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summerain
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Member # 37439
Default  Posted: 1:27 AM, August 11th (Sunday)

So I am from Australia and I generally really love it here. One thing that would make it better is.... Walmart.

Then my friend who brought a book about Walmart and recently went to America said it was one of the most evil corporations. That it shuts down all of the mum and dad owners and sucks the life out of America.

Wow was my thought

But I was thinking about it and there are some aspects that I do love about America just from reading this website and I was hoping to go there maybe end of 2015. From what my friend said though is that the social security sucks and people are overly enthusiastic when going to cafes etc because they only get paid around $2.50 an hour, because they are reliant on tips.

Even then it only goes up to $8-9 an hour then onwards. I would get more on our social security for doing nothing. That is our min wage for 15 year olds. This greatly worries me. I asked my friend if she thought the cost of living was lower in the America and she thought it was... slightly.

So this is my dilemma, I love my friend dearly but I thought maybe she's exaggerating? This is really curious to me because I would feel awkward coming to America know that my waitress was struggling to survive because she doesn't get paid enough.

This is not an attack on America btw, like I said the information I received seemed like a very different life to Australia. Besides there are so many aspects of America that sounds amazing.


Oh yeah and does Walmart ship overseas? haha


OW1 inadvertently let me know WH loves English breakfast tea. Never ever saw him drink it. And I never will.

Posts: 818 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Australia
Amazonia
Member
Member # 32810
Default  Posted: 7:43 AM, August 11th (Sunday)

(Without getting into politics here - please realize this can be an extremely heated topic in the States):
Minimum wage in America varies by state. In most states, it is below what is considered general standard of living though.

Yes, service staff like waiters, bartenders, hostesses, etc. make less than minimum wage (there is a separate minimum wage set for those types of jobs) and do rely on tips. Tipping also varies regionally, but the norms tend to fall from 15-20% for decent service. Waiting tables can actually be quite lucrative if you work at an upscale restaurant where a lot of alcohol is served. We (Americans) also tip for services like spa or beauty services, hair cuts, nail appointments, massage, waxing, etc.; baristas and ice cream shops usually have tip jars; etc. America is a very tip friendly culture.

Walmart is actually an international corporation. I believe they have more stores outside the US than in! When I was living in Asia, Walmart was a good place to find certain western style goods and products we couldn't find anywhere else, but was quite expensive. Here in America it's generally considered inexpensive, and often trashy. There are other stores that have a very similar model, but are considered nicer, like Target (which now includes groceries in more and more of their stores) or Meijer (a family owned superstore chain in the Midwest). These stores tend to be cleaner and have a higher class clientele than Walmart, but without significant changes to the pricing.

America has a growing gap between socioeconomic classes, which many would argue is driven in part by things like wage disparity, like you mentioned with the minimum wages. This can directly affect things like education, if a parent is working 2 full time jobs to make ends meet, and can't be involved with their child's education. Education is also largely privatized in America (is it in Australia?) or run through city governments, so there's a lot of inconsistency in the level of education received, with it being common to see better education where the local community can pour more money into the local schools. It kind of creates a self perpetuating cycle where families that struggle continue to do so for generations - but those families aren't a picture of all of Americans, because we have a large middle and upper class as well.

Hopefully that helps as an objective overview, and this post won't incite angry political debates.


"You yourself deserve your love and affection as much as anybody in the universe." -Buddha
"Let's face it, life is a crap shoot." -Sad in AZ

Posts: 13690 | Registered: Jul 2011
jrc1963
Member
Member # 26531
Default  Posted: 9:02 AM, August 11th (Sunday)

Wages for tipped employes
http://www.dol.gov/whd/state/tipped.htm

Federal Minimum Wage/States Minimum Wage
http://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/america.htm

Here are a couple of websites that show minimum wage and minimum wage for tipped employees.

Most of the restaurants/cafe's I frequent don't have "tipped" employees because they are basically counter-service or fast food.

When I do visit an establishment where the wait staff relies on tips, I tend to give a minimum of 18%.

I'm not sure what your friend meant by

overly enthusiastic

Or how that would effect her/your impression of the establishment, so I can't speak to that aspect.

I think she has a valid point when she says Walmart tends to run out the "mom and pop" shops. Being a cheap, onestop shop kinda place. Although unless I'm really desperate I tend to stay away from Walmart, as do a lot of people I know.

Having no idea what your cost of living and taxes are like in Australia I can't say if we're any less expensive.

