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HeyHatch

Wal-Mart to invade the Heights

Walmart at Yale & I-10: For or Against  

160 members have voted

This poll is closed to new votes
  1. 1. Q1: Regarding the proposed WalMart at Yale and I-10:

    • I live within a 3 mile radius (as the crow flies) and am FOR this Walmart
      41
    • I live within a 3 mile radius (as the crow flies) and am AGAINST this Walmart
      54
    • I live outside a 3 mile radius (as the crow flies) and am FOR this Walmart
      30
    • I live outside a 3 mile radius (as the crow flies) and am AGAINST this Walmart
      26
    • Undecided
      9
  2. 2. Q2: If/when this proposed WalMart is built at Yale & I-10

    • I am FOR this WalMart and will shop at this WalMart
      45
    • I am FOR this WalMart but will not shop at this WalMart
      23
    • I am AGAINST this WalMart but will shop at this WalMart
      7
    • I am AGAINST this WalMart and will not shop at this WalMart
      72
    • Undecided
      13
  3. 3. Q3: WalMart in general

    • I am Pro-Walmart
      16
    • I am Anti-Walmart
      63
    • I don't care either way
      72
    • Undecided
      9


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it will certainly draw folks from well beyond the heights, which is the problem. i suspect it will draw on residents from the 5th ward, 3rd ward, and others from east of 45. they will all be getting off I-10 at heights/yale.

Is this a problem because of increased automobile traffic? Or because the store may attract outsiders to the Heights?

Edited by JLWM8609
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Oh, so it's a chip on your shoulder that makes you act like this. Makes more sense now.

Really.... Since you've already disclosed how unsuccessful you are then I would interpret that your background as mentioned above was not very successful/knowledgeable and may be a low level employee(?), therefore it seems that you may not the better (or only) person to give input in the matter

First, I want to address these two personal attacks:

The decimation of my industry by a financial crisis was completely unforeseeable when I began my career about eight years ago. Indeed I'm not happy about it, but (HeightsYankee) you'll note that I've been a genuine cheapskate--and a Wal-Mart shopper--since even before that. I want a Wal-Mart that's close to me, and the chip on your shoulder over what you've seen happen to your small hometown is prompting you to rail against what I (and many other unemployed and underemployed people in our community) need.

As for CleaningLady, I've yielded hundreds of thousands of dollars of revenue by dolling out untold thousands of pages of thoughtful and researched opinion on these kinds of issues. Certainly there are other people that can do the job; I had coworkers and their very existence is evidence of the fact. Still, I think myself more qualified than most to add constructively to the conversation...particularly when so much of the backlash appears to be founded in emotion rather than reason.

Let's move on, shall we?

And I don't believe it was inevitable as the only other Walmart in Western Ma is in Pittesfield, population roughly 100,000, and many of the other clusters of small towns around there which have kept Walmart out continue to thrive. Even now that they have opened the largest contemporary art museum in the country in an old factory, the town can't recover and many locals will point to Walmarts destruction of the local economy as part of it.

And, again, I also dislike Walmart as a company due to their employment policies which keep thousands of people on their "payroll" below the poverty line. They use sweatshop labor. They discriminate against women in their power structure. They even dictate the size of home their corp staff can purchase (i.e. regardless of the size of his family, an inhouse lawyer for Walmart was told that he could not buy anything larger than a 3/2- in Arkansas, mind you- because they didn't want it too look like they pay their lawyers too much). I don't like them as a company and I don't have to support or be happy about them moving so close to me (maybe, this is all just rumor at this point no matter how much HeyHatch hears it's a done deal). And I don't have to change my mind just because you are excited about the prospect of having cheap, Chinese made products made so much more accessible to you...

See, you miss the point. This is, for many people, an emotional issue. We like or dislike Walmart for our own personal reasons, e.g. corp policies, sweatshop labor, discrimination, aesthetics, parking lot safety, etc. So no one really cares that you have anointed yourself the supreme expert on what we should all want. Your education and hodge podge of professional backgrounds isn't going to make HeyHatch feel safe in a Walmart parking lot at night and it's not going to make me go back and say "yeah, I'm sure glad there's a Walmart scarring the face of my quaint New England hometown." Frankly, we don't have to want it and, like you said, this is Houston. It's not like Walmart is the only option and we'd be silly for turning it away. If not Walmart, there are a lot of other ways that land could be developed that would benefit the area as much, if not more, than a Walmart. I'm sure you're aware that there are more options but you pull so hard for this one because it benefits you. Fine. That is your emotional reaction as well, but don't play it off as if everyone else is stupid for having a differing opinion.

I said earlier in the conversation that I don't believe Walmart will close the locally owned businesses in the Heights and surrounding neighborhoods. C&D survives with Home Depot and Lowe's a 5 minute drive away. People who are buying baby gifts at Tulips & Tutus aren't going to switch to Walmart. People who want handcrafted items aren't going to stop going to The Artful COrner and 18 Hands Gallery b/c Wallyworld moved below I10.

And here is a great tip for you: there are also 2 Fiestas, the nice one on Studewood and the giant Fiesta on Shepherd, where you can get all the inexpensive food you want, probably cheaper than Walmart will be anyway.

Houston, TX is not Westerfield, MA. There are about 60 times the number of people in our region, better higher-paying jobs, productive industry, and modern infrastructure. Your apparent surprise that a cultural institution could not turn around the town's economy is also kind of telling. The problem with towns such as that one is that the core employers cannot sustain their business. And to be clear, a mom & pop dry goods store is not a core employer; a museum is not a core employer; nor is a Wal-Mart; they are all non-core employers enabled by the disposable income injected into the workforce by industry (and to some extent from transfer payments).

Compare cities and towns in the northeast and the rust belt to Texas; with only three exceptions (Beaumont, Wichita Falls, and Sherman-Denison), all of our MSAs are growing. They all also have one or more Wal-Marts, and I'd suspect in higher concentration per capita than they exist in the northeast. Energy is only part of the story; why is Waco growing...or Amarillo? The answer is that Texas is a business-friendly state. We can out-compete Massachusetts and even China in many categories. ...and whether in spite of our Wal-Marts or more likely regardless of them, people move here from stagnant places like Pittsfield, MA for self-betterment in one form or another.

And, again, I also dislike Walmart as a company due to their employment policies which keep thousands of people on their "payroll" below the poverty line. They use sweatshop labor.

My monthly living expenses are only slightly more than half of what a full-time Wal-Mart employee on minimum wage earns. If that level of income is poverty, then whatever definition of poverty you're using was cooked up by one greedy bastard.

Also, FYI, Wal-Mart is air conditioned.

They discriminate against women in their power structure. They even dictate the size of home their corp staff can purchase (i.e. regardless of the size of his family, an inhouse lawyer for Walmart was told that he could not buy anything larger than a 3/2- in Arkansas, mind you- because they didn't want it too look like they pay their lawyers too much). I don't like them as a company and I don't have to support or be happy about them moving so close to me (maybe, this is all just rumor at this point no matter how much HeyHatch hears it's a done deal). And I don't have to change my mind just because you are excited about the prospect of having cheap, Chinese made products made so much more accessible to you...

