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Wal-Mart, Corporate Citizen

Wal-Mart is working to open stores in several locations around Portland in the next few years. This article discusses the probable effects if thier efforts succeed.
Attention Please... .Wal-Mart is coming. Their sights are set on Portland, and they want you to save money soon! Location scouts are considering sites in SE Portland, Beaverton, and Gresham, and your neighborhood may be the next place to save.

When Wal-Mart opens, they will contribute many things to our community. They will create jobs, pay taxes, provide affordable products to Portland, and maybe even build a traffic-light or sidewalk.

Wall Mart employs an army of handsome consultants and lobbyists to repeat these high points at every possible opportunity. Nobody can argue with the benefits of Wal-Mart, they really do all the things they say. Their colors are also red, white, and blue.

However, if you look just a little bit deeper—say, the last two paragraphs of most major media stories about Wal-Mart—the value of their community contribution vanishes.

Wal-Mart will create jobs, but probably less than will be lost when local businesses that cannot compete close. Nearly all Wal-Mart jobs will be lower paid than the jobs lost, which depresses Portland's economy. Sure, Wal-Mart prices will be low, but if you lose a decent job and replace it with $8/hour, no health care, and a free blue vest, you might decide you want the old prices back.

The effects of Wal-Mart will not be evenly distributed in portland. For every laid-off worker, or family that looses health insurance, someone else will get a $29 dvd player, or Gigantic Bag of Doritos for only $3.99—you might be lucky.

But in the long run, the effects Wal-Mart will trickle down. Portland will spend millions of dollars at our new SuperCenters. Then, our economy will contract as our money leaves in armored trucks bound for Arkansas .

But, Wal-Mart will pay taxes, exactly as much as they must. When Wal-Mart opens, however, you can bet they will do everything possible to avoid them—maybe even set up a few yards outside of city limits. They will defiantly spend millions on aggressive lobbying for tax breaks, wage-law exemptions, and zoning variances, because it works.

And the taxes they pay will probably not equal the financial burden they impose. In most states, Wal-Mart employees are the largest recipients of taxpayer supported social services like Medicaid. Their employees will probably need to be on the Oregon Health Plan, because Wal-Mart provides benefits less often than most employers .

In the long run, Portland will pay dearly for the low prices Wal-Mart brings


 http://jasonmaxfield.tblog.com/




Supplemental Facts:

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is the world's largest retailer, with $285.2 billion in sales in the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2005.

According to Wal-Mart's own website, they employ 1.6 million associates, and only 568,000 (36%) receive health insurance. Those lucky enough to be covered pay "as little as" $151.57 a month for a family. [link]/




"We're proud of what we've accomplished; we've just begun." - Sam Walton, Wal-Mart Founder.

homepage: homepage: http://jasonmaxfield.tblog.com/

Activism, opportunities 11.Sep.2005 13:43

concerned

Does anyone know if there is a group workig regionwide to oppose walmart period. It seems like a better idea than relying on spontaneaus grassroots action in every comunity walmart targets.

It's nice to see gresham stepping up, but it would be nice if there was a metro wide group out in front of walmart and ready with facts immediatly no matter where they try to locate. Could we petition Metro to bar out of state big box stores in the entire metro area. I know it's a long shot, but it would bring the issue out to the entire relevant community.

Thanks for the good article, jason.

Sprawl-Busters 11.Sep.2005 19:37

buy local

Sprawl-Busters and Wake Up Wal-Mart are the top Wal-Mart opposition groups, as far as I can tell.

 http://www.sprawl-busters.com/

 http://www.wakeupwalmart.com/
(though they seem at first glance to be more a Wal-Mart REFORM than OPPOSITION group)



Other groups that oppose Wal-Mart:

 http://www.againstthewal.com/

 http://walmartwatch.com/

 http://www.onwardoregon.org/

 http://www.notanotherwalmart.org

 http://www.greshamfirst.org/

 http://www.savecedarmill.com/

 http://www.nosellwoodwalmart.com/

stop it once and for all 11.Sep.2005 21:33

anon

Get a county ordinance passed against businesses moving in that do not meet certain humanitarian, environmental, and other standards. There's no limit to the number of people who would sign on to such a thing. Before you start making the case for such a thing, DO by all means hook up w/ your representatives and ask them about the feasibility of it. Do this in Multnomah County and Washington County and then anti-Walmart fights will be in smaller towns. Unfortunately, they're well-financed, so they will try every way they can to fight such a thing.

anon, why don't you follow your own advice? 13.Sep.2005 14:11

buy local

This is typical of Indymedia, someone posting saying "here's what I think you should do".

Why don't you lead an effort like the one you describe? Create a temporary email address, get feedback, do research, talk to representatives?

It's a great idea, I'd do this myself if I wasn't already swamped in projects of my own.

Computer-terminal activism will lead to nothing.

buy local, that's a good question 13.Sep.2005 21:07

anon

In point of fact, I am working towards that goal, but in a small way. Like you, I am stretched thin and don't have the resources to lead. Nothing is worse than an armchair quarterback, so I don't begrudge you calling me on it. I have led before and may lead again, but in the mean time, I really thought it would be a shame not to share the idea since there are many people who don't know that localities have the legal power to craft such policy. I always hope that there may be somebody reading who will take an idea and run with it.