I do know that living in Florida I have a very low tax burden. Florida has no state income tax. I also don't have a local city tax (other cities might). I pay property tax on my house, but because of the Homestead Exemption I pay about 1/2 of the homes assessed value.

I'm a teacher which isn't that high paying a field in Florida as it can be in other places so my Federal Income Tax bracket is pretty low also.

We pay into Medicare and Social Security - but that doesn't take too much out of my check. However, I won't get too much back either so I have to plan for my own retirement. At this rate I'll have to work until I drop dead!

PM me if you'd like any more specific information.


Me: BSO - 46
Him: FWSO - 68
DS - 12
D-Day - 12-11-09,
R - he finally came home
Your life is an Occasion. Rise to it. - Mr. Magorium, "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium"

Posts: 24448 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: Florida
Lucky2HaveMe
Member
Member # 13333
Default  Posted: 9:04 AM, August 11th (Sunday)

Am a said it perfectly


Indian wisdom says our lives are rivers. We are born somewhere small and quiet and we move toward a place we cannot see, but only imagine. From Tending Roses

Posts: 6256 | Registered: Jan 2007 | From: WNY
Deeply Scared
Administrator
Member # 2
Default  Posted: 9:12 AM, August 11th (Sunday)

Our Walmart here is filthy, unorganized and filled with trashy people. Our neighbor (who isn't trashy...lol!) shops there every day...literally, every day.

She brings home crap. Shit made in China for a nickel and then she's surprised when it breaks a month later

I don't like Walmart so I shop at Target. Much better quality of merchandise and it's a very clean store with nice music piped through

As for service related jobs...Amazonia said it perfectly. I know that MH and myself along with all our friends are very generous tippers. I think overall America is like that...we value our servers

[This message edited by SI Staff at 9:12 AM, August 11th (Sunday)]


"Don't give up, the beginning is always the hardest." My Mom:)

My tolerance for stupid shit is getting less and less.


Posts: 197314 | Registered: May 2002
Bobbi_sue
Member
Member # 10347
Default  Posted: 9:20 AM, August 11th (Sunday)

asked my friend if she thought the cost of living was lower in the America and she thought it was... slightly.
Cost of living varies a lot in the USA.

My H and I went to Australia in 2009. We were shocked to hear how high the min. wage was, but then even more shocked to see how much stuff costs there. We came away thinking that $8/00 hr goes further here than $15/hr there, at least in our area, that is the case.

Also, some people hate Walmart. I think it is fine for what it is. It is the only store we have in our town where we can most of what we need in one stop. It came in our town 11 years ago. Not one other retail store including the two other grocery stories has gone out of business in that time, and if anything, Wally world brings our town more business because people from the rural surrounding areas come to our town when they would not bother before, eating in our restaurants and checking out some of the other businesses. I'm sure the experience could be very different in another town.

People say it is horrible place to work. My step-DD and her H met there, while they were employees, and later got married. They wanted Walmart themed everything. It was cute.

Just yesterday, I talked with the second in command manager at our local Walmart. My H has known her and her H forever and went to school with them. She says she loves her job, and they are fair to her and the benefits and pay are nice. How often do we hear that? On TV it is all the opposite but I think people might get a different picture if they went around talking to the real individuals involved (not the just the ones who got fired, or whatever, either).


Posts: 5729 | Registered: Apr 2006
homewrecked2011
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Member # 34678
Default  Posted: 9:39 AM, August 11th (Sunday)

Depends on where in America you want to live. If you can afford it, pick out 6 places and spend a week in each place, then return to Australia and then decide.


In my area of South Carolina, a 3 bedroom home is 80,000 and we make about 10-15 dollars an hour. Most people drive older cars and have land.

My bro lives in Ft Lauderdale Fl and his condo was 500,000 for 2 bedrooms, but he earns a TON of money..

And this is NOT polically charged, just as a reference: If you become a citizen, our new health care insurance is mandatory (at this time) and no one knows what the cost will be per month....


me BS 52
him - 46
married 15 years DIVORCED 10 31 12
children - ds15 ds12
d-day 12-19-11
I gave a 24hour ultimatum then went to attorney next day
Divorce filed

Posts: 2062 | Registered: Jan 2012
Nature_Girl
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Member # 32554
Default  Posted: 9:59 AM, August 11th (Sunday)

I won't shop at Walmart. I actively protest when a Walmart is proposed for being built around here. I think Walmart is bad for America and global economics.

Most people I know who work in the restaurant industry struggle to make ends meet.


