Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Business of Business is Peace

Despite what our socialist elites may think, peace is good for those evil capitalists. War disrupts a country’s economy and skews it. Now All Things Beautiful has a proposition for encouraging China to stop the crazies in power in Iran:

Wal-Mart saves the day
…tell China that Wal-Mart will shift merchandise production to competing low-cost manufacturing countries, if it doesn’t support a UNSC resolution, stopping Iran from going nuclear. After all, a nuclear Holocaust is also bad for business in China.

Make no mistake, Wal-Mart has that kind of purchasing power: Over 10% of all Chinese exports to the U.S. are bought by Wal-Mart, that’s well over $20 billion.

“More than 70 per cent of the products sold at Wal-Mart are made in China. If Wal-Mart were a separate nation, it would rank as China’s fifth-largest export market, ahead of Germany and Britain.”

The good news is, the threat would remain just that, for China would yield, we’d continue saving $100 billion each year and the Mullahcracy would have to abandon their expansionist ambitions, which they are planning to extort through nuclear blackmail. There was a time, when ‘corporate’ diplomacy supported the greater good.

Be that as it may, we know only too well, the time has passed when debating foreign policies was about observing facts on the ground or about calm analysis of actual events, and not about scoring ideological points.

The polarization between, what could ostensibly be called, ‘pro-war’ and ‘anti-war’ factions and their respective need of constant and forceful validation, whilst at the same time passionately deriding the opponent’s stance, is but complete. Or so it would seem to an alien observer, oblivious to both fact and fiction.

Of course, someone would have to convince Wal-Mart to voluntarily do this. If the old man were still around, it would probably be a done deal.

And of course, the socialist elites know that evil Wal-Mart is part of America’s problem. It’s too big, it’s too tacky, and it exploits its workers, doncha know…[as an aside, one of our relatives is a Wal-Mart employee. When the family moved to another state recently, she simply called all the Wal-Marts in her area and asked for a transfer. She had her pick of jobs, including a chance to head up a department, as she had in the previous store. However, she’s decided to cut back on her hours, so she chose a lower-paying job in the trade off for fewer hours. Tell her she’s “exploited” and she’ll simply laugh at your ignorance. She says morale at her new store is even better than the old one]

For the real deal on Wal-Mart visit Starling David Hunter at The Business of America.... The man is a wealth of information on W-M. For example in this week’s round-up, there’s this little gem:

So now All Things Beautiful has a proposal to save us from the nuke-heads. Life sure is entertaining.


shoprat said...

I do like Walmart, but my policy of no "made in China" products kind of puts a kink in my options there.

Dymphna said...

Perhaps you might reconsider your posiition. Yeah, the slave-work in China is brutal. But China has been brutal for untold millennia. It has also been the most xenophobic "country" in the world (it's hard to see such a huge place as being one country).

The Chinese are being dragged into the 19th century by 21st century means. They are just entering the Industrial Age, even as we leave it. You have only to read the history of Massachusetts' industries back then to know that it was child-slavery which kept those textile mills running. The North had its share of slaves, but it called them "workers" -- and they were only a bit less at risk than the slaves in the South.

The slavery in China will pass as it catches up with modernity. Do we worry about their nukes? Not much. China knows how to act in its own self-interest.

Sure, it would be nice if they were a friendly democracy, but they're not. And they may never be. But my bet is on China's people, who are flexible, intelligent, ambitious and tenacious. If we imported any more of them, they could take us over in a generation. Except...except, the Chinese-Americans are ambitious, flexible, and American. They have no desire to return to China's restrictions. So we don't worry about them, either.

China is beset by change it can't control and it freaks the govt. There are all those secret Christians, the Fulan Gong, and millions of doomed-to-being-single young males to contend with.

India is a democracy, Do you think Indian workers are any better off?

In Russet Shadows said...

Call me a narrow-minded populist if you will, but I'd much rather that we have workers in our own country manufacturing cheap plastic goods than those in China, India, Bangledesh, Sri Lanka, or anywhere else in the world.

I'm sick of America underwriting every other country's economy but its own.

X said...

I read today that the newest textbooks used in Chinese schools barely even mention socialism, preferring to teach about economics and stuff.

