Monday, August 4, 2008

from the mailbag


OK, it's actually the e-mail bag. (So technically it isn't a bag.)
Anywhoo. On the last post/comments about walkability, Ruth and I were saying that "Wal-Mart issues aside" if you had one in your neighborhood it would raise your walkability score.

So I was (grudgingly) giving Wal-Mart a little bit of credit. We have one about .6 mile from my house and I'm sure that boosted my not-so-hot walkability score. However, I received this e-mail from Offspring #2:

The eco problem with Wal-Marts is that they usually put them in areas that are a little further from town - because they are so large. While it's closer for some people to walk (thus saving gas, and that is good!) it creates incentive for more people farther away to drive more to get there to get the low prices and one stop shopping. That contributes to sprawl which is anti-compact communities and anti-walkability.

So. I'm officially back to being cranky with Wal-Mart...

11 comments:

Laura said...

I sure wouldn't want you cranky with me! Yikes!

Diane said...

your son has a good point. plus, all the really lovely local stores that can't compete with Wal-mart, and used to make a really lovely walk through a small town's downtown area.

Barbara B. said...

LOL laura!

diane, I agree -- I like small businesses and downtown areas... it's so hard for them to compete. :(

Presbyterian Gal said...

Then you will enjoy this

Presbyterian Gal said...

PS, which I stole from you to begin with.

hee hee

Rev SS said...

I agree with preferring local stores ... and it's really not Wal Mart's fault ... or the developers fault ... if people didn't shop at the Wal Marts, or buy the homes that are built on top of denuded hills, etc. ... if there was no market for their products they wouldn't exist ... (oops ... off of the soapbox you go, Serena :)

dust bunny said...

WalMart...bad news on so many levels.

mompriest said...

I do shop at Wall Mart, but only on occasion. It is not my favorite store and I avoid it as often as possible...which is was easier in Chicago...and is saying A LOT in small SW town. ("cuz there aren't many alternatives near by)...now I really have one more reason....

David said...

Serena - while it is true that if there were no market for wal-mart then they wouldn't exist, I disagree with your statement.

I don't put the blame on the people who shop there. Most of the people who shop there are there for the low prices; are a little worse off economically. They can't afford to go to higher end shops. And I think the people who shop there don't know why shopping there is bad. I think the responsibility lies with people like you and me, and local governments. Local governments don't have to allow business to develop in their town - they can block anyone they want. Did Lowe's have to come to Longview? No, there was a big political battle over it. What needs to happen is a grass roots citizen effort energizing enough people, educating enough people about why stores like wal-mart are bad, to get local governments to say no to these businesses.

If you want to get into the economics of it we can, but as far as the blame game, I don't blame the disadvantaged shoppers of wal-mart, they don't have the time and luxury to sit down and think of the philosophical ramifications of wal-mart, they're busy working two jobs.

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

wal mart... evil. too much plastic. PG might already be on this... sorta like erin brockovich i think...

Barbara B. said...

I think you are right, hotcup!