Monday, November 29, 2010

Shocking Video Evidence of "Consumer Greed"

 Exhibit A: 


And more examples of "consumer greed" here: Exhibit B, Exhibit C, Exhibit D, and Exhibit E.  

Next time you hear somebody talk about "corporate greed" or about how greedy corporations are only concerned with profits and their "bottom lines," or that corporations "put profits before people," etc. show them these shocking examples of money-grubbing, greedy consumers who seem only concerned about one thing: their household's bottom line, and they are so greedy that they'll even "put low prices before people" as they trample one another to enter Target and Wal-Mart on Black Friday to snatch up low-priced items before others do.       

29 Comments:

At 11/29/2010 8:05 PM, Blogger KauaiMark said...

That's just nuts! Risk being trampled for a few discounts?

 
At 11/29/2010 8:26 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Wouldn't we be more surprised if this did not happen? I know I would.

 
At 11/29/2010 8:32 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

I don't mind corporations looking after their profits, that's their job.

I mind when they screw up, and still keep the profits.

 
At 11/30/2010 1:13 AM, Blogger bob wright said...

How many shoppers will be trampled and killed by greedy consumers before we get a Dodd-Frank Consumer Greed Reform Bill?

We know that people can't be expected to control themselves and act responsibly in public. This is clearly a case where government must step in and impose order.

 
At 11/30/2010 6:56 AM, Blogger geoih said...

The first thing that struck me was how some people who were already in the store turned around and went back to help some of the poeple who had fallen down. Then once the people who had fallen down had gotten back up, they rejoined the crowd into the store.

I think this video is more about the physics of crowds of humans, rather than some metaphor for greed.

 
At 11/30/2010 8:17 AM, Blogger juandos said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 11/30/2010 9:24 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"I mind when they screw up, and still keep the profits"...

Well the solution is simple, don't shop there anymore....

I mean what other choices do we have?

"How many shoppers will be trampled and killed by greedy consumers before we get a Dodd-Frank Consumer Greed Reform Bill?"...

Ha! Ha! Good call that!

I have NO idea how valid the following is but its an ugly picture of Black Friday shopping if its true: SEVEN DEAD AND DOZENS INJURED IN BLACK FRIDAY RIOTS

'The first known fatality occurred at a Wal-Mart in Secaucus, New Jersey, a woman repeatedly stabbed a man with a kitchen knife taken from the housewares section to prevent him from buying the last Xbox 360'...

'Another sad incident transpired at a Tucker, Georgia Toys R Us. One woman bludgeoned another to death with a baseball bat over an American Girl doll. She was heard yelling at her victim, "hasta la vista, baby."'...

 
At 11/30/2010 10:25 AM, Blogger bob wright said...

geoih,

If in fact this is about the physics of crowds, why don't we regularly see similar stories from concerts, sporting events, the opera, etc?

Why is it only Black Friday shoppers that regularly exhibit this behavior?

 
At 11/30/2010 12:37 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Well the solution is simple, don't shop there anymore....

=============================

But that is not a solution.

One reason being that knowledge is still imperferct, even with the internet. Even if I know dodge trucks have lousy transmissions, I can't get the word out.

Second reason is there is a sucker born every minute. Plenty of businesses screw people as a matter of common practice, or through incompetence, and they stay in business for years and decades.

Third reason is, even if you force them to fold, they just reopen under a new name.

Fourth reason - I don't shop there any more, big deal to them. It is still a huge waste of money, time and resources, for me - even if I get my money back.

Fifth reason - What do you do when you have a proprietary part that fails repeatedly? Maybe you have a large investment in a machine, and one crappy part fails time after time. Like Walt points out, you do a cost analysis and figure out which path is going to screw you the least, but you are still screwed.


Good as it is, private enterprise still has a lot of problems. Problems tht they mostly stick their customers with.

Don't shop there anymore is too simple to actually work.

 
At 11/30/2010 1:52 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Even if I know dodge trucks have lousy transmissions, I can't get the word out"...

Is it your responsibility to 'get the word out'?

"Plenty of businesses screw people as a matter of common practice, or through incompetence, and they stay in business for years and decades"...

So now that YOU know about those companies, you know to avoid them...

Are you tasked with getting other people to avoid them?

"Third reason is, even if you force them to fold, they just reopen under a new name"...

Well if you that knowledge and have faith in its accuracy you still know to stay away from them...

What other adults do is rather beyond your purview right?

"Fifth reason - What do you do when you have a proprietary part that fails repeatedly?"...

Go to another brand...