Ummm...yeah, intentional or unintentional discrimination against women happens all the time. Big corporations try to keep a low-profile on high-earning employees all the time (and for good reason, as evidenced by the PR nightmares created by BP's and AIG's errors). And as for importing, Wal-Mart is only a huge participant in the trend, but other companies do it all the time. (Sadly, most Houstonians hear profoundly more propaganda over low-skill jobs outsourced indirectly by Wal-Mart than we do about the thousands of high-skill accounting and finance jobs that are outsourced by Shell Oil and the other majors.)

You seem to be jumping on the "I hate Wal-Mart" bandwagon because it's a symbol of all the other things that happen in a market economy with free trade. You're a sentimentalist. Not me. I know that Target, CVS, Walgreens, Family Dollar, Dollar General, etc., are no better. And in fact quite the opposite, I think that Wal-Mart is the best. I'm a consumer. I want the best deal. And aside from the aberrant instance that Wal-Mart is a monopsony in some tiny little ramshackle town...the needs of the many--the consumers--outweigh the needs of the few--those economically displaced by Wal-Mart.

And hey, after all...the Chinese are humans too. They move to big cities to get jobs at factories because it's a better life for them, not unlike our American ancestors that once flocked to a once-industrious Pittsfield, MA. So more power to them!

And here is a great tip for you: there are also 2 Fiestas, the nice one on Studewood and the giant Fiesta on Shepherd, where you can get all the inexpensive food you want, probably cheaper than Walmart will be anyway.

I'm not looking forward to a Wal-Mart so that I can drive an eight-mile round trip for mere groceries; I walk to Battle Kroger, which is usually cheaper than the Fiesta on Wayside to begin with.

As far as a "they can build it and then no one shop there and let it close" mentality, well a) we know a Walmart would probably stay open anywhere inside the loop but if it did fail then B) you are left with a big, ugly hulking shell of a big box store visible from space. It will take years to find someone willing to occupy or subdivide or tear down. This is a problem cities are seeing all across the country (mostly with empty, old Kmarts). In the time it takes to redevelop an old big box store, the vacant space can also have a hugely detrimental effect on a neighborhood. IMO, we are already at risk of Rice Military becoming a ghetto if development isn't done in a wise and careful manner. All business owners around that area should be invested in what goes up around them and for the long term health of the area, they should not want it to be a Walmart.

Remember when Albertson's closed up shop en masse around 2003? And then, when K-Mart followed suit a few years later? Then Garden Ridge? Retail investors thought that the glut of big box was going to wipe them out. The boxes got repurposed in short order, even in marginal neighborhoods.

This is Houston. We aren't a small town, nor is our economy stagnant.

You also previously mentioned a focus group study...how many people were in the study - 12 to about 25...? Usually modeling research to project up to a population should be over 1,000 people at least. Were they studying first generation Mexican-Americans (not Hispanics since you mentioned Mexican Families) , 2nd or 3rd generation or new arrivals...? There are vast differences between the groups.

Out of respect for my client, I will not reveal details that might be identifying. The disappointment over it being a Target rather than a Wal-Mart was widespread throughout the group. I hear (and validate) what you're saying; I know that this merely qualifies as anecdotal evidence, but it needs to stay that way.

The Heights has changed dramatically in the last 10 years and lots of companies (including commercial real estate) are just using the 2000 census with annual adjustments made on average/projected population growth. What can drastically change demographics in a short time in a zip code (or block group) are new apartment complexes due to their high number of households in a limited space. That I am aware of - there have not been many new apartment complexes built - except for the two on I-10 (Target & near Heights blvd) and the one on Yale (at 22nd) and it doesn't look to me that they are marketing and housing "Mexican families" (as you put it). If they are building a store at Northline Commons, not too far from there that will service Walmart's typical (repeat) customer (demographics), I would be very surprised if WalMart put a store in the Heights on Yale at I-10.

I'm not especially happy with many of the commercially-available demographic projections, either. I think that the Heights and the East Downtown area have gotten an especially raw deal, particularly where household income and ethnicity are estimated, and that many retailers would be much more interested if there were more realistic estimates. Having said that, you have to recognize that this store would not merely serve the Heights. The whole inner loop is poorly served by Wal-Mart; and their Post Oak store is obsolete.

In retail real estate there is are broad concepts for describing a shopping center and its tenants in order to characterize how it interacts with a customer base. For instance, a shopping center might have a "Neighborhood", "Community", or "Regional" draw, or be "Anchored", "Grocery Anchored", or "Non-Anchored". Tenants might fall on a spectrum between "Destination" and "Convenience".

If HEB were to take the site, there would also be other stores and probably pad sites. It would be a shopping center with tenants that aren't too uncommon, and it'd lack freeway visibility so that most customers would live or work nearby. It would serve the Neighborhood. And because it'd be Grocery Anchored with regular traffic from the same customers, the grocer would be the Destination, but most of the other retailers would rely on the Convenience factor relative to the anchor/destination to try and capture or induce business. Contrast this with a freestanding Wal-Mart Supercenter. It has an unusually large Community draw, is a Destination in its own rite, and functions as pretty much an entire shopping center (and then some) rolled into one store. This is why it's apples and oranges. The two possibilities draw from very different market areas.

Yes, that means that there are going to be different kinds of people going there. It serves a larger area and a different kind of need. But it doesn't mean that the need isn't there. Firstly, Wal-Mart does well in affluent communities and poor communities alike. Secondly, if the core of this argument is NIMBY, well then what's your proposed alternative? Go put it in a less politically-sensitive neighborhood? Or deny it altogether to people who'd want it? And some on here seem to wonder at my disdain for uppity white people...

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Duplicate post please delete

Edited by J008

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They even dictate the size of home their corp staff can purchase (i.e. regardless of the size of his family, an inhouse lawyer for Walmart was told that he could not buy anything larger than a 3/2- in Arkansas, mind you- because they didn't want it too look like they pay their lawyers too much).

I agree, it is abhorable that your employer would dictate the size of your home. Even worse would be the city government dictating what I can do with my home. Or my neighbors. Or changing the rules on what I can do with my home after the fact.

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You know, I found some interesting things while perusing the Walmart website. First, it appears that there are only 48 Walmarts in the entire state of Massachusetts, so I would suggest that their ability to decimate the 'mom and pop' economy is a bit overstated. However, more interesting was the fact that the average hourly wage of their 12,914 Massachusetts associates is $12.72. That's $26,500 per year, which is ABOVE the poverty level of the average family of four. Considering the skill and education level of a retail employee, 26 thou a year ain't bad wages.

Another interesting tidbit is the fact that Walmart bought $2.23 Billion in products from Massachusetts based suppliers last year, supporting 48,000 Massachusetts supplier jobs. Not Chinese jobs...Massachusetts jobs. Now, I have no idea what the mom and pops support (no one ever does), but Walmart is supporting over 60,000 Massachusetts jobs.

http://walmartstores.com/pressroom/statebystate/State.aspx?st=MA

Edited by RedScare
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All of this conversation is nice and all....I'm still wondering if anyone has any concrete evidence that it is indeed a WalMart going into this spot? Usually, this HAIF crew comes through with some pretty good inside information.

