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TACOMA: Elks’ legacy is lost jobs, businesses

Letter by Susan Cruise, Tacoma on Dec. 8, 2011 at 11:55 am with 71 Comments »
December 8, 2011 11:55 am

The Tacoma Elks are poised to turn their property over to an organization that has had a more destructive impact on communities than any other – Walmart. Walmart has forced manufacturing jobs out of our country by demanding that American companies lower their prices to a level that cannot sustain American jobs.

The Elks have been a group of people who care about their communities, and who donate time and money to improve their communities. The first line describing the Elks on the national web page is “Elks Care.” It’s time for the Elks to remember that.

By selling their property at S. Union and S. 23 streets to Walmart, the Elks are forever changing the community of Tacoma that the Elks have been a part of for so long, and changing it dramatically for the worse. With this sale, the Elks’ legacy will be lost businesses and jobs and increased traffic congestion that Walmart will cause.

Leave a comment Comments → 71
  1. yabetchya says:

    Is this the same ELKS that refused African Americans to become members? A secret society that forbid women from becomming members?
    And wow, Wallmart sure has alot of power if they can dictate what all other companys decisions.

    Another dumb letter to fill the pages.

  2. BlaineCGarver says:

    There’s an anti-WallyWorld agenda if I ever heard it. I wish WalMart were running health care. They understand how to make stuff affordable. BTW, if you go buy stuff at the Mom and Pop stores (and I prefer to, actually) all their stuff is made overseas, as well.

  3. LarryFine says:

    Kooky… the Elks are “turning over their property”? Did Walmart claim eminent domain ? I thought the Elks were selling their property.

  4. The Elks club is dying. Lets create some very needed middle class jobs. You know the ones our Fed Gov is unable to do.

  5. truthbusterguy says:

    I for one welcome Walmart. We will need good non union jobs for the lazy members of the public sector unions that will be laid off.

    Does anyone know when the going out of business sale starts at the WA State liquor stores?

  6. itwasntmethistime says:

    WalMart does not create middle-class jobs. Unless you think $20,000 per year is middle class. It’s not.

    If WalMart ran health care we would all be receiving the shoddiest possible products and services, delivered by whoever would do it the cheapest. I’ll pass, thanks.

    I, too, am a little bit excited for the clearance sales at the liquor store.

  7. harleyrider1 says:

    Yes, Susan, Walmart who gives more money to charity and feeds more hungry Americans than any other corporation – and will provide state-mandated hourly wages (that are among the highest in the nation of all 50-states) to many local families and college-age kids … it’s destructive indeed.

    If you don’t like Walmart – don’t shop there. That’s what’s great about this Country, Susan. You can actually shop where you want. And if Americans do not patronize a retailer, they go out of business rather quickly.

    As for the Elks, when you get ready to sell your property, and if you desperately need the money, will you ask your neighbors if it’s okay and give them approval of your buyer? Another nice thing about living in America – it’s your property.

  8. tree_guy says:

    The Tacoma Elks are poised to turn their property over to an organization that has had a more destructive impact on communities than any other – Walmart

    More destructive than the Crips, the Bloods, the Mafia, and the Hell’s Angels?

  9. alindasue says:

    The Elks have been trying to sell that property for years. They’ve finally got a SERIOUS buyer who will use the property to its full potential. You can hypothesize about all the different uses that you might consider “good for the community”, but if none of those businesses could go through with the sale, then what’s the point?

    I occasionally shop at the Walmart in Federal Way. Interestingly enough, I find as much or more “made in America” merchandise there as I do in just about any other store. As BlaineCGarver pointed out, even the mom & pop shops sell merchandise made oversees.

    The pay at Walmart is not any worse than at Target – or probably half the retailers in Tacoma. Retail jobs, with few exceptions (like Costco), don’t pay well. Period. However, they are jobs in a place and at a time when such jobs are needed.

    The only valid concern I’ve seen about a Walmart in that area was the concern over traffic, but even that can be easily handled. In fact, I strongly suspect that in the process of rerouting the traffic patterns a bit, they just might also fix that mess waiting to enter Hwy 16. They certainly wouldn’t make it worse.

  10. First, of all there will not be much if any net gain in jobs with Wally World. What you will have is job transfer from the non-union and union stores.

    Secondly, Wally World does not provide many middle class jobs.

    Thirdly, Wally World has cut employer provided health care for new part-time workers. If ObamaCare prevails, then this is a moot point.

    Fourthly, while Wally World helped to destroy manufacturing jobs in the USA. They give people what they wanted. Cheap goods, including 4 dollar prescription drugs. So folks need to look in the mirror.

  11. quiller4 says:

    My late father, a proud Elks Oldtimer, must be spinning in his grave. He had no use for Sam Walton and would hate to see his beloved Elks conduct business with his firm.

  12. muckibr says:

    alindasue, tree_guy and harleyrider1 got it right! All very informative, convincing and correct points. Great job guys and gals!!!

    pawl, it’s WalMart! Wally World was a Chevy Chase movie. What’s your problem with $4 prescription drugs anyway? I think a lot of people really appreciate that benefit of WalMart.

    itwasnt… your final comment about looking forward to the liquor store clearance sale really shows how much you really give a damn about other people having jobs or getting low pay. Your arguments are totally phony and insincere. Don’t say you care about WalMart pay and health benefits when it’s obvious you could really care less.

  13. RW98512 says:

    “We will need good non union jobs for the lazy members of the public sector unions that will be laid off.”

