters get our business for a lot of reasons, not the least of which that Wal-Mart is tacky and cheap and since price isn't our primary driver, we will always avoid Wal-Mart. Posted by: Carl | Aug 28, 2007 12:53:40 PM Wow, you people are crazy. Half of y'all are sipple the Walmart Cool-Aid and the other half are smoking the granola gange. Crazy, man. Posted by: Phillynets | Aug 28, 2007 12:56:48 PM Shopping at your mom&pop store is a romantic notion that will drive down the economy if you pass up a better deal at a larger retailer. For our own good sake, shop at the store that gives you the best combination of service and value. If that is NOT your local small store, so be it. Walmart and other huge companies increase efficiencies, reduce global waste, create world-wide employment, (bringing people in 2nd/3rd worlds a chance where none existed before.) and allow my hard earned money to give me more. Thank God for Walmart, big business and the freedom we have to run such business as well as shop at them. Anything else is wasteful, hate-filled, socialist drivel. Elisa Posted by: Elisa | Aug 28, 2007 12:58:43 PM Why do we care about what a bunch of snot-nosed, over-privileged, young kids think anyway? THey haven't lived long enough to earn the right to tell ANYONE what to do. They are too busy getting everything from mom & dad for free to stop and see how things really work. Wait until you are 30, have 2 kids, a car loan, a mortgage AND THEN I'll listen to you. J Posted by: J | Aug 28, 2007 1:02:39 PM Wall-Mart is a perfect example of where an unregulated quot;free marketquot; ends up--in a monopoly that kills free markets, puts most of the wealth in the hands of a few, and impoverishes the society at large. Even the ancient Greeks were aware of this danger and took precautions against it. That we are still arguing about it 3000 years later doesn't say much for the human intellect. Chances are goo that the college kids know what they are doing, and the ignorant right-wingers are wrong, as usual. Wired News on the Go Sync up, head out, read Posted by: radlib | Aug 28, 2007 1:03:29 PM Wired News on your handheld at your leisure. Corrections | Contact Us | Letters to the Editor | Wired Staff | Press Screw liberals, long live hard working, freedom loving REAL Americans! Center | FAQ | Wired Insider | Sitemap Subscription Questions | Renew Subscription | Give a Gift | International Posted by: t | Aug 28, 2007 1:05:26 PM Subscriptions | Advertising | Media Kit | Careers Visit Our Sister Sites: Concierge | Epicurious | Men.style.com | Style.com | Flip.com | Wired.com | Lipstick.com | NutritionData | YM | It's wonderful to see such short-sightedness among our youth today. I see they look no further then their Allure | Architectural Digest | Brides wallets to see economical ramifications. All you folks ranting about how wonderful quot;Wally-Worldquot; really is, Cookie | Condé Nast Portfolio | Domino | Glamour | House & Garden | try this: 1, start a business that would have to compete w/ Wal-Mart (which is pretty much anything) and Lucky | Men's Vogue | Self | Teen Vogue | The New Yorker | Vanity Fair see how long it lasts. (not long, guaranteed) then 2, having no other option but to work for Wal-Mart (which, in small communities, are not typically immigrants but educated local people w/ no other options Subscribe to a magazine: because Wal-Mart really did close down everything else in town), go work there, and see how paying the bills goes for you. You wallet won't be so deep, and your attitude towards quot;Wally-Worldquot; just might do a © 2007 CondéNet, Inc. All rights reserved. 180, I'm pretty sure. Yes they are cheap, but do some real research before you go and make asses of Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement and yourselves by posting opinions, not facts. Privacy Policy Posted by: Dave | Aug 28, 2007 1:06:10 PM This talkback reeks of narcs. Posted by: Mike | Aug 28, 2007 1:07:03 PM I used to like going into Wal-Mart at 3am, too. And yes, they also have some of the same stuff you can get elsewhere. But two of the jobs I've had as an attorney, working for a state's economic development department, and as an unemployment hearings officer, taught me a lot about them that has only been added to over the years. There's no need for vague statements or hyperbole: Wal-Mart has a well-established practice of opening two new stores in small communities that demographically can't support two stores. When other businesses close down, they close one of the Wal- Marts, which, incidentally, ends up dumping all those elderly and minority workers someone mentioned back into unemployment. When I worked with unemployment hearings, most hearings officers (and there were dozens) would have at least one day a week that dealt only with Wal-Mart cases. That in itself isn't surprising, because they're one of, if not the, world's largest employers. But everyone, liberal and conservative alike, would compare notes, and were generally appalled at the institutionalized (not anecdotal) ways Wal-Mart would treat employees. Then there's the laundry list of other offenses - building a Wal-Mart within sight of the pyramids outside Mexico City. Insisting on edited versions of music and literature, some for explicit language, some because of anti-Wal-Mart sentiment. Surely, they're within their right to do these things, but is this the kind of behavior that either liberal OR conservative ideals promote? Liberals (and I am one) are generally as lousy as anyone else at remaining focused with their efforts and their attacks. Attack Wal-Mart, and leave the conservatives out of it, and maybe conservative folk will realize they don't like Wal-Mart either (many don't), and won't continue to see defending Wal-Mart as defending conservative beliefs against liberals. Focus, people! And fight, but fight fair. http://blog.wired.com/business/2007/08/facebook-users-.html 9/3/2007
