30 September 2011
To the Zoning Board of Trumbull,
The modern day market has taken some interesting turns with innovations such as the television, the car, and internet. While the moral values of such turns has always been in question, it is no question that every major corporation has taken efficiency to a new level. Corporations like McDonalds, GE, and Bank of America have completely dominated the market with not only their vast resources and effective marketing systems, but by people simply knowing they exist. While most of these businesses have not gotten much more powerful in past decade due to government regulation of competition, there is one business that continues to grow at a dangerous rate: Wal-Mart. It has now become apparent that its growth has reached Trumbull, Connecticut and in no way should a Wal-Mart be built in our community. It is not even a matter of the problems our town would face as much as it is a moral wrong to the world as a whole. Wal-Mart may be “legal” in our “free-market” economy, but economics are never that simple and must be treated very carefully. It would not only ruin businesses in the area, but exercise the power of corporations whose business tactics seem unstoppable to modern regulation. The Wal-Mart is not only store, but an inevitable business tactic that will decimate the economy in both the short and long term. Wal-Mart’s rise to power is interesting and uncomforting in how quickly it flourished. The first store was opened in 1962 by Sam Walton in Rogers, Arkansas. By 1970, there were 38 stores, and by 1975, there were 125. In 1983, Wal-Mart had made its eighth year in a row as Forbes Magazine’s 1# retailer. In 1985, 882 stores had already been built, and in the next 10 years would reach a stunning 1,995 stores. Currently, there are 8,970 Wal-Marts; an average of 50 a state, and this number continues to grow. The story of Wal-Mart is truly nothing short of business success story, but the speed of its success is slightly unnerving. So what do you think would be the result of building this Wal-Mart in town? I suppose it would open maybe around 60 jobs tops in town, but a majority of the jobs would be minimum wage jobs. Raising the employment rate of your town has nothing to do with the actual quality of the town, and that’s saying that all the people hired come from our town. Also, studies have shown that Wal-Mart generally pay their employees 25-28% less than other retail/grocery stores (Dube, Lester & Eidlin 559). Maybe teenagers will have a bit more money, but the jobs that Wal-Mart creates have little impact on the flow of money. In fact, building a Wal-Mart would only hurt the flow of money in our town. All of the surrounding businesses will not be able to compete. Retail prices typically drop by 1 to 1.5% the moment a Wal-Mart opens (Dube, Lester & Eidlin 562). Local grocery stores like Poricelli’s and Plasko’s can not be expected to compete with a business of such power. If small businesses fall to this Wal-Mart, then the unemployment rate will probably just about balance out with jobs your Wal-Mart will have created. This will destroy the peaceful, small town feel of Trumbull, and replace it with room for corporate siege. Our town would be quite different if we allowed this, but it would also support an economic movement that could tear our economy apart.
One thing that must be understood in order to understand the entire threat of Wal-Mart is the causes and effects of a monopoly. The definition of a monopoly by the Merriam-Webster dictionary is, “Exclusive ownership through legal privilege, command of supply, or concerted action.” Monopolies can be held upon anything, but typically the term refers to a corporations hold on one particular industry. This was more of a problem preceding the great depression. Old corporations such as Standard Oil, U.S. Steel, and at the time GE held what is called a...