Relaxshax's Blog

Cool Cartoon/Comic- and new locales for my book, etc…
June 14, 2010, 3:33 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

 My book, real quick (look to the left of this post), has now been picked up by Breakwater Books in CT, Bob’s Quickstop in VT’s Northeast Kingdom (Now I KNOW I’ve “Made It” (its right in the Beef Jerky Aisle), The Sprague/Baltic CT Public Library (Many copies will be there SOON, before my speaking engagement on tiny homes and self publishing on July 29th (Free!), and a few others (in the works)….


This guy does great work, and I particularly liked this one comic, as after seeing a few documentaries on some of the “Big Box” stores, and living in a town whose mom n’ pop stores have been absolutely CRUSHED by Walmart and Target, I try not to shop at those places when I can help it.  Half of my town is now abandoned, boarded-up, storefronts- its really sad- and the only thriving shops in the old center of town are liquor stores, tax preparers, and cash checkers….

Still, I love my little MA town- especially for its people- no bs, real-deal, blue-collar, friendly, folks. Well, most of ’em…



7 Comments so far
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You ought to check out Penn and Teller’s Bullshit episode on Walmart. They give some good details and research (along with amusing jokes etc of course) which debunks all of these notions that it is Walmart who destroys small business and hurts communities. When we look at the actual numbers, turns out that communities and families are far better off with walmart, and that walmart has helped the good small businesses who no longer need to carry the low profit items, leaving them more room to carry the specialty items which are most profitable and not carried by walmart.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not necessarily a fan of walmart, and I do support small businesses (in fact I have one!) but we ought not place blame in the wrong place..

Check it out if you can.. great series and some great information to get past some of the things commonly believed.

Comment by Storm

Thanks for the input/opinion, but having read views from both sides of the fence, I find it hard to believe (of course with some isolated cases here and there) that walmart is helping the small businesses of most communities- it just doesn’t make good sense, especially if its suggested that small businesses are reducing their variety of products, and doing better off as a result. Besides, if these specialty products offer the highest profit margins as you suggest, Walmart would be all over most of them like flies on you-know-what to grab a better, bigger profit.
Environmentally, Walmart’s a whole other beast too (and not just them). In most cases, especially with cheap goods, Walmart benefits communities (especially lower income ones) but down the road, when they soon become the only game in town, and countless jobs and family businesses go belly up, a now even-lower-income community is, in effect, created.

Enough on Walmart- I’m gonna re-blog/yack about micro-architecture…

Thanks for your input though…

Comment by relaxshax

Actually it makes perfect sense. Walmart can better use its space on items with a quick turnover. The items with larger profits are usually not items with the very quick turn over that Walmart desires/needs. Smaller shops don’t have to have that quick turn over, particularly in small towns where mom and pop have owned the shop outright for years. They don’t need to maximize the dollars per square foot, rather they just need some particular level of income. This creates great opportunities, as we have seen.

I’ve not seen anything scientific on environmental impact of walmart, so obviously cannot say anything. But I know that many of the small shops in the small town I am in still dump used motor oil on the ground, and have no problem pouring chemicals, solvents, etc. down the drains..

As for the jobs, so far the best case I have seen made is one of correlation not causation. Since towns without walmart have experienced exactly the same, or worse, economic effects we cannot rationally, that is to say logically, credit walmart for those sorts of economic downturns in small towns.

Again, I am not a proponent of walmart, in fact I have a history with them in which I was not allowed to keep my hair long, and I missed out on some opportunities I should have had. But I am a big proponent of justice, logic, and accuracy which is why I posted.

Keep up the great work on the “shacks.” You have inspired me to add an underground “shack” to my plans, after I get the “big” (800 ft sq) underground home built.

Comment by Storm

Very far from convinced with any of your points- although I do appreciate you offering them- but this is especially the case when it comes to the revealed and (overly) proven predatory pricing that walmart employs in its competitive tactics. As for the store itself, I have no problem with them, but its their unethical practices and blatant disregard and lack of any real/true concern for local communities that leaves a sour taste in my mouth. They don’t buy locally (oh, but they’ll spend millions in ads telling you they do- (none of those ads are shot or produced locally), they don’t bank locally, and ultimately they’re a drain on the US and local economy by keeping so many of their workers at a poverty pay level (or well below)- working Walmart’s “28 hour” full time status, while still needing government and state assistance to get by on such measily pay checks. Facts.

