Angry Birds, Angry People

First, the angry birds:

tsaCHICK

It’s been rain, rain, rain around here thanks to TS Andrea, and my birds are madder than, well, a wet hen.

Now for the angry people: I was thinking about that Facebook asshole’s $10 million wedding-environmental destruction event that Anne Laurie called to our attention yesterday. In that thread, Jim, Foolish Literalist, said, “Dear Hardworking White Americans of The Heartland: These are the people whose personal wealth you devote your votes to protecting.”

The Facebook asshole’s Gilded Age consumption aside, there’s this: The six human beings who are heir to the Walmart fortune have as much wealth as the bottom 40% of all Americans combined. That’s six people on one side of the scale and approximately 125,600,000 on the other.

058

And throw in the fact that the corporation that generates that obscene pile of money for six people is notorious for destroying small town economies, treating its workers like shit and expecting the rest of us to augment their paltry paychecks with food stamps and Medicaid. People should be angry about this, but largely, they’re not.

Why? Well, one explanation is that Plutocracy, Inc. has successfully convinced enough people that they too will someday have Walmart-level megabucks to protect from redistribution to freeloaders because FREEDOM. I’m not so sure that’s true. I think if more people knew about this shit, more people would be pissed off.

What do you think?

203 replies
  1. 1
    cathyx says:

    I know that I will hit the lottery one of these times and I’ll be part of the .1%

  2. 2
    pharniel says:

    No it’s pretty much that they are convinced that THEY will hit it big and want protection from looters and moochers.

    My dad is one of them.

  3. 3

    Its not the 1% that has seen the greatest gains but .001%, most of whom have inherited their wealth and make their money from investment not wages.

  4. 4
    cathyx says:

    I think it’s more the people who don’t actually have that much but think they are part of the 1% with what they do have.

  5. 5
    Violet says:

    I think if more people knew about this shit, more people would be pissed off.

    Figure out how to tell them and get them to hear you. That’s the problem. DFHs and commie pinko lie-berals have been saying this stuff for decades. It just gets worse and OMG! Teh Gheys! Teh Abortionplexes! motivates the voters who would most benefit from better policy.

    The info is out there. Either people don’t care or they’re distracted by something else or both.

  6. 6
    grrljock says:

    There is also the thought that money = virtue. So of course that asshole billionaire has the privilege to do whatever he can afford to do for his mega-wedding.

  7. 7
    Steve in the ATL says:

    How about sending this link around to raise awareness:

  8. 8
    sb says:

    I’ve only been in a WalMart once, in Tennessee visiting my brother. He told me that everyone goes there because it’s one stop shopping for literally everything–food, electronics, auto repair, etc.

    I remember it vividly. It was the most depressing, godawful place I’ve ever been to. If I were working there, I’d have to be put on suicide watch.

  9. 9
    BGinCHI says:

    I can’t wait until the youngs find something they prefer to Facebook so that those fuckers go out of business.

  10. 10
    Jane Doe says:

    I think it’s an unfortunate combination of normal people’s preference for simple explanations for things and lack of both the background and the information necessary to see just how predatory and destructive Walmart is. I don’t think it’s really purely an expectation that someday we’ll all be Walmart heirs, and then getting the community as a whole to subsidize our costs will be good for us.

    I hope it isn’t, anyway. Because local rumor has it that they’re about to make a move on my small community, and some of us are hoping to make a fight of it, with what few weapons we possess.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    Yatsuno says:

    @BGinCHI: They’re getting there already. Most yoots are into teh Twitterz and Tumblr. They still keep the Book of Faces but use it less and less.

    Zuckerberg should have seen the writing on the wall when I joined. But it was wifey’s fault dammit.

    CHICKIES!!! Also. Too.

  13. 13
    BGinCHI says:

    @Yatsuno: I think I’ve had the same front page pic on my account for 5 years.

    I need to start doing twitter. I know you’re dying to hear my one liners even more often.

  14. 14
    Violet says:

    @BGinCHI:

    I can’t wait until the youngs find something they prefer to Facebook so that those fuckers go out of business.

    Thought the youngs were already preferring other ways to connect. Isn’t Facebook getting a bit of a Mombook reputation?

  15. 15
    Betty Cracker says:

    @BGinCHI: It’s already happening. My teenager and her buds are abandoning FB in droves for other platforms where their parents AREN’T.

  16. 16
    greennotGreen says:

    There’s also the idea that well, you tell me Walmart’s bad, but Target’s just as bad and everybody else is just as bad and I can’t shop at that other store because that’s an extra stop and the other one charges three cents more. Plus, where do you get your information? Why should I believe you?

    At least, that’s what I hear from my mother who shops at Walmart every day. My mother who last night at dinner would not round up a $16.99 bill to $17.00 to add the tip.

  17. 17

    I think very few people identify with the rich, or think they’ll be rich any minute and should promote policies that favor the rich. Conservative positions are about hate, not misplaced empathy. They rarely even factor in self-interest. Thirty years ago Ronald Reagan convinced a generation that the poor were drug-using freeloaders, and not only should they not be protected, the law should stick it to the poor wherever possible. For a huge swathe of the voting public since then, every time you frame any argument in terms of rich-vs-poor, they side with the rich because fuck the poor. In fact, as a coalition of assholes, Republicans get a warm feeling from laws that allow the rich to stick it to the poor even harder. It doesn’t matter that many of these Republicans are poor. In their heads, that’s not their tribe, and they’re happy to screw themselves over. Oh, and of course now their tribalism has gone ballistic, so they’re really frothing to screw over the poor.

  18. 18
    Cassidy says:

    People already know this. It’s not apathy. It’s that people can’tafford to shop elsewhere. I’m not going to get into a debate about the cost vs. savings at Walmart, but the reality is that if people could afford to not shop there, they wouldn’t.

  19. 19
    cathyx says:

    @BGinCHI: It’s not young people who are using facebook now. They don’t want to be doing what their parents are doing.

  20. 20
    NCSteve says:

    Hey, now! I won’t have that! Rich people are totally opposed to food stamps and are doing all they can to slash funding for that gigantic initiative destroying moochathon for the shiftless, no account lucky-ducky parasites living the high-life for free on their $133.00 per month gravy train.

  21. 21
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    *sigh* The loss of the City of Heroes forum meant the loss of some of the best stories. I can’t think of Wal-Mart any more without thinking of the imaginary dead ‘possum named Fred.

  22. 22
    maya says:

    @grrljock: Yup. We are living in the times of the Great Calvinism Revival. Wealth is a god’s way of sayin’, “I love you, man”. Poverty is the curse of the doomed. Predestination should be reflected through our tax codes, i.e. no death taxes!
    @cathyx: Me too. And if that fails, I prefer Mariners Catch and Ocean Whitefish with Gravy.

  23. 23
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I don’t think people think that they’ll be rich one day and when that day comes they’d want low taxes and scant regulatory interference. I don’t think that kind of personal identification really happens. I think it’s just “the business of America is business,” and a lot of people conclude thst rich people got their riches either fair and square or by outwitting someone else in a competition, so it’d be jealousy to feel it was anything wrong. I don’t think normal people like rich people–they just think that envy is extremely bad. Add to that all the moralizing about the hardworking vs. the lazy and you’ve got a toxic brew.

  24. 24
    Mike E says:

    As I say when people cannot grasp wanton environmental disasters as the abominations that they are, as opposed to “just an inadvertent cost of making our economy hum”, try using that excuse when your septic field goes asplooey into your neighbors’ yards. Our get caught changing your oil into their swimming pool.

    If any of us did anything close to what these assholes do, jail would be our lot guaranteed.

  25. 25
    CaseyL says:

    People know they will never be rich; they know the game is stacked against them. They don’t make political decisions based on their economic interests, because they know their economic interests do not and never will prevail.

    So their political views, and votes, are shaped by things they think are within their grasp. That usually comes down to identity issues; social issues. And the GOP has been masterful at manipulating identity politics/social issues to appeal to voters who otherwise might not vote Republican.

    This is why the Democratic Party made a huge, huge mistake back in the late 80s-early 90s when it decided to toss in all that working class solidarity stuff in favor of sucking up to the same corporate interests the GOP did. I said way back when that doing so would give the GOP the upper hand, since if people can’t vote for policies that will help them, they can and will vote for whoever most reflects their personal viewpoint. Nothing that’s happened since has changed my mind.

  26. 26
    CaseyL says:

    No edit button?! Can’t remove the italics, because there’s no edit button. Crap.

