#OCCUPYWALMART  3:48 pm December 16, 2011

Wal-Mart’s Billions and the Art Museum of Cruelty: A Christmas Carol

by Wonkette Jr.

Ha ha, the working poor!Here is a number we’ve seen bouncing around this week that really makes us want to fire up the old Yule Log, in the sense that the “Yule Log” is a tightly bound human centipede of the richest hundred humans in America, lit on fire: The six heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune have about $93 billion between them, more money and financial assets than the combined 100,000,000 Americans at the bottom of our crushing economic system. With half of all Americans now officially poor or “near poor” — which is somehow worse than plain poverty, as “near poor” means you don’t qualify for the minimal safety net this country generously offers some of its most desperate people — it is not a complete surprise that the rich must be very rich indeed these days. But the idea of six heirs to a corporate fortune built upon the destruction of American manufacturing, American small business and the American working class owning more than 30% of the entire nation, well that is the kind of thing that makes us think of Charles Dickens, and the holiday of abject misery and constant war against the impoverished called “Christmastime.”

We saw a disturbing full-page ad in the New Yorker last week, showing a banal modernist structure in the Ozark woods, and at first we thought it was another evil marketing campaign trying to sell some earth-rapist brand as “green” or whatever, but then we noticed it was an art museum, in Arkansas, yet advertised to the affluent, culture-vulture readers of the New Yorker, and immediately there was this feeling of nausea because obviously this was some Sam Walton descendent trying to buy some social credibility by dumping a billion dollars into the inflated art market of the world’s bored billionaires.

Asher B. Durand's 'Kindred Spirits' ... now why would a Walmart billionaire even want to see such a thing, let alone buy it for her vulgar status building in Arkansas? Oh right, for 'vulgar status, in Arkansas.'Then there’s the museum itself, “Crystal Bridges,” built in an Arkansas gulch behind Wal-Mart’s headquarters and funded by a $675 million Wal-Mart endowment. This is the same company that just announced it will no longer sell health care coverage to its hundreds of thousands of laborers who can’t get more than 25 hours of work each week, and has substantially raised the premiums on its already squeezed low-wage full-time employees. The average Wal-Mart employee makes less than nine dollars an hour, or $352.40 per week gross. It is no wonder that Wal-Mart leads the nation in having employees who require public assistance — welfare, food stamps, medical aid — in order to survive.

Alice Walton bought herself a repugnant temple to her own inherited wealth and the American Dream her wretched family helped destroy.

It is filled with American paintings, because the Waltons can at least be relied upon to be jingoistic nationalists. Where else could six heirs to a brutal retail megamarket’s founders own more than a third of the nation, simply for their luck in being born to the Right People? Where else could a business that has done more than any other business to cheapen and scar the entire American landscape then turn around and throw nearly a billion dollars at a fine art museum dedicated to natural American landscapes? What a country!

The day is coming soon when the “Ghost of Christmas Past” (enraged armies of impoverished Wal-Mart workers) will appear at the bedside of Alice Walton, but then the story is going to switch over to A Tale of Two Cities … the Paris part, not the London part.

Wal-Mart needs to be run out of business, its awful stores razed, the building materials recycled, the profits distributed to the millions of workers broken by Sam Walton’s monstrous, frothing greed. Its headquarters must be destroyed, its vulgar museum leveled, and the American masterpieces within distributed to local libraries. If the Wal-Mart buildings weren’t such awful assaults upon the eye and soul and land, they too might be re-used as museums for the people, indoor gardens, roller-skating rinks, whatever. But they are irredeemable. They, like the half-dozen Walton heirs with their $93 billion of ill-gotten inheritance, must be torn down. For Jesus … for Christmas! [Bloomberg/Cryptogon/Berkeley Blog]

 

Hola wonkerados.

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{ 193 comments }

nounverb911 December 16, 2011 at 3:29 pm

In keeping with family tradition, Alice Walton off-shored the museum's design to a Canadian architect.

V572 the Merciless December 16, 2011 at 4:37 pm

But surprisingly, Safdie is a Jew (and a very good architect ) . Baby steps!

StarsUponThars December 16, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Walmart just doubled its health insurance premiums for workers in Bridgeport, WV.

RadioYKWE December 16, 2011 at 4:04 pm

At least they have insurance, the ungrateful lot.

tessiee December 16, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Which probably makes them better off than everybody else in West Virginia.

An_Outhouse December 16, 2011 at 7:37 pm

two times zero is still zero

DocChaos December 17, 2011 at 12:55 pm

But dental coverage got cheaper due to lack of teeth.

How do you know the toothbrush was invented in W. Virginia?

Anyplace else it would have been called a teethbrush.

Barb December 16, 2011 at 3:32 pm

Wal Mart, one stop shopping for guns, ammo and antidepressants.

