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Walmart and the right to choose

March 03, 2012

I read Ann Sloan’s Feb. 25 letter, “Burbank Residents don’t want Walmart,” and the first thing that came to mind is the Shakespearean quote from Hamlet, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

It seems that Sloan might have a financial stake in disallowing the citizens of Burbank the right to choose whether they would want to frequent Walmart or any other store.

She speaks of the low wages at Walmart, but fails to recognize that most retail is low-wage employment, i.e. Target, Kmart and most of the stores and restaurants in Burbank. In fact, high-wage jobs were chased out of Burbank 20 years ago with the exodus of manufacturing companies such as Lockheed, Baskin Robins and Jergens.

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So Burbank chose retail and the allure of sales tax revenue from cash cows like Costco and Lowe’s to fill its city coffers. Walmart will also be a cash cow for Burbank.

I disagree that Burbank residents don’t want Walmart. From the day it opens, the Burbank Walmart will be packed with shoppers. I just hope they build a parking structure to handle all the cars. And the city had better figure out how to mitigate the traffic.

As for myself, whenever I am down in the Long Beach area visiting family, I am in heaven, with multiple Walmarts and Costcos to choose from.

I love having a choice. Sometimes, I’d rather shop at Target. Just like the Burbank Home Depot and Lowe’s, I frequent both establishments. I want that choice here in Burbank.

Ann, if you don’t want to shop at Walmart, then don’t shop there. But don’t deny the rest of Burbank the right to choose for ourselves.

Bill Lowe

Burbank
 

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