Should I boycott Walmart?

stevento

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 10, 2006
255
0
Los Angeles
Opinions please.
I'm torn right now.

I was going to buy Earth by Disney Nature on blu ray because it was $23.86 instead of $29.99 everywhere else. After tax that's $6.50 saved by buying it at Walmart instead of Best Buy or Target. But I couldn't find the walmart store so I went home to look up the location online.

But then I turned on a show called Blood Sweat and T Shirts. It's a documentary reality series. They go to cities like New York and London and take people who are obsessed with fashion and take them to India and China sweatshops and slums so they can work for a day or two to make the clothes that they love to buy.

I'm watching it and thinking perhaps I should boycott Walmart because of this type of thing.
But then someone on the show made this argument (which I think is bogus): "If we didn't buy clothes made at sweatshops, all these sweatshop workers would be out of work. Working from 8 am to 10 pm in horrible conditions is better than unemployment."

I'd like to hear some opinions about this.
 

sushi

Moderator emeritus
Jul 19, 2002
15,630
3
キャンプスワ&#
If given the choice of working in poor conditions or starving id probably pick working in poor conditions.
Agree.

I remember a show on Nike and their sweatshops. How bad the working conditions were. But yet, there was a line around the block of workers waiting for a chance at a job. Needless to say, the workforce was motivated. If they caused problems or couldn't produce, there were only about 200-300 readily available replacements.
 

decksnap

macrumors 68040
Apr 11, 2003
3,070
70
It's actually kind of true - sad, but true. No jobs or extremely poorly paying jobs are two awful choices.

As much as I hate Walmart for lots of other reasons, if you're going to boycott them for this reason, you'd have to boycott a whole lot of other places.
 

rhsgolfer33

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2006
882
1
Are you willing to boycott numerous other stores as well? Because its not only WalMart that sells items made in poor working conditions or sweatshops. You'd be boycotting hundreds of stores (and paying $150 for your jeans) if you attempted to boycott every company that was involved in that kind of labor.

Think of it this way, does it really make a big difference whether you buy that Earth dvd at WalMart or on Amazon? The dvd was made in the same place under the same conditions regardless of where you purchase it.
 

Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,300
10,371
UK
Are you willing to boycott numerous other stores as well? Because its not only WalMart that sells items made in poor working conditions or sweatshops. You'd be boycotting hundreds of stores (and paying $150 for your jeans) if you attempted to boycott every company that was involved in that kind of labor.
Quite, practically every clothes retailer uses sweatshops. I'm sure some also pay better than others though, whether Walmart is good or bad on that is difficult to know.
 

Sydde

macrumors 68020
Aug 17, 2009
2,104
2,162
IOKWARDI
No, just fail to spend any money there. Really not that hard to do, and there are plenty of other good reasons to shun them. I personally have no idea what the inside of one of those looks like. Never had a compelling reason to find out.
 

stevento

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 10, 2006
255
0
Los Angeles
Are you willing to boycott numerous other stores as well? Because its not only WalMart that sells items made in poor working conditions or sweatshops. You'd be boycotting hundreds of stores (and paying $150 for your jeans) if you attempted to boycott every company that was involved in that kind of labor.

Think of it this way, does it really make a big difference whether you buy that Earth dvd at WalMart or on Amazon? The dvd was made in the same place under the same conditions regardless of where you purchase it.
the movie was created by disney, manufactured by sony and distributed probably by disney.
so I don't think that's the issue. the issue is should i give my money to walmart or best buy?
 

Rt&Dzine

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2008
736
5
I don't give them my money. I realize that all large retailers sell items made in sweatshops, but Walmart was the leader in this trend. They are responsible for the demise of American manufacturing (although it's water under the bridge now).
 

TechieJustin

macrumors 6502
Nov 22, 2009
270
0
Pennsylvania, USA
Opinions please.
I'm torn right now.

I was going to buy Earth by Disney Nature on blu ray because it was $23.86 instead of $29.99 everywhere else. After tax that's $6.50 saved by buying it at Walmart instead of Best Buy or Target. But I couldn't find the walmart store so I went home to look up the location online.

But then I turned on a show called Blood Sweat and T Shirts. It's a documentary reality series. They go to cities like New York and London and take people who are obsessed with fashion and take them to India and China sweatshops and slums so they can work for a day or two to make the clothes that they love to buy.

I'm watching it and thinking perhaps I should boycott Walmart because of this type of thing.
But then someone on the show made this argument (which I think is bogus): "If we didn't buy clothes made at sweatshops, all these sweatshop workers would be out of work. Working from 8 am to 10 pm in horrible conditions is better than unemployment."

I'd like to hear some opinions about this.


