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Old 11-28-2011, 05:48 PM   #71
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Perhaps it is because all of these issues have a very heavy effect on all of us as RVers. No one has been flaming anyone else and we have all been having a very interesting discussion. Not all of us have agreed on everything said, but it has been extremely civil and informative. I would like to commend the moderators for NOT deleting this thread. Let the opinions and civil behavior continue.
Well said. If all topics were "discussed" in such a civil manner we wouldn't even NEED moderators. Thanks to all for your civility and objectivity.

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Old 11-28-2011, 08:45 PM   #72
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Can't we all just get along LOL We are adults, and when we act as such we can disagree without being disagreeable. Let the fun continue.
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:56 PM   #73
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I find this all very interesting. Thanks to everyone for posting, it really makes you think. I believe the truth to be a real combination of most of the thinks brought up here. My own theory would add the WalMart started much of this trend with Sam waltons marketing and GREED. They have close millions of small businesses, moved millions of jobs overseas and lowered margins and thus job opportunities, money available for benefits and pensions etc for thousands of domestic companies. All of that is just my opinion and YES, I am guilty of shopping at Walmart more often that I would like to, mainly because all of my old stand by stores are long gone. Soon when you enter walmart the shelves will only contain those silly while label save more walmart brands as they expand to all house brands and squeeze big name brands off of their shelves. Again, just my opinion, I AM a Steve Jobs fan and NOT a Sam Walton fan, now go ahead and blast me if you will but it is JUST my opinion and I am sticking to it. Thanks for the lively discussion, it is very interesting.
I have to agree with most of what you say, there is a much larger plan at work and I don't think any of "us" are in on the joke. JMO


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It is true that many small businesses have gone out of business due to a Walmart coming to town. It is also true that many big and small businesses went out of business when a major interstate hiway was built and all the traffic bypassed them. Things change.

It is also my opinion that Walmart has done more to raise the standard of living of more Americans than any other entity (Gov't program, Unions etc). Walmart has created millions of jobs for lower to midlle income people, hundereds of thousands of jobs in the contruction industry, trucking, shippping, and so. Look at just about every Walmart and how many other small businesses co-located with them or are nearby.

Walmarts size has lead to lower prices for just about every product they sell. These lower prices have allowed lower income customers to buy products they would not otherwise have been able to afford.

Over the past three decades America became the high cost producer of common everyday products especially products that can be mass produced through automation or very unskilled labor. Wage and benefit demands by both union and non-union workers (also known as GREED) along with competition for skilled workers helped in this cost escalation. Then you throw in gov't regs and taxes and voila outsourcing becomes the norm. I don't see this trend changing until the asian countries significantly raise their cost of production.

It's a big problem for my kids and worries me greatly. They will not have it as good as I did.

Just my opinion of course Tom
This worries me also, but I think all these trade deals are making a few people very rich and lowering the American standard of living. JMO
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:22 AM   #74
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I have to agree with most of what you say, there is a much larger plan at work and I don't think any of "us" are in on the joke. JMO


This worries me also, but I think all these trade deals are making a few people very rich and lowering the American standard of living. JMO
One point about how Walmart sells at such low retails is they beat up thier suppliers. If you want to sell your widget at Walmart you will sell it to them at THIER price, not the wholesale price Joe up the street pays for it. They also dictate terms of payment, not Net 30, but more like Net 90... So is this greed or good business practices... D
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:44 AM   #75
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So is this greed or good business practices...

Sounds like business 101 - managing your cost of goods sold. Every business since the start of mankind has strived to keep their costs low and the business that best manages their costs will usually do better than those that don't. When I was buying software for my old company the more copies of an application I bought the better the discount we got.

I find the continued use of the word greed when talking about business interesting. Companies that do well for their employees, management, stockholders, communities are sometimes portrayed as good well run companies. Some that do extremely well such as banks, insurance companies, major big box stores and are easy targets for politicians and news outlets are portrayed as greedy.

Companies that outsource production overseas are often villified in the press. Fact is that in many cases if they didn't they would go out of business. Global economies, global trade, emerging economic powerhouses, and yes some less than fair trade deals are changing America and not all to the better.

Nobody talks about the folks that demand bigger raises or change jobs for better pay so they can buy that new boat, rv, sports car, 55" HDTV as being greedy. They don't need these things but they WANT them. Does this make them greedy? Wanting to make more money so you can buy more stuff for yourself or family doesn't make you a bad person. Doesn't make a business bad either.

Many Rv'ers spend the night in Walmart parking lots so they don't have to stay (and pay) for a campsite. Does this make them greedy or just frugal and managing costs. We all look for the cheapest prices on gas when we want to fuill up our fuel hungry RV's. Greed? DOn't think so.

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Old 11-29-2011, 09:30 AM   #76
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So is this greed or good business practices...

Sounds like business 101 - managing your cost of goods sold. Every business since the start of mankind has strived to keep their costs low and the business that best manages their costs will usually do better than those that don't. When I was buying software for my old company the more copies of an application I bought the better the discount we got.

I find the continued use of the word greed when talking about business interesting. Companies that do well for their employees, management, stockholders, communities are sometimes portrayed as good well run companies. Some that do extremely well such as banks, insurance companies, major big box stores and are easy targets for politicians and news outlets are portrayed as greedy.

Companies that outsource production overseas are often villified in the press. Fact is that in many cases if they didn't they would go out of business. Global economies, global trade, emerging economic powerhouses, and yes some less than fair trade deals are changing America and not all to the better.

Nobody talks about the folks that demand bigger raises or change jobs for better pay so they can buy that new boat, rv, sports car, 55" HDTV as being greedy. They don't need these things but they WANT them. Does this make them greedy? Wanting to make more money so you can buy more stuff for yourself or family doesn't make you a bad person. Doesn't make a business bad either.
leads to lower quality
Many Rv'ers spend the night in Walmart parking lots so they don't have to stay (and pay) for a campsite. Does this make them greedy or just frugal and managing costs. We all look for the cheapest prices on gas when we want to fuill up our fuel hungry RV's. Greed? DOn't think so.
y
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When a business has a defacto ,they then dictate the price in the marketplace. Walmarts practice is to spec out their merchandise specifically for their customers, while this may lead to lower pricing it also leads to lower quality less products, that wear out sooner and need replacement, so while the initial cost may be lower the long term cost goes up. Many of the models that bigbox store carry look like those carried by competitors are in fact constructed with cheaper, less durable components. If you look at model numbers of some products they will be 1 digit off or have a different prefix. They can save on labor overseas but the quality components still cost the same, hence specking cheaper materials cuts costs boosts sales and profits. So look and check what you buy, if it is considerably cheaper (not just sale priced) then i probably is lesser quality. JMO (But I'm pretty sure I'm correct)
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:57 AM   #77
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Thanks John, well said. I appreciate your clarification and agree totally with your assessment. while I do not agree with a lot that has been said, I enjoy the exchange of ideas, and besides, many do not agree with much I say on here and I do not want to be banned for my ideas. This is the way a democracy is supposed to work, all parties examining ALL views and sides of an issue and making informed choices. May violate a rule somewhat here but imho it is a real shame our political system no longer seems to work well with this model as too many do not get informed on all views of an issue to make an informed decision. All just my opinion of course.
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Old 11-29-2011, 05:32 PM   #78
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When a business has a defacto ,they then dictate the price in the marketplace. Walmarts practice is to spec out their merchandise specifically for their customers, while this may lead to lower pricing it also leads to lower quality less products, that wear out sooner and need replacement, so while the initial cost may be lower the long term cost goes up. Many of the models that bigbox store carry look like those carried by competitors are in fact constructed with cheaper, less durable components. If you look at model numbers of some products they will be 1 digit off or have a different prefix. They can save on labor overseas but the quality components still cost the same, hence specking cheaper materials cuts costs boosts sales and profits. So look and check what you buy, if it is considerably cheaper (not just sale priced) then i probably is lesser quality. JMO (But I'm pretty sure I'm correct)
You are correct that many of the units sold by the big box stores are not the same as some other stores. They may also have less features or the same quality of construction or performance levels. However for some folks (their main customer base) it's what they can or choose to afford. A few years ago I paid $3k+ for a 50 inch plasma from Zenith at Circuit City (Remember them). I could afford to do so, most Walmart customers could not. It blew out in less than 18 mo's, good thing I paid the extra for the extended warranty. Previously I had purchased a big Sony tube tv for $2000 and it too blew in less than 2 years also from a major electronics specialty store. I guess there is bad built by everyone. Today a 50 in hdtv at Walmart may go for a few hundred bucks albeit with a few less features. Many of their customers can handle that tag. And it makes the customer feel good too. You do have to be careful at times at what you buy.
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:29 PM   #79
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You are correct that many of the units sold by the big box stores are not the same as some other stores. They may also have less features or the same quality of construction or performance levels. However for some folks (their main customer base) it's what they can or choose to afford. A few years ago I paid $3k+ for a 50 inch plasma from Zenith at Circuit City (Remember them). I could afford to do so, most Walmart customers could not. It blew out in less than 18 mo's, good thing I paid the extra for the extended warranty. Previously I had purchased a big Sony tube tv for $2000 and it too blew in less than 2 years also from a major electronics specialty store. I guess there is bad built by everyone. Today a 50 in hdtv at Walmart may go for a few hundred bucks albeit with a few less features. Many of their customers can handle that tag. And it makes the customer feel good too. You do have to be careful at times at what you buy.
In the mean time the big box stores are driving the little guy who can't spec out a less expensive model, out of business. Soon they will have a true monopoly, and set prices and specs for all that we consume, at the price point they set. I guess when that happens we'll see if it's greed or not.
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Old 11-29-2011, 08:22 PM   #80
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In the mean time the big box stores are driving the little guy who can't spec out a less expensive model, out of business. Soon they will have a true monopoly, and set prices and specs for all that we consume, at the price point they set. I guess when that happens we'll see if it's greed or not.
There is another side of Wal Mart that hasn't been mentioned. That is the side that is not ethical. Last year I talked to a prospective client who does extensive site work. Wal Mart was building a new store and they had hired this company to do the site work. Wal Mart got very deeply into this company and then refused to pay them. If you are a small business person try standing up to a Wal Mart. You may win in court, but at what cost. They can tie you up in legal mumbo jumbo forever and in the end you have a big pile of legal bills. I had to drive by the site preparation company yesterday and lo and behold they are out of business and their property is for sale. Thanks Wal Mart!

