food for thought.

Thirty days from tomorrow I will be thirty.
I LOVE birthdays.
But I am dreading this one.
Thirty doesn't sound so nice.

However...thirty will be much better to me than twenty was.
I am older, wiser and much more gung-ho about my convictions.

For instance.
I refuse to shop at Wal-mart. Solely on principal.
And, no, it is NOT because my husband is a Target executive.
Our boycott of Wal-mart did not begin until well into his career.

Wal-mart is like a plague.
It swoops in and kills off all sorts of American businesses in its manhunt for the lowest price.

Not only do they move into a town and make it impossible for small business to survive...but they take out large businesses as well...several large name businesses have gone bankrupt or nearly so trying to bend to Wal-mart buyer requests (ie. selling them an item at a price so low that profit is nearly impossible)...either they meet the request or Wal-mart will often refuse to do ANY business with them. Take a look at this article HERE.

You know how Wal-mart claims to buy American? Not so much...the sweat shop rumors are true. They treat their overseas workers like dirt...making them live in dirty dorms...and taking rent out of their pay whether they live in them or not. They are paid pennies on the dollar for the junk they make for Wal-mart. And they aren't all adults. Many are children. Most can't do any better.

HERE's a great resource on learning more about the dirty side of saving a buck at Wal-mart.

And I don't base my beliefs about Wal-mart on ONE article...or ONE blog or ONE documentary. There are tons out there...hundreds maybe.
Even if only 10% were true (and I believe much more than that is) I would still feel the way I do.

Yes I used to shop there. Guilt free. I'm not judging you if you do. But the more I learned the less I felt comfortable in supporting them on any level.
Ignorance WAS bliss. Now I know better.

After doing some research on your own...can you really say that it is WORTH saving a few bucks to support not only the death of small business and large corporations but to also support a thriving sweatshop industry?

And before someone else says it...No, Target does not allow bell ringers from the Salvation Army to stand in front of it's stores, HOWEVER, Target is one of the largest contributors to the Salvation Army and several other charities.
(This is usually the biggest anti-Target argument that people can come up with).

As usual I would love to hear your thoughts.


EDITED TO ADD: I failed to mention...since I was finishing up that post with a baby bouncing on my knee...that once upon a time, I worked at Wal-mart...and experienced first hand how "great" they treat their employee's. Getting over part time hours was met with big way they were going to have to give you benefits. There are many testimonies of former employees and how badly they were treated in the name of keeping the price down.

I am not anti big business. I am anti dirty business. Wal-mart USED to stand for the American dream but since Sam Walton passed away, the line was crossed. Now it is get the lowest matter the cost.

I also was not talking about Wal-mart stores in other countries necessarily...but the production warehouses in other countries owned by Wal-mart...where people and children are poorly paid and treated.

Just wanted to clarify a bit.

No company is perfect...but Wal-mart is the e


Molly said...

I totally agree, although I'm not much of a Target girl, no ofeense I just can't seem to find what I need in there :) Me and Mike have started trying to buy local and american made products. Everything in Wal-Mart is made in China, so no wonder the price is low. We own our own business and we have felt that buying locally and american made products would better our conscience and help the little people like us; plus it gets our name out there as well :) Thirty is going to be great!!! I turn 29 in September and have been feeling like I'm getting old and we have no kids yets so we better get on the band wagon before we are 80 and pushing a stroller down the sidewalk. I hope you have a great weekend!!!!

The JM Family said...

Thanks for speaking out against the bad guys!

Kristi said...

I will be 40 in just 8 days. Wish I was just turning 30! Or actually I don't because I've learned so much in the last 10 year. So, OK, I wish I LOOKED 30! :-) My 30's were some of the best years of my life so far. May yours be too.

I prefer to buy from small businesses, even more so than from Target. But I do buy from Target occasionally. It is a more pleasant store to shop in than some of those others.

Big Yellow Dog said...

I totally agree! Walmart has always been a place that has made me a little uncomfortable. Both walmart's in our little town(yep, we're "lucky" enough to have two superwalmarts) are GROSS. There is always someone spanking their kids or running around barefoot and it just makes me uncomfortable, but their irresponsible business practices like the ones you mentioned make me even more uncomfortable shopping there. I hate the new walmart commercials with their "live better" slogans. How can a town live better with a walmart when they run out small and larger local businesses? Great post!

Kristy said...

I agree too, I hate walmart. It is just dirty all around.

Randi Jo :) said...

