Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wal-Mart--will the left be happy now?

Wal-Mart will continue its international expansion. Yes, the world's largest retailer that revolutionized and streamlined the U.S. retail industry and brought about all the NIMBY activities will continue to grow. Just not here. In the U.S. Providing Americans with jobs. Especially all those industries from whom they purchased, all the private contractors from truck drivers to toy makers, to packagers. I'm assuming they'll continue to fuel China's economy; the goods will just be shipped to Brazil.

Spending on remodeling and adding new stores in the U.S. and Canada will rise only slightly to $4.8-$5.3 billion by Jan. 2010, from $4.5-$5.8. And to create this crunch in the economy, they didn't even have to wait for President Obama to take office for more environmental regulations, higher taxes on profits, more affirmative action hiring policies, more punitive health care demands, or the snooping into undocumented worker demands. They only needed to put a damp finger in the air to sense which way the wind is blowing.

Who is hurt the most? Low income and working class American families. They can't buy the low cost goods, can't get the jobs or contracts. NIMBYs used to hollar that a Wal-Mart hurt the neighborhood, but that isn't true, except in the same way hard surface roads hurt small towns as people drove 20-30 miles to the next city 70 years ago. And that happened in small towns years ago, long before shopping centers and discount houses.
    Abstract: This paper estimates the effect of Wal-Mart expansion on retail employment at the county level. Using an instrumental variables approach to correct for both measurement error in entry dates and endogeneity of the timing of entry, I find that Wal-Mart entry increases retail employment by 100 jobs in the year of entry. Half of this gain disappears over the next five years as other retail establishments exit and contract, leaving a long-run statistically significant net gain of 50 jobs. Wholesale employment declines by approximately 20 jobs due to Wal-Mart's vertical integration. No spillover effect is detected in retail sectors in which Wal-Mart does not compete directly, suggesting Wal-Mart does not create agglomeration economies in retail trade at the county level. "Job Creation or Destruction? Labor Market Effects of Wal-Mart Expansion," Emek Basker, Review of Economics and Statistics, February 2005, Vol. 87, No. 1, 174-183
I noticed that Rebekah Gee, a physician and the Robert Wood Johnson Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, and daughter of President Gee of OSU will discuss “Taking on Wal-Mart and Other Women’s Health Policy Initiatives" at OSU. She must be recovered from the terrible accident that took her husband's life and injured her this past summer. I'm of the view that if a retailer doesn't want to provide Plan B abortions, they shouldn't be required to. Gee and two other women staged a need at a Wal-Mart then brought a suit. Story here. So no woman's right was violated; no little life snuffed. At the time, Wal-Mart was required by law in Illinois to carry the abortifacient (morning after pill), but not other states. Hmm. Was Obama in the legislature when that one slipped through?

I wonder what women will do when there's no Wal-Mart to run to or it's closed? Just say No?

Wal-Mart no longer stocks my favorite face cream. Maybe I'll sue. I will have to get it mail-order otherwise. It should be my right.

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