Biel_ze_Bubba December 16, 2011 at 4:02 pm

When they stop selling guns and ammo, we'll know they're worried.

JustPixelz December 16, 2011 at 4:07 pm

If you get them in that sequence, you may not end up buying antidepressants.

DaRooster December 16, 2011 at 4:36 pm

They'll give 'em to you in prison… Yea! Healthcare!!

Swampgas_Man December 16, 2011 at 4:30 pm

And baby, after working there for 2½ years, I NEEDED those antidepressants. Too bad I couldn't afford them anymore.

Loaded_Pants December 16, 2011 at 5:11 pm

2 and half years? I'm surprised you're still alive.

prommie December 16, 2011 at 3:34 pm

it would be interesting to know how many entire countries these people are richer than.

elviouslyqueer December 16, 2011 at 3:59 pm

All of them, Katie.

(sorry, Owls, but it had to be said)

user-of-owls December 16, 2011 at 4:56 pm

I've created a monster.

memzilla December 16, 2011 at 4:06 pm

The Walton Family's munniez rank them as #60 in the IMF GDP list, in between Morocco and Vietnam, making them richer than only 123 other countries. So of course they need moar tax breaks.

paris biltong December 16, 2011 at 4:12 pm

OK, but with all due respect, there's a difference between wealth (assets) and revenue (GDP). In other words, they may not be able to buy Morocco or Vietnam but have more money that the combined revenues of the entire population of either country.

ShitFilledExistence December 16, 2011 at 3:34 pm

"Crystal Bridges"? She must have named it too.
Nothing like wealthy white trash finding new repulsive ways to spend their blood money. These people are truly detestable filth.

poncho_pilot December 16, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Crystal Bridges? is that her porn name?

Callyson December 16, 2011 at 4:19 pm

"Her" porn name? I thought Crystal Bridges was one of Rick Perry's rent boys…

poncho_pilot December 16, 2011 at 4:35 pm

no. that was Pistol "Whip" Bridges.

bureaucrap December 16, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Long forgotten daughter of Lloyd and London Bridges.

Biel_ze_Bubba December 16, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Sounds like it should be filled with Thomas Kinkade's "art".

tessiee December 16, 2011 at 9:17 pm

And they can stock his favorite cheap beer and gigantic ass porno magazines on the next aisle.

starfanglednut December 17, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Retch.

prommie December 16, 2011 at 4:07 pm

I have a stockpile of rope, and I know the locations of many trees with stout limbs, just saying. . . . .

Sassomatic December 16, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Read an article about this sometime back, in n+1 I think. People literally begged her not to call it that. But she was like, whatever my money my art my shitty name and I'm keeping it.

memzilla December 16, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Not to mention the Chinese slave-wage labor employed in manufacturing the cheap crap sold by Walmart's slave-wage labor. Funny how this cycle perpetuates the repressive regimes in both China and Walmart.

Communism and capitalism — perfect together!

Biel_ze_Bubba December 16, 2011 at 4:05 pm

When you think about how much cheap Chinese-made crap you have to sell to accumulate almost 100 billion dollars … it really is quite impressive.

JustPixelz December 16, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Wal-mart is China's factory outlet store.

slowhansolo December 16, 2011 at 3:42 pm

Let's not forget the people who die while trying to obtain one of the two TVs available for $200.

Loaded_Pants December 16, 2011 at 5:21 pm

Died/tasered/pepper-sprayed for one of those cheapo TVs or a $2 waffle iron.

Seriously, though, how would you feel if you got a friggin' waffle iron (which you'd probably use only once, if at all) as a gift that you know the giver probably paid just two lousy bucks for. If I got such a gift, I'd be thinking "Fuck you, just get me a gift card next time, you cheap psycho…"

tessiee December 16, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Or two singles tucked inside a card, so I'd have the option of spending it somewhere decent.

Barrelhse December 16, 2011 at 3:43 pm

It's this shit that makes me absolutely livid.

Local_Mojo December 16, 2011 at 3:44 pm

But the money behind places like Harvard, Stanford, Chicago, Vanderbilt or Duke — and the Northeastern museums — all came from selling kittens.

poncho_pilot December 16, 2011 at 4:01 pm

yes. and they were delicious kittens!

JustPixelz December 16, 2011 at 4:21 pm

"If eating some kitten is what it takes to build a great university, then I stand behind no man in support of higher education."

Next Chopped secret basket: hot oil, whipped cream, rose petals, kitten.

Try the Colonel's Kentury Fried Kitten. "It's finger lickin' good!"

poncho_pilot December 16, 2011 at 4:32 pm

actually, as an owner of three cats, i could never eat one. dogs on the other hand? if i wasn't allergic to them they'd be fair game. get it? game!

An_Outhouse December 16, 2011 at 7:40 pm

they're safe after they're skinned.

deanbooth December 16, 2011 at 8:37 pm

I read recently that cats taste better than dogs. During the siege of Paris in ~1870, cat meat sold for five times as much as dog meat.