Me = BS (Stay-at-home-mom)
Him = EX-d out (abusive troglodyte NPD SA)
3 tween-aged kids
Together 20 years
D-Day: Memorial Weekend 2011
2013 - I DIVORCED HIM, I'M FREE!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBOJpIwF47Y

Posts: 9529 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: USA
travels
Member
Member # 20334
Default  Posted: 10:55 AM, August 11th (Sunday)

I'm not a Walmart fan. It has run small businesses out of business in my area. Plus all the employees always look miserable, again in my area.

I agree with picking different areas you think you would like to live and visit them. There are so many different costs of living expenses depending on the area you choose. I've found taxes differ greatly depending on location.

Good luck!

[This message edited by travels at 10:55 AM, August 11th (Sunday)]


When one door closes, another door opens. It's the journey through the hallway that sucks.

Posts: 3771 | Registered: Jul 2008 | From: PA
Sad in AZ
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Member # 24239
Default  Posted: 11:56 AM, August 11th (Sunday)

Yes Walmart's policies are deplorable, but many people can't afford to shop elsewhere and many people are happy (I guess that's a relative term) to have jobs there. Service staff and cooks make very low wages, but they either choose to work at restaurants or can't find jobs elsewhere. I usually tip 20% or even more if I receive good service.

You can vist or not; that's up to you. I'd love to vist OZ someday, and I won't let the umpteen species of deadly animals deter me. I say this with tongue partly in cheek; the X refused to consider visiting OZ because of the many animals that could kill you


I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.

Posts: 20027 | Registered: Jun 2009 | From: Upstate NY
Mama_of_3_Kids
Member
Member # 26651
Default  Posted: 12:20 PM, August 11th (Sunday)

Honestly, I dislike Walmart with every part of my being. Walmart DID drive out many mom and pop stores, as well as other (less known) retail stores in my town, when they came in, in early 2000. I actually lost my job as a result of Walmart coming in (hence part of the dislike for them). I would much prefer to go to a Target or Meijer, over Walmart (better quality, similar prices).

As far as minimum wage, tipping, etc. I think many American's tip at least 15% (if not more). Do3K and I tip a MINIMUM of 15-20% when we go out; if it's somewhere upscale and the server does a decent job, we've been known to tip much more than that. It is difficult to live on minimum wage and some families do have to work more than one job to make ends meet. We live in a farming community; houses in this area go for approx $80,000 for a 3bed/2bath home, in town. It's kind of a toss up on vehicles (some drive new vehicles and others drive older models). We have a couple of distribution centers, for stores, in the area and that has helped our economy/jobs to stay here.


Me: FBW/30 Him: FWH/33 The kidlets: DS13, DS10, and DD8 The hounds: Four Shih Tzu's
Finally, completely R'd
Clothed in strength and dignity, with nothing to fear, she smiles when she thinks about the future.~Proverbs 31:25

Posts: 11555 | Registered: Dec 2009
Lucky2HaveMe
Member
Member # 13333
Default  Posted: 12:35 PM, August 11th (Sunday)

The fed govt sets a minimum minimum wage. The states can then choose to increase it.

Often, even if the states increase it, a person can work full time and still not be above the poverty level. One of the saddest stats of our society, IMO.

Most retail/service jobs are PT and at minimum wage - a fact not limited to Walmart.

I live between 2 Walmarts. The closest one in nearer the city, is dark, dirty, bleh. The other is in a nicer suburb, bright, clean, pleasant. Location. Location. Location.


Indian wisdom says our lives are rivers. We are born somewhere small and quiet and we move toward a place we cannot see, but only imagine. From Tending Roses

Posts: 6256 | Registered: Jan 2007 | From: WNY
scaredyKat
Member
Member # 25560
Default  Posted: 5:32 PM, August 11th (Sunday)

Walmart has cause the closing of several smaller grocery stores here, and their policy of hiring only part time employees and therefore not paying for healthcare has added to that issue. I also find the quality to be lacking and prefer Target-whose quality has also suffered, btw.

My fWH spend 5 years in OZ, his mother is a native. Loved it, found taxes high but services, health care, public transportation, etc, exceptional. He was a single guy, no responsibilities, just had tons of fun. DS#1 just spent 6 weeks there and would love to go back.


Servers are paid ~$2.50 an hour and depend on tips. I tip well.


Me-BS-60
HIM-SAFWH-63
Damn autocorrect is responsible for the silly errors, sorry!

Posts: 3458 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: In my head
summerain
Member
Member # 37439
Default  Posted: 6:54 PM, August 11th (Sunday)

Scaredy kat..... Wow I couldn't even imagine that my mouth literally dropped open!

