I feel guilty about shopping at Walmart. What is your opinion?

My professor told me that they have Chinese slaves working for them. I did my research and I believe it too.

But, today I bought 6 toothbrushes for $1.08 .

The dollar store can't even beat that price, because the toothbrushes at walmart are of a higher quality than at the dollar store.

What is your opinion about this.

Also, I have heard that in some small towns, after walmart came in, the small mom and pop shops were closed down because they could not compete with WALMART, the god of all stores.
Updates:
We should boycott walmart.
Thank you everyone for your input. I wish I could do something about this. But, I can't so therefore I will not worry.


Great answers everyone :)

0|0
1019

Most Helpful Guy

  • We all have to eat. Shop where you can afford to shop. Someone is always suffering somewhere. No large company is a model or moral cleanliness. They bow to the bottom dollar. They have a legal obligation to share holders to hold profit in the highest regard, so they are going to screw someone over along the line. Unless you plan to fabricate your own tooth brush from supplies foraged from the forest by your own hands, don't sweat it. It's kind of hard to shop anywhere without running those same issues.

    1|0
    0|0

Recommended Questions

Loading...

Have an opinion?

What Girls & Guys Said

1018
  • It's true that many people in the 3rd World, including China, are given difficult, dangerous job and are underpaid. And that's sad.

    However, you need to realize too that in 1970, the Chinese were starving to death by the tens of thousands because there were NO jobs and NO food. By opening up (originally) 7 cities to capitalism, they were able to bring in a lot of foreign currency and start building a middle class, something that didn't exist at all. Since then, they've opened up many more cities to capitalism, and while the jobs are difficult and pay is low, most of those workers are STILL living better lives than they were before. That's why so many are so anxious to leave the rural interior areas, where people STILL die of starvation and untreated diseases, and move to the cities to take these jobs.

    And as time goes on, and there are more and more stories in the news about poor conditions and pollution and such, these companies will be forced to improve conditions, just like what happened in the US in the first half of the 20th Century. Wages will go up, more workers will be needed, and the middle class will continue to grow.

    Will there be a high cost along the way? Yes! It happened in the US, and it happened in every other country that is a 1st World nation today, and China won't be the last place it happens either.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that the factories that supply items to the US are MUCH better run overall than the factories that supply items to other countries, ESPECIALLY other ASIAN countries. People in many other countries don't care a bit how bad Chinese workers are paid or treated, and if the US factories close, the workers will just move to the much worse factories own by and for other countries.

    This is why you can't make these kinds of decisions until you have the whole story, because the context matters.

    0|2
    0|0
    • If Walmart has indeed contributed to the rise of the Chinese middle class it can also be said that it has contributed to the decline of its American counterpart.

    • Both true statements. We'll see how things turn out after the billionaires decide the election.

  • Your professor is a moron. They don't use slaves. They hire factories that pay their workers.

    You should not boycott Walmart. The mom and pop shops went for a reason, which you mentioned. They were more expensive. Why would you want to make people pay more for their living costs? That would be the real injustice.

    3|1
    0|0
    • I believe the opposite

      actually, Mom & Pop shops aren't more expensive. the price varies from place to place, depending how good a person is at their craft or if they get materials cheaper. Places like Walmart have a base price, albeit cheap, you still can't barter with a cashier.

      And in Reality, Walmart does have Asian laborers, they do give them small rooms to live in, but they cram like 60 people into one "Cell".

    • Show All
    • I believe in mom & pop shops, just my opinion.

    • The mom and pop shops are more expensive because they don't have the buying power that Walmart has. Walmart has how many stores? You do realize that they get massive discounts from the manufacturers by buying in such massive volumes. Therefore, they can set lower prices because x product cost them 50 cents a unite, whereas mom and pop shop could only get it for a dollar a unit because they don't order in such volumes.

  • Henry Ford believed in paying his workers good wages so that they could afford to buy his cars. Sam Walton believed in paying people so little that they had to shop at Walmart. There is a plethora of good reasons not to shop there, most of which have little to do with China.

