Saturday, August 13, 2005

A World Far Far Away and Long Long Ago

I’m in North Dakota. We have been seeing grandkids, friends and parents. Tomorrow we go to Jamestown to the museum. I’m along for the ride.

We have been gone 20 years this fall from North Dakota. Coming back every time it seems more like/unlike I remember/imagine it to be. Despite fantasies about returning to the home country fair, I doubt it will ever happen.

Fargo is amazing. The only way they can get more retail is to make it smaller. I have imagined that the time would come where there would be a town about every hundred miles or so and nothing else in the state. Let’s see, Fargo, Grand Forks, Devils Lake, Minot, Jamestown, Bismarck, Dickinson, Williston, and probably as a bedroom community, Wahpeton. All other towns and villages would either dry up and blow away or become satellites to the majors.

I don’t think this is what anyone really has in mind. This is the frog being boiled in the pot.

I am reading Jared Diamond’s book Collapse. I love sociological study. Pleasant Valley etcetera. His core postulate is that societies don’t collapse because they make a radical mistake, they collapse because the people in the societies don’t understand the trend lines which lead to ultimate destruction. One of his societal studies is the bitterroot valley in Montana.

North Dakota is lurching toward oblivion in many ways. Driving the change is the urbanization of 8 cities and spiraling depopulation of the rest of the area. The net result of this is not a pretty site. If you want to see it visit western Kansas, Wyoming, and much of eastern Montana.

Add to this the increasing vector of climate change (I didn’t say global warming). This represents the ultimate change that has the longest impact. Soybeans and Corn are now grown in North Dakota on a scale and success level of Iowa 50 years ago. This will cause a push pull effect which as things change will present a climatic crisis event of Biblical proportions.

I know this, the difference between Northern Illinois and Eastern North Dakota is widening rapidly. It wasn’t always so. Long views are the best views. I look back and look forward and it’s not what I hoped to see. We can do better.

Friday, August 12, 2005

i'm Not That Famous

I have relatives who are however.

Terry Redlin. Famous, rich and lots of other good things. He is also a really decent human. And, he is getting older and his health is drifting.

We all will. You, Me, and your little dog TOTO too.

There was a time when Terry was NOT famous or rich. He was a lowly artist composer for a magazine targeted to farmers of the Dakota’s. He also made entries into duck stamp contests which he consistently lost. Into his 40’s he was just another guy who couldn’t sell his art or even get it looked at. All his life, all his art education, all his efforts seemed destined to end up on the ash heap of making sure the picture of the seed corn bag in the magazine ad looked OK.

He had a penchant for sending finished works and prints to friends and relatives just because. My brother Jim received early numbered prints of everything Terry did. Jim had done some heroic things that shall be the subject of another post. Terry felt it good to honor him in this way. So he “sowed” prints into other’s lives that later became prominent. Every kind of Ducks Unlimited banquet, every charity that needed a contribution got a Terry Redlin print (Free). This accomplished two things. First, it kept his closet clean and it published his name and art wide and far and positioned him as a man of compassion when in reality he might have been cleaning out his garage.

When Terry became famous and was becoming rich he asked Jim if it was ok to stop. Jim understood and it did.

I mention all this because I also understand that Van Gogh or Monet (my art history is poor) burned his works at one time for heat. I know that is part of the plot of La Boheme. Burning a great novel in the stove for heat.

That’s why I grieved a little as a person I admire, who in anger or disgust, I’m not sure what, began burning artwork that undoubtedly has (had) merit. I don’t have the right to be critical. I don’t have enough understanding to know what this all means. I do know that given to appropriate charities for auction would be just as effective as fire. If they burn it you’ll never know. If not and someone asks about the work the artists name becomes known. Would this not be as good or maybe better than a fire?

I know the Biblical basis for all this. Sowing and Reaping. Casting your bread on waters. Give and it shall be given to you.

I guess with art our soul is involved. A little bit of who we are. Music is one thing. We sing a song, it’s gone into the ether and we sing another. When a baby bird falls from the nest and is eaten by a cat the mother bird sings. Music is the voice of the soul. Joni Mitchell asked, “do you think anyone ever asked Van Gogh, “”hey man, paint a Starry Night again man””. We do this with musicians. Are tangible artists any different. I’m not sure.

Do we have a right or do we have a responsibility or do we have an obligation to preserve the string of the creative which runs thru us? This is an unanswerable.

On the other hand, I have a basement full of junk I saved. I would have more but we moved 3 times in the last 20 years. Three moves are as good as a fire they say.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Off to Dakota

The Northern Gleaner will be off to North Dakota to glean for a week starting tonite, I have given my 45 automatic to my neighbor to shoot any intruders. I have forwarded my fax to my email, both my phone lines to my cell, isn't technology wonderful? Gleaner world headquarters goes where I go.

The real reason for this trip is to see our 3 perfect grandchildren in Fargo, my wife and my folks all of whom are still with us. I may post while gone but in general adios for a week or so.


In an earlier post I postulated that Wal-Mart was preperation for the antichrist. I was only half kidding.

This Very Long reprint of a Fargo's newspaper's chat board about Wal-Mart attributes is being printed as read. Scan thru it and you will soon see that there is significant dissension in the ranks. Wal-Mart is either as evil as I proclaim or has the most incompetent public relations department on the planet.

If you shop at Wal-Mart after reading this in full you have more courage and or are more blind than most. Get ready to take the mark of the beast.


08/10 00:21 a.m. Quote from L.L. "Wal-Mart is the devil." He/she might be right. I go to WM when I have to, when it's the only place I can find what I'm looking for. While there, I shop, too. But I avoid the place as much as I can. Back to the "devil" quote, this is a situation that has ransacked retail stores and mom/pop operations across the country. Shoppers are lured by low prices that come at the price of other people's jobs, low wages, etc, all in the eternal search for more and more possessions. Here's a test: Go out and spend $100 on anything at all at Wal-Mart. Anything, I don't care, hardware, clothes, food items, whatever. Then put it out in your driveway the next weekend for a garage sale. Even new, still in the box, you won't recover $20! The flashy lure of possessions is indeed the work of the devil, i.e. a false god.
08/09 11:17 p.m. I do like shopping at Walmart there prices some are great, also like some items in the grocery store there's more variety and larger items on condiements such as A1 steak sauce, BBQ sauce comes in larger more economical sizes. Plus i can pick up a cheap DVD movie while i'm there, i don't worry about Walmart employee wages because i don't think to many folks are makeing a large wage anywhere in Fargo, some people make it working two jobs both spouses, this actually may be the norm.
08/09 10:11 p.m. Yes I shop at walmart for some items. Being open 24 Hrs is a big plus for me. Most retailers carry the same core merchandise. I would like to buy more American made and quality goods, but there are not really many alternatives. Look past the fancier storefronts and look at the labels. As for Wal-Mart having a highe percentage of employees on welfare, perhaps they should be commended for being willing to hire those people while others are not.
08/09 10:11 p.m. My other comment relates to all the statements about Wal-Mart offering low quality products...well, what I buy at Wal-Mart are things like soap, shampoo, deodorant, toilet paper, dog treats, CD's and DVD's...tell me how Target and the others all offer superior products for basic everyday items; Charmain is Charmain no matter if it's on the shelf at Wal-Mart, Target or wherever, or is their's a secretly inferior Charmain? Heavens, not that! I will also tell you I live in Bismarck so shop at the Wal-Mart in this town...guess we are lucky because this store is not dirty and unorganized, the help is friendly and curteous and I have seen many of the same faces there for several years so they all can't be unhappy.
Always Low prices :)
08/09 10:11 p.m. Fianlly.. Lisa is apparently the only one on here that understands all companies should pay employees the same. If Wal-Mart were to pay their people THAT much more, that would put all the other places out of business, or at least force them to raise their prices just to stay open. Just because Wal-Mart has the profits, doesn't mean they have to raise their wages. I'm sure there are alot of people on welfare that work at Target and K-mart. But both of those companies combined, probably still don't equal the number of employee's Wal-Mart has.... Why?? As it has been stated from everyone before... Wal-Mart is the Largest retail company in the nation. I'm sure no company wants to see it's workers on welfare. But it shouldn't be up to the larger companies to pay people more money. Why doesnt Bill Gates hire some of the people working at Wal-Mart?? That would solve some of the welfare issues everyone is concerned about. I'm sure HE can afford it. After all, he's one of the wealthiest, if not THE wealthiest man in the world.
Cheaper is Better
08/09 9:52 p.m. Wages are low everywhere, service is bad everywhere, employees are rude everywhere. I shop at Wal-Mart for the lower priced, same-brand-as-everywhere-else products. If you want to pay more where you perceive a more delightful shopping experience, go for it. I, on the other hand, will save that for my social life. When it comes to shopping, I go for convenience and lower prices.
WM Hata
08/09 9:52 p.m. If you shop at Walmart, why not just mail your check to the Peoples Republic of China? Cuz that's where all the US manufacturing jobs have gone and Walmart has a lot to do with that. Enjoy your cheap crap made with slave and child labor. Just think of those hard-working children's tiny hands everytime you walk into a Walmart, while watching the store profit by siphoning its revenue from your local economy. Walmart is probably the worst thing to happen to America and the best for China so let's not have any illusion about the supposed benefits of Walmart for any local economy.
08/09 4:23 p.m. To everyone who bashes Wal-Mart because they "pay low wages, treat employees like dirt, and force the state and federal government to provide health coverage for their employees"...please advise me of how the current average wage of cashiers/stockers K-Mart, Target, Big Lots, etc...all compare? Don't people who work at these stores ever apply for Medicaid? Do they seem thrilled to be working at their rewarding jobs and reaping great benefits from those companies? I am not talking about managers...just your everyday hardworking people who do the grunt and customer service work - let's compare apples to apples and if there is that huge a discrepancy I will stop going to Wal-Mart. Of course if we all stop going to Wal-Mart the people who work there will be forced to go on unemployment and welfare, right?
08/09 4:22 p.m. To everyone...I use to work at Wal-Mart, and yes on weekends, I did make more than the job I went to college for. Wal-Mart pays its employees well, I can now still go in the store and see about 10 of the employees I used to work with still working there. And I hate to point out one more thing on Target, but they are not open 24 hours like Wal-Mart...they do probably have more time to spiffy up their floofy store! I guess I came from the farm, to me Wal-Mart is just as clean as Target (atleast now with the SuperCenter addition). But this is just my opinion!
08/09 4:22 p.m. I hate Wal-Mart. Everything they sell is disposable, the store is crowded, the service is terrible. OK, occasionally if it is convenient or I am comparison shopping I will stop in. But that's rare. Big box retailers are ruining America. Perhaps that is unavoidable in a capitalist world, one where almost everybody is prone to shop based on price rather than product or service. And anybody who thinks a Big Box is a good place to work has never had a real job.
Used to live in ND
08/09 4:22 p.m. to No name poster: Your logic escapes me. Why should I have to pay more in taxes to support Wal-Mart workers when Wal-Mart can well afford to take care of their workers. The better question is; why wouldn't Wal-Mart want to pay their employees better, so they don't have to be on welfare. No other company has more people on welfare than Wal-Mart, period. Why would any company want this type of bad publicity, I don't know. If they pride themselves on how well they treat their employees then why does Wal-Mart continue to face such criticism. It's not like they can't afford it. It would take less than 1% of its profits to cover their workers in adequate health care. Geesh, it is beyond me why they don't want to be real leaders. And I adamantly disagree with you that it's not Wal-Mart's fault. they can do better. We all talk about personal responsibility. What about some corporate responsibility.
08/09 4:22 p.m. I don't shop a Walmart unless I absolutely have to. I pefer to vote with my dollars and support local businesses when possible.