Ahh, found it. In the NY Times oddly enough... Where's Mao? Chinese Revise History Books. Got the link from Dissecting Leftism. It's an interesting point on a trend that's become quiet pronounced in recent years: the chinese are abandoning communism, and possibly in the best way of doing such things, without a revolutionary war or any sort of violent coup d'état.

Dymphna said...

russet shadows--

We are outsourcing that because we don't *need* to manufacture things like that. Take a look at Larry Kudlow's stats for this month re jobs right now.

Mass Republican--

China is an ancient civilization and a big-time polluter. We were once the latter also, but as we became prosperous, there was discretionary income to clean up the messes we made. So we did.

Wish China prosperity -- prosperous nations don't do evil things.

If you don't believe me on this, go ask Thos Sowell, or any of the supply-side economists.

When conservatives talk like this, they are merely the obverse of the lefties who hate Wal-Mart because it "exploits" its employees. Global economics means we're all in this together.

Though I'll have to admit avoiding French whines myself and buying Australian. The French are perfidious back-stabbers of the first order. Did you read about how they took in the Jews that Leopold rounded up and tossed out of Belgium -- and then sent them on to the Germans. Of course they killed some themselves first. See Paul Belien's latest post about the destruction of Holocaust records in Belgium...

X said...

As an aside, can I recommend some south american wines to add to your australians? Argentina and Chile both do some excellent wine and I suspect it would be cheaper for you than it is for me, just as goodfrench wine is much cheaper for me than it would be for you.

Of course, the argies are sort of like the french when it comes to the arrogance stakes. Perhaps wine needs to be condescended and patronised to develop a really good flavour...

X said...

Dude. Did you miss the fact that they tried to crash a plane in to our parliament on 9/11? Think about it. That's well before any "entaglement" in the middle east, beyond the first Iraq qwar - which was supported by most of the middle-eastern nations because Iraq threatened them.

The rest? I have no answer apart from the obvious, which can't be uttered on a family-friendly blog. Suffice to say your chant of "neo-con jew" reminds me of the kind of libel I've heard from the left for the last few years. You do yourself no favours taking up that line.

I myself am what you might call a classical conservative, inasmuch as I think any inteference by the state should be avoided except in key areas like defence; a necessary evil, perhaps. However I'm also a realist. The threat from Islam isn't new, but old, far older than communism or fascism as we understand the terms. Islam has been and is the best candidate for the "antichrist" described in the bible, which was not a single person, but a way of life, a system and a belief that stood against christ.

But whatever I might believe is unimportant. What they believe is what counts, and they believe that the entire reason for existence is subjugation of the entire world in teh name of allah. Islam means submission, as I'm sure you've already heard. The idea that we can live and let live doesn't work anymore, much as we would want it to, and much as your founding fathers would have wanted it to remain in operation.

You can't live and let live with Islam. It's impossible. It's like asking the tide to turn back. YOu can't retreat behind your walls and stop "entangling" in teh hopes that Islam will go away, because it won't. Islam is everywhere, right now, and it wants to take over the world.

I was travelling in south america for the last few weeks. So far there has been little, if any, trouble with Islam down there, but there are muslims living there. I saw a massive white mosque sitting like a carbunkle in a town near Asuncion. I saw muslims wandering the streets of Buenos Aires, and standing at the border controls to Brazil. These muslims are likely just wanting to get on with their lives like everyone else, but experience has shonw that the so-called moderates are always, always followed by the more violent kind of muslim, the one that follows the real teachings of Islam.

There are muslims on your own streets, followers of the "true" islam, who have been there since the 1970s and before. They didn't magically turn up the day after the US invaded Iraq. They've been there for a long time. Wahabbi islam has been amongst them for nearly as long.

You face an enemy who's stated goal is to kill or convert you, who are already gathering their forces amongst you, and who are attempting to subvert the governments of dozens of nations. Lock yourself away why don't you, deport the muslims from your borders and hide behind your walls. Let Islam take over your former allies. For sure, there's a whole ocean between you and us. It's no big deal, they can't breach an ocean. But then Venezuela and Peru might start to islamicise, and then Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Chile. Then Panama becomes an Islamic republic, and closes the canal to US flag ships. Nicaragua and Honduras, and then Mexico start to follow.

