Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Overwhelming Majority of 51

Don Pelton had another great letter to the editor in today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
Economist Steven Peterson’s recent report about Wal-Mart, commissioned by the Moscow Chamber of Commerce, includes these significant findings: wages paid by Wal-Mart in Latah County exceed the average wages paid in both Latah and Whitman counties in general merchandise stores, supermarkets and those stores in overall retail trade. The Peterson report is available at the Moscow chamber cffice.

Thus, the charge by Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development that Wal-Mart drags down local wages is wrong. Generally, Wal-Mart’s wages exceed by at least 10 percent wages paid by other retail employers in our area. Yet, PARD has not lifted a finger to help those other employees.

The apparent sole goal of PARD is to prevent Wal-Mart, which will probably bring more than $50 million annual retail sales to Pullman, from entering our city

The Peterson report also informs us that 46 percent of Americans shop at Wal-Mart on a weekly basis.

Another report (prepared by Wal-Mart itself) found that 85 percent of Americans shop at least once a year at Wal-Mart. Of the remaining folks, we know that more than 2 million sit in prison cells; millions are small children; more millions are lucky enough to have a spouse do the shopping; and yes, some people just prefer to shop elsewhere.

The remaining nonshoppers include the local folks who formed PARD. Long ago, this newspaper reported “about 51 people” met to form an anti-Wal-Mart organization. During my survey that many shoppers entered the Moscow Wal-Mart every 10 minutes.

Some PARD supporters have even compared Wal-Mart and its customers to slumming. In reality, Wal-Mart is as American as apple pie.
Ah, yes, that "overwhelming majority" of 51 we keep hearing so much about. And I wonder how many of that number are left. The transient lifestyle of a junior professor has taken it's toll: Leland Glenna, Tina Vona-Pergola, Jose Almillo, et. al. I even understand that Lu Laoshi himself is on a world tour now. Perhaps he's out looking for more people to call him a "hero."

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April E. Coggins said...

Or maybe Lu Laoshi is on his world tour to gather more signatures against Wal-Mart in Pullman! I wonder if he took his magic bus?

Paul E. Zimmerman said...

I just bought my licenses and tags for deer and grouse at the Walmart in Moscow, as there seems to be no place to buy them around Pullman. Washington state of course receives the proceeds from the issuance of such permits, but the $2.50 given to the dealer stays in Idaho. A small amount, certainly, but it's one more example of money that could be - and should be - here in Washington, but is now in Idaho. I think this is especially so since what I purchased was an official permit granted by Washington state!

April E. Coggins said...

I'm afraid that is a common situation in our "cooperative" community. Washington state is fairly liberal and allows free enterprise to prosper. Idaho is very restrictive and even protective of their retailers. If I cross the state line to display my product, I will get a very nasty visit from the Idaho State Patrol. Washington State has no reciprocal restrictions for out of state retailers. In other words, Idaho can come to my house, but I can't go to theirs.

BTW, Rennies Chevron on the corner of Paradise and Main sells Washington licenses or you can buy them online.

Paul E. Zimmerman said...

I'll remember Rennies for next season. I'm surprised my business partner didn't know about that, since he uses that Chevron and is friendly with the owner.