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guerilla_amplifier

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Wal Mart & Healthcare
« on: July 03, 2009, 01:02:29 PM »

Ian, it's sad but true: Wal Mart is supporting the president's employer mandated health care plan:

http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/business/columnists.nsf/davidnicklaus/story/221568157C86453E862575E8000736F6?OpenDocument

Personally, I am with Dale on Wal Mart--I have mixed feelings. Wal Mart gives a lot of money to every candidate running for office to create a happier climate for their business, overall (opensecrets.org says it all). They have used the evil system to grow as large as they have. And now, by supporting this health care plan, you can count on Wal Mart becoming financially well-connected to all the opportunities that passage of this plan would provide for such a large, far-reaching retail operation with clinics and pharmacies already in place. They are using the force of the government to possibly land a giant business windfall by supporting this plan.
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Zat

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Re: Wal Mart & Healthcare
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2009, 02:40:49 PM »

Just the corporatocracy in action. Business as usual.
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Re: Wal Mart & Healthcare
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2009, 02:43:08 PM »

The point of supporting the healthcare provision is obvious. It's meant as a tactic to raise the costs of production/operation for Wal*mart's competitors. What you may have not noticed in the last two years, but Wal*mart has had its ass handed to itself in the grocery market by Kroger (and its subsidiaries). As such, it's in Wal*mart's best interest to keep pressing on, but it can't do that so long as its competitor's costs can remain lower than the given price reduction they can muster. So, it's not surprising they're going this route.

If it continues, I suspect we'll see a cartelization of retail and retail-grocery chains in a decade or two. 
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libertypile

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Re: Wal Mart & Healthcare
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2009, 07:33:42 PM »

There are some other facts Ian is perhaps unaware of when it comes to Walmart.  His claim that Walmart does not put mom&pop shops out of business is false.  Walmart works with cities to use eminent domain to take land where these businesses already exist.  They also take subsidies from municipalities. 

Here's one example from Denver:
http://www.thedenverchannel.com/money/2015327/detail.html
http://www.thedenverchannel.com/money/2539911/detail.html

Now, one could make the argument that it is government at the root of this problem.  I have no problem with this, but it is a fact that Walmart uses the threat of government to shut down small businesses. 

Walmart's CEO also advocates raising minimum wage laws: http://mises.org/story/1950


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hellbilly

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Re: Wal Mart & Healthcare
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2009, 08:20:50 PM »



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SnowDog

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Re: Wal Mart & Healthcare
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2009, 01:00:54 AM »


>>>Here's one example from Denver:
>>>http://www.thedenverchannel.com/money/2015327/detail.html
>>>http://www.thedenverchannel.com/money/2539911/detail.html

In these links, there's no eminent domain involved in that Denver Walmart deal, but the city is planning on giving Walmart a $10 million subsidy to build their store in that location.
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mikehz

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Re: Wal Mart & Healthcare
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2009, 11:23:49 AM »

Face it--Mom and Pop were put out of business years ago by K-Mart, Shop-Co, and Target. Hell, there were big box stores all over the place when I was a kid. Anyone remember White Front and Cal-Co?

Anyway, Mom and Pop may have been a kindly old couple, but their prices sucked and they had no selection. They were due for retirement. Some of them sold out and now work as managers for Wal Mart.
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slayerboy

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Re: Wal Mart & Healthcare
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2009, 12:01:04 PM »

Face it--Mom and Pop were put out of business years ago by K-Mart, Shop-Co, and Target. Hell, there were big box stores all over the place when I was a kid. Anyone remember White Front and Cal-Co?

Anyway, Mom and Pop may have been a kindly old couple, but their prices sucked and they had no selection. They were due for retirement. Some of them sold out and now work as managers for Wal Mart.

Ain't that the truth.  I remember one store in my town.  Far back as I can remember it started as a Hills, then was a Gold Circle, then Kmart bought them up.  That was probably 20 years ago or more.  That Kmart store is now closed and it's a big empty waste of space.

The fact is that in today's economy, businesses get eaten up by the competition.  If they aren't bought out, they're pretty much run into the ground and forced to close.  It's not just Wal-mart, they are definitely not the only problem.  Walgreens wanted to build in one town here.  The town said ok, and made a WHOLE STRIP PLAZA relocate.  Almost none of the businesses survived when they moved.  Guess what?  Walgreens still hasn't built there after 5 years.  In another case, Walgreens took over wooded land in another town.  Built their building, even to the point of finishing the parking lot.  The town wouldn't allow them to open up because Walgreens wouldn't move the enterance because it would cause a traffic jam.  Guess what?  It's a big empty building now instead of a wooded area.