  • 4. Epicenter - Wired Blogs Page 4 of 11 Posted by: Rob | Aug 28, 2007 1:11:30 PM Please close the comments on this article. Posted by: Billy | Aug 28, 2007 1:12:13 PM Typical liberal lies: 1)the rich get richer the poor get poorer 2) there is only so much to go around, for someone to make it, someone else has to lose Both are untrue. Who are you (Mr. Liberal) to say I MUST shop at a small store? It's my life, it's my choice, stop being so bigoted and small minded. And who's forces anyone to work anywhere? You end up where you are based on the choices you make, not were the government or anyone else forces you to work. Blaming others for your own situation is a TYPICAL liberal stance, and of course the only solution is more government (resulting in even LESS self-responsibility) No, you chose, you fail or succeed on your own - don't blame walmart, the school system, your mom or dad, look in the mirror and see who controls your life. And leave the Walmarts of the world alone - they got big because they did it better then anyone else. Posted by: J | Aug 28, 2007 1:13:39 PM Wow... Let me start at the beginning. I grew up in a town of about 2000 people spread over three small towns. Most were in outlying farms and such. Maybe 5-600 people lived quot;in townquot;. We had 2 grocery stores. A loaf of bread in one of these stores around $1.75-$2.00 for cheap loaves. About 15 years ago. A regular loaf at Walmart now costs about $1.75-$2.00. It is the same for a gallon of milk. Point of that little diatribe was that Walmart makes it easier for people to purchase things they need. Mom & Pop shops can't compete because they can't make a profit selling at the prices a Walmart or even a national chain grocery can. Where I have a hard time feeling sorry for these people is that in most of the situations, the owners of these stores were some of the richest people in town. And not just my home town. You see, the problem is that if you want to live in a capitalist society where money drives the market and the desire for personal gain drives the individual, then you have nothing to bitch about. No one makes anyone go into a Walmart. I do it because it's convenient and much cheaper than stores like Raley's and Safeway. I have to feed my family and if paying Walmart is cheaper than paying Safeway, then who is anyone to complain about it. As far as quot;educated and affluentquot; is concerned, I am a little of both and I can tell you that money isn't my only driving force. But the overall package of convenience and savings more than makes up for Safeway going out of business. Again, if you don't like the system, shut up. You have the freedom to get your ass up and leave the country. Posted by: Dozer | Aug 28, 2007 1:13:57 PM After working there I can say this. They pay minimum wage. They tell you are full time until they slash your hours during the slow periods thereby losing your insurance. There are a lot of employees that work at Wal- Mart without health insurance or are relying on welfare or some other government aid to make it. You wonder why their employees are miserable? Ask them. They'll tell you the same thing. Managers will do anything to save the company money. They'll even go as far as to ask employees to volunteer their time. This is a multi-billion dollar company asking its employees to work for free. Low prices are great, but not at the expense of human beings. Go watch quot;China Bluequot;, a documentary about the blossoming denim jean manufacturing business in China. Wal-Mart is one of the largest customers. If anyone doesn't know, China does almost nothing to protect workers. So this is the happy face of Wal-Mart. Go get a job there, try making a living at it, and find out the truth about the company instead of ranting about something you don't know anything about. Posted by: ex-wallyworld employee | Aug 28, 2007 1:14:31 PM To T, the funny thing is that we liberals think you ultra conservatives are americans just like us. and people just like us. deserving of respect, just like us. That's what this great nation was built on, everyone recognizing the strength of others and the strength that can be found in diversity. And the strength that can be found in seeing past your paralyzing fears and predjudice. The strength of everyone in America, ESPECIALLY the ones you don't agree with. Later on when you grow up a bit, you'll see the wisdom of that. We work just as hard as you, but we care about this country (all of it) a great deal more it seems. Posted by: Rick | Aug 28, 2007 1:17:19 PM @ Dozer quot;Again, if you don't like the system, shut up. You have the freedom to get your ass up and leave the country.quot; You started off pretty well-balanced. You're supposedly defending the principles you believe this country is based on. Cool. So, for the sake of consistency, do you want to reconsider the above statement? Posted by: Rob | Aug 28, 2007 1:19:36 PM I'd say that most people posting here have emotions or preconceptions that incline them to typecast their opponents quite unfairly. The people opposing Walmart are not quot;stupid socialist liberals,quot; and the supporters are not quot;stupid, ignorant conservatives.quot; Similarly, the benefits and dangers of Walmart must be considered dually, rather than judging Walmart strictly by either side. Walmart is indeed a boon for people with shallow wallets; to these people, Walmart is nothing but good. Deeper investigation, however, reveals several downsides: poor employee treatment, antiunionization, outsourcing of labor, money leaving communities for Walmart's coffers, etc. For the discerning and able consumer, then, the question becomes simply, does a small reduction in price justify the cons of a retail monopoly? I'd strongly encourage everybody to read quot;Nickel and Dimedquot; by Barbara Ehrenreich, which chronicles the author's attempt to sustain herself off minimum wage jobs, including Walmart. The best way to settle this argument is through investigations like Ms. Ehrenreich's, not by slandering your opponents and arguing with your limited and bias views. Posted by: David | Aug 28, 2007 1:21:46 PM Screw liberals, long live hard working, freedom loving REAL Americans I'm a liberal (from the French word for 'free') do you want to screw me? http://blog.wired.com/business/2007/08/facebook-users-.html 9/3/2007
