Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Thoughts on the second Rapid City Wal-Mart

To: letters@rapidcityjournal.com

I have watched with dismay as the recorded Wal-Mart debate (at least what I've read) has been mostly about traffic and scenery. My family has chosen not to shop at Wal-Mart or Sam's Club, and the articles and letters I've read in the Journal don't seem to describe our motivations very well. Although the low prices and jobs seem on the surface to benefit low-income people, in the end, the facts show when local business is replaced with Wal-Mart, everyone loses but Wal-Mart. The corporation has a well-documented history of worker exploitation and sex discrimination, and has aggressively taken advantage of amoral labor practices abroad to enhance its profits. We could use the small savings that shopping at Wal-Mart would give us, and we do not judge others that choose to shop there, but it's simply not worth it to us.

It's a shame the truly important issues, the ones about economic justice (which, by the way, are far more common Biblical themes than the ones that usually appear in this space), have not been a large part of the conversation. It looks like the second Wal-Mart store is coming, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't make an effort to think more about these things in South Dakota.


  1. Anonymous10:17

    RR -- You must not have been paying much attention, which is unfortunate if you are going to comment, because the economic impact and "economic justice" were a leg of the opposition to Wal-Mart. Please get your facts straight.

  2. I agree, I didn't make any of the hearings... but it just seemed that the social justice angle had no traction...most of the noise was about
    traffic and sprawl, at least in the RCJ's coverage.

    Most of the RCJ letters I've seen have been largely about sprawl issues, with a few refuting the economic issues, and charge of "whining" about something that "we all know everyone wants."

    And, notably *nothing* that I saw from the Pennington Dems. If so, they sure didn't get much coverage.

  3. I have to add to give credit that it was the Penn Dems that got me thinking about it again by hosting a talk at Dunn Bros last Friday about Wal-Mart. My wife's comment was "too little, too late" but I made the point in my letter that we can't give up, even if Son Of Wal-Mart is built on Hwy 16.