When Wal-Mart Comes to Town

| June 8, 2001

When Wal-Mart Comes to Town, Tamara Straus, AlterNet
Based on a PBS documentary that aired June 7 in most cities, AlterNet's Tamara Straus examines the forces that bring Wal-Mart and other big-box stores to town, and the often disastrous effects they can have on a small-town economy. 'The only way most American towns can cover their budget today is by having big corporations like Wal-Mart come in and bring tax revenues,' Micha Peled, the director of 'Store Wars: When Wal-Mart Comes to Town,' told Straus in an interview. The documentary explains Wal-Mart's predatory tactics: find a cash-strapped small town; offer huge short-term financial incentives to develop outlying land where the store will draw shoppers and dollars away from Main Street; threaten to pull out and move to a neighboring cash-strapped town if locals make a stink. The show did not air on the same night everywhere; check your local PBS listings to find out when it airs in your town.
--Leif Utne
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