The fact is, without the government having as much power as they do, corporations wouldn't have the power that they do.  Never mind that the very existence of corporations in itself is a fucking sham set up so that the people who start them and run them can do anything they want without personal liability because the government allows a public company to exist as it's own entity.  Therefore, not one person is accountable for the company unless there is a financial issue.  Even then, they'll just suffer some headaches, but none of their personal artifacts get touched.

I'm all for people starting businesses, but the bottom line is you have to be accountable for your actions.  The very nature of government does not allow this.   Yes, these corporations have made everything cheaper in most cases, and everything is available pretty much everywhere now, but at what cost -- not to our pocket books, but to the extent that our supporting of these corporations fuels government just as much as supporting government fuels these corporations.  In the end, we lose because we lost something of value whether it be a friendly face and amazing customer service or a nice wooded area to look at in an already overcrowded town.
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SnowDog

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Re: Wal Mart & Healthcare
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2009, 10:56:40 PM »

>>>The fact is, without the government having as much power as they do, corporations wouldn't have the power that they do.  Never mind that the very existence of corporations in itself is a fucking sham set up so that the people who start them and run them can do anything they want without personal liability because the government allows a public company to exist as it's own entity.  Therefore, not one person is accountable for the company unless there is a financial issue.  Even then, they'll just suffer some headaches, but none of their personal artifacts get touched.

Can you give me an example of some sort of scenario for which you'd like to hold someone in the corporation personally responsible? In this scenario, specify specifically who you would want to hold responsible.

The owners of the corporations vote and elect the board of directors of the corporation, who subsequently vote and appoint the officers of the corporation, who then make the decisions for the corporation. If you are trying to hold those who take actions for the corporation, responsible for their actions, then there is no clear line of responsibility back to the corporate owners, or even the board of directors. It would be completely arbitrary to hold a minority shareholder responsible for the decisions of the corporation, most decisions of which, he won't even be aware of. Likewise, even those on the board of directors probably won't be involved with the day to day operations of the corporation. Who, for instance, would you hold responsible for the Exxon Valdez oil spill?

What we have today, is a system where the corporation is held financially liable for mistakes made by corporate personnel, and officers are personnally held criminally liable for their decisions. This is the only way you can do it, if you want to assign responsibility to the actors, and not the owners and directors who may not be involved in the day to day decisions of the corporation, or who may even disagree with many decisions the corporation makes.
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slayerboy

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Re: Wal Mart & Healthcare
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2009, 04:50:22 AM »

>>>The fact is, without the government having as much power as they do, corporations wouldn't have the power that they do.  Never mind that the very existence of corporations in itself is a fucking sham set up so that the people who start them and run them can do anything they want without personal liability because the government allows a public company to exist as it's own entity.  Therefore, not one person is accountable for the company unless there is a financial issue.  Even then, they'll just suffer some headaches, but none of their personal artifacts get touched.

Can you give me an example of some sort of scenario for which you'd like to hold someone in the corporation personally responsible? In this scenario, specify specifically who you would want to hold responsible.

The owners of the corporations vote and elect the board of directors of the corporation, who subsequently vote and appoint the officers of the corporation, who then make the decisions for the corporation. If you are trying to hold those who take actions for the corporation, responsible for their actions, then there is no clear line of responsibility back to the corporate owners, or even the board of directors. It would be completely arbitrary to hold a minority shareholder responsible for the decisions of the corporation, most decisions of which, he won't even be aware of. Likewise, even those on the board of directors probably won't be involved with the day to day operations of the corporation. Who, for instance, would you hold responsible for the Exxon Valdez oil spill?

What we have today, is a system where the corporation is held financially liable for mistakes made by corporate personnel, and officers are personnally held criminally liable for their decisions. This is the only way you can do it, if you want to assign responsibility to the actors, and not the owners and directors who may not be involved in the day to day decisions of the corporation, or who may even disagree with many decisions the corporation makes.


Simple solution?  Dissolve the stock market and don't allow publicly owned companies.  That's what started this whole mess, among other things.
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SnowDog

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Re: Wal Mart & Healthcare
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2009, 05:34:13 AM »

Simple solution?  Dissolve the stock market and don't allow publicly owned companies.  That's what started this whole mess, among other things.

The New York Stock Exchange has been around since 1796.

People have a right to own property jointly, and work together under whatever types of contracts they want. Corporations weren't started by the government; they were created as a result of the types of contracts that people were engaged in.

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Sam Gunn (since nobody got Admiral Naismith)

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Re: Wal Mart & Healthcare
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2009, 06:52:01 AM »

>>>The fact is, without the government having as much power as they do, corporations wouldn't have the power that they do.  Never mind that the very existence of corporations in itself is a fucking sham set up so that the people who start them and run them can do anything they want without personal liability because the government allows a public company to exist as it's own entity.  Therefore, not one person is accountable for the company unless there is a financial issue.  Even then, they'll just suffer some headaches, but none of their personal artifacts get touched.

