Walmart’s High Cost of Low Prices Threatens Linden

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Voice of the People by James J. Devineby James Devine

LINDEN — The battle between ShopRite and Walmart is one taxpayers should know about because the deck is stacked against a company with a reputation of caring for the community, good shopping values, generous treatment of employees and corporate responsibility.

The titan in this picture is Walmart, a greedy corporation that has wrecked cities and towns across the nation by undermining competitors and exporting American jobs to overseas suppliers.

Walmart, which already operates a regular store and a Sam’s Club outlet in Linden, wants to build a superstore on the site previously occupied by a General Motors manufacturing facility.

ShopRite has lobbied and taken the city to court in an effort to prevent the unfair competitor from opening a community-killing SuperWalmart on the GM site.

Some city officials believe every construction project is a good thing, because building adds value to taxable property, but Wal-Mart store openings kill three local jobs for every two they create.

It also makes no sense to drive dozens of smaller retail stores out of business in order to accommodate one because that would only wipe out the land value of ratables currently contributing to the tax base.

According to a landmark 2009 study by Loyola University, within two years of Walmart’s opening in Chicago’s struggling West Side in September 2006, 82 local stores went out of business.

Research also shows that the big-box giant’s promises of jobs, jobs and more jobs can propel communities straight to poverty.

Low wages make Walmart the biggest welfare queen in America today! So many employees are on public assistance, the cost of welfare benefits to Walmart workers was estimated at $3 billion a year.

Several years ago, Walmart started demanding that suppliers export jobs to low wage countries, where manufacturing workers toil in slave-like conditions, while also demanding every corporate subsidy from governments in places where they located stores.

American manufacturing is becoming a faint memory because of policies and conditions created by Walmart, an example of global corporate greed and not the kind of economic development Linden needs.

While it is a large brand name, ShopRite is actually a combine of small businesses owned by individuals and families who are often connected to the neighborhoods they serve.

Many ShopRite stores are individually owned and the Wakefern corporation behind the brand started out as a collective buying club built by small grocers who wanted to compete with bigger competitors.

ShopRite and Wakefern are the kind of American success story that giant corporations like Walmart are trying to snuff out. Linden taxpayers should not buy into the corporate con job and they need to inform local officials that any deal with the devil needs to be rejected.


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