Sunday, May 15, 2005

Lebrun Hearts WalMart

More letters in the TU in response to Fred Lebrun's love letter to Walmart. The letter from one Christopher Eastman:

"Fred LeBrun wishes he could be as principled as his colleague who doesn't shop at Wal-Mart because the chain doesn't advertise in the Times Union. A part of me wishes I could be as glib as LeBrun about the loss of local retail and the resulting empty storefronts in our eerily quiet downtowns, while all the traffic and activity has been transferred to what were recently rural areas.

It's burdensome that I care so deeply about supporting the local businesses in my community, but it's more convenient for me to walk two blocks to Trojan Hardware or Walt's Grocery, which is now closing, than it is to drive five miles to the many big-box chains that dot the American landscape. And I can't shake the knowledge that more of what I spend at locally owned businesses will remain in the local economy.

Too bad I'm not as confident as LeBrun that in the global race to the bottom, Wal-Mart's business practices won't continue to have a negative impact on my quality of life and that of others of my generation."

Ah, the global race to the bottom. Thanks, Mr. Eastman.