For other stuff, I'd much rather go to Target or Kohls, etc., as they have better quality goods, a better ambiance, and fewer slack-jawed troglodytes dragging their knuckles down the aisles.

What really irks me is that we are subsidizing Walmart - because they keep so many of their workers in position that don't qualify for decent benefits, many of those workers rely on goverment benefits to cover their health and welfare cost - money that is coming out of your pocket and mine. The US House Committee on Education and the Workforce put the price at $2000 per worker per year. Walmart rakes in the bucks, while we foot the bill.

It would be great if Fargo ever got a Costco - they have fewer selections (but better quality), roughly the same prices and they treat their employees much better - 82% of employee get health benefits vs Walmart's 45%, and Costco wages are 40% higher than Walmart on average.

As a result they have lower turnover and their employees are much more productive-and friendly. It's a win-win situation.
08/09 1:24 p.m. To Always Low Wages, uh, I mean, prices (Markus--Markus).. To answer your question.. my spouse is a Wal-Mart manager. There for, unlike other companies, I am not allowed to work in that store. I can in another store in the same city, but beings we are in ND, all cities have just one. I am not complaing about the amount I make, I am saying that I make less than a cashier at Wal-Mart. My spouse, a Wal-Mart emplyoee, is paid and WELL taken care of by this company. To USE TO live in ND... Again, it's not Wal-Marts fault that they have employees on welfare. Why should they have to raise their wages when no other company has to??? That is my question to you. I could ask the same thing about other companies.. Why can't the people that work at Wal-Mart find a job where they DON'T HAVE TO GO ON ASSISTANCE???? If there are so many companies out there that pay better than Wal-Mart, then I'm sure people would want to be working there instead. Nobody is being forced to work at Wal-mart, it's a choice.
Disillusioned ex-Walmart shopper
08/09 11:49 a.m. Walmart is always messy, their customer service is horrible, and the place is always crowded. If you shop around, you can find comparable items at Kmart, Target, or Big Lots for the same price(or less). To me, it isn't worth the migraine I get just walking into the place to shop there. And the groceries? I'd much rather support the local grocery stores than shop there, and the prices are better at the local stores anyway.
08/09 11:44 a.m. TO Used to live in ND: I couldn't agree more. I read an article about a Wal-Mart employee who had a brain tumor. Wal-Mart management helpfully assisted him in filling out the paperwork for government assistance. Maybe we get a price break at the local Wal-Mart, but in the end we pay more by being forced to subsidize the wages of the employees. Wal-Mart is the devil.
08/09 11:44 a.m. I am continually amazed at the number of people who claim to not shop at WalMart. The largest and most successful retailer in the world. Then who goes there? Apparently your neighbors are afraid to tell you that they in fact do go there, and spend a lot of money on bulk toilet paper. Every person who walks through their doors contributes to these alleged abuses of their employees and suppliers. If you don't like WalMart, don't shop there, don't send your husband there, don't work there, don't give them tax breaks for super stores and don't sell them your goods. Until then, enjoy the 10 cent rolls of toilet paper.
08/09 11:43 a.m. My husband and I used to shop at Wal-Mart but we don't anymore. We got tired of the crappy service and cashiers that don't even acknowledge your existence (even as they're checking you out). The final straw was when they switched to those new bag holders that spin (at the register). So now the cashier can not only ignore us the whole time but can just leave our bags on the wheel for us to fight with. Ever get a cashier that turns the wheel for the next people in line and you're stuck having to go behind the counter to try and get your bags?! And then WE get a dirty look from the cashier! Wal-Mart was a Godsend when it first came to Fargo. Unfortunately, they now carry too many crappy and substandard products to make it worth our while to shop there. BUY LOCAL! It may cost a little extra (no, we do not have tons of extra cash just lying around the house either) but the rewards are tremendous. SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES!
Used to live in ND
08/09 11:30 a.m. Always Low Prices: The question in this post is: Do you shop at Wal-Mart, why or why not? I answered the question, No because Wal-Mart does not treat their help humanely and because it uses the welfare system as its benefits structure. Now you may not like my response, but it is responsive to the question. Further, there is no justfication as to its pay and benefits structures and that is why you are so frustrated not being able to counter my arguments against Walmart. You then ask why people would have to be on Welfare if they have a job. That is a good question. Because the wages are so low. Wal-Mart is forcing people to shop at their company store when in reality we are paying more for those cheap items, we just don't see it. Our taxes go to those workers who work at Wal-Mart. I don't think I should have to subsidize the largest and most profitable retailer in the world when they can well afford to treat their help better. Other companies do it, so can Wal-Mart. Again, you haven't answered my question, Why should my tax dollars go to support a worker who is working for a multi-billion dollar company? Always Low Wages, uh, I mean, prices
08/09 11:30 a.m. I believe we are entitled to care when a company, as a matter of policy, pays people so low that they qualify for government assistance. That amounts to a taxpayer handout to one of the riches companies in America. I'll say this in defense of Wal-mart: at least they haven't forbiden their employees from applying for assistance, the way one feeder airline on the east coast did. (Nice to know the guys at the stick of that turbo-prop is worrying about how to feed is kids, isn't it?). So, if Wal-Mart is so swell, how come you're working as a hotel clerk? -- Markus -- Markus
08/09 11:30 a.m. Every Wal-Mart I have ever been in seems so filthy and revolting. Do they clean? At least at Target I am in a clean well kept store. I will pay the extra just to have a shopping experience that that is clean. Verna
08/09 11:30 a.m. Yes I shop at Walmart. It has saved me lots of money. In this age we have to save were we can to keep living.
08/09 11:29 a.m. I shop Walmart first. They have always been helpful and friendly. The people that work there say they have GREAT health insurance and benifits. It is only people who are jealous of Walmart that screem about them.
Jim Beam
08/09 11:29 a.m. All the talk about benefits, pay, sexual equality, etc...are just gossip from most. I don't know anyone who has ever worked at a Wal-Mart nor do I know the benefit and pay structures. All I know is I don't shop at Wal-Mart because it is dirty and unfriendly. I am lucky enough to not HAVE to shop there and spend a little more for a better experience elsewhere.
08/09 11:29 a.m. Microsoft's employees are educated people who add considerable value to Microsoft's product. WalMart employees are your run-of-the-mill HS graduates (maybe) with few job skills. Hmm... I wonder why Microsoft pays more than WalMart...
08/08 11:24 p.m. to Buddy: French ownership is a myth. Target is 100% US owned. There is no foreign ownership of this MINNEAPOLIS based company. So did you know that you are contributing to a misconception? A misconception that is hardly fair to Target.
08/08 10:45 p.m. Personally, I don't care for Wal-Mart's business practices, but more than that, I find that they offer cheap, low-quality items that have about 2 inches of dust them. I don't know why the store is so dirty, and I guess their regular shoppers don't mind it. But to me, I find that gross.
08/08 10:43 p.m. Dis you know target is part owned by a company based in france. at least wal-mart is based in the good USA
08/08 10:19 p.m. That is so funny that you say that about the guy at the door cause I was JUST thinking that! All the employees I have interacted with have been crabby and acted like I was bothering them with my questions. The only time I go to Wal-Mart is when I can't find what I need else where and if my daughter is shopping with me (which doesn't happen often) because she loves that nice old guy at the door who gives her stickers! :) I also don't like Wal-Mart because I know a guy who used to work there and I asked him once if Wal-Mart really paid their male employees more then the females and he said they did, and that Sam Walton was very old fashion and did not beleive women should be working at all. Now I am not sure if that is really true or if they do that to this day, but it is still in the back of my mind when I am in that store. Unfortunately I do end up shopping there at times though. Earlier this summer I was looking for a certain kind of pool and after checking Target and K-Mart, I found what I was looking for at Wal-Mart. Too bad I didn't even think to look at Fleet Farm until after I bought it!! :)
Always Low Prices :)
08/08 9:11 p.m. To USED TO live in ND... This whole WELFARE thing is a totally different subject. Why should Wal-Mart have to pay their people any better than Target or K-Mart??? I know for a fact that Wal-mart starts their cashiers out ALOT higher than Target. I once worked for Target, and know people that do. Wal-mart has so many wel-fare people because, like everyone keeps saying... THEY ARE THE LARGEST RETAIL STORE IN THE COUNTRY!!! Why should a company (not Sam Walton's kids) have to raise their wages just because they make all that money every year?? Tell Target, and K-mart/Sears, and Hornbachers, and all the smaller companies to raise their wages as well. And Why would you need to be on wel-fare if you have a job??? I can see a LITTLE bit of goverment assistance for people that ABSOLUTLY need it. Most people on wel-fare just take it for granted. It's not Wal-marts fault that the wel-fare system works the way it does. I make less as a Hotel CLerk, than a Full Time Wal-mart cashier would. If you want to talk about welfare, then open up your own little chat and talk about JUST WELFARE. If you don't like Wal-mart, fine. That's your opinion to live with. Personally, I don't like to toss money away. I WORK hard for the money I do have. And if I ever find myself not being able to pay the bills.. then I guess I would need to find a new job if my current one wont give me a raise if they feel I dont deserve one. I would'nt say that they need to raise their wages. Anyway... This conversation has gone far beyond Wal-Mart. I don't care to talk about wel-fare, or minimum wage, or taxes. I would have looked at Political chats in that case. ***As for the lawsuit.. Because Wal-Mart is the LARGEST company in the nation, people, all kinds of people, will try and sue them every year. From tripping on their own shoe-laces in the parking lot-TO-a cart ran into my car and left damage. The women of this law suit obviously feel like they should be making LOTS of money and arent. You should be treated equal no matter what, I agree with that (and only that). But thats not all this law suit is about. It goes further than being equal.
