Worst Company In America 2008 "Elite 8" Bracket!

The bracket has been updated as we prepare for Round 4 of our Worst Company In America contest. See the full-sized graphic, suitable for framing or forming the basis of informal office betting pools, inside…

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  1. SinsapaGorilla says:

    Seeing that Countrywide is being purchased by Bank of America, doesn’t that
    mean Bank of America gets a bye into the Final Four?

  2. chucklebuck says:

    Man, I think the health insurers got off easy.

  3. Toof_75_75 says:

    Unsurprising…Exxon is on here because they are a business who makes money…fuckin’ capitalism.

  4. tinder says:

    funny how BoA is competing against itself (Countrywide).

  5. byrdclaw says:

    Exxon isn’t just a business that makes money, they’re a business that makes a shitload of money and then cries to the public saying they aren’t making enough, so they raise prices.

  6. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @chucklebuck: I agree. Dang, I was hoping at least one of them would get in there.

    In fact, no one that’s caused any deaths/physical harm in the last year either directly or indirectly is up there.

  7. @tinder:
    and no matter who wins, we all lose.

  8. SRSco says:

    Nice photoshop job…NOT!

  9. notallcompaniesareevil says:

    I think it’s interesting how there are companies that make a ton of money (Exxon, WalMart) and are vilified for it and there are companies that have lost a lot of money (Countrywide, American Airlines) and are vilified for that as well.
    Heads you lose, tails you lose.

  10. bostonhockey says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: well…that’s not entirely a factual statement. diebold skewed the 2000 election results to put dubya in office. dubya then did his thing and committed our troops to a war in iraq. of which, 3000+ have died and numerous more have received physical harm.

    that said, i’m bummed that ticketmaster and paypay/ebay are both off the list. at least comcast and AA are still there. it’s funny…as much as AA does in fact deserve to be there, i bet right now they are representing every US-based airline as far as voter angst goes.

  11. sogmasta says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation:

    Maybe its because health insurance STILL isn’t available to everyone. Even my insurance rate sucks banana nut crunch.

    Still, I’m making a killing off of Comcast. Side bets at work and I’m at 180 dollars now. Sucks that once i win I’ll just have to give it up to Comcast to pay for On Demand movies that never come through but we get charge for anyways because all customer service people think we’re a bunch of liars (I’m truly and really not that pressed to watch “P.S. I love you”. Damn

  12. allstarecho says:

    @chucklebuck: Only because of who they were matched up against. Case in point: WalMart vs. WellPoint. The outcome was so obvious.

  13. superflippy says:

    @notallcompaniesareevil In the case of Countrywide, it’s not an issue that they’ve lost money, it’s that they’ve caused so many of their customers to lose money, too.

  14. PunditGuy says:

    BoA vs. Countrywide: No matter who wins, we lose.

  15. PunditGuy says:

    @Belabras: I’ve got to remember to hit F5 before posting.

  16. tph says:

    I can’t believe comcast beat ticketmaster (and this is coming from someone who couldn’t access the internet last night because her comcast service was down)

  17. AaronZ says:

    If anyone on this list had a chance of knocking out Comcast, it would be Exxon.

  18. battra92 says:

    @Toof_75_75: Yeah when will they learn that no one should make money (except Democrats)

    @bostonhockey: Oh please. Give it a rest and buy some more Reynolds Wrap, you need a new hat.

    Wal*Mart or Exxon will “win” this thing because people hate companies that are successful.

  19. CPC24 says:

    @bostonhockey: Get your liberal conspiracy theories right! Diebold stole the 2004 election, not the 2000 election! Florida was still using paper punchcards in 2000.

  20. cordeliapotter says:

    Why wasn’t Cargill in the running at all?

  21. Skankingmike says:

    @Toof_75_75: no because they rape our land and make record profits on an item that we’ve come to depend on ..

    It would be like the local utilities company tomorrow charging you 1 dollar a gallon; would you like that?

    So no capitalism has nothing to do with it. At some point you have to become responsible for your actions and they’ve yet to do that. I hope the next oil spill is in your back yard so you can see how responsible and non evil Exxon Mobile is.

  22. GoPadge says:

    @byrdclaw: But you’re not upset that the State and Federal governments make more per gallon than Exxon does? Think about that one a minute. I’ll wait.

