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landmark
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Here's an illuminating recent example.

"In a rare moment of clarity, the president and CEO of Walmart US, William Simon, attributed the drop in sales to the over stretched incomes of the low wage consumer the store typically attracts. He explained:

Their income is going down while food costs are not. Gas and energy prices, while they're abating, I think they're still eating up a big piece of the customer's budget."
Mr. Mystoffelees
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"U.S. shoppers spent $9.74 billion on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. That's a drop of 13.2 percent compared with last year, according to data released on Saturday by research firm ShopperTrak.

The decline appears to show that more Americans shopped on the holiday itself: Combined spending on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, which had been considered the official start to the holiday buying season until this year, rose 2.3 percent to $12.3 billion.

"We're just taking Black Friday sales and spreading them across a larger number of days,"
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
Tom Jorgenson
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Somebody want to check those numbers and percentages? I'm pretty sure either the numbers are wrong or the percentages are.

If this math is a quote from the government, it may explain a lot.

Can sombody else run these numbers? My math is getting rusty & foggy.
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Magnus Eisengrim
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Um. Mr. Mystoffelees noted that it was from the "research firm ShopperTrak". Let me guess: you aren't prepared to say "if it's from the private sector, it may explain a lot."
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The quotes are from, or paraphrased from, what the founder of ShopperTrak said. ShopperTrak is a private sector research firm that counts how many shoppers go into about 40,000 stores in U.S. E.g., see:

http://www.insidebayarea.com/business-he......ay-sales

What makes you so sure that the numbers are mistaken?
Make America Great Again! - Trump in 2020 ... "We're a capitalistic society. I go into business, I don't make it, I go bankrupt. They're not going to bail me out. I've been on welfare and food stamps. Did anyone help me? No." - Craig T. Nelson, actor.
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http://www.shoppertrak.com/

ShopperTrak is the leading global provider of shopper insights and analytics used to improve retail profitability and effectiveness.

Over 750 global brands, regional retailers, mall owners and financial institutions rely on ShopperTrak services every day. ShopperTrak is utilized by retailers in over 60,000 locations across 90 countries and territories.

ShopperTrak provides:

Scale – Utilized by over 750 global brands in over 60,000 locations across 90 countries and territories
Analytics – Benchmark your traffic performance against 4 regions, 33 metro markets, and 247 malls
Accuracy – Proven 97.4% accuracy rate
Stability – Nearly 20 years of experience and well-capitalized
Implementation– Largest team of data analysts to help retailers turn data into action
Industry Leader – Original industry innovator and continues to invest in acquisitions to develop cutting-edge solutions
Make America Great Again! - Trump in 2020 ... "We're a capitalistic society. I go into business, I don't make it, I go bankrupt. They're not going to bail me out. I've been on welfare and food stamps. Did anyone help me? No." - Craig T. Nelson, actor.
Tom Jorgenson
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Quote:
On 2013-12-01 14:48, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
Um. Mr. Mystoffelees noted that it was from the "research firm ShopperTrak". Let me guess: you aren't prepared to say "if it's from the private sector, it may explain a lot."


If it's from the private sector, it ALSO explain a lot. That better? I'm pretty impartial when slinging blame.
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Tom Jorgenson
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On 2013-12-01 14:49, balducci wrote:

What makes you so sure that the numbers are mistaken?



9.74 billion. Up that 2.3%. How can that possibly be 12.3 Billion? I'm confused.
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The 9.74 billion refers to Friday sales. The 12.3 billion figure refers to combined Thursday and Friday sales. That is 2.3% higher than the combined sales last year. (That amount is not specifically stated.)
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Ah. Thanks, Bob. It was the 'combined total from last year' that was missing from my brain.
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landmark
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Here's a link to the original article--sorry I missed it before--hard to do links on my phone:
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree......equality
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“America has its own real-life upstairs/downstairs thing going on at the moment, best embodied by the Walton clan, who own the lion's share of Walmart Stores, Inc. Walmart is the single largest private employer in America with a work force of some 1.3 million. Each of the four Walton's who have an interest in the stores increased their net worth by $7bn last year alone. Meanwhile, the company's sales associates, who make up the bulk of the work-force, earn an average of $8.81 per hour – less than the federal poverty level for a family of four.”