V572 the Merciless December 16, 2011 at 4:11 pm

These things are more tasteful when they were done years ago. Just ask any worker who got his flesh seared off by hot slag in one of Carnegie's steel mills how much he enjoys going to those handsome libraries ol' Andrew bankrolled in cities and towns across US America. Old Money > New Money. 'Twas ever thus.

JackDempsey1 December 16, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Agreed.
There's no philistine like an old philistine.

Ken Layne December 16, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Harvard is a private college, but it was created by the Massachusetts legislature at a time when all colleges were private. Otherwise, yeah, there's nothing new about the oligarchs creating cultural institutions in their name, using the wealth made from exploiting workers and natural resources that belong to the commons.

But there is at least some honor in creating great universities. Building a fucking elitist art warehouse behind your corporate headquarters in Arkansas is one of the biggest fuck yous the rich have ever done to America.

Lascauxcaveman December 16, 2011 at 5:13 pm

But, for them, it's totes worth the tax write-off.

tessiee December 16, 2011 at 9:21 pm

"Buck" Duke wanted to buy Princeton, except that he wanted them to change the name to Duke University, after which I imagine they fell on the floor laughing a la "You Want it When?". Since they wouldn't go along with it, he decided to go build his own "college".

Jukesgrrl December 16, 2011 at 9:45 pm

And to this day, his institution carries on Buck's attitude of arrogance.

jaytingle December 17, 2011 at 11:34 am

How many scholarships will Crystal Cathedral [sic] be offering? I would expect the concentrations of study will be wall-building and private security.

edgydrifter December 16, 2011 at 3:45 pm

I predict Crystal Bridges will be 100,000 square feet of Thomas Kinkade paintings and Precious Moments figurines.

OneDollarJuana December 16, 2011 at 4:04 pm
starfanglednut December 17, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Eye bleach!

HistoriCat December 18, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Great – now I won't be able to sleep tonight.

Biel_ze_Bubba December 16, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Beat me to it. Dang.

V572 the Merciless December 16, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Several sneering dismissals of the possibility of worthy art being housed in Arkansas have already been issued in all the appropriate journals.

Beanball December 16, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Actually, I caught the tail end of that interview, and in my opinion much of the art (American artists – fuck yeah!) on display was of the highest caliber. The house itself (I refuse to repeat it's adolescent name) was pretty fancy in your typical modern glass-box museumy way and not too shabby looking – even considering that it was designed by a Canadian. Canadians are, after all, honorary Americans.

V572 the Merciless December 16, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Canada = America LiteSafdie does beautiful stuff. I put a link to his Telfair Museum in Savannah in an earlier comment.

Lascauxcaveman December 16, 2011 at 5:15 pm

America = Canada's baggy sweatpants.

tessiee December 16, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Perhaps, but do those journals achieve a Wonkette-esque quality of snark?
Then our job here is not done.

V572 the Merciless December 16, 2011 at 9:36 pm

It’s a burden. But we are equal to the task. Wise-ass remarks don’t just happen.

tessiee December 16, 2011 at 9:23 pm

With a special climate controlled display case for the Sarah Palin caganer.

memzilla December 16, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Walmart's R&D division is working to create both genetically engineered miniature camels, and sewing needles with extra-large eyes.

OkieDokieDog December 16, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Okay, throw a stone at me, but I was in the urban sprawl mall WalMart while ago, to get some anti-freeze. I try to avoid it but I was getting something else at a nearby business. Anyway, I kid you not, the 2 people in front of me were both white, a male & female, both sitting in scooters, and I'd guess the total weight combined was 600+. And they had both the attached baskets filled with FOOD. I didn't pay any attention to how they paid, but I'm betting that they're both on disability or medicare.

HelmutNewton December 16, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Yep, that's pretty typical:
http://www.peopleofwalmart.com/

Preferred Customer December 16, 2011 at 4:45 pm

You should have given them your antifreeze.

tessiee December 16, 2011 at 9:24 pm

They probably have plenty of antifreeze, Sudafed, and nail polish remover back at the trailer, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.

Fare la Volpe December 16, 2011 at 6:24 pm

And yet they both vote Republican because WE HATE WELFARE QUEENS

*hock, p-ting*

elviouslyqueer December 16, 2011 at 3:51 pm

"Even if it's not called [the] Wal-Mart Museum, it is Wal-Mart's money," says Lorraine Millot, a writer for the French newspaper Liberation who visited the museum for the media preview. Millot praises the museum for its beauty. She says Crystal Bridges represents something very different from what Wal-Mart stands for. "It's a place of pure beauty. It's just the opposite of what Wal-Mart's doing," Millot says. "The focus of the museum is American art, whereas Wal-Mart stores focus on cheap imports from China."

