November 3, 2005

It Felt Like Home

From Bob Greene's Once Upon a Town:


greene_page90.jpg

Posted by Kevin at 2:47 PM

October 21, 2005

What a Ben Franklin Store Looks Like Today

bf1.jpgMany people complain that Wal-Mart is too crowded with goods -- and too dark. But if one takes a look at the origin of Wal-Mart -- the Ben Franklin chain of stores -- one senses that Wal-Mart has taken a definite trend away from the crowded & folksy variety format, while managing to retain its essence.

Posted by Kevin at 10:47 AM

October 20, 2005

Wal-Mart Dominates Kirksville Economy?

In the Truman Index, a bizarre article entitled "Wal-Mart Dominates Local Economy" presents a lot of evidence that it doesn't!

Bascially, the author talks to several WM-boycotting students and describes their shopping techniques. All the students seem to get by pretty well, even though they recognize that only sometimes do they find better bargains elsewhere. (The students claim to know both the prices of Wal-Mart and its competitors, so I have to assume that they go to Wal-Mart just to see the selection and prices that they are boycotting.)

Money quote:

Wire said that anything not available in Kirksville, he can buy over the Internet.

"You can even buy toilet paper off Amazon.com," he said.

Posted by Kevin at 9:11 AM

September 29, 2005

Outlet Shoppers

Not WM related, but interesting:

1) Factory outlet shoppers are wealthier than the average shopper.

2) A developer is hot for more New Town Centers.

3) Where are all the retail industry staistics?

All of these and more in the latest ICSC Research Review, which is, apparently, FREE.

Posted by Kevin at 12:50 PM

August 21, 2005

2 or 3 times a day

From the mouth of a Wal-Mart shopper:

Bari Roy, a Westwood resident, said Friday she’ll be making frequent stops at the new Wal-Mart [in Ashland, KY]. “It’s (almost) in my back yard,” she said. “If Wal-Mart doesn’t have it, I don’t need it. I go to Wal-Mart at least once a day, sometimes two or three times a day.”

Posted by Kevin at 10:19 AM

August 19, 2005

Hootie, the Blowfish, and Wal-Mart

Via Fark, we have another case of Wal-Mart's power in the music industry:

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- Hootie and the Blowfish fans got to see the band play at a local Wal-Mart Supercenter. The band made an appearance to sign autographs at the Wal-Mart Supercenter on Atlantic and Kernan Boulevards around noon today

Posted by Kevin at 5:09 PM

July 14, 2005

Wal-Mart is Authentic

The Hartman Group believes that "buy local" won't work with specific populations, basically because they enjoy and are acculturated to mass consumerism.

They don't say so, but this translates into: Wal-Mart is Authentic. Not all of us live in an interconnected globalized world, but those who do are fractured into three camps: the majority is those people who go about their business without thinking about the authenticity of their world, a smaller minority of those who openly appreciate this lifestyle, and the most vocal minority of those who bitch and moan about it.

Posted by Kevin at 3:17 PM

July 12, 2005

Queens Residents Drive to LI for Wal-Mart

The planned Wal-Mart in Rego Park was killed by activists, so shoppers continue to shop at WM in neighboring Nassau county:

The [Wal-Mart sponsored] telephone survey by Fabrizo McLaughlin & Associates polled city shoppers.

The results: 67% of Queens shoppers said they would likely shop at a New York City Wal-Mart store, 80% believe a city Wal-Mart would create jobs, 13% feel it would cost jobs and 59% of Queens shoppers would travel outside the city to shop, with Wal-Mart as their No. 1 destination.

The folks at the Neighborhood Retail Alliance counter that shoppers want to travel to Wal-Mart:
Richard Lipsky, a lobbyist for the Neighborhood Retail Alliance, which represents 15,000 area merchants, countered that just because Queens residents shop at Wal-Mart doesn't mean they'd want one in their neighborhood.

Posted by Kevin at 4:19 PM

May 16, 2005

Customers to the Rescue

I don't think people where I live would know how to do this:

In fact, a deer initially escaped the Wal-Mart greeter's attention last week when it entered through the exit of the supermarket part of the store...

After doing a little looking around, the deer was tackled by a customer. Others then tied its legs so it couldn't kick, placed it in a shopping cart and pushed it outside....

The deer caused no damage and no one, including the animal, was hurt...

