When Wal-Mart Comes to Town

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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