As a small business man I pay for 100% of my employees health insurance. All employees get 7 paid holidays and any where from two to five weeks paid vacation. Wal Mart, Lowes, Home Depot, and others of the big box ilk make sure as many employees as possible are "part time" and therefore not eligible for ANY benefits. Didn't I remember someone mentioning 50 million people with no health insurance? No, they're not all Wal Mart employees, but more than a few of them are big box employees. The advent of the big box has been disastrous for more than a few companies and their employees.

The big box relies more on perception than reality. Let me give you an example. When we were redoing my office building I needed a light for my entry way. I bought one from a local retailer. The light was $19.95 at the local retailer that most people think is a high priced retailer. Well, the light didn't fit so I stopped at a Home Depot store on my way to a clients. As I was perusing the lighting department I came across the same exact light I had purchased at my local store for $19.95. Home Depot's price, are you ready for this, was $36.95 for the same exact light. At the big box an educated consumer is their worst customer!

Low prices at the box? Perhaps, but at what cost to the consumer and at what cost to America and Canada?
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Old 11-29-2011, 08:22 PM   #81
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By beating up the supplier, I was meaning underhanded tactics. A company like Walmart can ruin a supplier and never give a second thought to what they have done...Like stated above, just good sound business. And the net 90 comment meant, they pay when they want...90 days, 120 days, you as a supplier complain you may not get paid at all.. Try suing Walmart....Greed or good sound business pratice... Things are never as simple as they seem...Or are they simplier... D
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:03 PM   #82
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If you want to see the real person causing all this grief and job loss in North Ameria, then look in a mirror; especially if you shop at Walmart. The race to the bottom was started when the first person walked through the front door of the first place that Sam opened.

Blaming a store for our greed is a tad over the top to me. If we bought quality instead of cheap, Japan would still be suffering the effects of the Second World War and China would not be all the USA debt. Too easy to blame other than ourselves in my opinion.

BTW Mike, you missed the point of my thread when I posted about Steve Jobs, I don't worship anywhere especially a the feet of a businessman.

Great thread here, BTW.
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Old 11-30-2011, 07:32 AM   #83
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If you want to see the real person causing all this grief and job loss in North Ameria, then look in a mirror; especially if you shop at Walmart. The race to the bottom was started when the first person walked through the front door of the first place that Sam opened.
Good point but let's not put it all on Sam. There have always been "Big Box" stores such as Woolworths, Macy's, Sears, JC Penney, KMart, And newer stores such as Lowes, Home Depot, Target. They all have used their size and purchasing power to drive down their costs, provide lower prices to their customer, and yes drive their competition to do the same or go extinct. Walmart for one has just been more successful.

I shop (surprise huh) at Walmart for common everyday items, groceries, prescriptions, and others. You do have to be careful as they do sell some junk items too. Some of this junk is made just for them or very low end TV and such. But I've also picked up some name brand items that were crap. Bring it back and they make it right.

The nice thing about living here is I can still shop somewhere else if I so desire. It is getting harder to find somewhere else that isn't also a chain store.
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:09 AM   #84
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I'll jump in here with an observation that the "race to the bottom" is not just the fault of the big box stores and corporate america. Plenty of blame to go around. And it started decades ago.

Let me preface by saying I am not totally anti union but I have a bias against. One of my paternal Gr-grandfathers was a Carnegie steel man who was waiting for the pinkertons to come ashore at Homestead Works. The unions were crushed for some years after that battle/encounter.

The other Gr-grandfather was Carnegie's first management guy responsible for plant safety (an oxymoron in those years.)

Both grand fathers were union guys, uncle was president of the local, dad put in 37 yrs in management. Both sides were well represented in our family.

When I went to work for US Steel in the '70's, the union guys contract guaranteed them 13 or 14 weeks of yearly vacation, every few years, after getting about 10 years of seniority!!! How can a company afford to have it's most senior workers on vacation that much so often?

As a turn foreman, with huge technical responsibilities, my Dad made about 60% of the average union worker under him. Salaried, no overtime pay, no 13 weeks of vacation.

Those union contracts, negotiated with very strong-armed tactics, started the slide in our almost non-existant steel industry many years ago. I'll bet there are similar stories from other heavy industries.

Go to Homestead PA now and you will find little remant of the former employer of thousands of workers making good wages. Just a huge shopping area selling mostly foreign made goods.

There's Greed on both sides of this story.
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