Canada elects a new islamic PM. Suddenly you're surrounded by nations that are now part of the Ummah, but that's ok because you didn't want to entangle yourselves. Now you find ourself without allies. WHo will help? China? They have their own problems keeping the islamic states to their west and south in check. Europe? Alahu akbar my american friend. We want your head now.

Suddenly you're alone. You can defend yourselves when it's one country, or even several when they're too far to launch a land invasion, bu what about when you have the massed armies of the south on the mexican border, and face hundreds of incursions by jihadis along your northern border every week. How long do you last? A year. 10 years. Then souther california is taken, armies begin to march along the gulf coast. Then Seattle and Detroit are taken, and their armies are marching on Washington, armies that are being supplied by an entire world stood against you with one demand: convert or die.

Somehow I doubt even the most libertarian of the founding fathers would have got to this point. There are moments when we must set aside our liberties for a time to fight, as a man might set aside his tools to take up a weapon and defend his home.

Baron Bodissey said...

asdfj24972 --

Huh! Who'da thunk it? Dymphna a Jew!

Her Irish mither is a-turnin' over in her grave right now, bejayzus.

- - - -

In all seriousness, this obsession with the Jews is counterproductive. I could insist that I'm pure WASP, but you'd doubt me anyway, so what good would it do?

Look at our mission statement. We're Christians, but we stand with the Jews.

I assume you think that the Jews run the world. Well, I wish they did, because it would be in a lot better shape than it's in now.

BTW, Dymphna makes a mean latke...

linearthinker said...

A couple of linear thoughts...

asdfj... has so much to offer, I think he'd be happier at his own blog. Gotta be honest here, I skipped most of his rants. Archonix, Dymphna, et al, thanks for taking him to task...saved me a headache. Did he offer some cogent insights into the Wal*Mart juggernaut? Or not?

On Wal*Mart, I used to avoid them, for all the usual smarmy reasons, plus a few. Then, slowly I started shopping there, and haven't really looked back. You don't like Chinese? Surprise. Not everything on every shelf is Chinese. I interrupted this comment to check around the house.
Clothing: 7 items, all more significant that a pair of boxers:
Labels said Honduras, Bangladesh, Mexico, and (gasp) Pakistan. One more item, a cowboy shirt, the label so faded I couldn't read it. Call it Chinese if you will, I'll bet Mexico.
Electronics: 3 significant items, i.e., cost > $100: Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. Some incidental stuff: Taiwan. Notice any trend here? I can't find anything on the spur of the moment that I bought at Wal*Mart that fed the great Chinese dragon. I do a lot of comparison shopping, even though I hate shopping. I sacrifice nothing in quality by buying at Wal*Mart. I spend so little in toto that I expect what I buy to last, and I'd be the first to forsake Wal*Mart if they didn't satisfy me for durability.

Dymphna, thanks for the link to Starling David Hunter. I came the Gates tonight to find exactly that, not to go off here. And I notice he's fisking the anti-Wal*Mart crowd. That's a crusade I undertook last summer, but alas, best laid plans, etc. One thing that resonated with me last summer was that one of the big anti-Wal*Mart NGOs back in your neck-o'-the woods was headed by a cadre of ex-Demo campaign-manager types. Their speil a year ago was they wanted to "make Wal*Mart a better company." Ha. Losers, promoting a losing economic agenda, are/were gonna show the biggest company in the world how to be "better"? Can't wait to read Starling on this.

A final note: The son of a close friend started at Wal*Mart, at the bottom, about age 20. He's now 28 or so, and was an asst store manager, until his Army reserve unit was activated. He was in Afghanistan at last word. That viscious faceless corporate monster he worked for is making up the difference in wages between his Army pay and his previous salary, so his wife and two little ones can comfortably make ends meet while he's gone.

There's more. Company health care plan, upward mobility, etc. I do notice a big difference the stores and stock as I travel across the country. Some way better than others. Lots to do with local and regional management. More autonomy at local and regional level than I expected, per my friend.

I'll quit here before I wear out my welcome.


X said...