  23. Skankingmike says:

    another thing.. isn’t Country Wide Owned by BOA?

    shouldn’t that be disqualified?

  24. Counterpoint says:

    @AaronZ: If Exxon beats Comcast, it will be sickening. Exxon has as much control over the price of gas as KMart has over the overall cost of clothes.

    “But they made record profits!” …at a minimal margin. They’re not gouging at 100% markup, 50% markup, or even 10% markup from what I’ve heard.

    Everyone who thinks Exxon should win this should be starting the lynch mob for an Apple windfall profits tax – they’re marking up the new 3G iPhone 100% for just the base model (8GB costs ~ $100 and they are selling it for $199) and everyone needs a cell phone these days, right?

  25. Counterpoint says:

    @Skankingmike: How do they “rape our land”? For one, almost no drilling is allowed in the US. If you’re talking globally, then things such as rock quarries, sand pits, coal mines, hell even building basements in ommunities “rape” more from the ground then the oil companies. Unless you think the earth needs the oil in the ground for some Gaian reason…

    Your comment about $1 a gallon shows you have no knowledge of even simple economics. Thanks for the well wishes with the oil spill, which happen oh so frequently. And I hope the next mercury contamination from a broken CFL happens to you.

  26. Skankingmike says:

    @Counterpoint: your argument is really not based in fact.

    They are making a sicking amount of money, 11 billion. after all their costs…. (which includes i don’t’ know paying the overinflated salaries and the fat dividends checks share holders get). they made 116 billion dollars before costs. 116 BILLION!

    and FYI KMart does regulate how much they charge for clothing. They pay a really cheap price to buy clothes in bulk then mark up the price based on whatever, and thus make profit. There is a suggested price for some items but they generally ignore that.

  27. Darkwish says:

    @byrdclaw: Let’s not forget that Exxon hasn’t paid for the oil spill in Alaska that it caused in addition to the price gouging and record profits. It just can’t seem to afford to pay for the damages it caused.

  28. Skankingmike says:

    @Counterpoint: here ya go

    [en.wikipedia.org]

    read a little bit about oil spills mr. doesn’t happen that often, I’d say even one a year is too much. but that would be wishful thinking.

    oh.. how about the Oil Sand mines in Canada? I know not the US I’m sure the Canadians are all so happy and I’m sure there’s no residual effect here right? i mean it’s only like what.. 400-500 kilometers away from us.. and what’s a Kilometer anyway we’re American.. use feet!

    how about the Oil drilling in Alaska? or the now freed up Arctic that we are currently debating who has the rights with several other countries.

    and how does not having even simple knowledge of economics denote you dismissing the 1 dollar a gallon water? please enlighten me since you’ve done a bang up job with your other comments.

  29. Squeezer99 says:

    @Toof_75_75:
    because making money is a bad thing, right?

  30. theczardictates says:

    @notallcompaniesareevil: So you’re proposing that profitable companies should be excluded for Doing Capitalism Right and unprofitable companies should be excused out of pity? And that would leave…?

  31. @chucklebuck: Only because the banks suck more this year.

  32. MitchV says:

    Look at the price of gold and the price of oil. Relative to the USD, they have increased dramatically in recent years. I’d love to blame big oil, but the price *seems* high because the USD has lost much of it’s value.

    It’s not production. It’s not US demand. It’s not refinery capacity. The problem is that we’re competing with countries whose currency isn’t in a state of free-fall.

    My vote for worst company would have to go to Wal-Mart.

  33. JustThatGuy3 says:

    @bostonhockey:

    Well, that would be an argument, if there were any credible evidence to support it (the Diebold part, not the Iraq part).

  34. sleze69 says:

    Looks like the biggest blowout was the first round Best Buy over Target 13081 to 920.

    What was the closest competition so far?

  35. JustThatGuy3 says:

    @Skankingmike:

    1. That $11BN is BEFORE paying those “fat dividends checks share holders get” – dividends come out of after-tax profits.

    2. Their absurd profits are about 10c on the dollar of revenue. Not exactly an absurd margin.

  36. mike says:

    BOO!!! The only one I got right was Countrywide, and I have them losing to Monster.

    This is rigged, I tells ya!