Leave it to the French to skewer this grandiose fap-palace so succinctly.

prommie December 16, 2011 at 4:05 pm

I want to live in a grandiose fap-palace!

Swampgas_Man December 16, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Bet cleaning the floor is hell.

Fare la Volpe December 16, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Until you realize it's done by French maids.

KeepFnThatChicken December 22, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Undressed French maids. Screw that stupid little black-and-lace getup.

Mumbletypeg December 16, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Furthermore, any credit for the museum building's merits ought to go to its accomplished architect Moshe Safdie. It's more reflective of designer talent than able discernment of his high-fallutin' patrons, who'll wear his commissioned masterpieces like feathers in their ignominous caps while it suits their purposes.

OneDollarJuana December 16, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Let's also reminisce on the fine way that the French handled their little "oligarch" problem a few years ago.

Fare la Volpe December 16, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Memories~

memzilla December 16, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Repeal of the estate tax would get the Walton family another $32 billion in untaxed income. Gawd, how I detest Rethuglican policy.

fuflans December 16, 2011 at 5:54 pm

just now finished reading the RS / matt taibbi article on 'how the republicans became the party of the rich'.

VespulaMaculata December 16, 2011 at 3:54 pm

The first thing I wanted to know after Katrina was how many WalMarts were destroyed. Just so there was a sliver of silver lining in the disaster.

mull_man December 16, 2011 at 3:55 pm

hope the museum cafe serves cakes we like

poncho_pilot December 16, 2011 at 4:04 pm

and apple pie topped with cedar cheese.

DaRooster December 16, 2011 at 4:41 pm

DO NOT FORGET-
3 instat patatoes

(fucking morans)

poncho_pilot December 16, 2011 at 4:44 pm

surprised i didn't see toilet paper on that list. after eating all of that, 1 musturd.

DaRooster December 16, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Well maybe that's what the- whole pickles (plus) are for?

starfanglednut December 17, 2011 at 3:56 pm

And white Kasuls! Don't forget the white Kasuls!

DaRooster December 16, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Thank you Mull… my all time favorite Wonk… A great way to leave the office on a sunny Friday.
This is absolutely the first thing I think of whenever I see the word Wal-Mart.

starfanglednut December 17, 2011 at 3:55 pm

It really was the best.

Maman December 16, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Walmart is a fascinating twist on Henry Ford's plan. He created a workforce paid enough to be able to purchase the products they were making. Walmart keeps their workforce poor enough that they have no choice but to shop there.

memzilla December 16, 2011 at 3:59 pm

It's the updated version of paying your workers in vouchers which are only good at the company store.

Dashboard Buddha December 16, 2011 at 7:06 pm

St. Peter don'tcha call me, cuz I can't go.

GOPCrusher December 16, 2011 at 4:13 pm

And sadly enough, this philosophy is a direct contradiction of how Sam Walton built up Wal-Mart.
Another reason why we should see inheritance and estate taxes dramatically raised.

Ken Layne December 16, 2011 at 4:29 pm

90% on anything over a million dollars would be fair — 90% tax, that is.

V572 the Merciless December 18, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Serious economists here…
http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2011/12/the-70-solu

…point out that 70% is the optimum tax rate on the super-rich. And they back it up with numbers'n'shit. The best part of the argument is this piece of obviousness: at some point more money cannot make you any happier.

Negligently_Joe December 22, 2011 at 9:03 am

I always thought it actually made more sense to tax "job creators", if one uses logic. Assuming a business actually does create jobs, and assuming that a person wants to limit their personal tax liability, taxes on profits would discourage people from cashing out, and encourage them to reinvest in their own businesses, namely by doing things like expanding and hiring employees. You know, economic activity?

flamingpdog December 16, 2011 at 5:24 pm

I'm always amazed at how the freaking same people that promote everyone pulling themselves up by their bootstraps think it is just perfectly fine for someone to be rich because dad pulled himself up by his bootstraps. Fuckwads.

Nostrildamus December 16, 2011 at 3:56 pm

What, no Thomas McNaughton?

not that Dewey December 16, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Better would be that awesome Thomas McNaughton parody, but that would require self-awareness on Ms Walton's part.

user-of-owls December 16, 2011 at 5:21 pm

Awareness of any kind has never been Alice's strong suit, prone as she is to getting shellacked and playing "connect the inanimate objects" with her car.

ifthethunderdontgetya December 16, 2011 at 3:56 pm

The six heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune …

That's jerb creators, Wonkette, Jr. Has Frank Luntz taught you nothing?

P.S. Asher B. Durand, huh. Shirley they could afford a Thomas Kinkade?

P.P.S. O.M.G., he chortled.
~

Selfish_T December 16, 2011 at 3:57 pm

We know that's you, Ken. The "Wonkette Jr." isn't fooling anyone.

