Friday, December 18, 2009

Costco Protects Palin From Tomatoes By Taking Them Off Shelves

Costco Protects Palin From Tomatoes By Taking Them Off Shelves

OK this is PRICELESS. Literally. Costco, a huge place with one very annoying rule, they do NOT ACCEPT FOODSTAMPS, yet they want to sell food, in bulk, to large families, in a ddepressed economy, with a lot of poeple out of work, many of whom are on foodstamps recently took ALL THE TOMATOES OFF THE SHELVES becasue Sarah Palin showed up there, and they wanted to throw them at her.

Now THAT is really big business and Republicans taking care of each other. And they complain about the UNIONS. SHEESH


  1. Maybe they wanted to avoid a big mess to clean up and lawsuits that would surely come from any people getting hurt.

    Sounds reasonable to me.

    I'm unsure about the foodstamp issue. Depending on the overhead to process them and the potential reduction of margin (does a "foodstamp dollar" equal a "real dollar?") there could be issues.

    Costco runs a real tight ship.

  2. Mahalo for your comment, Eddie!

    Well, I would like to address the humorous and then the more serious aspects of this.

    I worked for Costco for a little while, along with many other local Kauai residents when they first opened shop here. They wooed us hard.
    In the beginning, we were upset at them because they took a public park to build on.
    (Do not ask how they got this, they just did. The park included the only amusement park on the whole island.
    Anyway, they convinced us to let them in by assuring us that they were here for our local LARGE Hawaiain families here, and were here to help us.What we did not realize is that they do not take foodstamps. Now over here, even people with moderate incomes could use foodstamps to survive because of high food prices here.
    When we worked there we noticed that they flew in support staff, housed them here and that they were from midwest states, mostly mid west bible belt, or incorporated company people with many years with Costco.
    The reason why they do not take foodstamps was explained to me by a few supervisors when I was there, which was when it first opened that Costco does not believe in that. The policy is not to enable people to be on the system.
    However, costco, due to the economic downturn has now seen the error of their ways, and is now considering allowing foodstamps at some of their stores. Because they realize they are losing money now because no body can afford to shop there for food. Because they build their stores in "have and have not" communities where there is a clear separation between those whom are wealthy and those whom are not. The poorer working class families make up the larger population in each of these areas, therefore now, costco sees it will now be losing a lot of money as more people need to go onto the system, as many formerly well off people now find themselves in need of assistance themselves.
    (Costco says no deal for food stamp recipients)
    Costco says it will start accepting food stamps at its warehouse clubs nationwide after testing them at stores in New York.
    Costco to accept food stamps nationwide
    Costco to accept food stamps nationwide after test program does better than it expected
    AP News
    Oct 28, 2009 12:09 EDT
    Costco says it will start accepting food stamps at its warehouse clubs nationwide after testing them at stores in New York.
    It's a big about-face for a retailer that has catered to the bargain-hunting affluent — and a sign of the grim reality facing retailers and their customers. Food-stamp users recently hit a record 36 million.
    Costco Wholesale Corp. began accepting food stamps at its New York stores this year under political pressure. The company doubted many would use them but saw a strong response and will accept them in at least half its stores nationwide by Thanksgiving.
    Source: AP News
    (here is the about face by the company. There have been many more articles written on this subject as well.
    Costco has been rabid in their support of Sarah Palin. They have hosted numerous booksignings for her, given free food, and shelter to the people standing out in the line, and provided heavy security and an insular environment for her booksignings.
    Now, the removal of tomatoes I found very hilarius. Apparently no other soft vegetable or fruit could be used to pelt Sarah Palin with. Not to mention any other thousands of food items in the store that could have been purchased to throw at her. Just tomatoes.
    ANd of course no one would have thought that someone could have just brought tomatoes with them from home, or purchased them from somewhere else. DId not even cross their minds.
    THey do not care about disenfranchising their other shoppers who might not appreciate Sarah Palins racist and horrible personal and political philosophies, and leave the store in disgust, or just not shop there at all that day.Thanks for your comment, Edie! You are welcome to keep this going!

