Walmart Is Raising Its Minimum Wage to $11 an Hour and Giving Employees a $1,000 Bonus

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)

(IN THIS BLOG I HAVE KNOCKED THE WALTON FAMILY MANY TIMES BECAUSE OF THEIR CHINA POLICIES AND FOR HOW THEY TREAT THEIR EMPLOYEES SO IN THE VENUE OF HONESTY AND FAIRNESS I NOW APPLAUD THEM FOR THESE MOVES. THERE IS ONE THING I WOULD LIKE YOU TO NOTICE TODAY THOUGH, WATCH WALMART STOCK PRICES GO DOWN TODAY, THIS HAPPENS EVERY TIME A COMPANY GIVES RAISES OR BENEFITS TO THEIR WORKERS, IT IS A SICK REALITY.)

A customer pushes a shopping cart at a Wal-Mart Stores Inc. location in Burbank, California, U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, marks the traditional start to the U.S. holiday shopping season. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A customer pushes a shopping cart at a Wal-Mart Stores Inc. location in Burbank, California, U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, marks the traditional start to the U.S. holiday shopping season. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

By ASSOCIATED PRESS

8:34 AM EST

Walmart is boosting its starting salary for U.S. workers to $11 an hour, giving a one-time $1,000 cash bonus to eligible employees and expanding its maternity and parental leave benefits.

The retailer said Thursday changes that to its compensation and benefits policy will impact more than a million hourly workers in the U.S., with the wage increase effective next month.

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The company is also creating a new benefit to assist employees with adoption expenses.

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Massive recall of packaged vegetables gets even bigger as more stores pull products

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SACRAMENTO BEE NEWS PAPER)

 

Massive recall of packaged vegetables gets even bigger as more stores pull products

OCTOBER 23, 2017 9:30 AM

If You Buy Walmart You Are Feeding China’s Communist Leadership And Their Army

 

According to Global Research.Org 95% of the non food products that are on sale in your local Wal-Mart store are made in China. I knew that almost all of the products that I looked at to buy had made in China tags on them, yet I didn’t realize that it was quite that high of a percent. Wal-Mart has apx 11% of all of America’s GDP go through their hands each year. Folks, that is one out of every nine dollars and that in itself is a dangerous thing for any nations economy. I learned many years ago back when old man Walton was still alive when they used to advertise that they only bought made in America products to help American manufacturing jobs stay here in America that this slogan was a blatant fraud and a lie. I was a long haul truck driver for a span of over 30 years and I picked up Wal-Mart loads quite a few times at the shipping docks in Elizabeth New Jersey and at the port in Miami Florida. It was not at all uncommon that when I would get backed up to the dock that the load would be staged there waiting to be put onto the trailer yet I would often have to sit there for at least two more hours so the dock workers could take off all of the tags saying where it was actually made at and to put on made in the USA tags. Wal-Mart itself grew from lying to the American people so to be honest with you when I have seen tags on items in one of their stores that said ‘made in the USA’ I can’t help but doubt that this is also another lie.

 

A couple of years ago Wal-Mart bought three ships ‘made in China’ for the sole purpose of shipping products to the western ports of the U.S.. These three ships was said to cost about 500 million dollars each. These ships are so large that they can not fit through either the Suez or Panama Canals. They are designed for one purpose, to bring cheap Chinese garbage to the American market. In reality if people here in the States want to bring jobs back to America all they have to do is to quit doing any of their shopping at Wal-Mart or Lowe’s (they own 100% of Lowe’s). Wal-Mart nor China are friends to or of the American people. Only two things really matters to these two entities and that is power and money. If the American Federal Government gave a damn about the American people they would never ever allow any company to have such a huge amount of their GDP in the hands of one company. If the Federal Government gave a damn about American jobs they would pass a bill requiring at least 80% of every company’s American sales to be from products made in America, this is how you could keep jobs for the American people. Yet it is obvious to most of the American people that the Politicians only listen to the big money people who grease their personal sleds. Donald Trump and his family and their businesses are a good example of this farce. Only money matters, you and I do not matter.

 

If you are a person that pays any attention to world affairs you already should know that the Communist Leadership behind their ‘President for life’ Xi Jinping have been very active in building up their military throughout Asia, even building islands upon coral formations and constructing military air fields upon them. They pretty much claim all of the South China Sea, all of the mineral deposits below it and the Air Ways above it to be their own. They claim Taiwan as their own property as well as Mongolia, Tibet, Islands that belong to Japan and they are pushing hard against India by claiming that thousands of square miles of northern India actually belong to them. China has been building up its military machine at an unrepresented level during this past five years under President Xi Jinping (whom President Trump calls his good friend). So folks, this is the reason I chose the title that I did for this article this evening. To me, it is very obvious that money and power matters far more to Wal-Mart owners and stock holders and to the Chinese government as well as Americas Federal Politicians than the sovereignty and the safety of the American people matter. The only way that I can see that ‘we the people’ can fight back and to regain our jobs is to totally quit shopping at companies like Wal-Mart. One could also easily say that our national security depends on it.

