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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 10, 2009 3:53 AM. The previous post in this blog was All systems go. The next post in this blog is John Kroger isn't running for governor yet.... Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thank heaven

This horrible, horrible property is going to be turned into a Wal-Mart. That's a relief. For a minute there somebody was talking about a park.

Comments (56)

Darn, I thought you might have been talking about the central post office property.

Unlike a lot of residents of Oregon, I don't mind Wal Marts and think the Beaverton/Hillsboro area really needs one. Problem is this location is horrible, the store will draw a lot of traffic from all over and there is no decent way in and out of Cornelius. This needs to be located right next to Hwy 26.

I have no idea why this is a horrible property, but having said that, a WalMart is probably best/highest use.

I understand the desire for a park, but right next to TV Hwy probably isn't optimum. In addition, Cornelius has a lot of parks close to this site.

"And with the recession forcing legions of stores into bankruptcy, the world's largest retailer now apparently wants to take out the remaining survivors."

http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1920698,00.html

[City Manager David] Waffle expects the project to generate enough money from development fees that the city’s planning department should be able to ride out the recession.

I'm glad he clearly understands who his constituency is here.

This level of honesty is actually a relief. Most bureaucrats know how to spin such statements in a way that sounds more favorable to the public. He apparently hasn't learned this yet.

Yeah, gotta maintain those development fees and the "destination shopping and bookends".
For those of you out there in blog land who think big box stores are great additions to the economy, check out Stacey Mitchel at www.ilsr.org or www.bigboxswindle.com.com
Folks need to understand that local commnuities are seriously damaged and sometimes even destroyed by these stores.

[City Manager David] Waffle expects the project to generate enough money from development fees that the city’s planning department should be able to ride out the recession.

I was going to comment on this statement, but I think John R. said it best.

Can we get back to shopping now? My credit card balances and home equity loans aren't growing like they should.

Good. It's about time the folks in Washington County had a Wal-Mart in their area. I'm tired on this nonsense that implies that the "best" type of retail is high-priced specialty stores and boutique shops. What prattle!

When large numbers of shoppers in their areas take their money to Cornelius, the folks opposing Wal-Mart in Beaverton and Hillsboro may soon find out why Wal-Mart's impact on an area isn't necessarily destructive. Portland Native, what damages local communities is people taking their money to other places because the local stores don't offer the things people want at prices they can afford. Don't blame Wal-Mart and the other "big boxes" for that. They're responding to the wants and needs of consumers, not generating them.

I'm amused by the opponents who claim that nobody wants Wal-Mart in their area while simultaneously noting that so many people will be shopping there that the heavy traffic will cause problems. Which is it, folks?

If you don't like Wal-Mart, don't shop there. But don't stop those who do from benefiting from the store's low prices and wide selection of conveniently located merchandise. Of course, what will be even more annoying will be that the opponents will be the first ones in the door once the store opens.

I'm amused by the opponents who claim that nobody wants Wal-Mart in their area while simultaneously noting that so many people will be shopping there that the heavy traffic will cause problems. Which is it, folks?

Its a lot like when people complain about adult shops in their neighborhood...the only reason people are upset is because now their neighbors will see them shop there.

Im all for it, then I wont have to drive up to Vancouver all the time. (Except for the occasional trip to pick up Sudafed.)


If you don't like Wal-Mart, don't shop there. But don't stop those who do from benefiting from the store's low prices and wide selection of conveniently located merchandise.

You're ignoring the other three-fourths of the picture, which is the impact of the store on local businesses, the overall economy, and a raft of other issues.

It's easy to focus on "cheap prices". But adults who care about more than cheap prices (and I'm sure you do) won't ignore the whole picture just because it's convenient.

Let me put it another way: Do you ever wonder *why* Walmart is so cheap?

Here: read a bit, then verify it for yourself:

http://www.documentaryfilms.net/Reviews/StoreWars/

http://www.newrules.org/retail/key-studies-walmart-and-bigbox-retail

Warning: this stuff requires critical thinking.

Here is a site that aptly describes Wally World in a positive light... enjoy..

http://peopleofwalmart.com/

Sorry ecohuman, but in this economy, your crazy to ignore the fact that more people are worried about cheap prices and saving their own money rather than workers' rights, damage to the environment, etc.