 
At 11/30/2010 3:01 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"We know that people can't be expected to control themselves and act responsibly in public. This is clearly a case where government must step in and impose order."

bob wright,

I couldn't agree more. I believe the DFCGR bill, already in committee, will prevent serious injury from maniacal shoppers by delaying their entrance to stores with a screening process similar to that used at airports by TSA.

Rep. Frank is already working on the details.

 
At 11/30/2010 4:31 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Is it your responsibility to 'get the word out'?

================================

You said the solution was simple, don't buy any more (dodge trucks) in this case.

But dodge could care less if I ever buy another dodge truck, so this is no solution, and the proposed tit for tat approach to controlling bad behavior on the part of private enterprise is inefficient, unrewarding, and unworkable.

 
At 11/30/2010 4:32 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Don't shop there anymore is too simple to actually work."

You are right, Hydra, that answer is too simple to work - for you.

juandos has provided several practical ways of dealing with product dissatisfaction, but my advice to you, would be to ignore them, as they only work for most rational people, but won't work for you.

You are doomed to always be at a disadvantage when dealing with vendors and manufacturers, so you might as well just resign yourself to the perpetual screwing, and do the best you can without complaining, as it obviously doesn't do you any good.

In the rest of the world, outside of your little bubble, businesses are usually the ones at a disadvantage, as they must spend a great deal of resources producing a product or service they hope customers will be willing to pay money for, and that they can do it as cheaply as their competition. No matter how hard they try, without enlisting the help of government, they can't force anyone - except maybe you - to buy anything.

If they are correct they will make a profit. If they are incorrect, they will lose money and may eventually die.

It really is almost that simple, but you shouldn't worry, because it doesn't apply in your case.

 
At 11/30/2010 4:34 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

"Plenty of businesses screw people as a matter of common practice, or through incompetence, and they stay in business for years and decades"...

So now that YOU know about those companies, you know to avoid them...

================================

And I do, but they stay in busineess. This violates your idea that the bad businesses will fail and be supplanted by ones people can support.

My merely avoiding such businesses does very little to prevent the harm and waste they cause.

 
At 11/30/2010 4:35 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

"Third reason is, even if you force them to fold, they just reopen under a new name"...

Well if you that knowledge and have faith in its accuracy you still know to stay away from them...

=================================

Same answer as above.

 
At 11/30/2010 4:44 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

What other adults do is rather beyond your purview right?

=================================


The only adults I'm concerned with is the owners of the business. what they do is not beyond my purview when they are dishonest, incompetent, and generally unethical.

For the most part, vendors do try to do a good job, and often a valid complaint will be rectified.

But just as often it will not be, and there is either no remedy or no remedy cheap enough to pursue. Consequently it is possible to have businesses which deliberately chisel a little bit on every sale and steal large amounts a little at a time. That is why scales and pumps have to be monitored and tested.

I know how to pursue customer complaints, but sometimes it just isn't worth the effort and vendors know it.


I submit that this system isn't perfect and can be improved. It is you who are doomed to be perpertually screwed by a system you think is perfect.

 
At 11/30/2010 4:52 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

"Fifth reason - What do you do when you have a proprietary part that fails repeatedly?"...

Go to another brand...

=================================

Yes, but at what cost? You gonna take a $5000 hit on depreciation just so you can "get even" over a $25 starter solenoid that fails repeatedly? How about a $250 windshiled wiper motor that repeatedly strips a 50 cent delrin gear?


That is no "solution" in my book.

You go to another brand, and they have the same supplier. Or most of the vendors apply the same shady practices either as a matter of outright collusion or because competition is worlking backwards ("everybody does it")


What you say sounds simple, but it doesn't resolve the problem. the reason it is simple, is because it does not work.

 
At 11/30/2010 5:03 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

No matter how hard they try, without enlisting the help of government, they can't force anyone - except maybe you - to buy anything.

================================

This is the "you always have a choice argument" which is simply fallacious.

There is no value in a choice that makes no difference to the vendor.

I'm a vendor and a manufacturor. I know how this works. I have lost customers who had requirements I could not meet, but so far as I know I've never lost one because I cheated them.

You are promoting a fine theory, whcih I subscribe to. But it is a theory that often sucks in practice. When we stop holding it up as some bright and shiny perfection, then we can work on ways to make it better.

Incentive matters, and merely walking away from a bad vendor often isn't enough to make him reform. the end result is a waste of money and resources. If one of my customers loses money to a bad vendor, and he cannot recover, then he may not have enough left to buy from me. or, a customer may have been so burned by a previosu vendor, that he makes life extra hard on me.