  27. 27
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @BGinCHI: You’d have to take down the internet. It’s here to stay. It’s just too easy to use as a means of communication. My oldest, who claims that it’s no longer the big thing it once was because all of the adults are on it, still gets on it multiple times a day to communicate with friends, in part because it’s the easiest way to connect with multiple people.

  28. 28
    cvstoner says:

    Why? Well, one explanation is that Plutocracy, Inc. has successfully convinced enough people that they too will someday have Walmart-level megabucks to protect from redistribution to freeloaders because FREEDOM.

    Actually, in my opinion, “Plutocracy, Inc.” has successfully convinced our “elected” officials that it is in their best interests to listen to their needs instead of the constituents who elect them, and they have convinced most of the rest of the country to accept the proposition that if they don’t become mega rich, then it is their own fault, and not the systemic vacuuming of everything not nailed down to the 0.1%.

  29. 29
    Redshirt says:

    When I learned this fact about the Wal Mart heirs a few years back, I vowed never to shop at Wal Mart again, and I haven’t. We should all take this step, plus keep constant pressure on our lawmakers to right this sinking ship.

  30. 30
    SatanicPanic says:

    I have a cousin who is a nice girl and we were pretty close growing up. But she’s grown into a moron. One of the last times we were hanging out she was angry about Obamacare, because “she doesn’t want to work for free”. And she “wants to be rich”. Have you ever met a rich dental hygenist? Yeah, me neither. How about a mid-30’s, unmarried, living at home with no assets besides a car dental hygenist?

    One good rule of thumb I figured out pretty early on- if you’re not in your early 20s and either rich, or well on your way to being rich, you will never be rich.

    And the lottery is for suckers.

  31. 31
    Mandalay says:

    Plutocracy, Inc. has successfully convinced enough people that they too will someday have Walmart-level megabucks to protect from redistribution to freeloaders because FREEDOM.

    It can’t be repeated too often…

    They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago.

  32. 32
    BGinCHI says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): Something will come along that will be even easier.

    I predict it will be called MySpaceBalls.

  33. 33
    WereBear says:

    Lower/middle has a tendency to strong cultural pressure which augments the “suck up reflex” which creates way too many people who are afraid NOT to tug their forelock.

  34. 34
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Violet:

    Either people don’t care or they’re distracted by something else or both.

    Three hots and a flop are enough for many people. Throw in a flat screen and cable…

  35. 35
    BGinCHI says:

    @SatanicPanic: The lottery is a tax for people who can’t do math.

  36. 36
    Mandalay says:

    @cvstoner:

    Actually, in my opinion, “Plutocracy, Inc.” has successfully convinced our “elected” officials that it is in their best interests to listen to their needs instead of the constituents who elect them

    They didn’t “convince” our elected officials. They bought them.

  37. 37
    Cassidy says:

    @SatanicPanic: @BGinCHI: Look down on it, but it’s the hope that subsidizes state spending.

  38. 38
    shortstop says:

    How tightly people cling to the ties that bind them. And I ain’t talking about fun stuff I’m doing with the third baseman this weekend, either.

  39. 39
    SatanicPanic says:

    @BGinCHI: Yup. Pointing this out is not a way to win friends in the office and I have to bite my lip every time Powerball reaches some extraordinary sum and the inevitable office pool goes around.

  40. 40
    eldorado says:

    the good news is my tumbrel factory is just about completed and i’m expecting brisk business

  41. 41
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Cassidy: We could just go back to running our schools based on tax money like a sensible society would do

  42. 42
    Evinfuilt says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    *URP* Oh FSM that makes me feel ill. Gilded Age is officially jealous of us. The new Gatsby film undersold the indulgence going on.

  43. 43
    slag says:

    I was recently complaining about people joy riding around in yachts the size of my house while refusing to pay taxes and give money to poor kids. Then, I was essentially called a hypocrite because I have a house. And a Macbook Pro.

    I fail to see a solution to this problem that doesn’t involve a meteor.

  44. 44
    Violet says:

    @BGinCHI: Meh. The lottery allows you to dream and it’s cheap entertainment. So I buy a ticket for a dollar or two. A cup of coffee would cost me that much and it’s gone in thirty minutes. The lottery ticket lets me think about what I might do with all that money and talk with friends and neighbors about what they or we might do if we won. That kind of speculation and entertainment can go on for days and all it cost me is a buck or two. And someone wins eventually, like the 84 year old lady in Florida. It’s not a scheme where no one ever wins. Sure, the odds are incredibly low, but it does happen. Might be me one day. I consider buying the occasional lottery ticket a form of entertainment and entertainment costs money.

  45. 45
    shortstop says:

    @BGinCHI: True, but here’s a fun fact. A friend of mine is a) a professional statistician and b) a super-fun guy. No, I didn’t believe the combo was possible, either, but it is. Anyway, he always tells people who ask that there’s nothing they can do to increase their chances of winning the lottery, which are nil, but they can affect their chances of having a larger share should they actually win. That’s because most people either go with random numbers or play dates — birthdays, anniversaries, graduation dates, etc. If you choose numbers that are all above 31 and win, you’ll be splitting the pot with fewer people.

    Interesting, but the lottery’s still for sucker innumerates.

  46. 46
    Cassidy says:

    @SatanicPanic: You see, I used to feel this way. I’ll admit, Idropped $10 on the last Powerball. Why not? If I lose, it’s $10, not a huge sum, and if I win, yay!. What get’s me, though, is that the Lottery has become something bigger than that, especially to poor people. I used to work in a gas station, before the Army, and right next to us was a Waffle House. At the time, I thought it was pretty pathetic when the cook would come over on his breaks and spend his meager tip-out on scratch off tickets. Looking back, this was a guy who was in his late 40’s, morbidly overweight, working five days a week at a diner. I never got to know the guy outside of that interaction, but I think some reasonable guesses could be made about his personal and social life. Anyway, for a few minutes a day, every few hours, the drudgery that he was smart enough to know would be the rest of his life, got pushed aside for a little bit of hope.

    Maybe the mockery is a bit unecessary.

  47. 47
    Cassidy says:

    @SatanicPanic: That’d be great. I wouldn’t hold your breath, though.

  48. 48
    Marc says:

    The divine right of kings didn’t die with the revolution. There is a deep cultural pattern that goes back to the first villages: the aristocracy deserve to be where they are. And there is a lot of money invested in making people continue to believe it.

  49. 49
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    I was thinking about that Facebook asshole’s $10 million wedding-environmental destruction event that Anne Laurie called to our attention yesterday.

    THEY BULLDOZED BIG SUR.

    There’s not a level of hell deep enough for anyone who took part in this environmental atrocity.

  50. 50
    Evinfuilt says:

    @SatanicPanic:
    You and your logic. We’re going to try it here in Colorado, but it looks like it’ll never even make it to the polls (because we have the moronic system that requires the people to vote for all tax increases.)

  51. 51
    donnah says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I totally agree. I hear it a lot, how the rich must be smarter and better, so they deserve it, and everyone else is just jealous.

    *eyeroll*

  52. 52
    JGabriel says:

    Betty Cracker:

    I think if more people knew about this shit, more people would be pissed off.

    I don’t know. A lot of those people, as long as teh minorities, teh gays, and teh wimmensfolk are submissive and have less than them, they’re happy. Well, maybe not happy, but satisfied.

    On the other hand, I think the kidz are all right.

  53. 53
    shortstop says:

    @Evinfuilt: Clearly, everybody must get stoned on election day.

  54. 54
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Cassidy: California had new taxes pass by referendum last year, so it’s more likely than it has been in decades. I just don’t like the lottery for several reasons, and put me down as someone who’d be happy to win $10-50K but wouldn’t touch a $100 million jackpot with a ten foot pole.

    And I agree, I don’t mock people who buy tickets (except on the internet), that’s just mean. Anymore I just say “no thanks” to the office pool and leave it at that.

  55. 55
    Violet says:

    @Cassidy: Yeah, exactly. Hope is part of what people are buying when they buy a ticket. A chance to dream of being somewhere other than they are.

    I wish our tax and other policies were such that such people had better lives. We need to work on that. Meanwhile, calling people who buy lottery tickets stupid is not really helping things.

    @SatanicPanic:

    Pointing this out is not a way to win friends in the office and I have to bite my lip every time Powerball reaches some extraordinary sum and the inevitable office pool goes around.

    Office politics can be challenging. Sometimes what you’re buying is goodwill with the admin person or your boss or that difficult co-worker. The investment can be fairly cheap for a high return, when you look at it that way. Might not apply to your situation.

