July 3, 2004

Yet Another Take

*Updated*

In closing this three day blitz of posts blogged by me, many focused on the same topic, I will leave you with this article as additional food for thought on the subject.

Beware though, some of the language employed within the article is very much politically incorrect and, as such, may prove extremely offensive to certain people's tastes and principles; yet -- except for its great low prices, which almost everybody (yes, including myself) in this country seems to want -- so is Wal-Mart for that matter (where is that WM smiley face -- especially when you really need it -- anyway?).

The Men of Wal-Mart

These guys aren't misogynists. They're morons.
BY PETE KOTZ

pete.kotz@clevescene.com

[...]

If you buy the company line, feel free to dismiss such talk as hollow sniveling from disgruntled employees. But set aside some time, because you'll have to dismiss similar claims from more than 100 women in 30 states, a tally that mounts by the day.

In their class-action suit, they accuse Wal-Mart of systemically screwing female workers -- in wages, promotions, and all things in between. The stats back them up: Though women outnumber men four to one among hourly supervisors -- where wages are slightly above minimum wage -- they account for only 15 percent of store managers. The logical conclusion: Smiley Roll-Back is a Neanderthal punk.

[...]

The company's faced innumerable civil-rights suits, for everything from firing blacks who date whites to telling female employees that "God made Adam first, so women would always be second to men."

It's been raided by the feds for employing illegals, caught making people work off the clock, and found hiding and destroying documents in dozens of lawsuits nationwide. Bloomberg Markets discovered evidence that it pays spies to search and destroy union-friendly workers. And though Wal-Mart fancies itself as America's Store, last year it imported $15 billion in goods from China.

Its reputation is so bad that two out of every three new stores face opposition to construction. Perhaps that's because a typical location costs its host community $420,750 a year in medical, housing, and free-lunch subsidies that go to impoverished workers, according to a California legislator's report.

Given this record, it's tempting to consider Wal-Mart a low-rent Mafia. Yet these guys just keep getting caught. In truth, they're idiot savants, blessed with a crisp aptitude for numbers, but little else. Think of your dumb-ass brother-in-law who tries to rob a cop bar with a plastic squirt gun. He's too stupid to hate, but you'd love to smack some sense into him.

All of which makes it hard to buy the class-action suit. To do so, you must believe that morons systematically kept women schlepping shampoo and junior-miss skirts instead of running the show. This gives them too much credit. Beside, it's just a symptom.

Wal-Mart's true illness is not understanding the correlation between wage and quality. You buy poverty-level managers, you get poverty-level thinking -- the kind that quotes Adam and Eve in job reviews and takes its gender cues from the seventh century. If left untreated, it's an affliction that eventually proves fatal.

[...]

The entire article can be found here.

Until next time ...

*Note*: Added another paragraph of my own (in the lead) as well as several more excerpts from the article itself well worthy of note too: last updated on Saturday, July 3, 2004 at 4:16 PM [EDT].

Posted by Morgan on July, 3 2004 at 03:47 PM