-------
Sad in AZ: oh yes we do have dangerous animals... Well technically we do, but hand on heart I don't see them often. I did live in an intercity suburb that had a lot of rainforest and we did occasionally get snakes.

My cat though she was amazing, she would kill the snakes. Also it's really dependant on where you live for koalas and kangaroos.
------------/////----------
Amazonia: really interesting thankyou! My friend said when she went to restaurants she felt she was being asked every 5 mins if she was 'ok'. I'm not sure if she was exaggerating but in Australia that would really piss people off.
-----------

Wow, this is so interesting! Yes the healthcare is America is an aspect that I've found really surprising! Here it is seen as just a tax you pay, to ensure everyone has it. So we dont need a job to have healthcare. Except for dental and physio (which astronomically expensive here)

I also heard cops can be really mean, is that true?! That they can pull you over an start screaming at you! i also saw an american cop show and was horrified! Our cops here are really laid back, (sometimes to the public's detriment).

Even after reading all your responses, some which really shocked me. I think I would still love to have a visit at least! I think it is such a different culture to what we have in Australia. Also the entertainment is apparently so much better than Australia! We don't seem to be much of a cultural society so ballet etc, whilst its possible, it would be nowhere as good as America.

What I've found really interesting is the cost of houses !!!

80,000! Jeez Louise! Here I live in a inner city area and it's 600,000 min.

All considering I could save a lot of money here, watch the exchange rate and buy a house!
That must be why Americans seem to have such nice houses

Yes taxes are very high. For example last year I earnt about $29 an hour. I may only see about $23 -24. But it's all if you do your tax returns right. (Which many people, including me are too lazy to do)

But another thing I've always wondered, in America do you not have a deferred payment system for uni students? Is it true that you have to take out a bank loan?

We only have one university that doesn't do deffered payments and the isn't really that much of a line cueing up to go to it.

This is so fascinating! Such a different culture to ours! As apparently it's beautiful there, architecturally wise and amazing promotions for tv shows, and a huge sports culture. The biggest thing here, personally is the football. Haha!

But yes if any of you are thinking of coming to Australia. We don't generally tip . I've seen Americans do that and I feel bad for them, the food etc takes the 'tip' aka their wage into account!

Wow thankyou so much for your responses. It's amazing how different life is in different countries, I can't wait to go there in person!

[This message edited by lauren123 at 6:58 PM, August 11th (Sunday)]


OW1 inadvertently let me know WH loves English breakfast tea. Never ever saw him drink it. And I never will.

Posts: 818 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Australia
musiclovingmom
Member
Member # 38207
Default  Posted: 7:05 PM, August 11th (Sunday)

Homes in my area start at about $150,000 (50+ yrs old and bought after being repossessed). We are not a city and our minimum wage is $7.25/hour. $25/hr is considered good money here. I worked as a teacher for $23.80/hr. I also worked as a waitress for $2.35/hr. We live close to a reservation and culturally many traditional people are opposed to tipping. I could expect to get no tip from at least 1/3 of my tables on any given night. Most people in my area tip a standard dollar amount ($2-$5 is the norm).
Come, visit, see how the culture is different from your own and enjoy some of the rather unique and beautiful things America has to offer. Idk if I would just up and move, but I am admittedly resistant to change.

Posts: 1057 | Registered: Jan 2013
Amazonia
Member
Member # 32810
Default  Posted: 8:20 PM, August 11th (Sunday)

One bedroom condos where I live (downtown DC) start around $300,000. Home prices are very regional in the States.

University is indeed paid upfront and is growing at an unbelievable rate. Several economists I follow are predicting that education will be the next bubble to burst in the faltering American economy. Our economy relies very heavily on the use of credit. My opinion is that this is why it's so shaky, but that's just an uneducated personal opinion. Educational loans are available through private banks and in limited amounts through the government. The government loans have limited interest rates.

I'm a single individual and very roughly 25% of my paycheck goes to taxes (state and federal). It varies a lot for married and those with kids, as well as different tax brackets based on how much you earn.

Law enforcement attitudes tend to vary by city/area as well. You have to remember that America is a pretty big country with very distinct subcultures in different parts of the country. A lot of the generalizations and media stereotypes will be true for one area but not everywhere. In my experience, police in bigger cities with higher crime rates have a more hardened attitude, which is understandable considering what they encounter on a daily basis.


