Wednesday, January 3, 2007


Walmartophobia is the NIMBYism of snobs, and it's catching on in Austin.

Being in the hinterlands of northwest Austin, almost clear up to Williamson county, I was not aware of the controversy surrounding Walmart coming into Northcross mall. Given that Northcross was a dying mall and becoming an eyesore, I couldn't quite grasp the big deal of a solid retailer coming in, even if it is the Liberals' most recent corporate bogeyman. It's not like they were paving a park to get Walmart in. Yet, yard signs decrying Walmart's potential move-in are showing up in the upscale neighborhoods in north Austin.

So a friend explained it to me recently. He said, "Well, they have a fear that 'those people' might come into the neighborhood." Using the scare quotes with his hands.

"What, you mean shoppers?" I replied.
Oh the horror!

While the fear he was more precisely alluding to was downscale shoppers from places like, um, East Austin, the riff-raff who actually is concerned about how much they spend for tube socks and motor oil includes socioeconomic upscale folks like me and my family.

Someone needs to tell the anti-Walmart snobs that 'everyday low prices' won't hurt anyone. And anyone who doesn't want major retailers nearby ought not live in major metropolitan areas with half a million people within 5 miles of where they live.


carl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
carl said...

Test -- First Blogging Try:
Your points are well taken.
However, there is another anti-Walmart reason and that is loss of business by small stores in the neighborhood.
These might be encouraged to become specialty stores carrying items not available at Walmart.
Which is not a bad thing for the public.

Patrick McGuinness said...

Carl, that is true and I was going to make a point about saying 'the only ones hurt by low prices are their retailer competitors'. but it strikes me odd that people should be concerned about retailers who charge *more* and disdain the retailer who charges *less*. Like you say, the real answer is that the other stores become complementary specialty stores that carry things that Walmart doesn't. The real competition that Walmart hurts are other general stores like Kmart, walgreens, etc. I dont think Louis Shanks furtniture down the road will mind one bit to see Walmart open up.

David Whitehead Jr. said...

You know, I find it silly that Liberals get so upset that competition drives Mom and Pop stores out of business, but they do not bat an eyelash when government regulations and high taxes drive them out of business. In fact, when high taxes and regulations drive small businesses out of business, Liberals run to their closet and giggle uncontrollably.

And you will notice that the Liberals are not happy that the Poor have a store where they can get goods for low prices. No, when a representative of Business and the Free Market and Capitalism begins to help the Poor and Needy, we cannot have that. No, only big GOVERNMENT is allowed to help the Poor. After all, if big business is allowed to charge low prices, the Poor might figure out that Capitalism is not such a bad thing, and begin voting Republican.