Bah...

every time I start feeling "guilty" about going to wal-mart I think how the unions in this country were ripping people off for decades.
From the UAW's "Job Bank" to steel manufacturers not being able to complete.
 

TechieJustin

macrumors 6502
Nov 22, 2009
270
0
Pennsylvania, USA
I don't give them my money. I realize that all large retailers sell items made in sweatshops, but Walmart was the leader in this trend. They are responsible for the demise of American manufacturing (although it's water under the bridge now).
How do you figure that?

All of my old toys from the early 1980's say "made in China" on them. This is nothing new. American industry had 40+ years to adjust, innovate in response to foreign competition and failed to do so.
 

Rt&Dzine

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2008
736
5

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
57
Yes, boycott Wal-mart and stop wearing clothes, eating process foods, shaving, or bathing.

Become a free spirit not bound by societies rules. Live off the land and shake your tail at society.

---

I'll send homemade cookies to your jail cell or you mental health room. :p
 

TechieJustin

macrumors 6502
Nov 22, 2009
270
0
Pennsylvania, USA
Maybe it would have happened anyway, but Walmart was a big player. If you haven't seen it, you might be interested in this:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/walmart/view/
That's nothing more than theatrics. I'm not spending $25 for a pack of pencils because some Union putz makes $50/hr putting them into bags.

Like I said, American manufacturing companies had 40 years to do something to combat the outsourcing and foreign competition. I don't blame the unions for everything, but they played a big part in crippling american companies.

Also, blame the consumer. Football Mom with the minivan doesn't want to pay $10 for her ugly kids' Teletubbies shirt; so retailers respond accordingly.
 

Rt&Dzine

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2008
736
5
That's nothing more than theatrics. I'm not spending $25 for a pack of pencils because some Union putz makes $50/hr putting them into bags.

Like I said, American manufacturing companies had 40 years to do something to combat the outsourcing and foreign competition. I don't blame the unions for everything, but they played a big part in crippling american companies.

Also, blame the consumer. Football Mom with the minivan doesn't want to pay $10 for her ugly kids' Teletubbies shirt; so retailers respond accordingly.
Did you even watch it? It's an hour long. :rolleyes:
 

FX120

macrumors 65816
May 18, 2007
1,173
232
Chinese-made textiles are virtually impossible to avoid these days, no matter where you shop.
 
Opinions please.
I'm torn right now.

I was going to buy Earth by Disney Nature
Don't. I bought that, and the Planet Earth TV series as well. The Disney version uses the exact same scenes, same footage, but only a small subset thereof. The Planet Earth series is far more complete, informational. The only reasons I can think of to buy the Disney version is, you have kids who need it explained in small words, and/or you like the voice of James Earl Jones.

As for Wal-Mart... Meh. If you feel strongly about it, and would feel better by never shopping there, then don't. Just don't expect WallyWorld to notice or care.
 

TechieJustin

macrumors 6502
Nov 22, 2009
270
0
Pennsylvania, USA
Way to be willfully ignorant.
Oh, is that right?

What will this tell me that I didn't learn in the four years at graduate college?
Some second rate film school kid with a pirated copy of Final Cut, put that documentary together.
Conditions suck in China. Lower prices for the consumer are good.
Its a paradox.

Oh, but I watch that magical PBS special I'll see the light.
 

yojitani

macrumors 68000
Apr 28, 2005
1,855
10
An octopus's garden
If you don't shop there, if you have a 'liberal' conscience you might feel somewhat better about the world, like you are doing something to make it better. You might even feel empowered! You, stevento, are taking a stand against corporatism that encourages a world in which we are (or should be) grateful to work in a sweatshop!

Or you could avoid shopping there as an exercise in triviality and meaninglessness.

If you do shop there, justify it to yourself that you aren't rich and could do with the couple of extra dollars. Anyway, you're keeping someone employed, even if it's a sweatshop worker and a wal-mart employee.

Or you could shop anywhere and just enjoy your utter powerlessness.

Is that sunshine?
 

63dot

macrumors 603
Jun 12, 2006
5,271
339
norcal
I'm not going to bother. It won't tell me anything I don't already know. I have an MBA, I understand how business works.
Then you must be THE ONE.

Here's a plan. We can toss out all the politicians out or neutralize their power, burn the Constitution or just plain ignore it, get rid of all the judges or ignore all that they say, and have an autocracy run by an MBA.

Wait, I think we did that with the first, and hopefully last MBA who sat in the Oval Office. He went to Harvard MBA school so that means he must have been really, really smart. ;)

Way to be willfully ignorant.
Why do you think the competent MBAs don't tell anybody, and especially don't put it on their business card.:eek: