Posts tagged ‘WalMart’

Christmas 2015

According to the Gospel of St. Luke, Jesus was born in a barn, there being no room for him and his parents in the inn at Bethlehem. His way of living forsook the acquisition of wealth and worldly goods. His message celebrated and elevated the poor, and he was quick to warn of the danger of materialism: “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

Two thousand years later, observe the Christmas celebration in our modern, capitalist culture: a shocking emphasis on gifts, material exchange and consumption. Christians believe that it is imperative to know Jesus and that to know him we have to live like him. It is very difficult to argue that the civic rituals of modern Christmas reflect Jesus’s way of living.

Christmas comes once a year, but it highlights a larger question: Does capitalism, and the consumerism it enables, have adverse effects on the moral character of individuals and society? Is modern capitalism incompatible with Christian living?

Here again, it is easy to argue that it is hard to live a deeply Christian life in a market economy. And not just because of the culture of consumption.
. . .
But the story changes if gifts are given and received in the service of love, in commemoration of what Christians believe to be the most important gift our creator ever gave us. If gifts are not elevated above their proper station, then they are perfectly compatible with celebrating the arrival of our redeemer — with hope realized, the waiting ended, the child in a manger, the star overhead.

Has capitalism devoured Christmas?

Rather than buy ourselves and our young adult children gifts this Christmas, we decided to walk the walk. You know. That walk where you stop indulging yourself with increasingly frivolous items and actually reach out to help others not as fortunate.

We bought several Walmart gift cards with funds we would have used to buy our gifts for one another and our kids. Then our daughter and daughter-in-law (who is pregnant with twins, our 10th and 11th grandchildren, so yes, we have more than enough blessings in our life), Mr. Wilkinson and I went to our local Walmart yesterday, a beautiful Sunday morning. Not quite knowing how to do what we wanted to do, just praying we’d get it right and not embarrass anyone or get arrested. Our girls decided on an approach, took the gift cards, and my husband and I stood at a distance, ready to help if needed.

The girls walked along and watched the check-out lines, and when they felt a tug at their kind hearts, they went up to people ready to check out and asked,

“May I buy your groceries?”

. . .

The initial responses were ones of shock and disbelief. No one was rude, or dismissive. They just wanted to know why. The girls answered that they were part of a family who decided this was the way they wanted to celebrate Christmas. Then a few asked if they were with a church or an organization. No, the girls said, we are just a regular family and this is our gift to you! No strings attached! From us!

Then the miracles came.

Walmart is a Holy Land

Christmas 2015

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Walmart is so Déclassé….

In a city where the unemployment rate is 9.1 percent, above both the statewide and national average, you’d think that mayoral candidates would be competing to attract businesses and jobs.

And in a city where the cost of living is so high that the city pays $3,000 a month for landlords to house the “homeless” in rooms without kitchens or private bathrooms, you’d think that mayoral candidates would be competing to welcome a discount retailer that would allow residents to save money on clothing and groceries.

Yet this is New York City. Instead of laying out a welcome mat for Walmart, the Democratic mayoral candidates are trying to keep the company out of the city. An account in The New York Times recently quoted the speaker of the City Council, Christine Quinn, declaring, “As long as Wal-Mart’s behavior remains the same, they’re not welcome in New York City…New York isn’t changing. Wal-Mart has to change.”

Maybe Quinn can make “New York isn’t changing” the slogan of the mayoral campaign she launched over the weekend. The candidate who would be the city’s first woman and first lesbian mayor turns out to be, on economic development questions, the spokeswoman for stasis.
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Is it that Walmart employees are not represented by a labor union? Neither are most of the workers at Bloomberg News, yet we haven’t yet heard any calls by Quinn to kick the mayor’s financial news and information company out of the city. The New York Post notes that she is endorsed by a union that represents grocery store workers.

New York City Council Wages War on Walmart: The latest dumb idea from politicians in the Big Apple. By Ira Stoll, Reason, March 11, 2013

Shop and your friends never need know. shhhhhhhhhhh

What is especially hilarious about this is that Walmart is a big Obamacare supporter, along with other members of the crony class. Like GE – swoon.


Mockery, truculence, and minimalist living are best, then enjoy the decline. We also need a Revolving Door Tax (RDT) and to prosecute politicians and staff and their “family and friends” who profit from insider trading.

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Shopping Malls? Dead Malls?

“Right now, ladies and gentlemen….”

I believe we’re seeing clear signs that the e-commerce revolution is seriously impacting commercial real estate. Online retailers are relentlessly gaining share in many retail categories, and offline players are fighting for progressively smaller pieces of the retail pie. A number of physical retailers have already succumbed to online competition including Circuit City, Borders, CompUSA, Tower Records and Blockbuster, and many others are showing signs of serious economic distress. These mall and shopping center stalwarts are closing stores by the thousands, and there are few large physical chains opening stores to take their place. Yet the quantity of commercial real estate targeting retail continues to grow, albeit slowly. Rapidly declining demand for real estate amid growing supply is a recipe for financial disaster.
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A report from Co-Star observes that there are more than 200 malls with over 250,000 square feet that have vacancy rates of 35 percent or higher, a “clear marker for shopping center distress.” These malls are becoming ghost towns. They are not viable now and will only get less so as online continues to steal retail sales from brick-and-mortar stores. Continued bankruptcies among historic mall anchors will increase the pressure on these marginal malls, as will store closures from retailers working to optimize their business. Hundreds of malls will soon need to be repurposed or demolished. Strong malls will stay strong for a while, as retailers are willing to pay for traffic and customers from failed malls seek offline alternatives, but even they stand in the path of the shift of retail spending from offline to online.

The Death of the American Shopping Mall

It’s all the fault of … shopping malls! (These days it’s WalMart’s fault. Check.) It’s not clear how evil business has so much control over our lives and how angelic government (e.g., Nanny Bloomberg) so little. There oughta be a law! Rubes.

Speaking as someone who has never enjoyed shopping online shopping is a boon. Far larger selection, more competition with tons of price comparison, shopping any time at any hour of of day, any day of the week, and on holidays. That’s great. Love it. I go months without stepping foot inside a bricks and mortar shopping center. What I still buy in person: food and gasoline. Occasional trips to a drug store for chocolate or liquor.

What’s interesting about the migration to online buying: people getting more stuff shipped to them is only part of the story. Whole categories of goods have gone virtual and, in the process, their new forms destroy the demand for other physical goods. Take ebooks. They also destroy demand for book shelves. You don’t need lots of bookshelves to hold your Kindle or Nook books. You also do not need shelves to hold records, cassette tapes, or VCR tapes.

Bye Bye Shopping Malls Due To Online Buying

deadmalls DOT com – “Welcome to retail history!”
Dead mall – Wikipedia

The only people who think of shopping malls as “sacred places” are professors, documentary film makers, elitists (but I repeat myself), and tweens and teens. Why can’t we obey our betters? And what is it with objecting to WalMart and not Amazon hurting small businesses? Amazon is hurting small businesses. Why does no one object and boycott Amazon? Rubes.

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