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All of this conversation is nice and all....I'm still wondering if anyone has any concrete evidence that it is indeed a WalMart going into this spot? Usually, this HAIF crew comes through with some pretty good inside information.

Why worry about facts when we can carry on bitching about walmart in TWO threads!!

Sam's choice root beer from the machine for a quarter? Find me some change!!

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I'm late to the game and still trying to figure what Heights-invasion is happening. This is proposed for south of the I-10? It's practically at the railroad tracks! The cries for more fancy cheese, more checkout lanes and more parking just resulted in the planet's largest Kroger on Shepherd, but a Wal-Mart on the other side of the highway is a problem? There is apparently no pleasing the Heights.

I hate shopping at Wal-mart (and virtually all large stores) because it attracts so many people with their armies of horrible little children. But, I love their RV parking policy. I'm stoked, because when I cash out and get rid of all my stuff to live in a used motor home, thanks to the Wal-Mart parking lot, I can stay inside the loop.

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I just got home from grocery shopping with the family at Walmart. No one cares much on 1960 though. And before anyone asks, no, none of us were raped or robbed in the parking lot. That could have been due to the torrential downpour going on while I was loading the trunk though. Everyone knows criminals fear the rain.

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I'm late to the game and still trying to figure what Heights-invasion is happening. This is proposed for south of the I-10? It's practically at the railroad tracks! The cries for more fancy cheese, more checkout lanes and more parking just resulted in the planet's largest Kroger on Shepherd, but a Wal-Mart on the other side of the highway is a problem? There is apparently no pleasing the Heights.

I hate shopping at Wal-mart (and virtually all large stores) because it attracts so many people with their armies of horrible little children. But, I love their RV parking policy. I'm stoked, because when I cash out and get rid of all my stuff to live in a used motor home, thanks to the Wal-Mart parking lot, I can stay inside the loop.

Well, crunch, you're just not hip to how the Heights works. When we're complaining about restaurants and D-bag bars, Washington Avenue is NOT the Heights. An interstate highway is a pretty clear line of demarcation. But, when we complain about Walmart, then Washington Avenue is included in the Heights. It works the same with our homes. We don't want uber-riche people building McMansions in the Heights, forcing out the middle class. We'd rather impose such restrictions on them that they cannot afford to repair or remodel their bungalows. By the same logic, we don't want low price Walmart, because they pay low wages. We'd rather have high priced 'mom and pops' for our middle class residents to enjoy. It makes perfect sense to us. Only an Eastie like yourself and Niche couldn't understand something as simple as this.

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We don't want uber-riche people building McMansions in the Heights, forcing out the middle class.

We'd rather have high priced 'mom and pops' for our middle class residents to enjoy.

Apparently I'm not middle class, like I had previously though.

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Well, crunch, you're just not hip to how the Heights works. When we're complaining about restaurants and D-bag bars, Washington Avenue is NOT the Heights. An interstate highway is a pretty clear line of demarcation. But, when we complain about Walmart, then Washington Avenue is included in the Heights. It works the same with our homes. We don't want uber-riche people building McMansions in the Heights, forcing out the middle class. We'd rather impose such restrictions on them that they cannot afford to repair or remodel their bungalows. By the same logic, we don't want low price Walmart, because they pay low wages. We'd rather have high priced 'mom and pops' for our middle class residents to enjoy. It makes perfect sense to us. Only an Eastie like yourself and Niche couldn't understand something as simple as this.

You could always move on up to the east side. No restrictions here! OK, maybe some lightweight deed restriction on certain streets about multi-family and commercial, but hey. Unlike the Heights, I'll have light rail 3 blocks away from mi casa in the next two years. It may only go to Minute Maid Park and down Harrisburg, but hey, it's a start. And if you ever get lonesome for the Heights, I think the #40 Pecore bus comes through here.

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Houston, TX is not Westerfield, MA. There are about 60 times the number of people in our region, better higher-paying jobs, productive industry, and modern infrastructure. Your apparent surprise that a cultural institution could not turn around the town's economy is also kind of telling. The problem with towns such as that one is that the core employers cannot sustain their business. And to be clear, a mom & pop dry goods store is not a core employer; a museum is not a core employer; nor is a Wal-Mart; they are all non-core employers enabled by the disposable income injected into the workforce by industry (and to some extent from transfer payments).

Compare cities and towns in the northeast and the rust belt to Texas; with only three exceptions (Beaumont, Wichita Falls, and Sherman-Denison), all of our MSAs are growing. They all also have one or more Wal-Marts, and I'd suspect in higher concentration per capita than they exist in the northeast. Energy is only part of the story; why is Waco growing...or Amarillo? The answer is that Texas is a business-friendly state. We can out-compete Massachusetts and even China in many categories. ...and whether in spite of our Wal-Marts or more likely regardless of them, people move here from stagnant places like Pittsfield, MA for self-betterment in one form or another.

Actually, the economy of Western MA is some residual farming but primarily tourism/culture. It hasn't been industry in most parts of the state for more than 60 years. As I said before, many of the towns throughout the Berkshires are thriving and always have. It's places and events like Cranwell to Tanglewood to the Williamstown Theater Festival which fuel the economy of the western part of the state. It's picturesque and quaint; people come from all over the world to spend weekends or even the summer. However, when people visit MassMoCA, they don't spend a lot of money in North Adams because there is no where for them to spend it. They go to Williamstown or drive down to Lee/Lenox/Stockbridge and shop, buy art, eat because you can do those things in those areas. In North Adams, you can shop at Walmart and the tourists don't want or need it. It's also not a 24 hours Walmart so the "convenience factor" is lost there as well.

As far as coming here for self betterment, I came to Texas as a full time volunteer (VISTA) working to help children in poverty, not to suckle the Texas teet, and ended up marrying a native.

But of course you know more about my hometown and my intentions and my reasons for being than I do, so I digress

My monthly living expenses are only slightly more than half of what a full-time Wal-Mart employee on minimum wage earns. If that level of income is poverty, then whatever definition of poverty you're using was cooked up by one greedy bastard.

Ahhhh. So what you really want here is a job.

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Well, crunch, you're just not hip to how the Heights works. When we're complaining about restaurants and D-bag bars, Washington Avenue is NOT the Heights. An interstate highway is a pretty clear line of demarcation. But, when we complain about Walmart, then Washington Avenue is included in the Heights. It works the same with our homes. We don't want uber-riche people building McMansions in the Heights, forcing out the middle class. We'd rather impose such restrictions on them that they cannot afford to repair or remodel their bungalows. By the same logic, we don't want low price Walmart, because they pay low wages. We'd rather have high priced 'mom and pops' for our middle class residents to enjoy. It makes perfect sense to us. Only an Eastie like yourself and Niche couldn't understand something as simple as this.

You can move to the suburbs, get a cheap house and a whole lotta Walmart. Have fun.

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You can move to the suburbs, get a cheap house and a whole lotta Walmart. Have fun.

Or, I could stay right where I'm at and fight your attempts to turn my neighborhood into Western MA.

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Actually, the economy of Western MA is some residual farming but primarily tourism/culture. It hasn't been industry in most parts of the state for more than 60 years.

Exactly.

Ahhhh. So what you really want here is a job.

Sort of, but it has no bearing on this subject. I've got a packet in for an Army officer commission. That's the priority.

