Fred has a very interesting post today on Wal-mart and their lack of benefits for employees.
I used to run a small company in the garment center. We did business with Wal-mart. They are not very nice to do business with. On one hand the order is huge but on the other hand if they don’t get the price they want, they just screw you in the end. For instance, if they want a pair of pants for $7 and you can only do it for $7.20, they might take the order anyway. But, if you don’t ship it perfectly and on time, I mean perfectly hung on the hangers, you get charged back 20 cents a garment. In the end, they get their price and you lose you margins.
Regardless, the conversation we used to have about Wal-mart was Americans reality. Americans want the lowest cost on their consumer items but they want the items to made in the good old USA. Well, if we made those pants in the good old USA, they cost $18 because of higher paid workers, health care, etc. In essence, Americans want their cake and eat it too. Surprise…not.
Somewhere, the costs will get you. For instance, the Federal Government lowers the taxes but the State raises them in order to cover the costs. The costs to run the post office, the streets, the cops, the schools, costs money.
As a country, we owe our work force access to solid Health care. How we do that, I am not sure but if we don’t provide it, we will continue to pay in other ways such as higher Insurance costs. Hilary Clinton was actually before her time on this one.
As for Wal-mart, consumers love them for the prices but you can’t have it all.