Can you give me an example of some sort of scenario for which you'd like to hold someone in the corporation personally responsible? In this scenario, specify specifically who you would want to hold responsible.

The owners of the corporations vote and elect the board of directors of the corporation, who subsequently vote and appoint the officers of the corporation, who then make the decisions for the corporation. If you are trying to hold those who take actions for the corporation, responsible for their actions, then there is no clear line of responsibility back to the corporate owners, or even the board of directors. It would be completely arbitrary to hold a minority shareholder responsible for the decisions of the corporation, most decisions of which, he won't even be aware of. Likewise, even those on the board of directors probably won't be involved with the day to day operations of the corporation. Who, for instance, would you hold responsible for the Exxon Valdez oil spill?

What we have today, is a system where the corporation is held financially liable for mistakes made by corporate personnel, and officers are personnally held criminally liable for their decisions. This is the only way you can do it, if you want to assign responsibility to the actors, and not the owners and directors who may not be involved in the day to day decisions of the corporation, or who may even disagree with many decisions the corporation makes.


Simple solution?  Dissolve the stock market and don't allow publicly owned companies.  That's what started this whole mess, among other things.
Oh wow that sounds like freedom.
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markuzick

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Re: Wal Mart & Healthcare
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2009, 07:01:14 AM »

Simple solution?  Dissolve the stock market and don't allow publicly owned companies.  That's what started this whole mess, among other things.

The New York Stock Exchange has been around since 1796.

People have a right to own property jointly, and work together under whatever types of contracts they want. Corporations weren't started by the government; they were created as a result of the types of contracts that people were engaged in.



The original meaning of corporation ( #3 ) is different from the "modern" legal entity ( #s 1 & 2 ) that's chartered by the state


cor·po·ra·tion   (kôr'pə-rā'shən)  
n.  

   1. A body that is granted a charter recognizing it as a separate legal entity having its own rights, privileges, and liabilities distinct from those of its members.
   2. Such a body created for purposes of government. Also called body corporate.
   3. A group of people combined into or acting as one body.
   4. Informal A protruding abdominal region; a potbelly.

Most modern corporations are actually owned by their officers. Many are mom & pop businesses.

Even without state protection, businesses can still be contractually set up so that public stock investors have no liability beyond their initial investment. The public investors would need a contractual obligation from the company to disclose to anyone doing business with them that the shareholders have limited liability and that they agree to do business on the basis that the share holder's assets are not a part of the company's collateral.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2009, 05:08:01 PM by markuzick »
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SnowDog

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Re: Wal Mart & Healthcare
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2009, 08:32:35 AM »


Even without state protection, businesses can still be contractually set up so that public stock investors enjoy no liability beyond their initial investment. The public investors would need a contractual obligation from the company to disclose to anyone doing business with them that the shareholders have limited liability and that they agree to do business on the basis that the share holder's assets are not a part of the company's collateral.


Right. You can pretty much make an agreement that limits the liability of the stockholders. However, in the event that the company becomes liable for damages, over and above it's ability to pay, in the event of some sort of accident, many free marketeers argue that the stockholders should be personally liable. My point is that this is a violation of the principle that those who take action should be responsible for their actions -- and not simply those who have ownership. Just because someone borrows your car, you're not liable for how they drive it. In reality, it won't make that much difference for most corporations. They'll buy the insurance they need to cover their liability, as they do today. Making the officers liable for the actions of a corporation may, however, prevent corporations from taking on extreme liability, like operating nuclear power plants, where the insurance may not be able to completely cover the liability. But practically speaking, not much would change.

« Last Edit: July 06, 2009, 08:34:15 AM by SnowDog »
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markuzick

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Re: Wal Mart & Healthcare
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2009, 05:40:38 PM »

Quote
However, in the event that the company becomes liable for damages, over and above it's ability to pay, in the event of some sort of accident, many free marketeers argue that the stockholders should be personally liable. My point is that this is a violation of the principle that those who take action should be responsible for their actions -- and not simply those who have ownership.

I believe that in the past that I have been one of those who have said that since ownership means "the right to control" that owners are always responsible. My example, of course, disproves this. Owners may have the right to control or in the case of public stock holders, the right to vote their shares to remove or change control, but the right to control is not the same as control and the responsibility, even when there is control, can be somewhat contractually offset.

In the case of damages to a non-contracting party, there may be some liability to stockholders, both past and present, to the extent that they have profited from the activities of the company which resulted in harm, be that profit in the form of dividends or capital gains, which could be claimed for restitution. The complications that may arise from this could be smoothed over by the judicious use of insurance.
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As the state feeds off of the limitation and destruction of legitimate government, anarchy is its essence.

To claim "economic rent" from someone Else's labor when applied to land, which is something no one can own outright, is in itself, to claim landlord status over raw nature. It is an attempt at coercive monopoly power that is at the root of statism.
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