From JIM HIGHTOWER
[Locally in Ukiah we have the Walmart store massively expanding its food section, adding 80 employees, which will destroy at least one, maybe two supermarkets and 120 better-paying jobs for a net loss of 40+ jobs. See also: Big Box Bully: Walmart Is Out To Kill Every Other Store In Town; and Watch the Bully metastasize (carpet-bomb) before your very eyes. -DS]
The $400-billion-a-year retail behemoth, with two million employees laboring in 8,500 stores spread around the globe, is putting on a “local” mask.
The signature phrase of America’s booming good food movement has been expanded from “organic” to “local and sustainable.”
Good! The phrase suggests great quality, strong environmental stewardship, and a commitment to keeping our food dollars in the local economy. If you support the local-economies movement, as I do, no doubt you’ll be thrilled to hear that a new, local food store is coming soon to your neighborhood. In fact, it’s even named Neighborhood Market.
Only, it’s not. It’s a Walmart. Yes, the $400-billion-a-year retail behemoth, with two million employees laboring in 8,500 stores spread around the globe, now is putting on a “local” mask. The giant is promising to buy nine percent of the produce it’ll sell from local farmers. Big whoopie. This means that 91 percent of the foodstuffs offered in its “Neighborhood” chain will come from Wayawayland.
But even the nine percent number is a deceit, for Walmart says that it defines “local” as grown in the same state. Excuse me, but in California, Florida, Texas, and other such sizable states, that can be a mighty long truck haul away. Not exactly what us locals would call “local.”
As for being sustainable, Walmart is bragging about a billion-dollar investment it’ll make to shrink its environmental footprint a bit. That’s a nice gesture. But come on, this outfit has humongous feet that bestride the whole world. Even a billion bucks won’t shrink that footprint. Walmart neither made a commitment to organic production, nor did it rule out peddling genetically engineered Frankenfoods as part of its “sustainability” gimmick.
Who does Walmart think it’s fooling? It’s not coming to our neighborhoods to be local and sustainable, but to drive out our home-grown enterprises and extract profits from our own communities.
[See also: Small mom-and-pop shops in India desperately trying to stop these bastards from killing their independent livelihoods. This is exactly the kind of "development" and "job creation" that Wendy Roberts, Chambers of Commerce, and the conservative right in our country and county keep pushing: Subservience and slave-wages versus independent small businesses. We killed the Dinosaur Mall and the 5th District sham from out-of-county overlords. Keeping watch over our own place, supporting our own small farms and shops, are the ways to fight this onslaught until the the realities of peak oil and climate change finally pull the rug out from under these monstrous colonnizing race-to-the-bottom schemes and environmental disasters. -DS]