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You can move to the suburbs, get a cheap house and a whole lotta Walmart. Have fun.

So you're telling him that your values are better; he needs to move. Do you have any idea how condescending that sounds? What if I told you, "Yankee go home!". You'd be pissed.

Let's have some civility, please.

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...well,well Mr The Niche:

"I am not young enough to know everything"

(Oscar Wilde)

About your living expenses being "only slightly more than half of what a full-time Wal-Mart employee on minimum wage earns"; what you need to see is that compared to the Walmart employees - since you have had money in the past, you may probably already have the "stuff" that makes life very comfortable (physically and mentally)- a nice car (probably paid for), a nice home (that you feel safe in), very nice clothes, nice shoes, education=future opportunity, etc. And what you don't have or need (I'm guessing) you can probably find the means if needed (downgrade your car and/or home, cash out IRAs, 401Ks etc) to get it. If not - I guess you better read the fable about the the ant and the grasshopper... again.

Edited by CleaningLadyinCleveland
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You know, I found some interesting things while perusing the Walmart website. First, it appears that there are only 48 Walmarts in the entire state of Massachusetts, so I would suggest that their ability to decimate the 'mom and pop' economy is a bit overstated. However, more interesting was the fact that the average hourly wage of their 12,914 Massachusetts associates is $12.72. That's $26,500 per year, which is ABOVE the poverty level of the average family of four. Considering the skill and education level of a retail employee, 26 thou a year ain't bad wages.

Another interesting tidbit is the fact that Walmart bought $2.23 Billion in products from Massachusetts based suppliers last year, supporting 48,000 Massachusetts supplier jobs. Not Chinese jobs...Massachusetts jobs. Now, I have no idea what the mom and pops support (no one ever does), but Walmart is supporting over 60,000 Massachusetts jobs.

http://walmartstores.com/pressroom/statebystate/State.aspx?st=MA

Western MA has 2 or 3 of those 48 Walmarts but it is 1/4 of the state. People in North Adams are not making that lovely $12+ salary. That is being paid at all the Walmarts to the east where the cost of living is astronomical. Boston and it's surrounding communities are extremely expensive and that salary is barely a living wage in some areas. Where I grew up the COL is significantly less than even the 'burbs of Houston and maybe the manager is making that, but the average employee is not. PLus, that "salary" you quoted is only $4k/year above the poverty line and that assumes the employee is actually allowed to work a full time job, which most are not even though their Walmart job is their only source of income.

Well, crunch, you're just not hip to how the Heights works. When we're complaining about restaurants and D-bag bars, Washington Avenue is NOT the Heights. An interstate highway is a pretty clear line of demarcation. But, when we complain about Walmart, then Washington Avenue is included in the Heights. It works the same with our homes. We don't want uber-riche people building McMansions in the Heights, forcing out the middle class. We'd rather impose such restrictions on them that they cannot afford to repair or remodel their bungalows. By the same logic, we don't want low price Walmart, because they pay low wages. We'd rather have high priced 'mom and pops' for our middle class residents to enjoy. It makes perfect sense to us. Only an Eastie like yourself and Niche couldn't understand something as simple as this.

On average, a locally owned store injects $60/100 back in to their local economy while a national chain gives back under $40. And all "local" business is not mom & pop. I hardly think Heights area businesses like Stella Sola or Lola/Dragon Bowl/Pinks or Harold's can be considered "mom & pop" but they are locally owned.

Also, you do a lot of businesses a disservice by automatically assuming their products are out of reach of "middle class." Many of the stores in the Heights are less expensive than the large retailers who carry the same merchandise. For example Urban Soles Outpost sells everything at MSRP and is typically cheaper than Zappos for most of their stocked items. Our local booksellers usually have better prices than the big retail chains (everything at Heights Books-Libros is 20% off MSRP and they have used books for even less).

Small business owners make up a majority of the "middle class" so I would think you would do more to support them...

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Or, I could stay right where I'm at and fight your attempts to turn my neighborhood into Western MA.

Actually, I moved to the Heights b/c it reminded me a lot of Western MA at the time but it is getting less and less like it daily. And we have no deed restrictions or Historic preservation where I am from. I am willing to bet most people don't even know what the term "deed restrictions" means in my town. Ha! Yet, there are a lot of historic homes still standing, mostly because people just like them and see value in them.

Now, down in the city that is another story... but what they have in Boston is different from what we have in Western MA or in Houston. I think most ppl can agree with that to some degree.

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So you're telling him that your values are better; he needs to move. Do you have any idea how condescending that sounds? What if I told you, "Yankee go home!". You'd be pissed.

Let's have some civility, please.

No, I'm not telling him anything. I was being sarcastic. I guess next time I'll remember to add this ----> <_<

Plus, Red would hate the burbs. Many have way more deed restrictions than the Heights will ever have.

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Hrmm, one side wants to "turn it into Western MA" the other side wants to turn it into FM 1960. One side motivated by quality of life considerations, the other side seemingly motivated entirely by spite. I think I've seen this conversation before...

But anyway. For me, the more important larger issue is: even if the neighborhood wanted to stop Wal-Mart, could they?

And another one bites, and another one bites, and another (neighborhood) bites the dust...

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One side motivated by quality of life considerations, the other side seemingly motivated entirely by spite.

That's one way to frame it. The quality of life issue does seem to be the primary point of contention for one side, but spite is an askewed mischaracterization of those arguing from the other side. I think convenience and price would have been a better description, but I know that would have interfered with your love of hyperbole.

But anyway. For me, the more important larger issue is: even if the neighborhood wanted to stop Wal-Mart, could they?

It's happened before. Usually there's more in consideration than simply that a handful of people hate Walmart (ie. ecological or cultural concerns with the construction site). The vocal minority doesn't have the right to dictate the lifestyle for everyone, and when it comes to Walmart, if they think they'll be able to turn a profit, they'll build the store.

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Small business owners make up a majority of the "middle class" so I would think you would do more to support them...

Oh, really? According to the Census Bureau, there are 5,255,844 firms with a payroll and that have fewer than twenty employees. To be generous, I'll assume that there are two partners from separate households for every such small business, that none of these small businesses are merely legal entities controlled by larger firms, and that no owner of a small business is ever "upper class" or "lower class". That would mean that only 9.4% of all American households would be considered small business owners (and again, this is being extraordinarily generous). I dare you to advance a definition of the "middle class" wherein 9.4% of people are its majority.

It's also interesting to note that these small firms employ 21,197,087 persons, just 18.4% of all employed persons; yet their payroll only accounts for 15.5% of the national total, meaning that small businesses tend to pay their employees less than medium- or large-sized businesses.

The next time you hear an elected official refer to small businesses as "the backbone of our economy", you will know that they are trying to trick you. Don't fall for it. Big businesses got big because they are more efficient; higher productivity translates to a higher material standard of living.

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Now, down in the city that is another story... but what they have in Boston is different from what we have in Western MA or in Houston. I think most ppl can agree with that to some degree.

Yeah, that's the point that I've been trying to argue.

