Walmart is not indispensable

Dear Editor:

The recent story about Walmart’s tactic of minimizing its tax exposure, by trying to push for “empty store” assessments, was dismaying, if not surprising. This multinational corporation has long had a dismal track record, even in the current climate of unrestrained greed. Much is made of the theory of “trickle-down” economics, and how profit at the top inevitably benefits the ordinary citizen. This is a dignified publication, so I’m not going to respond in graphic detail, but if you’ve been alive as long as I have, you know that only one thing trickles down, and it’s not money.

To the contrary, the direction profits take is upward, by siphoning action. The little guy has his pocket picked, and is then discarded, like the husk of a dead June bug. If Walmart fails in its attempt to force Ellsworth to slash its tax exposure, and then decides to pick up and leave the county, I will not shed a tear. Other local business enterprises will spring up to fill the vacuum, pump new life into the economy and augment the tax base. Ellsworth will not wither and die. We have been through worse, and survived. Nobody loves a bully, corporate or otherwise, and communities that have been stiffed have long memories. Citizens, like corporations, vote with their feet. Walmart might want to remember that as it formulates its business tactics in host communities.

Henry Smith


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