"You yourself deserve your love and affection as much as anybody in the universe." -Buddha
"Let's face it, life is a crap shoot." -Sad in AZ

Posts: 13690 | Registered: Jul 2011
bluelady
Member
Member # 11061
Default  Posted: 8:29 PM, August 11th (Sunday)

There are other stores that have a very similar model, but are considered nicer, like Target

Really??? Here in Canada, we have had Walmart for years. Target just recently opened their doors. I have yet to go to a Target here in Canada.

Now, a few years back, a few friends and I went to the States for a weekend away. They were super pumped about being able to go to Target. I honestly thought it would be this magical place - boy was I wrong. I did not see the appeal. It reminded me a lot of Zellers (who, incidentally, were recently bought out by Target, hence Target's move north), which I find to have had cheaper quality merchandise than Walmart. To be fair, I've never been inside an American Walmart, so maybe they're different?


Me (BS): 33

Divorced


Posts: 1437 | Registered: Jun 2006 | From: a little bit of everywhere
Nature_Girl
Member
Member # 32554
Default  Posted: 8:33 PM, August 11th (Sunday)

I just saw something about the federal minimum wage for employees who make tips is under $3.00 an hour. That's outrageous.


Me = BS (Stay-at-home-mom)
Him = EX-d out (abusive troglodyte NPD SA)
3 tween-aged kids
Together 20 years
D-Day: Memorial Weekend 2011
2013 - I DIVORCED HIM, I'M FREE!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBOJpIwF47Y

Posts: 9529 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: USA
scaredyKat
Member
Member # 25560
Default  Posted: 9:01 PM, August 11th (Sunday)

Homes in my area are about $275K for a large 4 bedroom 2.5 bath with a fair sized lot. Values are depressed. We are 20 minutes from a major city. Teachers are paid $50k starting, engineers and nurses ~$65K. Your return of $23 on $29 is better than most Americans I know! I pay 28% I think, having no deductions, and I do my taxes properly, lol. My healthcare is a perk of my employment, but too many people don't have it. That is about to change.

I have never had anything but positive experiences with police, I wouldn't believe TV...there are always bad apples.

Come visit! We've had Aussies come visit a lot, relatives mostly from the Melbourne area. We usually adapt to the accent within days!


Me-BS-60
HIM-SAFWH-63
Damn autocorrect is responsible for the silly errors, sorry!

Posts: 3458 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: In my head
Amazonia
Member
Member # 32810
Default  Posted: 9:03 PM, August 11th (Sunday)

bluelady, every time I go to walmart in America, I feel like I should get a hepatitis shot afterwards. Are they like that in Canada?

ETA: Walmart in Asia did not give me hepatitis feelings. It made me miss America.

[This message edited by Amazonia at 9:04 PM, August 11th (Sunday)]


"You yourself deserve your love and affection as much as anybody in the universe." -Buddha
"Let's face it, life is a crap shoot." -Sad in AZ

Posts: 13690 | Registered: Jul 2011
Grace and Flowers
Member
Member # 34431
Default  Posted: 9:33 PM, August 11th (Sunday)

Lauren,
Oh, do come visit! There are great things about the US, and there are awful things. There are expensive things, adnd cheap things. There are good people, and rotten people.

Having lived abroad, I have found that it can be hard for people who haven't lived here to comprehend the SIZE of the US. And the differences in our sub-cultures. I've also lived all over the US...it's amazed me how different it is everywhere! Except Wal Mart. Ugh.

Australia is quite a large country, so maybe the size won't be a surprise to you. But things like university, healthcare, wages, etc., might. Each state is run very differently. If you earn low wages in one state, you may get help from the gov't if they have good social services. The same wages in another state, and you might not qualify for help. Same with education. Some areas are good....others awful.

I would think it would be quite a shock to move here from a country that does help subsidize health care and education costs more.

If you ever decide to visit, and don't want to just do Disney, take a poll here...maybe we can recommend some places to visit that are fun, but lesser known! And also advise what to stay away from, lol!


I'm Happy, not Sad!

Posts: 1159 | Registered: Jan 2012 | From: US
Jeaniegirl
Member
Member # 6370
Default  Posted: 9:47 PM, August 11th (Sunday)

I am not a WalMart person. In my southern state I have seen many "Main Street America" businesses go under because of Walmartizing. As for WalMart in Canada, they ARE a lot nicer than WalMart stores in the states. I made a trip into WalMart in Canada just to see for myself.


"Because I deserve better"

Posts: 974 | Registered: Feb 2005
purplejacket4
Member
Member # 34262
Default  Posted: 10:59 PM, August 11th (Sunday)

The only redeeming thing I can say about Walmart is they were the first to deeply discount medications with their four dollar list. Of course they assume you can't go in there without buying a bunch of other crap, too.