Anyway, this really isn’t the time nor place for this….I don’t want to get too political or argumentative here. If Walmart changed some of its practices- well, MANY of them, I’d shop there more- or wouldn’t feel so awful when I did occasionally stop there, at least.

Sadly/frighteningly, as money rules and governs in the US and little else, I’m probably flagged on some Walmart red-alert/threat database somewhere for simply and constitutionally speaking my mind and sharing what WOULD make me frequent Walmart. To love one’s country and be scared to admit it/speak it….

Comment by relaxshax

All pricing is necessarily “predatory” or else it is ineffective.

As for concern for a community, does the local shop who charges the friends and neighbors 3 or 4 times what Walmart does, act to promote the community? Does that same shop who never acts so as to promote the community, do more for the community than the tens of thousands that Wally world contributes?

As for buying locally, the wally world near me, it buys many fruits and vegetables within 100 miles, which is more than the local grocery store can honestly claim.The Whole Foods where I am currently located, imports from across the world, but spends millions telling us that they won’t buy from anything but local farmers..

Working to support yourself is infinitely preferable to honest persons then leeching off of the hard work of others. Rather than denigrate the people who work hard to support themselves, why not recognize that such people are valuable and their choices matter?

BTW I’ve actually worked for Wally world and I don’t claim to have enjoyed it, but unlike the government “solutions” it was a voluntary choice. Either we recognise the value of the individual, else we endorse the enslavement and demonizing of innocents.

Don’t worry about any vastly complex and unlikely conspiracy theories about wally world. Neither you or I are anywhere on the radar of wally world. If you are conmcerned about watch lists and computer data bases, remember that Clinton ordered several groups investigated based upon membership alone, and certainly Bush and Obama are following suit, all under the guise of opposing Wally world and other corporations that they support..

Again, facts are infinitely preferable to rhetoric..

Comment by Storm

Storm, your overwhelming loyalty to this store and this “debate” leaves me to yet again assume you’re connected, still, to Walmart. In their PR department perhaps- or just REALLY bizarrely into this particular store (and one that apparently had not been good to you in the past, as you claim). That makes the existence of your steadfast stance even more perplexing.
Almost all of your points below, are bordering on blind delusion- I don’t mean that as a personal insult to you- just an opinion based on what I just read from you. I suppose if you continually call “untruths” the truth, they eventually become just that, or are at least believed to be true.

All in all, its “facts” from one, versus “facts” from another- so no one will win here. This thread is dead as I’m sure both you and I have better things to do than to bicker over a box-store full of Chinese goods. You can continue to buy from, and praise, Walmart, and being a free country, I’ll choose to avoid them when possible (well, until they run every other store into the ground and I have no choice but to buy EVERYTHING from them). Have a good weekend. I don’t wish to argue any further as I’m sure you’re a decent person with completely opposite views as mine, and nothing more.

I won’t be replying again- I’m bored on this, and neither of us will ever “win”. No one else is reading this post, on this tiny insignificant blog anyway.

Comment by relaxshax

There is no reason to claim loyalty to Walmart because of my willingness to allow facts rather than mindless ideology to determine what is true.

Imagine if I took your approach, and simply decreed that your own position is merely a loyalty to a failed ideology of hatred of liberty? Would you simply accept this as necessarily true as you clearly expect that I should accept your false and baseless claims that my refuting your false claims and invalid arguments must be loyalty to walmart.

If you find it perplexing that I would have a love of truth and accuracy, and express it here, then perhaps a simple familiarization with logic would help. I’d recommend The Reasonable Woman: A Guide to Intellectual Survival by Wendy McElroy.

That you apply a misinterpretation which fits best with an ideology, does not mean that those misinterpretations are facts. Therein lay one of the problems. We can however cite specific individuals who have benefited from the jobs, opportunities, and other objectively verifiable benefits, but we cannot find (or at least you’ve not been able/willing to present any example of anything objectively verifiable. Reason and evidence determine truth, not ideology.

Though it is completely irrelevant, I tend to shop at local shops. I prefer the service and speed with which I can get out of the store. I hope that you are incorrect that we have differing positions on the nature and value of truth.

I will end on a positive note.. do not undervalue your blog. You have hit upon a fun side of a growing movement. Even though I am building a home slightly larger than most of your portable homes, I greatly enjoy your approach and perspective on building, as well as the creativity.. The oil lamp still resonates with me, making me wonder where else I can use “waste” for some benefit.

Comment by Storm

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