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Forum Post: How could smart people be so stupid? How the Walton family just blew it and why Walmart execs should be tried in criminal court

Posted 1 year ago on Dec. 7, 2012, 10:55 a.m. EST by therising (6643)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

5 members of the Walton family have as much wealth as the poorest 40% of American citizens combined. So the 5 Walton's have as much wealth as 124 million people. Last year Walmart made $15.4 billion. So, explain to me why a family and the execs they oversee would do THIS!: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/06/world/asia/3-walmart-suppliers-made-goods-in-bangladeshi-factory-where-112-died-in-fire.html

What is the real cost of Walmart goods? And what would their profits have been if they paid a fair wage, insisted on sane safety guidelines (instead of evading them)? What would their profit have been if they weren't taking a billion dollars a year in subsidy from the American taxpayers (80% of the Walton's Walmart work force is on some kind of government assistance -- they display public assistance applications in all their break rooms since their wages and benefits are so poor).

Here's the really sad thing: Walmart would still be incredibly profitable and the Walton's would still be fabulously wealthy. If that's the case, why are the Walton's/Walmart still fleecing American taxpayers, employing people at wages they can't live on? And why did these people in their factory have to die in this fire?

What the fuck is wrong with the Walton's and Walmart execs? This is pathological greed. Why are we putting up with this behavior? If this corporation is a person, it's a highly dangerous and destructive person that needs to be held accountable.

I just read that the stories of Walmart fire and Walmart receiving taxpayer subsidy are hitting CNN and other mainstream media. Boy, I'd hate to be working in Walmart PR right now (or be a Walmart family member at Christmas dinner). Americans are hearing a). How they as taxpayers are subsidizing Walmart and b) How unethical the company they're subsidizing is.

Maybe now we taxpayers will insist on an end to the $1 billion annual subsidy to Walmart. We certainly don't want to be supporting companies whose negligence on safety results in over a hundred preventable deaths in their factory.

Why on EARTH wouldn't the Waltons and Walmart execs just do the right thing (fiar wages, safety, no taxpayer subsidy) and save face and enjoy their money?.... Instead they trade their reputation and the well being of hundreds of thousands of workers for a little bit more $. It's a lousy trade off because the Walton's standard of living doesnt go up one bit, but they have to hang their head in public and at the Christmas dinner table over the headlines. Why would smart people be so stupid???

Reminds me of the Simpsons episode where Homer says to Mr. Burns:  "Gosh Mr. Burns, you must be the richest man in the world!" And Mr. Burns replies: "Ah yes.  But I'd trade it all for a little more."

So how do we fix the problem, not just at Walmart but system-wide? How do we do that, practically speaking? I'm kind of at a loss. All I can think of is direct nonviolent action in front of Walmart stores and other companies like them that brings mainstream media attention to the issues discussed above (subsidy, safety, living wage).

Black Friday Walmart protests were a good example and a good start and that got big mainstream media attention. That made it all the way to the break room, living room and water cooler discussion of millions of Americans. To me that's the key.

We need to fix this. Are there other things we can do as American citizens? Any way to push congress to stop the subsidies? I suppose my stumbling block is that until we do at least SOME of the things on the list at this link... http://www.occupywallst.org/forum/you-may-have-seen-this-list-of-8-practical-goals-b/ ... we won't be able to get past the bought off congress.

More on the fire: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/07/world/asia/bangladesh-fire-exposes-safety-gap-in-supply-chain.html?pagewanted=all

72 Comments

72 Comments


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[-] 3 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 1 year ago

The real fault is that our government is no longer by, of and for the people of the United States. This is all part of the labor race to the bottom. Why do you think that illegal immigration was allowed, even encouraged? The whole purpose was to undercut the minimum wage and reduce laborers to near beggars.

The corpoRATs, their pet politicians, the NWOers and other globalists all want to reduce the United States to third world conditions just so workers will have to take jobs at pittances just to survive and the 1%ers will become criminally wealthy. Walmart just got there first.

[-] 3 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

Walmart - pioneers they are :). Bastards.