Target ALL the way!

Americans by in large are GREAT tippers. If you completely suck AND should be fired I still tip 10%. If you are average I tip 20%. And if your excellent I tip 30-50%. When I was in college I delivered pizzas and averaged 8 dollars an hour. Due to inflation that's 15 now. And the cost of living in the south and southwest are great! My last house was 3300 square feet, twenty years old and today is valued at about 200K.

The healthcare aspect IS a major drawback however.


Me: BS 45
Her: fWS 48 (same sex partner)
Together: 18 years now (both MDs)
OW: meh so what 40s PhD
DD1: 10/30/11EA; DD2: 11/10/11 Had ONS; TT until 12/26/11; broke NC 6/12; NC again 7/12; R-ish

Posts: 2152 | Registered: Dec 2011 | From: Great Southwest
aesir
Member
Member # 17210
Default  Posted: 2:42 AM, August 12th (Monday)

Lauren, it has been a while since anyone posted, but www.peopleofwalmart.com used to be a great resource for SPF.


Your mileage may vary... in accordance with the prophecy.

Do not back up. Severe tire damage.


Posts: 14924 | Registered: Nov 2007 | From: Winnipeg
Amazonia
Member
Member # 32810
Default  Posted: 5:46 AM, August 12th (Monday)

averaged 8 dollars an hour. Due to inflation that's 15 now

Unfortunately in most areas of the country, minimum wage hasn't come close to keeping up with inflation.


"You yourself deserve your love and affection as much as anybody in the universe." -Buddha
"Let's face it, life is a crap shoot." -Sad in AZ

Posts: 13690 | Registered: Jul 2011
MissesJai
Member
Member # 24849
Default  Posted: 10:57 AM, August 12th (Monday)

I hate Wal-Mart. HATE. DESPISE. They are truly evil.


FWW - 41
I'm big on personal responsibility. Own your shit. ALL OF IT.

Posts: 5846 | Registered: Jul 2009 | From: So Cal.....
summerain
Member
Member # 37439
Default  Posted: 7:08 PM, August 12th (Monday)

Wow, thanks everyone for all of your responses.

Sadmad: I really do, got to save up for quite a bit to do so because, I now realise that

Everywhere is so different

In Australia there is really not much difference (very slight ones between states). The big differences are outback or NT (recommend against NT, a lot of cultural and social problems in some areas) or Tasmania (the little island looking thing off Australia that everyone forgets about)

From what Scardey Kat said about payments where she is... one of those is me and it's more than in my state. Probs would have to do a bridging course though because it's a different country.

I didn't realise that Walmart was so evil and that states were SO different.

But I take solace in the fact although I sound stupid... I had an international student from America start crying to me once...
Me: "What's wrong?"
Her: "I hate this place everyone is too relaxed and no-one ever rides a kangaroo to school!"

Seems like apparently her and her friends thought there were koalas in every tree, kangaroos can be a form of transport and that there were crocodiles.. everywhere. And we all knew how to wrestle them!


OW1 inadvertently let me know WH loves English breakfast tea. Never ever saw him drink it. And I never will.

Posts: 818 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Australia
Rollercoaster
Member
Member # 1298
Default  Posted: 11:26 PM, August 12th (Monday)

WalMart in NOT evil. Actually studies have been done and Target and WalMart are strikingly similar however; WalMart is quite a bit larger.

We have a Super WalMart fairly close to our house ("Super" meaning also a fully stocked grocery store) and we love it. However, I don't buy everything there and I still go to the local grocery stores.

That's what is great about America, there are lots of CHOICES. :)


Me BS 55, WS 55
Reconciled

Posts: 4059 | Registered: Mar 2003 | From: California
bluelady
Member
Member # 11061
Default  Posted: 11:53 PM, August 12th (Monday)

bluelady, every time I go to walmart in America, I feel like I should get a hepatitis shot afterwards. Are they like that in Canada?

Not at all. They're still a mega corporation that has destroyed many a mom and pop shop, but they're clean and relatively well organized. I still won't buy food there, though.

Some Canadian cities have limited Walmart's reach, though. I'm not sure on specifics, but I heard that the city of Vancouver only let them build on the outskirts of town and not only do they have to generate their own power, but they have to give back to the grid as well. Vancouverites - true or not true?


