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goodbye pullman, WA

October 27, 2010

Tomorrow will be the first time I will be able to state that I live in a city with a Walmart.  Just the fact the word “Walmart” is in spellcheck should scare you, and that if not capitalized it is spelt wrong should scare the shit out of you. Walmart sets standards for wages and labor practices, w/ the average worker making $8 per hour, with no benefits besides substandard healthcare (we will get to healthcare in a minute).  42% of people who shop at Walmart make less than $40,000 per year.  This is significant because, as the largest employer in the United States, and of the 1.4 million people who shop at Walmart at least once a week, it wouldn’t be crazy to assume a large portion this 1.4 million people do shop at Walmart. Walmart is creating their own customers by holding workers at living wage, thus people who work at Walmart can only shop at Walmart.  As the unyielding economic power of being the largest company in the world, when examining Walmart don’t think only in economical figures. The products Walmart chooses to put on its shelve, at the specific price that they do, will determine the market of that specific good  for the community the store is located in.  This causes companies, in order to compete, to either outsource or go out of business because they cannot compete with such lowly priced, cheaply produced goods.  Remember the Huffy bikes in your neighborhood when you were growing up? Remember the Rubbermaid tupperware your mom kept leftovers in? Both of these companies went bankrupt because of the buying power of Walmart.  On average, 2 grocery stores close after the opening of a Walmart in a city. Pullman only has 2 grocery stores.

This is the hill that the new Super Walmart now rests.

Back to healthcare. Due to the poor healthcare provided by Walmart for its employees (it takes 2 years to qualify while working part-time), 60% receive Medicaid.  Therefore, it is on the tax payer’s to pay for these economically exploited workers to receive medical aid.

And sadly the first hit if you search “pullman walmart” is just news on the Moscow, Idaho Walmart opening in 2010

Pullman sold its small town truly American identity, to the race towards the economic bottom.

I haven’t seen this but I’m sure it addressed the same ideas I’m trying to provoke

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Alex permalink
    October 27, 2010 6:17 pm

    I’ve heard about the terrors of Walmart, haven’t seen the hard numbers though. Those are some depressing statistics… it’s too bad so many people make convenience their top priority.

    I can’t believe they’re opening a Walmart in Pullman though; the Moscow one wasn’t enough? What really makes me sad is how well it’s going to do… WSU is a big school full of a lot of students in a hurry, and they aren’t going to think twice about choosing the cheapest option over more sustainable solutions.

    I’m not too torn up over Pullman losing it’s small-town identity though, from what I saw it’s not much more than the bare-minimum infrastructure required to support a university. Of course I only lived there for a few months so I’m probably not in the best position to judge it’s character.

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