    Now only if Walmart provided GOOD non-union jobs.

    Race to the bottom.

  14. RW98512 says:

    “What’s your problem with $4 prescription drugs anyway?”

    The same Rxs are available at comparable prices at other retailers. This is a marketing come-on.

    Call Walmart and ask for a quote on “Omeprazole” – the rx version of Prilosec. Omeprazole is a generic, thus should be cheap.

  15. yabetchya says:

    quiller, so your father was a racest and a sexist ?

  16. RW… not sure what your point is about Omeprazole, since it is an OTC (Over The Counter) drug, and the WalMart online price is $17.97. It is $17.99 at the Costco online site, except that right now there is a $3 off coupon you can use to bring that price down.

    OTC drugs vary in price, and some (probably many) prescription drugs cost a lot more than $4, but WalMart does offer some prescriptions (again probably many) at just $4. (A friend of mine who was getting chemo for cancer had to take one drug that cost $5,000 a shot. Not from WalMart though. He had to get that at the Cancer Center.)

    If we could compare a $4 prescription from WalMart against the cost of the exact same prescription at Rite Aid, Walgreens or even Top Foods that would be helpful to see where WalMart fits.

    I don’t have any prescriptions for myself, so I really don’t know how any of that would compare from personal experience.

  17. When I called Walmart for a quote on Omeprazole, it was about $140 a month. I get the rx version because my insurance will pay and I end up paying less than the OTC.

  18. “quiller, so your father was a racest and a sexist ?”

    Many fathers were. Some admit it.

  19. RW… “I get the rx version because my insurance will pay and I end up paying less than the OTC.”

    Oh! I see. Well, that’s one of those neat things about the health insurance industry that is a whole different kettle of fish! Kind of like taking an Asprin in the hospital and paying $35 for it on your bill.

    I don’t mean to be nosey, but I am curious if you’d ever done the calculations to see if buying Omeprazole OTC from WalMArt (or even Costco) could be cheaper than by prescription. Sometimes it works out that way.

    Have you ever tried Prevacid? I know someone who switched to that because Prilosec/Omeprazole wasn’t working as well. She started using Prevacid, which costs about $10 more per package, but she uses much less because it works a lot better. And Prevacid is even cheaper at WalMart than it is at Costco!

    Still, Prilosec/Omeprazole and Prevacid are not in the $4 category, but a lot of other drugs are. And, still there are some people who can take advantage of WalMarts $4 prescriptions, and that is a good thing, right?

  20. pawl: “Fourthly, while Wally World helped to destroy manufacturing jobs in the USA. They give people what they wanted.”

    A profound statement, something the labor unions and the leftists might ponder.

  21. lanq, I don’t remember a single thing in the movie National Lampoon’s: Vacation, starring Chevy Chase and featuring “Wally World”, that did anything to “destroy manufacturing jobs in the USA.”

    It’s hardly a “profound” statement for any thinking person. Why would the labor unions, leftists, rightists or centrists for that matter want to ponder such absolute nonsense?

  22. muck, seriously, what in the world are you talking about? You should follow the thread before stepping out.

  23. muckibr says:

    lanq, if you have an issue with WalMart, call it WalMart.

    If you have something to say about Wally World, then you’re referring to the National Lampoon Vacation movie.

    There is no need for people on this thread, or any other, to devolve like little children into name-calling, even when you think it’s cute. It’s not cute for you to refer to WalMart as Wally World, it’s just immature.

    Besides all that, I “stepped out” as you put it at 9:13 AM when I wrote:

    pawl, it’s WalMart! Wally World was a Chevy Chase movie. What’s your problem with $4 prescription drugs anyway? I think a lot of people really appreciate that benefit of WalMart.

    lanq, maybe YOU should be more careful about following the thread. Reading comprehension my fried! Reading comprehension!!!

  24. RW98512 says:

    “I don’t mean to be nosey, but I am curious if you’d ever done the calculations to see if buying Omeprazole OTC from WalMArt (or even Costco) could be cheaper than by prescription.”

    not nosey at all.

    My explanation wasn’t really clear anyway. Prilosec used to be about$17.99 for a “month supply” (one a day). Insurance paid nothing, obviously. By getting an rx for Omeprazole, we paid only $10.00 copay for the same month supply (and the same $10 when the Mrs’ rx doubled)

    I found out about the retail price because we were looking the the possiblity of having a month or two without insurance.

    Here is the deal – if you get someone that isn’t on medicare yet and has no insurance, if they are not aware of Prilosec OTC, unless Walmart’s employee makes them aware, they could end up paying the full price I was quoted – thinking they got a deal on the $4 Rxs they had to buy. Unfortunately, not everyone is educated or asks questions because they are intimidated.

  25. Imagine our fathers or grandfathers reading about a new corporation that mandated products be manufactured oversees (aka lost American manufacturing), and that the jobs offered by this new corporation would pay, by in large, a wage less than the poverty line. This corporation would also provide some medical insurance, but a limited plan with such a great premium, especially when you make $9 an hour, that no one really takes them up on the offer – they go to the emergency room or depend on state aid that all their neighbors pay for. Would our fathers and grandfathers stand for this? Would they characterize this corporation as totally un-American and an enemy to the middle-class American dream? I guarantee they would.

  26. alindasue says:

    pawl said, “First, of all there will not be much if any net gain in jobs with Wally World. What you will have is job transfer from the non-union and union stores.”

