Walmart really, really wants to be in New York City, and has just sent out a new round of direct mailings to consumers, the New York Observer reports. “Walmart wants to come to New York City,” the mailers say. “And New York City wants Walmart.” The company’s latest strategy is to bypass the unions and politicians who stand in its way, appealing straight to the people with libertarian promises of personal freedom. The rallying cry: “My Money. My Choice”.
The ads feature a “pop quiz” in which readers are asked which of two options they prefer: thousands of new jobs for NYC, lower prices, and the right for consumers to decide where they shop? Or, do these readers prefer fewer jobs, higher prices, and rights being taken away? Hey, these are tea party times! I want my rights!
But, hey, there’s also a real reason that many have fought to keep Walmart out of NYC: for every job the company creates it destroys another, often more than one, and that a Walmart job is a bad job, in terms of benefits and average wage: that’s how the company keeps its prices so low, not to mention the way it centralizes matters as printing, which a local business would contract to a local printer (thus keeping money in the community). Boring, I know; such “complex” ideas are difficult to distill into emotionally charged soundbites. How about, Walmart means different/worse jobs, deceptively lower prices, and freedom—a freedom akin to the right to eat poisoned food. Down with the FDA!