Author Topic: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!  (Read 14810 times)


the fixer

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1037
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2013, 05:30:28 PM »
Quote
"This store has been doing this for several years and is for associates that have faced an extreme hardship recently," spokesman Kory Lundberg told us.

Lundberg says an example of this would be a recent layoff in the family or some other financial hardship.

Um... working at Wal-Mart IS a financial hardship :)

HoneyBadger

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 58
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2013, 05:38:35 PM »
My thoughts exactly!

sunshine

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 186
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2013, 06:12:27 PM »
Oh wow! Gee maybe they could donate a turkey to their employees. I can see a food drive for the needy but it says a lot if their employees ARE the needy.

savingtofreedom

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 247
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2013, 06:30:00 PM »
This is so sad.

tooqk4u22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2196
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2013, 10:54:43 AM »
Stop with the nancy-pants views of this.....Wal-mart's pay practices are not any different then most retailers and are better than the restaurant industry....but they get the most flack because they are monstrous in size.  There are also plenty of people in these industries, including at wal-mart, that make a nice living but yes the majority are minimum/low wage workers. 

What skills are needed to start at walmart or any other retailer:
- ability to work a cash register (and really only scan things)...well my 5 year old can do that and actuall count and calculate if needed if the scanner broke.

-ability to stock shelves....by the time my kids were three they demonstrated and maybe even mastered this skill with thier blocks and were quite good at putting the letters and numbers in order. 


These are minimum skill (if that) jobs and no reason why they shouldn't be minimum wage.  If you don't like it, then don't shop or work there.

You know what is badass...it is the person who starts at walmart for minimum wage, works hard and is rewarded for it, becomes more ambitious and grows into management or goes to college or both, makes an above average income thereafter, then retires 10 years later....these stories exist and should be celebrated.   

Also, I think it is great that the employees, even if low wage, are generous enough to help out their co-workers. 

prosaic

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 202
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2013, 11:29:56 AM »
Stop with the nancy-pants views of this.....

You really don't need to bring discriminatory slang into this.

hybrid

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1673
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Richmond, Virginia
  • A hybrid of MMM and thoughtful consumer.
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2013, 12:34:27 PM »
Regardless of the nancy-pants comment, I agree.  Wal-mart gets slapped around for being the most successful at what they do.  It's not like the other retailers and grocers are paying significantly better after all.

Except for Costco that is, and I highly recommend doing as much of your shopping there as practical if you want your wallet to make a social statement.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-27/why-walmart-will-never-pay-like-costco.html 

CNM

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 498
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2013, 12:39:47 PM »
Just because Walmart gets targeted does not mean that the criticisms are not valid.  One reason why Walmart is different from most restaurant jobs is that Walmart is a huge, obviously profitable business.  Most restaurants (I know that there are exceptions) are small businesses and their profits are (1) not as big and (2) not as obvious to the public. 

I understand that it is not rocket science to be a Walmart cashier or a Walmart greeter.  I do think that it is sad, however, that people with full time, minimum wage jobs, still fall short of making ends meet such that a food drive is needed for Walmart's own employees. 

tooqk4u22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2196
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2013, 12:59:14 PM »
Stop with the nancy-pants views of this.....

You really don't need to bring discriminatory slang into this.

Where is the PC police when you need them....and I am not so sure about the discrimanatory part....there are men that do in fact have what are typically considered feminine traits and likewise women that have traits that are more masculine in nature....big f'in deal....and I think nancy boy was historically the derogatory term...not nancy pants.  Maybe I should have used wussy, sissy, momma's boy, nanny state syndrome, but that really wouldn't have mattered much as I suspect someone would have an issue with any of those too. 

Regardless of the nancy-pants comment, I agree.  Wal-mart gets slapped around for being the most successful at what they do.  It's not like the other retailers and grocers are paying significantly better after all.

Except for Costco that is, and I highly recommend doing as much of your shopping there as practical if you want your wallet to make a social statement.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-27/why-walmart-will-never-pay-like-costco.html 


IMO, the article describes exactly why walmart does and should pay lower wages than costco. I also find it interesting that Costco wouldn't be profitable if not for the membership fees.  I am not sure shopping at Costco does or doesn't make a social statement given the different business models, but it does seem to be a good company.




tomsang

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1085
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2013, 01:03:43 PM »
What Walmart does is create an environment where their employees can't support themselves. Then Walmart lobbies for laws or creates an environment where their employees are forced to suck off the teat of society. 

Sorry we don't provide health insurance.  Go to the ER, they have to take you even if you have no money. 
Sorry we don't provide a living wage, but we are willing to put a basket out so people can donate food to provide food for your family. 
We are willing to spend $5 - $8 million a year on lobbyist to keep our federal and state taxes as low as possible as we don't see a value in supporting infrastructure, education, etc. even though all of our employees and customers utilize the services. 
Walmart creates a monopoly in small towns by bankrupting small businesses.
Walmart is not a good citizen, which is fine but we need to start defining the role in government when dealing with an undereducated workforce.  What should government do to create opportunities for our citizens?

It was mentioned that a 5 year old can replace these workers.  Well if we don't invest in education and finding positions for these uneducated or undereducated Americans we are going to have a huge issue in the near future. As robotics and technology eliminate manual labor, do we euthanize these people or allow them to starve to death? With all of the manual jobs being automated and those uneducated not providing value to society, we need to come up with a solution of what we are going to do with them in the coming decades. I think we are going to have a society that will be similar to the extremes seen in 3rd world countries where you have the haves and the have nots. This involves massive mansions and wealth that are guarded by walls, security systems and armed guards with squalor at their doorstep.

It will be an interesting transition as we don't appear to be throwing a ladder to the most unfortunate of our citizens.     
   

tooqk4u22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2196
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2013, 01:13:07 PM »
Just because Walmart gets targeted does not mean that the criticisms are not valid.  One reason why Walmart is different from most restaurant jobs is that Walmart is a huge, obviously profitable business.  Most restaurants (I know that there are exceptions) are small businesses and their profits are (1) not as big and (2) not as obvious to the public. 

So because restaurants are small and unsuccessfull it is ok but because walmart has been able to succesfully manage and grow a business such that it has over 4000 stores and makes a little bit from each store that in the whole is quite substantial.  Just referencing that bloomberg article linked above...walmarts profit margin is only 3.5% and profit per employee is $7,428...it doesn't leave much room for raises.


