This morning, for the first time in my 10 years as a voter, I voted in my town’s local elections. Go me/shame on me for not doing this earlier. In addition to it being I Love Watertown month, what really got me to the polls today was one particular issue: Walmart wants to open a location in Watertown (just minutes from my house), and some town councilors are in favor of it while others are opposed.
My person stance on the issue? No thanks Walmart, we’re all set. If anyone has seen the documentary, Walmart: The High Price of Low Cost, you understand my position. Yes, it creates jobs and revenue for the town, but it also creates traffic and crime, it puts local, mom and pop operations out of business, and let’s be honest here, the jobs that are created aren’t good jobs. Walmart is a notoriously awful employer: not paying workers a living wage, not offering affordable healthcare, not supporting unions, discriminating against women, and intimidating workers into working overtime without pay, just to name a few. Let’s not forget why these products are so cheap in the first place too—it’s because they’re made cheaply in China by workers who are paid about $3 a day. Like the title of the movie says, there’s a high cost for this low price.
I understand that the economy is abysmal and that families are on tight budgets, but guys, there’s a Target right on Arsenal…and a Home Depot…and 2 huge malls. Watertown doesn’t need another big box store. Period.
So I voted. And I signed the petition. And if there’s a protest, I’ll be all over it.