August 22nd, 2005

art by tony montana at the blast furnace
feel free to copy and use tony’s art to spread the meme.

[Update No. 5 — 1151, 1 September 05 — See The Little Wal Mart Toothpaste Buycott for the latest information on who is spreading my Modest Proposal meme.]

[Update No. 4 — 1315, 31 August 05 — The latest endoresement for the modest little proposal comes from Bill Callahan at Callahan’s Cleveland Diary.]

[Update No. 3 — 0846, 31 August 05 — in the past three days, the following blogs have posted on the little meme that could:

Jim Gilliam’s Retail Blogroll (a BraveNew blog)
Grass Roots Miami
Brave New Films
Jennie’s Journal]

[Update No. 2 — 2142, 27 August 05 — JR at Buy Blue, and, by association, Daily KOS and My Left Wing, has added his voice to the buycott.]

[Update No. 1 — 1040, 27 Augst 05 — The website for Robert Greenwald’s movie — Wal Mart: The High Cost Of Low Price — has given the toothpaste idea some legs.]

This is my 100th post for No Cleveland Walmart. I’m going to be shifting grears a bit — watch on Wednesday to see just how — but I wanted to share an idea I have with you. It’s a modest proposal, really. But it’s a way that will allow everyone, regardless of there socio-economic status to let the Bentonville Behemoth know that we’re mad as hell as we’re not going to take it anymore.

Here’s my plan…

All along I have been uncomfortable with those who would ask families on the poverty edge to not shop at Wal Mart and further stress their meager financial resources. A few weeks ago, while reading John Dicker’s United States Of Wal Mart, I came across this little nugget:

Wal Mart is the largets retailer in the world, hawking more DVDs, magazines, books, CDs, dog food, diapers, bicycles, toys and toothpaste than any other company.

It was the toothpaste that caught my eye. I did some more checking and found that it controls approximatley 25 percent of the world’s toothpaste sales. That means the company is raking in some $375 million from the approximately $1.5 billion in annual toothpaste sales in the U.S.

Now, if you’re Wal Mart, and your annual sales are $288.189 billion, $375 million — or only a miniscule 0.13 percent — is less than a drop in the bucket, but it’s still noticable. So here’s what I propose.

If your family finances are such that you can avoid shopping at Wal Mart all together, that’s wondeful. But, as a minimum, buy your toothpaste somwhere else. Doing so won’t hurt your dental health. It won’t damage the toothpaste industry. It won’t hurt the workers who manufacture and distribute toothpaste. And, it won’t hurt Wal Mart associates.

Your financial burden will rise a tiny bit, but you’ll be helping to send a message that Wal Mart can track and measure.

I’m sending this out into the blogosphere as an Internet meme: buy your toothpaste anywhere but Wal Mart. If the idea makes sense to you, please post something about it. Tell your family, tell you friends, tell your readers.

My Soundtrack: Flugufrelsarinn by Sigur Ros on WOXY.

11 Responses to “BOOM, BOOM, BOOMAH, BOOM, BOOMAH…”

  1. […] YOU’LL WONDER WHERE THE WAL MART WENT… Thanks to George for the catch. My modest proposal of a Wal Mart toothpaste boycott has gotten some legs from Robert Greenwald&# […]

  2. […] THPASTE BUYCOTT… Buy Blue, and with it Daily KOS, have added their voices to my modest proposal; joining Wal Mart: The High Cost Of Low Prices and Brewed Fresh Daily. Will y […]

  3. The Wide World of Toothpaste

    With 20 pages of search results at for the “toothpaste” query, there’s no excuse for not participating in Jeff’s Wal Mart Toothpaste Buycott. There’s no-frills budget-wise toothpaste, fancy, expensive toothpaste, and just about every…

  4. […] t Comments: just a hillbilly on TELLING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN…?The Blast Furnace on BOOM, BOOM, BOOMAH, BOOM, BOOMAH…molly on PROPERTY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN PEOPLE…?No Clevel […]

  5. […] #8230; GEAR SHIFTS… » POST NO. 100: A MODEST PROPOSAL art by tony montana at the blast furnace feel free to copy and use the tony’s art to spread the meme […]

  6. The Wide World of Toothpaste

    With 20 pages of search results at for the “toothpaste” query, there’s no excuse for not participating in Jeff’s Wal Mart Toothpaste Buycott. There’s no-frills budget-wise toothpaste, fancy, expensive toothpaste, and just about ever…

  7. Jeff Hess says:

    Shalom Tony,

    Wow! Twenty pages of toothpaste? You know, I think that says a lot about our consumer culture. How does anyone decide?

    Thank you for all your support.



  8. Kristy says:

    I am just now getting into this whole WALMART domination thing, I have to admit that being a college student and not having much money I do shop at Walmart. I am now realizing how damaging they have been and will be to our country and it’s underpaid citizens. I will vow to never buy toothpaste at WALMART again, and try to slowly ween myself off of all thier products, one at a time, when I can find places around my house to buy them for a reasonable price. It’s not just the workers that get sucked into this corporate machine, people like me who have a very limited budget also suffer, because more and more there are no alternatives for our everyday needs shopping that are affordable. It’s a shame and it makes me feel ashamed to shop there. I as one citizen will do my small part to NEVER buy toothpaste at WALMART again.

  9. Jeff Hess says:

    Shalom Kristy,

    Thank you for stopping in, for reading and, most of all, of commenting. It’s all about the conversation.



  10. edumacated says:

    Please please do your own research, Jeff. If you ****HAD**** done your ****OWN**** research, you would find that Walmart does not underpaid their employees compare to similar stores in the same sector. Instead of being spoonfed with the biased articles sponsored by people with their own agenda (those anti-Walmart websites are sponsored by unions with agendas that are against Walmart’s). PLEASE PLEASE educate yourself first. If you don’t do that, you are no better than Bush, who chooses not to educate himself about the truth about the Iraq situation before he went to war, and chooses not to educate himself about the war DURING the war. If you don’t educate yourself about the subject, please just not comment, because it can just cause more harm than good (remember election 2004?).

  11. Jeff Hess says:

    Shalom Edumacated,

    First, thank you for stopping in, for reading and, most importantly, for taking the time to leave a comment. It’s all about the conversation.

    The argument is not that Wal Mart pays less than comparable stores, but rather that as the largest retailer in the World, Wal Mart is the bellwether corporation on many issues. So much so that last week Wall Street honored Wal Mart with the first ever single-corporation index.

    If we are going to address issues such as employment, healthcare, outsourcing and the American economy, you can’t do it with examining the business practices of Wal Mart.

    To get an idea of the bigger picture, please stop in at The Writing On The Wal.



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