Ever notice how global warming / climate change / reducing foreign oil dependence isn't on anyone's radar screens anymore? All those noble efforts are way lower on the priority scale than keeping the national economy moving. Maybe its wrong to call those "luxuries" or "non-essential goals," but that is the way we're headed.

Families are looking out for their own and can't afford to be charitable by supporting the little mom-and-pop store down the street. I don't see how preventing a Wal-Mart (and at the same time, nobody seems to bitch about Target . . . ) is going to achieve what you hope to achieve.

Yup, sure going to hate those jobs that pay more than minimum wage show up here. Lord knows we don't need them.

But beyond that, YEAH! Truly YEAH, I whole heartly support Walmart and I'm glad I won't have to drive so far to shop at one.

so much for critical thinking...
Wal-Marts and other big box stores COST everyone more money for everything.
The so called cheap goods are not all that cheap when ALL economic factors are taken into consideration.
But go ahead shop there, and put everyone else out of business. And then one day you might wonder why the prices and unemployment went up, the wages went down, and the other ancillary jobs and businesses that were available went elsewhere.

The only economic factor that a lot of folks consider is their own. Save the critical thinking for the time that you've got free time and extra spending money.

Walmart started off as a mom and pop shop and became a successful multi-national corporation because they offer something the masses want: one-stop-shopping and low prices.

In fact, the entire big-box one-stop-shopping concept began HERE in Oregon with a local mom and pop store called Fred Meyer.

One Walmart store will employ 100's of part time employees-- all earning more then they would if they were unemployed, and at least 50 full time employees with some managers earning six figures. Walmart offers unskilled employees at least a buck over minimum wage and even part-timer's qualify for a benefit package after 6 months. Walmart encourages employees to move up to management with their extensive in-house training programs. Walmart even hires disabled folks with absolutely NO skills whatsoever as door greeters.

Contrast that with the local hardware or corner connivence store-- most of which are family run and hire NO outside help whatsoever. If someone were lucky enough to be hired at one of these places they would never make more then minimum wage, never earn any kind of benefits, and never given the opportunity or training opportunities to move up in the company.


Walmart started off as a mom and pop shop and became a successful multi-national corporation because they offer something the masses want: one-stop-shopping and low prices.

True. And again, a focus on only one part of the result.

In fact, the entire big-box one-stop-shopping concept began HERE in Oregon with a local mom and pop store called Fred Meyer.

Nope. In fact, several retailers in the 50s and 60s started at about the same time. Wal-mart was one of them; Fred Meyer was not. Fred Meyer didn't go "big box" until the 90s, after being purchased by Kroger.

One Walmart store will employ 100's of part time employees-- all earning more then they would if they were unemployed, and at least 50 full time employees with some managers earning six figures. Walmart offers unskilled employees at least a buck over minimum wage and even part-timer's qualify for a benefit package after 6 months.

Most Wal-Mart employees are at or below the poverty line, and few can afford the health care offered by the store (almost three-quarters of a million employees can't afford it, as of 2005). Less than half of all Wal-mart employees are covered, and part-time employees (that's most employees) must wait *one year* before enrolling.

In 2006, Wal-Mart documented over 57 wage and hour lawsuits. Wal-mart routinely discourages employees from meal and work breaks, and has paid out millions in claims as a result. Wal-mart has routinely violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The average Wal-mart employee in 2006 earned $17,114. For a family of two, that's below the poverty line in most states.

All of this results in a taxpayer cost (due to free and reduced lunches, low-income housing assistance, student programs, health care costs, etc.) of almost a half million dollars yearly--for just *one* Wal-mart store.

And so on. Don't believe it? Look it up--from a documented source other than Wal-mart. everything I've written above is documented, and much of it by the government.

Walmart encourages employees to move up to management with their extensive in-house training programs.

In fact, because of extremely high turnover, Wal-mart rehires nearly half of its workforce every year. Very few ever attain management positions. Or health care. Or living wage jobs. Or much of anything, really. Luckily, though, *you* get low prices.

Contrast that with the local hardware or corner connivence store-- most of which are family run and hire NO outside help whatsoever. If someone were lucky enough to be hired at one of these places they would never make more then minimum wage, never earn any kind of benefits, and never given the opportunity or training opportunities to move up in the company.

Small business in Oregon pays wages almost one-third higher than Wal-mart, and provides the majority of Oregon jobs. Almost 70% of all small business employees receive at least partial private health care coverage.