  37. rellog says:

    @notallcompaniesareevil: Gee… do ya think it MIGHT have something to do with their business practices and their impact on out economic and societal situations??? Naw, not from a corporate shill getting paid to post on a consumer friendly website…

  38. rellog says:

    @bostonhockey: And their STILL at it…

    [www.theonion.com]

    :P

  39. DojiStar says:

    @byrdclaw:

    Exxon doesn’t raise the prices. Oil prices are set in commodities exchanges, not by any oil company.

    So why Exxon or any oil company gets blamed for high oil prices is beyond me. They just bring it to market and the market bids on the price. Period.

    Now why is Diebold even on this list. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t bought, had contact with, or used anything Diebold… Ever.

  40. Skankingmike says:

    @JustThatGuy3: my bad. on the dividends i don’t get them so i don’t’ care.

    that was quarterly.

    in 2007 they made 40 billion profit the next highest was GE with 23 billion profit.

    However the difference is GE is inventing technology that will benefit the world with OLED and solar panel technology as well as thousands of others. They are profitable as well as moral.

    but na they’re fine right?

  41. rellog says:

    @GoPadge: When oil companies actually start paying ALL of their taxes, and then start building and maintaining roads and infrastructure, then I’ll get in a tizzy about taxes on gas…

  42. battra92 says:

    @DojiStar: Both Exxon and Diebold are there for political reasons. Nothing else other than an internet lynch mob of people who never passed economics 101 or are more concerned with punishing businesses instead of going out and starting their own.

    Carthago Delenda Est

  43. JustThatGuy3 says:

    @rellog:

    Can you tell us about the taxes the oil companies are legally obliged to pay that they aren’t?

  44. rellog says:

    Let’s not forget that big oil has had significant impacts on policies that has kept us hooked on oil for decades longer than we needed to. But hey, undercutting CAFE standards so they can keep demand high isn’t THEIR fault…

    BTW, I should have written they’re, in a previous post… not their… damn this no edit option…

  45. battra92 says:

    @rellog: When oil companies start paying all their taxes expect you to be paying all of their taxes.

    No business EVER pays ANY taxes. It’s cost of doing business and is passed on to the consumer. In other words, raising taxes on the oil companies means even higher prices at the pump.

  46. rellog says:

    @JustThatGuy3: You mean like the estimated $18 billion in tax credits for oil companies?

  47. rellog says:

    @battra92: Keep beating that republican drum… As is being seen now, if they pass the price on to consumers, we drive less (not a bad thing in my opinion) and reduce their profits.

  48. Jones91 says:

    ??! okay this has got to be rigged, how did Microsoft lose to American Airlines… Microsoft has screwed more people than nambla

  49. JustThatGuy3 says:

    @battra92:

    Yup.

    @Skankingmike:

    Still 10% margin. If you object to the absolute amount of the profit ($11BN), would it be better if there were 11 oil companies each making $1BN in profit?

  50. rellog says:

    @JustThatGuy3: BTW… never did I say anything about them ILLEGALLY not paying taxes… thought the situation with drilling in the Gulf comes close…

  51. Puck says:

    Wow, look at all the ignorant Republican (oxymoron, I know) shills coming out of the woodwork to defend the oil companies. I’m shocked, shocked I say, people!

  52. Skankingmike says:

    @battra92: Uh.. their high profit margins are because of their political interests and strong hold on the automotive industry. so yea i have a problem with Blood money profits.

    but i think I’ll start my multi-billion dollar company today thanks for the motivation.

  53. rellog says:

    @Jones91: I think it’s a tough call for most all of these companies… too many really crappy companies out there.

  54. UnicornMaster says:

    As much as I hate some of them, I think COMCAST wins easy.

  55. JustThatGuy3 says:

    @rellog:

    What do those have to do with anything? You said they weren’t paying all their taxes. You can’t possibly expect them to pay taxes they don’t have to pay, can you? If that’s your expectation, I demand you write a check to the IRS for 20% of your income because you aren’t paying the “having two L’s in your consumerist handle” tax.

    The oil companies are paying all the taxes they’re required to pay, which amount to about 42% of their profits. If you think those taxes should go up, that’s fine, your opinion, but you can’t claim that they aren’t paying their taxes.

  56. JustThatGuy3 says:

    @rellog:

    You said not paying ALL their taxes. It sounds like you really meant “not paying all the taxes I THINK they should pay.” Two different things. Are people who take the dependent deduction for their children not “paying ALL their taxes?”