Posted by Kevin at 11:40 AM

May 11, 2005

A Concert in Electronics

Do you think anybody will show up for this, in any store?

Did you somehow manage to miss AOL Music Live's 2005 kickoff concert featuring Simple Plan?...AOL has partnered with Wal-Mart to play this awesome concert on Friday, May 27th in participating Wal-Mart stores! It will be playing in the electronics department, as well as on Wal-Mart TV monitors throughout the store.

Posted by Kevin at 1:09 PM

May 6, 2005

Supercenter #908

Caustic Musings uses Wal-Mart to help her get closer to her cultural roots, and in passing notes:

That reminds me�I must check out the passably clean and tidy Kirkman Wal-mart (not the rancid Ghetto-Mart on John Young Parkway) for some cheap ground turkey for the Moo Shu Turkey experiment this weekend,
She's apparently dissing Supercenter #908 in Orlando (see map); these people don't seem to think anything nasty about it.

Posted by Kevin at 4:45 PM

April 24, 2005

ATMs in Wal-Mart

Here's the very short and long-dead blog of an armored guard who serviced ATMs in Wal-Mart and lived to tell about it. One describes a woman who, wanting a closer look at all the money stuffed into his canvas bag, flips open the cover:


I grab the bag and look at her. "Excuse you!"
"I just wanted to see!"
"It isn't your's to see, ma'am, please do not touch my things!"
"I have a right as a customer of Wal-Mart..."
"And as a non employee of Wal-Mart I have the right to phone the cops if you dare touch that bag again. Lady, what would you do if I went through your purse to see how much cash was in your wallet?"
"I'd call the police!"
"Bingo."

People have nerve.

Posted by Kevin at 7:53 AM

April 19, 2005

"Libertarian" Paternalism and Wal-Mart

Pejman Yousefzadeh brings Wal-Mart into the libertarian paternalism debate:

Responding to "libertarian paternalism," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich remarks that "[i]f you were to walk into a Wal-Mart and say to people, 'Don't you feel really depressed by having 258,000 options; shouldn't it be their obligation to reduce the choice you must endure?' They would think you were nuts." Well, yes, they probably would. But that inability of "libertarian paternalism" to pass the laugh or sanity test has apparently not dampened the enthusiasm of the paternalists themselves in pushing their bizarre theory in respectable academic and political circles. And the depressing thing is that one can probably expect even more of this "libertarian paternalism" to pervade our social and political discourse, as amazingly, we actually have to fight to continue to be able to have access to the many choices that are (for now, anyway) available to us in a Wal-Mart, in our 401(k) plans and in our jam-purchasing forays.
Wal-Mart does not restrict your choices to make it easier for you to choose, although it does restrict some violent or sexually-oriented material in its stores... to make it more pleasant for you to choose.

Posted by Kevin at 9:57 AM

April 13, 2005

Damn Their Low Prices!

In my opinion, choosing low prices is not is an anti-social choice. Others aren't sure:

So I shop at Super Wal-Mart. My cereal of choice is only $3.68 at the behemoth whereas at other grocery markets, one box is pushing $5.00. Damn their low prices! And they even wrap the meat with the seal around the styrofoam instead of the cling wrap method that most meat departments use where you actually have to touch the meat to get it out of the packaging.

I hate Wal-Mart. There�s nothing super about it. Only idiots shop there

You may damn WM's prices, but I will not damn you. Shop at Wal-Mart all you want now, because someday a Robert Reich follower will ride to your rescue with laws and regulations!

Posted by Kevin at 11:44 AM

April 11, 2005

Higher Gas Prices --> More WM Shoppers

At EconTufte, Marie wonders whether the increase in gasoline prices will increase WM prices, and whether this will shift more consumers into shopping around:

[I]f Walmart does have to raise its prices due to these factors, will people be disappointed that Walmart didn't stick with their motto, everyday low prices? I think people will still shop there, because even if they raise their prices they will still be even or lower than competitors... If Walmart was the same as everywhere else would you still drive accross town, or shop around.
Commenters responded that they would probably increase their one-stop shopping at Wal-Mart.


And I'd like to note for Wal-Mart's lawyers that a lot of people think WM's slogan is "Everyday Low Prices" not "Always Low Prices". Don't even think about asserting that your not-yet-registered trademark is "famous"; people don't even remember it!