  • 5. Epicenter - Wired Blogs Page 5 of 11 hard working, freedom loving REAL Americans do not support SLAVERY in any form to save 50 cents on a bag of cheese doodles. Walmart is slavery and Walmart shoppers are slavers - and therefore, anti-American IMHO Posted by: FreeAmerican | Aug 28, 2007 1:22:13 PM Ex-wallyworlder, Go to the area of China that doesn't have the factories of China blue. See how much worse off they are then those that have those so called terrible jobs. Keep in mind, you can't turn a country's economy around over night. You can't take an illiterate peasant and put him into a high paying electronics job over night. He's going to work hard at a crappy job, but make sure his kid goes to school so the kid can get a slightly less crappy job. Then that child, when he grows up, will make sure his own children get better educated then he and THEN they can have better, safer, cleaner jobs. That's the way it happened here over a 100 years ago, that's the way it happened after world war 2 in Europe & Asia. Think people, think, you can't apply our standards to other countries that are so much farther behind us. Posted by: j | Aug 28, 2007 1:22:57 PM i worked at wal-mart for eight months as a Courtesy Associate. I got paid 6.50$ an hour at start, got a raise after 90 days of working there to 6.90$ an hour. I got paid more than my counter-parts at Dillon's. who recieve minimum wage to start, which in kansas was 4.75 with a raise to 5.15 after 90 days. knew a guy who worked there two years, he got two raises of 20 cents each after the minimum wage raise. Dillon's is worse than Wal-Mart. So if you really want to attack Wal-Mart. you need to attack Dillon's/Kroger/Homeland too. because they pay less, give less hours to people working for wages and in my experience, do not have better prices than Wal-Mart, K-Mart, or Target. Posted by: mike | Aug 28, 2007 1:23:50 PM Anyone who shops at Walmart is un-American. Walmart is a storefront for China, and buying products there sends money to the people Walmart lovers seem to hate: Non-Americans. So, be a patriot, and do something good for your country by spending your money elsewhere than China. Posted by: wes | Aug 28, 2007 1:24:53 PM Maybe the reason why some despise Wal-Mart is the fact that they got all their popularity by selling 'American' goods, now - in order to enrichen their bottom line, they just sell cheap junk. If I wanted US goods - well, it's no longer a place to buy them. Posted by: Overcast | Aug 28, 2007 1:25:02 PM All of these poor, sad people, defending Wal-Mart, or the Republicans, or any of the others who are taking away their jobs, and reducing their incomes, so all they have left is to shop at Wal-Mart. Don't these people understand that they're undermining their own best interests? Keep shopping at Wal-Mart, keep yourself, and the unfortunate poverty-stricken workers, on the downward spiral. Posted by: Nancy | Aug 28, 2007 1:27:10 PM Let's not forget, minimum wage jobs are not forever. If you are stuck in one years later, you are doing something really wrong! Posted by: Heady4 | Aug 28, 2007 1:28:50 PM As one intelligent person posted, do yourselves a HUGE favor and read Barbara Ehrenreich's book quot;Nickel and Dimedquot;; you certainly won't look at Wal-Mart the same. Another book you would be well-served to read is quot;What's the Matter with Kansas?quot; by Thomas Frank. Posted by: steven | Aug 28, 2007 1:29:57 PM I agree with you J. It's not that I am having a hard time with. I realize that China has a long way to go. My point is that I can't support a company that supports that kind of industry and then turns around and states that is cares about the employees of the companies that manufacture goods for them. Especially in a country where the government has done nothing to help those peasants work their way to an education or something better. Posted by: ex-wallyworld employee | Aug 28, 2007 1:30:51 PM Nancy, Your comments are actually not factually correct. It's been found that even if someone has to take a lower paying job because of a Walmart situation, the resulting lowering of costs of the goods they buy cause them to be able to afford more then before. Lower wages, but much lower cost goods. Posted by: Tfrendo | Aug 28, 2007 1:31:06 PM Wes, Your argument is the only one that would convince me not to shop at Walmart. But to be clear, it would be by my choice not because of government, or goodie-two-shoes liberal ideology T Posted by: T | Aug 28, 2007 1:33:54 PM Keeping money in the community only goes to further enrich the lives of all who live there. Taking the money out of the community, (which Wal-Mart does), only goes to strangle the local economy and people start to lose things. Like their cars, homes, farms, etc. I sa lets keep our AMERICAN money right here at http://blog.wired.com/business/2007/08/facebook-users-.html 9/3/2007