  57. chilled says:

    Cap one is the most evil of all these companies!!Down with cap one!!

  58. Skankingmike says:

    @JustThatGuy3: actually there’s considered 6 large Oil companies . the lowest earning last year was 12 billion.. so your scenario is already here and worse than that.

    [upload.wikimedia.org]

    so 40 billion we’d need 40 companies making 1 billion each.

    and that’s just Exxon.. lets not forget chevron

  59. rellog says:

    @JustThatGuy3: Semantics. But for your benefit… when oil companies start paying the taxes they owe…. after their subsidies are removed…

    No mention on infrastructure and roads and such though, huh?

  60. skahead says:

    Does the winner get a certificate sent to the corporate office along with local news coverage?

  61. JustThatGuy3 says:

    @rellog:

    So, you’re saying “when oil companies start paying the taxes they WOULD owe, if the law were different.” That’s not what you said, though, which clearly implied that oil companies weren’t paying their taxes, which they are. They just aren’t paying the taxes that you THINK they should pay.

    On infrastructure, what does that have to do with anything? They’re not road or bridge companies, why should they be building infrastructure. Apple products are delivered by trucks and planes – should Steve Jobs be out there building runways?

    I think we should be raising taxes on gas, and I wish we had done it in early 2002, when it would have been politically feasible. Would have promoted conservation and made alternative energy techs a lot more feasible, as well as reducing the $ we send to hostile regimes.

  62. JustThatGuy3 says:

    @Skankingmike:

    You miss the point. You seem to say that the problem is that one company is making $40BN. Would it be better if 40 companies made $1BN each? Or 400 companies made $100MM each? As I noted, the oil companies’ margins haven’t shifted very much, they’re still making about 10-11% net margin – it’s the revenues that have gone up.

  63. provolone says:

    @notallcompaniesareevil: There are also many companies that make money that aren’t vilified, as well as many companies that don’t make money and aren’t vilified. You can win either way too. This should tell you that there is no correlation.

    Instead, these companies are hated for being unscrupulous, having terrible customer service, being harmful to the community, et cetera…

  64. pal003 says:

    All the Health Un-Insurance Companies got knocked out!! They all seriously deserve to be at the top of the Worst list!!!

  65. DrJimmy says:

    Wow; no more health care “insurers.” Unusual; they’ve got almost as much blood on their hands as DeBeers and Diebold.

    I think this one’s gonna be won by voted for headline counts; that’ll be Exxon or WalMart, with American Airlines as a dark horse third possibility.

    I shall continue to vote for the most crimson-stained manos.

  66. notallcompaniesareevil says:

    @theczardictates: Nah, I’m not making any recommendation. I just think it’s funny how no one complains about Countrywide when it’s making money (helping people into homes) but then it gets raked over the coals when things turn south (for both it and its customers). On the other side, there are companies, like XOM, that are worse when they are making money. An idle observation, really.

  67. notallcompaniesareevil says:

    @rellog: If I were a shill, I’d choose a different name. :-) Anyway, I’m just pointing out that some companies are vilified for making lots of money while others aren’t.

  68. notallcompaniesareevil says:

    @provolone: “Instead, these companies are hated for being unscrupulous, having terrible customer service, being harmful to the community, et cetera… ” I think many of the companies may be on there for no other reason than they make a lot of money. XOM being the prime example.

  69. battra92 says:

    @rellog: Your ignorance is only exceeded by your willingness to blame this all on some tinpot theory cooked up by someone who was high on dope.

    I’m beating the free market drum and the drum of truth. I know facts are hard to swallow, especially when you don’t have any sort of idea on economics.

    @JustThatGuy3: You sir, win the internet.

  70. notallcompaniesareevil says:

    @battra92: “No business EVER pays ANY taxes. It’s cost of doing business and is passed on to the consumer. In other words, raising taxes on the oil companies means even higher prices at the pump.”
    That’s not exactly true. To the extent that it reduces future investments (by increasing the required hurdle rates), it may be true. To the extent that the current operations are sufficiently above the cost of operation, you wouldn’t expect any reduction in production. And of course, the majority of the world’s oil producers pay no taxes in the U.S. (think national oil companies) and therefore it wouldn’t have any impact on them at all. The corollary of this is that increased tax incentives/offshore drilling licenses in the U.S. will also have no impact in lowering the price of oil.

