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Monday, February 02, 2009

Finally..

A BoingBoing post that isn't Doctorow hawking Diznee, or Xeni hawking BBTV.

Wal-mart. Not entirely negatively.

Ok, until you get to the comments. They still stay true to form on Wally World.

Yes, I know, they're not pro-union. But like I've said a bunch of times, neither am I: My appreciation of unions is inspired by Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle". Once you keep the workers out of the sausage, I tend to think there's diminishing returns.

-transiit

(and to BB commenter whomever: My bullshit detector went off when you said Wal-Mart deli employees are treading through an inch of grease.)

2 comments:

boo said...

I read much more of the comments on this one because many of my kids have their first job at Walmart. We have two big ones in town. When there is work; you take it, you know?

I have a difficult time demonizing them for the way they treat staff based upon the stories my students tell me and how they are inside the store itself.

I have a similar problem with unions too. They have outlived their relevance in large part (certainly in education this is true).

However, my biggest problem with Walmart is that they promote by either exclusion or selective stocking what I regard as ignorance. I think they have a greater responsibility than to simply promote the religious ethic exclusively.

But they are learning too. They are making changes to deal with environmental issues. The lightbulbs being the one I can remember right now. So there is hope that they might also begin to embrace all of America and not just the pro-life bumper sticker crowd.

I don't see them combating over consumption any time soon though and if there is one thing to demonize them over it is that. It is not in their interest to promote wise spending if it isn't going to earn them more money. That's a tough nut to crack.

And if they are demonized for their dependence on cheap goods made in countries where the workers are treated poorly, then Target and pretty much everyone else is guilty too.

I go there sometimes, but it does rankle every time I look for periodicals for the kids to read because that one thing, their stance that keeps people ignorant, is so appalling that I want to cry. I believe they are allowed to have this stance though. I just choose not to shop there if at all possible because I do not agree with it.

But the guy who wrote the article was smug. He wasn't raising a family and he wasn't working there to survive. Some of the commenters were so clueless in saying that most people aren't in that situation when they work there. If they aren't teenagers, Walmart employees are working there because they need the money to live. His getting that job was insulting in the way that it would be for him to paint himself black for a month and say he had some valuable experience being a minority. Absolutely clueless and stereotypically white male American entitled.

boo said...

I have to admit that I did appreciate his comment in the comments that the educational system has some blame. Had to add that.

I think when that little unglamorous problem is finally addressed a ton will change.