    Mostly, you’ll see transfer of customers from one Walmart to another. I’ll shop here in Tacoma instead of Federal Way when I want something from Walmart. So will others. The jobs also will be here in Tacoma.

    “Thirdly, Wally World has cut employer provided health care for new part-time workers.”

    Most employers do not provide health care benefits to part time workers. If Walmart had even provided them at all to part time workers, then they were offering better than most places. Yet, now people deride them for dropping to the industry standard…

    In response to your aside: If “Obamacare” prevails, we’ll all benefit.

  27. muckibr says:

    RW… Oh man, now I know what you mean. The whole medical insurance and Medicare/MedicAid drug reimbursement program, policies and procedures can drive a person to drink. Their rules are crazy! You think you understand what your benefits are, and co-pay will be, then you find out something else from Part B, or schedule 2 or whatever the heck.

    It would be nice if somebody would spend some time translating all that healthcare bureaucratese into understandable English! Then I wonder, for someone who doesn’t speak English but gets a foreign language translation of that garbage, how hard must it be for them to figure out what the heck is going on?

    But seriously, ask your doctor about Prevacid. It might help, and turn out to be a little less expensive in the long run.

  28. muckibr says:

    Again alindasue providing the voice of reason. Thank you!

  29. muckibr says:

    norsey, I really don’t follow your scenario there. Are you trying to describe working conditions a WalMart? If so, you might need to do some fact checking first.

    As to your question at the end. “Would our fathers and grandfathers stand for this? Would they characterize this corporation as totally un-American and an enemy to the middle-class American dream? I guarantee they would.”

    Are you saying WalMart is Un-American? I don’t know if our fathers or grandfathers would agree with that or not. I suppose it would depend on, at least, if they understood the scenario, and what the current economic situation was (like say The Great Depression, or now The Great Recession). But, I guarantee that you cannot guarantee what they would say about it. Some might agree, but doubtless some would not, guaranteed!!

  30. LarryFine says:

    “Imagine our fathers or grandfathers reading about a new corporation that mandated products be manufactured oversees

    Where do you people come up with this stuff ?

  31. stradivari says:

    The patriotic BPOE #174 (Tacoma ELKS) has done an un-patriotic three card monty deal to profit from a WalMart that creates jobs in communist china and sells products made in communist China to poor Americans.

  32. alindasue says:

    stradivari,

    You are just repeating the same hyperbole that has already been debunked in this threat and others. Constant repetition doesn’t make the accusations any more true.

  33. stradivari says:

    alindsue,

    The Elks club sale is for no honest purpose. The club has been moribund for years. An anonymous insider recently produced a list that shows only 340 dues current members. By April 1, many more will drop and some will pass away. New members will continue to be next to impossible to recruit. The sale itself will be a permanent civic blemish. A new club house will be on the block within a few short years. The writing is clearly on the wall.

  34. Having sat in on more than one Elks meeting and witnessing that “business decisions” are more about “this is what I want because I’m the former Grand Mucky Muck of the Muckies and I force my will the hardest”, I have no sympathy for their dilemma, nor the bad will concerning their solutions. I’ll bet that Walmart dangled a number below market value and the Board jumped to try to fill the hole made by years of poor management.

    The club is seeing the inevitable end as are most fraternal and veteran organizations – they cannot recruit youth to carry on the torch because they offer nothing to the younger members other than “shut up and do what we say”. Their entertainment serves a age bracket of 75 years and older. Their food – once the best in Tacoma – would make a greasy spoon embarrassed. Everything about the clubs is directed at the old guard who camp out to control everything.

    They have a desire to build another club – a new debt service that will see the same challenges as their membership dies.

    Regardless of if Walmart builds there or not, you are seeing the beginning of an urban plague, in what was once a nice middle class neighborhood. Just take a look at their old mansion downtown for a historical view of things to come in the future.

  35. took14theteam says:

    BTDT

    How is your heartburn today Mr. Hill?

    Did Nixdix book an event for you last night so you could tickle the ivory?

    ;-)

  36. andrewbacon says:

    Walmart’s business model is utterly destructive to the American economy, and their presence is a community is always associated with a loss of jobs and an export of capital to Bentonville, Arkansas and China.

    In many cases, Walmart hires people at a wage and number of hours that leaves them qualifying for public assistance, raising demand for government services and causing upward pressure on tax rates, and lowering the standard of living in the communities it locates in.

    Any of the people in this comment thread who say they welcome Walmart are utterly and sadly misinformed about the effect they would have on our community. Walmart extracts money, kills jobs, lowers standards of living, puts small businesses out of business, hires people at low wages with little or no benefits, kills manufacturing jobs in the United States, and expands income inequality.

    We should all be willing and eager to do whatever we can to stop this predator from moving into our city to feed on our citizens.

    Join the fight against Walmart at:
    http://www.facebook.com/nowalmartintacoma
    http://www.tacomauntiedagainstwalmart.com
    http://twitter.com/tacomaunited

  37. Wal-Mart is the world’s largest company and uses its monopoly to lower wages and the standard of living for American workers, to ship many jobs overseas, and to destroy local communities. How?

    Wal-Mart gets many of its products from overseas. It is the largest importer of goods from China, where it can pay workers in sweatshop conditions as little as 13 cents per hour, lowering the standard of living even in developing countries. U.S. companies that employ U.S. workers cannot compete with such prices.*

    For every two poor-paying jobs with inadequate benefits which Wal-Mart creates, three decent community jobs are lost. Small local businesses cannot compete with Wal-Mart’s prices and frequently go under when this giant moves to town. Once Wal-Mart has forced out other local retailers, it can raise its prices.

