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First of all, I'm a conservative. Yet, I'm also an urban watchdog.

I used to like Walmart when it was called "Wal*Mart." Back then, there was only two stores: diminishing regular ones and Supercenters fronted by big ole parking lots. But ever since liberals have started objecting to Wal*Mart building Supercenters NEAR downtowns (e. g. the South Side in Chicago), things have gone downhill.

They should have allowed Wal*Mart to execute this plan. Thanks to their interference, Wal*Mart, with no fault of their own (they have to make profit) tried to go trendy with another plan, to appeal to those who hate it. They changed their logo to something incredibly lame, and rolled out "Neighborhood Markets" and "Marketside" stores. Instead of opening NEAR downtowns, Walmart wants to open IN downtowns with these store formats.

Frankly, I don't see this fit. While downtown is a place for big business to show their capitalistic potential, Walmart is a sub/exurban store, and should not pursue these midget discount stores. The South Side, Bronx, Boyle Heights, or wherever else are appropriate because it would cater to the immediate residents. And big stores. While people stopped most this, Walmart managed to build one small store at the edge of Chicago, and it's pathetic.

Why aren't liberals fighting these new store ventures with as much passion as they did for inner city stores? Now I have to fight the new "Walmart" and people who caused it to morph from a decent store to a strange, trying to be upscale, painted ugly earth tone colors place.
 

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Hopefully one day lower Manhattan will be one big Walmart, midtown will be one big skyscraper, Harlem will be one big condo building, and Central Park will be one big parking lot.
 

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LOL.

I think the issue is to have no issue with whatever business, provided they are legal, open up shops in town. At least not in a local scale.

Wal Mart dominates American logistics for grocery and much more. They can and do extract the better deals from suppliers. Why should people pay an indirect tax (on the form of artificially higher prices that sustains local shop owners = welfare) instead of being able to shop where prices are lower because they can crush every supplier not only in US, but pretty much in the World?

As much as I have concerns about cartelization and excessive market power, I think it is not up to local cities to "fight" Wal Mart. If they want to open a shop on Broadway, New York, NY, so be it.
 

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liberals can't fight something that offers people choice to shop where they want - one cannot stand in the way and tell people not to do something or go somewhere - many towns cities have tried to keep walmart out and those that do end up with a store across the street out of its jurisdiction
 

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Its simple.

Large Wal-Mart supercenters in urban environments can be a bad fit. Enormous parking lots spawn traffic and break up walkable streets.The stores themselves also have only one front and one back, and that is a constraint in siting one on a small lot(you don't want the truck docks behind your house with backup alarms all night long, do you?).

Clearly Wal-Mart realizes this and just wants to penetrate a new market by creating a new store format that avoids drama. It's not a big deal. Large format retailers in urban environments can be a good thing in that they provide cheaper and healthier(by virtue of selection, such as real produce aisles) food. Not having a real grocery store in an urban neighborhood even a chain can be a bad thing, and many observers of public health issues have noted that "mom and pop" stores mostly sell junk food, cigarettes, and booze at high prices.

I guess its political if you are absolutely opposed to any land use regulation whatsoever, and you are still making the flawed assumption that Wal-Mart would prefer to plop down a Supercenter on every single site no matter the conditions.

As weird as this statement sounds I don't think its reasonable to equate "liberal" with "urban" necessarily or put a political spin on it. You don't think there are private developers and real estate investment people out there who want to cater to the market for urban living and services and to do that have to engage in big-picture thinking? Its business.
 

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In what basis, save for an histrionic version of late 19th Century localism?
As a conservative i favour classic city structure above modernistic sprawl. Streets and blocks with small shops on the bottom floor flats above and some department stores at central locations.
 

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In what basis, save for an histrionic version of late 19th Century localism?
Areas with large big box stores tend to put the smaller retailers out of business (or discourage them from implanting themselves there); therefore the main sources of jobs for people are as employees. Places that encourage diverse smaller shops (i.e. that can compete without needing to keep up with Walmart's huge advantage in economies of scale) lead to more people owning their own business.

There are places for big-box stores, and places where they should not be allowed to implant themselves as they will turn an area of multiple privately-run businesses into an area of only one privately owned business.
 

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Right. "Workfare" is nice and conservative, but welfare is for bleeding heart liberals, I guess. :nuts:

The smart thing to do is to make lemons out of lemonade. If small shops are being put out of business by large retailers, than what makes sense is for the people who were once employed by them to engage in some other economic activity. This is progress, because the large retailers are still providing the same goods and services for cheaper plus whatever productive things the former small shop employees are engaged in. Imagine if this never happened at any point in history, we'll all still be primitive farmers or nomads complaining how this "civilization" thing is not worth it no matter how cool this new technology called "pottery" is.

