Is Your Stuff Falling Apart? Thank Walmart


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:) Hi Don... Y'know, it always lifts my spirit a little to chat with you. (even if I never know how to respond) ... somehow, I feel like I knew you as a science teacher way back when.... (but of course I didn't)

I lean toward a hope that, since, in large parts of the world we've been improving over time -- disposing of notions of inferior races of humans, abolishing slavery (for the most part :( ), establishing "rights" for ALL people, etc. -- that we may continue these improvements over time... Hopefully eventually even to the point of including other species in our notions of "people".

Buddhism has always intrigued me, though evidently not yet enough for me to dig into learning anything more than I've heard, I've always thought I'd do so sometime... and still do, dang it!

I harbour an ultra-strong desire to live in completely natural and peaceful surroundings, wind in the trees, water, the sounds of birds, crickets, frogs and bugs... not tires and engines on highways.... and what little I think I know about Buddhism suggests that might be achievable even within the chaos we can't seem to avoid on this little piece of supernova debris.... Clearly I don't know much, but what I'm most sure of is that life does matter. ....and not just ours. ...and that our relationships matter, even between species. [but now I'm preaching! Pardon me, I'll shut that off now. ;)]

Is this a good time to say I have no idea what the thread topic was? ...but it doesn't matter.... :biggrin2:

I recall reading something a few years back, that you'd posted, with thoughts on the ideas presented in the movie Avatar.... At the time I hadn't yet seen the movie, so I couldn't know what you meant.... but then when I finally saw it, the conversation was long gone... Now I feel like saying: I wish like hell the world really was that way... If it really is, I wish like hell we'd find that out sooner than later!

Quantum realities offer notions of possibilities of a reality that Science itself would have completely discarded as nonsense, if the proof didn't smack it in the face. Don't feel alone if your mind feels fogged after some of that reflecting... when that happens, you know you're getting close to understanding. I think. :Scratch-Head::lol:

ok, now I'm going to look at that book you linked... Thanks Don.

Cheers mate. :b:

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I recall reading something a few years back, that you'd posted, with thoughts on the ideas presented in the movie Avatar.... At the time I hadn't yet seen the movie, so I couldn't know what you meant.... but then when I finally saw it, the conversation was long gone... Now I feel like saying: I wish like hell the world really was that way... If it really is, I wish like hell we'd find that out sooner than later!

Mitch:

In some ways it is. I think the story really pointed out the symbiotic relationship between Man and nature. Look at the outcry recently with regards to Monsanto and their chemicals that are wiping out bees. Somewhere someone never considered the symbiotic relationship between humans and bees. We need them and they need us (ok well they could do without us). If we wipe out the bees then how do plants and flowers etc pollinate and reproduce? if they cannot then growing things becomes harder and food more scarce (except Monsanto will sell you GMO food from a lab).

Mother nature is a pretty smart cookie (if not a bitch sometimes). Every creature has a purpose even if we cannot see it (Think Platypus). Man is the only creature capable of removing himself from the circle of life and in doing so disrupting the whole process. Frankly we cut corners into the cricle, we skip steps on the journey in the name of bettering mankind only to end up hurting future generations. Technology meant to make our lives "Better" in many ways make it worse. There are people in this world that realize that and remain in the "Old Ways" We call them the third world in some cases. Remember there was a time when we ALL lived in "The Third World" Some "Evolved" and some remained there. Looking at it today who is actually Worse off?

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Mitch - in the end, it's fun, isn't it? I think mirth is quite a bit more powerful than economics and politics.

We're along for the ride and it is how we interpret the moment, (our understanding-in-play) that the ride becomes even bearable at times!

The weight of "being alone" on a pale blue dot is daunting until we realize that we are the luckiest, most fortunate beings known to have been born because: - We were born, and not not-born!, (huh?!) It turns the notion of not-being-here (and the notion of "death" - ours!), upside down - we are the lucky ones - we got to see something that trillions of sperms and eggs never did and never will. How's that for good fortune!?

On the science paper you linked to, I apologize but I seem to have misplaced the link to that wonderful document you posted a while back on quantum stuff and co-existing universes. Would you happen to have it handy or perhaps recall where it may have been?

The book is a quiet treat and an entertaining read - Berger has a good sense of humour while remaining serious...the realization of what it's saying slowly catches one by surprise.

The other guy who portrays these notions in a wonderful way, (aside from Sagan), is Joseph Campbell, (The Power of Myth - Campbell & Bill Moyers, ca 1987). His books have recently enjoyed a resurgence as people cast about for something to hold onto during the ride that isn't prescriptive and embraces questions.

Edited by Don Hudson
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You are most welcome. I'm just glad I found it.... Sometimes I get lost on those sorts of trips... It's like jumping into a canoe on a river to go fetch some interesting 'thing' you saw the other day... you see so many other interesting things along the way it's easy to forget what you set out for! That happened to me twice, as I looked for that. :lol:

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I never shopped at Wal Mart in Canada or the US. It is a company that destroys every

local business and then moves on leaving an empty crater when the taxes go up.

This is the same mentality of the low cost airline pundits expecting employees

To work for nothing touting profit. These airlines are ponzi theft and shell scams to

pad the pockets of lawyers/ merger and demolition pension theft zealots. They destroy

Companies, step pensions and ruin the social fabric of families and community.

I like Canadian Tire .. They have great products that last. I enjoy good food at Longo's.