  56. 56
    WereBear says:

    @slag: I think it’s because we are running smack dab into the very coping mechanism so many folks use to get through their days. One day… I will be rich…and I won’t want to pay a penny in taxes.

    So rather than mess up Future Me, they suffer now. Because that fantasy is apparently THAT powerful.

    Heck, the Catholic Church has been selling “Suffer now, enjoy later” for millennia. Because almost everyone thinks the suffering creates a guarantee.

    But it doesn’t.

  57. 57
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @BGinCHI: Email reduced, but didn’t eliminate, the need for phone calls by eliminating the need for both sides to be available at the same time. Texting reduced, but didn’t eliminate email, by reducing the need for a computer, especially for short messages. Facebook eliminated the need to figure out who to send something to by posting it to everyone you want to view it. The next technology breakthrough would then be to come up with the messages for you by watching you in real time. I see Facebook adopting that first, especially since they come really close to with with timelines and monitoring which sites you visit and where you go if you enable it on your phone.

  58. 58
    Tonal (visible) Crow says:

    Everytime you shop at Walmart, you vote to export your job to China.

  59. 59
    BGinCHI says:

    @shortstop: I can only try to imagine how much soup you’d buy if you hit it big.

    Had the lentil soup at Semiramis the other night: Mrs. BG says sorry but not as good as ToL.

    The falafel is way better though….

  60. 60
    BGinCHI says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): I was hoping this would involve jet packs and/or virtual reality.

  61. 61
    Cassidy says:

    @Tonal (visible) Crow: That’s incredibly stupid.

  62. 62
    Cassidy says:

    @BGinCHI: Augmented reality is coming. Can’t imagine that VR isn’t close..

  63. 63
    Eric U. says:

    I’m not going to lie, I probably would still shop at Walmart if they hadn’t made the decision to go with the cheapest possible merchandise. Back in the early ’90s, they actually sold stuff I wanted to buy. When I’m in a town that has been wiped out by Walmart and am forced to go there, I’m a little shocked by the high prices and the incredibly poor quality of the goods. I’d rather do without.

    I used to want to hit the lottery. I had a rule that if it got over a certain amount, I would buy a ticket. Then they reduced the odds by a factor of a billion. Haven’t bought one since then. I’ve also seen the story about how unhappy people are once they win the lottery. All their galtian friends want a piece of them then. Even people that were rich before winning the lottery say it ruined their lives

  64. 64
    Redshirt says:

    There’s absolutely no harm in buying the occasional lottery ticket. In fact, it’s for the good, because you are giving the state revenue. Think of it as entertainment – what’s spending even 50 bucks a year in entertainment? Nothing. That’s a few movies. Big whoop – if you aren’t already dead broke.

  65. 65
    Mandalay says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    THEY BULLDOZED BIG SUR.

    A couple of points:
    [1] It’s interesting how the writer reporting this treated the guy who caused the damage….

    To his credit, Parker paid up for the damage

    WTF? He gets “credit” for paying for his damage? What kind of deferential mindset must you have to write that?
    [2] Some of the points in the article were inaccurate. (I am not defending what was done in the slightest.)

  66. 66
    Redshirt says:

    @Cassidy: How so? Or do you also mean Bangladesh and Costa Rica?

  67. 67
    shortstop says:

    @Violet:

    Sometimes what you’re buying is goodwill with the admin person or your boss or that difficult co-worker. The investment can be fairly cheap for a high return, when you look at it that way.

    That’s certainly true.

    @BGinCHI: Your food reviews intrigue me and I wish to subscribe. Where is this falafel palace of which you speak?

  68. 68
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I’m on Instagram because most of my co-workers are, and it’s an easy way to share pet and baby pictures. I got my best friend to sign up, too, and she said her teenage niece was horrified that Aunt J. was on Instagram. She could see the wheels turning in her niece’s head to figure out a new virtual place to hang out now that Instagram was so uncool that even her aunt was on it.

    This was a blow to both of us since we’re barely in our mid-40s and yet are now officially Olds.

  69. 69
    rikyrah says:

    McDermott Remarks on IRS Hearing

    excerpt:

    “But let’s not get lost. During the Bush administration liberal groups were targeted without any concern by Mr. Issa or anyone else in this committee. The Republicans are looking for a conspiracy where there isn’t one. Mr. Issa said he can feel in his gut that someone’s broken the law. Which is more likely: that midlevel employees took stupid, irresponsible shortcuts or that there’s an administration-wide plot to take down community organizers? Let’s not forget that this all happened under Republican IRS Commissioners and was investigated by a Republican Inspector General.

    http://youtu.be/OZDnsDa_2as

  70. 70
    Punchy says:

    Imagine that mother who let the old lady in line ahead of her, only to see that lady win. Talk about $590 million dollar courtesy. I’d hope that the old lady funnels some of that money to the mother as a thank you, this-shoulda-been-yours move.

  71. 71
    gnomedad says:

    That’s six people on one side of the scale and approximately 125,600,000 on the other.

    That’s because they work twenty million times harder than the “takers”.

  72. 72
    fuckwit says:

    Correct, Carlin nailed it in the early 80s. Frank Zappa nailed it in the 70s and 80s. Bill Hicks nailed it in the 90s. And Michael Moore nailed it in the 80s, 90s, and 2000’s. None of this is is new news.

    Michael Moore clearly and accurately identified the Horatio Alger myth as the single most toxic myth in our society, in his “Stupid White Men” of 2001.

    The problem is this Lotto Economy, the Winner Take All economy. The problem is the bullshit story that YOU TOO CAN BE A MILLIONAIRE! The reason that it works is not because it’s bullshit, it’s because people don’t understand mathematics and probability. See, it’s NOT bullshit for that 1% who do win the lotto, so our brains shut off at that point. “Well, look at Obama! And Clinton! They were sons of poor single moms and now they’ve been president!” And all those rock stars and movie stars who started out with nothing! And the robber barons who grew up poor and made their way to the top of the business ladder, etc. “All those” is a handful, but we still think like tribal primates we are. There are 7 billion people on this planet and maybe a couple tens of thousand of the super rich. A couple tens of thousand seems like a lot of people… except MATHEMATICS BITCHES– it’s not, it’s an obscenely small number.

    Those Horatio Alger stories are ANECDOTES. The plural of anecdotes is not data. A tiny percentage win, the rest of us are fucked. That’s the data. The fact that a tiny percentage win does not make the rest of us any less fucked.

    Even when those people who WON at lotto– we’d have never heard of Moore, Carlin, Hicks, or Zappa if they hadn’t won the lottery– tell us that the story is bullshit, the very fact that they exist tells our lizard brains that it’s not bullshit. Lizard brains don’t know jack shit about mathematics or probability. And keeps playing lotto.

    And so the wheels of capitalism move on.

  73. 73
    Cassidy says:

    @Redshirt: Becuase our esteemed corporations are going to outsource jobs regardless. Secondly, there are just as many other coporations as bad as Walmart. Making them the boogeyman and mocking the people who shop there is counterproductive.

  74. 74
    piratedan says:

    @Jane Doe: Jane, you had best be in touch with either your City Zoning Board or your County Commissioners or both. WalMart buys the property and then buys the requisite votes on the commission or board to get the zoning they desire and then up it goes. You stop them from acquiring the property and getting it zoned, it doesn’t go up. Doesn’t mean that they won’t build it in the next town and as you might have guessed, Walmart has no compunction about playing municipalities off of each other.

  75. 75
    Yatsuno says:

    @gnomedad: Hey! Laying around counting the money Daddykins left you is HAAAARD!!

  76. 76
    MattF says:

    There’s resentment– a lot of resentment– but it’s redirected– towards DFH’s, Kenyan-soshalists, hispanics, et cetera. Particularly towards those et ceteras.

  77. 77
    Cassidy says:

    @fuckwit: Well, that was a lot of words to say “I’m stunningly shortsighted and ignorant!”.

  78. 78
    Mike in NC says:

    @rikyrah:

    Issa said he can feel in his gut that someone’s broken the law.

    Yeah, well he should know about that, after all.

    The 84-year-old widow in Florida who won the $590M lottery can expect to suddenly be hearing from her grandchildren now.

  79. 79
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Violet: We’ve got a large office so no one notices if someone else doesn’t join. The problem with the lottery is that I like to imagine taking a nice, long vacation, or maybe getting a new electric car, but suddenly being filthy rich and getting to find out which of my relatives is secretly a sociopath? No thanks. There should be a lottery where the prizes are fun stuff, not $$$. (there probably is, I’m just too lazy to find out)

  80. 80
    Tonal (visible) Crow says:

    @Cassidy:

    @Tonal (visible) Crow: That’s incredibly stupid.

