It makes sense, I guess. Washington is a Blue State. Idaho is a Red State. You would expect some political differences between the student bodies.
In an editorial in last Friday’s Argonaut titled “Ambivalence rules debate”, Jon Ross looked at the current hysteria in Moscow over a Wal-Mart Supercenter and reached a very logical and thoughtful conclusion. Compare his cogent piece with the by-the-book PC polemic in today's Evergreen.
For months, many Moscow residents have been up in arms about Wal-Mart. A sizeable portion of the population thinks bringing a supercenter to Moscow would be the end of hometown business. The other side seems to believe a supercenter would not only thrive, but also encourage other businesses to set up in the town. Maybe there is no clear-cut answer in this situation, but The Argonaut believes a supercenter would have little effect on Moscow. Absolutely. Lost in all the buttons, posters, blogs, mailing lists, forums, group photos, petitions, dinners, etc. is the fact that there is ALREADY a Wal-Mart in Moscow. HELLO?!?!?!! A Supercenter would only add a grocery store, gas station, tire & lube center, etc. How could it affect downtown Moscow businesses anymore than they have been affected in the last 15 years?
Wednesday’s Planning and Zoning meeting brought these two parties together, and the complete airing of grievances prevented any decisions from being made. That sounds familiar. PARD’s blowhards pushed our appeal hearing into an unnecessary third day by “testifying” four or five times about the same thing.
According to the Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development, anti-Wal-Mart groups exist in order to “protect and encourage local businesses.” To quote TV Reed, “that’s like the foxes watching the henhouse”. Who in PARD owns a "local business" anyway? It is unclear which local businesses would be hurt by the new Wal-Mart. Over the past few months, seven businesses have closed their doors because of poor community support. Most of these have been restaurants, but Sam Goody has recently started closing procedures, and Choq-o-laut just closed. These businesses were not hurt by some gigantic big-box retailer, but by lack of patronage. And let’s not forget Penguin Electric and Burger King in Pullman. Stores open and close all the time. It’s the nature of business.
Another argument is that a big-box store would increase traffic flow on Mountain View Road. This may be true, but there are a minimal number of residences near the proposed site. This traffic would only mean that the condition of the roads in that area might need to be looked at.
This new Wal-Mart will be farther from campus, allowing for a longer trek for students. This might be a good thing. Although it is a longer walk, the path is paved with sidewalks. This new location could also introduce students to a new part of town and get them involved with the local businesses on the way to Wal-Mart. Just like here in Pullman; more traffic for our downtown stores.
One thing townspeople are forgetting is that there will always be a faction of “No Super Wal-Mart” people that wouldn’t be caught dead in the store. If these people work a convincing argument, they may increase their numbers and encourage more people to shop elsewhere. This would cause a chain reaction that would force Wal-Mart out of town. So, in a sense, even if a Wal-Mart supercenter was built in Moscow, it wouldn’t survive. Agreed. But the anti-Wal-Mart forces cannot rely on this because they know opposition to Wal-Mart is superficial and perfunctory, consisting mainly of public lip service. A recent poll showed that 63% of Americans would oppose a Wal-Mart opening in their community, yet 86% of Americans shop there at least once a year. That’s why the socialists have to use preemptive denials versus letting the free market decide.
Most of these arguments take place because people want to get bent out of shape about something. The new Wal-Mart won’t affect Moscow’s economy that much, so everyone should focus on something else to fight about. Amen. Couldn’t have said it better myself. Wal-Mart is just the cause du jour for the protest class. To quote one blogger:We have people whose lives are focused on criticizing and protesting against America. The protest class is mostly composed of college professors who were protesters in the 60's, and the impressionable youth they have basically brainwashed into believing that if it's American, it's bad.Or as George Will put it in a column yesterday about how a recent study showed that conservatives are happier than liberals:Liberals have made this the era of surly automobile bumpers, millions of them, still defiantly adorned with Kerry-Edwards and even Gore-Lieberman bumper stickers, faded and frayed like flags preserved as relics of failed crusades. To preserve these mementos of dashed dreams, many liberals may be forgoing the pleasures of buying new cars -- another delight sacrificed on the altar of liberalism.
But, then, conscientious liberals cannot enjoy autos because there is global warming to worry about, and the perils of corporate-driven consumerism, which is the handmaiden of bourgeoisie materialism. And high-powered cars (how many liberals drive Corvettes?) are metaphors (for America's reckless foreign policy, for machismo rampant, etc.).
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