  3. The 3 reasons why Costco was concerned about food stamps, as given in the NYT article, are valid.

    Once proven that each reason could be overcome at no (apparent?) material profit loss, Costco food stamps now becomes a good biz idea.

    They run on tight tight that the recently dumped all Coke products because Coke wouldn't give them the price they required. So they don't back down.

    This must, then, have been a new biz opportunity for them and I'll be they wished they had done this long ago.

    As to Palin book signing...who cares? It's a warehouse store! If anybody is going to get their nose bent out of shape and stop shopping there just because they don't like an "invited guest" for a day or so...they should get a life.

    I wouldn't trade in my Costco savings if they had the devil himself promoting hot sauce!

  4. Haha. Well, I found your post so interesting, that I dedicated a whole new blog posting to it. It is the "Should Costco's take foodstamps" link. In it, there is a thread that I linked to that everyone might find real interesting. All these people gave their opinions, and boy were there a bunch of high nosed answers let me tell you. It was pretty shameful. But at least it was G-rated. It was on a food blog of all things.

    It would be interesting to see people read those comments. I think people would get a whole different take on just WHY Costco has REALLY not wanted food stamps at their stores.

    I know, it sounds just a tad "conspiracy theorish..." but check it out, and tell me what you think.

  5. Just because Costco is a "members only" place doesn't mean it's Neiman Marcus or something.

    Maybe Costco mgt in the past thought foodstamp acceptance would mean "tramps and street people" running through the stores (after they bought their membership).

    I think that if foodstamps fulfills Costco's margin requirements (no overhead collecting from the govn't) they should do it. You can't buy non-food items with foodstamps anyway.

    If the stores become havens for "riff raff" hanging out to pass their day, then kill the program.

  6. OK, so you are aware that Costcos has huge contracts with the military for purchasing, and that is a government organization?

    Another comment, actually the whole tone of your comment, almost did not pass moderation by me, as I do not allow comments of a racist, or racial profiling or stereotyping sort of nature. But I thought perhaps I would give you the benefit of the doubt.

    Eddie, did you just call people that use foodstamps to make monthly purchases for food that they need "riff raff"? You didn't did you"? And just a few days before Christmas too?

    Eddie, Eddie you disapoint me, Eddie. I had faith in you.

    You believe that "tramps and street people" would run through the store? Well, I have to admit, most kids LOVE running through that store. The aisles are HUGE, and the carts are fun to ride.

    I found your comment strange however, since in Costco, don't they give out free samples of food? If your idea was valid, then shouldn't they be doing that right now as we speak? Hordes of "riff raff" and street people running through Costcos eating free handouts of food? I mean wouldn't this be better than say, the government providing food stamps for people to use to purchase food that can be redeemed by a vendor for actual money?

    Now, the term "riff-raff." I suppose you are talking about someones clothing. Like maybe shorts, a sloppy shirt, and a pair of slippers and a backwards golf visor? Like what Sarah Palin was wearing on the beach when she was visiting? Is that what you meant by "riff raff?" Were you talking say, attire, or skin color/ethnicity. I didn't quite catch that part.

    Could you elaborate a bit more on that?

  7. The 'riff raff" comment applies to any "undesirable person" who would generally be barred from any commercial establishment. It does not equate to foodstamp users unless such users also exhibited the physical characteristics that generally mark them as outside of "normal" society and would be considered unwelcome in the majority of establishments.

    The fact that Costco has government contracts is fine with me.

    The "free food" stations are for samples only, enticing shoppers to buy that product. In my Costco, kids can't take samples without express approval of parents. No one is allowed to "graze" at a station.

    As I said before, I'm all for Costco taking foodstamps IF, in their sole opinion, it meets their business and profit model. I would not expect them to lose money directly or indirectly as a function of foodstamp acceptance unless they chose to do so as a "community give-back" thing.

    Maybe they don't want the hasstle of turning down someone trying to use foodstamps to buy "inappropriate items" such as tobacco, booze, etc. No "confrontations".

    At any rate, members must still pay the fee to join and, I'm sure, meet the minimum standards of "public decorum" in order to enter, as one would expect of any other commercial establishment.

    Don't be such a hair-trigger. Do you have a "I [heart] the ACLU" poster on your wall, or something?