  • 6. Epicenter - Wired Blogs Page 6 of 11 home. I'd rather give my money to a LOCAL rich guy and keep it in the community, (because he'll likely spend it again IN THE COMMUNITY) than give other countries my hard earned money. I'm a combat veteran who loves everything American, and I despise what Wal-Mart is doing to my country. These young kids have no idea what they are talking about...have no idea how the world really operates. Lord, I'd love to be so blissfully ignorant again. Give Americans their jobs again, i.e. their own businesses!! That USED to be the American Dream. Now what is it...saving a buck? Posted by: Dave | Aug 28, 2007 1:36:23 PM I think Wal*Mart sucks. Not cause of the political BS, but because you get what you pay for. Navigating those stores with narrow and congested isles and dealing with the usual (but not all) clientel that frequest those stores make it difficult to shop and obtain what you want without issue. I would rather pay more for better customer service and cleaner shopping environment, especially when the store's typical clientel can be quot;dysfunctionalquot; in a public setting. Posted by: Mike | Aug 28, 2007 1:37:49 PM As another person stated in their post, all of these people are fine who support Wal-Mart and choose to shop there. However, Wal-Mart needs to grow, and has publicly stated they want to attract higher-income shoppers. They will never be able to attract any additional people, especially those for whom price isn't a criteria. Shopping at a Wal-Mart is the most miserable, unpleasant experience one can have in retail. Posted by: Martin | Aug 28, 2007 1:43:29 PM @j: Why is it our responsibility to put jobs in China? China is its own sovereign nation; maintaining its economy and standards of living is its own responsibility. If China were to develop its economy more independently, rather than depending on American consumers and a huge trade imbalance, I feel that both China and the US would be better off: China would preserve its values and culture, avoid the rampaging growth and pollution which kill millions of its citizens each year, and (probably) create businesses with growth potential (as opposed to Walmart-sponsored and Walmart-dependent factories), while the US would avoid a staggering trade imbalance, create jobs domestically (I despise dealing with customer service agents who don't speaJust because k English), and improve its human rights rapport. Before you label me a dumb socialist liberal (I consider myself a moderate), I'll acknowledge that suddenly removing Walmart would make life a little harder, in the short run, for struggling American consumers. However, as quot;Nickel and Dimedquot; points out, these struggling American consumers are struggling because their employers, like Walmart, treat them like dirt and pay them a nonliving wage. Replace Walmart, who can afford to break up unions, mistreat employees, and consequently create a (trapped) class of impoverished American workers, with local businesses (note: I'm not arguing for KMart, Sears, or any other retail giant! That I don't explicitly attack them does not imply that I ignorant believe them to be better than Walmart!) who obey unions and who do not have an unending supply of desperate workers to abuse and recycle. I'll reiterate my earlier point: there are two very valid opposing arguments here, and it would be unwise to dismiss my or anyone else's arguments as stupid drivel from the opposing political stance. Take my arguments into consideration and refute them intelligently, and I will do the same. Perhaps I'm expecting too much from the average wired.com poster. Posted by: David | Aug 28, 2007 1:43:58 PM If you don't like WalMart, don't buy from them or work there. Pretty basic concept. No they are not perfect but those of you looking at the quot;greater goodquot; should consider that they do employ the marginal, entry level, under-employed people in our country. Look at the folks that do work there. They need the job. Remember it wasn't too long ago McDonalds was being attacked for a lot of the same issues. And McDonalds has provided a starting point or landing point for a lot of people over the years as has WalMart. You don't work there for a career, although a fair number of workers have progressed to management and beyond. And has lower prices helped out the people that shop there, contributing to that quot;greater goodquot;? It gives them more disposable dollars for other things. Why would I pay $200 for something that I can buy at WalMart for $150? That frees up $50 for other purchases like gas, electricity, education, etc. Or chould I buy it for $150 at WalMart and donate $50 to a WalMart (McDonalds, KMart, Taco Bell, or countless other low paying company) employee to make up for my sin? Posted by: frankr | Aug 28, 2007 1:46:38 PM IF you are really concerned with the business practices of Wal-Mart go to www.walmartwatch.com. Wages suck as long as you are educated and not a high school kid. However, the situation is not as exigent as one may think. They HAVE LOW PRICES. Bottom line. They are good for kids to work for, but not for an unskilled laborer trying to support a family. I've seen the wal-mart movie, it paints a picture that you could paint about most corporations today when it is spun in the director the film maker wants you to see. I'll keep buying from them because it costs me less. Posted by: WOWEEE! | Aug 28, 2007 1:47:31 PM I'm always intrigued by how bitter people get over the subject of Wallmart. The funny thing is that I think there are screwy things they should be held accountable for (eminent domain abuse, contempt of court...). But I never agree with the anti-Walmarters issues. If unionization is so much better, then why don't union shops gloriously out compete them. And the xenophobic sector is kinda scary too, yeah fuck those Chinese, how dare them get jobs and make things for me at reasonable prices, fucking assholes! Haha, carry on the quot;debatequot;. Posted by: Nathaniel | Aug 28, 2007 1:50:34 PM Mom-and-pop stores? Who the hell owns a mom-and-pop store. there is a reason they go out of business. they arent as good at it. survival of the fittest. wal-mart gives more jobs than it takes away. Look at it people. Wal-Mart is not a bad guy. Go capitalism! Posted by: Paul | Aug 28, 2007 1:51:44 PM I'm always intrigued by how bitter people get over the subject of Wallmart. The funny thing is that I think there are screwy things they should be held accountable for (eminent domain abuse, contempt of court...). But I never agree with the anti-Walmarters issues. If unionization is so much better, then why don't union http://blog.wired.com/business/2007/08/facebook-users-.html 9/3/2007
