From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Inglewood says "No!" to Wal-Mart

April 7, 2004 7:52 AM

The residents of Inglewood rejected Wal-Mart last night despite a million dollar campaign by the company to convince them just how super a "Supercenter" would be. 61% voted against the store.

Mike Shimpock, an organizer opposing Wal-Mart:

What this shows is that Wal-Mart can't dupe people in this city to sign away their rights. If they spent $1 million here and lost by this margin, I doubt they'll try this elsewhere. They'll have to approach cities as equal partners.

More from the archive in Wal-Mart.

Inglewood says "No!" to Wal-Mart (04.07.2004)

Next Entry: "This is genocide" (04.12.2004)
Previous Entry: The War on Terror ... Almost as effective as the War on Drugs! (04.06.2004)

Read the 2 comments.

Paul Stone:

The L.A. Times article is excellent. Thanks for the link, Jim.

It's very clear from the article that the proposition was an attempt by Wal-Mart to bypass a city council which is hostile to it. As corporations become more powerful, I think we'll see them flex their muscles in this fashion more frequently. This is not a good thing, as corporations are singularly self-centered and focused on the bottom line, to the exclusion of all other factors.

What is mostly missing from the discussion about Wal-Mart is that Wal-Mart doesn't just create jobs out of thin air. Many of the jobs it creates arguably come at the expense of higher paid jobs at competing businesses. Wal-Mart's argument is basically the reverse of when Henry Ford increased worker wages, so that they could afford to purchase the cars they manufactured. Where Henry Ford helped to invent the middle class, Wal-Mart seems to be uninventing it.

Fri Apr 9 2004 12:05 PM

Paul Stone:

Just to be clear, I think Wal-Mart's argument is that workers make less money, but they are able to afford more goods, because Wal-Mart sells them for less. Ford's argument was that workers needed to be paid more, so there would be more customers for automobiles.

It may be unfair for me to compare a major retailer with a major manufacturer. Retail has a long history of discounters forcing down prices. It's arguable that low-skilled workers should be paid minimum wage. The problem is that the minimum wage with no health care is a path to poverty, not out of it, in southern California, and ultimately Wal-Mart workers will likely become a burden on the state, as the rest of us pick up the tab for Wal-Mart.

Fri Apr 9 2004 12:19 PM

Jim Gilliam
Jim Gilliam


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