  71. notallcompaniesareevil says:

    @notallcompaniesareevil: Add “in the future” after “To the extent that it reduces future investments (by increasing the required hurdle rates), it may be true.”
    :-)

  72. notallcompaniesareevil says:

    @JustThatGuy3: “I think we should be raising taxes on gas, and I wish we had done it in early 2002, when it would have been politically feasible. Would have promoted conservation and made alternative energy techs a lot more feasible, as well as reducing the $ we send to hostile regimes.”

    It may have been politically feasible in 2002 (although I don’t know what white house you’re thinking of), but as the price continued to rise in recent years, it would have been harder and harder to keep those taxes in place. Heck, look at the “gas tax holiday” (worst idea ever, BTW). Petroleum taxes would have reduced consumption versus our current level, and may have reduced prices (remember, this is a predominantly internationally-driven phenomenon), but the prices would still be very high right now (higher, after you account for the tax). As much as I’d like to think Washington has a pair, when it comes to this, I doubt it. Again: “gas tax holiday.”

  73. Sudonum says:

    @notallcompaniesareevil:
    Just asking as a neutral observer, don’t you think any of these posts could have something to do with the way Exxon is viewed here?
    [consumerist.com]
    [consumerist.com]
    [consumerist.com]

    I just went back through the first few pages of the search and didn’t list anything that made reference to “record profits” in the headline.

  74. notallcompaniesareevil says:

    @Sudonum: They probably do. But a company just scraping by would probably not be on the list above. In a forum where full-throated insanity is often the way to draw attention to oneself, I’m only trying to make a minor observation. :-)

  75. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @battra92:

    No business EVER pays ANY taxes. It’s cost of doing business and is passed on to the consumer. In other words, raising taxes on the oil companies means even higher prices at the pump.

    Costs don’t drive prices.

    Not only is your view overly simplistic, it’s also wrong. Sure, an industry wide, equally apportioned tax increase will simply be passed along to the consumer, but that’s not the only available option.

    If some companies were impacted by a certain tax to a greater degree than others, they sure as hell wouldn’t pass it along to the consumers in the form of higher pump prices, because they have to stay competitive with those companies who were impacted less, or not at all. In those cases the taxes come out of the shareholders pockets, or company profits.

  76. notallcompaniesareevil says:

    @JustThatGuy3:

    As I noted, the oil companies’ margins haven’t shifted very much, they’re still making about 10-11% net margin – it’s the revenues that have gone up.

    XOM’s 2003-2007 net income margin (simple average of yearly results): 10.9%
    Net income margin for 98-02: 6.7%
    Hasn’t gone up?
    For a pureplay E&P player (CHK): 2003-2007:20.7%
    98-02: 15.1 excluding one year that was negative.

    I think the argument that we should tax oil companies is dumb, exceedingly dumb. However, the numbers do not support what you say.

  77. notallcompaniesareevil says:

    @TinyBug:

    If some companies were impacted by a certain tax to a greater degree than others, they sure as hell wouldn’t pass it along to the consumers.

    The biggest thing to keep in mind here is that U.S. oil companies do not produce the vast majority of oil, and therefore your statement is especially relevant. And since the U.S. doesn’t consume the majority of oil, any taxes on the consumer would likewise have a less-than-perfect impact on oil prices.

  78. battra92 says:

    @TinyBug: You just proved my point that the taxes aren’t to do anything but punish companies for making a profit that you don’t like.

  79. Sudonum says:

    @notallcompaniesareevil:
    I kind of disagree about the “just scraping by” part. Home Depot is barely scraping by right now and they are generally loathed here. I think it has more to do with what people perceive as the companies “evil” or “bad” quotient. If an “evil” or “bad” company is successful it just adds to that quotient. If the company hit’s a rough patch, and starts losing money, then they are getting their just deserts.

    The same applies in the other direction as well. If a company is perceived as generally good, and they are profitable, then the “goodness” is held as a paragon of how a business should operate and be successful (Apple). If they are perceived as good and hit a rough patch, then it is the evil corporations that are driving them out of business (“Mom & Pop” stores).