Quote
I understand that it is not rocket science to be a Walmart cashier or a Walmart greeter.  I do think that it is sad, however, that people with full time, minimum wage jobs, still fall short of making ends meet such that a food drive is needed for Walmart's own employees.

Your position one should be able to thrive on a minimum wage full time job.....ok, sounds nice but:
1.  Where did it say that it was for full time workers....just said those in need, the beneficiaries may be part time workers (walmart is criticized for its use of part time workers afterall.

2. Please define what "ends" minimum wage should meet....IMO that should be minimal housing (shared), basic sustinence, no car, no electronics of any kind, no kids (not that it works out that way), etc......i.e. if you are minimally skilled and can only command a minimal wage then you should expect a minimal exisitence.  Besides two people making minimum wage would have income that exceeds MMM's luxurious lifestyle (not that simple but it makes a point.....and again it is f'in minimum wage so it is only up from there).


tooqk4u22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2196
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2013, 01:48:23 PM »
What Walmart does is create an environment where their employees can't support themselves. Then Walmart lobbies for laws or creates an environment where their employees are forced to suck off the teat of society. 

Sorry we don't provide health insurance.  Go to the ER, they have to take you even if you have no money. 
Sorry we don't provide a living wage, but we are willing to put a basket out so people can donate food to provide food for your family. 

Don't know that it is an intentional strategy but I agree with you, but is this walmarts issue or the fact that our Nanny state provides such abundant resources to this population.....chicken or egg?  Keep in mind though that walmarts are typically not in the most impoverished areas.


Quote
We are willing to spend $5 - $8 million a year on lobbyist to keep our federal and state taxes as low as possible as we don't see a value in supporting infrastructure, education, etc. even though all of our employees and customers utilize the services. 


And even with all those savings their profit margin is pathetic....and they still pay taxes at 31%.   Apple is far more suspect as it relates to taxes and jobs. 


Quote
Walmart creates a monopoly in small towns by bankrupting small businesses.


Don't shop there, dont work there. What response/solution makes sense here, why haven't small business across the country formed a purchasing co-op to combat this, I know some regional supermarket chains have done this.

Quote
Walmart is not a good citizen, which is fine but we need to start defining the role in government when dealing with an undereducated workforce.  What should government do to create opportunities for our citizens?

Other than the view that walmart is not a good citizen, I agree with this....but while the government should be part of the solution, they shouldn't be the only part and it should come at arbitrarilly making it more difficult for a successful company or just giving things to people.....people also need to "want" to do it.....like an addict they can never be cured if they don't want it, so to is that true for people who are not motivated.


Quote
It was mentioned that a 5 year old can replace these workers.

Yup. I should correct that to read that with self checkout these jobs are obsolete and when going to the grocer my five year old does in fact perform the task of cashier :) or :(  not sure.

C. K.

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 401
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2013, 01:52:43 PM »
Whether or not this Cleveland Walmart does or doesn't pay its employees a living wage, whether or not other companies do the same, why would Walmart advertise the idea that employees are having a difficult time feeding themselves?

What do they gain from this?
  • That's a turn off for prospective employees.
  • It's more ammunition for Walmart critics to use.
  • It certainly doesn't smell right to anyone else who looks at Walmart -one of the biggest supermarket chains in the world- and wonders why it is asking customers to foot the bill for their employees' Thanksgiving turkeys.
Someone in marketing and/or management at this Cleveland Walmart should be fired.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14042
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2013, 01:57:54 PM »
Whether or not this Cleveland Walmart does or doesn't pay its employees a living wage, whether or not other companies do the same, why would Walmart advertise the idea that employees are having a difficult time feeding themselves?

What do they gain from this?
  • That's a turn off for prospective employees.
  • It's more ammunition for Walmart critics to use.
  • It certainly doesn't smell right to anyone else who looks at Walmart -one of the biggest supermarket chains in the world- and wonders why it is asking customers to foot the bill for their employees' Thanksgiving turkeys.
Someone in marketing and/or management at this Cleveland Walmart should be fired.


The food drive is not visible to public.  It's for Wal-mart employees to provide food for other wal-mart employees.  Not sure if that makes it better or worse . . . but it's not asking customers to food the bill, nor is it visible to prospective employees.

CNM

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 498
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2013, 02:15:04 PM »
Just because Walmart gets targeted does not mean that the criticisms are not valid.  One reason why Walmart is different from most restaurant jobs is that Walmart is a huge, obviously profitable business.  Most restaurants (I know that there are exceptions) are small businesses and their profits are (1) not as big and (2) not as obvious to the public. 

So because restaurants are small and unsuccessfull it is ok but because walmart has been able to succesfully manage and grow a business such that it has over 4000 stores and makes a little bit from each store that in the whole is quite substantial.  Just referencing that bloomberg article linked above...walmarts profit margin is only 3.5% and profit per employee is $7,428...it doesn't leave much room for raises.


I was responding to your questioning about why Walmart is targeted/an easy target and not other employers.

Quote
Quote
I understand that it is not rocket science to be a Walmart cashier or a Walmart greeter.  I do think that it is sad, however, that people with full time, minimum wage jobs, still fall short of making ends meet such that a food drive is needed for Walmart's own employees.

Your position one should be able to thrive on a minimum wage full time job.....ok, sounds nice but:
1.  Where did it say that it was for full time workers....just said those in need, the beneficiaries may be part time workers (walmart is criticized for its use of part time workers afterall.

2. Please define what "ends" minimum wage should meet....IMO that should be minimal housing (shared), basic sustinence, no car, no electronics of any kind, no kids (not that it works out that way), etc......i.e. if you are minimally skilled and can only command a minimal wage then you should expect a minimal exisitence.  Besides two people making minimum wage would have income that exceeds MMM's luxurious lifestyle (not that simple but it makes a point.....and again it is f'in minimum wage so it is only up from there).

I don't know.  All I can say is that if I had a job that paid me so little that I needed a workplace charity program to eat on Thanksgiving, that is a shitty employer.