Sorry, I think a better system is possible.

 
At 11/30/2010 5:20 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

By the way, Hydra, your lament about "getting the word out" is bogus. You chose a particularly inappropriate example of Dodge transmissions. You should be aware that there are thousands of online forums discussing every imaginable automotive subject including Dodge, transmissions, and Dodge transmissions. If you actually had something meaningful to say about Dodge transmissions, there are thousands of people who would love to hear your story.

 
At 12/01/2010 5:43 AM, Blogger bob wright said...

Ron H.

- Loved the Barney Frank-as-T&A employee pic.

Actually, I had the same kind of thought.

If Target and Walmart decided to pat-down shoppers as they entered and left the store, would those in favor of the T&A pat-downs at the airport complain?

Couldn't Walmart claim that any person shopping at Walmart has implicitly agreed to surrender their civil rights and therefore is subject to post-shopping pat-downs?

Certainly, in the name of safety, consumers couldn't object to this, could they?

 
At 12/01/2010 8:39 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Oh Ron H, now that's disgusting but funny, really, really funny!

I'm going to have to pass that around to other...:-)

 
At 12/01/2010 8:47 AM, Blogger juandos said...

hydra says: "My merely avoiding such businesses does very little to prevent the harm and waste they cause"...

O.K., so what? As long as you're not being harmed any further what's the big deal?

Let others learn from their mistakes as you supposedly have...

hydra says: "What you say sounds simple, but it doesn't resolve the problem. the reason it is simple, is because it does not work"...

Sure it does, it works everytime its tried...

BTW hydra 'if' what you're saying is at all factual well then you've found a potentially lucrative market you can jump into and make a better, more sustainable widget...

The widget you make at a reasonable price that outperforms the one you're complaining about will mean that people will beat a path to your door for your widget which could mean more money in your pocket...

 
At 12/01/2010 12:37 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

If government got out of the way and cut tariffs and if bureaucrats stopped regulating voluntary transactions and meddling with the general economy than every day would be one of low prices and great deals without the need for long lines and panic.

 
At 12/01/2010 12:41 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

We know that people can't be expected to control themselves and act responsibly in public. This is clearly a case where government must step in and impose order.

There you go again and show your ignorance and your distaste for individual liberty. Most people are far more qualified to make decisions about their own lives than loser bureaucrats who have never been able to amount to much in the real world.

 
At 12/01/2010 1:10 PM, Blogger geoih said...

Quote from bob wright: "If in fact this is about the physics of crowds, why don't we regularly see similar stories from concerts, sporting events, the opera, etc?"

It has happened at concerts and sporting events (and when was the last time there was a crowd for an opera).

Just google 'trample deaths' and you'll get plenty of hits of specific examples.

 
At 12/01/2010 9:17 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Certainly, in the name of safety, consumers couldn't object to this, could they?

I don't see how. We must be kept safe at all cost. Privacy and dignity are small prices to pay for protection against that awful 1 in 1 billion chance of being killed by a terrorist with explosives hidden in their crotch.

Imagine gaining a competitive edge by advertising "No Pat Downs at Our Stores!".

I'm anticipating a future when we will be patted down as we enter a public library, park, bus, train, or taxi.

Actually, although not quite the same thing, membership stores such as Costco already require all shoppers to show their receipts when leaving the store, in effect suggesting that we are all thieves. We agree to this when we enter as members.

 
At 12/01/2010 9:35 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"IWe know that people can't be expected to control themselves and act responsibly in public. This is clearly a case where government must step in and impose order."

"There you go again and show your ignorance and your distaste for individual liberty. Most people are far more qualified to make decisions about their own lives than loser bureaucrats who have never been able to amount to much in the real world."

VangelV, you may have missed bob wright's sarcasm tag. I think he was joking.

 
At 12/01/2010 10:00 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Couldn't Walmart claim that any person shopping at Walmart has implicitly agreed to surrender their civil rights and therefore is subject to post-shopping pat-downs?"

Well actually, no. Membership stores require that you show your receipt when leaving the store. This is part of your membership agreement.

Other stores have no right to see your receipt or to inspect your bags. What you have purchased is now yours. To ask for proof of purchase is an implied accusation of theft. I have read several complaints about this practice at Best Buy. Here's an Example of someone asserting their 4th amendment rights.

 
At 12/01/2010 11:31 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

VangelV, you may have missed bob wright's sarcasm tag. I think he was joking.

Me error. I did not see that it was Bob who made the posting and thought it was our socialist friend who has expressed that sentiment many times before. Apologies to Bob.

 

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