Tag Archives: Walmart

Black Friday and the United Stupids in America (USA)


Myself 

By T. V. Antony Raj

.

People in the United States celebrate Thanksgiving Day on the fourth Thursday of November. It is a national holiday in the United States and people celebrate the day with religious fervor.

.

Thanksgiving Dinner (Photo: oldstrathcona.ca)
Thanksgiving Dinner (Photo: oldstrathcona.ca)

.

People get together with their loved ones, invariably devour large amounts of food centered around an enormous roasted turkey, and like angels and saints praise and thank God for all that they have.

Traditionally, the beginning of the Christmas shopping season starts in the United States on the following day, the Black Friday. Most major retailers open their sales outlets extremely early on Black Friday to kick off the holiday shopping season and offer promotional sales.

The name “Black Friday” originated before 1961 in Philadelphia, after the disruptive movement of pedestrians and heavy vehicle traffic on the day-after-Thanksgiving Day and used broadly in other regions around 1975. Later, a new explanation of the term started circulating: “Black Friday” indicates the point at which retailers begin to turn a profit and are back in the black.

Though Black Friday is not an official holiday, many non-retail employers give their employees the day off, thereby increasing the number of potential shoppers.

Earlier, retailers opened shop on Black Friday at 6 am. However, in the late 2000s, many retailers opened their retail outlets at 5 am, and some opened at 4 am. Big names including Target, Kohls, Macy’s, Best Buy, etc. open at midnight. Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, broke the Black Friday tradition in 2011 by opening its store on Thanksgiving evening.

Four years ago when I was in the United States, a week before Thanksgiving Day, a friend from India called me over the phone . He said that he had heard that on Black Friday electronic goods could be bought at bargain prices in the United States and requested me to buy a laptop for him. Little did he know about the madness that inundates the United Stupids of America (USA) on Black Friday.

On Black Friday, the American people unitedly become stupids by transmogrifying  from angels to demons.

.

Black Friday - People waiting outside a mall.
Black Friday – People waiting outside a mall.

.

They stubbornly gather outside malls, some from midnight on chattering and shivering, undaunted by the bitter winter cold, and wait for the shops to open.

When the shops open their doors, the stampede begins.

.

Black Friday Shoppers rushing into the mall.
Black Friday Shoppers rushing into the mall.

.

Black Friday Shoppers rushing into the mall (isource)
Black Friday Shoppers rushing into the mall (isource)

.

Black Friday Shoppers rushing into the mall.
Black Friday Shoppers rushing into the mall.

.

They behave like crazed animals. They barge into the malls like raging bulls. They trample and maul one another to buy more stuff that they already have or absolutely do not need; just 24 hours after offering thanks for how much they already have.

.

Black Friday: Only in America, you find people, who just 24 hours after offering thanks for how much they already have behave like crazed animals frenziedly trampling each other to buy more stuff that they already have or absolutely do not need.
Frenzy buying on Black Friday (Photo: telegraph.co.uk)

.

That is Black Friday for you in the United States of America. No other country in the world can boast of such a frenzied day.

Here is a video clip depicting the madness of the United Stupids of America for you to decide whether you too want to join these berserk folks and avail bargains on Black Friday.

.

.

.

RELATED ARTICLES

.

Add this anywhere

Advertisements

Black Friday and the United Stupids of America (USA)!


Myself 

By T. V. Antony Raj

.

.

Last year when I was in the United States, a friend from India called me over the phone a week before Thanksgiving Day. He requested me to buy a laptop for him on Black Friday. He said that he had heard that on Black Friday electronic goods could be bought at bargain prices. Little did he know about the madness that inundates the United Stupids of America (USA) on Black Friday.

Traditionally, Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday of November. Also, traditionally, the beginning of the Christmas shopping season starts in the United States on Black Friday, the day following Thanksgiving Day.Most major retailers open their sales outlets extremely early on Black Friday to kick off the holiday shopping season and offer promotional sales.

Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday in the United States and people celebrate the day with religious fervor.

Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner.
Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner.

People get together with their loved ones, invariably devour large amounts of food centered around an enormous roasted turkey, and like angels and saints praise and thank God for all that they have.

Black Friday - People waiting outside a mall.
Black Friday – People waiting outside a mall.

But on the following day, the Black Friday, they become United Stupids of America by transmogrifying from angels to demons. They stubbornly gather outside malls, some from midnight on. They while away their time chattering and shivering, undaunted by the bitter winter cold, and wait for the shops to open.

As soon as the doors open, the stampede begins.

Black Friday Shoppers rushing into the mall.
Black Friday Shoppers rushing into the mall.
Black Friday Shoppers rushing into the mall (isource)
Black Friday Shoppers rushing into the mall (isource)
Black Friday Shoppers rushing into the mall.
Black Friday Shoppers rushing into the mall.

