From the Moscow Pullman Daily News (online, Jan. 1)
My former neighbor, Burma Williams, wrote to the Daily News with another laundry list of Wal-Mart misconceptions (Dec. 30 & 31).
Jobs? National studies have shown repeatedly that within three years of the arrival of a new Wal-Mart, three jobs are destroyed for every two created.
Free enterprise? In the United States today free enterprise applies only to small companies; they are “free” to be gobbled up by giant corporations like Wal-Mart that feast on tax breaks and force taxpayers to subsidize their work force through state benefits.
Bringing other businesses? The Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development has in fact contacted a number of other companies about coming to Pullman. To cite one example, we were privy to talks about the Cordova with a developer who specializes in renovating historic theaters and building shops in the surrounding area, when the city precipitously approved a weaker plan. PARD has no objections to churches downtown, but the empty space around the Cordova attests to the loss of a better business opportunity.
Bishop Boulevard needs stoplights? Got me there Burma. I agree completely. Bishop is already a traffic mess. But since a Wal-Mart would turn Bishop into a parking lot, I suppose that would save us the need for new stoplights.
Dictating where to shop? Burma seems to have forgotten there is a Wal-Mart seven miles away. If she has trouble getting there, I’d be happy to do the neighborly thing and take her. She has a right to shop for shoddy sweatshop-made goods if she wishes. But I’d add that in the several years since I stopped shopping at Wal-Mart I have saved money on gas while supporting local merchants. Anyone comparing prices online will soon find that Wall-Mart seldom has the lowest price anyway, and by sometimes paying a bit more for goods that last longer I’ve saved a bundle.
T.V. Reed, Pullman
Hey, T.V. Can you clear up a few points for us?
When, where and by whom were these studies you keep citing about Wal Mart related job losses done?
Please define "shoddy sweatshop-made goods. When I shop at Wal Mart, I see the same brands carried by politically correct places such as Sears, Amazon, Target, Best Buy, Staples and others.
If Wal Mart seldom has the lowest price, just how are they more of a threat to local merchants than the online sources you seem to prefer?
Ooops! Was that the sound of you tipping your hand? Could it be that you don't shop local but buy on-line when you want to save money? Could it be that you and your friends are really just anti-Wal Mart union shills after all? Is your belated acknowledgement that Wal Mart already serves our community another slip? Could it be that you would rather just let Moscow keep reaping the benefit of our tax dollars rather than admit you are wrong?
While we're at it, let's talk about saving gas. Since we know a goodly portion of our citizens already make the trip, you must be an anti-environmentalist as well. Just think of all those trips in cars and how much gas is burned every day. Now, compare that to the amount of fuel required to service a local Wal Mart. Guess what? It saves a considerable amount of energy, even when you count lighting and air conditioning the space of the new store. So, while you sit home feeling smug about your position, think of all the damage you and your kind are doing to the environment and the fact you are supporting the oil companies of the world.
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