    How so, Mr. VeryWiseMan? Are you going to give us the usual Republican lecture on how unlimited globalization benefits everyone because Atlas Shrugged? Or will it be the lecture on how people who lose jobs due to unlimited globalization will get better ones because shut up you libtard? I’m burning for the answer.

  81. 81
    Ted & Hellen says:

    What do you think?

    I think it would be awesome if the president, or his wife Queen Michelle Who Shall Not Be Interrupted By the Hoi Polloi, or Hillary or Bill or any more than a handful of the elected democrats in D.C. agreed with this post.

    But they don’t. They serve the 1%.

    Wake up and grow up, Betty.

  82. 82
  83. 83
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Eric U.:

    I’ve also seen the story about how unhappy people are once they win the lottery. All their galtian friends want a piece of them then. Even people that were rich before winning the lottery say it ruined their lives.

    They did kind of an interesting story in People magazine one time (what can I say, my co-workers keep copies in our lunchroom) and it seemed like the one way you could be happy after winning the lottery or getting some other kind of ginormous windfall was to use a little of it for a splurge you’d always wanted (cruise around the world, nice car, whatever) and then put the rest of it into a charity foundation. That way, when the moocher relatives show up, you can say, “Gosh, sorry, I’d love to help, but I’ve put all of the money into an unbreakable trust for the charity.”

  84. 84
    Kay says:

    @Cassidy:

    Making them the boogeyman and mocking the people who shop there is counterproductive.

    I’d split that up. They’re a great boogeyman. The best. They’re everywhere, so they’re a giant target. They have enormous political clout and influence, so it’s absolutely fair game to let “Wal Mart” be the stand-in for “income inequality” or “low wages” or “terrible employer.” Everyone gets it. They may disagree with it, but they understand it.

    I don’t think there’s anything to be gained by going after the people who shop there, though. In a lot of rural areas, Wal Mart set up shop and drove everyone else out of business.

  85. 85
    Cassidy says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’d just tell people no. I already have a running list of people I know who need some help and who can FOAD.

  86. 86
    Tonal (visible) Crow says:

    @rikyrah: On the IRS, I suspect that the evidence — when it finally comes out — will show:(1) The IRS found that lots of groups with “Tea Party” and similar terms in their names were dedicated almost entirely to electioneering; (2) Managers agencywide were pushing for increased efficiency; (3) Someone(s) in the nonprofits division decided that they could increase efficiency in cracking down on violators and potential violators by filtering for “Tea Party” and similar terms.

  87. 87
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Cassidy:

    Secondly, there are just as many other coporations as bad as Walmart. Making them the boogeyman and mocking the people who shop there is counterproductive.

    Can you name another company that is as omnipresent and evil as Walmart? I can’t.

  88. 88
    Cassidy says:

    @Tonal (visible) Crow: But, hey, slacktivism right!? Don’t push yourself too hard….”Walmart bad, mmkay. Trader Joes and Whole Foods good. Because shut up that’s why. That’s what everyone else says.”

  89. 89
    BGinCHI says:

    @shortstop: Semiramis on Kedzie just north of Wilson. Near Noon O Kebab. Both are terrific. Also Diwali is just down the street. Some quality eats over there….

  90. 90
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Cassidy:

    The cook is YOU, right?

  91. 91
    Cassidy says:

    @Betty Cracker: Monsanto.

  92. 92
    Trollhattan says:

    @greennotGreen:

    I dunno, I’ve never been to a Target with a gun counter. I prefer Costco to Target, but can’t get greeting cards at Costco (probably have them in the handy hundred-pack).

  93. 93
    Cassidy says:

    @Ted & Hellen: You never did read to well.

  94. 94
    Tonal (visible) Crow says:

    @Cassidy:

    @Tonal (visible) Crow: #73

    That’s it? It’s inevitable (because why?) and everyone does it so shut up you libtard? Also too, where did I “mock” people who shop at Walmart? I observed the (admittedly harsh) truth that shopping there facilitates the export of American jobs. Is it now politically incorrect to observe that lamentable fact?

  95. 95

    @Trollhattan: Trader Joe has nice cards for $1 each.

  96. 96
    Jane Doe says:

    @piratedan:

    Thanks, and we’re on it. To the extent that we can be, because unfortunately the land they’ve targeted is already zoned for retail, and probably already owned by their front developer. Our local planning commission will help as best it can, but we’re scrambling to find any solid legal way of stopping it. It doesn’t look like we can preemptively change the zoning now, and even if we could, the community does want retail there. Just, not evil community-wrecking retail, FSM curse it.

  97. 97
    shortstop says:

    @BGinCHI: Thanks. I’ve been to Diwali (coincidentally, during Diwali) but am glad to hear about the others.

    @Kay: Precisely.

  98. 98
    Cassidy says:

    @Tonal (visible) Crow: So you weren’t mocking? You weren’t speaking with contempt and scorn? Yeah, okay. You’re a fucking liar.

    The reality is that corporations, all of them, are going to goout of their way to cut costs. That is the reality the rest of us live in, even if you don’t. So while there is nothing wrong with pointing out the many unfair busines practices and ways that American Corporations screw their workers and customers, picking one to be the boogeyman is incredibly stupid.

    But good job slacktivist! You keep banging that drum.

  99. 99
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Cassidy: Monsanto is evil too, but not nearly as big in terms of employees, revenue or direct prominence in daily life. I’m not saying that lets them off the hook, but the notion that all corporations are evil so we shouldn’t demonize Walmart is part of the problem.

  100. 100
    Tonal (visible) Crow says:

    @Cassidy:

    @Tonal (visible) Crow: But, hey, slacktivism right!? Don’t push yourself too hard….”Walmart bad, mmkay. Trader Joes and Whole Foods good. Because shut up that’s why. That’s what everyone else says.”

    No, but Walmart is an enormous engine of export of American jobs, and arguably the pioneer in the field. Every kind of activism needs a focal point to harness energy. That doesn’t mean you concentrate exclusively on that focal point, but it does mean you don’t overload people with a list of 10,000 retailers to boycott, either.

  101. 101
    Trollhattan says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    M 11 Y.O. had a sleep-over friend show her the glories of the Gram that is Instant on her iPod, then they both raced into the kitchen to get our permission for our kid to have it too. Friend begins with, “Before you say yes….”

    Ever been completely outsmarted by an 11 Y.O.? Humbling, that. Anyway, we’ve not been lobbied for Facebook (which we wouldn’t allow, but that’s beside the point). I think there’s enough of a generation gap that the youngs aren’t interested; much the same way is they think tattoos are something icky that the olds do.

  102. 102
    Kay says:

    @Cassidy:

    Have you seen the Wal Mart commercials where they have the happy associates telling how they got promoted? That’s a response to attacking Wal Mart on low wages. They’re worried about that perception. I think that’s good.
    At the end of the day they’re a retailer. I think that gives people a little power, if Wal Mart has to worry about the brand. I think the Koch bros are so untouchable partly because they have such a diverse empire. There’s no single brand name that gets hurt, or could get hurt.
    Remember the Colorlines crusade against ALEC? That was successful because there were so many actual brand names involved in ALEC. “We can’t be associated with murder and voter suppression! We sell soft drinks!” They couldn’t run away fast enough.

  103. 103
    slag says:

    @WereBear: That idea may work on some people. But, personally, I don’t think there’s a single reason for our collective willingness to accept today’s social order.

    I think that, as with any good campaign, it’s actually a bunch of different messages to different groups of people that have led us to where we are today.

  104. 104
    Hoodie says:

    People should be angry about this, but largely, they’re not.

    Why? Well, one explanation is that Plutocracy, Inc. has successfully convinced enough people that they too will someday have Walmart-level megabucks to protect from redistribution to freeloaders because FREEDOM. I’m not so sure that’s true. I think if more people knew about this shit, more people would be pissed off.

    I don’t think it true, either. People generally know there are filthy rich folks out there, but there have been studies that indicate that the average person doesn’t understand the scale of the wealth gap. That kind of money is control money. These fortunes represent the degree to which a certain segment of the population, i.e., the Walmart heirs and the overseer class associated therewith, controls the political economy. The overseer class includes assorted managers, investment bankers, lawyers and bought politicians, who are kept “rich enough” by the system to keep them motivated. These folks are potentiated just by association with the fortune, with sufficient emoluments to them delude themselves into thinking they’re more than just the hired help. In other words, it’s not just the heirs themselves, but also the system that creates such creatures. The system is driven not by a illusion that such wealth is attainable, but more by a compulsion to make sure “our” richest people are richer than everyone else, even if those these folks are really supranational, not much different than rallying around a royal family that no longer shares much of a common ancestry with the people it rules It’s self perpetuating because of the monopoly power conferred by scale and the fear of the overseer class losing what they have in such an environment.

