Employee-Owned WinCo sucking energy from WalMart!

Though I’m all for localization as much as possible, small businesses that are determined to scale up might check out WinCo’s business model. Seems to be utterly unlike the usual corporate hierarchical model. Question: what’s the difference between “employee-owned” and a “workers’ co-op”?

 

Via upworthy. 

They’re being called ‘Walmart’s worst nightmare.’ And I *really* hope it comes true.

Meet WinCo, a retail chain with just under a hundred stores in eight states. They’re growing fast and somehow manage to undercut Walmart’s “always low prices.”

Compared to Walmart’s more than 4,000 stores in the U.S. alone, perhaps it’s a little premature to call them “Walmart’s worst nightmare.” But hopefully we can all agree it wouldn’t be such a bad thing for Walmart to lose more business to a company like this.

Here are four ways WinCo is CRUSHING Walmart.

1. CUSTOMER SATISFACTION

WinCo: Smart business model makes for low prices and good customer experience.

Walmart: Tops the list of retailers with THE WORST customer satisfaction ratings.

 

Walmart keeps prices low, in part, by systematically understaffing their stores. So if you’ve ever wondered what’s up with those empty shelves in your local Wally World, there’s your answer.

2. WAGES

WinCo: Employee pay starting around $11 per hour.

Walmart: Employee pay starting around $8 per hour.

Walmart’s absurdly low wages cost taxpayers billions of dollars every year in public assistance for their workers (food stamps, Medicaid, housing subsidies, etc.). Meanwhile, the company also profits from taxpayers by using a loophole that allows their executives to take home millions of dollars on top of their salaries.

Walmart is exploiting its workers so badly that even investors think they deserve a raise.

3. BENEFITS

WinCo: Health benefits and pensions for employees working 24+ hours per week.

Walmart: Cutting health insurance for employees working less than 30 hours per week.

Despite billions in profits and redonkulous executive pay packages, Walmart is kicking thousands of part-time workers off their health plan. Those who remain eligible for Walmart’s health coverage are paying a lot more out of pocket. Suffice it to say their workers are not happy.

4. OWNERSHIP

WinCo: Employee-owned through stock ownership program.

Walmart: More than half-owned by one of the world’s richest families.

 

WinCo’s employee stock ownership program makes the interests of the company and its employees one and the same. Their people work harder and stick around for longer because the success of the company means success (and retirement) for them.

Between employee stock ownership and 401(k) plans, hundreds of WinCo workers now have retirement savings of over $1 million.

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Poem, Mary Oliver: “Wild Geese”

I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the Heart’s affections and the truth of the Imagination.” — John Keats

Image: thesundaytimes.co.uk

Image: thesundaytimes.co.uk

 

“WILD GEESE”
by Mary Oliver

“Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine…”

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

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Stephen Jenkinson: “If you love somebody, you gotta die wise. If you don’t want people to have to see what you’ve seen, you’ve gotta die wise.”

My brother-in-law John emailed me this morning, wondering if I had heard about the new book, “Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul.” I had not, but its subject is exactly the right one, I think, for us to even begin to reorient ourselves to a deeply uncertain future. So I ordered it from orphanwisdom.com:

Die Wise does not offer seven steps for coping with death. It does not suggest ways to make dying easier. It pours no honey to make the medicine go down. Instead, with lyrical prose, deep wisdom, and stories from his two decades of working with dying people and their families, Stephen Jenkinson places death at the center of the page and asks us to behold it in all its painful beauty. Die Wise teaches the skills of dying, skills that have to be learned in the course of living deeply and well. Die Wise is for those who will fail to live forever.

Meanwhile, here’s a little trailer for the book.

And meanwhile, I started to investigate this Stephen Jenkinson further, and oh my, what an unusual mind/spirit/soul! Feel myself flowing, right now, with gratitude for this rich new vein to mine.

 

 

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Advice from an Elder on Student Loan Debt Strike

And see this.

Four Reasons Young Americans Should Burn Their Student Loan Papers

March 2, 2015

by Paul Buchheit

commondreams

burn_it

‘Fifty years ago students burned their draft cards to protest an immoral war against the people of Vietnam. Today it’s a different kind of war, immoral in another way, waged against young Americans of approximately the same age, and threatening them in a manner that endangers not their lives but their livelihoods.’ (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

‘Hell No, We Won’t Go’ — 1967

‘No Way, We Won’t Pay’ — 2015

Fifty years ago students burned their draft cards to protest an immoral war against the people of Vietnam. Today it’s a different kind of war, immoral in another way, waged against young Americans of approximately the same age, and threatening them in a manner that endangers not their lives but their livelihoods.

There are at least four good reasons why America’s young adults— and their parents—should take up the fight against financial firms who are holding high-interest student loans that total more than the nation’s credit card debt, and more than the total income of the poorer half of America.