The Amazon-Walmart Showdown That Explains the Modern Economy

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES)

Credit Antonio de Luca

With Amazon buying the high-end grocery chain Whole Foods, something retail analysts have known for years is now apparent to everyone: The online retailer is on a collision course with Walmart to try to be the predominant seller of pretty much everything you buy.

Each one is trying to become more like the other — Walmart by investing heavily in its technology, Amazon by opening physical bookstores and now buying physical supermarkets. But this is more than a battle between two business titans. Their rivalry sheds light on the shifting economics of nearly every major industry, replete with winner-take-all effects and huge advantages that accrue to the biggest and best-run organizations, to the detriment of upstarts and second-fiddle players.

That in turn has been a boon for consumers but also has more worrying implications for jobs, wages and inequality.

To understand this epic shift, you can look not just to the grocery business, but to my closet, and to another retail acquisition announced Friday morning.

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Men’s dress clothing, mine included, can be a little boring. Like many male office workers, I lean toward clothes that are sharp but not at all showy. Nearly every weekday, I wear a dress shirt that is either light blue, white or has some subtle check pattern, usually paired with slacks and a blazer. The description alone could make a person doze.

I used to buy my dress shirts from a Hong Kong tailor. They fit perfectly, but ordering required an awkward meeting with a visiting salesman in a hotel suite. They took six weeks to arrive, and they cost around $120 each, which adds up fast when you need to buy eight or 10 a year to keep up with wear and tear.

Then several years ago I realized that a company called Bonobos was making shirts that fit me nearly as well, that were often sold three for $220, or $73 each, and that would arrive in two days.

Bonobos became my main shirt provider, at least until recently, when I learned that Amazon was trying to get into the upper-end men’s shirt game. The firm’s “Buttoned Down” line, offered to Amazon Prime customers, uses high-quality fabric and is a good value at $40 for basic shirts. I bought a few; they don’t fit me quite as well as the Bonobos, but I do prefer the stitching.

I’m on the fence as to which company will provide my next shirt order, and a new deal this week makes it a doubly interesting quandary: Walmart is buying Bonobos.

Amazon vs. Walmart

Walmart’s move might seem a strange decision. It is not a retailer people typically turn to for $88 summer weight shirts in Ruby Wynwood Plaid or $750 Italian wool suits. Then again, Amazon is best known as a reseller of goods made by others.

Walmart and Amazon have had their sights on each other for years, each aiming to be the dominant seller of goods — however consumers of the future want to buy them. It increasingly looks like that “however” is a hybrid of physical stores and online-ordering channels, and each company is coming at the goal from a different starting point.

Amazon is the dominant player in online sales, and is particularly strong among affluent consumers in major cities. It is now experimenting with physical bookstores and groceries as it looks to broaden its reach.

Walmart has thousands of stores that sell hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of goods. It is particularly strong in suburban and rural areas and among low- and middle-income consumers, but it’s playing catch-up with online sales and affluent urbanites.

Why are these two mega-retailers both trying to sell me shirts? The short answer is because they both want to sell everything.

More specifically, Bonobos is known as an innovator in exactly this type of hybrid of online and physical store sales. Its website and online customer service are excellent, and it operates stores in major cities where you can try on garments and order items to be shipped directly. Because all the actual inventory is centralized, the stores themselves can occupy minimal square footage.

So the acquisition may help Walmart build expertise in the very areas where it is trying to gain on Amazon. You can look at the Amazon acquisition of Whole Foods through the same lens. The grocery business has a whole different set of challenges from the types of goods that Amazon has specialized in; you can’t store a steak or a banana the way you do books or toys. And people want to be able to make purchases and take them home on the spur of the moment.

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Credit Neil Irwin

Just as Walmart is using Bonobos to get access to higher-end consumers and a more technologically savvy way of selling clothes, Amazon is using Whole Foods to get the expertise and physical presence it takes to sell fresh foods.

But bigger dimensions of the modern economy also come into play.

A Positive Returns-to-Scale World

The apparel business has long been a highly competitive industry in which countless players could find a niche. Any insight that one shirt-maker developed could be rapidly copied by others, and consumer prices reflected the retailer’s real estate costs and branding approach as much as anything.