  105. 105
    Tonal (visible) Crow says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    … the notion that all corporations are evil so we shouldn’t demonize Walmart is part of the problem.

    It sure is. Further, it’s another form of “both sides do it” propaganda, intended to convince activists that they’ve lost before they’ve begun.

  106. 106
    Digital Amish says:

    I’ll admit, that on the rare occasion when I need some substandard merchandise, I’ll darken the doors of the local Walmart. My wife will not.
    But how many of us (I do) shop on Amazon? Walmart at least offers a minimum level of employment to some local residents, contributes something to the local tax base, can be shamed into some community service and it’s customers have to exert enough energy to get from their minivans in the parking lots to the hoover-round shopping carts. Amazon on the other hand employs virtually no one in the vast majority of cities and towns aside from an extra UPS/Fedex driver. Contributes nothing to the local economy or community service.

    Just sayin’.

  107. 107
    Cassidy says:

    @Betty Cracker: I’m not saying we shouldn’t demonize Walmart. I’m saying that picking one out of many to make the boogeyman, with the accompanying scorn and mockery of it’s largely poor consumer base is stupid and counterproductive.

    I’m all about decreasing their marketshare. Hell, I’d tell Jane Doe that one truly efective way to make sure they don’t move into her little town is to burn the fucking thing down. You make that shit too expensive to maintain. So, yeah, I’m on board, let’s hold these fucks acocuntable for what they do.

    But, if you want the votes, if you want to change minds, it helps not to make the people who shop there because they have to feel like you’re talking down to them.

  108. 108

    @cathyx: One of the reasons I don’t use Facebook is that I was getting friend requests from my husband’s crazy family in India, when I don’t even use Facebook. Also got a friend request from some a school friend’s mother, a friend who I was not particularly close too.

  109. 109
    shortstop says:

    @Tonal (visible) Crow: And possibly the slackiest slacking one can ever do when discussing these issues.

  110. 110
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.

    — John Steinbeck

  111. 111
    Trollhattan says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    Tough competetion, but Massey Energy has them beat in the evil-per-pound category. BP comes to mind. Xi Corp or whatever Blackwater became. Bain? I’ve got it: Asbestos Corporation Limited. Awww, I’m getting depressed now.

  112. 112
    Tonal (visible) Crow says:

    @Cassidy:

    @Tonal (visible) Crow: So you weren’t mocking? You weren’t speaking with contempt and scorn? Yeah, okay. You’re a fucking liar.

    Aw, the truth that shopping at Walmart facilitates the export of American jobs hurts bad, doesn’t it now? Makes you go all ad hom. Ah well, it wasn’t nice talking with you. Have some pie.

  113. 113
  114. 114
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Tonal (visible) Crow: But it’s one thing to demonize the store and another to demonize the people that shop there. That might sound hypocritical coming from a guy who was mocking lottery ticket buyers though, so I’ll stop right here.

  115. 115
    demz taters says:

    @fuckwit: Not to mention that in Horatio Alger mythology, the hero always gets his big break from some rich benefactor who recognizes that he’s a credit to his class – the worthy poor are humble, optimistic and eager to prove themselves to their betters.

  116. 116
    kelrian says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism: CoH diaspora represent! God, I miss the forums. And Virtue server.

  117. 117
    Cassidy says:

    Shorter @Tonal (visible) Crow: Slactivist Unite! I made a stand againt the big, bad Corporation by commenting on a blog! Go fuck yourself. Your even more useless than T&H.

  118. 118
    Tonal (visible) Crow says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    @Tonal (visible) Crow: But it’s one thing to demonize the store and another to demonize the people that shop there.

    As a matter of rhetoric, I admit that my first post on the topic was rather harsh, but there has to be a way to bring home the fact that shopping there is a way of cutting one’s own economic throat. The connection has to be made between Walmart’s cheap stuff, and the consequent export of American jobs, bad wages in many of the remaining jobs, loss of mom-and-pop retail jobs (and the related individual entrepreneurship), etc.

    Admittedly this is a hard argument to make, but I thought Americans were all for “taking responsibility”.

  119. 119
    Maude says:

    @Maude:
    Why is my comment blue? I didn’t do anything unusual. It should be black text.

  120. 120
    shortstop says:

    @Maude: Because the whole thing is a link. Close the tag after FTD’s name.

  121. 121
    Violet says:

    @Betty Cracker: @Cassidy: Agreed. Monsanto is just as omnipresent as evil as Walmart, if not more so. Monsanto is in food. Everyone has to eat food. Monsanto controls food for humans and also food for the livestock that provide meat, milk and eggs for humans. They’re everywhere. And evil.

  122. 122
    Tonal (visible) Crow says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    Soc[k]ialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.

    – John Steinbeck

    Ain’t that the FSM’s holy truth.

  123. 123
    WereBear says:

    @Digital Amish: Unless you are one of the great many who run their craft, book, or otherwise business ON Amazon.

    Then they are fantastic in a way WalMart never is.

  124. 124
    shortstop says:

    @SatanicPanic: I didn’t see it as demonizing so much as saying: “When you do A, the result is B.” It wasn’t accusing people of making the choice willfully.

    I certainly agree with TC, Kay, Betty and others here that Wal-Mart’s business and labor practices need to be better understood by more Americans — also with Kay’s point that an omnipresent megaretailer is particularly ripe for use as an illustration (even if it weren’t also one of the biggest abusers). We can disagree on how to share the message, but it’s hard to argue with the facts behind it.

  125. 125
    Violet says:

    @Betty Cracker: I would completely disagree. Monsanto is in everything. The cereal you eat for breakfast, the bread you use for sandwiches, the burger you either made yourself or got at McDonald’s. (Speaking of another corporation–McDonald’s is certainly at least as ubiquitous if not more–they’re even in hospitals and airports.) The chocolate bar you have as a treat–it’s got soy in it, that’s Monsanto. The livestock are fed soy-based feed–that’s Monsanto. The wheat, the corn–that’s Monsanto. They’re everywhere.

    Monsanto is with most Americans from their first meal of the day to their last. And the unfortunate thing is, most people don’t know it. Food just sort of shows up. Who controls those crops?

  126. 126
    MikeJ says:

    @Digital Amish: Amazon has been great for Seattle.

  127. 127
    Maude says:

    OT
    Esther WIlliams has died at 91.
    Christie picked NJ AG for Senator seat, he won’t run in October.

  128. 128
    Maude says:

    @shortstop:
    Oops. Can’t do it now, but thank you.

  129. 129
    shortstop says:

    Esther Williams! I secretly love her movies. Oops, cat’s out of the bag.

  130. 130
    WayneL says:

    Big fan of the People of Walmart site. Love to laugh at the low class people who shop at Walmart. I don’t see them when I’m shopping at Walmart. Those people aren’t like me. I’m not one of them, the 40% at the bottom. Wait. What’s this? I AM? Nothing I can do about it. Just so long as I don’t show my butt crack and tattoos, I’m not one of them. I’m more like those 6 Walmart heirs.

    “If you think you are too small to make an impact, try sleeping with a mosquito.” HH The Dalai Lama.

  131. 131
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Tonal (visible) Crow: “Personal responsibility” is just a rhetorical cudgel we use on our enemies. I know what you’re saying, I’d just prefer we stick to positive campaigns, rather than getting angry at people just trying to put food on their families.

  132. 132
    Trollhattan says:

    @Trollhattan:

    Holy shit, how did I forget the tobacco companies? Hey, they only kill millions per year, including my dad.

    (None of which should be construed as my thinking WM is okie-dokie; they could go under tomorrow and we’d all be far better for it.)

  133. 133
    Cassidy says:

    @shortstop: That’s what you all don’t seem to get; most people “get it” that Walmart has shitty business practices. Going around acting as if you constantly have to teach/ educate them, comes across as condescending. The unfortuante reality is that most of the people who shop at Walmart don’t want to but feel as if they have no choice. Trust me, us poor folk (or the used to be poor on my part) know that if we travel to several different places we can save money and not shop at Walmart, but does the gas expenditure make it worth it? And, for a lot of places, the best food options are at Walmart and lower priced than your local chain grocery store. There’s a lot involved here.

    But it’s pretty simple: treat poor people like assholes and they’ll ignore you.