  80. JustThatGuy3 says:

    @notallcompaniesareevil:

    Since 98-02, yup, it’s up. Since 03, though, it’s pretty flat.

  81. JustThatGuy3 says:

    continuation, oops

    Since 98-02, yup, it’s up. Since 03, though, it’s pretty flat, even though the price of crude is up nearly 4x.

  82. rellog says:

    @JustThatGuy3: Oil companies get subsidies which are in effect negating the taxes they owe. Again, you argue semantics.

    My whole point of infrastructure was because Gopadge said that the government makes more on gas than the oil companies. My point is/was that oil companies only can make their profits if government maintains the infrastructure including roads… hence the taxes on gas.

    And finally something we both agree on. I too support the higher gas tax for the same reasons you listed.

  83. rellog says:

    @battra92: Too funny. Your free market crap is a load. The “free market” implies that people have a choice. In the case of fuel, we really have very little. People who beat that load of shit you call the free market drum, are simply people looking to get rich, no matter who they step on, hurt or kill to do so…
    Me personally, I like to see people like that get hurt themselves… one way or another. For example… Ken Lay.

  84. notallcompaniesareevil says:

    @Sudonum: “I kind of disagree about the “just scraping by” part…”
    Maybe the way I should think about it is making lots of money can exacerbate image problems?

  85. notallcompaniesareevil says:

    @rellog: “Me personally, I like to see people like that get hurt themselves… one way or another. For example… Ken Lay”
    A yes, wishing people dead. Stay classy.

  86. LUV2CattleCall says:

    I’m reposting this from an earlier matchup:

    Wal-Mart haters are usually yuppies who want to protest it to feel like they are making a difference.

    In reality, it’s a success story of capitalism.

    To be honest, I’ve gotten GREAT customer service at Wal-Mart…believe it or not, the employees like what they do (try talking to them instead of being rectally-fed union propaganda suppositories). I’ve seen a Wal-Mart employee talk a couple OUT of buying expensive cables that are overkill for their TV… Another one gave me advice on how to fix my short circuited brake light wiring – saved me over $500 at the rapefest that is Fields BMW.

    One thing to consider when people see those figures that show Wal-Mart is “straining” Medicare is whether or not your average Wal-Mart employee would have a job that provides health care if Wal-Mart wasn’t around.. the Walmartwatch figures assume that 100% of those employees would have upper-middle class jobs if Wal-Mart had not existed, which we all know is untrue.

    Try returning something at Wal-Mart with the receipt…you’ll get what you paid. Go to Target, however, and if the price has gone down, you’ll get the LOWER amount – found that out the hard way when I bought some Xmas gifts for friends there.

    Also, as a vegetarian/somewhat of an animal rights-giva-a-damner, I’m proud of Wal-Mart pressuring meat companies to treat animals better and such. They even got Kraft to roll out cheese from milk without hormones.

    Oh, and don’t forget that they were the driving force behind affordable CFLs…now they have a little calculator in the light bulb aisle that shows people how big of a moron they would be if they went for the old-fashioned type of bulb.

    Getting an oil change? Unlike some other chains, they won’t talk you into random ass repairs that you really don’t need…and they won’t try to pull crap like reusing your filter or filling your car with dead dinosaur oil when you paid for synthetic.

    Don’t have health insurance? Guess who started the $4 generics thing?

    Worried about the welfare of factory workers? Guess who does random, unannounced checks of overseas factories of suppliers?

    Cost of gas got you down? Guess where you can go to get all the things you need for your day to day life, in one stop?

    Wal-Mart is, above all, efficient. Their distribution network eliminates a ton of middlemen, and it also eliminates products from zig-zagging across the nation, saving a considerable amount of energy. They were also the dominant force behind the UPC code becoming standard. Recently, they got detergent companies to concentrate their laundry soap by removing excess water…afterall, why haul H2O all the way from the factory to your door when your washer is full of it already?

    For the record, I don’t work for Wal-Mart or any related company (I work for an airline = zero connection) and I don’t own stock in Wal-Mart or any related company.

    I lived in the small town of Knoxville, Iowa and witnessed first hand how much of a POSITIVE impact Wal-Mart can have on a community despite all the whiny asshats out there. I live a comfortable life and consider myself well off, and I’m sure I could afford to shop elsewhere if I felt like it…but Wal-Mart does a great job at great prices so why throw money away to less efficient retailers?