Posted by Kevin at 10:47 AM

April 9, 2005

Wal-Mart Shopper Saves a Life

Next time you read an WM employee's complaints about WM customers, remember this:

GARDEN CITY, Kan. - A trip to the local Wal-Mart turned out to be a life-changing event for a Garden City man whose quick reflexes saved an 18-year-old woman from possible death.

Robert DeLeon, 40, his wife, Delma, and their young daughter had just finished shopping around 7:30 p.m. Thursday and were driving home when Delma noticed a woman sitting on the U.S. 156/83 overpass, her feet dangling over the side....

He said he thought he had convinced the woman to come back to his van, but then a police car pulled up and she panicked and jumped.

"I reached out and had an arm around her waist, then I reached with the other hand and grabbed her belt," he said....

Garden City police Capt. Mike Utz praised DeLeon for saving the woman's life and preventing injury to anyone driving under the overpass.

Posted by Kevin at 1:27 PM

Wal-Mart Impacted by Minutemen?

Though Wal-Mart apparently denies this, the minuteman border patrol project is keeping customers away from at least on Wal-Mart:

"They're not coming because they're afraid they're going to be harassed," Fenske said.

Fenske's wife, Cynthia, said she's seen a similar impact at the Wal-Mart Super Center, where she works. Wal-Mart has publicly denied a slowdown, but William Molaski, director of the Douglas Port of Entry, said the store reported a 12 percent drop to him.

While Minuteman volunteers insist their efforts are focused on stopping illegal immigration, others say their presence has created a fearful environment that has angered the town's largely Hispanic population, frightened legal visitors from Mexico and hurt the town's economy.

Posted by Kevin at 1:22 PM

April 8, 2005

What to Buy at WM if You Hate Shopping There

Knit me more time was given a $50 WM gift certificate, but she hates Wal-Mart. Hilarity did not ensue:

I spent an hour in walmart trying to figure out how to spend $50 bucks. I got one of those usb "jump drives," but with walmart's rolling back prices, it was only $19. I wandered around the store in a near daze. The place is so crammed with stuff it is overwhelming....

I ended up with the jump drive, a salad spinner, a nifty battery-operated toothbrush, a notebook, and some not needed but too cheap not to buy tupperware.

Posted by Kevin at 9:26 PM

Who Decimated Murphysboro? You Did.

Another town, another regular Wal-Mart closing to become a Supercenter.

People in the crowd asked Williams if the city has concerns about the impact Wal-Mart will have on downtown businesses. Williams said the city has already lost business to the big name stores in Carbondale, starting with JCPenney's moving to Carbondale in the 1970's.

"The city of Murphysboro has already been decimated," he said. "I can't blame that all on Wal-Mart. It's the people who have walked away from those businesses."

Posted by Kevin at 7:53 AM

March 16, 2005

Comparing WM to High School Baseballers

I kind of like the idea that WM's prices are so good that it has become a gold standard of value for some non-market activities:

It appears that the best bargain in town may not remain a secret for long.

Despite the cornucopia of bargain bins and "Roll Back the Price" items at the Wal-Mart on Lanikuhana Avenue, it is a sure bet that Mililani High School's senior tandem of Tony Aquino and Chaz Miyashiro will give you a lot more bang for your buck....

Like Wal-Mart down the street, Sato displays his top two items in plain sight, batting Aquino and Miyashiro 1-2 in the hitting order....

With Aquino and Miyashiro each providing outstanding two-for-one values, it seems as if the Mililani baseball program has found the best deal in town.

And it didn't come from Wal-Mart.

Posted by Kevin at 11:19 AM

March 6, 2005

College Ain't What it Used to Be

As an undergraduate, I had far more important things to do -- like studying and making a living -- than play around in WM:

An unexpected wrinkle has developed in Wal-Mart's 24-hour megastores, with college students spending late hours playing games with merchandise.

Citing a store in Flagstaff, Arizona, the Wall Street Journal told of Northern Arizona University students travelling in groups of six to play a game called "10 in 10". The captains of two teams each spend 10 minutes putting 10 items into a shopping cart....

Students at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, play a version called "A-Z", in which the team that first finds an item for every letter of the alphabet wins.

Posted by Kevin at 4:12 PM

February 5, 2005

Does WM Try to Fool You?

I think this guy was just trying to find something interesting to say about a small music store closing in Ohio.

John Klass, of Zanesville, who has shopped at Threshold for the past 15 years for all his audio equipment, said he is sorry to see the store close. The staff's service and sound product knowledge kept him coming back year after year.