  134. 134
    MikeJ says:

    @shortstop:

    I secretly love her movies.

    I love the organ song that appears in most of her movies.

    Ah, here it is. Ethel Smith on organ.

  135. 135
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Violet: I think it goes back to what Kay said earlier about Walmart being a retailer whose brand can be hurt by consumer activism. I’m not saying Monsanto isn’t evil and should be let off the hook, but for many reasons, Walmart is a perfect poster child for the problem of income inequality.

  136. 136
    liberal says:

    @SatanicPanic:
    One time in grad school a friend of mine put money into a lottery. I made the usual points. He pointed out that in the case of this particular lottery draw, the expected gain was positive.

  137. 137
    Emma says:

    @Violet: I’m the same way. I buy a lotto ticket or two a week. What the hey? It’s two bucks. It’s for the fun of it. The ones that worry me are the people on fixed income who drop $20 or $30.

  138. 138
    Elizabelle says:

    Did Chris Christie pick a Republican to replace (in interim) the late Democratic Senator Lautenberg?

    Hard to tell from NY Times article; it’s implied but never actually stated.

    Because we all know who is New Jersey Attorney General, don’t we?

    Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey announced the appointment of Jeffrey S. Chiesa, the state’s attorney general, to fill the Senate seat left vacant by the death of Frank R. Lautenberg.

    … Mr. Chiesa served as chief counsel to Mr. Christie from January 2010 through December 2011, when he was nominated to be New Jersey attorney general. He will not seek the Senate seat when his term is done, Mr. Christie said.

    The decision promised to shift the dynamics of the race, especially for Republicans.

    No party ID of Chiesa anywhere in initial story.

  139. 139
    Cassidy says:

    But, if you all really want to start a movement, you need to convince people to shop online. Most of the non-food goods at Walmart can be gotten online, for less, and deeply discounted at Christmas.

  140. 140
    Maude says:

    @shortstop:
    Her movies are so wonderful. The underwater shots were great.
    I could watch them all again.
    They don’t make them like that anymore.

  141. 141
    Yatsuno says:

    @Cassidy:

    Most of the non-food goods at Walmart can be gotten online

    If you’re lucky enough to have an Internet connection. And a bank account with at least a debit card.

  142. 142
    Punchy says:

    @Cassidy: Your answer to Walmart creeping into small towns is burning the town down? Or was it burning the Walmart down?

    Yes, those are very serious, legitimate alternatives to the bad, “stupid” shaming of Walmart and their customers. You solutions are so…..simple and reasonable. Everybody else’s ideas just suck, right?

  143. 143
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Cassidy:

    most people “get it” that Walmart has shitty business practices.

    I’m not so sure that’s true. Of course it’s dumb and counterproductive to treat people like assholes, and I understand that poor people have fewer shopping choices. But I think a lot of people are truly unaware of how bad Walmart is; I get this impression from talking to real people who shop there, i.e., my neighbors.

  144. 144
    Mike E says:

    @Maude: It’s blue because it’s especially sad.

  145. 145
    shortstop says:

    @MikeJ: @Maude: So delicious. I must make time this weekend for some memorial viewing of the queen of damp camp.

    ETA: Viewing of her movies, that is. I won’t be crashing a wake or anything.

  146. 146
    Poopyman says:

    @Jane Doe: What’s the max store size the land is zoned for? If you’re already zoned for big box stores you’re pretty much screwed, but if they need an exception to go over, for instance, 75,000 feet you’ve got a pretty good fighting chance.

    And if that’s the case and they come back with a plan for TWO stores, regular and garden center, bear in mind that that scenario has been swatted down here in MD, although I don’t know if precedent here will help you.

  147. 147
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    I could go along with that Napster creep getting a case of “Guilded Age consumption”.

  148. 148
    Violet says:

    @Betty Cracker: I agree that Walmart is the perfect poster corporation for income inequality and issues with jobs and shipping them overseas. It’s a great shorthand for discussing that kind of thing. And activism against Walmart can influence them. No disagreement from me.

    I guess when you said “ubiquitous corporation” it pushed a button for me because there are a lot of corporations out there that are at least as ubiquitous, maybe more so, than Walmart and have just as be an impact on daily lives, yet people aren’t even aware. Monsanto is a great example of that. Do you know if your cereal, bread, meat, eggs, etc. have a Monsanto connection? How do you find out? It’s hard work to track it back. Does the average person know of Monsanto’s hard handed policies against their “workers” (farmers)? They are everywhere, they are controlling, they are rich, and they are in your food. Everyone has to eat. Not everyone has to have cheap plastic shit from Walmart.

  149. 149
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: Gilded Age, duh.

  150. 150
    Trollhattan says:

    I think the way to take WalMart down a giant notch is to unionize several stores in a blue state; so many they can’t simply close them to avoid the union. Thoughts?

  151. 151
    Kent says:

    It’s all about race.

    I’ve been living down here in TX for the past 10 years since my wife’s career brought us here and I’ve come around to realizing that just about anything to do with politics in the south is ultimately about race.

    This place is simply tribal. If you are white and middle or upper middle class as I am, it is just presumed that you belong to the Republican tribe. It’s not just party politics, it’s religion and everything else. It’s all about identity and belonging.

    If this were a homogenous society like most of Northern Europe then there would be little opposition to social welfare policies because they would be largely perceived as benefiting one’s own. Which would mostly be the case. However here in the South I suspect the main opposition to pretty much any social welfare program (medicaid expansion, food stamps, universal pre-K, education in general) is that the bulk of the benefits will go to the “other” tribe and not one’s own.

    Take medicaid expansion, for example. It seems like truly insane policy for TX and other southern states to oppose medicaid expansion. It’s practically unfathomable. To truly understand it one needs to step back and consider race. As Ta-Nehasi Coats recently pointed out, over 60% of the beneficiaries of medicaid expansion in TX would be black and Hispanic:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/pol.....ce/276281/

    People around here just assume that is the case for pretty much any social program from healthcare to education and for the most part they would be right. Add to that the fact that healthcare is the signature program for our first black president and opposition becomes the reflexive tribal response regardless of the fiscal or policy implications.

    Around here I’ve learned that whenever anyone says something isn’t about race you can pretty much conclude that ultimately it is about race. There is simply no other explanation for why so many lower class whites line up religiously to vote for anyone with an R behind their name. Sure they like to talk about all sorts of other issues such as religion and conservative Christianity but dig deep enough and you still find race.

  152. 152
    Cassidy says:

    @Punchy: I was being slightly hyperbolic…but yes, if you burn the store down every single time they start to throwup a frame, eventually they’ll leave. It makes for a nice bit of new cvoverage too.

    @Yatsuno: Very true.

    @Betty Cracker: See, my anecdotes say otherwise. In my personal experience, plenty of people know how much Walmart sucks. But that’s not the basis of my opinion. Kay pointed out those commercials earlier. The one I recall the most is the young AA male talking about all the oppurtunities he has as a Walmart employee. I think we can all agree that Walmart is the leader in guaging the wants and attitudes of its customer base. If they’re putting out a commercial like that, it’s because they’re afraid the normal people are starting to see behind the smoke; they gives a fuck what some Dems, liberals, and emoprog slacktivist think. Secondly, Walmart tends to be the biggest employer in any area. By this time, we all kow how there scheduling shenanigans work.

  153. 153
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Trollhattan: Haven’t they already done this?

    ETA- Passing card check legislation would be the biggest thing anyone could do to rein them in, which is why the Senate won’t do it

  154. 154
    cmorenc says:

    @greennotGreen:

    At least, that’s what I hear from my mother who shops at Walmart every day. My mother who last night at dinner would not round up a $16.99 bill to $17.00 to add the tip.

    One of the archtypical differences between a group of women who’ve dined together at a restaurant and a group of men is that if a communal tip is being given in cash, guys will each simply start thowing in 1s (or even a 5, depending on the amount), content simply to insure a proper rough threshold has been comfortably exceeded. But guys typically won’t worry at all about trying to figure out down exactly what 15 or 20 percent of their check is, so long as they’re sure they’ve tossed in at least enough 1s and 5s to unquestionably cover their share of an adequate tip. With a group of WOMEN OTOH, someone will quickly bring a calculator out of their purse and figure out to the cent exactly what 15% of everybody’s individual check is, and then everyone begins shuffling through their purses and wallets to come up with *exact* change for their calculated share of the tip.

    I know it’s dangerous to pronounce such generalizations as universal to all women, but I’ve witnessed this dynamic at restaurants enough times to be solidly confident in the validity of this observation to the majority of women.

