Peak Walmart


To the Editors (AVA, UDJ), Ukiah City Council, Ukiah City Management

For every 2 jobs Walmart creates it destroys 3 (Institute of Local Self-Reliance)… are yours and mine next? Walmart is so desperate to grab every last piece of retail sales it can that, even as it tries to force a huge expansion of its local store on our community, it is downsizing its new stores into “express size” units to kill off even more downtown merchants in urban areas across the US.

A secret behind Wal-Mart’s rapid expansion in the United States has been its extensive use of public money. This includes more than $1.2 billion in tax breaks, free land, infrastructure assistance, low-cost financing and outright grants from state and local governments around the country. In addition, taxpayers indirectly subsidize the company by paying the healthcare costs of Wal-Mart employees who don’t receive coverage on the job and instead turn to public programs such as Medicaid (

Not only will we lose many jobs and small businesses when Walmart expands its Ukiah store into a gigantic grocery market featuring extremely cheap “organic” produce and meats from China, but even more will be lost as it eventually contracts. Contracts? The Wall Street Journal reports: “Walmart’s U.S. business… has reported declining sales at stores open at least a year for two consecutive years.”

So once Walmart, and the looming Costco store, have killed off their local competition… our supermarkets, our co-op, our family farmers and farmers markets, our downtown family-owned shops… and destroyed our local community networks of economic exchange, it will face its own demise as Peak Oil’s inevitable rising energy costs destroy the big box business model… and the ship loads of containers from China grind to a halt.

What then?


The answer to the question “What then?” is probably much the same as the answer to “What now?”, only it will be posed under circumstances even more dire. The global uprising currently underway seems to be an indication more and more real humans are coming to understand present arrangements are a literal dead-end, but systemic inertia is enormous. And so far, the bad guys still have the upper hand. Looks like another important lesson will have to be learned the hard way. Too bad.

“What then?” Who knows. More important will be the failure of the dominator cultural style and the possibility, no matter how remote, that “real people” (as opposed to the sociopaths and sociopath wanna be’s) will have a chance to make some more humane arrangements.


At the last meeting of the Planning Commission where the Commission (minus Linda Sanders) voted to approve the EIR, I got the distinct impression that traffic would be a huge problem that could not be addressed absent funding for improvements from some source other than Walmart.

This morning I heard on KZYX that Ukiah RDA money would be used to make traffic improvements. Did I hear right?