Me (BS): 33

Divorced


Posts: 1437 | Registered: Jun 2006 | From: a little bit of everywhere
Amazonia
Member
Member # 32810
Default  Posted: 6:15 AM, August 13th (Tuesday)

Here in DC we are about to get our first Walmarts (3 of them). They're being built in run down, poor parts of town where there aren't a lot of businesses and almost no jobs. And halfway through construction, city council hit Walmart with a minimum wage bill for large retailers that forces Walmart to pay 1.5x the wage that smaller retailers do. We were supposed to get six, but Walmart pulled the other three because of the bill.


"You yourself deserve your love and affection as much as anybody in the universe." -Buddha
"Let's face it, life is a crap shoot." -Sad in AZ

Posts: 13690 | Registered: Jul 2011
NaiveAgain
Member
Member # 20849
Default  Posted: 6:45 AM, August 13th (Tuesday)

I think it is a great idea to come and visit for a while. I wholeheartedly feel that people should visit other countries whenever the opportunity arises to see how others live and get an idea of how other countries work. America has its' share of problems (like anywhere) but there are many good things also. Visiting other countries and learning about other cultures helps us to bring back the good ideas and programs to our own country!

I am one of those that feels Wal-mart is an evil necessity. It is evil because it does not pay fair wages and many friends that I have work there and are also on government programs such as food stamps because they cannot afford to raise their family on Wal-marts wages. And I live in a rural area where they did shut down many of the mom and pop stores, which is a shame because you get more personalized service at the mom and pop stores, and if you are a repeat customer, many times the smaller merchants will work with you financially.

It is a necessity though, because in some depressed areas, their merchandise is more affordable and they do employ more people. But I can't say if that is good or bad, because many of the people they are employing are still not making a decent living.

Healthcare can be scary here if you don't have it. If you do not work full-time, your employer is not obligated to have health-care insurance for you, and that can leave you without which means you may not be able to afford to see a doctor until your problem becomes so bad you end up in the hospital. But most hospitals will admit anyone regardless of whether you have health-care or not. If you are poor, they will usually cover the bill or work out a payment plan with you.

College is becoming quite a controversy here these days. Most people agree that a college education is important but it has become more difficult to get a good job after college, and if you take out student loans, they can be hard to pay back. My uncle went to a decent university and was employed in the high end of management and it still took him 25 years to pay his student loan back!

Also, most Americans do understand that tipping is important, but my daughter and ex-mother in law worked as a waitress in fast-food type establishments and the tipping was erratic. Some people tip well and some do not tip at all. My daughter had a large party one time that took up most of her station for almost 2 hours and walked out without tipping her. She ended up in tears but her fellow waiters/waitresses contributed part of their own tips to help her out.

I think you will find positive and negative just like everywhere else, and it just depends on what parts are important to you. But I still think it is wonderful to be able to visit other countries!


Original WS D-Day July 10, 2008. Kept lying, he is gone.
New WS (2 EA's, no PA) 12-3-13
If you don't like where you are, then change it. You are not a tree.

Posts: 15193 | Registered: Aug 2008 | From: Ohio
wincing_at_light
Member
Member # 14393
Default  Posted: 7:39 AM, August 13th (Tuesday)

I think the takeaway on Wal-Mart is that it depends on where you are. I live in a small Midwestern town (pop. 3000), but about 30 minutes from a reasonably sized city with a major state university.

In my town, we have...Wal-Mart. It's neat, clean, and one of the better jobs available for unskilled laborers. It did drive out a number of mom and pop business when it arrived about 15 years ago -- but the truth is that I don't miss them, because they were making their wages gouging the living shit out of our older citizens who didn't have the mobility to shop at the next town over. Exploiting the folks on fixed incomes isn't a right, and you should expect to lose when someone comes in who can do it better and for less money.

(Look, I understand the economics of scale and supply-demand. Mom and Pop can't compete with Wal-Mart's distribution method and expect to survive on the margins Wal-Mart makes. Much in the same way that many big box retailers are starting to get their asses handed to them by Amazon and other online corps who don't have the overhead of real estate and brick and mortar locations.)

Now: put Wal-Mart in that "next town over" (city/college presence), and it does suffer compared to Target, Meijer, etc. That town's Wal-Mart has definitely targeted the blue-collar demographic...while the Target is *in* the mall. It's the hot place for college kids to shop on the cheap.

(Wal-Mart isn't even our lowest rung -- that's reserved for Big Lots, which is one of those "hepatitis shots" places. I've heard rumors that not all Big Lots are that way, but I've got no proof of that. The one I've been in is evidence aplenty, and it gives me the skeeves.)