  155. 155
    Kent says:

    @Trollhattan:

    I think the way to take WalMart down a giant notch is to unionize several stores in a blue state; so many they can’t simply close them to avoid the union. Thoughts?

    I’ve actually thought this was the best way to rid one’s neighborhood of a Wal-Mart or prevent one from coming in. Instead of fighting a losing battle with the local zoning commission or whatever, just unionize the dang store and Wal-Mart will close it for you faster than can blink an eye.

  156. 156
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Violet: I know my eggs don’t! See the lady pictured above! ;-)

    But yeah, you’re right about the pervasiveness. Koch Industries is another one — it’s hard as hell to boycott them. I try, but I probably accidentally buy their white label products from time to time.

  157. 157
    Keith G says:

    I think that this is due to many things. One of which is that suburbia has turned us into a nation of individual households. Another is that our society has Drifted into a condition where most of us don’t like to use critical thinking. And finally for this list,the post war wonder years that this society experienced was truly a black swan.

  158. 158
    Emma says:

    @cmorenc: That’s interesting. The only relative I won’t go to a restaurant with is a man who does exactly the same thing. “But I only had a coke instead of a cocktail, so that’s less” even if the difference is $1.50.

  159. 159
    Kay says:

    @Trollhattan:

    Not everyone can do this, but this was a good campaign:

    When word leaked out late last year that Walmart was eyeing a piece of the prime Springfield Avenue Marketplace project in Newark, N.J., more than 50 local community, faith, labor and other groups said the last thing Newark needed was a Walmart that kills local small businesses, replaces those jobs with low-paid part-time work and lowers community standards.
    The Walmart-Free Newark campaign mobilized local residents, business and lawmakers. That community action—organized by Working Families United for New Jersey—paid off with the recent announcement that regional and working family-friendly ShopRite—not Walmart—will take that prime Marketplace space. The group’s chair, Charles Hall Jr., says:
    The determination of the Newark community was critical to defeating Walmart’s plans to build a store in their city and demonstrates the extraordinary strength of community solidarity. Not only were 50 local community groups able to overcome the world’s largest retailer, but, because of their efforts, Newark can now look forward to welcoming a family-friendly ShopRite to the community.
    ShopRite, says Hall, will be “built, staffed and operated union and uplift the community by creating family-sustaining middle-class jobs for local residents.”

    Wal Mart has an “urban strategy” now.

  160. 160
    Cassidy says:

    @Emma: Just err on the side of “too much”. FSM knows they need the money.

  161. 161
    piratedan says:

    @Kent: @151 TY Kent, that was well spoken. It’s the elephant in the room that I had hoped would finally be discussed with the last two Presidential elections but it’s damned difficult to have that discussion if the other parties are busy running around the room with the fingers in their ears screaming I CAN’T HEAR YOU! or WHERE’S MY PONY!

  162. 162
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Emma: I don’t don’t care what sex they are, I can’t stand the people who pull out calculators to make sure they get the tip correct down to the penny. Throw in your share of the bill plus at least 20%. Imagine the fun the server has with all the piles of 17 cents.

  163. 163
    liberal says:

    @Kent:

    If this were a homogenous society like most of Northern Europe then there would be little opposition to social welfare policies because they would be largely perceived as benefiting one’s own.

    I could be wrong, but I thought this is pretty much the conventional wisdom among liberal academics who’ve thought about the issue.

  164. 164
    liberal says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    The nice thing about 20% is you just divide by 10 and multiply by 2. Unless you’re Megan McCardle, who apparently has to get out her calculator to do any kind of arithmetic whatsoever.

  165. 165
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yep. Like most former servers, I’m an excellent tipper, and when I eat out with older relatives, I always make sure I carry extra bills and leave the table last so I can throw more money on the table on the down-low.

  166. 166
    liberal says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    older relatives

    LOL. Yeah.

  167. 167
    shortstop says:

    @Betty Cracker: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve “left my gloves” or “forgotten my sunglasses” in restaurants while dining with the in-laws.

  168. 168
    cckids says:

    @BGinCHI:

    I can’t wait until the youngs find something they prefer to Facebook so that those fuckers go out of business.

    They’re getting there, with Vines & whateverthehellelse. I’m sure I won’t know about it for quite a while. But too many of their parents and, God, grandparents are friending them on FB, and now they MUST move on to something else.

    Edit to add: I am so late, as always. Dam left coast!

  169. 169
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Mnemosyne: I strongly suspect that the 84-year-old woman in Florida did something very similar. She showed up at the lottery office with two lawyers and a financial planner. She knows where every penny will go.

    I heard that the reporters had camped out at her duplex as soon as her name was released. I haven’t heard that she’s been back.

  170. 170
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Betty Cracker: I have never been a server, but I have dated women who were. I learned. I also casually verify that the tip is at least adequate and discreetly top it up if needed.

  171. 171
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I don’t don’t care what sex they are, I can’t stand the people who pull out calculators to make sure they get the tip correct down to the penny.

    Some of us are extremely math-impaired and need the calculator to make sure we don’t accidentally undertip by not putting the decimal in the right spot.

    I have one on my iPhone that’s set to round up and can give me all of the permutations (18%, 20%, 25%, etc.) by clicking them.

    Right now in LA County, you can safely double the tax to get a good approximation, but that won’t necessarily work well in places without 9% sales tax.

  172. 172
    liberal says:

    @BGinCHI:
    I agree, on the level of emotion, but the problem with these tech things is that if someone strikes it big, like Zuck did, then once he gets the money, it doesn’t matter if the business model isn’t viable in the long run. The people who get stuck with the tab are the people who bought into the IPO. Not that I feel sorry for them, though OTOH Zuck and a lot of the other silicon valley types don’t have the greatest politics.

  173. 173
    liberal says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Right now in LA County, you can safely double the tax to get a good approximation, but that won’t necessarily work well in places without 9% sales tax.

    Can’t divide by ten and multiply by two?

    You probably have an even better gig than Megan McCardle does.

  174. 174
    Mnemosyne says:

    @shortstop:

    For all of his annoying conservative tendencies, I will say this in defense of my late father: he always tipped at least the minimum. He kept one of those little tip chart cards in his wallet and rounded up if necessary.

  175. 175
    Mnemosyne says:

    @liberal:

    Can’t divide by ten and multiply by two?

    You probably have an even better gig than Megan McCardle does.

    Sadly, no. I was dumb enough to go into an industry (entertainment) that doesn’t require math.

  176. 176
    liberal says:

    @Keith G:

    And finally for this list,the post war wonder years that this society experienced was truly a black swan.

    My vague recollection from all the “bowling alone” crap was that this is exactly it—the socio-economic egalitarianism that came about during the Depression and WWII was the exception, not the rule. Too bad.

  177. 177
    liberal says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    I won’t hold it against you unless you’re a right-wing asshat who claims to be Jane Galt and pontificate on economics.

  178. 178
    amy c says:

    Facebook is the QWERTY of the internet. It’s absolutely not what you would build if you were designing the internet from the ground up today, but at this point everyone is used to it and better alternatives don’t get the kind of momentum they’d need to replace it. My teenage niece prefers Instagram, my stay-at-home-mom friends in the midwest prefer Pinterest, my geek friends prefer Twitter – but they’re all grudgingly on Facebook too, and it’s the one thing they all seem to have in common.

    Facebook Inc. is a bunch of assholes, yes, but those assholes were in the right place at the right time and accidentally created something that is useful to a lot of people. It can never be the Hip New Cool Thing again, but I don’t think it’s going anywhere until there is a significant shift in the way that humans interact on the internet.

  179. 179
    Mnemosyne says:

    @liberal:

    That’s the difference between me and people on the right, I guess — I looked at my lack of math skills and thought, “Hmm, I guess I’d better stay away from fields that require a lot of math.” McArdle looked at her lack of math skills and thought, “Why would I need math skills to talk about economics?”

  180. 180
    shortstop says:

    @Mnemosyne: McArdle doesn’t know she can’t do basic math. It would never occur to her that she might be deficient in anything she feels like talking about.

  181. 181
    liberal says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Well, given that a lot of economists know math pretty well but shouldn’t be talking about economics either except as a way to fatten their own bottom line, it’s more complicated than that.

  182. 182
    shortstop says:

    @liberal: Not all mathematicians can/should do economics, but it’s pretty much a given that economists should be able to do math.

  183. 183
    Mnemosyne says:

    @shortstop:

    Good point.

