Friday, December 5, 2008

Email From Liberal Demonstrates Dementia, Paranoia

The Bench front page... Paranoia, fear, loathing, envy. That pretty much sums up the raw hatred that so many Liberals have for Wal-Mart. It’s a company that employs millions, gives away more to charity than some nations have in their entire treasuries, but is nevertheless loathed by millions. I recognize that there are some valid reasons to dislike Wal-Mart, but no valid reasons to hate it. This morning, I received a bizarre email from an uber-Liberal this morning. It contains a childish list of statements about Wal-Mart, presented as fact with no sources of information listed. All of the statements are inaccurate in some way. The statements are apparently taken as fact, at face value, by the uber-Liberal who wrote it, and by the uber-Liberal who forwarded it to me in an email blast. I won't reveal her name, but I will say that she works at a very prestigious university in Evanston, Illinois. Her email, below, seems to be something that she received in an email or found on the web and decided to pass it on. The subject line, "HOW BIG IS WAL-MART?" contains at least two red flags. First, the word "BIG" is surely meant to be taken as "bad" (why do Liberals hate big business, but love big government?). Second, "WAL-MART" is Satan in the opinion of many Liberals. Let's look at the crazy email. I will inject my own remarks along the way. -----Inline Attachment Follows----- This should boggle your mind!! And scare you as well! HOW BIG IS WAL-MART? 1) At Wal-Mart, Americans spend $36,000,000 every hour of every day. This works out to $20,928 profit every minute! BENCH: If your mind is not yet boggled, consider this: There are 1,440 minutes in a full day. 36,000,000 divided by 1,440 equals 25,000. Sure, that’s even more than the author of this idiotic list claimed, but right away we’ve got a signal that the facts are not very accurate. This begs the question: Are you scared yet? If so, why does a magnificent profit scare you? 2) Wal-Mart will sell more from January 1 to St. Patrick's Day (March 17th) than Target sells all year. BENCH: “Will sell” sounds like someone has a crystal ball. Perhaps Wal-Mart sold that much more than Target in the first quarter of a past year, but how could the author know what future sales numbers will be? Furthermore, selling “more” does not necessarily mean that “more” profit will be taken. Target’s pricing is different than Wal-Mart’s. Again, the question: Are you scared yet? If so, why does the fact that some businesses outperform others scare you? Imagine two coffee shops on the same block, and you’re told that one “sold more” cups of coffee than the other. Would you ask why that was so? Would you ask how much each charges for their cups of coffee? These are important considerations, apparently not taken by the author. 3) Wal-Mart is bigger than Home Depot + Kroger + Target + Sears + Costco + K-Mart combined. BENCH: Yokay, but so what? The author childishly uses “bigger” as a pejorative. The author does not qualify what “bigger” means in this context. Bigger in terms of gross sales, gross profit, net sales, net profit, payroll, amount of taxes paid, amount of real estate owned, square footage of retail outlets? Bigger how? Again, the question: Are you scared yet? If so, why does the fact that a particular business is “bigger” than several of its competitors? Imagine a 7-Eleven that is across the street from a large and popular restaurant. Both sell sandwiches, but the restaurant sells four times as many as the 7-Eleven, occupies a larger space, employs many more people, and so on. It’s “bigger.” Does that make the restaurant bad? 4) Wal-Mart employs 1.6 million people and is the largest private employer. And most can't speak English. BENCH: Actually, Wal-Mart has 2.1 million employees (another indicator of how inaccurate this list is). One of today’s headlines is this, from AP (Dec. 5, 2008): Employers cut 533K jobs in Nov., most in 34 years.” Aren’t Liberals, like other Americans, concerned about rising unemployment? Yes? So how, then, is employing 2.1 million people a bad thing? Does the author of this list have some issue with people who don’t speak English? Wal-Mart currently has 620,000 "International Associates," which is one third of the total 2.1 million employees. (2.1 million minus 620,000 equals 1.48 million, so again the author's "facts" are way off.) Apparently so, but don’t Liberals claim to be more compassionate about non-English speakers? The author doesn’t indicate, however, where those employees are located. Could “most” of the Wal-Mart employees be manufacturing merchandise for Wal-Mart overseas, in non-English speaking countries? I don’t know, but if the author knows he/she is withholding the information. 