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I just sent Corporate an email thru their website begging them to reconsider their location off of Washington and instead consider the area surrounding Northwest Mall. Northwest Mall has been on a downward spiral for years and if that was torn down to make a mega Walmart I would definitely shop there. It's not in the historic area but is close enough to 3 freeways to make it a convenient location to shop. I would love a Walmart nearby without causing all the fuss of people who do not like them in their neighborhood. I don't think they would encounter any problems with the community if they would consider that location.

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Western MA has 2 or 3 of those 48 Walmarts but it is 1/4 of the state. People in North Adams are not making that lovely $12+ salary. That is being paid at all the Walmarts to the east where the cost of living is astronomical. Boston and it's surrounding communities are extremely expensive and that salary is barely a living wage in some areas. Where I grew up the COL is significantly less than even the 'burbs of Houston and maybe the manager is making that, but the average employee is not. PLus, that "salary" you quoted is only $4k/year above the poverty line and that assumes the employee is actually allowed to work a full time job, which most are not even though their Walmart job is their only source of income.

On average, a locally owned store injects $60/100 back in to their local economy while a national chain gives back under $40. And all "local" business is not mom & pop. I hardly think Heights area businesses like Stella Sola or Lola/Dragon Bowl/Pinks or Harold's can be considered "mom & pop" but they are locally owned.

Also, you do a lot of businesses a disservice by automatically assuming their products are out of reach of "middle class." Many of the stores in the Heights are less expensive than the large retailers who carry the same merchandise. For example Urban Soles Outpost sells everything at MSRP and is typically cheaper than Zappos for most of their stocked items. Our local booksellers usually have better prices than the big retail chains (everything at Heights Books-Libros is 20% off MSRP and they have used books for even less).

Small business owners make up a majority of the "middle class" so I would think you would do more to support them...

2 or 3 Walmarts in 1/4 of the state? And you claim that this has decimated the economy? I'll let your comment speak for itself.

I am not sure why your "automatic assumptions" are valid and mine are not. You "automatically assume" that a Walmart will put Heights retailers out of business (though you do not seem to automatically assume the same for Walmart's alter ego, Target), and you further "automatically assume" that I have not visited the local stores to see their prices. While I freely admit that I do not shop at Urban Soles, it is not because of their prices. They do not sell what I want. And therin lies the rub. The small stores sell what the big boxes will not. There is no danger whatsoever...despite your sniffing to the contrary...of Walmart displacing a single Heights store. Every store you've mentioned carries food or product not carried by Walmart. The only stores impacted by Walmart will be Target, Kroger, HEB and Fiesta, those that sell the everyday mundane plastic crap and staples that are sold at big stores for low prices. Any person of even ordinary intelligence knows that you shop at Walmart when service and quality are not a priority, when the plastic forks are the same everywhere, and only the price matters.

Speaking of price, for someone who worked with the poor, you have a striking unfamiliarity of what is important to them. Low price is tantamount. And a lower paying job beats no job at all, especially in an economic and political climate where jobless benefits are being blocked by the GOP minority, and unemployment benefit assistance is being rejected by the governor. Even at minimum wage, that $15,000 a year can be a life saver to many families on the verge of destitution. While $15,000 won't even pay for a set of historic district approved windows, it can help a family stay in their ramshackle rent home and eat processed food, likely sold at Walmart.

Let's not forget that the Heights is not alone in the desert. It is surrounded by poor neighborhoods. While many wealthy historic district residents can afford to spend their disposable income in a politically correct manner, the residents to the east and north, and those still living in the near slums along Washington that haven't been torn down yet, cannot. If your intent is to squeeze these residents out by making it more expensive to live in these neighborhoods, then opposition to low price Walmart is compatible with that goal. However, if you wish to actually HELP the poor, as you suggested was your reason for coming to Texas in the first place, opposing both employment opportunities and affordable groceries and other goods in a location closer to them is incongruent with your stated goal. I suspect that your dedication to the poor is trumped by your desire to remake the Heights into your vision of a utopian neighborhood. Not having married well, my vision for the Heights and surrounding neighborhoods is decidedly more egalitarian.

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...well,well Mr The Niche:

"I am not young enough to know everything"

(Oscar Wilde)

About your living expenses being "only slightly more than half of what a full-time Wal-Mart employee on minimum wage earns"; what you need to see is that compared to the Walmart employees - since you have had money in the past, you may probably already have the "stuff" that makes life very comfortable (physically and mentally)- a nice car (probably paid for), a nice home (that you feel safe in), very nice clothes, nice shoes, education=future opportunity, etc. And what you don't have or need (I'm guessing) you can probably find the means if needed (downgrade your car and/or home, cash out IRAs, 401Ks etc) to get it.

True, having worked full-time on an honest-to-goodness career all through college, I graduated owning condo with lots of equity, a nice car (paid for), 401Ks, and plenty of stock investments. That's where being industrious and frugal had got me by the age of 24. But without income and in the midst of a weak housing market and a crashed financial market, I had to sell the condo and cash out all my investments (at the bottom of the market) to finance a business venture that I'd committed to just two months before getting laid off. The problem is, I've been unemployed so long (and coming from real estate development at my experience level, am less employable than a new college grad) that even my liquidated savings are running low, I can't continue to finance the venture and pay rent, and it's unclear whether I can keep it going. The outlook is bleak.

I have a few remnants from the good ol' days. My computer, mattresses, a desk, a chair, a dresser drawer, and pots and pans. But those were mostly pass-me-downs to begin with. My wardrobe is getting to be worn, and more than a little threadbare in places. The nice car incurred severe mechanical damage in February and had to be junked; I'm borrowing my dad's 14-year-old jalopy in the mean time, but it is a gas guzzler. ...better than nothing. And I now live in a 3/1 duplex unit without a living room and have two roommates: a flamboyant gay guy and a Macedonian. It's an odd trio.

Hopefully the Army will take me out of this hell. (Yes, I just said that.) Some medical history might prevent it, though...we'll find out pretty soon. If not, then I suppose that a Wal-Mart type job would be acceptable...except that there's not a Wal-Mart very near me. Too bad...

I guess you better read the fable about the the ant and the grasshopper... again.

The moral of the story as I have lived it is that the ant's foodstores are prone to rot or wash away, and that the grasshopper will try eat the ant if the ant isn't paying close attention. I'd have been way better off if I hadn't been such a compulsive investor through the best days of my youth. I could've lived it up and traveled the world, then declared Chapter 7 and walked away scot-free. I didn't. And I regret it.

Edited by TheNiche

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2 or 3 Walmarts in 1/4 of the state? And you claim that this has decimated the economy? I'll let your comment speak for itself.

I am not sure why your "automatic assumptions" are valid and mine are not. You "automatically assume" that a Walmart will put Heights retailers out of business (though you do not seem to automatically assume the same for Walmart's alter ego, Target), and you further "automatically assume" that I have not visited the local stores to see their prices. While I freely admit that I do not shop at Urban Soles, it is not because of their prices. They do not sell what I want. And therin lies the rub. The small stores sell what the big boxes will not. There is no danger whatsoever...despite your sniffing to the contrary...of Walmart displacing a single Heights store. Every store you've mentioned carries food or product not carried by Walmart. The only stores impacted by Walmart will be Target, Kroger, HEB and Fiesta, those that sell the everyday mundane plastic crap and staples that are sold at big stores for low prices. Any person of even ordinary intelligence knows that you shop at Walmart when service and quality are not a priority, when the plastic forks are the same everywhere, and only the price matters.