08/08 8:34 p.m. That is too bad, but going otherplaces I will always go to Target. I rairly will even try to get into a Walmart. Unless it is in a small town. Really to think about it, the prices aren't really that much different either. Rather pay a couple cents more for quality anyday.
08/08 8:33 p.m. I try to do most of my grocery shopping at Wal-Mart. It just costs less. I'm a college student again and I need to get the most for my dollar. An average Wal-Mart employee makes like $9-$11 an hour. That was a lot more than my first fulltime job in the world of television. There's an industry where people think everybody makes a lot of money, but truth be told...A lot of people are making less than minimum wage in the radio and TV world...Nothing like making $20,000 a year(or less) in Fargo, Bismarck, Bemidji right out of college in the television world....
08/08 8:33 p.m. Yes, I do. Becuz ours is a Superwalmart....and its sometimes easier to get everything in one place when you have young children. Some of the prices are low too.
08/08 8:33 p.m. I think I like Wal-Mart the way it was. The grocery part does not have the variety that other stores do. I like to have several different selections to chose from. It is too big and takes to much time and they don't have that much help. It is so much of the self check outs. It can be nice, but I have been there 3 times now adn I believe I will continue to support the more local grocery stores, like Cashwise and Hornbachers. I like customer service. That is #1 in my book.
Ben Boone
08/08 4:05 p.m. In the town I used to live in, there were 2 WalMart Supercenters and a Target Supercenter. The Target center was always nicer. The prices were similar enough, but the staff, the atmosphere, and the quality was much nicer, by far. Not to mention that they had many register and they were OPEN, unlike every walmart I've been in, where they have a mile of registers but only 3-5 cashiers.
Used to Live in ND
08/08 3:11 p.m. To Always Low Prices: Also why would it make a difference whether the person was single or married with children. The fact that Wal-Mart has almost 10% ( and more in some states) of its workforce on welfare should be an embarrassment for any company much less one with profits as high as Wal-Mart. You have not answered my question: Why is there a higher percentage of Wal-Mart workers on welfare, then Target, K-Mart, Scheels, Hornbachers, etc.....? Hmmm. . . .
08/08 3:08 p.m. I agree that driving to Fergus Falls or Fargo to shop at Wal-Mart takes gas. IF our "President" keeps the gas price where it is we won't be able to shop anywhere. We need a super Wal-Mart right here in Wahpeton. Wal-Mart offers good service, fair prices, 24 hours. ALWAYS LOWER PRICES apeals to all of us and WELCOME TO WAHPETON NORTH DAKOTA !
Used to live in ND
08/08 3:07 p.m. Always low prices: The bottom line is that Wal-Mart has the most people on welfare of any company in the United States, period. It's not Microsoft, Ford, Qwest, It's WAL-MART. All those companies have married, single and kids/no kids. So why, Wal-Mart? It is not "gossip" that Wal-Mart is NUMBER #1 in the country for welfare for its associates. Again, check out Read the newspaper articles and where they got the data, it is not rumor. And as to the discrimination lawsuit, it is not about women who call in sick at that time of the month. It is the largest class action lawsuit ever filed in this country, that means that Wal-Mart, if proven, will have created a system of treating its female employees differently than its male employees. It is about equal treatment, not special treatment. If there are some employees not doing their jobs, then management has the right to punish the employee or even fire them. I know they do that regularly as well. And so your answer to if someone has to be on welfare and have a job, then they need a different job, get real, they have a job, it's at the wonderful company of Wal-Mart that you have been praising in your post. Why don't they pay their people better. I love all the people who say "get off welfare, get a job!." You are now saying "get off welfare, because you have a job." Pulease!! 40% of families on welfare in ND are working a job. So the answer is that the wages are too low. So why doesn't Wal-Mart raise their wages, they can well afford to do it. Why can't they be like a MicroSoft which values their employees and want to retain them so they offer competetive salaries and benefits that allow families to live with a dignified existence. Too bad that Wal-Mart has decided to take the low road. Again, not one dime of my money will go to Wal-Mart, they are already getting too much of my tax money. They should pay their own way.
To sugar:
08/08 3:07 p.m. If I'm not mistaken, the Target store in Fargo is just being expanded (made bigger) not upgraded to a Super Center.
To Kay:
08/08 3:07 p.m. Buy your jeans elsewhere then. Why would you make the mistake more than once of buying jeans you have to replace monthly? Seems to me you'd learn after the first or for sure the second time.
08/08 3:07 p.m. The reason Walmart is so crowded and packed is because so many people DO shop there. I see many more people at Walmart than I do at Target and let's face it, for most things, Walmart is less expensive. I have to admit though, I avoid the store as much as possible; I'm not a huge fan of crowds. I personally like Target's photo center better...Walmart's photo center is full of a bunch of crabby, overworked, over-stressed people.
08/08 2:14 p.m. Unfortunately, I occasionally will shop at WalMart, but I never make any large purchases there. A relative once worked for them and never complained of the wage or mistreatment, so can't vouch for those comments made by others. As far as the organization and store are concerned. Way back they advertised that they sold "American made products". Browsing their store these days made me realize two things 1.) Americans are absolutely way too materialistic and will throw away their supposedly hard earned money on absolute trash that doesn't even come close to being necessary! 2.) Product manufacturing in the United States has become nearly non-existent, overtaken by billions of sub-standard, cheaply manufactured, but brilliantly packaged and marketed products which are brought into this country from every possible third world country on the planet. When it comes to throwing away money on useless, unnecessary junk....Americans should get an award!
Always Low Prices :)
08/08 1:38 p.m. To "used to live in ND"... Your "friends" that are on welfare that work at wal-mart, are they single? Married? Kids/No kids? All of that makes a difference. "Wal-Mart Good Works" has more of the FACTS than anyone would considering they have worked at the company for many years. I would trust them over all of the "gossip" that's out there. As for benefits, I can tell you that they can offer much better medical than even Target. I worked at Target for 6 months, full time, and was NEVER offered medical insurance. Wal-Mart offers it after 90 days. For Single coverage it is $40 bi/weekly with a $250 Deductible, 20/80 coverage, and prescription coverage depends on the drug type. And as for you comment on THe sexual harrasment issue with women... It's exactly right, they don't want to be treated special, but equal. The thing is, they are treated equal. Except for when you have Asst Managers that are female, calling in during "that time of the month", because they are sick. How many men call in during the same time each month and miss 1-3 days of work??? I'm not saying all of them do, but here in ND there are a few Female members of management that do it. ALL THE TIME!!! That then makes more work for EVERYONE. So, why is it they are able to call in for that reason, and never get coached, or written up?? If a man were to call in once a month when he wants to stay home from drinking the night before, he's gonna get in trouble!!! And if people need to be on welfare when they have a full time job, then obviously they have the WRONG JOB for themselves!!
08/08 1:37 p.m. Opinion: Just to let you know that I used to work at Kohls, and yes there are people who decide not to buy something and leave it somewhere else, or they just mess up piles of clothes, etc. But that is why companies like that make sure there are enough workers to keep up with it. By the end of the night, there would be stuff still a mess after people picking up all day long, but you know what, with in an 1/2 hour of the store closing, it would like like new again! It is about the workers and their respect for the place they work too. Not just the customers. Whenever I go to Walmart all the workers are crabby and I usually don't even get talked to at the register. About the only person who looks happy working there is the person greeting at the door with stickers for the kids!
08/08 1:37 p.m. All I can say is... I can't waite till Target is a SuperCenter!! That will be where all my business goes! Much better quality products, and a more organized store. Not to mention that you can actually walk through it without running into everyone! I can't waite!
Come on!!
08/08 1:37 p.m. I shop at WalMart ONLY when I have to. Sunday night and I need diapers or formula...yeah, I am there. Any other time, I stay as far away as possible. They have their place in each community (I suppose) but you won't find me going there to buy groceries.
08/08 11:56 a.m. I sure am glad these are just opinions, but some of you people who say that Wal-mart is dirty... I've seen Target at not-so-good times too! I don't think this should reflect on the store or the employees who work there. It has alot to do with the Fargo-Moorhead communities and the people who shop at these stores. People are just down-right rude! Let's pick up some clothes and then decide we don't want them and leave them in the food aisle. Employees can only keep up so much during the not let this reflect on the store! It is people in the area that are dirty and disgusting! Clean up your shopping habits, maybe Wal-Mart and Target will both be a better place to shop at!
Grandma Janice
08/08 11:56 a.m. I live on social security and will drive past the local stores with their high prices so I can stretch the money I get. Some of my children and grandchildren also work for WalMart and they are good workers and like their jobs. Love WalMart. I live in a small town and know what high prices these stores charge. More people need to shop out of town... wake up small towns.
Walmart Sucks!!
08/08 11:56 a.m. Not to be a alarmist, but in not so distant future we all will be working for Walmart. It will going to eat a Walmart,mmmmm. Checking out a new movie at Walmart. Buying a new car, life insurance, travel, eyeglasses ALL your banking needs. Just goofin', but they are making steps to move into or are already in these markets. They might have lower prices, I just can't support any of their stores. I think it is a blight on the economy of USA.
08/08 11:55 a.m. I will ONLY shop Wal-Mart if there's an emergency and no other stores are open. Wal-Mart is too busy and so packed with people it's hard to get around. I will also agree with Kay that it's too much of a warehouse look. My Family DOES NOT shop Wal-Mart.