  87. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @battra92: You just proved my point that the taxes aren’t to do anything but punish companies for making a profit that you don’t like.

    First of all, you know nothing of my preferences with regard to whether or not such taxes should be imposed, and, if so, to what degree and upon whom, so please spare us the sloppy jumping to conclusions that this is somehow about something I like or don’t like.

    Your second assumption – that increased taxes is automatically equivalent to “punishment” – is almost as simpleminded as the “companies never pay taxes mantra”.

    My short explanation of a fairly simple concept of economics “proves” exactly nothing about either the motives of people who wish to implement certain tax schemes or the ultimate effect of such schemes. Since that seems to be your entire point, you’ll have to actually offer up some evidence of your own to support it.

  88. Sudonum says:

    @notallcompaniesareevil:
    LOL… absolutely!

  89. rellog says:

    @notallcompaniesareevil: I have NOOOOOO problem wishing people dead. Some people just plain deserve it. Ken Lay being one of them. I make no excuses. The scumbag was responsible for thousands of people losing their pensions and life savings. I could care less your opinion of that or me.

  90. rellog says:

    @LUV2CattleCall: Wothout getting into a WalMart debate… I have never seen Target offer a lower price on any item with a receipt (in their 90 time frame.) I would have to say that was an isolated case. Maybe a bad store manager.

    But I will say for every valid point you make (and yes you have some valid points) there are plenty of negative associated with the WalMart corporation.

  91. notallcompaniesareevil says:

    @rellog: Believe it or not, it’s not against the law to make bad business decisions. Losing money is not a crime. If you believe he committed securities fraud, then you are perhaps on to something. However, his business model had a fundamental flaw, and that’s the reason he lost his life savings (and actually more than his life savings) and others did as well. I know a lot of people who worked there and know the story well (I’ve actually met Mr. Lay for all of 5 seconds as he struggled to open a door). At least from where I sit, wishing people dead is too harsh for what happened there. There were a lot of very stupid decisions made by a lot of well-paid people, but until you switch to a command economy, you have to let people succeed and fail on their merits, and when they fail, you cannot use the power of the law (or mob rule) to impose additional penalties.

    By the way, “I could care less” kind of implies you actually do care what I say? Perhaps you mean “I couldn’t care less”?

  92. notallcompaniesareevil says:

    @rellog: “But I will say for every valid point you make (and yes you have some valid points) there are plenty of negative associated with the WalMart corporation.”
    This is the type of shade-of-gray analysis that is not allowed on the internet. Sorry sir, pick a side, and go nuts, but don’t use impartiality like that around these parts. :)

  93. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @notallcompaniesareevil: The biggest thing to keep in mind here is that U.S. oil companies do not produce the vast majority of oil, and therefore your statement is especially relevant.

    True, but they do transport it. And refine it. And distribute it. I’m not sure exactly what point you’re trying to make here. I was simply pointing out that the simple minded “Companies never pay taxes” talking point is factually incorrect, and any argument based on that point is therefore worthless.

    And since the U.S. doesn’t consume the majority of oil,

    The United States Department of Energy says otherwise:
    [tonto.eia.doe.gov]

    any taxes on the consumer would likewise have a less-than-perfect impact on oil prices.

    Again I wonder exactly what your point is. I don’t recall anyone at all in this entire thread advocating taxes on the consumers.

  94. Dakine says:

    Wal-mart is pure molten evil. If you don’t already know that, perhaps you should wake up. Or maybe you’re a fan of slavery.

  95. notallcompaniesareevil says:

    @TinyBug: Oil is a global commodity and therefore local taxes have little impact on price. That was all I said. To bring down oil prices with tax-spurred conservation, a global effort would be needed.

    You’re wrong on the point about the U.S. consuming a majority of the world’s oil. I don’t know what your definition of majority is, but if the US consumes 20.7 million barrels per day and the world consumes 80-85 ([www.eia.doe.gov]), that doesn’t constitute a majority by any stretch.

  96. notallcompaniesareevil says:

    @Dakine: I’m no fan of slavery, and am somewhat offended that you think that.

