Monday, February 14, 2011

Wal-Mart made me steal!!! No yo' Honah, I'z sere'us!

I'm missing something, or at least, I think I must be.
When politicians, agency officials and other establishment types discuss the pros and cons of Wal-Mart opening stores in poor, retail-starved neighborhoods in the District, they often talk about pretty high-minded stuff. Fair pay. Job training. Environmental safeguards.

By contrast, in the scruffy blocks around the corner of New York Avenue and Bladensburg Road in Northeast Washington, where the first of four Wal-Marts planned for the District would probably be built, the residents have more immediate, street-level concerns.

First, would a new Wal-Mart there really stock the same quality of food and products as its stores do in better-off, suburban communities?

"I'll believe it when I see it," Mya Harris, 24, said skeptically. "Sure, you can put the store here, but what are they going to put inside it?"

Second, and I was amazed when this anxiety was aired in fully half the interviews, residents worry that the store would suffer severely or even fail because of petty theft.

"There'll probably be a lot of shoplifting going on. They'll need a lot of security," Terriea Sutton, 35, said.

Brenda Speaks, a Ward 4 ANC commissioner, actually urged blocking construction of the planned store in her ward at Georgia and Missouri avenues NW partly because of that risk. Addressing a small, anti-Wal-Mart rally at City Hall on Monday, Speaks said young people would get criminal records when they couldn't resist the temptation to steal.
Allow me to say...WHAT...HUH...WHAT!!!?
WTF kind of thought process makes someone go there? And let me be unkind enough to ask, does this mean they are stealing on a less corporate level now, because there are no Wal-Marts?


Spider said...

What Ms. Speaks is saying is, folks in da hood be comin to yo sto an stealin yo shit. It says a lot about family values, doesn't it.

I've always wondered why these big box stores place themselves in so-called poor neighborhoods. Do they feel that the less money people have the more they buy?

Then there's the problem of theft. And since these stores always hire locals, (thanks to intimidation, threats, etc.) including their security staff, it's not only the customers that are picking the place clean. Apparently, there's still enough left over as to make it worth the trouble.

Schteveo said...

They DO have money!!

I've read time after time that families on 'welfare' (yeah, I used the old, perjorative word) that families on welfare have MORE disposable income than families of the same size where the parents work.

When I drove a school bus in the 90's, there were two groups of kids who wore expensive sport shoes and high dollar team jackets and coats.

The rich kids from expensive neighborhoods, and the 'poor' kids from Section 8 housing or the PJs.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but only one group actually bought and paid for that stuff.

Schteveo said...

I get that Anon, but the point WAS the money was AVAILABLE to buy it in only two groups. People who worked for it, and people supposedly too poor to afford it. I get the first group, the other should NOT have it.

If we're going to have welfare, then the people receiving it should have some strictures on their spending. You can't convince me that you can be "poor" AND eat, live indoors AND spend money on luxury items. I understand needing a coat or a hat. But having a $275 Lakers jacket doesn't keep you warmer than a $75 plain jacket or coat. No one NEEDS a NY Yankees hat. Yes people need shoes, but do HS kids, or younger, need $200 shoes?

And while I'm at it, how do people who are "poor", afford cell phones with all the bells and whistles?

It can't ALL be stolen from Wal-Mart.