I only talk about Wal-mart's layoff for two reasons: 1) there is a lot of people complaining about how "unjust" they are and 2) there is this inherent "entitlement mentality".
First off, the Walton family do not owe anyone anything (unless of course they get sued for someone getting injured on their property). Second off, there are plenty of businesses going out of business. Wal-mart is doing what it can to stay in business. 2009 has been a rough year for those in other retail stores, and do not think for a second Wal-mart is omnipotent from going out of business. For all these people trying to nanny a crowd into believing that Wal-mart should show some compassion, stop it. These people do not actually know what the store figures usually are. We are losing money on some days while gaining on others. The Sam's Club I work at is doing good because we really put forth an effort to stay in business. So instead of pointing the finger at Wal-Mart and its shareholders, why not create a business that gives people jobs? Wal-mart is one of the highest suppliers of labor next to McDonald's.
Third, for those that say this would not happen if one was part of a union, I would say get off your high horse. Unions only drive up prices. When I went to Safeway to buy food, I couldn't get any there because the prices were too high for my budget. Unions drive up wages and prices. End the end the first jobs to be cut are actually union jobs. Look at the motor and culinary worker's union in Nevada. Las Vegas is a dead zone right now and most of those union workers have lost their job.
I would like to conclude here with a lesson from Aesop about the cricket and the ants.
The Cricket liked to play all day and not store food for the winter and the ants seeing that winter was around the corner wanted to prepare for the blizzard for they knew that hunting for food during winter would prove fatal to them.
One day the Cricket made a lewd comment towards the ants that went something like this: "Hey the sun is great out here. You should not bother with collecting breadcrumbs."
The ants reply was "When the sun is gone there will be snow in its place we must collect food so let us make haste".
The arrogant cricket blew them off and continued to sunbathe. One day, the sun was replaced by a cold wind and some snow. That is when the cricket started to look for food. But, there was none to be found. For it was too late. There were just blankets of snow in its place.
Starving and out in the cold, the cricket asked the ants for food and shelter. The ants replay was "we have prepared until Winter's end, you have done the same, for you'll never make it to spring again."
The moral of the story is people should not wait for bad things to happen to start to prepare for a loss. They should anticipate it ahead of time. Notice that the ants are like the frugal minded person. This person will whether any storm necessary, because they do not want to deal with the harshness of cold. So they do it ahead of time.
The cricket was frivolous with his food gathering. Nair-do-well attitudes towards the economy is one of the main reasons why there are so many people living in tent cities. For those that continue to blow off problems throughout life will be met with many unnecessary hardships.
There is still time to adjust to the economy but it is running out. So what are you going to be? A cricket or a ant?