  • 7. Epicenter - Wired Blogs Page 7 of 11 shops gloriously out compete them. And the xenophobic sector is kinda scary too, yeah fuck those Chinese, how dare them get jobs and make things for me at reasonable prices, fucking assholes! Haha, carry on the quot;debatequot;. Posted by: Nathaniel | Aug 28, 2007 1:51:58 PM Mom-and-pop stores? Who the hell owns a mom-and-pop store. there is a reason they go out of business. they arent as good at it. survival of the fittest. wal-mart gives more jobs than it takes away. Look at it people. Wal-Mart is not a bad guy. Go capitalism! Posted by: Paul | Aug 28, 2007 1:52:50 PM Hey Wired, I have an idea. How about you screen your comments and delete anyone who tries to back up their arguments with an Ad Hominem attack? That way we can maybe have a real discussion about the issue instead of every blog post turning into liberal vs conservative flame war. Posted by: Scarybug | Aug 28, 2007 1:55:28 PM Haha, I like how because I went to college, that makes me a quot;Stupid ass, spoiled, ignorant, juvenile kidquot;. And because I have a negative opinion about Wal-Mart, that makes me a quot;stupid liberal full of typical liberal liesquot;. I'm not a quot;snot-nosed, over-privileged, young kidquot;. I went to college; I worked two jobs to put myself through it, both at mom and pop places. I might not be the wisest person in the ways of the world, but I have enough smarts to know that I'm not, and to make my own decisions/opinions based on what information is presented to me. I like and hate these blogs for the same reason: they give everyone an equal opportunity to speak their minds on issues such as this. Unfortunately, for some people this is interpreted as the freedom to make scathing, biased, generalized assumptions about a person/group of people for the purpose of quot;provingquot; their point: quot;You people are stupid and idiotic and stuff... see! Haha! I'm right!quot; Please... Grow the f_ck up. Yes, you have the right to say whatever you want, it's just a shame that it doesn't guarantee that what you say is intelligent. Posted by: Cutler | Aug 28, 2007 1:56:12 PM There is plenty reason to be anxious about extremely large corporations, but Wal-Mart does more good than bad, such as: providing lower and working class families with luxuries that they otherwise couldn't afford; providing cheap basic health care and pharmacy; emphasizing environmental awareness by forcing their suppliers to use greener and lighter packaging, promoting environmentally-friendly products (including its extreme advocacy for energy efficient light bulbs); etc. Wal-Mart in many ways is using its enormous size, capital, and influence to do a lot of good things for the country that other large entities (i.e. the federal government) have failed to do. Posted by: aaaaaaaa | Aug 28, 2007 1:59:25 PM Scarybug you are my hero. Posted by: Cutler | Aug 28, 2007 2:00:15 PM Wow...what ever happened to having a balanced opinion. J, I must say that you are the biggest ass out of everyone who left a comment here. You name 2 quot;typical liberal liesquot; and then do jack shit to back them up, other than stating that quot;both are untrue.quot; I agree with you that we all have the freedom to make ourselves who we are, but to say that our government and our parents and school systems play no part is just plain wrong. For example, there are two people; one has a single parent making $15,000 a year working 40 hours a week (maybe at Wal-Mart), has three other siblings, and has had to work part time since he/she was 16 years old to help pay the bills. The other has two parents -- one making over six figures and the other staying at home to watch and raise the children and help with homework and any other things the children need -- and has never had to work an hour in his/her life. Who do you think has a better chance of succeeding? Yes, they both have the freedom to succeed, but the former faces a lot more restrictions than the latter. And sometimes when you're in this situation (I know, my family used to be on welfare...I'm now going to college on scholarships and loans) you look for someone else to put the blame on, and to be honest, you have every right to. Yes, I have made something of myself, but my parents were able to get out of their financial situation. Not all families are this lucky. With that being said, I have shopped at Wal-Mart. I may be liberal, but when I have worked all summer long and I have to buy books for college, food, pencils, pens, and anything else a college person needs, on top of paying a cell phone bill and worrying about having spending money so I can have a good time once in a while, I find myself not really caring about how bad Wal-Mart is. If I had the choice not to shop there (and by choice I mean financial ability), I wouldn't, but I don't have that choice. And yes, it is annoying when people make shopping there out to be the eigth deadly sin. I hate rich people, conservative and liberal alike, and I have every right to, because I'm poor and I'm American. Posted by: Kevin | Aug 28, 2007 2:01:29 PM In response to the above, I am also a young college sudent, very liberal minded. I don't think many very liberal minded people hate Wal-Mart like some of you do, because someone who is truly liberal understands that you need to know all sides of the debate, and not to latch onto seemingly political issues just because you hear from others that you should feel the same way. I am vehemently against large conglomerate corporations, but Wal-Mart is not one of them that has done much harm, and they certainly have done a lot of good. The founder of the company is a libertarian philanthropist, and because of libertarianism, some of his labor policies have come under some attack. But you do not see a shortage of Wal-Mart employees for a reason, people need to work there, and people do not mind to work there. If anyone is unhappy with their job at Wal-Mart they should try to seek a job elsewhere. Meanwhile, millions and millions of people are benefiting from the low prices for goods and services that the company provides every day. Posted by: aaaaaaaa | Aug 28, 2007 2:04:44 PM I like what Martin states. It's a miserable experience and I choose to pay more at a better store. That's my choice. It all comes down to basic economics. Everyone assesses the total cost of shopping at a store, and it's not limited to financial costs. As long as the prices are set at a point in which people are willing to sacrifice other other values, then Wal*Mart will continue to exist. http://blog.wired.com/business/2007/08/facebook-users-.html 9/3/2007