[-] 3 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

What even more appauling is the amount of people who realize this and still shop there.

[-] 1 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 1 year ago

It's a misperception that we can change the world by "being the change we believe in". That's not the way the world works. In propaganda terms your statement both blames the victim and seeks to make the victim shoulder the blame -- and thus not work for change.

[Removed]

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

Over $15 billion in profits. That's what Walmart made. But it wasn't enough apparently.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (21335) 1 year ago

Thanks, therising. My heart goes out to the families of those 112 people who died needlessly because of greed.

You make many many good points here. Perhaps imploring the wealthy and those who run corporations to at least do some self-reflection is a place to start. In the end, no matter what any law says you can and cannot do, a moral code is higher and is the ultimate standard to hold oneself to.

[-] 2 points by Ache4Change (3158) 1 year ago

A 'moral code' based upon Love. We need to teach all hearts to break. We need the rising towards a beautiful world because we ache for change. Never Give Up! Go Occupy!

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

It's so hard to balance love with accountability. A true challenge. ML King, Jr. really seemed to have that figured out with agape..... Loving your so called adversary so much that you want to set them right.

[-] 1 points by Ache4Change (3158) 1 year ago

'Agape' goes back much further than MLK but you know that of course. I like the difinition of agape which goes like - 'an intentional response to promote well-being when responding to that which has generated ill-being' but I don't think we have to perfected saints to experience this.

We just have to want to try to accentuate and cultivate love and compassion in our daily doings and open our own and through that possibly others' hearts. We should Never Give Up Striving To Occupy Love! Solidarity.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

That's a great definition. I like that. Loving your enemies is a powerful thing. It befuddles them and helps heal them and you all at the same time. Love is a force above all others. Amazing that riot police responded to peaceful protesters preaching love and community in a public park. What does that violence say?? Why did the love and community scare them so much?

[-] 2 points by Ache4Change (3158) 1 year ago

'Love is a force above all others' - so deeply true. Violence, hate, fear - all are from Shadow and thrive in the absence of love. The violence that Occupiers nationwide have suffered speaks of the deep violence of our self appointed 'Lords and Masters'. 'Love and Community' scare them because it would be their undoing - and they know it. Never Give Up! http://www.nationofchange.org/inequality-and-poverty-america-style-1354976402 . Occupy Love and Justice! Solidarity.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

Cheers to that!

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (21335) 1 year ago

Love, not fear. Yes. That is the key. People become greedy when they fear that they won't have enough and that others won't share and then crap like this fire happens.

[-] 2 points by Ache4Change (3158) 1 year ago

'Fear leads to anger leads to hate leads to suffering', as one my kids says, quoting Yoda from Star Wars, lol & so true. For greed, as in all things - Love is the antidote. Keep Occupying Head & Heart!!

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21335) 1 year ago

You were voted down for saying that, lol. And, me too, I see, for saying Love, not fear. What a joke! Sorry souls.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

And we all pay the price for the delusions of the 1%. It's not just hurting them. It's hurting us. Their large clumsy tentacles really damage countless humans and the environment. Sooner or later the earth and humanity must rise up and shrug off the leach that is the corporate mindset.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21335) 1 year ago

Yes. The time has come to learn from history. It never works well when wealth is concentrated at the top and when greed rules the day.

[-] 3 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

It hurts the 100%. The greedy are just as trapped. The just have more shiny objects. They're no more fulfilled by the small mindset. In fact, they might be among the worst off. And we all pay for it.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21335) 1 year ago

That may be the big answer. Convincing them of the truth of that may be what it takes to get them to change their ways.

[-] 3 points by ancientmariner (275) 1 year ago

I just voted all of you up again. So Ha!

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21335) 1 year ago

Thanks. I think maybe Wal-Mart has sent out the marketing team to vote here, lolol.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

I added more upvotes cause I despise walmart (if it was them) LOL

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21335) 1 year ago

LOL. Cool. We can beat them at their game.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

A simple effort that they seem to by especially pre occupied with.