Ideally, in my perfect world, what there would be is a unrestrained free market combined with a uniform income tax that redistributes wealth once it is created. People do whatever they are good at to make money, while the government provides everyone with a good standard of living so that society is equal. This way, as changes in the economy leave some people high and dry, they still have a chance. I also think if you shifted the stakes around, where there is simultaneously a safety net but also fewer rules that may keep people safe from bad decisions but limit opportunity, there'd be more ambitious people willing to try new things.

The real world is more about knowing how power works, I think. You have understand the likes of Jimmy Hoffa, Karl Rove, Robert Moses, etc.
 

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^^ Robert Moses is a personal hero of mine, the way he just trolled over any backward opposition to progress in NYC is remarkable! He shielded his avant-grade plans from political rife of the corrupt local administration of NYC and, borrowing money from the private market, build an amazing set of infrastructure works that is the backbone of NY's road transportation.

Making lemons out of lemonade sounds physically impossible
reverse engineering...
 

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Right. "Workfare" is nice and conservative, but welfare is for bleeding heart liberals, I guess. :nuts:

The smart thing to do is to make lemons out of lemonade. If small shops are being put out of business by large retailers, than what makes sense is for the people who were once employed by them to engage in some other economic activity. This is progress, because the large retailers are still providing the same goods and services for cheaper plus whatever productive things the former small shop employees are engaged in. Imagine if this never happened at any point in history, we'll all still be primitive farmers or nomads complaining how this "civilization" thing is not worth it no matter how cool this new technology called "pottery" is.

Ideally, in my perfect world, what there would be is a unrestrained free market combined with a uniform income tax that redistributes wealth once it is created. People do whatever they are good at to make money, while the government provides everyone with a good standard of living so that society is equal. This way, as changes in the economy leave some people high and dry, they still have a chance. I also think if you shifted the stakes around, where there is simultaneously a safety net but also fewer rules that may keep people safe from bad decisions but limit opportunity, there'd be more ambitious people willing to try new things.

The real world is more about knowing how power works, I think. You have understand the likes of Jimmy Hoffa, Karl Rove, Robert Moses, etc.
Its not progress because the only reason that the large retailers can exist is modernistic city planning and the modernictis planning is on the way out. Modernism is an idea that didnt work, it created sprawl, car dependancie and wastes huge amounts of land. Clinging to a flawed idea from the 1950s is not progress.
 

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^Making lemons out of lemonade sounds physically impossible.
haha analogy fail. You know what I mean.
 

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Some very general comments.

We should distinguish between "conservative" (clings to some former or currently existing situation as opposed to current developments) and "libertarian" (desires to let the market promote welfare except wherever possible).

In general, a libertarian is going to have no problem with Walmart; it's just a matter of the better system killing the old pretty good one. Smaller retailers have to specialize in better service, unique products, or other customer benefits or find some new business.

However, the problem lies in externalities. In urban contexts they can include an effect on livability, traffic, appearance, type of person attracted, or pretty much anything that people like or object to. Libertarians normally like to fully analyze externalities, since these are failures of the market system and must be accounted for in determining the net benefit from any given activity. Both positive and negative externalities need to be looked at.

If I believe the Walmart is loathesome, that is an externality. If I can get my friends to agree, then we can demand payment from Walmart for ruining our neighborhood. Since this is impractical due to differences of opinion on amount of damage, we are more likely to use the political process to reach an arrangement that is less than optimal to Walmart (maybe reduced size) and to ourselves (say, allow them, but with undeground parking).

It's messy, but it's about as close to free-market as you can get when externalities are very substantial. Note that this is a very local process and should not be handled by central government, federal or state.
 

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As much as I have concerns about cartelization and excessive market power, I think it is not up to local cities to "fight" Wal Mart. If they want to open a shop on Broadway, New York, NY, so be it.
how does this logic make sense? :nuts:

i dont think it's up to you to "fight" walmart from building in your backyard and surrounding your house with their sea of asphalt... if they want to, so be it.
 

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^^ That is why there are so many subdivisions with Homeowner Association bylaws, usually surrounded by open (zoning-wise) areas where non-residential activities can happen. Best of both worlds: you will not get a giant Walmart next to you, but Walmart will not be hassled (or Home Depot, or Best But, or whomever else) if they want to buy in the nearer strip mall. A "draconian" set of bylaws will guarantee residential areas will be only residential, without anycommerce - and that is a very positive thing. Then, you have a leveled field for competition, without politics mingling with it.
 

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In the UK, large supermarket chains such as Tesco and Sainsbury's have a lot of city centre small shops. Even ASDA (Walmart) does on a lesser scale
 
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