    3|2
    1|0
  • Haha yeah, my brother in law keeps hearing this American perception of his country and he wants to know where he can buy these slaves. He's tired of having his to raise his salaries to keep his top workers, especially his managers, from being poached by competitors. His business would be so much easier if he could just use slaves lol.

    People in Western countries jump to the conclusion that because the wages in China are so low, they must be slaves or going hungry, not realizing the cost of living in China is very low. Aside from real estate prices for all class of goods are dirt cheap. A typical low wage worker can scrape by on $1200. $5000 a year buys you a middle class life style. And the typical factory worker makes about $480 a month, in some places as high as $600 per month. There are corners that are cut that also make it cheaper to build in China, but these are in areas like environmental and safety standards, you know, the overregulation that affects our country. In the last five years, manufacturing wages alone have risen 80%.

    I do agree with your other assessments about Walmart, kinda ironic that in the 80s they were the leaders in the famous "Made in the USA" commercial campaigns. Sam Walton must be spinning in his grave. I gotta give it to them, they do run a very efficient supply chain management system. Military forces around the world could slash their logistic expenses if they'd learn from Walmart.

    If the American public wants to bring American manufacturing back to the USA, we need to vote collectively with our wallets. It's all to easy to chant on boards "BUY USA!", but when people at the end of the day only buy the cheapest prices, then nothing will ever change. We need to be prepared to spend more money on everything, and sadly, most Americans just won't do it.

    0|1
    0|0
    • Child labor isn't a question of 'perception', it's fact: link

      #-Children Found Sewing Clothing For Wal-Mart, Hanes & Other U.S. ...

      link

      According to a new National Labor Committee report, an estimated 200 children, some 11 years old or even younger, are sewing clothing for Hanes, Wal-Mart, J.C. Penney, and Puma in Bangladesh.

    • Show All
    • And I thought we were talking about slave labor not child labor...

    • Yes child labor is illegal in china, on my wife's province a judge just sentenced a business man 10 years to a labor colony for hiring teens.

  • Boycotts are impossible to manage. The slaves are slaves anyway, if Walmart closes down they'll go to some other area that requires slavery. If industrial slaves run out, they'll be handed over to prostitution and whatever else. If you DO manage to somehow enforce that they don't use slaves, they'll use factories that use child labour, unpaid or barely paid work and all those other things that you hear about. Arguably as bad as slavery. It's like Japanese vegetarians don't make a difference to the Whaling industry, and all those good and moral citizens who wouldn't ever dream of buying childporn make no difference to the thriving childporn industry. Your $1.08 doesn't mean f*** all to Wal-Mart.

    If you want to make a difference you have to actually go to China and join a Militant Activist organisation. There are guys right now in the middle of the Pacific Ocean - Pirates, Activist Pirates, who attack Whalers and Naval Offices and force them out of the area, saving millions of whales a year. They're making a difference. No one else is making a difference by quiet abstinence.

    Anyway, is it even true? If you ddi your research you wouldn't have to believe it, you'd know it to be true and you'd be able to simply present it to us.

    0|0
    0|0
    • You would be surprised. Look at Milk / rbst hormone for example. Nobody organized anything, just consumers started to systematically vote organic. Admittedly, there is no price difference between the two, which makes it easier. Just vote your dollar however you want, and don't worry whether or not it makes a difference. That's the attitude needed to "manage a boycott"

    • >Nobody organised anything

      >Nobody organised anything

      >Nobody organised anything

      Exactly. This isn't voting with your dollar, you big goof - this is called the Free Market.

  • I dislike Wal-Mart because the illegals shop there and feel the need to bring their whole family and let their dumbass, non English speaking future WIC/Welfare recipient children run around like no other

    Target is alright

    1|2
    2|4
    • I prefer target! Wish my wife did, she prefers Sacks 5th Ave lol.

    • Show All
    • yes the influx of outsiders has become a big problem. Multi-culturalism is designed to destroy soverign nations.

    • no no ,i clean, I shop

  • I love Wally World.

    I don't give a rat's azz if there are Chinese slaves making the products or if the mom and pop stores can't compete. Anyone that knows anything about economics knows that Wal Mart is good for the economy.