People behave like crazed animals. They barge into the malls like raging bulls. They trample and maul one another to buy more stuff that they already have or absolutely do not need; just 24 hours after offering thanks for how much they have.

That is Black Friday for you in the United States of America. No other country in the world can boast of such a frenzied day.

Though Black Friday is not an official holiday, many non-retail employers give their employees the day off, thereby increasing the number of potential shoppers.

Earlier, retailers opened shop on Black Friday at 6 am. However, in the late 2000s, many retailers opened their retail outlets at 5 am, and some opened at 4 am. Big names including Target, Kohls, Macy’s, Best Buy, etc. open at midnight. Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, broke the Black Friday tradition in 2011 by opening its store on Thanksgiving evening.

Here is a video clip depicting the madness of the United Stupids of America for you to decide whether you too want to join these berserk folks and avail bargains on Black Friday.

.

.

.

RELATED ARTICLES

.

Add this anywhere

Black Friday – The Madness of a Lost Society


.

Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

.

.

In the United States people celebrate Thanksgiving Day, on the fourth Thursday of November.

Traditionally, the beginning of the Christmas shopping season starts in the United States on Black Friday, the day following Thanksgiving Day. On this day, most retail shops open early to kick off the holiday shopping season, and they offer extreme promotional discounts.

Though Black Friday is not an official holiday, many non-retail employers give their employees the day off, thereby increasing the number of potential shoppers.

The name “Black Friday” originated before 1961 in Philadelphia, after the disruptive movement of pedestrians and heavy vehicle traffic on the day-after Thanksgiving Day and used broadly in other regions around 1975. Later, a new explanation of the term started circulating: “Black Friday” indicates the point at which retailers begin to turn a profit and are back in the black.

Earlier retailers opened shop on Black Friday at 6:00 a.m. However, in the late 2000s, many retailers opened their retail outlets at 5:00 a.m., and some opened at 4:00 a.m. In 2011 many retailers, including Target, Kohls, Macy’s, Best Buy, etc. opened at midnight. This year Walmart and several other retailers announced that they would open their stores at 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day that resulted in calls for a walkout among some workers.

Here is a video clip depicting the madness of the lost society. The scramble for goods they do not really need starts at the 48th second.

.

.

RELATED ARTICLES

Won’t allow Walmart in West Bengal, asserts Mamata


Mamata Banerjee
Mamata Banerjee

Kolkata, October 9, 2012

Accusing the central government of “ruining and selling the country” through its economic reforms, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday said she will not allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail in her state.

“They allowed FDI in retail, capped the subsidised cooking gas and now they will invest pension money in the share market. By doing this, they want to ruin the country. They want to sell the country to foreigners,” Banerjee, the Trinamool Congress chief, said while addressing a public meeting at Tamluk in East Midnapore district.

“They want to snatch your land and livelihood and set up Walmart here. But let me say this. As long as I am here, we will not allow Walmart to enter. We cannot and will not allow anything that jeopardises the interest of common people,” said Banerjee.

Criticising the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance for the hikes in diesel and fertiliser prices, she said the central government will have to roll back the hikes.

“Because of the high diesel and fertiliser prices, the cost of farming has gone beyond the reach of farmers. Farmers are the backbone of the country and we cannot allow them to suffer. The government will have to lower the prices,” said Banerjee.

“Just because I am opposed to the reforms, which is hurting their interest, a section of the media is spreading canard against us. But they are not gods that whatever they say will be believed by the people,” added Banerjee.

Following the ruling United Progressive Alliance’s decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail, the Trinamool Congress withdrew from the Congress-led alliance last month.

Reproduced from NYDailyNews.com / Desi 

Enhanced by Zemanta

From Pepsico to Wal-mart: Selling a Fake Dream


By 

In the mid-1980s, Pepsico came up with a proposal to bring in a 2nd horticultural revolution in Punjab. It was hailed as a path-breaking initiative that would put an end to the continuing distress on the farm. It was expected to usher in the latest technology, improve farm research and extension, create supply-chain infrastructure, and provide marketing linkages from farm to the fork. I remember the kind of excitement that prevailed all around. Politicians, bureaucrats, economists, agricultural scientists and even the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) joined the chorus. All my efforts to reason out the hollowness of the claims, based on Pepsico’s own studies, were simply lost in the din and noise created by the drum-beaters.

Some 15 years after the project was approved, Pepsico’s horticultural revolution is all but forgotten. Agriculture has gone from bad to worse.  The food bowl of the country has also become a major hot spot for farmer suicides. While the soft drink giant remains busy marketing its colas, Pepsico has not been held accountable for its failed promises. It will never be punished for selling a fake dream to the beleaguered farming community.