"They don't try to fool you. They don't try to sell you combinations of stuff you don't need," Klass said. "For people who like quality and service, you can't get that at Wal-Mart or Best Buy."

And WM does try to fool you?

Still, it's obvious but notable that excellent customer service is not an insurance policy against WM taking your customers who don't care about service.

Posted by Kevin at 11:31 AM

Newsflash: Spending Money Foolishly is Foolish

I never used to know what to think about poor people who spend themselves deeper into poverty. How can you complain about having no money if you eat out, go to the movies, rent DVDs, and take vacations? But I've realized that most people do not have the same inherent restraint and caution against spending money that I always have, and they don't know how to develop it. People who sell financial advice are actually selling a way of life:

Being penny-wise can reap huge rewards. Just ask Amy Dacyczyn, who lives with her husband and six children in a "to-die-for" house on a seven-acre parcel in a bucolic rural area.

The family could afford their dream home primarily because they were able to maximize savings and limit buying to necessities. These concepts may seem old-fashioned, but they are just as valid now as ever.

"It's important to put your money into things with permanent value -- such as a wonderful home or a fine antique chest -- not into fancy clothes, restaurant meals or DVDs that mean little in the long run," says Dacyczyn, author of "The Complete Tightwad Gazette," a compendium of money-saving tips.

Formerly the publisher of a popular newsletter on frugal living, Dacyczyn insists that your quality of life needn't suffer simply because you've decided to reduce your living costs to buy a first home or a move-up property.

"The price of many things is falling. But people go into a big store like Wal-Mart for a few simple items and they're faced with a multitude of other alluring products," she says.

Still, Dacyczyn insists that consumers must take responsibility for their own actions and not blame retailers or advertisers for letting their spending get out of control.

So much wisdom; will people actually learn to follow this advice?

Posted by Kevin at 11:27 AM

February 1, 2005

On Local Identity...

An interesting article only tangentially related to Wal-Mart:

The reality seems to be that even if everyone buys nine-packs of toilet paper at Wal-Mart, gets fancy clothes at a department store owned by the May Co., and saves money in Bank of America, they still live quite different lives in different parts of the country.
The article also uses the stupid red-state / blue-state divide; it's stupid because I live in a red state (Virginia voted red 54 to 45), but in a city (Alexandria) that voted blue 67-33. The nearest two Wal-Marts are also in a "blue" county...

Non of this has absolutely anything to do with retail identity in the local region.

Posted by Kevin at 7:06 AM

January 31, 2005

Traffic...

Loads of shoppers, apparently unaware that others were also storming a new Wal-Mart Supercenter with poorly designed signals, are creating tremendous traffic jams in Waterville, Maine.:

Since Wal-Mart opened its new Supercenter on Wednesday, Upper Main Street has seen a surge in traffic jams. Vehicle lines at lunchtime and after office hours reach as far as a half-mile down the thoroughfare....

"There were six or seven accidents inside in the parking lot on the first day," said Sgt. Joseph A. Shepherd of the Waterville Police Department. "We've been getting complaints about the lines, too. There was one man who came in to complain (Saturday) -- and he was upset."

The situation is worsened by the fact that the left-turn lane at the Waterville Commons junction with Upper Main Street can accommodate at most about five cars before it hits the Elm Plaza traffic lights, Shepherd said.

Posted by Kevin at 12:09 PM

January 23, 2005

"Not Applicable" is not a Number

April Knights is personally amibalent about walmart.com's holiday performance:

I hate Wal-Mart. Again. I was thinking how convenient it was to get Wal-Mart gift cards for Christmas... Most of my order arrived in two different shipments, including three DVDs and a book I couldn't find anywhere--Borders, Barnes & Noble, school library system, public library system--so I was all, "Yay Wal-Mart." Which was stupid. Because the other two books I ordered were supposed to be here a week ago and still haven't arrived, and the info in their confirmation e-mail and on their website is decidedly cryptic. Tracking number for the shipment is "Not Applicable." What the fuck is "Not Applicable" in this context?
Indeed.

Posted by Kevin at 11:41 AM

January 19, 2005

A Visit to a WM Supercenter

I've met many people who have this reaction upon entering a WM Supercenter:

We've experienced Super Wal-Mart. Holy Shit. It was a sensory overload of commerce. I had a headache by the end and had to put my head between my knees in the van.