It's amazing, really, how viciously defenensive people will get when you threaten the magical thinking of Impact Free Shopping.

You're ignoring the other three-fourths of the picture, which is the impact of the store on local businesses, the overall economy, and a raft of other issues.

If those other local business were so great then why would people shop Walmart?

Here's the answer, most of your little mom and pop shops pay poorly, are over-priced little boutiques, and offer no benefits to their employees.

Yes, competition is a good thing. It keeps prices low and quality high.

Welcome Walmart. I'd also like to see Bass Pro Shops and Cabelas open up in this area. With Joe's gone, we need the competition.

In fact, several retailers in the 50s and 60s started at about the same time. Wal-mart was one of them; Fred Meyer was not. Fred Meyer didn't go "big box" until the 90s, after being purchased by Kroger.

You must be new to Portland. Burlingame Fred Meyer opened in the 50s. So did the old Hollywood store and many others in Portland and Seattle. These were big box way before Walmart.

You must be new to Portland. Burlingame Fred Meyer opened in the 50s. So did the old Hollywood store and many others in Portland and Seattle. These were big box way before Walmart.

You must be new to "big box". none of those stores are even close to what "big box" generally means--typically a dedicated land parcel with a main building of over 50,000 square feet.

And I'm definitely not new to Portland. I was born here.

"thinking of Impact Free Shopping."

Contrast that with the alternative, these people who worked for the mom'n'pop stores who since way before big boxes:
- Didn't offer ANY health insurance
- Ran ripshod over employment laws especially re: overtime
- Resisted paying more than min wage
- Offered zero opp for advancement

Instead of griping about how someone like WalMart does things, come up with a more palatable alternative for under-educated people to earn a living? We just can 't have people sitting and waiting around for your impact-free jobs, which is what Portland has been doing for decades.

Instead of griping about how someone like WalMart does things, come up with a more palatable alternative for under-educated people to earn a living?

"Educated" does not equal "well-paid", though that's another nice myth. four-year degree holders are one of the largest groups currently receiving public assistance and unemployment benefits.

We just can 't have people sitting and waiting around for your impact-free jobs, which is what Portland has been doing for decades.

I didn't say "impact free jobs", you did. I said "impact free shopping", which is a myth.

If your only criteria for choosing where to buy goods is "low price and good selection", then Wal-mart's your place.

Of course, if "mainly goods from China and SE Asian factories" is your criteria, Wal-mar's also your place. Because, you see--the majority of the "jobs" that Wal-mart creates are, in fact, not in America.

You must be new to "big box". none of those stores are even close to what "big box" generally means--typically a dedicated land parcel with a main building of over 50,000 square feet.

The Burlingame store is about 75,000 square feed. Even if Fred Meyer wanted to, they would not have been able to fill a 200,000 sq ft. store 60 years ago. The selection of products available back then was no where near what is available today. I'd put them in the big box category.

Of course, if "mainly goods from China and SE Asian factories" is your criteria, Wal-mar's also your place. Because, you see--the majority of the "jobs" that Wal-mart creates are, in fact, not in America.

Are you saying that most of the products in our local stores are made locally? Bet most of the products in your local hardware store are made in the same offshore factories where they make them for the big box boys.

How may of y'all have ever been in a Wal-Mart? I've been in one or two, I think.

Just curious...

How may of y'all have ever been in a Wal-Mart? I've been in one or two, I think.

Yeah, it looks just like a Target. Pretty much the same stuff. Target just has a stellar reputation while Walmart gets slammed for every little thing. Doesn't make a lot of sense.

"Of course, if "mainly goods from China and SE Asian factories" is your criteria, Wal-mar's also your place."

Let's add in IKEA and most mom'n'pop stores who are constantly looking for the lowest cost goods. This is not a WalMart only phenomenen.

"four-year degree holders are one of the largest groups currently receiving public assistance and unemployment benefits."

OK, mom'n'pop stores fiz this how.

Still waiting for alternative to WalMart jobs that peopl can earn money at.

Parks don't create as many jobs.

The Burlingame store is about 75,000 square feed. Even if Fred Meyer wanted to, they would not have been able to fill a 200,000 sq ft. store 60 years ago. The selection of products available back then was no where near what is available today. I'd put them in the big box category.

You're talking about Burlingame *today*. I'm talking about 50-60 years ago. It was much smaller then.

Are you saying that most of the products in our local stores are made locally?

