Reason.tv Replay: The War on Walmart

Who's afraid of cheap groceries?

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Original release date: April 28, 2011

Retail giant Walmart is planning to open its first stores in New York City and Washington, D.C.

That's got local politicians and activists up in arms.

"Walmart, keep your plantation because there are no more slaves," says New York City Councilman Charles Barron.

Walmart will make criminals of our children, argues Washington D.C. commissioner Brenda Speaks, because "kids are kids" so they'll shoplift and then "security will grab them."

If we're tricked into welcoming Walmart through our city gates "wrapped up in a shiny package," explains New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, it will take over and destroy us.

So what's getting anti-Walmart activists so riled up?

The answer: cheap groceries.

Written and produced by Jim Epstein, with help from Joshua Swain. Narrated by Nick Gillespie.

Approximately 7.30 minutes.

Click here for past Reason coverage of Walmart and its enemies.

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  1. Why are we replaying this? This not a slow news day!

  2. In the French revolution and probably many others, the people would have rioted because the food prices were too high. Now the politicians want the people to rise up because the food costs too little, truly bizarre.

  3. I’m the real enemy.

  4. obama killed osama

    1. Obama’s a Navy Seal who did a rapid rope drop from a helicopter into the compound, whacked UBL, and then was home in time for dinner? Wow, he really is impressive!

      1. heard obama got in a quick BBall game also

  5. We have an obesity problem and Wal-mart contributes to that problem by making food too cheap. We can’t have that.

  6. Holy Shit! Are they sending teams 1 through 5 to solve this one?

  7. TRAKTUR PULL!

  8. In my area, Wal-Mart does not usually tend to be the cheapest grocery option. That doesn’t mean I want to run it off, though.

  9. Somewhat related, by OJ O’Rourke

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/…..58503.html

    1. Great quote from the article: “Businessmen work for money because money gives them mastery over their own lives. Politicians work for power because power gives them mastery over the lives of others.”

  10. Walmart will make criminals of our children, argues Washington D.C. commissioner Brenda Speaks, because “kids are kids” so they’ll shoplift and then “security will grab them.”

    The ultimate socialist/moralist wet dream — a society without theft because there’s nothing valuable to steal.

  11. I heard a story about Walmart employees being encouraged to get on welfare. Can’t seem to find it, but here’s a similar one.

    http://www.alternet.org/story/23688/

    Blame Walmart or the State? Maybe both? Seems pretty fucked up to pay people the lowest wage possible by taking advantage of subsidies; both for themselves and the employees.

    1. That’s terrible. They should work until they’re expended and then expire. I sure as hell don’t wanting them eating on my nickle.

  12. This OS what governing on the local level is about. If the community – including small business people and workers making more than what walmart would offer – doesn’t want it, then they should have the right to tell walmart to take their offer elsewhere. Cheap food can come with strings that not every community wants.

  13. Walmart will make criminals of our children, argues Washington D.C. commissioner Brenda Speaks, because “kids are kids” so they’ll shoplift and then “security will grab them.”

    Larceny is a virtue to be embraced, especially when committed against large, heartless corporations like Wal-Mart.

    Start your Jacobins off young.

  14. “Walmart, keep your plantation because there are no more slaves,” says New York City Councilman Charles Barron.

    Walmart will make criminals of our children, argues Washington D.C. commissioner Brenda Speaks,

    Black politicians typically say things that make the white pols look and sound reasonable. Pitiful.

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