Silly rabbits

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21335) 1 year ago

Do you see this? It's amazing. Go home Wal-Mart marketing/pr department. You lose. Your company sucks. It's killing people and stealing from other people. Pathetic.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

They have destroyed more small business, outsourced more manufacturing, imported more plastic crap for our landfills, and of course exploited more workers than any other single corp.

They are #1.!

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21335) 1 year ago

I agree. They are THE symbol of everything that is sick about our society, ugly buildings and all.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

Pioneers! :).

[-] -1 points by shifty18 (9) 1 year ago

It turns out you have to break the law in order to be tried in criminal court.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

Really. And which part of knowing about unsafe conditions in your factory and actively working to KEEP FROM CORRECTING the problems is not criminal. If your best friend is killed in an explosion at his place of work and you find out that the people who operate the factory KNEW about the unsafe condition and, not only that, but they also did everything they could to avoid fixingthe problem so they could make $15.32 billion in profits instead of $15.31 billion in profits, wouldn't you call that criminal?

[-] 0 points by shifty18 (9) 1 year ago

Walmart does not own nor operate the factory.

[-] 3 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

Ahh. Right. They control everything that goes on there but it's a different name on the piece of paper. I'm sure you'd except that if your best friend died in that fire.

[-] -1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

The cost to society for allowing such deadbeat employers has finally made it's way into the news cycle. Food stamps, section 8 housing, damage to local economies, are all now realized as consequences of allowing deadbeat employers to continue conducting business is such a blind fashion. Deadbeat employers shove their true cost of business onto society and now that things are tight, this reality has come to light. The middle class and especially those concerned with taxes, will not allow this to continue now that they are aware that they are footing the bill for the unpaid payroll of these deadbeat employers.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

I would love to see the dots connected on this. But do you think the media has connected them with enough urgency and repetition to actually awaken the average taxpayer to a point where they'll actually DO something? And what exactly would they do?

I'm not questioning what you're saying. Just trying to logically understand how the on the ground progression would unfold. What would it actually look like when Walmart and other's got their due from American taxpayers/citizens? How would that manifest itself and play out? And would it work?

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

How it unfolds? No idea. But I do know msnbc during the daytime/weekday covered this topic. I thought it was just a tease at first but they went all the way into covering the percentage of employees at wal-mart on food stamp and what the cost is to tax payers. I have seen it 3 times now between CNN and MSNBC. Fox won't cover it of course because conservatism is just a cover for stupid these days, there are no real conservatives left, including Fox fo sho.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

Wow, so glad to hear it's hitting CNN and other mainstream media and Americans are hearing a). How they are subsidizing Walmart and b) How unethical the company we're subsidizing is. Maybe now we taxpayers will insist on an end to the $1 billion annual subsidy to Walmart. We certainly don't want to be supporting companies whose negligence on safety results in over a hundred preventable deaths in their factory.

Just read this article again and this #%^$&% really pisses me off.  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/06/world/asia/3-walmart-suppliers-made-goods-in-bangladeshi-factory-where-112-died-in-fire.html

If you think for second about what was said in the meetings back in Arkansas that led to this negligence.... It just boggles the mind.  How do educated adult American executives utter such words as must have been uttered in those meetings in Arkansas?  Wouldn't Sam Walton be disappointed in his offspring right now...especially because they have as much wealth as the poorest 40% of Americans combined and the company made $15 billion last year in net profit.

If they'd insisted on safety regulations instead of fighting them, if they paid fair wages, if they didn't take what is essentially $1 billion in subsidy from taxpayers (who cover 80% of Walmart workers via public assistance), the company would still be fabulously profitably and the Walton family would still be sick rich.   

So why on EARTH wouldn't they just do the right thing and save face and enjoy their money.... Instead of having a little bit more and having to hang head at the Christmas dinner table over the headlines.

Reminds me of the Simpsons episode where Homer says to Mr. Burns:  "Gosh Mr. Burns, you must be the richest man in the world!"

And Mr. Burns replies: "Ah yes.  But I'd trade it all for a little more."