6 wal-mart proposals in the metro area 14.Sep.2005 17:04

shop smart, shop s-mart

6 wal-mart proposals in the metro area (source: oregonian)

Won an appeal in Oregon City
About to go through the application process in Cornelius
Appealing the City of Gresham decision
Has not come in for an application in Portland
Looking at a site near Hillsboro that Wal-Mart previously applied for
Going through the application process in Beaverton

Gresham Hearing 16.Sep.2005 23:28

Marik

The Gresham appeal hearing is Sept 28th @ 9:00am. I can't recall if it's at city hall or not..there's signs posted at the site which is on 182 and Powell.


I Pledge Allegiance to The USMA 25.Oct.2005 14:01

Drenchlands drenchlands@comcast.net

I pledge allegiance to the United Sprawl Marts Of America. Hey, have you noticed that all of America is basically one big sprawl mart?. It is a little too late to start whining now. You people have to be kidding, take a good look around.
This is how Drenchlands views Walmart. let 'em build 'em. If you activists want more people to join your vanishing anti-war marches then maybe all those pissed off unemployed or no health care "regular" folks might help you swing things toward something worth while. (Drenchlands would be down for it, wouldn't you?) No positive changes have occurred for any social system unless there was a strong minority that can establish sympathy (Martin Luther King) or a (at least on the cusp) majority with the main-stream media on their side (the Vietnam war protests)(Gandhi). Another way is straight up violent revolution. But that "is" a war is it not? (American Revolution) and if all the anarcho activists took up weapons at this point in time they would be committing suicide and would be portrayed as "out-of-control Hippy Freaks"(WTO protest) by the main stream media. So, Drenchlands says, build 100's if not 1000's of Wal-marts, when there is no one left to afford to buy a $29 DVD player something might actually take place. In case you people haven't noticed this Empire is already in decline and is desperately clinging on and making bold attempts (Iraq War) to sustain it a little further. But, the new empires are on the way already. Just imagine a bunch of Americans having to relocate to New Delhi or Hong Kong just to find "the Indian (Chinese) Dream" and establish ghettos where all the locals will warn visitors not to go into the American side of town because it is dangerous. Ha Ha!!!
Hey have any of you actually been to a Wal Mart? There really isn't much there of interest and you can take a look at what a "real" American looks like. It's scary!! Boo Halloween
So, I pledge allegiance to the flag of the USMA and to the police state for which it stands. One shopping mall under God. Indivisible, with credit and financing to all (regardless of past credit history)
Again all hate mail will be answered  drenchlands@comcast.net

I Pledge Allegiance To The USMA 25.Oct.2005 15:30

Drenchlands Drenchlands@comcast.net

I pledge allegiance to the United Sprawl Marts Of America. Hey, have you noticed that all of America is basically one big sprawl mart?. You people have to be kidding, take a good look around.
This is how Drenchlands views Walmart. let 'em build 'em. If you activists want more people to join your vanishing anti-war marches then maybe all those pissed off unemployed or no health care "regular" folks might help you swing things toward something worth while. No positive changes have occurred for any social system unless there was a strong minority that can establish sympathy (Martin Luther King) or a (at least on the cusp) majority with the main-stream media on their side (the Vietnam war protests)(Gandhi). Another way is straight up violent revolution. But that "is" a war is it not? (American Revolution) and if all the anarcho activists took up weapons at this point in time they would be committing suicide and would be portrayed as "out-of-control Hippy Freaks" by the main stream media. So, Drenchlands says, build 100's if not 1000's of Wal-marts, when there is no one left to afford to buy a $29 DVD player something might actually take place. In case you people haven't noticed this Empire is already in decline and is desperately clinging on and making bold attempts (Iraq War) to sustain it a little further. But, the new empires are on the way already. Just imagine a bunch of Americans having to relocate to New Delhi or Hong Kong just to find "the Indian (Chinese) Dream" and establish ghettos where all the locals will warn visitors not to go into the American side of town because it is dangerous. Ha Ha!!!
Hey have any of you actually been to a Wal Mart? There really isn't much there of interest and you can take a look at what a "real" American looks like. It's scary!! Boo Halloween
So, I pledge allegiance to the flag of the USMA and to the police state for which it stands. One shopping mall under God. Indivisible, with credit and financing to all (regardless of past credit history)

List of new stores 16.Nov.2005 21:59

WalMart Bucks

Wal-Mart Watch  http://walmartwatch.com has posted a corporate memo of Wal-Mart's planned store openings for the next 14 months, including all expansions, new superstores, etc.. Oregon stores are listed; none in Portland.  http://walmartwatch.com/docs/walmart-openings-2006.pdf

Wal-Mart Shows Its Hand 16.Nov.2005 22:13

BeenThere

A corporate memo of Wal-Mart Store openings for the next 14 months has emerged. Portland's not on the list yet:
 http://walmartwatch.com/docs/walmart-openings-2006.pdf
See AP Story:
 link to news.yahoo.com