    Wal-Mart, with over a million employees, is the largest private employer in the country. While Wal-Mart eliminates decent local jobs and pays its CEO millions of dollars, the average Wal-Mart worker employed for 40 hours a week only earns about $15,000 per year. Many Wal-Mart workers are also kept under-employed. Although it claims that 70% of its workers are fulltime employees, Wal-Mart neglects to mention that it considers 28 hours a week as “full time.” Only about half as many Wal-Mart employees have company health insurance as employees of other large companies.

    Wal-Mart, which made over $240 billion last year, has a retail monopoly in this country. When offering large contracts to other retailers, it advises them to also cut quality, lower wages, end benefits, fire workers, close plants and stores, and ship more jobs overseas to keep product prices low.

    Does this mean a lower cost for specific products? Yes, but at what cost to us and to our children in the long run?

    Wal-Mart is creating a different America—one without a middle class, where there are only the poor and the rich. What America do you want your children to inherit?

    We are all building it now. Just say NO to Wal-Mart.

    *When the FTC charged Wal-Mart with not appropriately identifying the country of origin on some of its

    products, the company chose to remove the items from shelves rather than disclose where they were from.

    – This story makes me so sad. A Wal-Mart in Tacoma will ruin people’s lives. Small businesses will take a huge hit. No one can compete with Wal-Mart. Do you have any idea how much power we are giving to this corporation? This company is as selfish as the people who think that saving a buck or two on laundry detergent is more important than the lives and businesses of your neighbors.

  38. yabetchya says:

    What is wrong with getting stuff from China,,,,Harley Davison does it !

  39. SafewayOrangeSoda says:

    The moment the leftist trolls march in, the discussion is over.

  40. NineInchNachosII says:

    Walmart stinks, like the air in Tacoma AND ‘leadership’ at the Elks.
    Shame Shame Shame Shame Shame Shame Shame

  41. alindasue says:

    stradivari said, “The Elks club sale is for no honest purpose. The club… only 340 dues current members.”

    Which is why they have been trying for years to sell the property and build a smaller facility. It’s not that hard a concept to understand.

    RW98512 said, “Just take a look at their old mansion downtown for a historical view of things to come in the future.”

    The big problem with the old Elks temple downtown is that it sat empty for too many years and has suffered the ravages of vandals and the elements. It’s a shame. I’m still holding out hope that the current developer is able to go through with his plans to renovate the building.

    The best way for the current Elks property to avoid such a fate is to get a business in there with long-term staying power. Up to now, none of the proposed developers could stay even long enough to finish out the sales contract. Walmart has the ability to occupy the property for the long term, providing a stabilizing factor that has been missing at the old downtown Elks temple site.

  42. alindasue says:

    andrewbacon said, “In many cases, Walmart hires people at a wage and number of hours that leaves them qualifying for public assistance, raising demand for government services and causing upward pressure on tax rates, and lowering the standard of living in the communities it locates in.”

    Oh…boy. Hyperbole at its finest. This whole paragraph defies all logic.

    I don’t know anyone with a steady job who’s going to leave that job for a lower paying one, so we can pretty much assume those people hired at Walmart are going to be people who didn’t already have another steady job. Therefor, they already qualified for public assistance. Getting a job – any job – will decrease that person’s need for public assistance. So, EVEN IF Walmart were to only work its employees for a maximum 20 hours per week at minimum wage, IT WOULD NOT increase the tax burden for public assistance services, nor would it decrease the standard of living for the area.

    JulesM said, “Wal-Mart is the world’s largest company and uses its monopoly…”

    Walmart is hardly a monopoly. Fred Meyer, owned by Kroger, has been using the same basic “discount superstore” business model since 1922 – and continues to do so quite successfully. The biggest difference I see between the two stores is that Fred Meyer has a better produce department and a natural foods section while Walmart has better clothing selection more large family size grocery products. (Since I buy produce more often than clothes, I shop at Fred Meyer more often.)

    “the average Wal-Mart worker employed for 40 hours a week only earns about $15,000 per year.”

    While Fred Meyer does pay its cashiers close to $14 per hour, the $9.61 that Walmart pays its Sales Associates in the Seattle area is nearly a dollar over Washington’s minimum wage and a good $2 per hour more than the $15,000 per year you cite.

    The wage for the same job at Target, by the way, is $9.24.
    (These figures came from glassdoor.com.)

    “Wal-Mart, which made over $240 billion last year, has a retail monopoly in this country. When offering large contracts to other retailers, it advises them to also cut quality, lower wages… and ship more jobs overseas to keep product prices low.”

    Walmart doesn’t even have a monopoly on the discount superstore concept much less retail in general. I’ve bought Walmart products before. They are the same quality as products I’ve bought at other stores. I’ve actually found more “made in USA” products in Walmart than in many other stores, including the so-called “mom & pop shops”.

    “For every two poor-paying jobs with inadequate benefits which Wal-Mart creates, three decent community jobs are lost. Small local businesses cannot compete with Wal-Mart’s prices and frequently go under when this giant moves to town. Once Wal-Mart has forced out other local retailers, it can raise its prices.”

    I don’t know which of these pieces statements is the most outrageous. I’ve yet to see any Walmart raise its prices after becoming fully established in a neighborhood. The three good jobs lost to two poor jobs claim is a totally baseless claim that I’ve yet to see any real proof provided for.