1. The Protest Has Already Begun

Fifteen former students of for-profit Corinthian Colleges recently announced a debt strike against the company and its predatory loan practices. The 15 students, members of the Debt Collective initiative of debt abolisher Rolling Jubilee, have refused to repay their loans. Corinthian, which has been accused of false marketing, grade tampering, and recruitment improprieties, and which has 60 percent of its students default on loans, was sued in 2013 for employing a “predatory scheme” to recruit students.

2. For-Profit Colleges Use Taxpayer Money for False Marketing to Get MORE Taxpayer Money

Corinthian isn’t the only loan predator. Of 15 for-profit colleges investigated by the Government Accountability Office, 13 were found guilty of deceptive marketing, with false job and salary guarantees. The 15 companies got a stunning 86 percent of their funding from the public, in the form of student loans and grants.

Worse yet, a Senate report found that they spend about a quarter of their revenue on marketing, and take 20 percent in profits, while spending only about 17 percent on instruction.

After all that, only 22 percent of students get a degree after six years.

3. Traditional Colleges Aren’t Much Better: Students are Treated Like Products for Profit-Makers

Since the 1980s, the number of administrators at private universities has doubled.

To pay all the administrators, tenure-track teachers have been eliminated, and underpaid part-timers have taken their places. Adjunct and student teachers, who made up about 22 percent of instructional staff in 1969, now make up an estimated 76 percent of instructional staff in higher education, with a median wage in 2010 of about $2,700 per course, and with little or no benefits.

To further pay for all the administrators, and to pay for amenities like recreations centers, dining halls, and athletics, tuition has been steadily increasing, to twelve times its cost in 1978.

4. College Graduates Have Been Cheated out of Good Jobs

The unemployment rate may be going down, but the available jobs are well below the skill levels of college-trained adults. According to the New York Federal Reserve44 percent of recent college graduates are underemployed, holding jobs that are normally held by high school graduates.

College graduates have not recovered from the recession. They took a 19 percent pay cut in the two years after the recession, and by 2013 they were part of the only age group with lower average wages in early 2013 than in 2000. As recently as July of 2014 the Federal Reserve of San Francisco wrote that recent college graduates “were and continue to be hit hard.”

Progressive Unity

Progressives have no shortage of important causes, but an attack on predatory student loan policies could be a unifying force for us, particularly if the power of social networking is employed.

An Apple executive said, “The U.S. has stopped producing people with the skills we need.” But almost the entirety of corporate profits are being spent on stock buybacks to enrich executives and shareholders, rather than on job training.

The proposal for an America Permanent Fund of $10,000 per household, based on the corporate debt to society for public research, is about the same, in numbers, as the $1.16 trillion of student loan debt. A protest against student loans is a good way to earn the first dividend.

Paul Buchheit is a college teacher, an active member of US Uncut Chicago, founder and developer of social justice and educational websites (UsAgainstGreed.org, PayUpNow.org, RappingHistory.org), and the editor and main author of “American Wars: Illusions and Realities” (Clarity Press). He can be reached at paul@UsAgainstGreed.org.

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Parenting in the Wild

41 Incredible Photos That Show What Parenting is Like in the Wilderness

pwild21-610x914

 MORE

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ET Disclosure News: Steven Bassett slyly suggests that presidential candidates from both parties support ET Disclosure before Putin beats them to it.

imagesSteven Bassett, whose vow to end the long time “Truth Embargo” on the ET presence has turned him into a ferocious little bulldog with very thick skin, has pushed for years in the halls of power for ET disclosure, no matter what the blowback to him personally. At a UFO conference I attended in November 2014, Bassett took the microphone and detailed his latest plan, which he obviously followed through on, given this current article from Roll Call, “the source of news on Capital Hill since 1955.”

UFO Activist to Capital Hill: “Beam Me Up!”

Notice, in this article, how Bassett’s remarks are spun — and, of course! – how even the title of the piece invites the usual ridicule.

The above piece was picked up and spun further by New York Magazine:

When Will Potential 2016 Candidates Discuss the “Extraterrestrial Issue”?

20-white-house-ufo.w529.h352

 

I continue to be astonished at just how powerfully mind-controlled is the “normal” American media. This mental “lock down” is primarily a matter of emotional atmospherics, not data points. It’s like kids on a playground: nobody wants to be laughed at — except Steven Bassett, who doesn’t care, just shrugs it off as he continues to press, indefatigably, for the crumbling old truth embargo dam congealed with millions of compartmentalized secrets and lies to break.

Instead of insisting that it break, how about paying attention to the overall collective atmosphere within which any discussion of ET takes place? 

What if we deliberately transformed that atmosphere, from ridicule to respect? What would happen then? 

 

 

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Possible False flag in Arizona stuffed with weird details

A very difficult to cut cable, encased within a very difficult to get into box, buried deep in the earth, in a very remote area, and the perps left no foot prints or tire tracks. Say wha?

Details emerging on the Arizona false flag attack on commerce and communications

 

 

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