Depends on the store, doesn't it?

Bet most of the products in your local hardware store are made in the same offshore factories where they make them for the big box boys.

Depends on the hardware store, Dave. I've got one down the road that gets most of its wood and hardware locally (and regionally). In fact, a lot of fasteners (bolts, nuts, etc.) here are made in America. Is that good? not necessarily, but arguably better than a 14,000 mile multi-modal trip from Taiwan.

Look: You can try and pin it on me that I'm "picking on" Wal-mart. Wal-mart's just one example of a larger problem--and the subject of Jack's blog post. Is Target better? Only marginally. Is Home Depot? Again, marginally, barely.

Am I a perfect example of a conscious shopper? No. And that's not the point, really; I don't begrudge people necessities or the daily compromises of family raising, getting by, making ends meet.

I also don't claim to never be a hypocrite. What I *do* claim is this: I try and do my best to consider where I spend my money carefully. "cheap" is rarely a factor, because it's always misleading, and in fact usually means "expensive"--unless price is the only measure.

Eco, sorry, but Burlingame Fred Meyer in the 50's and 60's was the same size as it is today, they just added the two story parking garage with a Burger King. The tit-for-tats are interesting. Fred's third store on Hawthorne back in the late 50's can certainly be called a big box by your definition. Longtime Burlingame Neighbor

Nope. In fact, several retailers in the 50s and 60s started at about the same time. Wal-mart was one of them; Fred Meyer was not. Fred Meyer didn't go "big box" until the 90s, after being purchased by Kroger.

I suggest you read up on the history of Fred Meyer as it was the very first one-stop-big-box concept store in the entire nation. The whole concept was designed by Fred G Meyer himself.

Most Wal-Mart employees are at or below the poverty line,...

So what? All Walmart employees make more then the federally mandated minimum wage.

...and few can afford the health care offered by the store (almost three-quarters of a million employees can't afford it, as of 2005). Less than half of all Wal-mart employees are covered, and part-time employees (that's most employees) must wait *one year* before enrolling.

How many companies offer ANY benefit package to part time employees? Something is better then nothing.

In 2006, Wal-Mart documented over 57 wage and hour lawsuits.

As compared to how many employees?

Wal-mart routinely discourages employees from meal and work breaks, and has paid out millions in claims as a result. Wal-mart has routinely violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Again, compared to how many employees?

Also worth noting that local employers, especially corner stores, coffee shops, restaurants, and bars rarely offer breaks and lunches. Ask anyone in the service industry.

The average Wal-mart employee in 2006 earned $17,114. For a family of two, that's below the poverty line in most states.

All of this results in a taxpayer cost (due to free and reduced lunches, low-income housing assistance, student programs, health care costs, etc.) of almost a half million dollars yearly--for just *one* Wal-mart store.

The average unemployed person earns $0 annually. For a family of two, that is even further below the poverty line in most states.

This results in even more taxpayer cost then if the person had a job.

In fact, because of extremely high turnover, Wal-mart rehires nearly half of its workforce every year. Very few ever attain management positions. Or health care. Or living wage jobs. Or much of anything, really. Luckily, though, *you* get low prices.

Again, so what? All retailers have high turnover, usually in January when seasonal employees are laid off.

Also, most people have to work and prove themselves before being offered a management level position. For an unskilled worker who never bothered with getting an education, it sounds like a great opportunity.

Small business in Oregon pays wages almost one-third higher than Wal-mart, and provides the majority of Oregon jobs. Almost 70% of all small business employees receive at least partial private health care coverage.

"Small Business" is an over-generalization. Only with businesses who compete with Walmart (for customers, or employees) can be used to make an accurate comparison. It is highly unlikely that any small business who hires unskilled employees (retail, labor, etc) offer more then minimum wage and/or benefits to part time employees.

I suggest you read up on the history of Fred Meyer as it was the very first one-stop-big-box concept store in the entire nation. The whole concept was designed by Fred G Meyer himself.


So what? All Walmart employees make more then the federally mandated minimum wage.

So, you think the federal minimum wage is meant to be a living wage? You might want to read up on what the intended of the minimum wage is.


How many companies offer ANY benefit package to part time employees? Something is better then nothing.

Depends on the company size. In the US, over 80% of corporations with 250+ employees typically offer part time employees at least partial benefits within 90 days or less. Wal-mart has a one year waiting period, and few employees can afford it (and 50-60% ofthe workforce turns over in a year--hence the waiting period).

