Archive for January, 2006


Sunday, January 29th, 2006

Two bills making their way through Washington’s state legislature require employers with more than 5,000 workers in the state to set aside 9 percent of their payroll for health care benefits. Senate Bill 6356 and House Bill2517 are part of a growing legislative movement to wean companies like Wal Mart from the public teat. According […]

If Wal-Mart Is Like Academia, I’m Groucho Marx

Friday, January 27th, 2006

I intended to start what might be called a work-imposed blogging vacation on Wednesday, but there is something about this 24,500 applicants at a Chicago-area Wal-Mart story that makes me want to scream. I’m willing to believe the number (although an economist with the Illinois Department of Employment security is skeptical); it’s the way it’s […]

24,500 Job Applicants Is Nothing to Brag About

Thursday, January 26th, 2006

Eighteen months after the Chicago City Council torpedoed a South Side Wal-Mart, 24,500 Chicagoans applied for 325 jobs at a Wal-Mart opening Friday in south suburban Evergreen Park, one block outside the city limits. The new Wal-Mart at 2500 W. 95th is one block west of Western Avenue, the city boundary. Of 25,000 job applicants, […]


Thursday, January 26th, 2006

Do you really want Wal Mart (or any retailer for that matter) to have your fingerprints on file? The Bentonville Behemoth is considering switching to biobetrics as a way to shave 20 percent off it’s credit card processing costs. From CNN Money: a report, by Sanford Bernstein analyst Emme Kozloff, …found that the use of […]


Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

Dang! Wally World only came in Fifth in the Business 2.0 10 Dumbest Moments In Business contest. First it loses Scott Adams’ Weasel Award and now this. The Bentonville Behemoth can’t even get screwing up right. From the award citation: Fighting a proposal that would limit superstores in Flagstaff, Ariz., Wal-Mart signs off on an […]

Wal-Mart Resumes Food Donations in Alaska

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

From the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: A tour of the Fairbanks Community Food Bank convinced management at Sam’s Club to resume donation of leftover food after ending the practice earlier this month, said Samantha Kirstein, Food Bank executive director. Sam’s donated several large boxes of baked goods Monday to the Food Bank. “We’re so grateful to […]


Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

Regular readers will have noticed over the last weekend that we’ve done some tweaking around The Writing On The Wal. The changes are all intended to make the writing more accessible and to provide better service to our readers. Our webmagician Terry Kanago of Troll Castle Productions has upgraded our version of Word Press, added […]

Is Walmart a Monopoly?

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

The short answer is no, it is a monopsony. Walmart does not control the national retail market, although it does have a big part of it. It may be an effective monopoly in certain locales where it is the only big box store. But, even then alternatives exist, mail order, shopping further away, using specialty […]

Proof That Wal-Mart Promotes Poverty or 20 New Stories About Wal-Mart (Part 4)

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

Economists as a group are some of the worst writers in the world. [I could point you to some blogs, but that’s not the reason for this post.] Luckily, in The Wal-Mart Effect, Charles Fishman takes us through some of the most important studies on Wal-Mart in plain English, incluing a few that haven’t been […]

My Review of The Wal-Mart Effect

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

My review of The Wal-Mart Effect is up at Wal-Mart Watch even before I finish my series. And while we’re still on Fishman, a book excerpt dealing with Chilean salmon is at Salon. It’s well worth viewing an ad in order to read it if you are not a subscriber.

Charles Fishman on the Radio

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

Charles Fishman is on WNYC FM in New York today. A podcast of the show will probably be up shortly after the broadcast finishes. To listen visit here.

Why $4.84/lb Salmon Is a Bad Idea or 20 New Stories About Wal-Mart (Part 3)

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

To me, the greatest virtue of Charles Fishman’s book, The Wal-Mart Effect, is how he traces the origins of different products on Wal-Mart’s shelves and explains what it takes to get it there on the scale and at the price that Wal-Mart wants. While there are many of these “product histories” in the book, hands […]

trip to walmart

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

trip to walmart Originally uploaded by afcool83. usually walmart doesn’t let you take pictures inside, but we snuck one in… shirt reads “Mall*Wart…your source for cheap plastic crap”, and apparently our cashier just realized it 😉

What Happened to Levis? Or 20 New Stories About Wal-Mart (Part 2)

Sunday, January 22nd, 2006

One of the better perks of my job is that I only have wear a tie and jacket nine or ten times a year. The rest of the time, it’s jeans. I buy about two pair a year, using them to replace the rattiest looking of the seven or eight pair I have in my […]

The Wal-Mart Story That Says It All

Saturday, January 21st, 2006

I’m not going to dig for the link, but I covered this story before. Here’s an update from today’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch: When Wal-Mart sued a disabled former employee in June to recover what it spent on her medical care, the retailing giant said it was just meeting a filing deadline and had not necessarily […]