Posted by Kevin at 8:42 PM

January 18, 2005

Freed Killer Goes to WM

This kind of reminds me of Shawshank Redemption, when Brooks was freed into a world centered around automobiles:

Thirty-six hours after his first taste of freedom, former award-winning prison journalist Wilbert Rideau of Louisiana encountered a series of Rip Van Winkle experiences Monday.

A trip to Wal-Mart. Cell phones and e-mail. It's all new and strange, he said, after 44 years behind bars.

Posted by Kevin at 10:40 AM

December 30, 2004

Girl Finds a Wad of Cash at WM

This is the right thing to do:

The girl, who police declined to identify, found several hundred dollars in the Wal-Mart parking lot Sunday, and she turned the money over to the Durango Police Department after talking with her mother.
She'll get to keep the $$$ if nobody claims it...

Posted by Kevin at 12:11 PM

November 21, 2004

WM In the News

***Updated 3x***
(here scroll down to *Update 1, 2 & 3*)

Just a quick round up of a few news items concerning or otherwise relating to Wal-Mart in one fashion or another that have come to my attention.

The Los Angeles Times published an interesting article within today's edition of how a WM Supercenter is changing shopping habits in the Coachella Valley, as well as -- for better or for worse -- all the implications such big box stores brings along with it of course: Wal-Mart Effect Moves Into the Grocery Aisle.

Elsewhere, the Dallas-Fortworth Star-Telegram has what is becoming within the news media lately a very common place report of how and why: Stores look to counter Wal-Mart effect over holidays.

In other news, this morning's edition of The New York Post reports (here):

Wal-Mart heiress Paige Laurie got rich off "Everyday Low Prices" � but she allegedly paid top dollar every day to hire a fellow student to do her homework.

[...]


Read the entire story, here.

In addition, for more along the same storyline, ...

..., a quick search found that Friday's (November 19, 2004) edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch included an article within their sports news section that reported how (here):
[emphasis mine]

The daughter of Blues owner and University of Missouri benefactor Bill Laurie paid her roommate at the University of Southern California about $20,000 over three years to write papers and complete other class assignments for her, according to a report on ABC's news- magazine "20/20."

Elena Martinez said she was Paige Laurie's roommate freshman year at the school in Los Angeles. Martinez said it wasn't long before she was writing reports and papers for the daughter of businessman Bill Laurie and Nancy Laurie, an heir to the Wal-Mart empire. In return, Paige Laurie paid Martinez hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars at a time.

[...]


In my opinion, this particular article (above) from the Post-Dispatch is a must-read (here).

For the complete story as reported by ABC News 20/20 however, make certain to check out [emphasis mine]:

Big Cheats on Campus

Cheating Has Never Been Easier -- Especially for the Wealthiest Students

[...]

Student Says Heiress Paid Her $20,000 to Do Much of Her Coursework
[page 2]

[...]

... Paige Laurie is a granddaughter of one of the founders of Wal-Mart. Her mother has more than $2 billion. Her father owns the St. Louis Blues hockey team.

[...]


Read about it, here (jump to page 2, here).

Of course it would be good to hear from the other side concerning all of this, but they're not talking, so we may never know what truly took place or not.

If this were to prove to be true however, it sounds to me like Elena Martinez and (Elizabeth) Paige Laurie should be trading places as well as fortunes; since the former did a lot of the work and the latter got all the credit as well as the degree as a result and, of which her parents were so proud, private matter or not (of course that will never happen).

By the way, views of the Paige Sports Arena are available, here (the bottom view is a live Webcam view of the outside of the arena) [via chrysanthalbee is me, here (via Yoni @ College Basketball, here)].

While the Webcam shots (both the one frozen in time as well as the live view) are worth checking out, the one that is *most definitely* the item to check out is the excellent image or, rather, an exclusive artist�s rendering of the new facility available on the Phog Blog, here, which nails it perfectly.

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words and, this particular one is priceless!


*Update 1*

In more current news on the subject and, in what is a rather quick turnaround -- especially given all the non-denial denials from the Lauries and their most loyal supporters, etc.: In scandal�s wake, Lauries give up naming rights for arena [via Columbia Daily Tribune (Tuesday, November 23, 2004); initial heads up (of this first item in this particular update) provided via Phog blog, here].

[...]

The family transferred the rights to the University of Missouri, the university announced late this afternoon. The Board of Curators is to meet later to decide whether to change the name and, if so, what to call it.