That helps explain why there are thousands of options worldwide for someone who wants a decent-quality men’s shirt. In that world, any shirt-maker that tried to get too big rapidly faced diminishing returns. It would have to pay more and more to lease the real estate for far-flung stores, and would have to outbid competitors to hire all the experienced shirt-makers. The expansion wouldn’t offer any meaningful cost savings and would entail a lot more headaches trying to manage it all.

But more and more businesses in the modern economy, rather than reflecting those diminishing returns to scale, show positive returns to scale: The biggest companies have a huge advantage over smaller players. That tends to tilt markets toward a handful of players or even a monopoly, rather than an even playing field with countless competitors.

The most extreme example of this would be the software business, where a company can invest bottomless sums in a piece of software, but then sell it to each additional customer for practically nothing. The apparel industry isn’t that extreme — the price of making a shirt is still linked to the cost of fabric and the workers to do the stitching — but it is moving in that direction.

And that helps explain why Walmart and Amazon are so eager to put a shirt on my back.

Already, retailers need to figure out how to manage sophisticated supply chains connecting Southeast Asia with stores in big American cities so that they rarely run out of product. They need mobile apps and websites that offer a seamless user experience so that nothing stands between a would-be purchaser and an order.

Larger companies that are good at supply chain management and technology can spread those more-or-less fixed costs around more total sales, enabling them to keep prices lower than a niche player and entrench their advantage.

These positive returns to scale could become even more pronounced. Perhaps in the future, rather than manufacture a bunch of shirts in Indonesia and Malaysia and ship them to the United States to be sold one at a time to urban office workers, a company will have a robot manufacture shirts to my specifications somewhere nearby.

If that’s the future of clothing, and quite a few companies are working on just that, apparel will become a landscape of high fixed costs and enormous returns to scale. The handful of companies with the very best shirt-making robots will win the market, and any company that can’t afford to develop shirt-making robots, or isn’t very good at it, might find itself left in the cold.

What It Means for the Economy

If retail were the only industry becoming more concentrated, it would be one thing. But a relative few winners are taking a disproportionate share of business in a wide range of industries, including banking, airlines and telecommunications. A study by the Obama White House’s Council of Economic Advisers found that in 12 of 13 industry sectors, the share of revenue earned by the 50 largest firms rose between 1997 and 2012.

That in turn may help explain why the income gap has widened in recent years. Essentially, the corporate world is bifurcating between winners and losers, with big implications for their workers.

Research by Jae Song of the Social Security administration and four colleagues found that most of the rise of inequality in pay from 1978 to 2013 was because some companies were paying more than others — not because of a wider gap between high-paid and low-paid workers within a company.

“Employees inside winning companies enjoy rising incomes and interesting cognitive challenges,” the Stanford economist Nicholas Bloom, one of the co-authors of that paper, wrote recently in Harvard Business Review. “Workers outside this charmed circle experience something quite different.”

And David Autor of M.I.T. and four colleagues found in a recent paper that the rise of these “superstar firms” — the big winners in the kind of face-off that Walmart and Amazon are now engaged in — is a likely explanation for the decrease in the share of the overall economic pie that is going to workers.

How much of that is because of shifting technology — as opposed to changing corporate behavior, or loose antitrust policy — is an open debate.

What isn’t is this: The decision by Amazon and Walmart to compete for my grocery business — as well as for space in my closet — are tiny battles in a war to dominate a changing global economy.

And for companies that can’t compete on price and technology, it could cost them the shirt off their backs.

American Jobs – Walmart- And China

American Jobs – Wal-Mart – China

As you probably know that in the media we’re hearing advertisements more and more about made in America products where companies and people pushing the made in the USA slogan. Yet still do you remember that the uniforms for our Olympic athletes were originally made in China instead of America? Eventually the fuss was made loud enough that new uniforms were made for them, here in America. There are companies here in America starving for orders (work) yet so many American corporations that are global conglomerates who will analyze everything down to the penny, and if they can literally save a few pennies on an order by having it made in China will not use the American workers, they instead buy products that are of no quality at all somewhere else, usually in China or India. By now do we Americans not know the level of trash for quality we get when we buy products made in China? Yet the big box stores (corporations) seem to only carry these garbage products at maximum prices. I know that a lot of people are just like me, we go into a store, like your local Wal-Mart and it seems that if you are going to buy anything there you are going to buy foreign-made products, not made in America products. I am a partly disabled Army vet who a couple of times year goes to the VA hospital in Johnson City TN. Even there it is most common if you are going to buy something like a hat or a shirt in their store and you check the tag to see where it was made the answer is usually China. It is frustrating to pick up a hat for example that says something like US Army veteran and have the tag say made in China. Our government is in my opinion traitors to the American workforce in other areas, even ones that are of the utmost importance of having quality like on American fighter jets. Just a few weeks ago on the news the American Secretary of Defense was defending his decision to order parts for Americas new F-34 fighter jets from China because they could get them cheaper there. These were unimportant parts I guess, they were only for the instrument panels and the landing gear.