And here's one local/regional example: Burgerville:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125149100886467705.html


In 2006, Wal-Mart documented over 57 wage and hour lawsuits.

As compared to how many employees?

That would be more than about any major corporation in the world. Look it up.

Wal-mart routinely discourages employees from meal and work breaks, and has paid out millions in claims as a result. Wal-mart has routinely violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Again, compared to how many employees?

They've paid out over $200 million in settlements the past few years. Again, more than just about any corporation in the world. For number of employees, or any other measure you'd like to choose.

Also worth noting that local employers, especially corner stores, coffee shops, restaurants, and bars rarely offer breaks and lunches. Ask anyone in the service industry.

You're wrong, and for most jobs it's *mandatory*. That's why Wal-mart's paing out millions--because they're breaking the law and getting caught over and over. Safeway has breaks. Starbucks. my local coffe shop. the hardware store down the street offers breaks (I've asked). McDonald's. most bars (for shifts longer than a few hours). And so on.


The average unemployed person earns $0 annually. For a family of two, that is even further below the poverty line in most states.

Wrong again. Uneployment benefits cost taxpayers billions annually.


Again, so what? All retailers have high turnover, usually in January when seasonal employees are laid off.

Wal-mart's turnover is the highest of any major retailer in the country. by almost twice as much.

Also, most people have to work and prove themselves before being offered a management level position. For an unskilled worker who never bothered with getting an education, it sounds like a great opportunity.

Those workers don't generally move into meaningful management positions at Wal-mart, no matter how hard they work. They stay part-time.


"Small Business" is an over-generalization.

No, "small business" has a specific meaning in most states. In Oregon, here's one:
https://www.oregonlaws.org/glossary/definition/small_business


Only with businesses who compete with Walmart (for customers, or employees) can be used to make an accurate comparison.

Unfortunately, very few businesses "compete" with Wal-mart. And a comparison of what, exactly?

It is highly unlikely that any small business who hires unskilled employees (retail, labor, etc) offer more then minimum wage and/or benefits to part time employees.

Really? Prove it. And Wal-mart offers affordable benefits to fewer part-time employees than any large corporation in the nation.

And it's interesting that you say that only businesses that compete with Wal-mart can be used fr comparison-but your entire post is mainly about comparing small businesses with Wal-mart--which are, at best, never meaningful competitors.

Eco,

I'm glad you referenced Burgerville in one of your earlier posts. Not to go too far off topic, buy you're right that you aren't a "Wal-Mart basher." You'd probably love it it McD's and Burger King also were excluded to the benefit of Burgerville only, because they only kill free range hormone free blah blah cows. Good for them and they found a business model that works. Local non-Wal-Mart businesses can and should do the same. Wait, they already try, and people still flock to Wal-Mart, Target, IKEA, etc.

Maybe these consumers are on to something? Maybe you are overestimating their willingness to buy into your "save the world" mantra?

I always find this walmart bashing amusing; since at least half the people that whine about their stores have never set foot in one. Last time I looked, we still had the ability to make choices - and among those choices is the ability to shop where one wants. If you dislike Walmart don't go there.
In the current economy, where about 12% of the local working population is unemployed, I bet lots of people are doing their shopping based upon what they can afford rather than what some union shill or political hack is telling them.

"So, you think the federal minimum wage is meant to be a living wage?"

Its what 90% of mom'n'pops pay.

"and for most jobs it's *mandatory*."

Mom'n'pops break these a lot of the time.

"comparing small businesses with Wal-mart--which are, at best, never meaningful competitors."

Again, give me the alternative employer of the average WalMart employee that is better.

I hear a lot of complaining (like with the recall effort) and precious few solutions besides teraing down what is working.

Not to go too far off topic

you did. but you really didn't read my last few posts, did you?

I hear a lot of complaining (like with the recall effort) and precious few solutions besides teraing down what is working.

I did, if you were reading. Here, I'll be more explicit about a solution: shop locally, and buy local. Local food can be had inexpensively, at higher qualities.

Because when I look at the products big box retailers sell, there are precious few necessities--and a lot of junk.

I did read them. You're right, I'm wrong, you are a 100% Wal-Mart basher. :)

The problem is that you can voice distaste for "big box" consumerism all day long, but you have yet to explain what your solution is, other than "come with me and pay more to support the locally-owned, higher priced alternative." That is a loser argument. We know that because Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Home Depot, etc. are so successful.