08/08 11:55 a.m. As much as I hate it, yes I do. Walmart is generally dirty, packed, and chaotic. That said, it's also the only place I can get a key made on a Sunday nite; buy socks at 4 a.m.; and order a Happy Meal in line. (I've never done the latter and consider it to be a perfect example of how lazy our society is). Walmart doesn't pay employees a living wage, and takes advantage of the poor people who work and shop there. Walmart basically contributes to the white-trash pattern rather than help rectify it.
Used to Live in ND
08/08 10:12 a.m. Sorry, "Walmart good works", but when you look deeper at the benefit structure of America's largest employer, they can and should do better by their workers. I know Wal-Mart Associates who are on welfare because of the poor wage and benefit structure at Wal-Mart. Tell m e why doesn't Wal-Mart do better by their employees when they can well afford to do so. Other large employers do much better for their employees than Wal-Mart. As far as your health care, how long did you have to wait to get covered, what are your deductibles and what are your out of pockets, what about prescription. Just saying you pay 40 buck biweekly doesn't tell the entire picture, is it for a single or family. and for the poster who clearly misunderstands the sexual discrimination lawsuit, it's not that women want to be treated "specially" they want to be treated EQUALLY. Again, why should I have to pay more in taxes to support Wal-Mart employees. In almost every state that has checked their assistance records, Wal-Mart is the NUMBER 1 uses of government welfare. Not a record to be proud of that's for sure
08/08 10:11 a.m. It's great. Now, while shopping for one or two items at a Wal-Mart Supercenter, I get even MORE opportunity to run into aimless old people and hillbillies who enjoy spending hours upon hours getting in my way. Better yet, they'll have 30 checkouts and only 4 will actually be open so we can stand 10 deep for 30 minutes to spend ten bucks. Meanwhile, at the front of the line somebody is arguing about the 29 cents that she was overcharged. Oh, yes! I can't wait for my next trip to the Wal-Mart Supercenter!
08/08 10:11 a.m. Unfortunately, I do. I try not too, but since they came to our town we have very few other stores left. I've been trying to go to K-Mart more lately. In DL their store's a lot cleaner and you actually have some room to move between the isles. There is one thing though that I will NEVER do. That is use the Walmart "self" checkouts. Walmarts already hurt our country enough by taking well paying jobs away from Americans by paying people in other countries peanuts. While their low paying checker jobs may not be the greatest job in the world, at least they're a job. And.... I think the owners of Walmart are making enough money. I don't need to wait on myself so they can line their pockets even more.
walmart good works
08/08 08:57 a.m. I agree with the comments that "always low prices" made. I am a long term Wal-Mart associate. As for pay & benefits, they are better than a lot of other industries & retail stores in the area. Benefits and hours are offered to associates, but that doesn't mean that certain associates accept them. If someone doesn't want to work, they won't work over certain amounts of hours,show poor work ethics, etc. The link to Wake up Wal-mart,had many falsehoods about Wal-Mart, especially about the associates benefits. I pay only $40 biweekly for the minimum deductable($350),not $240 for an unspecified deductable that was stated on that web site. I don't know what company those people were working for, but it isn't Wal-Mart. I have worked in several stores and I find no truth to what their testimonies say. As for giving back to the community, each store has an annual budget of grants and donations they must give, many organizations benefit from Wal-Mart each year. Just look at the Good Works bulletin boards that are located in almost every store or ask the manager. Look at the local childrens hospital in your area, who donated/ raises money year after year for them? How many businesses donate to organizations that their associate volunteer at, just to give back to their community as part of a grass roots giving? Wal-Mart does. As for making competeion go out of business, it all depends how a business reacts to competetion. As an associate, I always referred customers to more specialized stores such as Scheels, Macs, etc for items that I know that they carried and we did not. Look along 13th Ave in Fargo & Highway 10 in Dilworth/Moorhead. How many of those businesses were there 14-15 years ago before Wal-Mart, and how many have come to town since? People have the right to work & shop where they choose, my choice is Wal-Mart, because I know the truth behind the company.
Markus: Let the fun begin
08/08 08:57 a.m. To all who support Wal-Mart, and the export of American jobs and their replacement with low-wage service positions, I look foward to your active support in ending the sugar program, farm supports, and for the closure of the North Dakota airbases. Also, please make sure your representatives know that you support the elimination of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, student loans, and all other activities that support the American middle class. If you vote with your pocketbook, be careful what you vote for. Wal-Mart is just a symptom of a deeper problem, the radical redistribution of wealth in this country for the middle class to the corporate class (upper management and stockholders). Don't complain when your job is gone, and a nice part-time job on 13th with no benefits if your only option.
DG Moore
08/08 08:56 a.m. WallMart is just the latest target of the politically correct crowd most of whom spend a lot of time worrying about the plight of lower income Americans but want to eliminate a business that offers low prices. Why is WallMart somehow different from KMart, Target, Menards, Fleet Farm and other big box retailers which have transformed retail trade providing lower prices and far more selection.
08/08 08:56 a.m. every time i walk into walmart i get tired, just because that store has no character other than looking like a ware house. they really aren't that cheap, especially when you have to go back ever month to replace a pair of jeans you got there that just don't seem to hold together at all. they're one of the biggest importers of chinese products in this country, and i'm not sure why people are saying that they have "american made" products. maybe they do, but there's not a lot. and just think, now people in america aren't making money working on it, people in china are, and they're most likely not making very much. as for the accusation that they only pay minimum wage, i have a first hand account that their starting wage is $7-$8. people who are getting paid minimum probably said that they'd work for minimum. they drive other competetors out, and if they get rid of them all, then they have a monopoly, and then they would have the lowest prices and best quality merchandise, because they'd be the only place to shop. think of rockefeller if any of you have studied history.
08/08 08:56 a.m. Many of you do not understand one thing about our economy. First, if everyone was to "buy american" our economy would collapse in a matter of months. Our economy depends of trade just like China, Japan, Taiwan, and other countries. If you were up on history you would know that. In the 1930's "buy american" and trade restrictions almost ruined us. One of the chief reasons why Pearl Harbor was attacked is because we cut off their assets. Now about walmart, why is everyone picking on them?? I guess "big" frightens a lot of people. Many complain about their wages and benifits but what about the rest of Fargo?? Finding a decent job in this town is very dificult. Everywhere you go unless you have a college degree you will be paid $7 to $9 to start. I don't know how people can live on that. So if you want to point the finger over wages, point at the entire community, not just walmart. I have a family and money doesn't grow on trees. Walmart saves me money. If you don't like walmart then don't shop there or work there :)
Union supporter
08/08 08:55 a.m. Ask any Walmart employee how they are treated....ask them if they are allowed to receive health insurance....ask them if they "really" get the respect an employee should get. I bet all the answers would be the same...NO! Walmart corporates only care about the bottom line. Would YOU like to be treated like that?????
08/08 08:55 a.m. Look at the parking lot at Wal-Mart sometime, there is so much oil from the customers'cars that the asphalt is a huge oil slick and it's actually breaking down. It's always overcrowded and the store is so jampacked from the floor to ceiling with junk that it's hard to even move around. I'll drive out of the way, and gladly pay more for the atmosphere in Target over that ANYDAY. Not to mention that they refused to sell one of Sheryl Crow's albums........
Gail Gebhardt
08/08 08:55 a.m. I shop at Walmart only when I know something I need is cheaper there. I hate shopping there because it is always too crowded and hard to get through the aisles
08/08 08:55 a.m. i dont agree with most of you i work at a supercenter as a cashier and we are treated better then working some where else and we do really care about our customers and everybody
08/08 08:55 a.m. I hate Walmart. I refuse to shop there. The stores are dirty, and the employees are not friendly. I would MUCH rather shop at Target where they have friendly employees and a clean environment.
08/08 08:55 a.m. Don't spend money at wal-mart what do they do for us??? I am an anti-walmart WAL-MART SUCKS
D.R.P. Moe
08/08 08:55 a.m. Wal-Mart is best when it has competition. Isn't that the American way. I wish Wal-Mart sold electricity and natural gas.
Fast Food
08/08 08:54 a.m. I hope all of you who refuse to shop at Walmart for various reasons also refuse to eat at any fast food restaurant as most of your decisions for refusing to shop there also apply to the fast food industry. tr
08/08 08:54 a.m. I can't believe all the negative comments on Walmart. They are a very good store and they don't rip you off on prices like other stores do. I have no sympathy for any store that can't complete. I'm saving money and that's all I care about. I do as much shopping at Walmart as I can. Same thing with Sam's Club.
08/08 08:54 a.m. I would rather go without than shop at Walmart. Wal-Mart is ruining our economy. I read in Mother Jones that 1 in 125 people in the US work for a Wal-Mart..and the jobs they offer are crap and the people that work there can't even afford the junk they sell. They had a "buy American" campaign that they dumped mighty quickly when they realized that China could provide inferior product at a very low cost. They are responsible for the outsourcing of American jobs and the American way of life. I saw a PBS special on Wal-Mart that talked about our increasing trade deficit and related it to Wal-Mart's buying policies. To compete, other businesses have to buy from China as well. What does that make the US? A 3rd world country that exports raw materials and imports finished product. What will happen when all of the Wal-Marts have the automatic check out lines installed? All those fabulous clerk jobs will go away too. I guess those lucky shelf stockers will still be employed.
