Wal-Mart in Powhatan County is not inevitable (“Rural Rollback,” Cover Story, June 9). It only takes three supervisors with the courage to look out for the long-term interests of the county to stop this project. Voters in the past two board elections have tossed out several supervisors perceived as friendly to Chesterfield County-type development, and in those elections there was not an issue nearly as significant.
An informal poll conducted by the newspaper Powhatan Today showed a 2-1 margin in opposition to Wal-Mart coming into the county. While not a scientific survey, the level of resident discontent rang out loud and clear. Hundreds of signatures on petitions against the store and large numbers of speakers against the proposal at the recent Planning Commission meeting reinforce the message.
This store may be approved, but it could come at a high political cost to the supervisors who vote yes to the rezoning request.
There shouldn't even be a debate about whether to add yet another Wal-Mart to this state, or even to this country. In addition to the many reasons listed in your article (Wal-Mart's notoriously paying their employees such low wages, being vehemently anti-union, not offering workers acceptable benefits), one need only view the documentaries “Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices,” and the more recent “Capitalism: A Love Story,” in which we learn that Wal-Mart purchases, and cashes in, million-dollar life-insurance policies on employees with known medical conditions, to realize that we should all boycott this epitome of soulless corporate greed.
Many, if not all, of Wal-Mart's full-time employees receive Medicaid and food stamps, because the benefits offered by Wal-Mart are so subpar. Yet, following Hurricane Katrina, employees were pressured by Wal-Mart to donate part of their already miniscule paychecks to the Red Cross to help the hurricane victims ... while the multibillionaire Walton family itself donated a paltry sum.
I could go on and on, but suffice to say, if there is another store within reasonable driving distance, there is no excuse in the world to shop at Wal-Mart. And there is certainly no reason to build yet another one.