Happy Birthday! (early)

I agree about Walmart's business practices and what happens to towns when Walmart comes in with their lowest price guarantee. the mcdonaldization of society. quantity over quality. we do our best to live simply and not fall into the consumerism ("stuff" is good...quantity over quality) mentality.

btw, I *love* your new skirts and stockings! I really think you're doing a great job and love the direction your shop is taking - though I always loved the cards too!

The only thing about this post I'm not sure about though is the sweat shop and such... It amazes to me how many things are made in China. Basically 90%!? It's scary.... even stores and brands that say "American ____" say "made in China" on them.... it's horrible. I wonder where to find out about sweat shops and treatment of workers that make different product lines... it's probably not exclusive to Walmart but I wouldn't know how to look that up. Seems to me so many of the big retail stores have the same products.

Just rambling... anyway! I wanted to tell you Crystal that I don't know if you all have gone or not --- but if you all ever go up to Jersey to visit and get the opportunity... you should definitely check out Land of Make Believe in Hope, NJ. We went the other week we were there and had the BEST time! It is great for ages 2 - 8. It was a bit pricey but we loved it! :)

Take care.

Sara Neufeld said...

I understand that Walmart makes a lot of people mad. Nobody likes "Goliath". We all want to root for the underdog. I believe that everyone has an agenda. Walmart's (as with any business) is to make money. Walmart is not evil or good. But they still subscribe to the values on which Sam Walton started his company. They still promote the worth of the individual in an others first environment. They actually study each country where they have a store and mold their values to fit each culture. It's true that there are some stores in some countries that we would consider inadequate and maybe even unclean. But, what Walmart tries to do is go into a culture and meet a need while running a profitable business. People can purchase items they need to survive inexpensively in countries where they might bring home $1 per day. The great thing about Walmart is that it is still a place where you can start your career as a cart jockey and work up to an executive. Many of their executives have done just that. So, if you hate Walmart, that's fine. That's the great thing about living in the U.S. We have the opportunity to work to become the world's largest retailer and we can also dislike the store. I don't think you can completely understand Walmart by reading negative articles about it. You must also balance that with the values and mission statement they preach (and practice). Before you completely write them off, look at their website and see if there maybe some of these horror stories we hear about might be a bit skewed by people who, like Walmart, also have an agenda.

ArtGirlBlue said...

Interesting topic. I personally feel there are better places to shop. Local stores need support. (What few there are left). Neither store wins any award in my opinion. But as long as people shop there they will keep producing things in China, India, etc...

Wisconsin Girl said...

Thanks for your post...I agree whole-heartedly. I hardly ever step into a WalMart for all of the reasons you stated and also like to support more local shops and am trying harder to buy American. Not always easy and not saying I do that 100% of the time, but we need to support the small businesses. Without them we lose all the quality and specialties that they have to offer...not to mention their service. I saw a news special a few years back (regarding WalMart) where they interviewed a lady in a third world country, then brought her here to the States to a WalMart, to see the store and how much things cost. Great to us, but she was horrified that the price of the pants she made was about $12 and she barely made $1/wk. Regardless of the great difference in wages in these countries, what she was making wasn't enough for her and her children to survive on. That broadcast made me think a lot differently about what I buy and where I buy it. Not just WalMart, but many other places as well. We all like to save money, but I'm not comfortable sacrificing my principles and beliefs to do so. As you mentioned, I'm not one to judge others if they choose to shop there, I just prefer to make a statement by not doing so myself.

Have a happy, happy birthday. 30 isn't so bad! My 30th birthday was a lot of fun!

Jennifer said...

Well, you didn't talk overly much about turning 30 but since I just turned 30 and was super excited about it...I thought I'd give you *my* take on it. See, I would like to turn 90 one day, and in order to do that, it is very important that I turn 30! I'm so GLAD to turn 30, I would much rather turn 30 than not... So embrace 30. It's fabulous! Turn 30 so that you can grow old with your husband, turn 30 so that one day you can hold your grandchildren...turn 30, and have fun! Hope that helps make it upbeat! Love your blog!

B.jane said...

OMG...I watched a terrible documentary on walmart and refused to shop there for a while. Now...I have been back sliding. Thanks for the reminder of that terrible show I watched.


lassie girl said...

Agree 100%! I personally hate Wal-Mart, and am very thankful to have the means to choose to shop elsewhere. I know some people don't, for often Wal-Mart really is cheaper, but I think if you can sacrifice in other areas in order TO be able to pay just a little more somewhere else, it's worth it! Just my two cents worth. :)

My 30th birthday is coming up soon, too... a few days before yours! So far it's not bothering me a bit. I think 40 might bother me more!

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