08/08 08:54 a.m. unfortunately, where else can a person afford to shop with the poverty/sub-poverty wages paid in this area! It certainly isn't the poor, cheap, poorly made, too small products that is the reason!
L.M. Larson
08/08 08:54 a.m. I try not to shop there. It is usually to crowded. I prefer Target. Dave (the progressive)
08/08 08:54 a.m. I do not and will never shop at Wal-Mart, except in an emergency. The main reasons center around social justice issues, of which Wal-Mart is perpetrating of some of the worst crimes in the industry.
Bill J
08/07 10:22 p.m. I shop Walmart! Why? Because where I live there is no store to keep me here. There is no Kmart or Target and Pamida does not carrie a selection for me to shop there. What has this to do with Walmart? Their prices and selection product makes the trip worth it.
08/07 10:22 p.m. I won't spend a penny at Walmart! One of my favorite local stores recently closed their doors because of the competition from the Walton billionaires. I don't think superstores are a good thing for our community; in fact, I think they hurt all other retailers now including our local grocery stores which have been here for many years. I would like to see Walmart go right down the drain!
In depth reporting.
08/07 10:21 p.m. On page A9 of Sunday's Forum, at the top of the page the 4 photos labeled "the players" The manager of the Detroit Lakes Walmart is quoted as saying he likes walmart as a company. Wow, how many weeks of undercover reporting did it take to get a store manager to publicly say he likes his employer? (Which happens to be one of the most ruthless corporations in the world.) Why was there no reporting on why Walmart has no unions? Also, Why was there no reporting about the tactics Walmart uses to stop unions from organizing their workers? (Such as hiring dozens of additional workers right before a organization vote, in order to stop organizers from getting the necessary percentage of votes.) Why was there no reporting about Walmart having a large staff of anti union lawyers and consultants on alert at a moments notice from store managers? I guess getting a scoop such as the store manager "liking walmart as a company" is in depth enough.
No Way
08/07 10:20 p.m. Nope I don't. I agree with Auror and also because WalMart strong arms companies and their prodects into lowering prices and running some into the ground. Google Vlasic Pickles and Walmart.
donnie from Wop.
08/07 10:20 p.m. Wal-Mart is good for all. They have good prices and ar open when you need them ! Isn't that a good reason enough to support Wal-Mart. Instead of driving to Fergus or Fargo I woild like to see a super Wal-Mart right here in Wahpeton.( put one up on Highway 13 West of town). Bush holds the gas prices so high that a store here would save people lots of money both ways !"WELCOME TO WAHPETON NORTH DAKOTA" ! " City of lights and friendly people" WAHPETON WAL-MART ... Sounds nice !!!!!
Just say no!
08/07 10:19 p.m. Walmart is a huge monopoly, throughout American history we have had the courage and foresight to break up monopolies, to provide a better living for our citizens. When will the general public wake-up to the simple fact that saving a few dollars is in reality jeopardizing what it truly means to be an American? Supporting Walmart's efforts to control such a large share of the consumer market, will eventually end up costing each of us much more than a few dollars and cents. Is it worth it in the long run? I have made a personal decision to show my concern with: their corporate plans to close local businesses, their improper treatment of underpaid employess, and the low quality of the cheap merchandise they import, by not letting Walmart profit from me. You have that power too.
08/07 10:19 p.m. Most people commenting here are very short-sighted. On the average, Wal-Mart does NOT save you money. They are what is called a "loss-leader" retailer: they pull you in with a couple dozen under-priced pieces of merchansdise, then gouge you in the hopes you'll purchase other items. This is how it works, people. If you want to think ONLY of yourselves and not your community, by all means: shop at Wal-Mart. Just don't whine when your community becomes a giant strip mall with no character and is robbed of its last reason to move to ND. And you people wonder why our state has such a crappy reputation.
Captian K
08/07 10:19 p.m. I refuse to go into a Walmart, they are very skilled at telling about how much they give back to the community but the money that they give back comes at the cost of wages and benefits to thier employees, or as I should say nowadays associates. The name change from employees to associates show how todays corporations think that a different label will make people happy. Any Walmart I have seen or been into is dirty starting with the parking lot and the stores that sell clothes all stink from the chinese crap that they love to peddle. I think walmart is where most of the bottom feeders shop, my wife and I are both on social security and we will go without before spending a damn dime at walmart, companies like them are what is causing the loss of the blue collar or middle class in this country. I cannot trust any company that puts profits and the bottom line above everything else. The local store cannot order what they want, the corporate offices do all of the ordering and I bet they even tell the stores how high to have the temperate set.
08/07 10:18 p.m When the only place left to shop at is a Wal-Mart, then how will you know if you are paying the lowest price?. Cities like Fargo can attract enough big-box business' to have price competion. Your smaller communities cannot. Ever notice Wal-Mart does not officially post prices on their TV adds? You don't pay the same price for items from one Wal-Mart to another. They know which items are in higher demand in one locality as to hook you in with the "low price" image, then nail you with the item you most likely will buy. Didn't Wal-Mart boast "American Made" at one time in their corporate cycle only to be caught with so many out of country products on their shelves that it was impossible to count? And didn't they also boast wholesome family values only to be exposed for selling very high volumes of tobacco, alcohol, and firearms. Very wholesome.
08/07 10:17 p.m. I do not shop Wal-mart because they try to put other business out of business, they bankrupt vendors buy their business methods, don't want to let them make any profet so they can stay in business. I don't feel their stors are clean and have poor quality products.
08/07 10:17 p.m. Wal-Mart is one of the world's largest corporations and is dead last in giving to charities.
luv wally!!
08/07 10:17 p.m. i luv wally world...what a buy in groceries compared to these other crooked grocerie stores with crappy fruit and veggies...and how about the gutless north dakota legislature in not changing the pharmacy law allowing wally world pharmacies. talk about a rip in meds...not to mention the delay tactics to keep wally from selling gas..go wally world kick butt!!!
MTMike, Butte
08/07 10:17 p.m. Used to shop at Wal mart, but not any more. Two reasons: sometimes shoddy merchandise (especially clothing)that is not worth even the low price, and the fact that so many wal mart employees find Medicaid preferable to the so-called "benefits" offered by the company. I just don't view a Wal Mart as a net benefit to most communities, unless low prices are the only measure of value to those communities. Wal Mart does great PR work for itself, but I don't think there is a more calculating and cynical business model out there. Preservation Diva
08/07 10:17 p.m. I have in the past shopped in the Wal-Marts but don't believe it is good for our local economy plus it contributes to urban sprawl. That's true, the prices can't be beat though the toilet paper prices have really skyrocketed as of late. I think the stores are sort of dirty. If you want to contribute to lining the pocketbooks of the Walton Family and ship that money back to Bentonville, go ahead, be my guest.
08/07 10:17 p.m. It os my opinion that when Walmart comes to town, everything else goes. I have actually seen it happen in the town in which I live. We used to have a busy downtown, with numerous women's stores; numerous men's stores, and now pretty much all we have is Walmart and K-Mart. The town in which I live has not grown that much since the 60's, yet almost all decent shopping has closed downtown. When the mall came to town, that was not nearly as detrimental to the downtown and to shopping itself as when the Walmart came to town. I, like every other shopper enjoy a good bargain, but have you ever looked at the quality of the clothes that Walmart sells? Friday, I was looking for a skirt at the Super Walmart, and the edges were not even finished off, my God, the first time that I would have washed that skirt, it would have fallen apart. Then the strings were not even cut. Yes, I could have purchased that skirt very cheap, but in reality, it would have been expensive, as it was actually a disposable skirt-- Our new Walmart Super Store is very dark inside once the sun goes behind a cloud. I was shopping, and thought the power went off, when a cloud simply passed over. I have never been in the store at night, but I can imagine how dark it must be. I guess I would rather have higher quality merchandise, made in America as Sam Walton promised America when Walmart first began spreading throughout the country. Thank you for allowing me to express my opinions. Shop at your other stores while you still can... They are bound to disappear when Walmart comes to town.
Always low prices :)
08/07 10:16 p.m. I'm a little confused why everyone would be so upset about a company that they have to protest it's coming to town. It's just like another car dealership. hospital, construction company, hotel, etc. Every company deserves to be in a town reguardless of little "mom and pop" stores. This isn't the 1900 anymore. Things change and towns get bigger... And as for paying their employees less money??? That's a joke. I have a friend that started at Wal-Mart for $8.00. He just got a raise, after 3 months!! I had to wait over 18 months to be making that much an hour where I work, because i work for an INDEPENDENT company. I pay DOUBLE the medical insurance PER paycheck than a Wal-Mart emplyee does. And where this whole "female employee" lawsuit comes from boggles my mind. Just because you're a women doesn't mean you should be treated differently. I thought that was what the whole womens movement was about. Be treated equally. I don't know of any Wal-Mart female manager being paid less because she is female. Every manager starts at the same wage, unless you have been there for several years and are already making close to that. ***There are less than a dozen items that I can't buy at Wal-Mart. If they carried them, I would. But otherwise, if I can't find it at Wal-Mart, chances are I just don't need to have it. They save you lots of money.
John Q. Public
08/07 10:15 p.m. I do like the store and they have good prices but I rarely shop there. I would rather support stores that have deep roots in the F-M area, like Hornbachers and Scheels.