2-3 in 1/4 of the state. one being in my hometown. 1 decimating the economy of that town, the other being in a city with 5x the population of said town. i said that the non-walmart communities continue to thrive.

but your next comment proves to me that you just want to argue with me and you do not truly read what i say because I said not once but TWICE in this thread/the "yale" thread that I do not believe a Walmart will hurt local Heights businesses and I said why. After that, I mentioned the different reasons that I dislike Walmart as a company and most of those reasons have to do with the fact that their policies keep the poor poor. I believe in helping the poor get out of poverty and Walmart is on the other side of that issue for me. I think they are a problem, not a solution.

There are affordable groceries in and around the Heights- Fiesta for example. And there is a Walmart 10-15 minutes away already.

Edited by heights_yankee

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Oh, really? According to the Census Bureau, there are 5,255,844 firms with a payroll and that have fewer than twenty employees. To be generous, I'll assume that there are two partners from separate households for every such small business, that none of these small businesses are merely legal entities controlled by larger firms, and that no owner of a small business is ever "upper class" or "lower class". That would mean that only 9.4% of all American households would be considered small business owners (and again, this is being extraordinarily generous). I dare you to advance a definition of the "middle class" wherein 9.4% of people are its majority.

It's also interesting to note that these small firms employ 21,197,087 persons, just 18.4% of all employed persons; yet their payroll only accounts for 15.5% of the national total, meaning that small businesses tend to pay their employees less than medium- or large-sized businesses.

The next time you hear an elected official refer to small businesses as "the backbone of our economy", you will know that they are trying to trick you. Don't fall for it. Big businesses got big because they are more efficient; higher productivity translates to a higher material standard of living.

The breakout of businesses with up to 99 employees is probably what constitutes the small businesses that Heights Yankee may be referring to which is around 30%. Large businesses tend to pay their CEO very- very high compared to the average worker. The ratios have changed dramatically between execs and the average worker since the 50s....ie - since 1950, top executives earned (salary, bonus, stocks, incentives) 24 times the average worker's , 122 times in 1990 and 550 times in 2009. Honestly don't think the same ratio stands for small businesses (<100 employees). Who is tricking whom?

Edited by CleaningLadyinCleveland
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2-3 in 1/4 of the state. one being in my hometown. 1 decimating the economy of that town, the other being in a city with 5x the population of said town. i said that the non-walmart communities continue to thrive.

Retailers do not an economy make (or break). The town's economy is based upon where it draws its money (i.e. claims to resources) from, whether that's by selling manufactured goods, agricultural products, or providing services to non-local tourists. Beyond that...the townsfolk decide what to do with their earnings.

There are affordable groceries in and around the Heights- Fiesta for example. And there is a Walmart 10-15 minutes away already.

Fiesta doesn't usually have the best price. And the particular Wal-Mart you mention is more like a 40-minute round-trip for those of us just to the east of you; and the only closer Wal-Mart is also not especially convenient and is obsolete.

I just don't get it. Why would you deny Wal-Mart to someone who values it when you've already acknowledged that it isn't going to impact your neighborhood's unique businesses (not to mention that it's not even in your neighborhood)? I wouldn't go around denying you a Bed, Bath & Beyond or a Crate & Barrel just because I see their wares as overpriced and unnecessary and feel uncomfortable inside their stores. Why not reciprocate?

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That's one way to frame it. The quality of life issue does seem to be the primary point of contention for one side, but spite is an askewed mischaracterization of those arguing from the other side.

Well, I was speaking from my perspective (ie "it seems"). But I suppose if you're going to present your opinions as fact, there's nothing I (or anybody) can say that contradicts you.

I think convenience and price would have been a better description, but I know that would have interfered with your love of hyperbole.

Wow. Project much?

It's happened before. Usually there's more in consideration than simply that a handful of people hate Walmart (ie. ecological or cultural concerns with the construction site).

The vocal minority doesn't have the right to dictate the lifestyle for everyone, and when it comes to Walmart, if they think they'll be able to turn a profit, they'll build the store.

Now THIS is a good example of framing and mischaracterization, right on cue. Thanks for a good laugh!

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True, having worked full-time on an honest-to-goodness career all through college, I graduated owning condo with lots of equity, a nice car (paid for), 401Ks, and plenty of stock investments. That's where being industrious and frugal had got me by the age of 24. But without income and in the midst of a weak housing market and a crashed financial market, I had to sell the condo and cash out all my investments (at the bottom of the market) to finance a business venture that I'd committed to just two months before getting laid off. The problem is, I've been unemployed so long (and coming from real estate development at my experience level, am less employable than a new college grad) that even my liquidated savings are running low, I can't continue to finance the venture and pay rent, and it's unclear whether I can keep it going. The outlook is bleak.

I have a few remnants from the good ol' days. My computer, mattresses, a desk, a chair, a dresser drawer, and pots and pans. But those were mostly pass-me-downs to begin with. My wardrobe is getting to be worn, and more than a little threadbare in places. The nice car incurred severe mechanical damage in February and had to be junked; I'm borrowing my dad's 14-year-old jalopy in the mean time, but it is a gas guzzler. ...better than nothing. And I now live in a 3/1 duplex unit without a living room and have two roommates: a flamboyant gay guy and a Macedonian. It's an odd trio.

Hopefully the Army will take me out of this hell. (Yes, I just said that.) Some medical history might prevent it, though...we'll find out pretty soon. If not, then I suppose that a Wal-Mart type job would be acceptable...except that there's not a Wal-Mart very near me. Too bad...

The moral of the story as I have lived it is that the ant's foodstores are prone to rot or wash away, and that the grasshopper will try eat the ant if the ant isn't paying close attention. I'd have been way better off if I hadn't been such a compulsive investor through the best days of my youth. I could've lived it up and traveled the world, then declared Chapter 7 and walked away scot-free. I didn't. And I regret it.

That's very nice of your father to loan you a car....sorry to hear of your misfortunes. You've succeeded before - you can do it again (that's what can differentiate you from the Walmart employees)- just try to keep quiet and not dwell on what once was - no one wants to hear about it and it won't help you right now... "Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently." Henry Ford

...and one more Henry Ford quote that applies to this forum, "If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person's point of view and see things from that person's angle as well as from your own."

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The breakout of businesses with up to 99 employees is probably what constitutes the small businesses that Heights Yankee may be referring to which is around 30%.

Granted, I wish that there was a smaller increment than 20-99, but being what it is...my feeling is that that's a medium-sized firm. When a firm has enough staff to take an entire floor of an office building, that's not exactly mom-and-pop in my mind. But hey, these terms like "small business" and "middle class" are so subjective, anyway, as to render the discussion meaningless. That's another valid criticism of HeightsYankee's rant, so thank you.

Large businesses tend to pay their CEO very- very high compared to the average worker. The ratios have changed dramatically between execs and the average worker since the 50s....ie - since 1950, top executives earned (salary, bonus, stocks, incentives) 24 times the average worker's , 122 times in 1990 and 550 times in 2009. Honestly don't think the same ratio stands for small businesses (<100 employees). Who is tricking whom?