I disagree with the recent poster questioning how many on this blog have been to a Wal-Mart or any other store they bitch about. I think MOST of us have, but are afraid to admit such a sin.

Fred G. Meyer's big boxes of the 1950s weren't as big as the big boxes of today, but they were bigger than everyone else's big boxes at the time. He was the first in the area, and one of the first in the nation, to combine a large grocery with a large soft-goods (clothing, linens, etc.) store and then to add significant quantities of automotive products, home improvement items, small appliances, and other things to the mix. The Burlingame store in particular was very much the big box of its day, so much so that when it opened in the late 1950s, Albertsons promptly closed its grocery at Barbur and Terwilliger, two blocks east, and relocated it to Shattuck Road, three miles farther away.

"shop locally, and buy local. Local food can be had inexpensively, at higher qualities."

At higher prices also. I do not know your situation, but I know a lot of families who need to make a dollar stretch and really don't have teh capacity to subsidize higer priced sources. Again, how does this help out of work WalMart empluyees?

What I *do* claim is this: I try and do my best to consider where I spend my money carefully. "cheap" is rarely a factor, because it's always misleading, and in fact usually means "expensive"--unless price is the only measure.

Good for you. Individuals cast their "dollar ballots" based on those factors important to them. That's the essence of "freedom of choice." The solution is for you to convince large numbers of others to view things your way so that Wal-Mart, Target, and other "big boxes" are no longer profitable. At that point, they will change their business practices.

Until then, one assumes that most consumers act rationally based on the things that are important to them. Apparently, low price and selection are more important to them than the factors you mention. They should have the freedom of choice to shop at those stores that satisfy their needs the best.

Oregon's tendency to restrict choice inflicts a heavy cost on those of limited means. The $50, $100, or other amount they save by shopping at big box stores allows them to purchase other goods they need, thus improving their standard of living. If, at some point in the future, they have the luxury of paying more for things to support a philosophy like yours, maybe they will.

As for the wages, benefits, etc., Wal-Mart employees get, hundreds of people line up to get these "bad" jobs (in your eyes). As a friend of mine said, either they're crazy or the job at Wal-Mart is (1) better than the job they have now; or (2) better than the job they don't have right now.

We've been transformed from a nation of manufacturers to a nation of consumers . . . a nation of predominantly poor consumers.

I recently picked up a bound collection of 1937 issues of Popular Mechanics. The differences are stark. People were manufacturing, selling and buying things made in America. Advertisements were for American-made products and people were concerned with GAINING weight, not losing it. This was before the era of massive offshoring, corn syrup in everything on the supermarket shelf, and the buy-and-discard mentality so prevalent today (but recently waning).

You can't really blame people in our screwed economy for wanting to pay as little as possible for goods, but, as grandma used to say, "You buy cheap, you get cheap." And while you can get a cheaper drunk from mad dog, it doesn't make you a wine connoiseur. Enabling monopoly businesses like Walmart exacerbates the problem. They already control the production and price of many products, having enslaved certain industries to the point that if they lose Walmart's business they go under. Ditto McDonald's, etc..

The idea that businesses can combine and expand to the point that they are "too big too fail" wouldn't have been tolerated not too long ago. Remember the Ma Bell breakup? What happened to the idea of discouraging what amounts to trusts that control far too much of the economy and weaken the vigor of domestic suppliers/employers?

That is a loser argument. We know that because Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Home Depot, etc. are so successful.

your definition of "success" is very narrow, my friend.

Until then, one assumes that most consumers act rationally based on the things that are important to them.

"rational behavior" must be why consumers are undergoing foreclosure in record numbers, and credit card debt default is the highest ever.

Oregon's tendency to restrict choice inflicts a heavy cost on those of limited means. The $50, $100, or other amount they save by shopping at big box stores allows them to purchase other goods they need, thus improving their standard of living.

Wow. what part of "the majority of Wal-mart employees are at or below the poverty level" do you disbelieve? Or are you saying Wal-mart's too expensive for its employees?

Apparently, low price and selection are more important to them than the factors you mention. They should have the freedom of choice to shop at those stores that satisfy their needs the best.

So, as long as the prices are low and selection is good, Wal-mart's a good place?

As for the wages, benefits, etc., Wal-Mart employees get, hundreds of people line up to get these "bad" jobs (in your eyes).