Wal-Mart's politics, policies, and morals have gone right down the drain since Sam Walton left the helm. His heirs have turned his dream into a bastard child.
Lois Anderson
08/07 10:15 p.m. I shop at walmart (against my better judgement) since there is no Traget store in the city we live in (Seymour Indiana). The people down here have a walmart mentality. I prefer to be waited on by a person and not have to wander through the store looking for something. Walmart never has double coupon days like the other grocers. In our city there is Walmart super store and one other chain grocer. Neither has much of a selection. Give me Target any day.
08/07 10:15 p.m. I shop there because it's a lot better them K MART. The store is just better stocked with everything, plus it's cheaper, and the employees and management at Walmart are better then K Mart.
Used to Live in ND
08/07 10:15 p.m. I refuse to shop at Wal-Mart, even if they are the last store on Earth. They are causing our race to the bottom for worker wages. For those who think they are saving money by shopping,think again. Many, many states have recently reviewed the private companies who use state welfare programs the most. The big winner: Wal-Mart. No wonder they can sell so cheap, you and I don't see the extra money we pay in taxes so they can pay cheap wages. They use the welfare system in every state so they don't have to pay benefits. Check it out for yourself: The data comes from the each state's welfare organization and was in most cases, reported in the area major newspapers. I wonder how many so called "well-paid" Wal-Mart Associates receive your tax dollars because Wal-Mart refuses to pay their associates. That cheap item you just purchased just went up because you failed to add the additional tax dollars to pay for Wal-Mart's profit margin.
08/07 10:14 p.m. I shop at WalMart all the time. I especially love to be able to get my groceries and other necessities at the same place instead of going to 2-3 different stores. However, I feel that the workers are not very friendly and the store has become even more congested with the super walmart being built. I will continue to shop at walmart for their low prices and the fact that everything i need is in one area.
Dan Madsen
08/07 10:14 p.m. I once went to a Wal-Mart. I had a Christmas gift with a Wal-Mart reciept, I exchanged the product for cash, went to Target and bought the exact same thing. (for the same price, I may add) This company is destroying our communities, our people and the fabric of our country. Sure, its Capitalism, but the idea of opening your own retail business is fading fast. Maybe its gone forever. Low wages, anti-union, labor suits (OMG, you'd think they'd leran). But ... bottom line ... its cheaper to pay off the government in fines and fees (in the Billions), than it is to be fair to their workers, their communities and their customers. Its the evil empire. It's a shame they have to exploit econmically distressed communities. "Coincidence" as quoted in your article? I don't think so.
Danny B.
08/07 10:13 p.m. I don't shop at Walmart or any other stores that treat all customers the same "like criminals," A guy can't even scratch his butt without it showing up on some camera. I shop almost entirely online, except for groceries then it is anywhere but Walmart.
Mike S
08/07 1:59 p.m. Yes, I shop at Wal-Mart. I live in a community that recently enlarged its store into a Super Walmart. I am very impressed with the look of this new store and the efforts they went to to work with the community. They even built a huge soundwall behind their store to shield the housing development from noise. They are paying for everything. Landscaping, trees, etc to try to make it look nice behind the store. I think the company is ran by human beings. Who, like anyone else, may make mistakes from time to time. But, this company has been impressing me recently, by many changes and decisions regarding its policies.
Bud M
08/07 1:58 p.m. They are not interested in suipporting local activities like other merchants do. Their good prices do not always represent quality merchandise
Wally World
08/07 1:58 p.m. Wal-Mart used to be a fine company - back when Sam Walton ran the place. His greedy children and Wall Street have caused the company to resort to cutthroat practices in order to keep the earnings per share price growing. The company has NO loyalty to its employees despite the smiling faces you see in their con ads. No - I do not give Wal-Mart a penny.
Ruth R
08/07 1:40 p.m. I am handicapped. I find a parking space with my handicapped sticker. I ride in a motorized cart and pick up my groceries. All employees are kind and ask if they can reach me something, etc. When I check out, someone is called to walk me to my car and put my groceries in my trunk. It is all done with kindness and courtesy. The person that goes to my car with me will drive the cart back into the store for me. They can't be tipped because I have tried. I think they are great.
08/07 1:40 p.m. The grocery prices can't be beat! Hornbacher's does not offer that selection. I am saving sometimes $2 per item when I shop at Walmart vs. Hornbacher's. Their rival Target does do a far superior job when it comes to speedy checkout lanes. The bottom line for me is that Walmart saves me money. With the cost of raising a family these days every little bit saved, helps.
08/07 1:05 p.m. I will never shop at Wal-Mart again. I work under the "three strikes" principal: 1. 47% of all full-time Wal-Mart employees in Montana qualify for medical assistance. The company should be ashamed of themselves. 2. When a Wal-Mart store in Canada tried to unionize, Wal-Mart SHUT THE STORE DOWN. More than that, they sent a letter to every employee in that store alerting them that they would never be hired at a Wal-Mart ANYWHERE. 3. When Wal-Mart was found in a supprise inspection to have 16 year olds working cardboard balers and chainsaws, the company made a deal with the US Labor Dept. Now, they receive a 90 day writen notice of any supprise inspection. I choose not to shop at Wal-Mart because they pay their employees a pitiance, destroy any attempt of workers to better themselves, and bypass any safegaurds that protect their employees lives. Those factors far outweigh the few pennies I can save on my shopping bill.
Dawn in Anchorage
08/07 1:04 p.m. I shop there because of prices and they have what I want. There are no K-Marts or Targets here. However when the K-Mart was here I used both stores,using Wal Mart more.
08/07 1:04 p.m. I use to shop at Wal-Mart in our community until it was upgraded to a Super Wal-Mart. I find I do not like the "ware house" feeling, I do not find the varities of merchandiz or different size options that use to be. I find racks and racks of like merchandize and merchandize that is ordered in to specifically put on clearance racks. (How can you clearance something that was never on the racks to start with?) The quality of the clothes merchandize is really quit sad. I also have seen the smaller "Mom & Pop" bussinesses unable to compete shutting them down. That is really to bad. The power of this store forced a neighberhood into having Wal-Mart move into their back yard. An area that was zoned for residentional was rezoned for commercial to accomidate Wal-Mart. This was done at great protest from the neighborhood that would be affected and good part of the community. Sometimes things get to big and the power that they hold is not good. There are occasions that I go there but that is because the "Mom & Pop" that I use to go to is closed, I have no choice. I simply WILL NOT buy my food there.
Walmart is fine
08/07 12:35 a.m. Walmart is fine. They lower their prices because they have a better business model. Could Walmart pay their people more? Probably, it's one of the richest, if not the richest, companies in the world. But your local grocery store, hardware store, retail store that hires all their employees part time and pays them slightly above minimum wage with no benefits could sure do a lot more to give their employees more pay. *worked at a grocery store chain in a small town in ND for $5.50/hr trying to work my way through college in the late 90s to early 2000s, was basically a back end/stock manager on weekends towards the end with the exact same pay while they were hiring new people for $6/hr that I was training in, quit, would've loved to work at Walmart doing the exact same thing WITHOUT the back end management duties for $8-10/hour*
08/07 12:35 a.m. I try to avoid Walmart at all costs. The store is dirty the merchandise is shoddy and in most cases their prices are no lower than their rivals. There have also been researched reports that Walmart tends to shift money from public schools to private. Check out the report!
yuckie walmart
08/07 12:34 a.m. I prefer Target. It's cleaner, less congestive and they don't go in to towns to purposes put small business out of business, like Walmart does. I think Walmart is greedy, dirty and unncessary.
Richard S
08/07 12:34 a.m. too big, to much price fixing, too many products produced outside US. Too much under cutting of wages and poor treatment of employees. Prefer local based TARGET STORE and locals like Shceels.

