Photo courtesy of Guustaaf Damave Photography
PRIDE OF THE PRAIRIE TARNISHED TODAY WITH THE WAL-MART EFFECT
The very moment of the posting of this blog entry this morning marks the offical opening of Yelm’s Super Wal-Mart in ceremony and glee.
This writer was contemplating all that this will mean for this town.
Many of you have written in to say that you support Wal-Mart, the jobs that have been created here and the low prices brought to Yelm.
Yes, in near-sightedness, you could make that claim and revel in that for awhile, however at what cost on our future?
Did you know that the majority of Wal-Mart products are made overseas – and much from one country alone – China?
You may say, so what?
This has cost our fellow Americans jobs.
Read this from the Economic Policy Institute,
“The manufacturing sector and its workers were hardest hit by the growth of Wal-Mart’s imports. Wal-Mart’s increased trade deficit with China eliminated 133,000 manufacturing jobs, 68% of all jobs lost. Overall, the Wal-Mart trade deficit displaced and 308,100 jobs in 2006. On average, 77 U.S. jobs were eliminated for each one of Wal-Mart’s 4,022 U.S. stores in 2006. (See The Wal-Mart Effect for more details.)
And the AFL-CIO weighs in on the Wal-Mart issue,
“Those low-cost goods at Wal-Mart ultimately come at a high price: lost jobs, lower wages and unsupportable U.S. trade deficits.
Wal-Mart is the single largest importer of foreign-produced goods in the United States, and the majority of its private-label clothing is manufactured in at least 48 countries around the worldand almost none in the United States.”
Further, now we have what The New York Times calls “… a quality crisis” on goods coming from China, from where well over $18 billion of Wal-Mart’s products are imported.
“Weeks after tainted Chinese pet food ingredients killed and sickened thousands of dogs and cats in the United States, this country is facing growing international pressure to prove that its food exports are safe to eat.
But simmering beneath the surface is a thornier problem that worries Chinese officials: how to assure the world that this is not a nation of counterfeits and that Made in China means well made.
Already, the contamination has produced one of the largest pet food recalls in American history, heightening global fears about the quality and safety of Chinas agricultural products. And evidence has also shown that China exported fake drug ingredients, threatening to undermine the credibility of another booming export.
‘This isnt an international crisis yet, but if they dont do something about it quickly, it will be,’ said David Zweig, a China specialist who teaches at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. ‘The question is whether it spills over and Made in China becomes known as Buyer Beware. ‘”
What ever happened to buying labels with Made In USA, where quality is king?
Since when did we become a society buying everything on the cheap and selling out our quality products for lower prices and shoddy, even dangerous goods?
JibJab takes a look at these issues and the effects of Wal-Mart on small town America with satircal humor.
The Yelm City Council earned the Jefferson Muzzle Award in 2006 for not allowing their constituents public comment on the Wal-Mart project, stifling any dissent. Their decisions are choking this town in traffic & unbridled growth.
That is what this writer is contemplating this day.
This writer sheds a tear as this town will look far different in one year, two years and more, as the fast food, home improvement stores, oil change shops and soon some other big box stores develop the east end of town, all the while gridlocking this town’s traffic, as more vehicles and delivery trucks are sucked into the ever-widening Yelm commercial zone.
Local home-owned stores offering quality products will carry on for awhile here and then some will struggle as they will be unable to compete. We will say good-by to some of our neighbors’ own businesses as the Wal-Mart effect invades Yelm.
Many say growth is inevitable and Wal-Mart will be the catalyst to more industry, jobs, and big name stores here.
Is that why you moved to Yelm? Do you want Yelm to look like Hawks Prairie does today?
Never been to New York City or San Francisco and seen gridlock? Yelm has had it for years even before today. Today, and into the future, gridlock will reach new heights here.
So celebrate this day if you must. Relish in your glee for now.
Yelm will pay a dear price in the months and years ahead.
This is surely a sad day for the pristine & once-tranquil Pride of Nisqually Priaire.