Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Wal-Mart builds first store in Providence

A store in Providence that sells stuff people can afford? We definitely can't have that.

This isn't the first Wal-Mart in Rhode Island, mind you, just the first store in Providence. For what it's worth, I'm all for it. The new Wal-Mart on Silver Spring Street replaces a defunct Ames that had been abandoned for years, but apparently, a derelict hulk collecting graffiti in the heart of the 'hood is preferable to a Wal-Mart for some people. True, the 350 jobs created by the new Wal-Mart mostly suck, but to prefer no jobs to non-union jobs? Even in blue state, union controlled Rhode Island, this strikes most sensible people as being completely ridiculous. Thankfully, not everyone gets worked up into a frenzy over the Big Blue Boxes from Bentonville.

Providence Mayor David Cicilline thinks it's a fine thing indeed, and was on hand at the opening ceremony. The Mayor may not shop at Wal-Mart (most wealthy people don't), but he was pleased to any new economic activity in the North End, which has lagged behind downtown and the East Side economically. I couldn't agree more.

1 comment:

Lefty said...

I have issues with Wal-Mart.

Yes they offer lower prices but who ultimately pays? The companies that supply products to Wal-Mart usually comply to Wal-Marts lower price demands by reducing quality or reducing employee wages, benefits etc., and certainly there has been much debate as to what happens to area businesses when a Wal-Mart pops up in town.

HOWEVER

What happened in Providence is silly; if people really didn't want a Wal-Mart in Providence the time to protest was BEFORE the store was built not after.

Somerset, Ma protested a Wal-Mart in that town BEFORE it was built. The result? There is no Wal-Mart is Somerset, MA.

This brings me to the conclusion that the issue isn’t about having a Wal-Mart in Providence but is instead about trying to force the corporate giant to provide better salaries, benefits, etc.

Well, the people who now protest were most certainly aware of the number of jobs and the likely benefits that the new store would bring. Protesting now is not only to little too late, it’s just wrong.