Wal-Mart has 2.1 million employees, or approximately 21,212 times the number of employees per CEO than a 99-employee "small business".

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And the particular Wal-Mart you mention is more like a 40-minute round-trip for those of us just to the east of you; and the only closer Wal-Mart is also not especially convenient and is obsolete.

Currently Dunvale is the only reasonable choice Walmart for inner-loopers, and when I lived in Greenway, without traffic, that journey took at least 20 minutes one way. Unfortunately, as I work for a living and don't like being inside of Walmarts, particularly that Walmart, at 3 am, I had to share my road space with other people... which made my drive considerably longer. When I lived in Montrose, at minimum an additional ten minutes was necessary for the one way trek to low price territory.

I'd have shopped at the Meyerland location more often, but I hated getting in and out of the parking lot there.

I really don't see what the big problem is. This is Houston, not Bumfart, Massachusetts. There are more than enough people here who will continue to shop at the smaller, local retailers. All that's happening now is the people who would spend their Walmart dollars in the Heights location are apending it in Dunvale or Meyerland, simultaneously increasing traffic congestion and, by default, air pollution. In other words, building a Heights Walmart will help to save the environment.

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Granted, I wish that there was a smaller increment than 20-99, but being what it is...my feeling is that that's a medium-sized firm. When a firm has enough staff to take an entire floor of an office building, that's not exactly mom-and-pop in my mind. But hey, these terms like "small business" and "middle class" are so subjective, anyway, as to render the discussion meaningless. That's another valid criticism of HeightsYankee's rant, so thank you.

Wal-Mart has 2.1 million employees, or approximately 21,212 times the number of employees per CEO than a 99-employee "small business".

The owner of a firm that can take up a whole floor is probably not "middle class" but certainly many of his/her employees are. Also, my argument is not solely for "mom & pop" which someone else brought in to the dialogue. My support is for local.

Rant: this word proves the great irony of the conversation happening here (other than irony that this is all just rumor and speculation at this point). I am defending my opinion that I don't want a Walmart near me because I don't like them as a company and I prefer to not see their corporation grow anymore because I think they do more harm than good on several levels. You (and even more so our friend Red) on the other hand rant while stating your opinions as facts and leave no room for anyone to have a differing opinion. It wouldn't get so tired and obnoxious if there was more "You're entitled to your opinion but I think that it's a good thing for X,Y,Z reasons and am happy"... There is a way of talking about things where everyone can give their opinions from their personal angle without having to disprove what the other person believes. You can't seem to do that. You want to spend all your time disproving my opinions instead of just expressing your own and leaving it at that.

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Well, I was speaking from my perspective (ie "it seems"). But I suppose if you're going to present your opinions as fact, there's nothing I (or anybody) can say that contradicts you.

I hate Walmart as much as the next guy, but I'm pragmatic about the fact I need to shop there from time to time. Let me put it to you this way, I use Walmart as a last resort always. It's not my first choice retailer, but sometimes I have no other choice. Either I can shop at Walmart or either pay too much for something or go without. I'd love to tell you I can afford to make all my financial decisions based on my personal ethics and political beliefs, but that's not the case. If shopping for my pork chops at Walmart means I can take my family, including my 7 year old stepson, to see Toy Story 3 this weekend versus sitting at home with our thumbs up our butts, I'm going to shop at Walmart. It's pretty simple math and not an opinion. When you live on a budget, sometimes you have to make choices you find personally detestable in order to satisfy others around you. This isn't spite. This is simple economics, and fairly understandable at that.

Wow. Project much?

I do on a number of things, but I don't know how calling your characterization of all those not opposed to a new Walmart as being driven by "spite" hyperbolic reflects me projecting at all. Perhaps you and I are using different definitions of the word hyperbole. So you know, I'm using it to reference heightened exaggeration. Perhaps you could provide a different definiton to help me understand your position.

It's happened before. Usually there's more in consideration than simply that a handful of people hate Walmart (ie. ecological or cultural concerns with the construction site).

The vocal minority doesn't have the right to dictate the lifestyle for everyone, and when it comes to Walmart, if they think they'll be able to turn a profit, they'll build the store.

Now THIS is a good example of framing and mischaracterization, right on cue. Thanks for a good laugh!

I don't see it. Please explain. What have I mischaracterized here that's so hilarious?

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You want to spend all your time disproving my opinions instead of just expressing your own and leaving it at that.

Guilty as charged. When the opinion is based on flawed logic or incorrect information, I feel compelled to point it out. Sorry if it is offensive to you. This is similar to the gentrification arguments that were all the rage a few years back. It was popular to decry gentrification on the grounds that it forced old people and the poor out of their homes. None of this was based on actual facts, just that it seemed logical. When studies were actually done, it was found that few people were ever forced out by gentrification. Some chose to cash out, profiting on the increased home value, using those profits to improve their living conditions. However, most stayed and benefited from the increased development and more choices in retail offerings that the gentrification spurred....like new nearby low price stores.

The same can be said with other Heights arguments, but I'll leave them out of a Walmart discussion, though it is topical to the Heights.

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Guilty as charged. When the opinion is based on flawed logic or incorrect information, I feel compelled to point it out. Sorry if it is offensive to you. This is similar to the gentrification arguments that were all the rage a few years back. It was popular to decry gentrification on the grounds that it forced old people and the poor out of their homes. None of this was based on actual facts, just that it seemed logical. When studies were actually done, it was found that few people were ever forced out by gentrification. Some chose to cash out, profiting on the increased home value, using those profits to improve their living conditions. However, most stayed and benefited from the increased development and more choices in retail offerings that the gentrification spurred....like new nearby low price stores.

The same can be said with other Heights arguments, but I'll leave them out of a Walmart discussion, though it is topical to the Heights.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing but, again, you think any opinion different from your own is illogical or incorrect. Take for example a discussion that happened here about Yale being widened. You saw the widening of Yale as something to benefit you and therefore you deemed it "right." People who had concerns about it were deemed "wrong" and their reasons invalidated by your opinions, not by facts because there are no facts to say what will or won't happen if/when the road gets widened because it hasn't happened yet. It's all supposition. Yet you treat it like it's a forgone conclusion that it will be wonderful when actually it could really suck. You do not have the ability to ever say "I am for something and these are my reasons" without adding "and you are incorrect and your reasons invalid. They have to be because they differ from mine."

Same with this. You think because you see a benefit in WalMart for yourself that having it built HAS to be the right answer, which makes other wrong rather than just a different side of the coin. Truly closed minded. You also seem to change your opinions about things just so you can argue with people and that isn't lost on us- even people like me who waste too much time volleying with you.

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This isn't spite.

Well had I known you would take it so personally I would have included a disclaimer. All generalizations (and, in fact, all posts of mine in the future) are hereby NOT directed at you, and should never be taken to reference you specifically in any way, shape or form.

I do on a number of things, but I don't know how calling your characterization of all those not opposed to a new Walmart as being driven by "spite" hyperbolic reflects me projecting at all. Perhaps you and I are using different definitions of the word hyperbole. So you know, I'm using it to reference heightened exaggeration. Perhaps you could provide a different definiton to help me understand your position.

