Sunday, April 14, 2013

Is It Walmart, or Is It Everywhere?

It's one of those moments when your not sure that it's for real, or if it's something mistakenly reprinted from The Onion.  But Walmart is thinking of experimenting with a system that would ask customers to deliver online orders to their neighbors for a slight discount on their purchases.  Yeah, the problems with this idea should be obvious--liability, theft, and so on.

But as part of the discussion of this stupidity, someone raised the point that WalMart generally doesn't pay suppliers for products until they're sold. If they aren't sold, the supplier takes the loss.  But it's not just Walmart that does that.  It is well-known that a national purveyor of plant material does the same thing.  That's why any plant that's been there for more than a couple of days is near death.  (J once described the place as Plant Auschwitz.)  My objection to this is that, while it may be very "efficient" for the corporate owners--they don't have to hire anyone who knows about plants, or have people take the time to dump water on them--it's environmental evil.  All of the resources devoted to planting and nurturing the tree, shrub, petunia, or whatever is wasted.  And then people wonder why little planet Earth is slowly dying...

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