Ken Layne December 16, 2011 at 4:30 pm

I did add a paragraph to this one, and switch the pretty art picture with the terrifying naked old Walmart greeter, haha, but that's the editor's prerogative!

Fare la Volpe December 16, 2011 at 6:12 pm

"The editor."

…Uh-huh. Sure.

DemmeFatale December 16, 2011 at 7:28 pm

I also felt Ken's presence, and had to scroll up to check the byline.
Hmmm…

cheetojeebus December 16, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Why sugar coat it?

RadioYKWE December 16, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Here we go again, inciting Crass-Warfare.

WhatTheHeck December 16, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Funny thing, those artists began their professional lives as poor, starving artists, much like the Wal-Mart employees of today. Then it takes wealthy patrons to highly inflate the price of the artists’ works. Insufferable conundrum. The wealthy have always had the pleasure to play these games.

johnnyzhivago December 16, 2011 at 4:06 pm

OK, I know WalMart is evil, they treat their employees and customer like shit and they've destroyed America, but where else can you go when you're in a hurry and you need to pick up a frozen pizza – and just reach across the isle for some insecticide and a box of 9mm bullets?

poncho_pilot December 16, 2011 at 4:11 pm

i never go to Wal Mart when i'm in a hurry: it takes thirty minutes just to get through the express lane at the store by my house.

GOPCrusher December 16, 2011 at 4:13 pm

At 3 AM.

flamingpdog December 16, 2011 at 5:28 pm

I prefer to buy my frozen pizza with the toppings already on it.

user-of-owls December 16, 2011 at 5:32 pm

I'd say Democratic Republic of Congo-Mart, but I think they stopped carrying frozen pizza a while back.

ManchuCandidate December 16, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Unlike Robber Barons of the past, the Waltons can't point to an enduring heralded legacy of railways, oil pollution and tall buildings.

All they got are "peopleofwalmart.com", abandoned malls, billions of tons of trash and the rusting hulks of former factories they helped close down.

paris biltong December 16, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Don't patronize, organize!

DaRooster December 16, 2011 at 4:08 pm

"It is no wonder that Wal-Mart leads the nation in having employees who require public assistance — welfare, food stamps, medical aid — in order to survive."

But at least they have special people to help the employees get these assistances… so that's mighty nice of them.

GOPCrusher December 16, 2011 at 5:13 pm

And Wal-Mart is the leading private employer in the United States.
Everybody drink!

Jukesgrrl December 16, 2011 at 9:52 pm

This is another thing I never understand about the Waltons. Shitloads of government assistance is being transferred directly to them by the underclass. You think they'd at least support the rights of the poor to receive adequate assistance. But, no. Do they think Granny and Pa are going to move up to Target if they get one more week of unemployment compensation?

Not_So_Much December 16, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Who knew JohnBoy and MaryEllen would grow up to be such douchecanoes?

RadioYKWE December 16, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Did you ever wonder where the financial impetus to fight the "death tax" and a 3% marginal tax hike comes from? That's the easiest investment they have: propaganda.

OneDollarJuana December 16, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Maybe the "death tax" should be that we tax the rich if they don't die.

not that Dewey December 16, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Just as the streets of McMansion subdivisions are named after the things they replaced — Desert Sage, Vista Grande, Iroquois — so are the museums of the Waltons filled with images of the things they replaced.

Ken Layne December 16, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Dang. That is a true comment.

not that Dewey December 16, 2011 at 9:28 pm

It's a paraphrase of/riff on someone, perhaps Neil Postman or Edward T. Hall; I don't remember exactly. I was hoping someone would get the reference.

tessiee December 16, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Peter de Vries wrote that the streets in his neighborhood were named after the trees that they bulldozed to build them, but your guys are good, too.

HelmutNewton December 16, 2011 at 4:45 pm

Truth. At least our descendants will be able to see paintings of the unspoiled landscapes that our ancestors once enjoyed.

user-of-owls December 16, 2011 at 5:35 pm

That would explain why so many streets around here are named Middle Class Boulevard.

not that Dewey December 16, 2011 at 6:40 pm

and "My Sanity Avenue"

user-of-owls December 16, 2011 at 7:46 pm

…or "Social Cohesion Circle."

not that Dewey December 16, 2011 at 9:17 pm

"Self-Respect Street"

Fare la Volpe December 16, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Then I shudder to think what used to be out on Children's Mill Rd.

VespulaMaculata December 16, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Have you noticed that driving by a WalMart has the same effect on your spirit as when some old film or TV show suddenly goes to an establishing shot of New York with the Trade Center still standing?

flamingpdog December 16, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Did you ever stop to wonder that if Al Qaeda terrorists had really wanted to terrorize the vast majority of 'Mur'cuns, they would have crashed airplanes into four Wal-Marts spread around the country?

not that Dewey December 17, 2011 at 9:33 am

ZOMG THEY CAN GET TO US ANYWHERE NO PLACE IS SAFE

finallyhappy December 16, 2011 at 4:17 pm

yeah, my daughter got a job someplace(not Walmart!) where they make sure no one gets a lot of hours. I bet if people quit- they won't give the current people more hours- just hire more people to spread it out.

