I took some time out of my day today to drive down the 290 to the 219 to ... you guessed it SPRINGVILLE ... to see the SuperWalMart down there firsthand.
First impressions were pretty good ... It wasn't "dirty," the employees didn't appear to be beat down and the businesses around it were thriving. In fact, I've been through Springville on numerous occasions and I can honestly say, there's MORE businesses there now that SWM is in town ... not less.
Personally, I'm not going to fall into a heap on the floor and cry in the fetal position if WalMart chooses against (or has the decision made FOR them) moving into the Lockport Mall spot, but I am waiting with open arms. I think Tops needs the competition ... and I can't see that it's going to hurt anyone else.
On discrimination against women:
I worked for the McDonald's Corporation for four years ... I understand corporate structure, the way things work and the way things happen. My last year with the company (my coupe de grace, in fact) was spent working at a franchise in Macedonia and Northfield, Ohio. Corporate types don't typically spend much time at franchise stores ... they're basically two different companies. But you see, there was an idiot manager in Macedonia, who blantantly mistreated a senior citizen who was employed there ... and a couple of the employees decided they wanted to form a union to prevent this type of thing from happening again. The idiot manager was fired post haste, but the union continued to try to form ... in came myself and a team of about six other McManagers ... to try to keep things in line. See, McDonald's didn't want the entire company to have to pay for the mistakes of one moron ...
I'm sure that WalMart has some @ssholes working for them. I'm sure that some people in upper management are prejudiced ... against women, minorities, gays, red-headed talkshow hosts, whatever. That's no reason for the company to be branded with the phrase "discriminatory." I'm quite certain Sam Walton's last breaths didn't utter, "never let the women succeed."
I can't speak to WalMarts decision to ban emergency contraceptives. Wasn't there when the decision was made. But I'm sure it was a calculated business decision (based on trying to not piss off the right-wing Christian types) and it's not my business to run. There are a lot of things I wish WalMart sold. I'm not going to boycott them cause they don't.
As for your four points to WalMart hell ...
1. employing hundreds of illegal aliens
Is it just me, or did WalMart turn in hundreds of employees just recently ... that it found to be illegal aliens. I remember the story read like this:
WalMart turns in hundreds of illegal aliens it mistakenly employed.
2. coercing employees to work overtime and then not paying them for it
Do you really think this is the company philosophy or can we again go back to a couple of instances in which idiots ended up managing stores or shifts and cared more about their asses than the law?
3. Very conservative approach to mainstream media like magazines and CD's
This is going to sound funny ... but I don't care what a company's politics is. If you feel the need to build a "LeftMart" so that Al Franken and friends will have a place to sell books and CDs, then so be it. Free enterprise. I don't want the government to force WalMart to sell books, CDs or contraceptives that they don't want to sell.
4. employing almost exclusively overseas labor, possibly child
It seems to me like you're grasping at straws here. If you're talking about companies like Nike that make their products overseas for pennies on the dollar and then sell them here for dollars on the penny, then, I agree with you, they're bad. But explain to me how WalMart fits into this scenario.
I gotta tell you, overall, I'm very irritated about this whole WalMart issue. Sometimes the small mindedness in Western New York is overwhelming.
Here's an idea
I have a great photospread idea for the local paper. Get mug shots of all the loud and oft-spoken anti-WalMart folks ... who are afraid it will kill our fragile economy (not the ones who hate it at the corporate level, but those who are against having one HERE). Anyway, get their mugs and give them to a bunch of photographers ... then send those photographers out to stores and malls in Erie County and have them wait ... take photos of all those people who want you to believe they do all their shopping on Main Street ... and publish them one after another. “Where's you community mindedness now?”
You know, I'm that “liberal guy,” so it may seem silly that I'm picking on my own kind here, but I am a little confused why liberals in general seem to find it neccesary to get down on businesses that do well for themselves. And then they manufacture reasons for it ...
Thanks for giving me something to do this afternoon.