  • 8. Epicenter - Wired Blogs Page 8 of 11 The folks that gripe about the quot;greater goodquot; do not offer up alternatives to the people who are feeling that that is the only place they can afford. Posted by: Mike | Aug 28, 2007 2:07:53 PM I personally love wal-marx Posted by: chris | Aug 28, 2007 2:08:42 PM What is up with all these extreme attitudes? I am a successful businessman, so I appreciate the concerns of those who earn their money, and at the same time, I know intimately the opportunities for ethical and criminal transgression in the blind pursuit of profits. None of this has anything to do with quot;liberalismquot; or quot;socialismquot; - both of which concepts in popular discussion have become reduced to such caricatures unconnected with any reality to serve absolutely no value to anyone in any discussion. Unless you just want to feel quot;coolquot; for scoring points. If anyone wants to do their homework - like any good academic or businessman does - the information about Wal-Mart's practices and effects on the communities they server - both good and bad - is out there. And if you haven't done your homework, why not just state your values and keep your conclusions to yourself? Posted by: theMac | Aug 28, 2007 2:09:14 PM A couple of shady Wal-Mart practices: - Leveraging local governments for tax incentives to move there (i.e. paying less taxes to the local governments). Then assisting their employees getting on welfare because they pay such low wages. This puts a huge burden on local taxpayers and governments. - Shipping out the physical cash to their headquarters. This pulls the money completely out of the local economy. There are many more and you can read all kinds of rants, but the facts are that wal-mart has helped destroy Middle America. Posted by: Jeremy from Seattle | Aug 28, 2007 2:13:52 PM My cat's name is mittens. Posted by: Styles | Aug 28, 2007 2:25:41 PM My cat's name is mittens. Posted by: Styles | Aug 28, 2007 2:26:01 PM My cat's name is mittens. Posted by: Styles | Aug 28, 2007 2:26:05 PM jesus christ there are waaay too many people with too much free time posting here. I passed a couple that looked like goddamn Doctorate dissertations. Posted by: onetoomany | Aug 28, 2007 2:28:38 PM jesus christ there are waaay too many people with too much free time posting here. I passed a couple that looked like goddamn Doctorate dissertations. Posted by: onetoomany | Aug 28, 2007 2:29:02 PM YOu know, everyone talks about how cheap walmart is - but if you compare prices on things like electronics (read: VIDEO GAMES) - they're usually far more expensive. Posted by: Cai | Aug 28, 2007 2:29:23 PM I work for a company who imports stuff and sells it to Wal-Mart who sells it the masses. Our quot;employeesquot; are for the most part in China or Thailand where they work for factories for less than a dollar a day. Some send us finely detailed work that is hard to find at an affordable price in the US. Some send us stuff painted with lead paint. My beef against Wal-Mart is that for years they stood there with their quot;Made in Americaquot; ads and banners and separated themselves from other large retailers with that motto. When they got ahead they spurned US manufacturers for the lower-cost goods from importers. Where I used to work Wal-Mart put 150 people - all Wal-Mart shoppers - on the unemployment rolls because they would no longer pay the (literally) few cents extra for US-made goods. The reason I work for an importer instead of a manufacturer is because I don't want to lose my job again. Obviously the trend towards importing is part of a much bigger picture and Wal-Mart might not make it by selling only quot;Made in the USAquot; goods. Wal-Mart makes almost no profit on anything made in the USA, but they charge customers $7.98 for something that cost them $1.22. I don't shop at Wal-Mart because of these reasons and a lot of the other ones listed. But I understand that people need to save a buck, too. My suggestion is that if you can afford to pay a little more elsewhere, do it - you might be helping US manufacturers (or not) and you're helping someone have a job where their employer gives a crap. If you can't afford to spend the prices elsewhere, like the majority of Americans, Wal- Mart is definitely the place to be. Posted by: sqrrlly | Aug 28, 2007 2:39:09 PM Those who rail against protectionism never like to talk about what we are trying to protect. Posted by: cartouche | Aug 28, 2007 2:51:47 PM http://blog.wired.com/business/2007/08/facebook-users-.html 9/3/2007