On a related note: Is Kmart still a national brand, or are they purely regional now? We still have one of those locally, but they're definitely a tier below Wal-Mart on the non-skeevy scale. And I don't even know what the fuck to do with Sears anymore. I mean, at least Sears seems nice and clean, but for most things not lawn/garden/tool-related, I can get better prices and quality at Kohl's.


Machiavellian idiot savant

Posts: 6744 | Registered: Apr 2007 | From: Indiana
woundedwidow
Member
Member # 36869
Default  Posted: 8:04 AM, August 13th (Tuesday)

Having a Walmart open 2 miles from my house was a real boon to the community. Before that everyone had to drive 45 min. in either direction to an actual town to get to "real" shopping that wasn't just groceries (and we only had one grocery store, lol). So far the Walmart hasn't put the small shops out of business; in fact, it's actually opened up a new corridor of commercial development on the major highway. We're actually getting real restaurants, not just fast-food places. This is a semi-rural community, even though there is a huge Navy base that employs over 8,000 people just 2 blocks from me. But most of those people live in other counties, so they take their shopping elsewhere. Now they stop at Walmart and other new shops and give some tax revenue back to this county as well. And I have to say, as much as I hate buying FROM Walmart, their prices pretty much can't be beat on most items.


Be careful what you wish for the most - you may get it.

Posts: 370 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: VA
nowiknow23
Guide
Member # 33226
Default  Posted: 8:10 AM, August 13th (Tuesday)

On a related note: Is Kmart still a national brand, or are they purely regional now? We still have one of those locally, but they're definitely a tier below Wal-Mart on the non-skeevy scale. And I don't even know what the fuck to do with Sears anymore. I mean, at least Sears seems nice and clean, but for most things not lawn/garden/tool-related, I can get better prices and quality at Kohl's.
In my neck of the woods, Kmart is a no-go. As in "hell no, I won't go." If I found myself bleeding in a Kmart parking lot, I would get in my car to drive the 15 minutes to get to Target for band aids.

For the record - Sears owns KMart.


You can call me NIK

"Sometimes it takes a good fall to know where you really stand."
-Hayley Williams


Posts: 25047 | Registered: Aug 2011
NaiveAgain
Member
Member # 20849
Default  Posted: 9:53 AM, August 13th (Tuesday)

Kmarts used to be the biggest discount store years and years ago, but our local Kmarts has shut down. I don't really know of any others in our tri-state area anymore. Kmarts was getting awful right before it shut down though. It was filthy, the clothes were never hung up on the racks, and the prices were not that great. No wonder it is gone!


Original WS D-Day July 10, 2008. Kept lying, he is gone.
New WS (2 EA's, no PA) 12-3-13
If you don't like where you are, then change it. You are not a tree.

Posts: 15193 | Registered: Aug 2008 | From: Ohio
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 11:41 AM, August 13th (Tuesday)

I only go to walmart when we are in the deep south and it's that or drive 40 miles to Morton's Towing and All Night Grocery and Catfish Fry and Morton's is closed.

I know one business owner who had several partners go out of business by walmart, not just by out pricing them but placing orders that the small biz can't meet without ramping up operations. It looks like a solid idea and they go out on credit to fill the order knowing they have it made, then.. order gets cancelled and they can either eat the debt or get bought out on the cheap. I don't know if that's a corporate practice of if it was local owners doing that but it's Apple-sized douchebaggery business practice. I hated walmart before that anyway.

FWIW, down south the walmarts seem to be cleaner, brighter and staffed by people that don't look like they plan to follow you home and rob you, or are going to pass out in front of your cart and start bleeding from the eyes and anus. The walmart we go to when we visit g_r's parents (since it's that or... nothing) is actually fairly nice and clean and brightly lit and organized. The staff there were pleasant and the emergency medical center in there was a decent experience also. Also, I think the mom & pop stores down there just didn't exist so it was like the super walmart formed a nexus of civilization around which other businesses coalesced.

Actually I feel kind of bad, one time we were there looking for a new swim suit (I don't swim often and I think my last pair was bought in 1923) and we were having a hard time finding anything under a size 46. We found one so huge we each stood in a pant leg giggling. Then somebody rather huge trundled by on a scooter and we shamefacedly hung the swim trunks they stripped off the Giant that fell off the beanstalk back on its rack and moved on.

Minimum wage sucks but that is so tangled in politics it's hard to really look at in a different perspective.


“Fate is a fickle bitch who dotes on irony.”

Posts: 7431 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
Topic Posts: 36