Jukesgrrl December 16, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Yes. That's the way it works. I used to be employed by one of the branches of the late May Company. They had no more than four full-time employees for each department, who worked in ever-changing shifts. They were paid as clerks but were actually doing both management AND stock work). The people who ran the cash registers were all part-timers who were never given enough hours to qualify for benefits (meager as they were). You'd be shocked at how many of them had their ENTIRE bi-weekly salaries transferred back to the company to pay on their May credit account. And by Walmart standards, May was a classy retailer.

Walkinwiddaking December 16, 2011 at 4:19 pm

…and Madame Defarge continues to knit.

Mumbletypeg December 16, 2011 at 4:21 pm

*sigh* – - I liked "billions and billions" better when Carl Sagan was saying it.

elviouslyqueer December 16, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Screw Bentonville. Alice should've simply bankrolled this.

Goonemeritus December 16, 2011 at 4:26 pm

“Its awful stores razed, the building materials recycled”

I just bought two large windows formally part of a local Wal-Mart to use in a shop I’m building. The bad news is they only razed the old Wal-Mart to build a bigger Wal-Mart.

flamingpdog December 16, 2011 at 5:34 pm

At least they razed it rather than leaving it empty to blight the landscape for another 5 or 10 years before it crumbled on its own.

Preferred Customer December 16, 2011 at 5:59 pm

I assume that the new one corrects the mistaken inclusion of windows that afflicted the old.

Callyson December 16, 2011 at 4:28 pm

According to the Bloomberg link, included in this collection is:
"…Norman Rockwell’s oil-on-canvas “Rosie the Riveter,” the iconic symbol of World War II U.S. industrial power. “Rosie the Riveter” is described by Crystal Bridges as a “transcendent symbol” of the “capabilities, strength and determination” of American women."
God, I wish Rosie could come back to life and deck the Sprawl Mart heirs…

sbj1964 December 16, 2011 at 4:30 pm

The question of wealth is how much is to much? When the money corrupts the fundamental precepts of America.Teddy Roosevelt Broke up the the robber barons only to have the them reappear under trickle down Voodoo economics.If rich people want to be called Job Creators then where are the jobs?

BlueStateLibel December 16, 2011 at 4:31 pm

That painting would look a lot better if there were a couple of Walmarts in the scenery. I hope God has a special level of Hell reserved for the Walmart family.

sbj1964 December 16, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Marrie Antoinette screwed up when she said"Let them eat cake." This is the Mantra of the 1%. VIVA the Revolution !!!!!!!!!

ChernobylSoup December 16, 2011 at 4:35 pm

The centerpiece of the collection is a 1972 Nova on cinder blocks.

user-of-owls December 16, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Hey, aren't you from here?! You can't say that!!*

*unless you quantify the number of sleeping dogs that would die if the cinder blocks failed.

ChernobylSoup December 16, 2011 at 5:21 pm

How do you think I got my yard cleaned up? Donations.

Monsieur_Grumpe December 16, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Hey lay off the job creators… I mean shitty job creators.

Blueb4sunrise December 16, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Toulouse Lautrec shits on the beach.

RadioYKWE December 16, 2011 at 4:45 pm

OK, let's predict the spin on this from the wingtard media.
Umm, let me try, wealth does not mean income. The Walton's are wealth creators and they are not responsible for the income of those 100,000,000.
And, of course, those people are not really poor, they have TV's and microwaves and iPhones, essentially all the same things the wealthy white trash have.

actor212 December 16, 2011 at 4:46 pm

"Three ghosts this night shall visit you! They're on sale at WalMart!"

chascates December 16, 2011 at 4:49 pm

I remember all the 'bought in the USA!' spots that Chinese flea market used to run to convince people they weren't a monetary Ghengis Khan. They screwed the towns they moved into, running all independent local businesses into the dirt. They screwed their vendors, demanding almost non-existent profits simply to get WalMart's business. They screwed their employees for numerous reasons, which we're all familiar with.
Although I've posted it here ad nauseum here's Al Franken on class warfare, which I hope will happen to these rapacious soulsuckers:
In her book A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century, Barbara Tuchman writes about a peasant revolt in 1358 that began in the village of St. Leu and spread throughout the Oise Valley. At one estate, the serfs sacked the manor house, killed the knight, and roasted him on a spit in front of his wife and kids. Then, after ten or twelve peasants violated the lady, with the children still watching, they forced her to eat the roasted flesh of her dead husband and then killed her.

hunnybee December 16, 2011 at 5:57 pm

sounds like a plan to me.