    Classic Keynesian economics vs. Hayekian economics. I choose Hayek. :)

    0|0
    2|1
  • Walmart employs a lot of people and saves a lot of people money. It sounds bad that there are people in China working for them for so little money, but in comparison to the fact that they would be making no money without it, it's actually good. All these things are based on perspective. We see things through the first world lenses of minimum wage and decent conditions, but life everywhere is not like that.

    0|1
    0|0
  • Nintendo has it's products manufactured by Foxconn: link

    Apple too has it's products manufactured by Foxconn.

    1|0
    0|0
  • well ofcourse they do, every company does, apple samsung walmart H&M,

    and you not shoping there won't change a thing

    1|0
    0|0
  • well its kinda the dilemma with wearing fur, on one side the animal is already dead and one the other side if you buy it you will keep the business alive. Its the same with walmart the toothbrushes are already made but if we keep buying it they will keep on using the workiers in other countries. But I think if we should boycott walmart there is a whole bunch of other stores we would have to boycott as well. And we wouldn't have anymore stores to shop in, except the fair trade stores.

    0|0
    0|0
  • Lol you do know that 5k+ Chinese people are executed by their own govt a year for petty crime, such as stealing 30$ items.

    Atleast the slaves have something to do. Their are so many Chinese people they are over flowing their own country.

    0|0
    0|0
    • Good insight. I also heard that in 2009, there were 32 million more boys born than girls..

  • I like your solution. Boycott Wal-Mart. That's much more reasonable than the statist solution where we call for the government to come in and penalize them for providing products and services at market low prices. Vote with your dollar. That's how the free market works.

    During recessions you always see "mom and pop" shops get phazed out while the Oligopolies rise to power. When the economy is booming and our middle class is prosperous, people can afford to have exotic taste.

    We don't really WANT to shop at Wal-Mart, but we do it because we need to stretch the value of our dollar. We don't WANT to drive Priuses, and if gas prices werent a prominant factor we'd have an SUV all to ourselves.

    As for the cheap labor exploits, it would be much easier to boycott companies who use these practices if we werent in a recession/depression. Don't blame Wal-Mart, blame the big banks, our policy makers, and Ben Bernanke.

    1|2
    0|0
  • i just bought me a bike at wal mart yesterday. its the best bike I've ever had. other than that I don't care. I never shopped there before and probably never will

    0|1
    0|0
  • I never shop at walmart, I buy from small manufacturers and strive for Made in America wherever I can.

    The thing is, when you buy a $15 shirt made in America vs a $2 shirt from Walmart, the $15 is what the shirt should _actually_ cost. That is, in a globalized economy where everyone is approximately of the same economic stature (no more rich/poor countries), that $15 is what the shirt SHOULD cost to make. When you buy the $2 shirt, you're saving money by exploiting a poor country (and right-less workers).

    So it's not that other stores are expensive, they charge what the item is _actually_ worth. We just spoil ourselves and live outside our means by exploiting others, and become so comfortable with it that the true price of these items becomes seen as absurdly expensive. When it's truly the other way around.

    0|2
    0|0
    • ...no the other stores ARE expensive. They're just making a higher profit off of the item that was made in China. They get away with it because of the brand and its status. That 2 dollar shirt at Walmart is the same quality and came from the same place that Nike had their shirt made, yet they slap their logo on it and justify charging 25 bucks for it.

  • I try to buy US and Canada-made stuff when I'm at Wal-Mart. But I rarely shop there anyway. I like Target better.

    0|0
    0|0
  • Well, the thing about the slaves, probably an urban legend; but it's true about small stores, either in small towns or even in large cities, not being able to compete with the low walmart prices. You are right to feel guilty about shopping there. They also treat their OWN employees prettymuch as slaves, you know, that's what really bothers me.

    So I try to shop the smaller stores; I'm willing to pay slightly higher prices, since the smaller stores can give you better advice about their merchandise. But if I"m in a hurry, sometimes I will ru into Walmart for things like those toothbrushes or travel razors and the like.

