[Sca-cooks] Wal-Mart (was: seal-a-meal clones)

Martha Oser osermart at msu.edu
Fri Mar 30 10:15:49 PDT 2007

I'll start this with my disclaimer: 

I don't generally shop at Wal-Mart.  I don't like Wal-Mart in the way the 
stores are set up, the general quality of the goods they sell and mostly the 
poor upkeep at the store.  Going into Wal-Mart always reminds me of the 
"cheap" feeling I got going into K-Mart when I was a kid. 

I do shop at Sam's Club.  They were the first warehouse store in my area (we 
have Costco now too) and I can't pass up the inexpensive prices on things 
like kitty litter and toilet paper.  Why should I pay $10-12 for a 50-lb. 
bag of kitty litter at the local pet store when I can get it for $5 at 
Sam's? (And yes, in my area, it IS that big a difference in price!)  I can't 
pass up the $4 per month for a prescription at Sam's that I'd be charged 
$12-15 for at another pharmacy. 

That being said, if you're going to boycott Wal-Mart or Sam's, you may as 
well go ahead and boycott places like Home Depot and Target and Burger King 
while you're at it. 

If you're going to complain about the way Wal-Mart treats its employees, 
realize that most other corporations, big and small, do the same things.  
Most hourly employees in most places are kept from working 40 hours a week 
specifically to keep from having to give them benefits like health 
insurance.  Thankfully, I've never been in that kind of situation, but I 
have plenty of personal experience with friends who have.  My stepdaughter 
worked as a cashier at Meijer and was only ever getting 20-30 hours a week 
to keep her off the benefits list.  Another friend of mine just got an extra 
day off added into her weekly schedule because she was getting "too many" 
hours otherwise.  Also no benefits to be had. 

Even most small, independent business simply CANNOT offer a benefit like 
health coverage to their employees, simply because it costs the business too 
much to do so!  Or if they do offer benefits, the cost to the employee is 

The community college that I work for offers benefits to full-time employees 
and faculty with a small co-pay.  As an adjunct (part-time) faculty member, 
I can buy into the health plan at the cost of one-quarter to one-third of my 
monthly pay.  Consider also that "full time" is 5 classes per semester.  I 
am teaching 4 classes.  Does this greater commitment entitle me to any break 
on my insurance cost?  Of course it doesn't, because I'm a "part-time" 

My husband has insurance through his job.  His monthly contribution is about 
$50.  If we added me to the coverage, that would go up to $400 per month!  
Great options, right?! 

We all have to make our own choices about where we shop and for what 
reasons.  I don't think big-box stores are the greatest thing in the world, 
but most other stores aren't any better. 

Not intending to start a flame war, 


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