The Save Our Neighborhood folks take little interest in the economic arguments against Walmart. "This isn't about Walmart," said Save Our Neighborhood organizer Dana Palmer at Tuesday's city council meeting. Save Our Neighborhood thinks the proposed north-side Walmart is hunky-dory. They are more worried about the view from and value of their nice single-family homes. They also express reasonable alarm that the proposed 85th Street Walmart is larger, less safe, and more prone to traffic congestion than the 69th and Cliff Walmart that the city council rejected. This fight is about zoning, not economics.
We thus can't count on the south-side petitioners to counter the more-jobs hokum Walmart will peddle. (250 new jobs, Walmart's director of real estate Brian Cutting claims.) But remember: Walmart wants to kill jobs. Their business model depends on it:
Contrary to the happy talk, Walmart does notcreate jobs. Actually, it kills them.
Here’s why: first, at the local level, all Walmart does is put mom-and-pop stores out of business. The overwhelming body of evidence, including the most rigorous peer-reviewed studies, suggests that when Walmart enters a community, the most likely result is a net loss of jobs; at best, it’s a wash....
The devastating impact Walmart has had on jobs becomes most clear when you go macro, and look at its impact not just locally, but on the national economy. In its relentless quest for low prices, Walmart strong-arms its suppliers to cut labor costs to the bone. What this has meant in practice is that many suppliers have been forced to lay off workers and ship jobs to low-wage countries overseas. Because of Walmart, countless jobs in the U.S. have been lost, mostly in manufacturing.
...when Walmart comes to town, significantly more local retail jobs are destroyed than created. And to the extent Walmart grows and is empowered, even more manufacturing jobs will be lost. If Walmart’s fans understood its anti-worker business model, they would get this. Walmart’s philosophy requires cutting labor costs to a bare minimum, so it makes sense that the company would not only pay workers miserable wages, but also shred as many jobs as possible [Karen Geier, "No, Walmart Doesn't Create Jobs," Washington Monthly: Political Animal, 2013.08.10].
South Dakota invites and embraces employers with anti-worker business models. Evidently so does Save Our Neighborhood, as it chooses to fry other fish in its very literal NIMBY fight against the 85th Street Walmart.