Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Note from Dad:

After reading our most recent entry I received this e-mail from my dad and thought it served well as a reminder of how Wal-Mart affects some of our neighbors:

"Jessie Wessie (that's what he calls me),

Mom was showing me your blog, which was nice, but if you do not know it I will tell you we boycott walmart unless we are desperate. He (Wal-Mart) took a third of my business away from the store when he opened up the new one in back of my store, about 30 people lost their jobs at kroger and over a hundred at the meijers. Just to make you smarter,I will give you these facts. He is the worlds largest employer, in which the average employee makes $14,000 a year,and the poverty level in the usa is at $19,000. You have no insurance if you work their unless you have at least 4 years of employment and then you must pay a portion.I will lecture you when you come home.

Love ya Dad"

His facts are correct, and so is his heart. Wal-Mart creates poverty.

I understand the benefits of Wal-Mart as well though. In fact it was just this past week when I spent some time with Grandma in Chicago that she shared that she loves the newly opened Wal-Mart. It is a perfect fit for her limited income and in one trip she can get everything she needs vs. trasping around the city all day to gather what is on her list.

Great, another dichotomy of life to work through.


Robin said...

Aughhhh such a challenge... I don't know how to work through that one at the moment...

Well, anyway... have a great day!



dancanrun77 said...

Jess - I hate Wal-Mart. Unfortunately "He" is creating poverty in my current town as THE ONLY place to shop. I hate living next to Arkansas - I can smell the "His" stench.

Jake - you must call or e-mail me!

ama-gi said...

Your friend in Chicago is correct. Opening a Wal-mart in a new location doesn't magically force all the other stores in the area to close. They don't kidnap people off the street and force them to shop in their stores. People shop at Wal-mart because they choose to. They benefit from the products that Wal-mart offers and they willingly shop there because of that.

The same is true for their employees. A new Wal-mart store typically receives 4 to 8 times more job applications than they have positions to fill. A recent store opening in Chicago saw a record 25000 job applications submitted for just 325 positions. Are all of those job applicaants irrational? Are they leaving better jobs in order to work in a worse environment? More likely that once again these people perceive a benefit to working for Wal-mart and see a job there as an improvement over their current situation.

If you still dislike Wal-mart, take heart, nothing lasts forever. Every age has a Wal-mart type bogeyman that people fear and loathe because it happens to be in a seemingly dominant and unassailable position in the market. The Pennsylvania Railroad in the mid to late 1800's, Montgomery Wards Mail Order House, A & P Grocery stores; all were accused of killing off the "Mom and Pop" stores and causing harm to the communities they were serving. Yet they survived and thrived for a time specifically because the majority of people recognized the advantage these organizations offered. Yet, each of these were also eventually overtaken either as a result of unforeseen changes in the market or as the result of the growth of a competitor that was capable of outperforming them, or a combination of the two.

Mai said...

In Yakima, Wal-Mart has created the following:

*a 5-year battle over land use issues

* $2 million of taxpayer money spent on fighting THE very people that pay those taxes. (That is the folks against the building of a new one)

* And more taxpayer money to pay for improvements to the property so HE can build a new wal-mart in what is supposed to be a residental area. Bleh.