C. K.

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 401
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2013, 02:17:06 PM »
Whether or not this Cleveland Walmart does or doesn't pay its employees a living wage, whether or not other companies do the same, why would Walmart advertise the idea that employees are having a difficult time feeding themselves?

What do they gain from this?
  • That's a turn off for prospective employees.
  • It's more ammunition for Walmart critics to use.
  • It certainly doesn't smell right to anyone else who looks at Walmart -one of the biggest supermarket chains in the world- and wonders why it is asking customers to foot the bill for their employees' Thanksgiving turkeys.
Someone in marketing and/or management at this Cleveland Walmart should be fired.


The food drive is not visible to public.  It's for Wal-mart employees to provide food for other wal-mart employees.  Not sure if that makes it better or worse . . . but it's not asking customers to food the bill, nor is it visible to prospective employees.


Ah! I see. That wasn't clear. Still makes no sense, but...

tooqk4u22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2196
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2013, 02:20:55 PM »
Whether or not this Cleveland Walmart does or doesn't pay its employees a living wage, whether or not other companies do the same, why would Walmart advertise the idea that employees are having a difficult time feeding themselves?

What do they gain from this?
  • That's a turn off for prospective employees.
  • It's more ammunition for Walmart critics to use.
  • It certainly doesn't smell right to anyone else who looks at Walmart -one of the biggest supermarket chains in the world- and wonders why it is asking customers to foot the bill for their employees' Thanksgiving turkeys.
Someone in marketing and/or management at this Cleveland Walmart should be fired.


The food drive is not visible to public.  It's for Wal-mart employees to provide food for other wal-mart employees.  Not sure if that makes it better or worse . . . but it's not asking customers to food the bill, nor is it visible to prospective employees.

Better or worse I am not surem, but I do agree with GuitarStv....it doesn't make sense and sets them up for bad press.

Back to the Costco comparison and ignoring the different business models, so much time is spent sympthizing with the low earners I wonder if walmart would be a bigger more profitable machine if it did pay better....what could happen:

-could hire better skilled people with possibly better customer oriented dispositions (service is better at target than walmart).
-the better skilled/motivated employees would result in increased productivity (although then this likely means less jobs in total) = more profit.
-the better skilled/motivated people would reduced theft and damages and the stores would be better organized/cleaner = more profit.
-the better skilled/motivated people would provide better customer service and overall experience that would drive more shoppers in = more profit.

This is how I would be analyzing it.....and maybe walmart has and concluded that the changes of some kind wouldn't benefit the bottom line.

tooqk4u22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2196
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2013, 02:34:48 PM »
I don't know.  All I can say is that if I had a job that paid me so little that I needed a workplace charity program to eat on Thanksgiving, that is a shitty employer.

And all I can say is that if I had a job that paid me so little that I needed workplace charity then I would do everything in my power to improve myself, increase my skills, and generally make me more marketable overall.  I worked in a department store (not unlike a walmart) when I was 14 and made minimum wage (was like $3.50) and then got a job at a seniors home washing dishes that paid $4.25/hr....even at 14 and stupid and immature, I was smart and mature enough to know I was worth more.  Since then I have always made more then minimum wage and never had any length of unemployment. Sometimes I went and got jobs I wasn't qualified for, sometimes I got jobs that I was overqualified for, but most of my growth has been from starting at a company and growing within it an then moving on. 

Not everyone will be successful, but personal accountability and drive are important. I have had my share of setbacks, hence the part of taking jobs that I may have been overqualified for but instead of dwelling on it, I just viewed as two steps forward, one step back.

hybrid

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1673
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Richmond, Virginia
  • A hybrid of MMM and thoughtful consumer.
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2013, 02:59:57 PM »
IMO, the article describes exactly why walmart does and should pay lower wages than costco. I also find it interesting that Costco wouldn't be profitable if not for the membership fees.  I am not sure shopping at Costco does or doesn't make a social statement given the different business models, but it does seem to be a good company.

I didn't read into it that Costco would be unprofitable without membership fees, perhaps I missed that.

Here is what I mean about a social statement.  You, good shopper, can spend your hard earned money at inefficient retailers that spend oodles on advertising, fancy-pants displays, extended hours, oh, everything but the employees or you can shop Costco and save a bunch of money on the majority of the things you need.  And when you do, do so knowing that hard-working cashier is probably making over 40K and gets good benefits in the process.

It really doesn't get much better than that.  Win for the consumer, win for the employee.  I don't need frills, I'd rather have high quality in a no-frills setting for a lot less money.

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4047
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2013, 03:02:52 PM »
Well if we don't invest in education and finding positions for these uneducated or undereducated Americans we are going to have a huge issue in the near future.

Now where did you get the idea that we don't invest in that?  Start out with virtually every kid getting a free K-12 education, if they choose to make use of it.  Then look at all the grants & loans you can get to go to college or trade school.  Many of these are community colleges and state universities, where a large share of the operating cost is paid by the public.

After that, most if not all states fund something like the "Employment Security Department", which tries to match job-seekers with employers, direct job-seekers to training opportunities, and so on.

Seems like the real problem here is better described by the old saying about how you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make her drink.

I didn't read into it that Costco would be unprofitable without membership fees, perhaps I missed that.

Don't know about CostCo, but WinCo doesn't charge membership fees, and seems to fairly consistently have lower prices on groceries than WalMart.

tooqk4u22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2196
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #21 on: November 19, 2013, 03:14:00 PM »
I didn't read into it that Costco would be unprofitable without membership fees, perhaps I missed that.

You didn't miss it, it wasn't in there but the information included total profit and membership so assumed $50 per member.  I then went to the companies 10k and looked at the actual membership revenue.


Quote
Here is what I mean about a social statement.  You, good shopper, can spend your hard earned money at inefficient retailers that spend oodles on advertising, fancy-pants displays, extended hours, oh, everything but the employees or you can shop Costco and save a bunch of money on the majority of the things you need.  And when you do, do so knowing that hard-working cashier is probably making over 40K and gets good benefits in the process.

It really doesn't get much better than that.  Win for the consumer, win for the employee.  I don't need frills, I'd rather have high quality in a no-frills setting for a lot less money.

Maybe, I like your view. Keep in mind (aside from the different business models) that Costco starts at $10-12/hour not $20/hr, but you can get there in five years.  Also keep in mind that the Costco employees do require somewhat above minimum skills as many need to be able to operate a forklift, lift heavier items, process meats, etc - all of which are not mimimally skilled jobs and thus should deserve more pay.

