Defending Wal-Mart in The Alibi

I explained a few reasons why readers of the Alibi might want to support the Wal Mart proposed for Coors and Montaño. The letter is a response to this column which ran in the paper.

It is a challenge to argue in support of Wal-Mart to a relatively left-wing Alibi readership, but there are some sound even arguments in support of the new store location at Coors and Montaño. For starters, I live less than 1 mile from the proposed site and can vouch for the fact that many other neighbors of the site support Wal-Mart and the jobs and increased options it would bring to our area.

If the store were a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, it is hard to imagine the same level of opposition. The land is zoned commercial, so regardless of Antoine Predock’s vision for the area, city planners always intended for some major development to be located at that spot. The area, by the way, has been a vacant lot and hardly “natural” for many years.

In terms of the site itself, it is worth nothing that Bosque School already backs up to the Bosque as would the proposed Wal Mart. To my knowledge, no one has complained about the school location. There is also a small park with a parking lot between the Bosque and the proposed Wal Mart.

Lastly, while Wal Mart is hated by most self-described “progressives,” Sebastian Mallaby of The Washington Post pointed out in a 2005 column that “The average Wal-Mart customer earns $35,000 a year, compared with $50,000 at Target and $74,000 at Costco. Moreover, Wal-Mart’s ‘every day low prices’ make the biggest difference to the poor, since they spend a higher proportion of income on food and other basics.”