I blame the ministers, teachers, professors and parents for not raising better citizens ---- especially Harvard, Stanford, Columbia business schools and the like, all those prep school teachers the Walton family and their ilk had....  There must be a sense of DECENCY handed over to the next generation.  Where did Sam Walton go wrong raising his kids??  Or was he ethical but too busy working to instill those values??

The wealthy / educated have an obligation to lead and also raise good leaders.  Many of them seem to be failing on at least one of those fronts.  If they were more successful, we wouldn't be forced to deal with all the fallout from their selfish offspring (and people in Bangladesh wouldn't be dying in fires).

Imagine the conversation in that Arkansas meeting room.  It's downright sinister.  What was said and what wasn't said.  I don't know which is worse.

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

This problem is systemic. Please help educate people on this issue. If it is kept as an attachment to walmart only, then when everyone forgets about the walmart issue, they will forget about the overarching issue as well. Spreading this issue far and wide and implicating all deadbeat employers is an emergency!

[-] 3 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

How do we do that, practically speaking? I'm kind of at a loss. All I can think of is direct nonviolent action in front of Walmart stores and other companies like them that brings mainstream media attention to the issues we're discussing. Black Friday was a good start and that got big mainstream media attention. That made it all the way to the break room, living room and water cooler discussion of millions of Americans. To me that's the key.. And I agree. Not just Walmart but system wide. We need to fix this. Are there other things we can do as American citizens? Any way to push congress to stop the subsidies? I suppose my stumbling block is that until we do at least SOME of the things on the list at this link... http://www.occupywallst.org/forum/you-may-have-seen-this-list-of-8-practical-goals-b/ ... we won't be able to get past the bought off congress.

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

This is an information war. People have become complacent because they are unaware. Unaware of the problems, unaware of the right to stand up, unaware of why they should stand up, unaware of how to stand up. Become a soldier in the war for minds. Use your imagination.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

I wholeheartedly agree in one sense. We do each need to take individual action. I think you are exactly on target and you lay it out in a powerful and concise way. Inspiring even. But I think the real benefit will come when we coordinate whether it is on direct action or other efforts. What I'm really curious about is what you think the other options are for coordinated actions to spread the important messages you referenced above. If we could zero in on more, I think we could all help kick this thing into high gear.

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

In almost every type of combat, the Nazis had an advantage over the allies in WW2. Better tech, bigger tanks, faster guns, soldiers on meth. We beat them because they could not overcome the incredible and relentless numbers. The Soviets and many of the allies were not working from our playbook as we did not work from theirs, we just never stopped coming. Relentless, Tireless, En Masse.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

En Masse. A nonviolent push on all fronts sounds good to me. We who are already awake to the injustice of corporate rule just need to figure out how to get the word spread further than it is now so Americans rise up from their sofas. This really is the challenge. Information / communication does seem to be the key.

[-] -1 points by UnFriendlyObserver (-32) 1 year ago

It's a "MiddleMan's World" !

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

Is Walmart really a "middleman" in the original sense of the term? If they control start to finish, they really aren't in the middle of anything. The whole thing is there's. They essentially employee Bangladesh citizens in unsafe factories (knowing full well they're unsafe) and sell the goods to consumers around the world. What's middleman about that?

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (26682) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Making use of unsafe foreign sweatshops - for profit.

Living wage for everyone and safe clean work environment with sane working hours ( sane for the worker ). This will be one step on our way to a better world.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

Gosh, it seems so basic, it's hard to believe educated adult American executives in Arkansas Walmart headquarters wouldn't just treat such benchmarks as a given. What the fuck is wrong with the Walton's that they wouldn't instruct their execs accordingly (or hire people that already get it). I'm serious. This is baffling!

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (26682) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Greed - IS - an illness - it is destructive. And so those who are in a position of power/authority who are greedy/ILL will use that position to feed their Greed/Illness and so poison/destroy all who are around them. SERIOUSLY it is that simple. The Greedy need treatment - medical care - and to be removed from any position of authority/power/influence.

[-] -1 points by UnFriendlyObserver (-32) 1 year ago

Powerful !

