Flailing Around Isn't the Same As Debate

I noticed a rash of posts today from local conservative bloggers on the subject of Walmart and the bashing thereof. Glenn Dean and Mark Rose admit to a love of Walmart, and Music City Oracle brushes by Walmart on the way to bash liberals. In the interests of clarification, Dean and Rose also bash liberals, but they actually talk about Walmart in more than passing.

The gist of all the postings as I read them was… Walmart is doing good things economically with their cheap prices and liberal criticism of Walmart proves they hate poor people. None of them address what I consider to be the chief complaint against Walmart. Walmart has been accused time and again of using their size and retail power to dictate prices to their suppliers. To me, that’s a de facto monopoly.

My understanding of this tactic is that Walmart is often in a situation where they buy a large portion of a suppliers stock, so they tell the supplier they are paying X amount (generally significantly less than what anyone else would pay), or going elsewhere. The supplier either takes a loss, or finds another buyer. The only thing is, Walmart buys such a large portion of their stock, they can’t replace them. So the supplier either sells at a loss, or doesn’t sell at all. I don't have a problem with negotiating a better price because of volume business, but my understanding is that Walmart takes it to an extreme. I've seen documentation that supports this. But I'm willing to change my mind if anyone can prove otherwise.

My axe to grind here isn’t so much with Walmart. That’s a whole post of its own. I take issue with these bloggers using the Walmart as a tool to bash liberals, while ignoring the main liberal arguments. Sure Walmart has low prices that are good for poor people. But they also make people poor by refusing to pay what a decent price for the things they sell.

It’s a common blog tactic. Mention one good thing and use that good thing to bash critics everywhere. Just totally ignore the actual arguments the critics are making.

So my question for these folks is….. By your silence on the criticisms of Walmart should I assume you think the low prices and good facets of Walmart are outweighed by the bad? Or do you think these bad things don’t exist? Or do you just not want to talk about the bad things because you don’t know what to say? Or fill in the blank. Feel free to tell me why you didn’t mention them. Praise Walmart all you want, but if you’re going to use that praise to bash others, then you have a responsibility to address their concerns.

In fairness, I did find this, where Rose addresses another major criticism of Walmart. There may be others, I didn't look at their archives.


Blogger Kat Coble said...

I guess you didn't see the thing I wrote. ;-p

12:59 PM, September 14, 2006  
Blogger Kat Coble said...

I've seen documentation that supports this.

So have I. They're called my former company's bills of lading.

1:04 PM, September 14, 2006  
Blogger W said...

Nope. When I read it off the NiT aggregator there weren't any comments yet.

2:31 PM, September 14, 2006  
Blogger Exador said...

I used to try and have debates on Indymedia. I've found that there's just no point in trying to debate issues on blogs where the discussion is composed of zealots. I see this on leftwing and rightwing blogs. You know the type, where there is no contemplation of opposing viewpoints. It's just no fun.

What's the point of sitting around with a bunch of homogenous people, telling each other how you're all right about everything?

5:38 AM, September 17, 2006  

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