All these malcontents, as I call them, I’m beginning to think of them as elitist. I don’t think they speak for the average person. The local people say, "We want them."- Dr. Kenneth Stone, author of studies on the effects of Wal-Mart Supercenters on Iowa and Mississippi counties, on Wal-Mart opponents
The front page of Monday's The Wall Street Journal reported that Wal-Mart, with profit margins still good but down, is encountering politically muscular resistance in its latest push into Northeastern urban centers. It quoted Mayor Thomas Merino of Boston as saying, "Wal-Mart does not suit the clientele we have in the city of Boston. They don't pay wages that are sufficient. Their benefit structure is poor. I don't need employers like that in our city."- Longtime Wal-Mart critic John Brummett
That was as thoroughly arrogant and snobbish as any public pronouncement I've encountered since Barbara Bush last spoke. The mayor was presuming to speak for low-income people in his constituency. He was presuming to declare them not interested either in Wal-Mart's discounted staples or its jobs.
Then the article reported that the mayor was actively courting Target, which is Wal-Mart with a varnished veneer, and which has come under similar criticism for its wage and benefit structure.
That's pure snobbery against Wal-Mart...This Wal-Mart backlash may have lashed back entirely too far.
In contrast to this image, however, critics say that in terms of wages and benefits, working conditions, sweatshop-style foreign suppliers, and effects on local retail communities, big box Target stores are very much like Wal-Mart, just in a prettier package.- Kari Lydersen, "Target: Wal-Mart Lite"
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