Okay, now I am going to get more in focus on the title of this article, American jobs. I spent most of my adult life setting behind the wheel of a semi truck  crossing our country hundred of times. One of the things you notice when you are out there is how small town America is dying. Now I am not going to put all the blame on the huge corporations, we the people have some fault in our country’s demise, that is because if we refused to buy products unless they are made in America the corporations would have to buy from America. Every once in a while you will see billboards telling their population to buy from the local companies first because this is what stimulates their local workforce creating local jobs. This basic truth is the same on a national level, if we want to have jobs in this country, then buy only the products that are made here in the states first. A couple of months ago I wrote an article here on this blog titled (Wal-Mart grew through deceit, fraud, and lies) if you have a little time please check it out. If you are old enough you may remember how Wal-Mart used to always advertise how they only bought made in the USA products, that used to even be on the back door of the trailers for everyone to see out on America’s highways. Problem is, they were lying to all of us for the purpose of getting us to shop there and thus help the American workforce. I know very well that I was not the only driver who hauled loads from the shipping docks that we took to the Wal-Mart distribution centers around the country. It was a very common thing to be backed up to a loading dock to pick up a load going to them and the load would be staged there on the dock ready to go, but there was one hold up, we would end up having to wait for several hours while the dock workers changed all of the labeling from wherever it came from to tags saying made in the USA. Friends, to me that is lying, fraud and deceit, what do you think it should be called if not that?

Many years ago I hauled loads from the upper Midwest that were the guts of factories. These were cases where companies were closing up shop in places like Minnesota and Iowa and were moving their operations to states like Texas. The reasons were simple, cheaper labor cost. This was a way to eliminate the unions by moving to so-called Right To Work states. This term, in these states, in my opinion should be called the Right To Work Your Ass Off For As Little Pay And No Benefits As Possible Under The Law. Then came the NAFTA agreement under Bill Clinton’s watch. What it really did was to create jobs south of our border. Companies quit stopping at the Rio Grande River, they simply crossed it to a land with hardly any environmental laws and to countries with no minimum wage factors or unions. I guess that for a lot of the huge companies that wasn’t enough of  savings when they found out that in China and other countries in Southeast Asia you can get slave labor and child labor for wages like a dollar a day. There is one thing now that I want to bring to your attention, have you noticed that a company can close its factory in America because they say they can’t compete on the global market and they move their operations to a place like China so that their costs are lower. But have you noticed that the price of their products never go down any with their new savings? Companies want you to buy their new no quality products but don’t seem to notice that unemployed people have very small budgets.

The reason I am picking on Wal-Mart here in this article is mainly because they’re the biggest offender of this, what I call treason, toward the American people. Wal-Mart has had three large ships made recently, and I do mean large. The three ships are each larger than an American Aircraft Carrier, they each can carry a payload of thousands of semi trailer size containers. The three ships cost Wal-Mart almost five hundred million dollars. You read that correctly, almost half a billion dollars. This is a savvy move for them though, now they are able to save a lot of money on every trip from China to the west coast of America. Why did I word it that way, here is the simple answer, all three of these ships are too huge to be able to get through either the Suez or the Panama Canals. This makes it plain, they are meant for the purpose of hauling the cheapest possible Chinese products to their American stores. Just think about this issue for a moment please. On just one load on one ship, if those products were made here in the States, how many American jobs were lost on just one load? The Walton kids who own the company are all multi billionaires, yet do you see how little they give a damn about the people in this country that they want to sell this cheaply made no quality junk to?

If we the people want to have jobs then we as a people MUST avoid buying non made in America products. If our country had a real two or three percent unemployment rate my attitude would be different. By no means am I anti Chinese people, their government like our own seems to be extremely corrupt, I against all realistic hope, wish all people and governments were kind, honest, loving and fair, but I know that is just a fantasy, not reality. A person might think that I do not care about the working class people in places like China, but that is not the truth. I care a lot about their people, I wish them no harm. It is their government that needs the most changing I think, they have about 1.2 Billion people in their country. Their government should care about their own population first. There are many millions of people in their country who are living in hand to mouth squalor. If their country would turn inward first and build factories and create jobs and products for their goods it would help bring hundreds of millions of people into a more middle class urban level of living. This in turn brings in more tax revenue from within for their government so that they would not have to focus much on obtaining foreign currency. Once they do this then their own people will demand better quality products to be made. This would then help increase the quality of the products that they export so then people would quit calling their products garbage. I appreciate you taking of your time to read the post, I appreciate you, thank you.