The announcement of Wal-Mart becoming a supercenter doesn't come as a surprise, but it makes me disappointed in my community's lack of foresight ("Wal-Mart may get supercenter," May 23). Somehow I don't believe more big box is the direction the community development gurus we've been consulting had been pointing.
I was also saddened to see the misinformation the paper printed about Wal-Mart expansion creating jobs. Wal-Mart does not create jobs it takes jobs from one person and gives it to another. Wal-Mart is known to take away 150 jobs for every 100 jobs it creates. I don't think our community can afford that. We also need a variety of work places; maybe we should ask the employees and owners of the other grocery stores if they would rather work at Wal-Mart than where they currently work since it's their jobs that are given away.
It seems that a decision that makes such an economic impact on a community should be voted on, preferably before Wal-Mart starts building it. For that matter, I wish we had a vision for our community growth instead of the hodge-podge way businesses are developed. We have retail needs, but it's not groceries or coffee.
We talk about tourist dollars. First we need to support ourselves and develop the kind of community we want to have and then figure out what tourists come here for. From the tourists I talk to, it's not big box stores they come for. You stay on Interstate 5 for that. Besides nature, tourists come here for a quaint, personal environment, but most are disappointed by the lack of variety.
It would take more space than I have to construct a letter to list the economic cons of Wal-Mart. There are books at the library about the subject, but maybe the newspaper could find it worthy to give us some insight also.