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News Tue Feb 10 2009

All Your Food Deserts Are Belong to Us

The S-T reports that like the hustlers they are, Wal-Mart is renewing their interest in opening several stores on the south side in "food desert" neighborhoods (e.g. Chatham, Pullman) that have little or no access to full-service grocery stores. A Wal-Mart spokesperson said there's "a new sense of urgency from aldermen due to the worsening economy and job losses." Bringing labor superstar Wal-Mart in to bolster the economy of underserved neighborhoods makes about as much sense as paying city aldermen almost $100k per year in salary. Carry on.


E L / February 10, 2009 9:40 AM

very well said.

Frank / February 10, 2009 1:47 PM

Before we indulge in any more reflexive Wal-Mart bashing (and nothing is easier, God knows, for us Whole Foods-shopping eco-phisticates), how about reading this piece by a Wired writer which was in the New York Post this week (no doubt rejected by many publications for whom Wal-Mart is anathema by definition):

It's a much more interesting and multifaceted picture of the company than, oh, the graphic next to this piece. At least when I read about how any employee can order whatever he needs for his area, say, I think I've had titled jobs in ad agencies where I had less authority over my work than that.

Personally, I don't feel much love for the unions like SEIU who have fostered this anti-Wal Mart campaign, since they made sure we got Todd Stroger instead of Forrest Claypool and as a result, they already collect their dues from me every time I pay my property taxes; they don't need a bunch of Wal-Mart employees to cash in.

R / February 11, 2009 11:15 AM

I read the article but didn't think it supported what you said about Wal-Mart being a good, trusting employer that gets flack from dues-hungry unions who want a piece of the pie. If a Wal-mart were to open in Pullman or Chatham, it would have literally no competition (although I could see a few corner groceries having to close their doors) and would give the residents of those neighborhoods some much-needed convenience and a significant markdown on goods compared to what they're paying now. But you won't find a Chicago resident who can survive on $7/hour pay (and not be a teenager looking to save money for a new car or college tuition). I also found Wal-Mart's insurance plan to be a, overpriced, underdelivering downer as well. We can't overlook that.

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