I may be guilty of generalization (which was my intent, which seemed like it would be obvious but clearly was not), but certainly not "heightened exaggeration." To parlay this into an accusation of "love of hyperbole" goes beyond some kind of cognitive bias and into hyperbole itself.

I don't see it. Please explain. What have I mischaracterized here that's so hilarious?

sigh. Implicit in your paragraph are the notions that:

-- it's just a handful of people who don't want the Wal-Mart

-- these handful of people are driven by hate

-- these people are a minority

-- these people are vocal

-- these people seek to "dictate the lifestyle for everyone"

-- these people seek to dictate a lifestyle for anyone

-- these people seek to dictate a lifestyle

-- these people don't "have the right" to do such things even assuming these are their intentions

-- "having the right" to do something has anything to do with an end result

-- ecological/cultural concerns with the construction site must usually be considerations to block out a Wal-Mart

-- Wal-Mart only builds stores where they think they can turn a profit

If you had prefaced it with "I think that" instead of presenting your opinions as fact, it would not have been quite so hilarious. I guess the humor factor dissipated a little when it became clear to me that you weren't just saying these things to be obnoxious.

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...you think any opinion different from your own is illogical or incorrect.

Yes. Isn't that the point of holding an opinion is that you've considered the alternatives and determined your preference?

Besides, it's not like we're arguing over whether brunettes are more attractive than blonds or whether my farts stink. That kind of thing is 100% subjective, and there's no accounting for taste. The Wal-Mart or Yale Street issue can be formulated and argued logically based upon mutually-agreed-upon values and criteria. And that's what we're doing.

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Well had I known you would take it so personally I would have included a disclaimer. All generalizations (and, in fact, all posts of mine in the future) are hereby NOT directed at you, and should never be taken to reference you specifically in any way, shape or form.

Well then, perhaps you can explain where you got the word spite to describe the position of those not opposed to the Walmart rather than spend your time responding directly to me. As it is, going forward, I'll let your own words respond to your remarks. I won't bother thoughtfully typing out replies as it clearly *yawn* takes too much of my time and I don't want it to be construed as in anyway personal - regardless of the fact I may (or may not) have made it so. If you try to call me to task on it in the future, I'll just claim it was an "opinion" and feign incredulity that you were annoyed or offended at something that was so clearly not directed at you or anyone who shared the same viewpoint that I criticized. If I call all people stupid for holding a thought that I disagree with, and if you happen to be one of those people who I'm supposedly calling stupid, just take a chill pill, because I'm not specifically calling you stupid. I won't ever do that directly. Passive-aggressive comments are a much more effective way of getting that across, amirite?

I may be guilty of generalization (which was my intent, which seemed like it would be obvious but clearly was not), but certainly not "heightened exaggeration." To parlay this into an accusation of "love of hyperbole" goes beyond some kind of cognitive bias and into hyperbole itself.
Well had I known you would take it so personally I would have included a disclaimer.
sigh. Implicit in your paragraph are the notions that:

-- it's just a handful of people who don't want the Wal-Mart

-- these handful of people are driven by hate

-- these people are a minority

-- these people are vocal

-- these people seek to "dictate the lifestyle for everyone"

-- these people seek to dictate a lifestyle for anyone

-- these people seek to dictate a lifestyle

-- these people don't "have the right" to do such things even assuming these are their intentions

-- "having the right" to do something has anything to do with an end result

-- ecological/cultural concerns with the construction site must usually be considerations to block out a Wal-Mart

-- Wal-Mart only builds stores where they think they can turn a profit

Wow. Project much?
If you had prefaced it with "I think that" instead of presenting your opinions as fact, it would not have been quite so hilarious. I guess the humor factor dissipated a little when it became clear to me that you weren't just saying these things to be obnoxious.

Now THIS is a good example of framing and mischaracterization, right on cue. Thanks for a good laugh!
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Yes. Isn't that the point of holding an opinion is that you've considered the alternatives and determined your preference?

Besides, it's not like we're arguing over whether brunettes are more attractive than blonds or whether my farts stink. That kind of thing is 100% subjective, and there's no accounting for taste. The Wal-Mart or Yale Street issue can be formulated and argued logically based upon mutually-agreed-upon values and criteria. And that's what we're doing.

This is another area where I think a very, very, verrrrry large majority of people would be in complete agreement.

And for the record, brunettes are also empirically more attractive.

Now we're getting somewhere.

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Oh, so it's a chip on your shoulder that makes you act like this. Makes more sense now.

Whether or not it was inevitable doesn't invalidate my feelings about it.

And I don't believe it was inevitable as the only other Walmart in Western Ma is in Pittesfield, population roughly 100,000, and many of the other clusters of small towns around there which have kept Walmart out continue to thrive. Even now that they have opened the largest contemporary art museum in the country in an old factory, the town can't recover and many locals will point to Walmarts destruction of the local economy as part of it.

And, again, I also dislike Walmart as a company due to their employment policies which keep thousands of people on their "payroll" below the poverty line. They use sweatshop labor. They discriminate against women in their power structure. They even dictate the size of home their corp staff can purchase (i.e. regardless of the size of his family, an inhouse lawyer for Walmart was told that he could not buy anything larger than a 3/2- in Arkansas, mind you- because they didn't want it too look like they pay their lawyers too much). I don't like them as a company and I don't have to support or be happy about them moving so close to me (maybe, this is all just rumor at this point no matter how much HeyHatch hears it's a done deal). And I don't have to change my mind just because you are excited about the prospect of having cheap, Chinese made products made so much more accessible to you...

See, you miss the point. This is, for many people, an emotional issue. We like or dislike Walmart for our own personal reasons, e.g. corp policies, sweatshop labor, discrimination, aesthetics, parking lot safety, etc. So no one really cares that you have anointed yourself the supreme expert on what we should all want. Your education and hodge podge of professional backgrounds isn't going to make HeyHatch feel safe in a Walmart parking lot at night and it's not going to make me go back and say "yeah, I'm sure glad there's a Walmart scarring the face of my quaint New England hometown." Frankly, we don't have to want it and, like you said, this is Houston. It's not like Walmart is the only option and we'd be silly for turning it away. If not Walmart, there are a lot of other ways that land could be developed that would benefit the area as much, if not more, than a Walmart. I'm sure you're aware that there are more options but you pull so hard for this one because it benefits you. Fine. That is your emotional reaction as well, but don't play it off as if everyone else is stupid for having a differing opinion.

I said earlier in the conversation that I don't believe Walmart will close the locally owned businesses in the Heights and surrounding neighborhoods. C&D survives with Home Depot and Lowe's a 5 minute drive away. People who are buying baby gifts at Tulips & Tutus aren't going to switch to Walmart. People who want handcrafted items aren't going to stop going to The Artful COrner and 18 Hands Gallery b/c Wallyworld moved below I10.

And here is a great tip for you: there are also 2 Fiestas, the nice one on Studewood and the giant Fiesta on Shepherd, where you can get all the inexpensive food you want, probably cheaper than Walmart will be anyway.

Yankee,

I thought you were a strong supporter of dictating home sizes. What's the problem? The Mayor is now telling us what we can buy and build...all is right in the Heights.

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