I wonder how many people are hired by Costco that came from walmart - this can either be a good or bad questions? 
-The good is that costco hires many people from walmart and effectively uses walmart to train them and when they are serviceable costco capitilizes on the wage discrepancy.
-the bad is that costco doesn't hire anybody from walmart because they barely have minimal skills and don't have the interpersonal skills to be customer service oriented.




samdbtto

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #22 on: November 19, 2013, 04:12:53 PM »
Quote
I wonder how many people are hired by Costco that came from walmart - this can either be a good or bad questions?   

Costco and Wal-Mart have completely different pools of applicants to choose from so Costco is more picky in who they choose (and rightfully so).  Wal-Mart employees not getting hired speaks more to they type of people who are former Wal-Mart employees  and less to the fact that Wal-Mart trained skills are in no way transferable to Costco.  There are some former Wal Mart employees working at Costco right now doing great who got in because they showed up to the interview looking professional and having a good interview.

Quote
Here is what I mean about a social statement.  You, good shopper, can spend your hard earned money at inefficient retailers that spend oodles on advertising, fancy-pants displays, extended hours, oh, everything but the employees or you can shop Costco and save a bunch of money on the majority of the things you need.  And when you do, do so knowing that hard-working cashier is probably making over 40K and gets good benefits in the process.

Most people don't really know the full wage and insurance benefit of a Costco employee and most would be suprised what a 5 year employee truly makes at Costco.  Even your estimates are low.  So yes your are so right, shop there knowing it is a company that takes care of the people that run it and you the consumer are supporting this and getting good deals in good stuff in the process.

hybrid

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1673
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Richmond, Virginia
  • A hybrid of MMM and thoughtful consumer.
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #23 on: November 19, 2013, 04:17:50 PM »
Maybe, I like your view. Keep in mind (aside from the different business models) that Costco starts at $10-12/hour not $20/hr, but you can get there in five years.  Also keep in mind that the Costco employees do require somewhat above minimum skills as many need to be able to operate a forklift, lift heavier items, process meats, etc - all of which are not mimimally skilled jobs and thus should deserve more pay.

I wonder how many people are hired by Costco that came from walmart - this can either be a good or bad questions? 
-The good is that costco hires many people from walmart and effectively uses walmart to train them and when they are serviceable costco capitilizes on the wage discrepancy.
-the bad is that costco doesn't hire anybody from walmart because they barely have minimal skills and don't have the interpersonal skills to be customer service oriented.

Oh, I'm aware they don't start at 40.  I've been shopping at my Costco for 25 years and there are folks there that have been there all 25 years (they have an anniversary wall littered with 10, 20, 25 year employees).  I liked Costco before I knew about the pay scale there, and now I am uber-loyal to them knowing that their employees make a solid living.

As for the membership fees, mine are mostly offset by the missus and I getting the premium $100 membership.  At the end of the year you get a rebate check (good at Costco, naturally) based on your yearly purchases, and mine was about $87 last year.  So my membership was $13.  I think the membership may have gone up a bit recently but no matter.  They are still far cheaper than the competitors in the long run.

tomsang

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1085
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2013, 04:19:28 PM »
Well if we don't invest in education and finding positions for these uneducated or undereducated Americans we are going to have a huge issue in the near future.

Now where did you get the idea that we don't invest in that?  Start out with virtually every kid getting a free K-12 education, if they choose to make use of it.  Then look at all the grants & loans you can get to go to college or trade school.  Many of these are community colleges and state universities, where a large share of the operating cost is paid by the public.

After that, most if not all states fund something like the "Employment Security Department", which tries to match job-seekers with employers, direct job-seekers to training opportunities, and so on.

Seems like the real problem here is better described by the old saying about how you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make her drink.

Pretty much every study shows that America is dropping in education compared to the past.  As other countries are investing in education we are cutting funding.  When I went to university, my state subsidized the tuition and fees by 80%.  Today, due to general budget cuts they are subsidizing only 20%. College tuition has increased significantly over the past decade, not because of an increase in the cost per student, but because the Public University has become a student funded university.  For those that went to school 10+ years ago who think they paid their way through college you may want to check how much your state paid for your education compared to how much they pay today.     

http://www.cfr.org/united-states/remedial-education-federal-education-policy/p30141?cid=otr-marketing_use-remedialeducation

Seems like the real problem here is better described by the old saying about how you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make her drink.

This quote struck me as common sense, until you figure out that in the US people have access to guns.  When the horse gets lost in the education environment because they don't have support from their families, relatives, environment, or other circumstances and we outsource and/or develop technology to make them worthless in our society, then they fight back to survive.  So I think we would be wiser if we can help guide the horses to water and show them how to drink, before we have a civil war on our hands. We need to create a system to break the cycle of poverty before we spiral down to the third world level of needing armed guards at your house to protect from those unworthy peasants who want our food, shelter, and water.

randymarsh

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1374
  • Location: Denver
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #25 on: November 19, 2013, 04:56:16 PM »
You know what is badass...it is the person who starts at walmart for minimum wage, works hard and is rewarded for it, becomes more ambitious and grows into management or goes to college or both, makes an above average income thereafter, then retires 10 years later....these stories exist and should be celebrated.   

Then who would do the front line work? If everyone is management, then who is stocking the shelves? Let's be honest, Walmart employs tens of thousands of people who are never going to work their way into management. There just aren't that many positions available. And it's a lot to expect people who can't even afford to feed themselves to go back to school or claw their way into management. Some people get there and we do celebrate those stories. But that's not a ringing endorsement that the system is working.

I'm not blaming Walmart for the way society is set up, but I don't know how ambitious I could be if just surviving day to day was a constant struggle.

tooqk4u22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2196
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #26 on: November 20, 2013, 06:53:07 AM »
Quote
Then who would do the front line work? If everyone is management, then who is stocking the shelves? Let's be honest, Walmart employs tens of thousands of people who are never going to work their way into management. There just aren't that many positions available.


I didn't say that everyone would go to management...could go to management, could go off to college to do something else, could develop a skill (leadership/marketing/sales/service skills can be developed even if one is not in management). 