    And…
    We live in Tacoma, Washington which is part of that big mega-city that stretches from Everett to just south of Olympia. Large chain and big box type stores are a normal fact of life here. As they say, “That horse already left the barn years ago.”

    Any “small local business” that has not already been forced out by Sears, Target, Fred Meyer, Kmart, Walgreens and Rite Aid, Safeway, Winco, Home Depot and all the other large chain stores in the area is not going to be threatened by Walmart. Any “small local store” in Tacoma that would go under after a Walmart is built nearby probably was already having trouble and would have gone under Walmart or no Walmart.

    Repeating the same “Walmart is evil” propaganda and lies over and over again does not make them any more true than they were the first time.

  43. alindasue says:

    I wish the letter comments had an edit function. A couple of my sentences ended up garbled during the refining process of my thoughts. I apologize for the weird word placement today.

  44. yabetchya says:

    alindasue….ROCK ON !

  45. LarryFine says:

    … 2 more False premise… “Wal-Mart is the world’s largest company and uses its monopoly” … but hey, it makes for more emotion.

  46. stradivari says:

    To Al and Sue, Defending or apologizing for the Tacoma Elks club will never eliminate the ill will it has bought itself by its stealth sale to WalMart. This property is the second Elks Lodge building ruined through benign neglect. Its officers were too busy parading in vestments, being grand high exalted ruler poohbahs to make the club relevant in today’s world, re-build membership, or even physically maintain the property. It has to move because they let it run down. The place is now an unfixable dump. The so-called leadership has been openly willing and ready to leave its former palaces littered about Tacoma like dead cattle carcasses on the prairie. No thought to recycle or adaptive reuse. It is proof of Elks greed and disdain for the Tacoma community. The Elks already had a negative reputation for its discriminatory past. Now it is worse. In time the Elks will be gone for good, boarded up with plywood. And that, as Martha would say, is a “good thing”

  47. andrewbacon says:

    Wow, alinda – you really have no concept of the big picture, do you?

    I’m not going to waste much time talking to someone like you, who simply stops thinking whenever thought would bring you to a conclusion you don’t like. I will simply say that everything I said in my post is verifiable as fact if you simply do the smallest amount of research.

    When Walmart moves in, other business who pay their employees more go out of business. That means the population as a whole is poorer and more in need of assistance. This is really such a simple concept that I’m a little sad for you that you can’t understand.

    Walmart (and Target, and KMart, etc.) sells primarily products made overseas for very low wages. This negatively affects the job market here in the United States, because the products they make overseas would be made here if we had a moral economy. Due largely to Walmart (but also to others), the United States has lost literally millions of good jobs in the past decade or so… Again – a very simple truth. Try to understand if you can.

    There have been many reports documenting the fact that Walmart costs jobs in the neighborhoods it moves into. Your computer can help you find them, unless you’re more comfortable in your ignorance.

  48. andrewbacon says:

    The moment the right wing trolls march in, the conversation is over.

  49. andrewbacon says:

    I would love it if you guys would simply be honest about what you believe. You’ve adopted these beliefs – own them! Don’t pretend that the facts are other than what they are – there’s no reason to pretend to be rational or logical. You believe what you believe.

    Here’s how it might look… maybe this will help you.

    – I want Walmart to move in because I want low prices. Low prices are the most important thing in the world, because nothing is more important to me than my own money.

    – I don’t care if the unemployment rate goes up in my area because it’s more important to me to have a waffle iron that costs $2 than to create a stable and vibrant economy in the United States.

    – I’m happy to make people in other countries work for pennies an hour if it means that the stuff I buy is cheaper. I don’t care about building sustainable economies, as long as the economy is serving me. Since I’ve got mine, I don’t really have to care about anyone else, and I don’t believe I have any responsibility to others who live in my community.

    Now you try! I think you’ll find it liberating.

  50. took14theteam says:

    OWS

  51. LarryFine says:

    BTDT

  52. Andrewbacon is absolutely correct. This concept is really quite simple. Wal-Mart, Fred Meyer, KMart, etc. take manufacturing jobs away from Americans and puts local businesses under.

    Stores like these are contributing to a homogenized America. Every city looks the same. All you see are huge corporate chains. Is that the country you want for future generations? No history, no craftsmanship, nothing created with local resources?

    Alindasue – You really just don’t get it. Wal-Mart beats all of the other stores that you list. No other store can compete. Do some research. Compare Wal-Mart’s annual revenue to any other chain store. Guess what? It’s the highest. While you’re at it, take a look at the top ten richest Americans. There are about 3-4 members of the Wal-Mart family on that list. Can Target say that? Can KMart? Absolutely not. Wal-Mart helps itself only. Don’t you see that?

    I know you won’t look up any of this information. It simply does not affect your daily life, so why should you care? You clearly don’t support local business and you don’t know any people from China who work in sweat shop conditions to provide you with your Wal-Mart sweatpants. Out of sight. Out of mind.

    I will not bother to dissect your entire comment, as this is an ineffective means to determining the truth. The big picture says it all and your opinions do not pass as facts.

  53. LarryFine – This year Wal-Mart tops the Fortune Global 500 for the second year in a row. Guess what that means? It is the world’s largest company. Here it is on CNN: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/global500/2011/

    The information I presented to support my opinion is based on fact. Why would you argue with a specific point, when you do not know whether you are right or wrong?