MU Athletic Director Mike Alden said the Lauries contacted the university today to discuss relinquishing the naming rights.

[...]

In addition, from the same article, regarding Paige Laurie's alledged cheating at the University of Southern California:

[...]

Paige Laurie graduated from USC in the spring with a bachelor�s degree in communication. USC said Monday it would investigate Martinez�s claims and said there was precedent for revoking an issued diploma.

[...]


This is also yet another quick turnaround from USC's previously reported initial stance on the matter.

Read the article in full, here.

The Kansas City Star has a brief article devoted mostly to the developing story at USC, here [requires free registration].


*Update 2*

While doing some blog searching I came across a post on FWNED that includes one of the best pictures so far of Paige Laurie, this one with her sitting with her father, here. Yet the title of the post alone is worth checking it out however.

Then I just came across a recent post blogged by Ami, a free spirit and thinker, whom reports (here):

Interesting...

I tuned into some local news tonight (I'll talk about the reason for that later, when the time is more appropriate), and saw a story about a girl being accused of cheating at USC. I wasn't paying too much attention at first, but the name sounded familiar and the face looked familiar... Paige Laurie... Yes! She was in my class! It was Sarah Banet-Weiser's Children and Media. She was the typical Mercedez-driving, Louis Vuitton-loving, dumb USC blond sorostitute (sorority + prostitute), but I didn't know she was the heiress to Wal-Mart, and she had some sports arena named after her in Missouri. She paid her freshman roommate $20,000 in 4 years to have her papers written and other projects completed. And she graduated with a 3.5 GPA.

[...]


Read her post in full, here.

It is certainly a small world, especially within the blogosphere.

Definitely interesting ..., true enough Ami!


*Update 3*

As a final update to provide both a follow-up and closure to this particular news item:

USA Today featured an Associated Press article on its Website Wednesday (November 24, 2004) reporting, prior to it actually becoming official, that: College removes name of Wal-Mart heiress on arena.

On Friday (November 26, 2004), once it was official, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch published an article announcing: Turning the Paige: It's now Mizzou Arena.


*Note*: Made several edits and changes as well as a few additions for the purposes of clarification and readability, along with providing updated as well as related information; added an update with a follow-up of more current news; added update 2 with some good blog finds, etc.; added update 3 to post a final news update: last updated on Saturday, November 27, 2004 at 1:09 PM [EST].

Posted by Morgan at 11:31 PM

November 19, 2004

Response to Frontline: It's the Culture, Stupid!

Jerry Heaster thinks that when media elites go after WM with activist attack dogs, they igore a much more interesting story:

What Wal-Mart's critics don't appreciate is that it's as much a cultural phenomenon as a retailing colossus. Wal-Mart's revenues last year amounted to about a quarter of a trillion dollars. To put that in perspective, the Sears-Kmart merger will create a company with annual sales of $55 billion, thereby making it the third-largest retailer, after Home Depot.

The magnitude of Wal-Mart's patronage makes it sui generis in the history of human commerce. Even so, media attacks are based on the premise that Wal-Mart's success results from some perverse consumer irrationality. The implied message is that the hundreds of millions who shop at Wal-Mart each month are acting against their own best interests.

This apparently is why the stories are uniformly devoid of adequate perspectives from customers and employees. Instead they focus on those with an ax to grind, who validate the negative perceptions of the reporters. Thus the thrust of the �Frontline� analysis was typical: an abundance of people willing to claim the worst about Wal-Mart, but minimal attention paid to Wal-Mart's core constituency. It's as if the journalists fear they'll become tainted if they interact with the great unwashed who throng to Wal-Marts.

Just once it would be nice if an interviewer asked those blaming Wal-Mart for their woes whether they or their families patronized the company some seem to see as the devil incarnate.

Instead you get economic observations often as zany as they are pointless. When discussing the imports Wal-Mart generates, the interlocutor muses that such business practices transform us into a �Third World country.� Perhaps he forgot about those who flee the Third World and risk all � sometimes even death � to get to America, the land of plenty.

As for those imports, the examples usually are goods that U.S. producers have no business making anyway...

Read the whole thing. I believe that the last sentence above will disturb most non-economists, but it's true. Even if you dislike WM, you know that elitist reporters don't connect well with the average joe. And frankly, neither do I, but at least I'm willing to admit it.

Posted by Kevin at 10:31 AM