08/07 12:34 a.m. Super-Walmart is wonderful. I save a ton of money shopping there. I cannot believe how much cheaper their groceries are. I don't understand why small towns wouldn't want them. The only people in the small towns not benefitting from Super Walmart or just Walmart are the actual business owners. A small percentage. The actual people of the town can not only save a lot of much needed money shopping there, but can get better jobs. They are going to make more money hourly (do you think other small town businesses are paying an average of $9.50/hr?), have many more full-time workers and have much more and better benefits. It's a win/win situation in my opinion.
Paul J
08/07 12:33 a.m. I see nothing wrong with having Super Wal-Marts in town. They offer a wide varity of goods at reasonable prices. I however, do not shop Wal-mart...for all they offer, they do not offer leisure or convenience. I like shopping in a store that is not packed with customers, and where I don't have to walk a mile to get from my car to the front door. But if others don't mind, I don't mind either.
08/07 12:33 a.m. Absolutely not. I shop at independently owned stores or at Target, which donates 5% of its pre-tax profits to local non-profit organizations. It is worth paying SLIGHTLY more for goods in order to keep higher quality employers in town. A race to the bottom ultimately sucks the economic vitality out of a community. Rock bottom retail prices aren't all they're cracked up to be in the long run.
08/07 12:33 a.m. I typically don't like to shop at Wal-Mart, but I will make a special trip to purchase items only they supply. For instance, I love their "Great Value" brand coffee. LOVE IT! I had read a review giving it great ratings and decided to try it out. It is seriously the best tasting coffee I've ever bought. And I've been through quite a few brands. But, I digress. For larger cities which can handle the competition of several big retailers like's great. But, it is sad to see what happens in smaller towns where shops are gobbled up by it. In my mind, Wal-Mart harkens back the time Sears-Roebuck had a similar influence for what --a hundred years or so, starting with their cataloges? Someday, Wal-Mart will be a big ol' dinosaur of the past.
Ben B
08/07 12:32 a.m. I shop at wal-mart for specific items. I'll shop there for food, and the occasional medication, but I generally shop somewhere else for electronics, or anything that could be fragile.
08/07 12:32 a.m. I shop at walmart yes. The lower prices and availabity of products I want is good. So I shop there. Go to any other place in town its alot higher on groceries and simple household items.
Tricia C
08/07 12:32 a.m. I do shop at Wal-Mart occasionally, but I try to avoid the place. I find the stores to be smelly and dirty and the employees to be unfriendly. Target is definitely my discount store of choice. Prices may be slightly higher at Target, but I'll pay a few cents more to shop in a clean, friendly store.
08/07 12:31 a.m. I do almost all of my shopping at Wal Mart to save money. When your entire income is from Soc. Security you have to shop there. The other retailers I shop there for their advertised specials only and fresh meats.
08/07 12:31 a.m. I try not to shop ther because of the poor treatment i have gotten and plus the editing of music and lower quality products(ie computers) Evry hing they have i can get from the internet and my own business online
donnie from wop
08/07 12:31 a.m. WAL-Mart is fair, Wal-mart has a good selection, they are there 24 hours to serve you. Wal-Martis not hurting anybody. Just good clean competition. No wonder it is Americas choice in this free market age. I LOVE WAL-MART !
08/07 12:31 a.m. they are too big - pay their help little - messy isles all the time - cheap quality stuff
Wonderful Place To Shop
08/07 12:31 a.m. It saves you money on every item you buy. Also think of all the jobs it provides and keeps the unemeployment rate down. I think anyone would welcome Walmart to their town.Who like paying more for less ? I used to be a Target shopper, until I did a price comparison at Walmart, what a difference on every item !!! I think Wakmart is WONDERFUL !!! And, they are here to stay, so why not enjoy the store that saves you money and a;ways the items in stock ??????
08/07 12:30 a.m. Both WalMart and Karmart and Target generally have nice products to buy, although they are catering to a different cliente. My major concerns are that any of these large businesses can destroy the local downtown community and that they have shaky history when it comes to labor relations.
08/07 12:30 a.m. It would take an act of Congress to get me set foot inside one of those stores.
Aberdeen, SD
08/07 12:30 a.m. We just went through a big fight down here over a Super Walmart (SWM). When it went to a vote of the people Walmart won with 81.2% of votes. Many of us welcome Walmart and think it's the best thing that could ever happen. Because of the opponents cheap tactics in the June vote, many of us, including me won't even shop at the stores that tried to stop SWM. If you can't compete, then go out of business. I'm not going to pay more so the little guy can live in grand style. Our SWM will open next year.
Gloria W.
08/07 12:30 a.m. I do not shop at Wal-Mart because of the substandard quality of their Merchandise. From groceries to pet food to clothing. When a store the size of Wal-Mart comes into town they allow Murphy Oil to operate on their property, causing the other stations that they supply with fuel to operate at or just above cost, therefore causing the employees of the other stations not to get raises, and or bonuses.
08/07 12:30 a.m. Yes I shop at Wal-Mart! Why? Because this is where I get the most product for the dollars spent.
08/07 12:29 a.m. I DON'T shop at Wal-Mart!! They brag about having only American made merchandise and yet there is merchandise all through the store from foreign countries. The clerks and management are rude, not knowledgeable of products they carry, the store is filthy, too much noise with the music and constant pages. The clothes are of an inferior quality. Their prices are not any lower than their competitors. Who needs them?
Always looking for a Deal
08/07 12:29 a.m. I shop Wal-mart as well as the competitors. I have found that the prices for some of the items I use frequently are cheaper there. I have also noticed that the competitors prices are coming down also so it is nice to have a great deal no matter where you go.
bertha b
08/07 12:29 a.m. Close up shop! Easy for you to say when you haven't invested a lifetime to making your business work. Or have any desire to be your own boss. Its always the other guy. This is Socialism gang and believe me you won't like it when it prevents you and yours from EVER bettering yourself.
Gayle H
08/07 12:28 a.m. I shop at Wal-Mart because if they dont have it You probally dont need it. They have the best prices on most items.
08/07 12:28 a.m. Of course. Super Wal-Marts save time and money. And, with a family to feed and spend time with, you just can't go wrong with getting all your shopping done at one time.
08/07 12:28 a.m. walmart is good for shopping because you can find pretty much anything there that youre looking for, now including groceries there's no reason to drive to four different stores because you would like to think youre supporting the local markets
08/07 12:28 a.m. No, I do not shop at WalMart. I like Target`s better quality clothes and home departments.
Chip D
08/07 12:28 a.m. I do not shop at Walmart, and have no plans to ever shop there. To me, they are the Trailer Park Trash of the retail industry. Their commercials are misleading, "Walmart helps my neighbourhood, bringing in good jobs". WRONG. They are part-time, minimum wage, no benefits, dead-end jobs. That's how they "help" communities and neighbourhoods. The behind the scenes dealings, which the public is not privy to pretty much amounts to extortion. They have so many law suits against them with regards to their labour practices it would make your head spin. They are an evil company that I will never do business with. I'll shop at Target.
Mr. B. Wright
08/07 12:27 a.m. I buy some things at Wal-Mart, however they are not always the lowest in price, so you have to watch what you are doing. Also there are some things they don't have. I think they are a good store and do force the price down some. I know it is tough for the small town business people, but that came about prior to Wal-Mart. I do think it is rotten for people to bring a civil action against Wal-Mart for every little thing like a stub of the toe,,, and this class action pending now is also a bad deal, I hope the court kicks it out and the people that started it.
it saves everyone money.
08/07 00:35 a.m. I do not shop at WalMart however, when a WalMart is in town it makes other retailers lower their price. Everyone wins wether you shop there or not. As far as "small town" stores, if the residents of these small towns would support the local retailer, instead of "getting a better price" these shops would still be around. Everyone loves to say WalMart is evil, but when it comes down to it, everyone would rather save a buck then demonstrate loyalty. Small town retailers are not the only ones feeling the heat. Large retailers such as Best Buy are forced to be competitive also. Simple fact is they bring competition to retailing, if you can't compete or want to cry foul, then close up shop.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Arouse in the Other Person an Eager Want - What I believe #3