  54. Alindasue – Remember your opinion about Kroger? Guess where that company falls on Global 500 list for 2011? Number 76 compared to Wal-Mart at number 1. You clearly have no idea what the term monopoly means.

  55. alindasue says:

    andrewbacon said, “Wow, alinda – you really have no concept of the big picture, do you?”

    I think I understand the “big picture” more than you seem too, in this case. In fact, there is much you didn’t understand about my posts.

    First off, you claim that I want lower prices no matter who may be hurt to bring me those low prices. That is incorrect.

    The biggest reason I’ve shopped at Walmart: they are open 24 hours. Because of my schedule and my family’s particular needs, there are often times I find myself needing to do my shopping after midnight. I used to run to Fred Meyer or Home Depot for emergency “Mom, I need for school tomorrow” and “the toilet’s clogged and the plunger broke” runs back when those stores were open 24 hours. Since they close earlier now, I go to Walmart.

    Seriously, how much money do you really think I’m “saving” driving all the way to Federal Way? Walmart’s prices aren’t THAT cheap.

    Secondly, you said, “When Walmart moves in, other business who pay their employees more go out of business.” I have not seen any evidence of that occurring. I have only seen people like you make accusations, such as “There have been many reports documenting the fact that Walmart costs jobs in the neighborhoods it moves into.”

    Okay, cite some specific examples. I know you said, “Your computer can help you find them…” but when I give “facts” such as these, you will notice that I cite where my information is coming from. If the source is my own personal observation – like my observation that Walmart carries at least as many “made in America” items as most other stores – I will say so. When I cite specific facts – such as the wage data I mentioned earlier – I cite the source of my information (in that case, glassdoor.com).

    So, if “there have been many reports”, please cite the source of your information. That would go a long way in forwarding the progress of our debate.

    “I’m not going to waste much time talking to someone like you, who simply stops thinking…”

    What does not progress a debate is personal attacks on the person you disagree with. Enough said on that topic…

  56. alindasue says:

    stradivari,

    A quick note about my name: it’s not “Al and Sue”; it’s Al and Linda, my parents names. My name is Alinda Sue.

    You correctly pointed out that the Elks essentially abandoned the beautiful Elks Temple downtown (which I am still hoping to see renovated some day). They have said that their current building is too big and they need to move to a smaller building. They need to sell the building and they need to sell it to someone with staying power if the building is to avoid the fate of their previous building downtown.

    That is not “defending or apologizing for the Elks”. It is simply stating the facts of the situation. Whatever you may think of it, Walmart is the first of their many proposed buyers to show enough staying power to even make it past the point of a completed sale.

  57. alindasue says:

    JulesM,

    According to merriam-webster.com, the definition of “monopoly” is:

    1. exclusive ownership through legal privilege, command of supply, or concerted action
    2. exclusive possession or control
    3. a commodity controlled by one party

    A classic example of a monopoly is the old “Ma Bell” (AT&T) prior to its ordered break-up during the 80s. They literally owned control of all the telephone lines. Any “competing” service would still have to pay AT&T for use of its phone lines. That was a monopoly.

    You point out that Kroger is #76 in the Fortune Global 500 list of companies. If Walmart had a monopoly on discount retail stores, then no other similar company would be in the top 500 much less #76. Fred Meyer is doing quite well and Kroger’s had quite a hefty profit of late. Walmart is a bit more successful these days, but they are hardly a monopoly, and Fred Meyer doesn’t appear to be in danger of being driven out of business by them any time soon.

    “Wal-Mart, Fred Meyer, KMart, etc. … Stores like these are contributing to a homogenized America.”

    As are shopping malls with stores like Macy’s or Sears or even QFC and Safeway. The fact is that the more profitable companies are those who have the money to invest and are the ones who sell what the bulk of the people want to buy.

    If you don’t want to see a homogenized America, then be different. Don’t buy what everyone else is buying or wear what everyone else is wearing. It is rampant consumerism, television commercials, and the people who follow the trends more than the stores themselves that create the homogenization.

  58. tree_guy says:

    Alinda, I agree with your postings. Don’t waste so much of your effort on the Walmart haters, nothing will convince them that Walmart has the same property rights as any other business.

  59. tree_guy says:

    Jules, what difference does it make if WalMart is the largest company in the world? In any array something has to be number 1. In fact, if you look at the two poorest people in the world, one of them is the richest in that array.

  60. stradivari says:

    It is well-known that WalMart is a predatory business and that the ELKS club is antediluvian and out of touch. Combined they make great bedfellows for harming the community.

  61. tree_guy says:

    Combined they make great bedfellows for harming the community.

    Read more: http://blog.thenewstribune.com/letters/2011/12/08/elks%e2%80%99-legacy-to-tacoma-with-walmart-sale/#ixzz1gQOxXkXo

    The same could be said for the WalMart haters who continue to spew vicious comments in the discussion threads.

  62. tree_guy says:

    “it is well-know that WalMart is a predatory business”

    …and yet you, stradivari, failed to avail yourself of the opportunity to buy the elks property during all the years there was a for sale sign on it. Ya snooze, ya lose.

  63. “Popular notions of oligopoly and monopoly tend to focus on the danger that firms, having gained control over a marketplace, will then be able to dictate an unfairly high price, extracting a sort of tax from society as a whole. But what should concern us today even more is a mirror image of monopoly called “monopsony.” Monopsony arises when a firm captures the ability to dictate price to its suppliers, because the suppliers have no real choice other than to deal with that buyer. Not all oligopolists rely on the exercise of monopsony, but a large and growing contingent of today’s largest firms are built to do just that. The ultimate danger of monopsony is that it deprives the firms that actually manufacture products from obtaining an adequate return on their investment. In other words, the ultimate danger of monopsony is that, over time, it tends to destroy the machines and skills on which we all rely.

