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Jackson County should reject any offer by Wal-Mart to purchase the Miles Field.

Studies show that for every two jobs created by a Wal-Mart store, the community loses three. Jobs that are retained by a community are merely shifted from local businesses to the giant retailer. In a 1994 report, the Congressional Research Service warned Congress that communities need to evaluate the significance of any job gains at big-box stores against any loss of jobs due to reduced business at competing retailers. The report also pointed out that these so-called new jobs “provide significantly lower wages then jobs in many industries, and are often only part-time positions, seasonal opportunities, or subject to extensive turnover.” The Real Story is that when Wal-Mart moves into the neighborhood, it devours local businesses and lowers community living standards.

As the largest private sector employer in the U.S., with 720,000 employees, Wal-Mart is a retail giant. It sets low-wage and inadequate family health coverage standards for the entire industry. Wal-Mart had sales revenue of $110 billion in 1997— Its sales revenue is more than the GDP of entire countries, including Western European nations like Norway and Denmark. Wal-Mart generated $3.5 billion in net profit last year— That’s more than its three largest general merchandise competitors and the three largest supermarket chains combined.

Wal-Mart doesn’t create jobs. It takes existing jobs, down-grades the pay and benefits for most of them, and destroys the rest— According to a study, for every 100 jobs at Wal-Mart 150 existing jobs in the community have been destroyed.

80% of Wal-Mart tagged garments are imports, while the national average is only 55%. Thousands of working families have lost their jobs to overseas sweatshops. Lower wages are forced on manufacturing employees because of Wal-Mart demands on suppliers. U.S. manufacturers are forced to cut jobs or close their doors when Wal-Mart replaces their products with imports.

Be a good neighbor. Shop at stores that pay living wages and that provide good family health benefits. Use your consumer dollars to create good jobs in your community and keep jobs in the U.S. Just say no to Wal-Mart! Support local businesses!

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