I'm not blaming Walmart for the way society is set up, but I don't know how ambitious I could be if just surviving day to day was a constant struggle.[/quote]

To me this is the major issue at hand there are those of us that want to do better and strive for more no matter what are situation is, and especially so if we are in a situation where we are struggling....lets call them the few.   And then there are those that blame society and would prefer for someone to fix it for them or support them.....lets call them the many (thank you for being honest with yourself and the board about falling into this category.

I continue to be surprised by the amount of people that read MMM and participate in this forum that feel that people have no responsibility in their life choices, which seems to be the antithesis of MMM/FIRE.

Here are some other ways people are separated.....one side is clearly more positive and where I would like to be, but to each their own.

Leader......follower.
Independent.......dependentant.
Survivor......victim.
Proactive.....reactive.
Responsible.......irresponsible.
Saver.....spender

randymarsh

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1374
  • Location: Denver
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #27 on: November 20, 2013, 07:10:13 AM »
And then there are those that blame society and would prefer for someone to fix it for them or support them.....lets call them the many (thank you for being honest with yourself and the board about falling into this category.

I continue to be surprised by the amount of people that read MMM and participate in this forum that feel that people have no responsibility in their life choices, which seems to be the antithesis of MMM/FIRE.

Here are some other ways people are separated.....one side is clearly more positive and where I would like to be, but to each their own.

I never said or suggested we just "fix it for them". I also never said or suggested that people have no responsibility in their life choices.

I am saying that it may be wise for us to recognize that pulling yourself up by your bootstraps is a lot easier when you have boots in the first place.

hybrid

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1673
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Richmond, Virginia
  • A hybrid of MMM and thoughtful consumer.
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #28 on: November 20, 2013, 07:24:27 AM »
I was with you for a while tooq, and then we diverged.

I'm in the boat that recognizes that while I may personally be able to get further ahead in life than others, and that many people in fact do make bad choices or have bad attitudes, that does not change the fact that there are millions of people who will never advance beyond minimally skilled jobs for various reasons, not the least of which being there isn't a white collar job for every qualified individual.  Also, not every kid is born a rocket scientist after all.  Some well meaning folks will never advance very far in their careers if for no other reason than their internal  processor is an i3 while yours may be an i7. 

How we as a society treat and value lower skilled workers is a reflection of our society overall.  I understand full well that, for example, lifting the minimum wage to $15 has all sorts of unintended (and potentially nasty) consequences, but dismissing lower skilled workers as negatively and casually as you seem to have?  Yeah, I can't quite go there..... 

footenote

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 801
  • MMMing in MN
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #29 on: November 20, 2013, 07:30:03 AM »
I was with you for a while tooq, and then we diverged.

I'm in the boat that recognizes that while I may personally be able to get further ahead in life than others, and that many people in fact do make bad choices or have bad attitudes, that does not change the fact that there are millions of people who will never advance beyond minimally skilled jobs for various reasons, not the least of which being there isn't a white collar job for every qualified individual.  Also, not every kid is born a rocket scientist after all.  Some well meaning folks will never advance very far in their careers if for no other reason than their internal  processor is an i3 while yours may be an i7. 

How we as a society treat and value lower skilled workers is a reflection of our society overall.  I understand full well that, for example, lifting the minimum wage to $15 has all sorts of unintended (and potentially nasty) consequences, but dismissing lower skilled workers as negatively and casually as you seem to have?  Yeah, I can't quite go there.....
+1
We who are lucky (and, yes, self-disciplined) enough to be chattering here on the MMM Forum can easily forget that 100 is the average IQ. We need many, many people toiling daily at thankless, boring, grinding jobs to make our society work. How we treat them (regardless of whether they are virtuous or self-indulgent) is a reflection on us.

olivia

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 770
  • From Consumerism to Minimalism
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #30 on: November 20, 2013, 08:00:16 AM »
I was with you for a while tooq, and then we diverged.

I'm in the boat that recognizes that while I may personally be able to get further ahead in life than others, and that many people in fact do make bad choices or have bad attitudes, that does not change the fact that there are millions of people who will never advance beyond minimally skilled jobs for various reasons, not the least of which being there isn't a white collar job for every qualified individual.  Also, not every kid is born a rocket scientist after all.  Some well meaning folks will never advance very far in their careers if for no other reason than their internal  processor is an i3 while yours may be an i7. 

How we as a society treat and value lower skilled workers is a reflection of our society overall.  I understand full well that, for example, lifting the minimum wage to $15 has all sorts of unintended (and potentially nasty) consequences, but dismissing lower skilled workers as negatively and casually as you seem to have?  Yeah, I can't quite go there.....
+1
We who are lucky (and, yes, self-disciplined) enough to be chattering here on the MMM Forum can easily forget that 100 is the average IQ. We need many, many people toiling daily at thankless, boring, grinding jobs to make our society work. How we treat them (regardless of whether they are virtuous or self-indulgent) is a reflection on us.

Well said, both of you. 

tooqk4u22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2196
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #31 on: November 20, 2013, 08:45:22 AM »
I was with you for a while tooq, and then we diverged.

I'm in the boat that recognizes that while I may personally be able to get further ahead in life than others, and that many people in fact do make bad choices or have bad attitudes, that does not change the fact that there are millions of people who will never advance beyond minimally skilled jobs for various reasons, not the least of which being there isn't a white collar job for every qualified individual.  Also, not every kid is born a rocket scientist after all.  Some well meaning folks will never advance very far in their careers if for no other reason than their internal  processor is an i3 while yours may be an i7. 

How we as a society treat and value lower skilled workers is a reflection of our society overall.  I understand full well that, for example, lifting the minimum wage to $15 has all sorts of unintended (and potentially nasty) consequences, but dismissing lower skilled workers as negatively and casually as you seem to have?  Yeah, I can't quite go there.....

I am not dismissing unskilled labor but I if this is your lot in life (whether by circumstance or limits on inteligence and ambition) then don't expect much....and even if you are unskilled, have a lower IQ, aren't that ambitious.....it is still pretty darn easy to exceed minimum wage....just showing up gets you there most of the time. That's just the facts of life...darwin proved out survival of the fittest.   While we as society are not and should not be as cruel as nature intended us to be, the fact remains that there are winners and losers....always was and always will.  That is why we have so called safety nets, which btw if explored nets a life equal to a $40k take home pay for a family of four when accounting for the subsidies for housing, food, healthcare, cell phones, etc.  Off topic but this far too much to be considered a safety net, but that is for another thread.