25 years ago I was on a spiritual search. I poked here and there. I heard lots of people pontificate to me. I had people pray with me and for me.

Then one day my friend Rodney said a few simple words to me that changed me forever.

He knew my searching heart and simply said, God has more for you if you want it.
My curiosity and hunger was piqued. I said I did. He lead me to find what I was looking for and I never looked back since. He's still my friend. Thanks Rod.

He found a place of want in me and auroused it to life.

What do we want? Happiness, Money, Friends, Peace, Security, Love, Joy, and a hundred other things.

Advertising promises that if we wear their clothes, drink their cola, put on their cologne, buy their product our
wants will be met in full. Mostly it's a lie. But the Method isn't wrong.

We want to be persuaded that if we do this or that our wants will be met. If we are dealing with a co-worker, a child, a friend, or a parent, why not try doing what the admen on TV do. Arouse in the other person an eager want. Hold out a promise of what could happen and then ask for action.

Don't write promises with your mouth that you can't cash. Don't lie. But try to make it appealing and worthwhile.

Find their need and fill it

Arouse in the other person an eager want

Monday, August 08, 2005

No Chain at the Chain Store Except the old Ball and Chain

I broke the chain on my Toro Lawn Mower. I decided to fix it Saturday. I decided I needed to get a new chain since the old one was pretty stiff. I am too. (That’s an “old” joke).

So off I trotted to Ace is the Place. Two locations. NO CHAIN. So you are clear, I’m talking drive chain, think motorcycle chain, bicycle chain. Now you got it. This was #40 chain. A pretty common size.

I grew up in the Implement business. We sold chain. Lots of chain. It came on a big roll, we sold it by the foot. We cut it with a large cutting tool.

So I traipsed up and down Randall Road, Home Despot (Depot), Lowes, Menards.

We don’t have chain they said. We only sell things that make lots of money. If it don’t come in a bubble pack we don’t sell it.

The nearest place that MIGHT have had the chain would have been farm and fleet, a 40 mile drive. But they are becoming less and less a real supply store and more a K-Mart with a saddle shop. No confidence there.

We used to have a “Real” hardware store. Valley (Home) Hardware. When Lowes came to town they threw in the towel. Didn’t want to fight the battle.

That’s what I hate about Big Box stores. Low prices low service low wages low loyalty down low!

Prices are low. That’s the ONLY thing about them that makes sense. But, when they come they destroy any semblance of customer service. Billy who waits on you at Wal-Mart in Automotive was in Lingerie the week before and the week before that was a cashier. He makes $9 per hour. Now you ask Billy a question…………..Right. If he knew he wouldn’t be working at Wal-Mart.

So the end result is you get stores self serve with minimum wage plus a little workers driving down the economic base so they can only afford to shop at Wal-Mart et al.

I’m in the nursery business. I watch the independent garden centers try to fight this battle. One of the movers and shakers in the business is responding to the pressure from big box stores by:

  • 1. Firing all the people who know anything (and get paid well for knowing)
  • 2. Stocking only fast moving product (if it doesn’t present X turn we don’t sell it)
  • 3. Hiring at the same level as Wal-Mart. Don’t ask, we don’t know.

This works but it lets the customer fend for himself. The people that work for him know nothing. Worse, they pretend to know something so you have the blind leading the blind.

It’s a ball and chain. When a big box moves to town or an area it causes the full service knowledgeable firms to fold. Is their business model better. It’s obviously more profitable. But better? I don’t think so.

It may be inexorable. But the luddite in me resists shopping at Wal-Mart which was the progenitor of all this madness. Joni Mitchell sang Big Yellow Taxi. One line said: Give me spots on my apples and give me the birds and the bees.

We now have spotless stores with no soul. No owner. No responsibility. No accountability. No involvement in community. And, how long before consolidation takes place when Wal-Mart owns Lowes, Target, Home Depot, and Menard? Everything has a price and Wal-Mart has the money. If you have a superstore in your town that's the only place left to shop. They suck the life out of the rest of the town. USA you're next.

I am sick of the prattle about how much Wal-Mart and the French company Target’ pours back into the local economy. In real measure it’s a drop in the bucket. But the media and the locals rave about it.

This is preparing people for the reign of the anti-Christ. I’m not so sure that these trends won’t be part of the tribulation economy where no man can buy or sell except he had the mark of the beast either on his forehead or in his right hand. I am astounded how fast people sell the souls of their community out for a few cents less per item, never mind that it’s all made in China by people earning money that used to be paid to American workers. Do you remember when Wal-Mart used to tout how they featured or sold Made in America? You don’t hear that anymore. Old man Sam was a decent sort but the beast got away from him.

So, when the day comes that all the big box stores demand that you take the mark or an implantable RFID chip in your body in order to buy or sell there and when they keep track of all your purchases because they own the credit cards, when money is no longer used for most purchases, when every item you buy is tracked, you have been set up for the anti-Christ reign. You’ll wish you had those few bucks you saved back.

Everything I just said in the above paragraph are in the works right now or are already in operation.

Don’t you just love the Wal-Mart brave new world? Seig Heil!