5) Wal-Mart is the largest company in the history of the World. BENCH: Yes, at the moment. But before Wal-Mart got there, somebody else was “the largest company in the history of the World,” and somebody else before, and so on. Sooner or later, some other company will become “the largest company in the history of the World.” In fact, it may happen soon. The Wall Street Journal reported on October 3, 2007 that “Wal-Mart’s influence over the retail universe is slipping. In fact, the industry’s titan is scrambling to keep up with swifter rivals that are redefining the business all around it.6) Wal-Mart now sells more food than Kroger & Safeway combined, and keep in mind they did this in only 15 years. BENCH: I must be missing something here. Is selling a lot of food a bad thing? As for saying that Wal-Mart “did this in only 15 years,” we have another red flag. According to Wal-Mart, the company began in 1962, when founder Sam Walton opened the company’s first discount store in Rogers, Arkansas. Correct me if I’m wrong, but 15 years after 1962 would be 1977. Uhm, that was nearly 32 years ago. Where did the author come up with the 15 year info? 7) During this same period, 31 Supermarket chains sought bankruptcy (including Winn-Dixie). BENCH: What period is that? The author gives no dates. The author implies that Wal-Mart drove Winn-Dixie into bankruptcy, but in fact that is not true. Karen Brune Mathis of the The Times-Union wrote an excellent article on October 13, 2007 about the Winn-Dixie bankruptcy. Mathis wrote that “Winn-Dixie spent 21 months in bankruptcy reorganization, filing in February 2005 and emerging in November 2006.” She also noted that “long dominant Winn-Dixie watched service-oriented Publix Super Markets displace it as the top grocer in the area in 2000. In 2006, price-focused Wal-Mart took second place, pushing Winn-Dixie to No. 3.” Does that sound like Wal-Mart suddenly jumped up and cut the head off of Winn-Dixie? Mathis quotes Holly Felder Etlin , one of the turnaround advisers who helped Winn-Dixie reorganize and regroup as saying the main causes of Winn-Dixie’s demise were “the company's focus on cutting costs while not keeping the stores up to date, not focusing enough on new products and facing a bloated cost structure.” (I doubt that Wal-Mart had anything to do with Winn-Dixie’s own mismanagement.) 8) Wal-Mart now sells more food than any other store in the world. BENCH: This is essentially a repeat of #6 above. 9) Wal-Mart has approx 3,900 stores in the USA of which 1,906 are SuperCenters; this is 1,000 more than it had 5 years ago. BENCH: Another inaccuracy: “Today, 7,390 Wal-Mart stores and Sam’s Club locations in 14 markets employ more than 2 million associates, serving more than 200 million customers per year.” (Source) 10) This year, 7.2 billion different purchasing experiences will occur at a Wal-Mart store. (Earth's population is approximately 6.5 billion.) BENCH: So what? 7.2 billion divided by 200 million equals 36. That means that each of those 200 million customers had an average of 36 “purchasing experiences” per year. That’s three visits per month. I hit my local 7-Eleven three times a day, often enough. This figure means nothing unless you’re unable to look at big numbers, break them down, and realize that there is nothing out of the ordinary going on. 11) 90% of all Americans live within 15 miles of a Wal-Mart. BENCH: So what? 90% of all Chicagoans live within 15 miles of City Hall. Does that make City Hall bad? Of course not. Temptation, greed and callous disregard make City Hall bad. 12) Let Wal-Mart bail out Wall Street. BENCH: Why? Did Wal-Mart cause the meltdown of Wall Street? What did Wal-Mart have to do with the gross mismanagement and corruption at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Wal-Mart may be doing well, but I hardly think they have over $700 billion to give away. Speaking of giving money away, Wal-Mart gives away more money to charitable causes than most companies do. For example, “Wal-Mart’s support is helping the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc. break ground for the national memorial dedicated to the civil rights leader by providing a $12.5 million letter of credit from the Wal-Mart Foundation.” That’s just a tiny fraction of their charitable giving. So, let’s summarize the Wal-Mart list, point by point: 1) Americans love to shop at Wal-Mart. 2) Americans love to shop at Wal-Mart. 3) Americans love to shop at Wal-Mart. 4) Millions of Americans have jobs, thanks to Wal-Mart. 5) Americans love to shop at Wal-Mart, so much so that it’s now the largest company in the world. 6) Americans love to shop at Wal-Mart. 7) Some companies are not as well as Wal-Mart. 8) See #6. 9) Wal-Mart has been expanding rapidly because Americans love to shop at Wal-Mart. 10) The average Wal-Mart shopper shops at a Wal-Mart three times per month. 11) Wal-Mart is conveniently located within a short drive of 90% of all Americans. 12) Liberals think Wal-Mart somehow caused the current bad economic climate. My favorite part of the entire email is the last item. Note that today is December 5, 2008. Vice President Dick Cheney will leave office in just a few weeks, on January 20. Yet, at the bottom of the uber-Liberal’s email is this link, urging the impeachment of Cheney. Vote in the National Cheney Impeachment Poll (WARNING! Follow that link at your own risk! I did, it seems suspicious. Don’t follow the link unless you are confident that you have a good firewall and a very good anti-spyware and anti-virus program running!) RELATED: Why I Love Wal-Mart and You Should Too - Associated Content YouTube - P&T Bullshit Wal-Mart Hatred Part 1 American Thinker Blog: Wal-Mart hatred on display in LA Times The Wal-Mart hatred bandwagon is a load of crap... (cuss words!) From the Wal-Mart corporate site: Wal-Mart's charitble giving Wal-Mart's disaster relief Wal-Mart's international operations Wal-Mart's employment and diversity