    Examples of monopsony can be difficult to pin down, but we are in luck in that today we have one of the best illustrations of monopsony pricing power in economic history: Wal-Mart. There is little need to recount at any length the retailer’s power over America’s marketplace. For our purposes, a few facts will suffice—that one in every five retail sales in America is recorded at Wal-Mart’s cash registers; that the firm’s revenue nearly equals that of the next six retailers combined; that for many goods, Wal-Mart accounts for upward of 30 percent of U.S. sales, and plans to more than double its sales within the next five years.”

    http://harpers.org/archive/2006/07/0081115

    “What difference does it make if WalMart is the largest company in the world? In any array something has to be number 1. In fact, if you look at the two poorest people in the world, one of them is the richest in that array.”

    And this is the type of thinking that has made Wal-Mart the most powerful company in the world…Gee, somebody has to be #1. Why bother to think any deeper than that? Don’t even bother to consider how Wal-Mart achieved its spot as the most powerful company in the world. By stepping on, destroying and mistreating its employees, competitors, and its consumers. Oh, you think you’re exempt as a Wal-Mart shopper?

    “Nothing stands before Wal-Mart’s profits, not even the safety of its customers. Wal-Mart parking lots have been the scene of hundreds of crimes including murders and rapes, but Wal-Mart has refused to hire security guards to monitor their lots because it would cut into their profits.

    Wal-Mart also shows nearly complete disregard for the environment. Like many other corporations, Wal-Mart often finds it more profitable to pay millions of dollars in fines for environmental damage and continue polluting, while also lobbying politicians to abolish environmental regulations.”

    Wal-Mart’s only concern is profit. Not quality. Not safety. Not community. Not sustainability. Not you.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2016859604_walmart26.html

  64. Alindasue said, “If you don’t want to see a homogenized America, then be different. Don’t buy what everyone else is buying or wear what everyone else is wearing. It is rampant consumerism, television commercials, and the people who follow the trends more than the stores themselves that create the homogenization.”

    I completely agree with you when you say, “don’t buy what everyone else is buying or wear what everyone else is wearing.” That is why I do not support Wal-Mart. People who shop at Wal-Mart support the “rampant consumerism” that you describe above. The homogenization that worries me is not based on trends of clothing. It is the permanent destruction of small town America. It is beyond me how you can argue that large corporations are not responsible for commercials and consumerism. This makes no sense.

  65. alindasue says:

    JulesM,

    First of all, thank you for citing your sources. It always makes things easier to follow when I know where you are getting your information from.

    You said, “That is why I do not support Wal-Mart. People who shop at Wal-Mart support the “rampant consumerism” that you describe above.”

    If you want to talk about large corporations in general, then I might agree with you stating that the large corporations encourage consumerism with their commercials. However, you are singling out just one single company, Walmart, to place the blame for “the permanent destruction of small town America”. You’d think they were the only large corporation out there. Do you also “not support” Macy’s, Sears, or Target? “Small town America” was destroyed from this area long before anyone this side of the Mississippi had even heard of Walmart.

    I read through both the articles you linked to. While Harper’s Magazine is known for its blatant political slant, I did take the time to read the entire very long article. Thank you for having the restraint to only copy and paste a few short paragraphs from it.

    The article waxes on quite lengthily about the concept of “monopsony”, stating that Walmart exerts a disproportionate amount of influence on manufacturers to their exclusive advantage.

    A couple weeks ago, I needed ink for the Kodak printer I bought at an electronics store here in Tacoma. I could have bought the ink at the electronics store, but they had closed already by the time we knew we needed it that night. I found the ink I needed and several other brands of ink at Walmart at roughly the same price give or take that was finding at other stores – the same products at roughly the same prices. The same with the boxes of cereal I bought during my last trip. I was at Walmart, so I bought the cereal there but I buy the same cereals for roughly the same prices at Fred Meyer or Safeway. If Walmart is exerting its influence, it is certainly not to its exclusive advantage.

    If, as you say, one in every five retail sales in America is recorded at Wal-Mart’s cash registers, then four in five (or 80%) of the retail sales are recorded elsewhere. If, as claimed, Walmart exclusively were “forcing” manufacturers to sell to them at a rate that requires the manufacturer to “cut corners” or operate at a loss, then it would be to their advantage to skip Walmart and deal with the retailers whose sales made up the other 80%. If the other retailers are also telling the manufacturers that their customers won’t pay the higher prices necessary for them to make a profit, well that’s the general marketplace and consumer demands in action… not something exclusive to Walmart.

    Walmart may be quite successful right now, but it isn’t a “monopsony” – despite what the article claimed – nor does it fit the definition of a “monopoly”.

  66. LarryFine says:

    Well said alinda.

  67. tree_guy says:

    America is the land of opportunity. Don’t like the businesses available to you? Then start your own.

  68. Alindasue,

    I appreciate that you read the articles which I cited. That is refreshing to hear. Perhaps you have some reccommended reading for me? Articles that support all of the positive things that Wal-Mart does for our communities? You seem to base your information primarily upon your personal shopping experiences. Sadly, one person’s survey of any situation is not quantifiable. You cannot assert that Wal-Mart’s prices are consistent with its competitors prices based on buying cereal on one occasion. I don’t see you backing-up any of your opinions, aside from citing one website. Not an article or a study, just a website. That doesn’t cut it.

