Thursday, November 18, 2010

low prices at a cost

Before you even start reading this, let me apologize for the tone of it – I usually try to stay away from topics that could be considered political but this time I just have to open my big mouth, er… keyboard, and say something.

A new Walmart Supercenter opened in our town. It happened a little over three weeks ago. I haven’t been there yet – and I plan to hold out as long as I can. You see, I am a reader of statistics and I know what a new Super Wal-mart in a small town means – it means that some small family owned businesses will probably close. And statistically, for every Supercenter that opens, two grocery stores will close. I’m not making this stuff up.

I think Wal-mart started out as a well-meaning store. But over time it has become a dirty dealing, no good, yellow-bellied store. It is the retail equivalent of Satan’s little brother. If you don’t believe me, read some of these statistics!

These low prices are really available because they aren’t paying most of their workers enough to live without government aid. People, if you think you are really saving money by shopping at Wal-mart, you are being Punk’d! What you save there, you pay back in taxes to support the workers and their families in aid programs. Besides, when did it become so bad to support local businesses?

This situation is complicated by the fact that we have a very, VERY short list of “other places to shop” in our town. I wasn’t opposed to the old Wal-mart – it came with the town as far as I was concerned since it was here before I was. But this new giant monster of a Wal-mart makes me mad.

I remember once when I lived in Boulder, Colorado seeing some hippie women who demonstrated their distaste for the new Borders bookstore in town. These women chained themselves to the front door, which also chained the doors shut. I’m not this extreme (maybe because the doors at Wal-mart are automatic and there aren’t any handles to wrap the chains around…) but I do want to take a stand.

So in the last three weeks, I have found other places to shop. At one point I thought I was going to have to break down and go – I couldn’t find those little metal hooks that hook Christmas ornaments onto the tree. But I used my amazing imagination and made my own from a box of paperclips. I felt like MacGyver!

I will give Wally World one thing – they make it convenient to get everything you could possibly need in one place. NOT shopping there means that I have to make more stops. Like, instead of being able to go into one place to get canned beets, a big screen TV, and fishing bait, I have to go into (gasp) two stores. I know, I know – I am wasting so much time!

You don’t have to jump on my bandwagon. I’m “just sayin….”