On Thursday evening of July 16, 2009 @ 6:30pm in the City Council Chambers at 421 Main Street, a group of representatives from Wal-Mart will come before the Chico Planning Commission for approval on a new Supercenter to be built in Chico. They promise to create almost new jobs for those who live in and around Chico. So I did my civic duty and informed you of the meeting, now while I will tell you why I am against it.
I originally started writing this article in favor of Wal-Mart and their new Superstore. However as I looked into all the particulars of the current situation, I must admit I have changed my position. While I do not doubt the sincerity of Wal-Mart's representatives, I do question the wisdom of the corporate bigwigs at Wal-Mart. I read a quote somewhere that has stuck with me through the years. “When a company becomes large enough it will inevitably become part of the establishment". I believe Wal-Mart has become so big that it has gone beyond beating its competitors by having lower prices, but now Wal-Mart is supporting government policies that will decimate small businesses. In a reversal from their prior stance, Wal-Mart is now in favor of Obama's healthcare plan.
Corporate America's cheerleading for more government involvement in health care now includes Wal-Mart, that liberal paragon of social irresponsibility. With Americas largest private employer blessing an employer mandate, aka "pay or play." This would require businesses that do not offer "meaningful coverage" -- i.e., government-approved -- to pay some percentage of their payroll to a federal insurance plan. This mandate is one of the more controversial policies in the Democratic health package, and Wal-Mart's endorsement will help it along, or at least give liberals political cover against business criticism. The Mom & Pop stores that liberals accuse Wal-Mart of running out of town may, will be the ones who get hit the hardest.
I know, the Democrats claim that the small businesses will be exempt from such a burden, because the mandate is limited to large employers. Well truth be told, that will not reduce the number of uninsured employees on America. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 99% of firms with more than 200 workers provide health benefits, only 62% of smaller firms. That means that in order to cover the people who are uninsured, Mom & Pop businesses will have to be forced into the government mandated health care system. That my friend will effectively kill small business in America. Think about that, 85% of all jobs in America are created by the small businesses. Force them into this and it will cripples the country. Wal-Mart is now willing to go beyond price gouging, they are willing to destroy their competitors with the governments help.
So as I look down the road to the future, I can now do nothing else but come out against Wal-Mart and their plan for a super store in Chico. They claim they will produce more jobs, but what about the millions and millions of jobs that will be eliminated when the government realizes they still do not have every citizen covered. The time to stop the destruction of the small businesses is now, or their will be no small business in the future. So if you are are with me, then join me and be heard this Thursday evening at 6:30pm at the Chico Planning Commission hearing on this matter.