It is now the turn of Wal-Mart and other big retail giants. FDI in retail is once again being projected as a panacea for all the ills plaguing Indian agriculture. FDI in retail will lay out backend infrastructure, bring in a chain of cold storages and improved transportation thereby reducing crop losses; remove middlemen which rob the farmers of profits, and thereby provide him higher prices; bring in improved technology to help in crop diversification; and of course create millions of jobs. The cheerleaders are once again on the road. This time, it is the corporate controlled electronic media that is drumming up the hype.

Having spent Rs 52-crore in two years for lobbying alone, and after the recent New York Times exposure showing how Wal-Mart bribed its way to control 50 per cent of the retail market in Mexico, the Union Cabinet finally allowed big retail to set shop. If Wal-mart could bribe its way in Mexico, what makes us think they have not been able to do so in India?

We are being told that Wal-Mart, Tesco, Sainsbury, Carrefour and a host of other big retail players are expected to increase farm income. In the US, where Wal-Mart has completed 50 years, if farmers were getting a better income, there was no reason why the farming population should plummet to less than one per cent of the population. Farmers in US survive on the farm not because of Wal-Mart but the massive subsidy support, which includes direct farm income. Between 1997 and 2008, Rs 12.60 lakh crore was provided as income support to farmers. A UNCTAD-India study shows that if these subsidies, classified as Green Box in WTO parlance, are removed, the American agriculture collapses.

In Europe, despite the dominance of big retail, every minute one farmer quits agriculture. Europe provides the highest amount of subsidies, including direct income support. But because 74 percent of these subsidies are cornered by Corporations and big farmers, small farmers are quitting farming. In France, farm income has come down by 39 per cent in 2009, down from 22 per cent in 2008. In OECD, the richest trading block comprising 30 countries, Rs 14 lakh crore was the farm subsidy support in 2009 alone. It is not big retail, but direct income support that keeps farmers in agriculture.

These subsidies also bring down the domestic and international prices as a result of which big retail sells cheap. Empirical studies show big retail charging 20-30 per cent higher than open market in Latin America and Southeast Asia. In India, organised domestic retail has not been able to sell cheaper. A NABARD study for Hyderabad shows Reliance Fresh and other charging 15-20 per cent higher prices. Even at the peak of inflation in India, these domestic organised retailers did not reduce prices. So where is the advantage to consumers?

Studies show in America, before 1950, when farmers would sell their produce for one dollar, 70 cents was his income. In 2005, it had fallen to 4 per cent. With the middlemen wiped out, I thought the farmer’s income should have gone up. No, it is the new battery of middlemen – quality controller, standardiser, certification agency, processor et c—who walk away with farmer’s profits. Number of middlemen, operating under the same hub, actually increases. Let us not forget, Wal-mart is a big middleman, it eats away the smaller middlemen.

There is no evidence that big retail creates backend infrastructure. In US and Europe, rural infrastructure has been created through government support which came in the form of agricultural subsidies. To say that 40 per cent agricultural food that goes waste in India will be drastically reduced is also an illusion. In US also, 40 percent food is wasted and much of it is after processing where Wal-Mart’s should have played a much important role.

Regarding employment generation and poverty alleviation, lessons need to be drawn from a 2004 study of Pennsylvania State University by Stephen  Goetz and Hema Swaminathan, which showed how higher poverty prevailed in areas where Wal-Mart stores had come up compared to those states where big retail was absent. In any case, for a $450 billion turnover, Wal-Mart employs only 2.1 million people. Whereas for an estimated $460 billion market, Indian retail employs 44 million people. Let us not forget, Pepsico had also promised to create 50,000 jobs. As per a question in Parliament, it became known that Pepsico had created less than 500 jobs, including 250 unskilled workers. Moreover, last month, massive demonstrations rocked US by Wal-Mart workers complaining of poor working conditions and exploitative salaries. Who creates employment, and also provides better working conditions, therefore is all evident.

Yes, there is a need to improve rural infrastructure, provide a sophisticated supply chain, and provide better income to farmers. The milkman of India, late Dr Verghese Kurien, had shown us the way. The cooperative dairy structure, which led to the evolution of the Amul brand, is the right approach. If he could do it for milk, which is a highly perishable commodity, there is no reason why it can’t be replicated in fruits, vegetables and other agricultural commodities. From a milk importer, India has now become the world’s biggest producer of milk. It is therefore obvious that solutions to the plethora of problems on Indian farms does not lie in the west, but in our own backyard. We need to look inwards. Otherwise we will go on committing the same mistakes, and in the process turn farms into killing fields.

Posted in Ground Reality

.