If you want to compete in North America... Kick the CEO's in the guts and down tools...

They are the thieves eating your lunch.... Get paid properly...Then you would never have to shop at Wal Mart again.

You would be paid instead of the CEO's. Chef de Exploitation indeed.

Dork

Time to cover the cornflakes...

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Back to the original question......no.

It depends on what you buy there. For example, my wife gets all her/our soaps, detergents, toiletry items at walmart. Much cheaper and the quality is the same as anywhere else. Years ago we bought a lawn chair/table set and I thought it was such a good deal I went back and bought a second one to get four more chairs. We've replaced the tables ( for larger ones ) and umbrellas over the years but the chairs and cushions are still 100%. I WD40 the metal frames each fall as I pack them away for the winter and the cushions......I don't know what they're made of......just never die. A few weeks ago we purchased two chaise lounge chairs at walmart. They're made of a heavy duty plastic and fold up to look like a surf board. They are very comfortable and will be easy to store come the winter.

Our shopping is based on where we will get the best bang for our buck. As Kip mentioned, parts for his boat were cheaper at The Dollar Store. My wife gets a lot of her classroom supplies there too. Cheaper and quality is as good as anywhere else. The biggest rip off to me is shoppers drug mart. Nice clean stores and lots of them, but their prices are way above walmart.

Is Walmart evil? I don't think so but if you do there are generally several choices in most Canadian cities for your shopping needs. And these guys are having a good time making commercials......

http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=related&v=hL4lSavSepc

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=yuDpJhLJbto&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DyuDpJhLJbto

Edited by blues deville
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  • 3 years later...

The first post on this thread concluded that we all know "WalMart" is evil, perhaps not as evil as was said. They equate their higher profits to higher wages.

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The CEO of Amazon is a huge supporter of a higher minimum wage and contends that companies like Walmart are being subsidized by the state because the low wage earners need support in terms of food stamps and other tax paid benefits.  So the shareholders of Walmart get rich on the backs of not only the low wage workers but on all tax payers.  Interesting perspective.  Now if only they had to account for the social and environmental costs, their business model would soon collapse.

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Croc Dundee - the same "thinking" was applied to pension plans which today are nearly non-existent, placing the entire workforce at risk of a) having to work forever, and/or b ) in many cases* having to become wards of the state.

Who among has a pension plan? Who knows how to invest one's own money? I'll bet few to nobody - but practising the dark art of investing has been a mugs game prior to 2008 and the risk remains higher than the reward for many in the U.S. Thank goodness for Canada's OSFI - no such thing in the U.S. where pensions can disappear into operating funds overnight.

Labour history tells us that countries that plan for labour's well-being, which includes a decent retirement, flourishes. It also tells us that downloading private enterprise's costs onto the state (taxpayer) while maximizing short-term profit for the quarterly reports punishes not only the workers but also the shareholders who are beginning to see that such tactics also reduce long-term value of their investments.

I suppose we had to go through this Neoliberal period (1970 to ~2000) to realize that a political economy really is a partnership and not a serfdom after all. ;)

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 Later retirement is a fallback that has companies sweating

Thu Aug. 25, 2016 - The Globe and Mail
By Rob Carrick

Working longer is quietly becoming the default solution to not saving enough for retirement.

Employers are starting to realize this, and they’re getting nervous. It may suit employees to remain on the job longer, but not necessarily their companies. For this and other reasons, expect to see employers being much more proactive about helping their people understand how ready they are for retirement.

Canadians have traditionally picked the age at which they wanted to leave the work force and then adjusted their lifestyle to match their retirement savings, said Jeff Kissack, a senior retirement consultant at Willis Towers Watson.

“I think we’re going to see in the next 10 to 20 years that people won’t do that,” Mr. Kissack said. “They’re not willing to live on less and cut back their lifestyle. They’re just going to work longer. That’s different from how we’ve thought in the last decade or two.”

Willis Towers Watson regularly surveys workers about their benefits, including those related to retirement saving. Mr. Kissack said the number of Canadians in the survey who estimate they would retire past age 70 has gone from 5 per cent four years ago to 21 per cent now.

The later retirement trend is reinforced by some analysis that Willis Towers Watson has done on client defined-contribution pension plans, where retirement savings are based on the returns of your pension investments and not on your salary and years of service (as with a defined-benefit pension). Mr. Kissack said many DC plan members are in a position where they will only be able to retire with a sufficient after-tax income when they are in their early to mid 70s.

Later retirement actually makes a lot of sense at a time when people are living and staying active longer. Regardless of their finances, many will choose to work longer for the mental stimulation and social interaction. Some employers will see value in keeping older workers on, but others will not. For them, the challenge is to encourage better pension outcomes so people feel they can retire at the usual age.

It’s not just later retirements that worry employers. There’s also a risk that employees will blame them for not providing the pension support needed to retire well. There have been a few legal cases in the United States where employers have been sued for offering DC pension-plan investing options at what were seen as excessively high fees. Low fees are a foundation of effective investing and should be a given in the sort of products used in pension plans.

Statistics Canada reports that just over 38 per cent of workers had a pension plan at work in 2014, most of them in defined-benefit plans. But DB plans are losing favour because of the cost to employers of keeping them properly funded, while the number of people in DC plans grows. It’s the retirement outcomes from DC plans that are of particular concern to employers.

'DC plans are a black box – you pour money in over a career with no idea what kind of retirement income you’ll have.'

 

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