  97. notallcompaniesareevil says:

    @TinyBug: “I don’t recall anyone at all in this entire thread advocating taxes on the consumers. ” See here: rellog. A gas tax is a consumer tax as it would be designed to increase the price of gasoline (this would achieve the reduction in consumption that has numerous benefits).

  98. BoA vs. Countrywide, what a waste. The HMOs dodged an easy bullet here.

  99. sisedi says:

    There are so many conspiracy theorists on consumerist, their heads combined could focus a beam of light / hatred / stupidity more powerful than the world has ever known.

  100. atypicalxian says:

    How the heck did Diebold beat Best Buy? Established/empirically provable badness vs. conspiracy theories. Just do a Consumerist search of entries (42 Diebold/937 Best Buy).

  101. Spiny Norman says:

    I’m just hating on the brackets! Clear Channel would be right there if they hadn’t of faced off against that mega-power, Countrywide.

  102. Crazytree says:

    in my professional opinion…

    American Airlines f’n sucks!

  103. ibanix says:

    @Skankingmike, re: Exxon 116 billion.

    Microsoft – Revenue: US $44.3 Billion (2006)

    So we should crucify Microsoft too?

    Do you realize that the huge revenue is because they sell millions upon million of gallons of oil per day? You expected they were going to somehow find it, pump it out of the ground, clean it, refine it, and ship it…. cheaply?

    Use your brain, seriously.

  104. rellog says:

    @notallcompaniesareevil: Here’s the thing… Lay didn’t lose everything like people invested in Enron did. He had quite a bit in his wife’s name and was allowed to keep his mansion in Texas. I don’t think that it was simply bad decision making. He broke the law, he knew it, and he knew what the ramifications for other would be. His greed was to blame, and while greed itself is not criminal, his actions to satisfy that greed was.
    Lest I be called a liar about his worth…
    [www.motherjones.com]

    And I could care less….yes a small part of me cares what you think… damn my need to fit in!!!! :)

  105. rellog says:

    @notallcompaniesareevil:I do believe the point is that Americans consume the majority, compared with all other individual countries. As a single country, we consume about 25% of all oil produced, which far exceeds that of any other country (though China’s up and coming.) Though per capita, we’re at a measly #15
    [www.nationmaster.com]

    Stupid Virgin Islanders…. (Is that what they’re called?)

    @TinyBug: I as well as notallcompaniesareevil advocated higher federal or local taxes. It is the only way to reduce consumption and find new energy alternatives.

  106. notallcompaniesareevil says:

    @rellog: Don’t know the details, but everything I’d seen was that he was wiped out. Regardless, I wouldn’t want to trade places with him (even if he were alive). As for the majority thing, there is a simple definition of majority and the fact is no country consumes a majority of the oil in the world. Majority compared to any other country? Does not compute. If the point is that we consume a lot of oil (we do!), there are other ways to show that. The per capita thing is news to me–I always figured the U.S. was the highest.

  107. Novaload says:

    I can’t believe Microsoft was beaten by a near-extinct airline. I can choose not to fly,or which company to use but unless I have a Mac, I can’t get away from Gates and his planning/thinking for me. Vista, anyone? Anyone?

  108. coren says:

    @atypicalxian: Plus, which one is more likely to effect you personally? I’ve never had a bad customer service experience with Diebold…

    I’m a little ticked Comcast took out Ticketmaster. At least with cable/internet/phone you have a choice. Who do you buy tickets from if not ticketmaster? The scalpers who charge you more for their ticketmaster bought tickets?

  109. notallcompaniesareevil says:

    @coren:

    Plus, which one is more likely to effect you personally? I’ve never had a bad customer service experience with Diebold…

    If you do believe that Diebold steals elections (I haven’t seen any credible evidence), you appear to be looking at it in the wrong way. It’s like saying you have no problem with Al Qaeda because they haven’t killed you.

  110. coren says:

    @notallcompaniesareevil: Ok, I’ve yet to see any proof either. And the thing is, this is about the consumer fighting back, that’s the point of this site. Arming people so they’re well-informed with how to deal with companies that they deal with, how to get the deals, how not to get screwed.

    Diebold? Doesn’t fit. Best Buy fits bigtime.

  111. anatak says:

    So I’m going to bet on an Exxon v Countrywide battle royale in the finals.

    Countrywide, FTW

  112. JeffM says:

    Microsoft beat US Air- you’re kidding right?