On Tue, 28 Dec 2004, Globe Trotter wrote:
Walmart sells their employees, too! For under $5 an hour (when
averaged over the time they have to spend unpaid and locked in) and
no benefits. So, they show up in your city's ER and your local taxes
i didn't want to wander into the political arena here, but there is
one extra piece of information i wanted to add. (and, yes, this has
relevance to laptops.)
a while back, a friend told me that one of the ways wal-mart can
keep prices so low (and also even keep *lowering* them year after
year) is that, when they sign a contract with a supplier, that
contract typically states that what wal-mart will pay the supplier per
unit will *drop* each year. so, you the supplier, will get $1.50 per
unit the first year, but only $1.35 the second year, and $1.25 the
third year. how you choose to cut costs year after year to remain
profitable is *your* problem. if you don't accept such onerous terms,
wal-mart just moves on to another supplier.
i wasn't sure whether or not to believe this but, apparently, it's
and the excerpt:
"Wal-Mart wields its power for just one purpose: to bring the lowest
possible prices to its customers. At Wal-Mart, that goal is never
reached. The retailer has a clear policy for suppliers: On basic
products that don't change, the price Wal-Mart will pay, and will
charge shoppers, must drop year after year."
this suggests that, whoever is selling low-end laptops to wal-mart
is going to have to shave costs every year -- quality is virtually
guaranteed to decline as time goes on as cheaper and cheaper parts are
used in the construction. eventually, of course, the supplier simply
isn't making a profit anymore, they go bankrupt, and wal-mart moves
on to another suck... er, supplier.
and regarding linspire and their bundled OS, i'd be interested in
seeing what kind of contract *they* had to agree to.
in any event, yes, this is wandering off-topic, but you'll find a
lot of people who have pretty strong feelings about doing business