  • 9. Epicenter - Wired Blogs Page 9 of 11 I am in the military, and because of this, i have very little disposable income. If i need to buy product X, then i am going to shop wherever product X is the cheapest. My concern is my family. like someone said previously, if you have enough money to decide where to shop, then good for you, go where you want, support what companies you feel have the same worldwide socio-economic ideals as you. but for me, i am going where i have to. it is that simple. Posted by: Christopher | Aug 28, 2007 3:12:50 PM Hey, just remember the simple fact. business is extinction. It should be the good of the people not of a corporation. Posted by: Harrison | Aug 28, 2007 3:46:41 PM Lets say that the people who hate WalMart could shut them down. Would the people who work there thank you? Posted by: Dan | Aug 28, 2007 3:49:18 PM I prefer eating food that has been alive this century. Posted by: Mark | Aug 28, 2007 3:56:38 PM I have decided to stop shopping at Wal-mart for several different reasons. 1st - Checkout lines are always long. I have seen this in many different stores in different cities/states. I would imagine this is due to under staffing. My time is more valuable to me than waiting in line, just to save a few cents. Not to mention that even the self-checkout lines are ridiculous. It seems every idiot that doesn't know how to use a computer and insists on paying for their $50 order with singles and coins use those lines. 2nd - Their customer service is atrocious. Every time I have dealt with a Wal-mart employee has not been a pleasant one. None of them, even the stock people, know where anything is. quot;Oh, I think that is in such and such aisle.quot; You go there and of course, what you are looking for is not there. On one occasion, I returned an item that was purchased from a different store. The sales tax was different between the stores. When the girl gave me the refund, she shorted me 65 cents. Now, I thought, well this is not much money, but I was pissed that they don't have the facility to do a tax adjustment and basically told me to buzz off. I had worked in retail for many years, and both companies I had worked for had the ability to adjust tax rates for returns/exchanges that were done between areas with different sales tax rates. So, the manager was called over and I very politely explained the situation. She got frustrated with me and told the cashier to, quot;just give him the 65 centsquot;. Basically making a scene at my expense in front of a line of customers. Like I said, it wasn't the 65 cents I was worried about, it was more of the principal that Wal-mart has found yet another way to rip people off and I wanted to call them on it (class action anyone?). 3rd - I used to shop there partially on price, but mostly because of their vast selection of different items. They do carry a lot of items that are hard to find. My gripe is that every time I have ever shopped at a Wal- mart store, I find that multiple items on my shopping list are not in stock. Something as simple as one particular brand of soap, or toilet paper. None to be found in any quantity. So, of course, I have to make a trip to somewhere else to get and item that this retail giant should have. I have instead decided to spend just a few cents more at Target. The have a good enough mix of products that I can usually get everything I need in one trip. I have only once seen a particular item out of stock and it was a apple corer. This is obviously not something as high demand as TP or soap, so it was understandable and something I could wait until the next trip to get. Target employees actually know where products are and are even willing to walk you to them. Plus they are friendly. But, I suppose if I was making minimum wage working for a tyrant company, I would be disgruntled too (I'm only guessing that Target pays better). I have also never waited more than a minute or two in line there either. As a matter of fact, I have had cashiers come and grab me and lead me to their register because they didn't have any customers to help. Posted by: Ashley | Aug 28, 2007 4:21:36 PM Anyone that think Walmart is a good thing can go fuck themselves in a blender. You all will be the first to go after the Revolution. Posted by: Saddam's Cornhole | Aug 28, 2007 4:56:49 PM Read quot;The World is Flatquot; by Thomas Friedman before acting like you know anything about WalMart and the global economy. It's actually a really good book, and makes over half the people that post here look like idiots. Posted by: Mitch | Aug 28, 2007 5:10:34 PM Dan, you said: quot;Lets say that the people who hate WalMart could shut them down. Would the people who work there thank you?quot; If I got them a raise or better working conditions, I doubt they would thank me for that either. That seems typical of an employee that is hired for minimum wage. It seems that Wal-mart is preying on the needy both in the financial sense. As an employer and as a consumer provider. Their service sucks and their stores are hard to navigate and find what you are looking for whether it be due to quot;out of Stockquot; items or the physical layout of the isles. (Too narrow and very crowded) Posted by: Mike | Aug 28, 2007 5:14:16 PM If WalMart were shut down, communities could actually be WEALTHIER and there might be MORE jobs, at better pay. Think about it. Who is hurt when a WalMart opens?? The small business owner, that's who. There is no way for the independent local shoe store, or the local independent little clothing store to compete against a giant WalMart next door. All those business people normally produce jobs ... maybe just three at this store or four at that store, or maybe 100 or more at a small department store ...but cumulatively, we're talking a lot of jobs lost as businesses shut down. Furthemore, there is no way for North American manufacturers to compete against stuff made for three http://blog.wired.com/business/2007/08/facebook-users-.html 9/3/2007