DahBoner December 17, 2011 at 10:58 am

#WINNING

Callyson December 16, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Slightly OT but really related, from Yahoo! News:
The former head of the Obama administration's auto task force says he should have pushed the United Auto Workers for steeper sacrifices in the General Motors bailout, including wage cuts. The people earning $9 a hour in a suburban Detroit GM plant would disagree.
Former auto czar and wealthy Wall Street financier Steven Rattner told a luncheon in Detroit on Thursday that while the $50 billion GM bailout was successful, "we should have asked the UAW to do a bit more. We did not ask any UAW member to take a cut in their pay."
Yeah, because it was those pesky UAW members who caused the economic implosion…
…and yes, if you check out this rat's Wikipedia entry, you'll find that the NYS Attorney General investigated him in a pay to play scandal.
Can we just cancel the holidays this year?

tessiee December 16, 2011 at 9:41 pm

"$9 a hour in a suburban Detroit"

That won't even cover the heating bill, much less rent/food/meds, etc.

yyyaz December 16, 2011 at 4:53 pm

So 100,000,000 Americans have a combined net worth that averages $930.00. For a family of four, that would be $3,720, or enough for a 12-year-old Corolla, 15-year-old fridge, 5-year-old teevee and a pile of 20-year-old furniture. Hooray!

comrad_darkness December 16, 2011 at 8:51 pm

What are you doing inventorying my house?! Get out of here!

And that's a 20 year old teevee, thank you very much. And the "couch" is a refinished find from the roadside, but it sanded up nicely.

petersonjh December 16, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Not that I want to take anything from this discussion that impacts, I'd say, 99% of us, but PLEASE get your facts and figures straight!
The $93 billion in assets held by the Walton heirs is nowhere near 30% of the net worth of this country, but more like 0.30%!
I'm not inclined to judge whether this is or isn't an inappropriate amount, but I do hope more members of America's financial elite pay heed to what their predecessors called "nobless oblige".

user-of-owls December 16, 2011 at 5:06 pm

*sigh* I count each day that the Wonketburo does not mention Arkansas as a blessing. No good ever comes of it.

As my roost is but 15 minutes from this museum, allow me to point out just one small thing: They do not and will not ever charge a nickel for admission, even for special exhibits.

And the first one of you who even so much as hints that I'm some sort of Wal-Lickspittle is going to get a big fat punch in the cloaca.

SheriffRoscoe December 16, 2011 at 5:19 pm

You gonna let us stay in your spare room when we get a hankerin' to look at some Norman Rockwell originals, owls?

user-of-owls December 16, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Depends, Sheriff. How good are you at clinging to a branch while you sleep?

RadioYKWE December 16, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Wonkette, the official home of cloacal sechs.

poorgradstudent December 18, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Yes, but do they eve show "Piss Christ"?

Loaded_Pants December 16, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Merry Waltonmas and a Happy Screw(ed) Year! Enjoy weeping over your credit card bills in 2012, America!

fuflans December 16, 2011 at 5:13 pm

at least we could laugh at paris hilton.

ifthethunderdontgetya December 16, 2011 at 5:15 pm
Beanball December 16, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Once upon a time I lived in rural Missouri and it was a great day when Wal-Mart opened in our tiny village (pop. ~ 10,000). In our innocence, we called it "Wally World" and it was full of alla kinds good stuff, and they promoted "Made In America" stuffs.

Then we started noticing odd goings-on about town: small retailers were going bankrupt, out of business, including my favorite comic book store. What was going on, we all wondered?

Lo and behold, a sympathetic executive Wal-Mart employee (a local resident and whistle-blower) began circulating a Wal-Mart "secret memo", entitled, Targeted Businesses, one of which was my comic book store.

Long story short, I haven't stepped inside a Wal-Mart in over ten years.

WordSaladNation December 16, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Sam R. Walton, Sam Walton's grandson, is actually a legitimate philanthropist who serves on the board of trustees of the Environmental Defense Fund, among others.

He's like the anti-Walton.

flamingpdog December 16, 2011 at 5:36 pm

It's really sad when you shout "Eat the rich!" and realize that that wouldn't even feed a family of four in America for more than a few weeks.

RadioYKWE December 16, 2011 at 6:06 pm

That's why the new parlance is "Eat the Job Creators!"

Come here a minute December 16, 2011 at 6:16 pm

God bless us, every one!

Wonderthing December 16, 2011 at 6:22 pm

These "po folk" numbers lie. Everyone's suffering from a "Pruitts of Southhampton" complex. The real numbers are probably worse.

[For the obsolete sitcom challenged: "The Pruitts of Southhampton" was a short lived series in the 60's that starred Phyllis Diller, about a wealthy family that lost all its money and tried to pretend they were still rich to save embarrassment. Of course they were embarrassed every week or there would have been no show. But I guess it made too many people uncomfortable so they yanked it after barely one season.]