  8. Actually, yes I do have that poster on my wall, And a few others too. (haha).

    SO lets get back again, then to the overall "tone" of your postings. They are very gentlemanly and polite, but I sense something "deeper" in them, however. Now, me, I am a woman that just says it straight. Beating around the bush is not my forte. Do you, Sir, feel that people on foodstamps are less likely to be desirable in a public establishment, would be any other likely to cause a "ruckus" at a checkout line then anyone else, or in any other way are less able to "control themselves" or dispose of themselves appropriately in public? I mean at least as good enough to get into a Costcos, which is of course a five star experience, and has a dress code of high heels, prom dresses and spats and top hat as a prerequisite to getting in? I mean what did you wear to Costcos last time you went? And how did you conduct yourself? Were you able to tell, or to "profile" anyone else that was in that store as a possible "food stamp user?" Are you well aware that people who are on foodstamps regularly shop at other establishments that sell food items and pass their conduct codes, and don't make any more fusses at the check out lines than oh, say a disgruntled well dressed caucasian white protestant woman with no foodstanmps who is angry someone over charged her 6 cents for a tomato that she couldn't buy at Costco because Sarah Palin was in town?

    Frankly I am only a hair trigger when racism, bigotry, racial profiling, or hate mongering is an issue. A new way to do this, I have discovered is something I like to term as "economic profiling". Profiling people based on other peoples conception of their economic status, say someone on food stamps.

    Typically, foodstamp users, and welfare people try to dress better when they go to places, simply because when they use their foodstamps, they try to look as if they are working, which most are, by the way. Its just hard to work and afford to eat these days. I am sure, Eddie, that in your lifetime if you ever find yourself or any of your loved ones in the position of needing help, you will appreciate that people will not be "economically profiling" you, and watching your behavior or dress, or call you a "riff raff.

    Your comments are encouraged. Mahalo

  9. ANd also, just to clarify, taking foodstamps is not charity. THis is a Federally insured Government Program through the Agricultural Department. Guess what else you can buy with foodstamps? Seeds to grow food. TOo bad that Costco does not allow foodstamps, since a lot of people in rural areas may be able to use the seeds to grow their own food. Even in small pots or tiny pieces of earth a lot of food can be grown.

    The Ag program, also does not allow the following items to be purchased with foodstamps:

    Any alchohol or alchohol based products. This includes, vinegars and oils that have a n alchohol base. You cannot by say cooking wine, or cooking sherry, nor can you buy red wine vinegar either. You cannot buy say a rum soaked fruitcake either.

    Hot foods. You cannot buy anything in the store, such as Costcos famous rotisserie chicken. Because it is a hot food item, and has been cooked. That is why in most stored that sell hot chicken, they have a separate area where cold sandwiches, salads, and hot chicken (rotisserie), can be found so that foodstamp users can still get a decent meal on the go. When I was working 2 jobs and had foodstamps this was very helpful, I got my lunch/dinner on the road like this. (yes, I worked one fulltime job and one part time job that were minumum wage. Because I am a single parent and have kids at home, and i didn't make much I still was able to get some food stamps. It wasnt much, about 100.00 or so, but it sure helped.)

    You cannot buy cigaretts, medicines, or any product that is not actual food.

    There is legislation now being proposed which would prevent the sale of soda, candy, chips ect to foodstamp recipients as well. I am not quite sure how I feel about that yet. It might not be such a bad idea, but it might backfire and prevent people from baking lets say chocolate chip cookies for their families. That is a little ridiculous.

    hHe real situation is that the government reimburses the store 100 percent for the item, except for tax. It is a tax free purchase. What that means is, it is a tax write off for the store, which could conceivably benefit from having foodstamps at its facilities for that precise purpose. However, let us be very clear. Foodstamps are not free, and no one is giving away free food, so there is nothing charitable or giving back in accepting them. The store stands to make money and have a huge tax write off. THe real bottom line, is that many of the Costco executives feel as you do. THat people on foodstamps are less deserving to walk into their sacred store and save on bulk items. Their primary target for bulk items is the military, and businesses who can come in and purchase bulk from them. Certainly not the average struggling family.


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