The other thing to note is that less than 3% of the working population makes minimum wage, which includes teens and seniors doing it primarily for extra money - so it is not like there is a massive majority and it supports the notion that minimum wage shouldn't be and isn't permanent.   And people can live on minimum wage, maybe not as a single earner family and maybe not the way they would want to, but shouldn't that be how it is.  Didn't jacob at ERE live on $7K a year.....minimum wage is $14.5k.

Also, the reason why minimum wage and low income people are an issue has nothing to do with government or corporate policies, it is because we are a consumer society that doesn't make shit anymore and overvalue buying crap but only if it is cheap and to do that it needs to be made in china or wherever by people making $3/day - this is what needs to change.

The fact of the matter is that we as a populous aren't willing to pay more for crap and in turn can't pay more to the people that stock the shelves for said crap.......we could stop buying crap but then that would result in a bunch of people not even having the opportunity of a minimum wage job.

huadpe

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 219
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #32 on: November 20, 2013, 08:45:35 AM »
I was with you for a while tooq, and then we diverged.

I'm in the boat that recognizes that while I may personally be able to get further ahead in life than others, and that many people in fact do make bad choices or have bad attitudes, that does not change the fact that there are millions of people who will never advance beyond minimally skilled jobs for various reasons, not the least of which being there isn't a white collar job for every qualified individual.  Also, not every kid is born a rocket scientist after all.  Some well meaning folks will never advance very far in their careers if for no other reason than their internal  processor is an i3 while yours may be an i7. 

How we as a society treat and value lower skilled workers is a reflection of our society overall.  I understand full well that, for example, lifting the minimum wage to $15 has all sorts of unintended (and potentially nasty) consequences, but dismissing lower skilled workers as negatively and casually as you seem to have?  Yeah, I can't quite go there.....
+1
We who are lucky (and, yes, self-disciplined) enough to be chattering here on the MMM Forum can easily forget that 100 is the average IQ. We need many, many people toiling daily at thankless, boring, grinding jobs to make our society work. How we treat them (regardless of whether they are virtuous or self-indulgent) is a reflection on us.

The rub here is that by heaping all the blame on Wal-Mart, we lose sight of actually helping those who don't have the skillsets to compete for cushy office jobs.  Wal-Mart exists in a ruthless competitive environment where if they raised salaries to a living wage, they'd likely go out of business to someone who didn't.  Even if the minimum wage were hiked dramatically, Wal-Mart would lose out to a firm that used more skilled workers coupled with more automation, e.g. Amazon. 

Given that, and further given that many (but certainly not all) Wal-Mart workers can't produce a marginal value high enough to be a living wage, then it would be the role of the welfare state to bring their incomes up to a standard where they can get by. 

That's why I think the food drive above isn't shameful.  Many Wal-Mart workers are not employable at $30,000+/yr.  That doesn't mean they're bad or dumb or anything.  Some of them may have to stay home to care for a sick relative and can only work limited hours.  Or they may be someone who retired without much savings and works as a greeter but isn't physically capable of more demanding stock work.  But to say that Wal-Mart should pay everyone a living wage is to say that they should fire those people.  Wal-Mart should pay people the marginal value of their labour, and if that isn't enough to live on, then the welfare state + private charity is what ought to pick up the difference.

tooqk4u22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2196
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #33 on: November 20, 2013, 08:54:32 AM »
Quote
....not the least of which being there isn't a white collar job for every qualified individual.  Also, not every kid is born a rocket scientist after all.  Some well meaning folks will never advance very far in their careers if for no other reason than their internal  processor is an i3 while yours may be an i7. 


Quote
We who are lucky (and, yes, self-disciplined) enough to be chattering here on the MMM Forum can easily forget that 100 is the average IQ. We need many, many people toiling daily at thankless, boring, grinding jobs to make our society work.

Quote
The rub here is that by heaping all the blame on Wal-Mart, we lose sight of actually helping those who don't have the skillsets to compete for cushy office jobs.


I take exception to the notion that it can only be done with white collar, office jobs....and many jobs that are thankless and boring pay well above minimum wage.....shit most jobs are thankless anyway regardless of income.

Heck, I think the most unskilled people are office workers......all the trades make way more than minimum wage even as an apprentice.   You don't need an IQ above 100 to put on a roof, frame a wall, pour concrete, be an HVAC tech - not only do the trades pay more than minimum wage there is significant opportunity to become ever more skilled and if you bring a high degree of professionalism and quality service to the table you will never ever want for more work.   


Quote
But to say that Wal-Mart should pay everyone a living wage is to say that they should fire those people.  Wal-Mart should pay people the marginal value of their labour, and if that isn't enough to live on, then the welfare state + private charity is what ought to pick up the difference.

+1

footenote

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 801
  • MMMing in MN
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #34 on: November 20, 2013, 10:05:22 AM »
I wasn't asserting that all thankless jobs are at Walmart. Nor was I asserting that people with IQs below 100 cannot find and hold decently paying jobs. Re: Darwin:

"Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection is entirely focused on an explanation of life's biological diversity. It is a scientific theory meant to explain observations about species. Yet some have used the theory to justify a particular view of human social, political, or economic conditions. All such ideas have one fundamental flaw: They use a purely scientific theory for a completely unscientific purpose. In doing so they misrepresent and misappropriate Darwin's original ideas.

"One such distortion and misuse is the loose collection of ideologies grouped under the label of "Social Darwinism." Based largely on notions of competition and natural selection, Social Darwinist theories generally hold that the powerful in society are innately better than the weak and that success is proof of their superiority.

"Darwin passionately opposed social injustice and oppression. He would have been dismayed to see the events of generations to come: his name attached to opposing ideologies from Marxism to unbridled capitalism, and to policies from ethnic cleansing to forced sterilization. Whether used to rationalize social inequality, racism, or eugenics, so-called Social Darwinist theories are a gross misreading of the ideas first described in the Origin of Species and applied in modern biology."

http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/past-exhibitions/darwin/evolution-today/social-darwinism

tooqk4u22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2196
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #35 on: November 20, 2013, 10:54:12 AM »
Nice excerpt but utterly meaningless as it simply commentary form the AMNH - no science or research is noted to support the comments, besides Social Darwinism can mean different things.

