Lo-wage WalMart jobs erode tax base |
October 1, 2002
Too many people in La Crosse have been bamboozled into the belief that a south
side WalMart would be a good thing.
We keep hearing about the hundreds of jobs this monstrosity might create.
What keeps getting overlooked is that these jobs typically start at $6.50/hour
or less, and precious few people see a double-digit hourly wage. Furthermore,
WalMart seems to have a nasty habit of pressuring employees into unpaid
overtime, and has even gone as far as to lock employees in the store after
theyve clocked out. (New
York Times, June 25). (This story was carried by many papers nationwide.
I wonder why the Tribune has neglected to pass along this important and
locally relevant story?)
It doesnt take a genius to figure out what will happen to the local tax
base when these hundreds of overworked and underpaid WalMart employees cant
afford to buy, improve or maintain decent homes.
We have a decent locally-owned supermarket and a respectable Wisconsin-owned
discount store up the street from this proposed blight. Why do we need to abandon
our fine local businesses just to send our money to a predatory corporation
WalMart drones will go on about low prices. They confuse price with
value. WalMart is infested with cheap junk from third-world sweatshops. In terms
of value, we are far better served at Main Street stores, where
the staff actually know and care about their products and their customers.
If this obscenity gets built, it will create a traffic nightmare. Those of us
who fought so hard to keep a new highway from being shoved down our throats
will have to contend with the WalMart people when they come crying for more
concrete (as they always do).
Every way you look at it, this WalMart deal is bad news. But I dont think
the city should walk away from it ... they should run like hell.