Can Wal-Mart Scale L.A.’s Great Wall of Regulation?

Opponents claim local Asian-Americans oppose the big-box store. Locals tell a different story.

(Page 2 of 2)

One of the most frequently quoted anti-Wal-Mart residents is Christilily Chiv, a 2011 graduate of the University of California-Riverside, who majored in Asian Studies and now works with the leftist group Public Allies Los Angeles. “She believes in viewing the world through critical lenses and to not take everything for just the way it is,” her Public Allies bio explains. That is, unless it is Wal-Mart. That’s when the critical thinking seems to end. 

The strongest remarks against Wal-Mart have come from Chu, the member of Congress who has long opposed the discount giant. In 2004, while she was in the State Assembly, Chu put up a fight against a Wal-Mart in Rosemead

At the time, Chu decried Wal-Mart’s “bad reputation” and claimed that local Asian-Americans and endangered small businesses were united against the retailer.

The Wal-Mart ended up opening despite Chu’s efforts. The result?

“Wal-Mart helped generate $148.7 million in Rosemead citywide taxable retail sales in 2007, a $21,000 increase in such sales from the year before the store opened,” Rosemead Mayor Steven Ly wrote recently in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. “Rosemead saw an increase of 9.4% in new retail permits [near Wal-Mart].” In addition, the company has been generous to Rosemead’s charities, giving more than $52,000 in 2011 to the local Boy Scouts, the town’s Regional Food Bank, the American Diabetes chapter, Rosemead High School, and the Rosemead Kiwanis Foundation. 

And what about Mrs. Hu? She has strong words for the people “pretending to speak for Chinatown.” Sitting up straight in her chair at the mention of local Chinese-American politicians, she said: “Judy Chu and Mike Eng don’t live like we do. They don’t know what it’s like to live here, and they don’t speak for me.” 

Charles C. Johnson is a writer in Los Angeles and author of a forthcoming biography of Calvin Coolidge.

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  • ||

    It's not hard to believe that LAANE truly thinks it knows what's best for the neighborhood, more than the actual residents. That's just the kind of thinking you need to have to be a pompous liberal.

    And why are the fucking squirrels saying this comment is invalid?

  • Father Jack||

    Feck the unions. Drink! Arse! Girls!

  • johnl||

    Who are the protesters trying to impress with signs written in Chinese? Something something China something. We something Walmart. We love something. China something happy something. These could be anti-Walmart slogans for all I know.

  • Suki||

    Interesting how all those multilingualists don't bother to rush in and translate.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Umm...just because you speak another language doesn't mean you speak all languages.

  • Suki||

    Tell that to the multilingualists who speak what they like and try to dictate to the rest of us what we should speak. Maobama is a monolingualist who likes to lecture on that.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Tell that to the multilingualists who speak what they like and try to dictate to the rest of us what we should speak. Maobama is a monolingualist who likes to lecture on that.


    Since you're getting into "Whitney Houston was SACRIFICED by the ILLUMINATI for the Jubilee of the Queen Elizabeth!" territory...I'm just going to walk away and leave you to your own fantasy world.

  • Suki||

    They are right. You really are insane.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I'm insane says the ugly, hairy Italian dude who masquerades as a quasi-attractive petite Asian woman.

    Go fuck yourself, Johnny T.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I heard the queen is actually a lizard.

    A multilingual French speaking lizard.

  • johnl||

    I did my best. But they should have written their signs in Spanish so everyone could understand. The handwritting is varried, so more than one person wrote the signs.

  • NotSure||

    There is nothing more democratic than letting people decide at which shops they want to buy. The people who say they support democracy don't seem to support the will of the people when it comes to Wal mart.

  • Jerryskids||

    Since it is self-evidently true that Walmart and everything it stands for is evil, the 'will of people' must be understood as 'what people would want if they weren't so brainwashed by Madison Avenue or morally corrupted by Wall Street or mis-informed by people not as enlightened as me'.

    IOW - the only reason you could support Walmart (or capitalism or liberty for that matter) and oppose the benevolent instruction of your intellectual and moral superiors is if you are crazy, evil or stupid.

    And we all know crazy people need psychiatric prisons, evil people need gulag, and stupid people need re-education camps.

    Laugh all you want, but between Ralph Nader, the CDC, the trial lawyers and the bargain-brand Mussolinis all over, we are getting closer every day to having everything Bad For You being declared a public-health issue and therefore amenable to legislation.

    First they came for the cokeheads, and I didn't speak out because I was not a cokehead. Then they came for the smokers, and I didn't speak out because I was not a smoker. Then they came for the fatties, and I did not speak out because I was not a fatty. When they came for the soylent green....

  • Doctor Whom||


    What you want is none of your business and certainly nothing that you can be trusted to determine for yourself. When (if) it becomes relevant, the "neighborhood" activists will inform you of what it is.

  • MoreFreedom||

    Geez Jerryskids, are you trying to be ironic or are you serious? Your last sentence doesn't include "they came for Walmart and Walmart shoppers".

    If you are serious, then based on your post, you'd support government sending you to a re-education camp.