So, as long as people want the jobs, it's okay to mistreat them?

I do not know your situation, but I know a lot of families who need to make a dollar stretch and really don't have teh capacity to subsidize higer priced sources.

You're not paying attention: you, as a taxpayer, are helping to subsidize Wal-mart's low prices. You really believe that Wal-mart simply "buys low and sells low", don't you?

Fred G. Meyer's big boxes of the 1950s weren't as big as the big boxes of today, but they were bigger than everyone else's big boxes at the time.

Wrong. In fact, "big box" stores already existed in California and the Midwest. The proof's easy to find.

But that's really not the point, is it?

He was the first in the area, and one of the first in the nation, to combine a large grocery with a large soft-goods (clothing, linens, etc.) store and then to add significant quantities of automotive products, home improvement items, small appliances, and other things to the mix.

"one of the" first. You've got to choose, Isaac. first you're arguing size, then you're off on a tangent to "product combinations". But you're still wrong--Wal-mart did it long before Fred Meyer, for one example.

you have yet to explain what your solution is, other than "come with me and pay more to support the locally-owned, higher priced alternative." That is a loser argument.

Show me some proof that shopping and buying local is consistently more expensive than shopping at Wal-mart. And I'm talking necessities, not Halloween decorations shipped from China.

The Burlingame store in particular was very much the big box of its day

Isaac, if you want to use the term "big box" to mean "big store", go right ahead. It isn't the same thing, and isn't even to the point.

Actually, it is. The Burlingame Fred Mayer is 77,000 square feet, most of which is original to the 1950 store. The first Wal-Mart didn't een open until 1962. Ordinary Wal-Mart stores average 107,000 SF in size, according to the company, and Wal-Mark Supercenters average 185,000 square feet, certainly larger today than the big boxes of the 1950s, but there's no question that Fred Meyer had the concept and built the stores long before Sam Walton did.

Isaac, I'll go off on the tangent with you.

Using your definition of a "big box" store, Macy's did it 94 years ago, Sears did it 70 years ago, the May Company did it 80 years ago, and so on.

Are you really that passionate about the square footage of retail stores or arguing the precise definition of "big box", or are you interested in the topic at hand, which is the implications and impact of businesses like Wal-mart?

"Show me some proof that shopping and buying local is consistently more expensive than shopping at Wal-mart."

Go to any farmers market and compare prices. Besides, if local stuff is priced competitively why isn't it flying off shelves?

"you, as a taxpayer, are helping to subsidize Wal-mart's low prices."

Explain again. If your argument is low-wage employees suck up govt services, they take less than no wage employees.

If your argument is low-wage employees suck up govt services, they take less than no wage employees.

And, by extrapolation, employees paid a fair wage take even less services than low wage.

Which is an option for Wal mart, should they choose that business model.

Which they obviously don't.

"employees paid a fair wage"

Ummm, they are paid a fair and competitive wage.

If they were underpaid, they'd find another job or probably work on Sam Adams staff.

"employees paid a fair wage"

Ummm, they are paid a fair and competitive wage.

It's that kind of response that makes explanation fruitless. Steve, I've already posted in detail about Wal-mart's employee treatment; you can verify any of it yourself, and learn even more.

But you won't. Instead, you'll ask others to do your thinking and reading for you, and complain when they don't explain it ad infinitum to your satisfaction.

So, that's enough from me about Wal-mart.

"you, and complain when they don't explain it ad infinitum to your satisfaction."

Umm, they're still paid a competitive wage, otherwise, they'd find another job. Unless you're suggesting a fair wage means an equal wage for everyone.

Sorry, we can't all be firemen, ballerinas or work for Sam Adams.

This discussion of Wal-Mart brings to mind two of my favorite movie quotes.

1. From "Alien" - "I admire its purity. A survivor... unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality." - Ash, describing the monster. Kinda how I view Wal-Mart (full disclosure - don't shop there, but don't begrudge others their right to do so).

2. From "Broadcast News" - "It must be nice to always believe you know better, to always think you're the smartest person in the room." - Paul Moore. "No. It's awful." - Jane Craig. Pretty much sums up the national discussion of Wal-Mart as foes and supporters argue like it's a contact sport, convincing nobody and frustrating everyone within earshot. It's as satisfying as an eternal episode of "Crossfire."

eco -

Look at another way. My folks are on a fixed income. They could barely afford their prescriptions. Then Walmart came along and started charging $4 for prescriptions. They all the other folks matched it. Funny how much fewer people complain about the cost of prescriptions these days. It's call competition. Walmart has done more to make prescriptions affordable to the average person than those idiots we elect to Washington. Now if the rest of the health care system could be opened to competition like this, we'd all be better off.