[-] -3 points by UnFriendlyObserver (-32) 1 year ago

The key word is "essentially" .. but listen , walmart is purchasing product from the lowest manufacturers they can find ..and reselling there is no essentially about it .. they are MIDDLMEN.. making a killing in profit. Bingo.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

Don't forget the profit they make on death, pain and destruction.

[-] -2 points by UnFriendlyObserver (-32) 1 year ago

Hi shooz

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

Excuse me. Do I know you?

Or were you just trying to forget the other sides of WallyWorld?

In appearance, they look like middle men, but they go far beyond that.

[-] -1 points by UnFriendlyObserver (-32) 1 year ago

..Would you like too ;-]

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

Time will tell, time will tell.

[-] 0 points by UnFriendlyObserver (-32) 1 year ago

I am willing if you are ..

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

1st - If I'm misinterpreting what you said as I pose the following 2 questions, I apologize. Please set me straight.

2 questions: 1. Why do you say "bingo" at the end of your comment? Because if it's somehow celebratory, I think you ought to think again what you wrote in prior sentence. "Making a killing in profit.". Because in this case, over a hundred people were killed in pursuit of this profit. Where does that fit in the balance sheet and income statement?

  1. You do realize that the "separate supplier" is a ruse right? It's a Walmart factory (regardless of legal maneuvering and shell corps)
[-] 0 points by UnFriendlyObserver (-32) 1 year ago

Middle-men are the Wolves in our society ..therising, and make no mistake about it .. walmart is a middleman.. and cares nothing at all about human life.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

Please elaborate. How so?

[-] -3 points by lignite (-303) 1 year ago

You clowns think that Walmart, Mcdonalds, Wendy's, and other business's like them should pay more? what a joke. These places are more suited for college kids earning some extra bucks while they go to school or a great fill in between jobs. If some of these people do not like to work there, then get off your asses and find another job already

[-] 4 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

You must be the worst corporate apologist in the history of corporate apology. What you said is just silly. The 1% has shipped jobs oversees for cheap labor (and also because safe working conditions aren't enforced). As the wealth gap and income disparity in America continues to widen... As wages stagnate and jobs disappear, Americans get by however they can. The unlucky ones end up working at Walmart. 80% of Walmart workers are on public assistance because the wages are so low. So American taxpayers (who can't really afford it) end up giving about $1 billion a year subsidy to Walmart! That's ridiculous. Especially when the company made $15 billion last year and 5 Walton family members have as much money as 124 million Americans.

Are you really going to defend these actions by Walmart?

[+] -4 points by lignite (-303) 1 year ago

I do not like Walmart because they import almost all of their goods from China although their wages are what they are. If someone does not like the pay then go somewhere else, it is that simple

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Let's force those mom & pop destroying, American manufacturing outsourcing, greedy fucks to raise decent American wages.

[-] 3 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

We need to hold them accountable on so many fronts. How do we do it?

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Organize strikes, & boycotts!

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

But how do we get the word out about Walmart's practices to regular Americans so they are motivated to vote with their dollars and shop elsewhere?

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

We gotta keep speaking up! joining marches/protests/strikes. Even this little forum. Anywhere we find opposition to the effort to fight Walmart we must challenge it.

It will grow. It may take time. But history & righteousness is on our side.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

I would love to see 2 things happen related to thins 1. buy local movement grow 1,000 times larger 2. Walmart practices exposed so more people avoid it I hope we can find ways to hit it from these two angles.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Agreed. movements gotta grow from word of mouth. A viral video. I don't know the best way.

But I know we can't give up, we gotta keep pluggin away.

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[-] -2 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

Stop shopping there.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

That's just not enough. We need mainstream America to vote with their dollars and stop shopping there too. They will once they understand the impact of their "vote".

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[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

Yeah, but those that get this have already done that. The question is how to get more people to wake up and stop shopping there.

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[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

Go where? Target? BestBuy? OfficeMax? Seeing a trend here?

Its called the corporate takeover of the nation and the planet, and its really fucking things up.