    The main point of my argument above was the following:

    “Wal-Mart’s only concern is profit. Not quality. Not safety. Not community. Not sustainability. Not you.”

    There is no argument for this statement, because it is supported by Wal-Mart’s track record. There is no reason for you to be crying out in support of Wal-Mart. What do you have to gain? I know what I have to gain from opposing Wal-Mart. Why don’t you explain to me (and everyone else who opposes Wal-Mart) why you, as an individual, feel the need to support a corporation that is a monopsony (the mirror image of a monopoly…clearly stated in the Harper’s article) that destroys the environment, that historically mistreats its employees, that drives down quality, that supports oversees manufacturing, that undervalues safety and that destroys local, small businesses? You are at the center of this argument. I support us. Tacoma is an us. We’re a community. You are only in it for competitively priced cereal. Shame on you.

  69. alindasue says:

    JulesM,

    I might believe you’d read the information at any sites I provide a link to IF you actually showed that you at least read my posts fully.

    Obviously, you do not or you would not have said, “You are only in it for competitively priced cereal.”

    What I actually had said was that the Walmart carried the same cereals as any other store I shop at for about the same prices (thereby debunking your claims of “unbalanced influence” and control over manufacturers giving them an unfair advantage – or, as you call it, “monopsony” – over the competing retailers.)

    Personally, there is nothing in it for me to support the building of Walmart on the Elks property. The Walmart in Federal Way is close enough to the freeway to be convenient. The Elks property is only a bit closer to where I live in Tacoma than Federal Way is. More often than not, though, I usually shop at Fred Meyer or Safeway and will probably continue to do so since they are closer to where I live.

    What Walmart offers the Allenmore area community is a stable area business and jobs. No offer for the property until now has demonstrated the ability to actually occupy the property for the long term. There doesn’t appear to be any more offers coming forward. Tacoma’s unemployment rate in Tacoma is currently at around 9%. Walmarts generally employ about 300 people. The pay there may not be high, but it is higher than employees earn at the neighboring Target store – and they do offer benefits to their full time employees. (A company that provide benefits to its part time employees is an extremely rare find.)

    You know, I’d be just as happy with any other stable business that provided even half that many jobs opening at that location, and I’m pretty sure you would too. I just fail to understand the whole “anything but Walmart” mentality.

    Even the whole “Walmart sells foreign made products” issue… It is really hard to find “made in America” clothing at any store any more – yes, I have looked. I do have some “made in America” clothing: a few church related clothing items made in Utah – oh! and that souvenir concert T-shirt I got in Japan!

    Anyhow, you wanted links to counteract all the negative things you say about Walmart. Here’s a few to keep you busy for a bit. Enjoy!

    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700182529/Wal-Mart-food-drive-and-U-community-service-day-help-Utahns.html

    http://www.ymcachicago.org/press/release/walmart-grant

    http://walmartstores.com/Careers/7750.aspx

    http://money.cnn.com/2011/05/12/news/companies/walmart_selling_american_products_2/index.htm

  70. Alindasue,
    I went back and looked through all of your posts (which I had read previously in their entirety) and, once again, found the only source which you cited in all of your long diatribes in favor of Wal-Mart. You quoted hourly wages from glassdoor.com, which is like Wikipedia in many ways. Any anonymous employee can post their wages to this site. The average wage for a Sales Associate at Wal-Mart in Washington state (according to your website) is $9.48 per hour. Not the $9.61 which you previously stated.
    Anyway, I have read your posts completely and they lack any true support other than your opinions. Thankfully, most people don’t base their global opinions of a corporation on their extremely biased experiences. For instance, I did not just declare that Wal-Mart is a monopsony (as you seem to be implying above). I read the complete description of a monopsony in an article which I cited above. The article explained in great detail (providing multiple instances and figures) why Wal-Mart is the perfect, current example of a monopsony.
    Wal-Mart’s business practices are unethical. Period. I am not interested in comparing this corporation to others. It is so much bigger than any other corporation of its type (#1 vs. #76) that a comparison is not at all valid.
    I would like to see a business in this Tacoma location that actually helps our community. Wal-Mart may provide some low paying jobs to people on unemployment, but it will also put others out of business. I guess you would rather replace small businesses with one large business? Sadly, this does not fix the unemployment problem.
    Stop supporting Wal-Mart. If you want to help the Tacoma community, support local businesses and the people who have worked SO hard to enrich our community with their individual endeavors. We count on these local businesses to support industry in our city.
    I do not have an “anything but Wal-Mart” mentality. But most people should. Wal-Mart is the absolute worst and there is no other corporation in our country or the world that can touch this humongous, greedy, destructive company. I bet the heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune (many of whom take up the top ten richest Americans) wouldn’t be caught dead in any of their stores. Wal-Mart is designed to keep the poor down. Need another reason to oppose Wal-Mart? Here’s one more for you: “dead peasants.” Wal-Mart has been charged on numerous occassions with taking out secret life insurance policies on it low level employees. When that employee passes, Wal-Mart collects a fortune, while the family of the employee receives nothing. This was discussed in Michael Moore’s excellent documentary – “Capitalism: A Love Story” and here’s an article about it – http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/04/04/104291/-Dead-Peasants-at-Wal-Mart

  71. LarryFine says:

    Michael Moore and the KOS… Kooky LMAO.

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