Well, ignoring asdfwhatsit for a moment (don't worry mate, I'll come back to you later), I used to have a thing about Walmart too, because of my experience working for their subsidiary here in the UK. They bought out Asda a while back, which was the largest (and is now the second largest) chain store in the country. Asda claimed to have ben following the walmart model for a long time, but I think something may have been lost in the translation, because working there was a living hell. People weren't particularly happy with their work and there was a very nasty atmosphere about the place. Perhaps it was just that one store, who knows? All I know is, every Asda I go in always feels slightly oppresive.

On the other hand I can't complain about their clothing... :)

Anyway my point is,I'm slowly coming around to the idea that walmart isn't the big monster that it's made out to be. We get a lot of stories about how evil walmart is over here, and a lot of people I know believe them because they don't know the other side of it. A lot of them believe it because of my experiences too. I think, though, that Asda has problems that walmart probably doesn't, because of EU employment regulations that cause a lot of friction between management and the rest of the workforce.

Dymphna said...


"EU employment regulations" are free-trade killers. Past a very limited and local point, more government means less freedom.

The uprising of the pampered students in France against those wishing a more level playing field in the world of work is an example of the "friciton" you describe. I feel sorry for the average working stiff in the EU. Security bought at the expense of posterity, and no real freedom to grow.

That's why the Pacific Rim -- as linearthinker points out -- is way ahead on the economic learning curve, and why the EU is turning to stone. The EU rate of productivity is pathetic, and the unemployment rate is depressing. No wonder the crime rate is leaving the good ol' "lawless" U.S. in the dust.

X said...

I agree entirely. I'm sure I would hae had a better experience at the place if there hadn't been the ever-present rumble of class warfare perpetuatd by the regulations.

Now, back to our friendly keyboard layout:

"After all, the Old Testament has a lot of violent content as well, and what Christians go around smiting people?"

A somewhat specious argument considering the type of content we're talking about. The bible doesn't contain any of the open-ended calls to kill people that the Quran has. It certainly doesn't call on the hebrews to kill everyone, everywhere, or force them to convert or pay taxes. Certainly there are specific (and numerous) instances of violence, but they're alwys limited to specific objectives, such as taking a city, or driving out a particular enemy. There's no overarching command to kill everyone who isn't a believer.

And on top of that, the gospels repudiate all but the most necessary violence and, even then, call it something that shoudl be avoided unless there's no other way.

Further, the bible constantly takes "judgement" out of the hands of men and placs it in god's hands. There are many times when men wished to carry out judgement, but were restrained from it and told to rely on God. "Judge not lest ye be judged" is the chrsitian phraseology, but similar sentiments are echoed by judasim.

I think you also forget that the jews have a rather fine tradition of re-interpreting the writings of the talmud in the light of new evidence. In fact, the talmud itself is an expression of that tradition, as it is essentially the arguments of two old rabbis, each re-interpreting what came before in the light of evidence available at the time. It's not the thing and all of the thing, as the Quran is to the muslims, or even the bible to us christians. It's just a guidebook.

Finally I think you rather overlook the concept of the loving god, which is entirely alien to the muslim world view. Allah does not love. He is a cruel master and muslims are his slaves, submited to him. The god of the christians and the jews is a god of love and compassion. Throughout the entire bulk of the scriptures there are words, phrases and entire passages written purely as love. Not the wimpy modern hollywood love, but the sort of love a parent has for their children. A lot of it is written not just as a father love a child, but as a mother too. At the time it was a rather unique concept that no other religion shared, and few still do.

As for my contention that Islam is a good candidate for the antichrist, I stand by it. Antichrist literally means against christ. Islam stands against the christ in a way that judaism doesn't by not merely denying his divinity, but denying the very act of sacrifice that is core to the message of christianity. They claim that Jesus was too chicken to die on the cross and that Judas died in his place. They claim that he shall appear at the judgement and deny his own divinity and his own death on the cross.

X said...

I have a blog, but I seem to lose any sort of ability to write coherently when I'm writing for it, so I only update once in a while. It's all ranting without structure and research. The popular misconception of a blog, in fact... :)

Obviously I'm reluctant to advertise it because of this.