  184. 184
    The Other Chuck says:

    I don’t think anyone believes they’ll be as rich as the Walton family. So what that leaves them is to find someone else below them in the pecking order, and make sure those people never get a leg up. Who was it with the quote about roasting pigeons on curtain rods? (Oh hay, managed a bird reference too!)

  185. 185
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Trollhattan: WalMart closed the meat-cutting operation in every SuperWalmart Food Center in America when butchers in one store tried to join the cutters’ union.

    In Quebec, where labour laws are tougher than they are in the US. WalMart closed a ~70,000 sq. ft. store when the local workers voted to unionize, and then opened a new, near-identical store less than 10km away.

  186. 186
    negative 1 says:

    @Punchy: One wonders which one works. People gripe about Walmart, march at the construction sites, and yet they swallow the world whole. When the whole village showed up with pitchforks and torches the corrupt factory owners weren’t afraid of the villagers’ solidarity, per se.

  187. 187
    cvstoner says:

    @Mandalay: Indeed, indeed.

  188. 188
    J. says:

    I didn’t realize you were a Communist, Betty.

    People aren’t pissed off because they wish they were Walmart heirs or could throw themselves a $10 million wedding.

    As John Steinbeck once famously wrote, “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”

    And speaking of chicken

  189. 189
    tbunny says:

    A major part of our popular culture is the glorification of .1% lifestyles.

  190. 190
    Mnemosyne says:

    @tbunny:

    I blame Robin Leach.

    (I linked to the pop song instead of a clip from the show because, really, who wants to hear Robin Leach talk?)

  191. 191
    Bloix says:

    “The six human beings who are heir to the Walmart fortune have as much wealth as the bottom 40% of all Americans combined.”

    This is one of those trick statistics that needs some unpacking to understand it.

    About 25% percent of Americans have NO wealth, or negative wealth. This includes both poor people whose debts are higher than their savings, and younger middle class people who have student loan and perhaps credit card or car loan debt but well-paid jobs that allow them to handle the payments.

    So any retiree with something in their 401(k) and their house mostly paid off has more wealth than 25% of Americans.

  192. 192
    Redshirt says:

    @Cassidy:

    Becuase our esteemed corporations are going to outsource jobs regardless. Secondly, there are just as many other coporations as bad as Walmart. Making them the boogeyman and mocking the people who shop there is counterproductive.

    Sorry for the late reply, but I can’t agree with this, only because Wal Mart is a FORCE in the marketplace. They are incredibly influential among all the companies wanting to sell their products in their stores, they shape the entire economy of the world. The removal of Wal Mart from the picture would change the world, provided no other company stepped up into the same role.

    Also, where did I mock anyone shopping there?

  193. 193
    Wolfdaughter says:

    @The Other Chuck: A friend of mine told me about an article which she recently read. It discussed research showing that approximately 25% of the population actually cannot be happy, unless they believe that there are others less fortunate than they. These people apparently cannot just simply enjoy a sunrise or sunset or beautiful music or whatever one might consider to be the small pleasures of life. And these people rejoice in the presumed suffering of those less fortunate.

    Granted, I’m getting into anecdotes plural of data here. But I think most of us have known such people. Always complaining about the “free-loaders”. Never seeming to be content.

  194. 194
    Anya says:

    Why? Well, one explanation is that Plutocracy, Inc. has successfully convinced enough people that they too will someday have Walmart-level megabucks to protect from redistribution to freeloaders because FREEDOM. I’m not so sure that’s true. I think if more people knew about this shit, more people would be pissed off.

    What do you think?

    Malcolm X said it best:

    “If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”

    “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”
    ― Malcolm X

  195. 195
    Chris says:

    @pharniel:

    No it’s pretty much that they are convinced that THEY will hit it big and want protection from looters and moochers.

    By pure coincidence I recently watched the Deep Space Nine episode where Rom forms a union. When Bashir first suggests the idea, Rom dismisses it by saying “You don’t understand. Ferengi don’t want to stop the exploitation. We want to find a way to become the exploiters.”

    In all five TV shows and twelve movies, that might be the single best line of commentary on what’s wrong with American society.

  196. 196
    Chris says:

    @sb:

    I’ve only been in a WalMart once, in Tennessee visiting my brother. He told me that everyone goes there because it’s one stop shopping for literally everything–food, electronics, auto repair, etc.

    Sounds like a return to the company town model, with everything owned by one man a la It’s A Wonderful Life or Dukes Of Hazzard. Except they’ve turned it into a chain, with the goal of turning EVERY small town into something like that.

  197. 197
    Chris says:

    @Kent:

    I’ve been living down here in TX for the past 10 years since my wife’s career brought us here and I’ve come around to realizing that just about anything to do with politics in the south is ultimately about race.

    I believe it, though substituting “conservatives” for “the South” – and if it’s not race, it’s identity politics of a different kind (Christian supremacism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia).

    If this were a homogenous society like most of Northern Europe then there would be little opposition to social welfare policies because they would be largely perceived as benefiting one’s own

    That, I don’t agree with.

    Every now and then I hear that homogenous societies have stronger safety nets because there aren’t tribal differences to divide the people. The fact is, though, that when it comes to battling tribal identities, the blue parts of the country have the heartland beat to a pulp. Places like New York City have enclaves of literally every possible ethnic background on Earth, prejudices that sometimes erupt into violence still exist there (urban gangs are still organized along ethnic lines), but they still manage to be pretty damn blue, whether in economics or social values.

    If the “tribally mixed society => people don’t see welfare as benefiting “their own” => conservative politics and lack of support for the welfare state” hypothesis were true, places like that should be the reddest points on the map and absolute cesspools of intolerance and social Darwinism, when instead, they’re exactly the opposite. Whatever explains our lack of support for the safety net, our non-homogenous makeup is not it.

    ETA: also don’t forget that Europe has always had its own racial minorities to scapegoat – before the current trend with immigrants, it was Jews and Gypsies. And, clearly, hatred towards those groups was every bit as powerful as hatred towards black people in America. Yet they still developed those stronger safety nets you were talking about. So again, whatever the explanation is, I don’t think that’s it. At the very least, it’s not the whole story.

  198. 198
    priscianusjr says:

    What do I think?

    Hint: I do not shop at Walmart and never have shopped at Walmart.

  199. 199
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Jane Doe: well, I know of one city commission that did the death by a thousand cuts routine, refusing to accept their stormwater plans, setbacks, etc, etc

    walmart is starting to adapt their site plans from the old “giant box giant pking lot”, tho

    planning could decide they want multiple occupant smaller unit retail, basically strip mall or shopping village, which would be too small for what the company thinks it needs (I’ve seen walmart overbuild to demand… idjits)

    wally world lurves them some sam’s club gas station, so fux that shit up, might make them change site

    for example they wanted to squeeze a gas pump close to a tight knit community’s cemetary, they showed up at the first hearing raging, and walmart freaked out and went to Plan B

    they’ve learned the hard way that organized community opposition is not worth their time

  200. 200
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @liberal: And a lot of conservatives who bloviate about “multiculturalism”. Their solution is not to change hearts and minds but to deport all browns to bring on the white utopia.

  201. 201
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Wolfdaughter: about 25%, perhaps 27%, you say?

  202. 202
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Chris: that’s because tribalism isn’t about black or white, it’s about that grey matter between your ears, and removing a group of people (pogroms, forced resettlement, you decide) isn’t going to change matters.

    Blue states are urban and urbanites have expanded their circle of empathy because they are tied by reciprocal relationships to people outside of a narrow tribal/kinship group. They are also desensitized to all kinds of markers of difference, such as nose shape, food odors, the type of shirt you wear or don’t wear. (Orthodox wrist-length or Madonna see-through?)

    It’s about empathy. That ethnicity bullshit is the confusion of correlation with causation. A determined hater can unleash her paranoia on people who look just like her, talk just like her, confess the same religion, and, hell, even share her DNA. Witness the GOP rolling purge of RINOs.

  203. 203
    Ruckus says:

    @Bloix:
    I see that reading comprehension and maths are not your strong suit either.
    No one said that any individual in any group has more than any other individual person, ie: So any retiree with something in their 401(k) and their house mostly paid off has more wealth than 25% of Americans.
    The entire point was that SIX people in the world have more wealth than the bottom 40% (that’s over 125 million people) COMBINED.
    Sure a lot of the people in the bottom have little to nothing but that’s OK as long as someone a little better off has only a little more? It’s OK as long as there are people in the group who aren’t completely dead broke? It’s OK that they make/made this huge amount of money off the backs of those people with little to nothing, all the while getting richer? It’s OK that all the rest of us pay for their million employees health care and food needs while they get even richer?

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