I don't shop at Walmart. I'm not into a lot of the stuff they carry but I do recognize a good thing when I see it.

Does it really matter who's *** is bigger or older or whatever (Freddy's vs. Wal-Mart)?

They're comparable concepts - multi-department discount stores.

Either way, Cornelius has had Freddy's since the mid-1980s, so what is the harm with Wal-Mart on the opposite end of town (closest to Forest Grove)?

For those of you who don't like Wal-Mart, don't shop there. Don't like any of the big box stores? Don't shop at any of those, either. No one is forcing a gun to your head and telling you that you MUST shop only at big box stores.

Complain that the Wal-Marts chase out the little guys? Tell that to McMinnville - where downtown has actually PROSPERED since Wal-Mart opened in the early 1990s. The only real casualty of Wal-Mart was...get this...K-Mart, across the street. (And McMinnville's K-Mart was widely derided as undersized by design, it was a "starter" store and far smaller than the Tualatin store some 25 miles away.)


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In Vino Veritas

If You See Kay, Red 2011
Turnbull, Old Bull Red 2010
Cherry Tart, Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
Benton Lane, Pinot Gris 2012
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
Haden Fig, Pinot Noir 2012
Pendulum Red 2011
Vina Real, Plata, Crianza Rioja 2009
Edmunds St. John, Bone/Jolly, Gamay Noir Rose 2013
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 26
Ayna, Tempranillo 2011
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Haley's Block 2010
Apaltagua, Reserva Camenere 2012
Lugana, San Benedetto 2012
Argyle Brut 2007
Wildewood Pinot Gris 2012
Anciano, Tempranillo Reserva 2007
Santa Rita, Reserva Cabernet 2009
Casone, Toscana 2008
Fonseca Porto, Bin No. 27
Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Rose 2012
Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
Domaine Eugene Carrel, Jongieux 2012
Eyrie, Pinot Blanc 2010
Atticus, Pinot Noir 2010
Walter Scott, Pinot Noir, Holstein 2011
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
Coppola, Sofia Rose 2012
Joel Gott, 851 Cabernet 2010
Pol Roget Reserve Sparkling Wine
Mount Eden Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2009
Rombauer Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2011
Beringer, Chardonnay, Napa Reserve 2011
Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Schloss Vollrads, Spaetlese Rheingau 2010
Belle Glos, Pinot Noir, Clark & Telephone 2010
WillaKenzie, Pinot Noir, Estate Cuvee 2010
Blackbird Vineyards, Arise, Red 2010
Chauteau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005
Northstar, Merlot 2008
Feather, Cabernet 2007
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Alexander Valley 2002
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2002
Trader Joe's, Chardonnay, Grower's Reserve 2012
Silver Palm, Cabernet, North Coast 2010
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
E. Guigal, Cotes du Rhone 2009
Santa Margherita, Pinot Grigio 2011
Alamos, Cabernet 2011
Cousino Macul, Cabernet, Anitguas Reservas 2009
Dreaming Tree Cabernet 2010
1967, Toscana 2009
Charamba, Douro 2008
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend No. 12
Opula Red Blend 2010
Liberte, Pinot Noir 2010
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red Blend 2010
Woodbridge, Chardonnay 2011
King Estate, Pinot Noir 2011
Famille Perrin, Cotes du Rhone Villages 2010
Columbia Crest, Les Chevaux Red 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White Blend
Familia Bianchi, Malbec 2009
Terrapin Cellars, Pinot Gris 2011
Columbia Crest, Walter Clore Private Reserve 2009
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Termpranillo 2010
Ravenswood, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Quinta das Amoras, Vinho Tinto 2010
Waterbrook, Reserve Merlot 2009
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills, Pinot Grigio 2011
Tarantas, Rose
Chateau Lajarre, Bordeaux 2009
La Vielle Ferme, Rose 2011
Benvolio, Pinot Grigio 2011
Nobilo Icon, Pinot Noir 2009

The Occasional Book

Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 212
At this date last year: 60
Total run in 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


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