Regardless, the basic premise and conclusions of Darwin is applicable to life - sure there are many other factors that can influence the human outcomes but the reality is that you still have to be of mind and body (more mind than body now) to prevail. 

I would argue that the issue with Darwin's conclusions as it relates to humanity today isn't that the ideas are misappropriated but that the definition of fittest may be ambigous for modern day humans.

I may be a wizard of finance or a farmer or a firefighter or a teacher.....all of which will have different standards for being considered fittest with varying degrees or physical, emotional, intelectual, social attributes.....along the lines of the meyers-briggs breakdowns. 

We are not birds that have a single purpose, humans as a species are essentially a vast mix of species except that we all look a like. 

Regardless, survival of the fittest in concept not in specific aspect is very very applicable but human life or any species, that doesn't mean you survive or die....there is broad range during an individuals life and over time....that's why it is called evolution.

I am well aware that I can never be Bill Gates or Tom Brady.

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4047
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #36 on: November 20, 2013, 12:21:11 PM »
...there isn't a white collar job for every qualified individual.

So who says it has to be a "white collar" job?  Have you looked at what a good plumber makes?  Or my neighbor's kid, who (at around 30) is making close to $100K/year as an electric lineman?  Or the neighbor, who (until he retired) made good money as an antique car mechanic? 

huadpe

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 219
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #37 on: November 20, 2013, 12:34:19 PM »
Nice excerpt but utterly meaningless as it simply commentary form the AMNH - no science or research is noted to support the comments, besides Social Darwinism can mean different things.

Regardless, the basic premise and conclusions of Darwin is applicable to life - sure there are many other factors that can influence the human outcomes but the reality is that you still have to be of mind and body (more mind than body now) to prevail. 

I would argue that the issue with Darwin's conclusions as it relates to humanity today isn't that the ideas are misappropriated but that the definition of fittest may be ambigous for modern day humans.

I may be a wizard of finance or a farmer or a firefighter or a teacher.....all of which will have different standards for being considered fittest with varying degrees or physical, emotional, intelectual, social attributes.....along the lines of the meyers-briggs breakdowns. 

We are not birds that have a single purpose, humans as a species are essentially a vast mix of species except that we all look a like. 

Regardless, survival of the fittest in concept not in specific aspect is very very applicable but human life or any species, that doesn't mean you survive or die....there is broad range during an individuals life and over time....that's why it is called evolution.

I am well aware that I can never be Bill Gates or Tom Brady.

The basic premise of Darwin is that there is that genetic variation happens randomly, and that some variations slightly increase the probability of reproducing, and that those variations are more likely to persist in the gene pool than other variations.  Repeated a very large number of times, those variations will become more prevalent in the population until other variations die out.

This is different from social darwinism in many ways:

1: What is selected for is discretely defined in darwinian evolution as producing fertile offspring.  In life, what we are seeking is not well defined like that.

2: Darwinian evolution is a descriptive process for non-random statistical variation.  It doesn't make any moral claims.

3: Darwinian evolution only describes the patterns that happen among the aggregate of many generations.  It makes no statements about the lives of particular beings, only their offspring and those offspring's offspring.

There are many frames of reference for discussing success and failure in life.  Darwinian evolution really isn't a very good one. 

tooqk4u22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2196
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #38 on: November 20, 2013, 01:04:32 PM »
There are many frames of reference for discussing success and failure in life.  Darwinian evolution really isn't a very good one. 

I love it so much when I make a generalist statement to make a point and get a dissertation in return......

ME:    The sky is blue.

You:   Not really the sky is actually as complex mix and includes a scattering of light that can present itself with multiple different colors (beyond just blue) depending on the trajectory of the light coming from the sun and/or other sources.  Furthermore, the "sky" may include clouds, rainbows, auroras, etc.......so in fact your assertion that the sky is blue is unmistakably false and not relevant to the topic.

ME:    Ummmmmm.....the sky is still blue.


Would it make you feel better if instead of calling it survival of the fittest (ala Darwin) I instead refer to it as "the cream always rises to the top" Of course, I am subjecting myself to some BS where at x temperture and under these conditions the cream doesn't rise to the top so again tooq you are wrong....but I can take it.   The fact of the matter is that some people are better, brighter, stronger, more ambitious, harder working, than others - the last two being the largest contributors IMO.



footenote

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 801
  • MMMing in MN
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #39 on: November 20, 2013, 01:37:47 PM »
"...besides Social Darwinism can mean different things."

This reminds me of a recent thread in which the OP eventually said "I don't care about facts; this conversation is hypothetical"...

The Hatter opened his eyes very wide on hearing this; but all he SAID was, `Why is a raven like a writing-desk?'

`Come, we shall have some fun now!' thought Alice. `I'm glad they've begun asking riddles.--I believe I can guess that,' she added aloud.

`Do you mean that you think you can find out the answer to it?' said the March Hare.

`Exactly so,' said Alice.

`Then you should say what you mean,' the March Hare went on.

`I do,' Alice hastily replied; `at least--at least I mean what I say--that's the same thing, you know.'

`Not the same thing a bit!' said the Hatter.

tooqk4u22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2196
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #40 on: November 20, 2013, 02:24:27 PM »
"...besides Social Darwinism can mean different things."

This reminds me of a recent thread in which the OP eventually said "I don't care about facts; this conversation is hypothetical"...

The Hatter opened his eyes very wide on hearing this; but all he SAID was, `Why is a raven like a writing-desk?'

`Come, we shall have some fun now!' thought Alice. `I'm glad they've begun asking riddles.--I believe I can guess that,' she added aloud.

`Do you mean that you think you can find out the answer to it?' said the March Hare.

`Exactly so,' said Alice.

`Then you should say what you mean,' the March Hare went on.

`I do,' Alice hastily replied; `at least--at least I mean what I say--that's the same thing, you know.'

`Not the same thing a bit!' said the Hatter.


So your counter to me is to assert that "I don't care about facts" as a result of me pointing out that the link included no facts, which it doesn't and my assertion that social darwinism means different things, which in fact it does with the primary variant being how to define strong or weak.  Interesting. 