  • 10. Epicenter - Wired Blogs Page 10 of 11 cents an hour in China or wherever. But it's not WalMart's fault ... all the North Americans who buy the cheap stuff made by cheap labour in other countries have contributed to the loss of jobs, and the loss of wages. It's really stupid. But until that message gets across to average WalMart shoppers -- that they are actually impoverishing themselves and their communities while lining the WalMart directors's pockets, then people will continue to shoot themselves in the foot. Posted by: Windy | Aug 28, 2007 5:44:55 PM The practice of Wal-Mart destroys local economies by underselling. They can do this because they outsource their labor and manufacturing to China, eliminating demand for local made products, which eliminates local jobs, which gives them a workforce which they can pay whatever they deem as a necessary wage. Once they have domination, their quot;low pricesquot; go up in leaps and bounds as they are the only place in 20 miles where people can buy goods. Look at the American Farming Midwest for their more quot;colorfulquot; endeavors in choking people out of their jobs, money, and dignity. I would dearly love to see the corporate headquarters burn to the goddamned ground. With most of their products coming from the more than questionably safe source of China, (food, toothpaste, etcc...) I'm amazed that they're still in business. Posted by: David Sparrow | Aug 28, 2007 5:51:26 PM All you idiotic right-wing troglodytes defending Wal-Mart wouldn't know ethics if it pissed on you, and you don't deserve to be in this country or enjoy the benefits of a mature society. You are morally bankrupt, subhuman parasites who would buy merchandise ripped from the cold, dead hands of murdered children if it was a fraction of a cent less than the competition, all because you are nothing but walking ids with no self-control or sense of responsibility. And the fact that you respond to any mention of responsibility, ethics, morality, or citizenship by whining like chastised toddlers just proves what a bunch of brainwashed, infantilized consumer robots you are. The Republican Party and Walton family appreciate your mindless, fanatical devotion to fascist propaganda. You will surely be rewarded in Heaven with 77 virgins for your pious service to Power. In fact, I hereby nominate you for the Iron Cross--you can put it up on your wall over your collection of snuff films and televangelist sermons, you sick ultra-conservative bastards. Posted by: Qui Bono | Aug 28, 2007 6:13:18 PM I love wal-mart! I love the quot;if you shop at Wal-Mart you are supporting terrorismquot; people. I don't tell you where to buy your fancy jeans, so don't tell me where to buy my food. Posted by: Brian | Aug 28, 2007 6:14:45 PM The ones complaining about wal mart's low prices. Give it a few more years, And quot;See', *if you even have a network to use your computer[or any electronic device], any jobs whatsoever in North America, a pay check, any place to invest [if you have any money to invest?],I'd be angry also,if the only job I had to forward too was at {near]Poverty level pay, but all of them in there dorm, must have realized that by now, there is not a whole lot of jobs for them,{except for this war/ which seem's like it is never going to end. (basic privates pay is fairly decent these days!). Posted by: willy j | Aug 28, 2007 7:59:02 PM Want to feel better? just go send a bag of flour to somewhere in the poor world. Just make sure you buy it in your mom & pop store and pay three times for it, or maybe send three bags if you buy them in Walmart. Look in your own chinesse mirror Posted by: Fangoo | Aug 28, 2007 8:09:55 PM Hmm... when did the Wired comment section turn into an idealogue flame-fest? Wal-Mart is convenient and often inexpensive. Generally true. These facts often negatively affect small businesses. Also generally true. Wal-Marts can negatively affect local property values. Generally true. Wal-Mart provides a living wage for its employees. generally untrue (as is equally so of many other retail stores). Much of Wal-Mart's ills are indicative of larger trends, but Wal-Mart is an exemplar of these trends, not a faultless scapegoat. Can't we have a balanced (read: rational?) debate about factual influences without getting emotional on both sides? No wonder America is so polarized and paralyzed politically and economically. Every force of passion here is countered by another equally rash explosion of anger. This is the last time I bother looking to Wired for intelligent news (and it's not the magazine's fault, either). Posted by: Confused | Aug 28, 2007 9:37:30 PM The funny part is Wal-Mart pays their workers more then minimum wage, and has more healthcare options then most places, where does this made up bullshite come from. Posted by: Yomamma | Aug 29, 2007 2:36:30 AM Isn't great that American taxpayers are subsidizing Wal Marts healthcare plan, or lack of one. Great for Walmart, crappy for the rest of us. Posted by: Anon | Aug 29, 2007 4:31:37 AM Here's a well-researched article that gives more information on what WalMart's business practices have done to the US economy. http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/77/walmart.html While it's always good to have a lower cost of living, especially for the people that need it, having one company with that much power over our economy is dangerous for a multitude of other reasons that the average consumer doesn't consider. Posted by: Jason | Aug 29, 2007 5:40:40 AM http://blog.wired.com/business/2007/08/facebook-users-.html 9/3/2007
  • 11. Epicenter - Wired Blogs Page 11 of 11 Mmmmmmmmmm, dooonuuuughts... Posted by: Homer | Aug 29, 2007 12:51:21 PM Good for them! Wal-Mart is Wicked. http://www.filthywalmart.com/ Posted by: orbital | Aug 29, 2007 9:07:27 PM Wal-Mart has be evil since day one. There busy practices of quot;stocking them deep and selling the cheapquot; seems like a good idea for customers at first. But they have littered the country side with empty stores and unemployed shop owners just so cheap ass Americans can buy cheap ass china products. It sure is a great place and before long it will be the only place. Posted by: teddy | Aug 31, 2007 8:03:59 AM POST A COMMENT Name: Email Address: Comments: Post See more Metrophile http://blog.wired.com/business/2007/08/facebook-users-.html 9/3/2007