An_Outhouse December 16, 2011 at 7:44 pm

We should thanking those Waltons for reminding us of the reason for the season with a real life example of Scrooge. How timely!

thomashodge December 16, 2011 at 8:04 pm

Oh how enlightened the writer and several commenters are, first claiming to be seriously concerned about plight of the average Walmart worker while at the same time making fun of "white trash", the entire state of Arkansas and the people who shop at Wal mart. Ha-ha, being a bigoted snob is hilarious! How wonderful to live in Washington or New York and thus be better than someone living in the South. Also, where do those Southerners get off thinking they can appreciate art!? It's crazy. The fact that Walmart single-lowered inflation by about 8% during the 90s, which has done much more for the poor than almost any government program is beside the point. Now let's all go to Target, by the same Chinese made group but pay $2 more so we can continue to feel superior. We'll even pronounce "Tarjay" because we are so hip and ironic! Yay us!

comrad_darkness December 16, 2011 at 8:49 pm

1. Screw over your fellow Americans
2. Profit!

tessiee December 16, 2011 at 9:13 pm

"a corporate fortune built upon the destruction of American manufacturing, American small business and the American working class"

One of my former co-workers who moved/fled here from Arkansas related the story of how, when faced with the prospect of unionized workers and unable to weasel out of it any other way, the Walmart overlords closed the store and moved away like a bunch of spoiled three-year-olds.

ttommyunger December 16, 2011 at 11:22 pm

Gots to have us some Wal-Mart, NASCAR, Soaps and Wrasslin. 'Merika, number 1!!!

PuckStopsHere December 16, 2011 at 11:49 pm

And yet, the average American blames the 100 million for what's wrong with this country. People in this country know (correctly) that they are getting fucked. But they do not know by whom. Why don't we get the 100 million in a room (a room roughly the size of 1,000 Michigan Stadiums would do it ) with the 6 and see if a more equitable income distribution might be hammered out?

Bonghits4Jesus December 17, 2011 at 2:34 am

Wal-Martians attack: the final operation against US forces http://georgespigot.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/m

tramlaw December 17, 2011 at 6:58 am

It is unreal to me how much hate is shown in people writing about Walmart. Well, Walmart has provided people with affordable goods when the mom and pop shops and others have goughed them. I don't hear anyone bashing those who charged poor consumers really high prices. The Crystal Bridges museum is a one of a kind museum that will be probably the best in America and right in the heart of America. Being so critical of a family because of its wealth sounds to me like coveting your neighbor's wordly goods. As for me, give me Walmart's low prices so I can afford my utilities and real estate taxes and I will shop Walmart until my dying day as long as they continue to be customer friendly.

not that Dewey December 17, 2011 at 9:43 am

Are you still haunted by that, too? I wanted to show it to Mrs Dewey, but I couldn't think of a good explanation for why I would know about it.

DahBoner December 17, 2011 at 10:54 am

I for one, would love to see at this museum the Japanese performance artist famous for dumping a ton of manure on himself…

loki_monster December 17, 2011 at 2:02 pm

This post is fucking beautiful.

KenLayIsAlive December 17, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Agreed. Royal America at it's worst.

KenLayIsAlive December 17, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Just sick. It is just like the "art" in the $1B new stadium in Dallas. These rich rubes use their tax breaks to hire armies of art consultants to fill these places with art no one gets because the tax breaks and write offs they used to buy the art choked off funding for arts education. It is a perfect circle. They imagine they are bringing art to the people, but they are actually separating people from art by sucking so much cash out of the public efforts to educate and create.

Forget the $2M piece that exists in every fucking museum already (it is always the same 50 artists in the "contemporary" galleries in every museum) and hire 40 art teachers!

It's the just the most pathetic display of human ignorance, greed, and self-satisfaction imaginable. I am so pissed that they can actually sit there and feel good about themselves for doing such awful things. It is the purest form of elitist masturbation possible.

horsedreamer_1 December 18, 2011 at 4:05 am

Another Wal-Mart heir owns the once-proud Kansas City Royals, & hasn't done shit to improve the team.

Warpde December 18, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Well, you do know, Wal-Mart’s motto.
"Keep 'em poor so they have to shop at our store."

poncho_pilot December 16, 2011 at 4:49 pm

#WINNIES

flamingpdog December 16, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Canada = America Jr. – Homer Simpson

DocChaos December 17, 2011 at 12:59 pm

That's right, because America needs room for the balls Canada lacks.

Fuck Yeah!

user-of-owls December 16, 2011 at 9:38 pm

"Empathy Lane"

not that Dewey December 16, 2011 at 10:51 pm

"Good Taste Place"

user-of-owls December 17, 2011 at 12:32 am

"Honest Living Drive"

LetUsBray December 17, 2011 at 8:47 pm

"Common Decency Parkway".

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