    0|0
    0|0
  • coincidently, a few month back in college one of my classmate did a presentation on this, I mean I'm not trying to defend wal mart; I did work for them twice in the past and it was a pretty good company. now going back to the Chinese slave thing, my classmate pointed out in his presentation a lot of company that also go this going on; not just wal mart. he mentioned a lot others and I remember apple and nintendo were also in this.

    it was kinda disturbing how theses Chinese workers lived there life. I would end up writning a book if I go into details, but I don't know if I wal mart and this other companies have the right to be boycott. I don't think is really their fault, but more of whoever is offering these types of workers and these workers themselves volunteering which I don't remember if they were forced in this hell hole or not

    0|0
    1|0
  • Dude, they totally have Chinese slaves working for them. My cousin is Chinese and he works for Walmart. He says they don't pay sh*t and that they're not allowed to wear shoes when they work because it'll scuff their "American Floors". He want's to quit but it's the only job he can get right now since he's only 12 years old. One time he got his arm caught in a conveyer belt mechanism and damn near had his limb torn off. He lost feeling in his right arm for like 2 weeks and they wouldn't even let him go home the day it happened. Those Walmart people are a**holes.

    0|1
    0|0
  • dont feel guilty.. walmart is rich because everyone goes there

    0|0
    0|0
  • To hell with walmart. They monopolize the market and expoloit poor dumb white n*gger Americans. The factories in china are not perfect but they are not as bad as they are made out to be either. I myself do not shop at walmart. They have little respect for their worker's and view people as only "energy output machines" who are expendable. Walmart is just a symptom of out of control corporatism and unregulated free market. I Don't mind spending a couple extra bucks to help out small regular folk businesses. In fact I enjoy it.

    1|0
    0|1
    • -Talking about not respecting those who have little respect

      -Using derogatory term & assuming those who shop there are "poor dumb white n***** Americans"

      -Okie Dokie

  • Most of the stuff there is pretty bad quality but it has some things worth buying.

    0|0
    0|0
  • I loves me some WalMart, I gotta be honest.

    1|0
    0|0
  • Yeah it's true

    0|0
    0|0
  • Buy it. No need to feel guilty. If the factory moved those people would be worse pff then they are now

    2|1
    0|0
  • Every big company uses slave labour. Have a look into Foxconn, which you can't avoid. Apple, Samsung big clothing brands etc. I hate it that my money goes towards supporting manufacturers that don't care about people unless they can make money from them (us the consumers, and their factory workers- practically slaves).

    When you can, buy from countries who enforce human rights and try to fix things before you dispose them. I learned to make my own clothes. It's far cheaper and better quality, but is time consuming. You could start repairing your clothes instead of throwing them away though.

    I'm glad to finally hear that someone else is concerned about this. No-one else seems to be bothered.

    I know you can't avoid purchasing things made from slave labour, but you can buy Fairtrade and organic etc. This will sound silly to you if you're not religious, but even though I feel bad that I can't avoid purchasing something made in poor conditions, I know that at least it pleases God that I'm making an effort.

    0|0
    0|0
  • First of all the only products made by walmart themselves is the great value brands or SAMs choice. Second, pretty much every major company/brands products are built with the blood, sweat and tears of third world country citizens where they are paid $1.00 a day and work 14 hr days if not longer and paid less. So you might as well boycott everything! Apple products are built with slave labor, Nike had an issue wear there was a toxic chemical in the rubber for their shoes was killing workers at their overseas factories and they didn't care! Unless a product states it was made in the US, it pretty much is made by slaves in third world countries. The issue with walmart is not that they have Chinese slaves, it's that their employees in America are paid minimum wage and offered either no benefits or if they are eligible, they pay an insane amount for crappy health insurance. And they are a threat to smaller local businesses. There's many documentaries on it, you should YouTube them.

    0|0
    0|0
    • re: boycotting everything. Yes, the US economy has fully off-shored, even small to mid-size business owners have put in little tiny operations in China; I've actually met some of the mom & pop managers on various planes to China (I go there a lot for other reasons). Off-shoring is made possible by your friendly WTO (and NAFTA) :) For better, or worse...

  • in this day and age I shop wherever it is cheapest , can't afford to do otherwise...sad but true =/

    0|0
    0|0

Recommended myTakes

Loading...