Most likely you are reading this and know the situation those of us in West Louisville are dealing with. Church leaders have began praying for Walmart while others have pulled out the picket signs and stood in strong protest.
Living in and knowing the lack of resources in our community, I have been torn about this issue. I have been surprised that many have taken this as a holy war considering that Walmart is no hero in my opinion.
I don’t want to paint them as being the evil empire that has come to suck the resources of the community dry. But I also don’t want to act blind towards the reality that they are a business that some find having questionable ethics. You have to be curious when one business produces 4 of the countries ten richest people(Sam Walton’s 4 children, if their money was put together it would be worth almost twice of Bill Gates). All of that money within one family. One last name. That alone shows a type of power that is scary.
When considering Walmart, let’s begin with the Good.
*In 2013 Walmart and it’s foundation gave 1.3 Billion dollars in cash and kind contributions around the world.
*They bring multiple products at the lowest cost to people in one facility.
*The constructing of a Walmart can help bring other businesses into an area because of the guaranteed traffic that will coincide with it.
*With a Walmart will inevitably be plenty of jobs. Not just jobs for people who will work directly for Walmart but as well companies that Walmart partners with.
So what is the bad with Walmart?
*Yes, Walmart will bring plenty of Jobs but they have been blasted in the past for primarily having low wages for their employees.
(I understand that there is plenty that could be added to both of those lists for positive and negative impacts a Walmart can make in a community.)
With all of this in play, I struggle to say that I fully endorse the local Walmart that will go up in West Louisville. Living in West Louisville, I know that we don’t have many businesses. We don’t have many resources within arms reach. To go shopping, if Walgreens doesn’t have it, we have to drive to Indiana to get what we want. That’s frustrating and very inconvenient. To have a Walmart close would help in those extents. But there are costs that leave me very concerned.
My hope for our community is to see more businesses come and to see more entrepreneurs thriving. I’d love to see better jobs within arms reach that aren’t temp jobs on the Riverport. I’d love to see local businesses owned and operated by people living locally and hiring locally with the intent on being a healthy business for the community. That dream is one that Walmart would not be able to coexist with.
I fear that Walmart will just add to the problem that our community continues to deal with, money and resources being outsourced to companies that won’t do a single thing to help West Louisville. I hope I am wrong but that is my fear.