Peter Lawler, in his Big Think column called “Rightly Understood,” asks if Walmart is really “change we should believe in?” Here are his conclusions:
1. It is good news that Walmart “has become a catalyst for change on the environmental front.”
2. He asks if human beings live better lives as “social beings” after Walmart comes to town.
3. Walmart is good for consumers
4. When Walmart comes to town “Main Street” closes down. Locally-owned stores disappear. He adds: “Main Street is sometimes eventually revitalized, but hardly ever as a retail district. It becomes a fake-historic place full of restaurants, coffee shops, etc., and so not a real center of the social and economic life of the community.”
5. Walmart makes a small town stupider. Locals are “pretty much stuck with doing what they are told” by the store “brains” who live and work in some “undisclosed location.”
6. Walmart is boring and predictable. Shoppers who go to Walmart “in general are getting stupider or more easily satisfied.”
7. Walmart holds ordinary citizens “hostage to the impersonal forces of globalization” because localities do not have the power to keep Walmart out.
Amen. Thanks Peter Lawler. I find this conservative critique of Walmart to be quite compelling.