Again, because people are extremely sensitive to the technical definition of this ......we will instead go with the cream always rises to the top - this way Darwin has nothing to do with it. Please carry on the conversation with this in mind. 

For the record I am still confused as to why it is so difficult to comprehend a simple notion of comparing success to survival of the fittest, and even that is highly fluid as the definition of ones success can vary greatly.  Maybe I shouldn't be confused, afterall we live in a country where everyone should get a trophy just for showing up......such a pathetic standard to set.



footenote

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 801
  • MMMing in MN
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #41 on: November 20, 2013, 03:48:46 PM »
I observe and agree with the assessment that people who work harder and / or are smarter tend to have more success in a competitive, capitalistic society.

I disagree with the just-world hypothesis* that says that everyone who fails deserves failure because he didn't work hard enough / wasn't smart enough. Clearly many people who are unsuccessful were lazy or dumb. Just as clearly, many were simply unfortunate.

I believe I have an obligation (especially, although not uniquely, because I have been fortunate as well as hard working) to be compassionate and generous to those who have been less fortunate. Because "there but for the grace of God go I."

Peace. Out.

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just-world_hypothesis

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4047
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #42 on: November 20, 2013, 04:20:03 PM »
For the record I am still confused as to why it is so difficult to comprehend a simple notion of comparing success to survival of the fittest...

Because in Darwinian evolutionary terms, "survival of the fittest" is really a circular argument, since by definition "the fittest" are those who survive and produce offspring.  So in a Darwinian sense, the obese  & alcoholic welfare queen is fitter that the billionaire marathon-running Nobel Prize winner with no kids.

I believe I have an obligation (especially, although not uniquely, because I have been fortunate as well as hard working) to be compassionate and generous to those who have been less fortunate.

Fair enough, and your choice & privilege.  But then the question becomes whether the means you have chosen are actually helpful.  As - for a simplistic example - when A reacts to obesity by passing laws against fat discrimination, while B prescribes an enforced program of diet and exercise.

footenote

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 801
  • MMMing in MN
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #43 on: November 20, 2013, 04:30:14 PM »
James - Ah, but you don't know which means I have chosen, do you?   ; )

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4047
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #44 on: November 20, 2013, 09:38:34 PM »
James - Ah, but you don't know which means I have chosen, do you?   ; )

No, not you personally, of course.  But the generic, plural "you" of people that claim to want much the same things as you frequently seem to advocate means that I see as - to put it as politely as possible - quite counterproductive.

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10854
  • Age: 61
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #45 on: November 20, 2013, 11:05:04 PM »
Also, I think it is great that the employees, even if low wage, are generous enough to help out their co-workers.

And that is exactly the point. With as little as they are paid, some WM employees were still trying to help their co-workers who have less. That's the true spirit of giving.

Sure, I hate WM as much as the next person who has the luxury of having plenty of other choices, but the media and a lot of commenters here and elsewhere are spinning the facts to suit their views.

tooqk4u22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2196
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #46 on: November 21, 2013, 06:32:19 AM »
I observe and agree with the assessment that people who work harder and / or are smarter tend to have more success in a competitive, capitalistic society.

I disagree with the just-world hypothesis* that says that everyone who fails deserves failure because he didn't work hard enough / wasn't smart enough. Clearly many people who are unsuccessful were lazy or dumb. Just as clearly, many were simply unfortunate.

I believe I have an obligation (especially, although not uniquely, because I have been fortunate as well as hard working) to be compassionate and generous to those who have been less fortunate. Because "there but for the grace of God go I."

Peace. Out.

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just-world_hypothesis

There are always exceptions....such as you describe where someone fell on hard times for some unforeseen circumstance that is out of their control (I am supportive of safety nets for such people) but the vast majority of people that are on hard times do not meet this standard as much of it is well within their control....unfortunately the safety nets have significantly impaired motivation and mobility for lower income households and giving more subsidies won't solve the problem.

The inverse is also true as there are some extremely fortunate people that got ridiculously lucky out of dumb luck or irrational value.....a lottery winner, Mark Zuckerberg, the Walton heirs, and so on.


And if you feel you have an obligation then by all means give all that you can....I believe in charity, not entitlements. 

tooqk4u22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2196
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #47 on: November 21, 2013, 06:47:49 AM »
Also, I think it is great that the employees, even if low wage, are generous enough to help out their co-workers.

And that is exactly the point. With as little as they are paid, some WM employees were still trying to help their co-workers who have less. That's the true spirit of giving.

Sure, I hate WM as much as the next person who has the luxury of having plenty of other choices, but the media and a lot of commenters here and elsewhere are spinning the facts to suit their views.

There are about 150 million people working, minimum wage workers total about 2.8% of working people or about 4 million people....walmart employs 1.4 million people in the US - do the math even if walmart paid every employee at minimum wage (which they don't) walmart would account for just a third of minimum wage workers.  Avg. walmart pay exceeds $11/hour - do they have a bunch of mimimum wage people, yes, but walmart is not the problem, they are just the biggest target. 

Two people making the average pay at walmart would exceed $40k - considering the avg. household income is about $50k in the US, this would seem to be a decent living (not necessarily luxurious, but decent).

It is unfair to role out the "single mother of four" can't afford to feed her family on minimum wage....that is not what minimum wage is about - it is about a minimum amount such that an individual can live/survive on.  The entire premise of this blog and forum supports that it can be done. We need to change our expectations (specifically adjust them downward) about what the standard of living should be for unskilled and/or low income people is.

CNM

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 498
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #48 on: December 16, 2013, 11:10:57 AM »
An interesting article in the Harvard Business Review blog re. living wages and employer responsibility.  The comments to the article very closely track the debate on this thread, too.

http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/12/scrooge-is-alive-and-well/

LalsConstant

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 439
Re: Donate food so Wal-Mart employees can have Thanksgiving dinner!
« Reply #49 on: December 16, 2013, 12:22:44 PM »
Wal-mart employees regularly raise funds to help each other with personal problems.   It is one of the positive aspects of the company culture.

Whoever wrote this needs to go work there for a while.  This is normal.  I chipped into more pass the hat style collections there than I have before or since.