    Fortunately for you, libertarians would defend you against that, rather than using government to come after you.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    I wouldn't be surprised if the same sort of regulation keeps Walmarts from popping up more around DC. There are only 3 I know of within 15 miles of the district's tainted nutsack on the NOVA side, and all 3 are perpetually swamped and dirty. As a result, it's nigh-impossible to keep yourself from taking one of their cheap guns and blowing your head off as you wait in the forever-line to buy said gun behind granny who wants to pay in old confederate toilet paper. There are Targets well within the tainted nutsack (beltway) but, as usual, they are generally more expensive. If I didn't know any better, I'd think there was some sort of elitist attitude against Walmart that favors Target among our betters because the latter is not seen as a den on inequity for some reason. One more thing, FUCK NOVA. Oh and 40 % of MD can go to hell as well.

  • Suki||

    One of the very few things that Cherry Hill has over DC, Walmart. The Philly area must have 20 of them. Only downside, closest 3 to me do not have a grocery section.

    I remember the NOVA Walmart I went to was very nice. Out near IAD in Sterling or Ashburn.

  • ||

    This law, enacted in 2004, forces big-box retailers who want to open a store larger than 100,000 square feet to provide a costly economic analysis showing whether it will depress wages or harm nearby businesses.

    So, you can only open a business if it won't be competitive. Riiiiight. No wonder the state is a fucking basket case

  • ||

    Competitive? We must have equality, it is only fair. Why are you such a racist? Where is Tiny to tell us how rich people make other people poor? He can explain it to you.

    God, I fucking hate socialists with every fiber of my being.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    I'm not a fan of socialists, but at least they are more honest than Neocons for the most part. They'll tell you to their face they want you as a slave. Neocons say free market this, liberty that, and then gleefully double-fist-rape us all when our guard is down. If I'm going to get prison-raped, I'd prefer the prospective rapist to be honest about his I have time to build a shank to embed in the asshole's brain stem.

  • sarcasmic||

    Show me a neocon, and I'll show you a big government liberal who opposes abortion.

  • jacob the barbarian||

    I thought the NeoCons where the Hawkish Democrats who supported the Reagan back in the 80's and then "War on Terror" that we are in the middle of now. Abortion? Really?

  • ||

    I grew up surrounded by Neocons, and I hate them as well. I have argued with them and fought against them all my life. I suppose I know how to deal with them better because I understand them.
    The naked dumbfuckery and sociopathic compulsion to control others and steal everything is what makes me hate socialists so much. Their agenda is to enslave the entire human race.

  • sarcasmic||

    But, but, but it isn't stealing when the government does it!

  • jacob the barbarian||


  • Doctor Whom||

    There's plenty of hypocrisy on both sides. Surely we all know "pro-choice" people who are fanatically anti-choice on about 99% of human endeavor.

  • Suki||

    The ever changing 'definition' of "big box stored." Walmart is a department store, Sams Club is big box (membership required). "costly economic analysis showing whether it will depress wages" is this Krugmanomics? How does adding competition for labor depress wages?

  • Suki||


  • Tim||

    Suki made a simple typo, Suki, don't be a peckerhead about it.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Do you think that the mom-and- pop stores all pay their help high wages? I would guess most of their workers are under-the table on a student visa.

  • ||

    ...seniors living near the poverty line or in assisted living centers.

    IPAB will fix this problem soon enough.

  • Formerly Almanian||

    Me ruv WarMalt RONG time.

    It needed to be said.

    Also, fuck California.

  • ||

    The only Chinese American guy I know is virulently anti-communist and believes in perpetually printing and burning Mao portraits, so maybe I'm not as informed as Mr. and Mrs. Progressive Protectionist Racket, but none of this is at all surprising. It's the government in Los Angeles. Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, NYC -- they're all in a league of their own when it comes to dumbfuckery.

  • MoreFreedom||

    Sounds like the Chinese American has been traumatized by the Chinese government. Most people who've lived in other than the US, much prefer liberty. Like my better half who lived in Cuba for awhile, she was mugged by the reality of government control.

  • sarcasmic||

    Preventing access to cheap goods makes people richer.

  • Tim||


  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Forget it, Jake. It's Cronytown.

  • ||

    You were not brought upon this earth to get a Walmart!

  • ||

    well said, anonbot, well said

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Open question to other posters;

    Does anybody recall a statement by anti-WalMart activists about a group that supposedly didn't want the company to open a store that turned out to be true?

  • Invisible Finger||

    "The neighborhood Chinese stores charge 'whatever they think they can get,' another senior said."

    So does Wal-Mart.

    Meet the new bloss...

  • socalswami||

    This is totally crazy that people are so against something that the people want. we have the same problem here in San Diego. Everyone seems to be against Wal-Mart (and by everyone, I mean unions and the politicians who are "supported" by them). Give the people what they want...Choices!!!

  • MoreFreedom||

    In some cases, governments are using eminent domain to give property to private developers, with the public benefit being potential increased tax revenues.

    Government helping some private businesses, and hindering other private businesses, certainly isn't equality before the law. If they were consistent, they'd use eminent domain to provide the land to Walmart for the tax revenues.

  • MoreFreedom||

    Given it was Democrats who mainly supported Kelo vs. City of New London, what conservatives should have done, is say if the SCOTUS ruled for the government, they were going to use eminent domain to obtain land for more Walmarts. Then perhaps Democrats would learn the lesson that when you give government power, it will be used against you.

  • شات عراقنا||



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