I'm getting really tired of seeing our labor conditions destroyed by Walmart, Bush, etc. I just sent this to all the City Council of Richmond. Richmond is considering bucking Contra Costa County's "ban" on big-ticket, labor bashing stores like Walmart. I hope my missive does some good. Do I write well enough to help you in any way? I have a great desire to help. I've been a victim of the erosion of worker rights as I was an office worker from the mid-1980's until just several years ago and know first hand much of the worst that Reagonomics has wrought.
Dear Honorable Richmond City Council Members:
Please do not allow Walmart to do Business in Richmond. Please review my list of reasons in the third paragraph. Richmond is a beautiful city and there are better ways to generate income. Tax property transfers above $1M, tax the wealthy-->$200,000 a year--households more on an inflexible gradient. There are many other ways to generate revenue than wage slave generating Walmart. Invite green or socially progressive businesses that will train or use skilled workers. These business are the real long-term wave of the future with our delicate world environmental picture and global warming. Invite smaller businesses that treat their employees better and pay living wages, full medical benefits and provide compensatory deferments and revenue to improve all effected municipal infrastructure. Raise the minimum wage in your municipality. This would immediately bring more revenue to the city and improve the small business climate here. Business isn't going to run away from any municipality in the Bay Area. Good planning is key to LONG TERM municipal fiscal health. Good planning must; begin in the present.
I've listed a number of equally good reasons to keep Walmart out of Richmond below:
Walmart obliterates competition and forces other existing good municipal tax paying businesses out of business this is proven over and over again wherever Walmart has appeared creating a "retail desert".
Walmart demands preferential tax treatment from each municipality it does business in, which negatively effects the net revenue benefit to said municipality when you look at the big picture. A large number of other businesses unable to compete even if they do provide better quality products and services stop doing business and therefore stop paying taxes to the same municipality as a direct result of the existence of Walmart in that community. Walmart generates a form of small and mid-sized business blight.
Local, state and federal property and wage/sales taxes are significantly decreased by the existence of Walmart due to the extremely low wages of nearly all Walmart workers. Walmart workers are not going to be property owners. Walmart and other such wage slavery unskilled service businesses that employ large numbers of workers creates a wage blight in each community effected. Workers who make less money and have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet are at risk medically due to stress. Since they have no adequate health coverage from Walmart, the municipality will pay extra for their care if they are residents helping to erase any possible net revenue benefit to Richmond.
Walmart forces wages for workers in whole communities downward rapidly through poor example. "Hey, if Walmart can get away with paying someone $6.00 an hour and force them to do unpaid overtime, then I guess we can ask our workers to work for less" This happens everywhere Walmart goes. You never hear of Walmart improving a general economic picture in a net fashion for larger communities like Richmond as part of a larger metro area. This is why OAKLAND rejected Walmart. We in Richmond don't either need our economy dragged down further.
Walmart will greatly increase the already difficult traffic burden of the municipality and will not generate enough tax revenue given all other revenue stream blockages Walmart creates, to cover needed infrastructure maintenance over time, which is another potential way that Walmart squeezes an already difficult city budget situation.
Walmart is vehemently anti-union and encourages other businesses to be anti-union by it's very existence and effectiveness in impoverishing it's own workers and keeping them weak and without a voice. This cuts city revenue streams DEEP.
Walmart is well documented to consistently and in every store force it's slave waged salaried and hourly workers to work overtime for FREE. Check it out on the net. Walmart's advance guard is OBVIOUSLY not going to tell you this when they take City decision makers out to lunch on their dime.
Bottom line, Walmart costs more than it brings in.
Walmart will cost your mid-sized community-Richmond--vastly more money than it generates in the relative short term and will cost your community's citizens and City coffers dearly and exponentially more and more in the mid and long term fiscal outlook.
Uphold or create any resolution to block Walmart like Oakland as Walmart will definitely add to Richmond's problems and doesn't provide any solutions that won't cost more in every sense very soon after it comes to town.
If you want to make Richmond more and more a bedroom community for the near-homeless and soon-to-be homeless, let Walmart in. That's the effect it has nearly everywhere it goes.
With the passage of Bush's Medicare in the past week (Medi-fraud to some) your municipality has already lost the right to negotiate lower prescription drug prices for current and retired City employees. This alone will hurt city coffers and could push the city into debt. If you bring Walmart in, the expenditures for medical costs for citizens will go up--Guaranteed. Richmond can not afford another hit to the City wallet now. Don't make this mistake. Research this yourselves, please.
There is no net benefit to bringing Walmart here. I recommend seeking out Richmond politicians who get political contributions or perks from Walmart as they try to push their way into our community. Don't let them wiggle the City into another mess. Please. Sam Walton likes being one of the worlds wealthiest men and a billionaire many times over. At what price? The lives and health of this community?
Do the right thing. Ban Walmart and all other big-ticket discount stores unless they pay LIVING WAGES, FULL MEDICAL BENEFITS, RETIREMENT and MUNICIPAL TAXES and INFRASTRUCTURE expenses incurred due to their development. This is not impossible in any Californian municipality. Business is not running away California. Just look at our real estate market and you know what I say is true. However, it's totally natural for business to always try to get something for nothing or worse. Walmart and Sam Walton are the world's master at this.