My thoughts on the West Louisville Walmart…

The planned West End Walmart (Courtesy Walmart)

The planned West End Walmart (Courtesy Walmart)

Conflicted.

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.

*Lowering the Cost has been noted as also lowering the quality.

*Walmart has been noted to kill local businesses in the community.

(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.)

My Thoughts
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.

One response to “My thoughts on the West Louisville Walmart…

  1. Your concerns are right on both the pros and the cons. WalMart is the evil empire but having to shop at Walgreens or in Indiana is no solution. It sounds to me like the Mom and Pop shops that WalMart typically run out of business don’t even exist in west Louisville. As far as the money if it’s not Sam Walton’s 4 children it will be somebody else’s but not mine and not yours. The wages, no WalMart is not the highest paying job around but it is on par with most other unskilled jobs and it’s an honest living. I hate what WalMart has done to the small businesses in this country but that ship has sailed and it’s not coming back. Mike Rowe wrote a great story on his blog about minimum wage jobs (http://blog.acton.org/archives/75794-mike-rowe-minimum-wage-theres-no-thing-bad-job.html)
    People especially young people can’t expect to start off at $20 an hour but they do! So many kids cop-out and say I can make more money selling drugs than working my butt of well that’s true but you will also end up on drugs or in jail for your trouble. Every hard working American had to start someplace and has to learn to take orders before they can move up the ladder, it has always been that way and always will be. If you don’t like the situation then you rise above it by getting an education and/or the skills needed to make more money. That is the American dream, look at all the foreigners that want to come here and do the work that many Americans think they are above doing. You could take all the money away from the Walton’s and divide it between every American and a year or two later they would have nothing to show for it and the WalMart’s would close. Just research what happens to 99% of lottery winners they end up broke and worse off than they started. IMO!

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