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree......equality

Mind you when a fellow comes home with a silver star after ten years service there and his family and friends give a round of applause, what more can he ask for, in the land of the free and the home of the Chinese toys, that fall apart after two minutes but lets look on bright side.
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A refresher in what irony is: it's a stark difference embodied in a statement or action between what a speaker or actor knows and what the audience knows. In fictional works, perhaps the audience's extra knowledge comes from an omniscient narrator, or at least having been privy to scenes the ironically-speaking character hasn't been. In a non-fiction context, often the extra knowledge comes from the benefit of hindsight.

When General Custer said that the Indians were just about finished, that was ironic: Custer didn't know he was about to meet his demise, but we do. Statements from the 70's or even 80's expressing doubt at the viability of a home computer market are ironic: they didn't know then, but we know now, that there's at least one computer in virtually every home (if not every pocket).

There can also be situational irony, in which the result of a character's actions are starkly different from their intent. Alfred Nobel invented dynamite thinking about all the beneficial applications it can have in mining or civil engineering. It is therefore ironic that its primary use (at least for a time) was as a weapon.

The statements identified in this thread seem (to me, at least) some mix of the following sentiments: rich people are really rich, poor people are really poor; there are a lot more really poor people than there are really rich people; etc.

Those sentiments might be disappointing, but I don't see the irony.

---

Separately, any good discussion on irony ultimately turns self-referential. Insofar as this thread's existence was to discuss "Great Moments in Irony," and there doesn't seem to have been any moments in irony yet identified, this thread is perhaps an example of an ironical moment. Probably not a "great" one though. Smile
landmark
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The irony is in the statement of the Walmart official. He is upset about the poor performance of the holiday sales, attributes it to low income, yet seems oblivious to the fact that his very company is one of the greatest reasons wages remain low.

Henry Ford knew better.

Hence, irony.

Pretty obvious I would have thought, unless you keep your eyes closed to the impact of Walmart labor practices.
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"Irony" - the opposite of "wrinkly"...
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MobilityBundle
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Quote:
On 2013-12-02 15:10, landmark wrote:
The irony is in the statement of the Walmart official. He is upset about the poor performance of the holiday sales, attributes it to low income, yet seems oblivious to the fact that his very company is one of the greatest reasons wages remain low.

Henry Ford knew better.

Hence, irony.

Pretty obvious I would have thought, unless you keep your eyes closed to the impact of Walmart labor practices.

I agree that if Walmart's actions intended to bring about its success actually prevented its success, then that would indeed be ironic.

But I don't think it's so self-evident that (a) Walmart isn't successful (despite shrinking sales), and (b) Walmart's wages are the cause of their failure.

As for (a) I note that Walmart's stock is near its all-time high, north of $80/share. (See chart here). As for (b), certainly increasing every Walmart employee's salary by some amount will stimulate the US economy as a whole. It's even a safe bet that some of that stimulation will be recaptured by Walmart itself, in the form of increased sales.

But it's not at all clear that the bump in sales will be great enough to offset the increased cost of the extra compensation. In fact, to me it's almost self-evident that it's not the case. After all, if Walmart increased everyone's annual salary by $10K, and in turn every single person spent the extra $10K solely at Walmart, then all Walmart does is break even. (In fact, once one considers how many times that $10K is taxed before it returns to Walmart's coffers, they don't even break even.) To the extent someone spends some of that $10K elsewhere, Walmart is losing money.

Maybe I'm being a little thick, and not getting what you're suggesting. If you're suggesting that if Walmart paid people more then it would have increased sales, I might agree with you. But sales aren't a great way to measure a company. Profits are. If you're suggesting that if Walmart paid people more then it would have increased profits, I'm not sure I agree. At the very least, that proposition isn't self-evident.
landmark
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MB, I have fun sparring with you, but really, aren't you kind of overanalyzing this? Smile

But I agree; they can certainly exploit working people more, and make plenty more profit off their exploitation, even if sales go down.
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It seems to me that if WalMart increased wages it would indeed increase their profits. Not only would employees be buying there, but many of us who avoid shopping at WalMart because of their anti-labor policies might actually start shopping there as well.
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Where do you shop then Bob?
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Anywhere else.
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