I have decided to switch gears and write about, of all things, WalMart. I have been thinking about a couple of weeks’ old newspaper column about WalMart pulling out of negotiations with the City of
This got me thinking about the incredible disdain with which elite urban American culture views WalMart. I’ve always wondered about the reasons for this. Is it something about the Waltons’ religious background? Well, the Waltons were faithful members of and significant donors to the Presbyterian Church,
I think the answer lies in cultural snobbishness. That’s important, because it’s pretty clear that Jesus wasn’t really fond of urban (i.e.
Let me recall an incident from my childhood. My parents moved around a lot when I was young. In one stretch we lived in typically suburban
It was in towns of approximately Smallville’s size that the Waltons made their fortune. The WalMarts offered customers truly lower prices, clean, well lit stores, and a reputation for friendliness and a generous return policy. Simply put, WalMart believed that people who lived in towns of about, say, 22,000 deserved the same things that customers in larger cities took for granted. To put this in religious terms, WalMart was practicing hospitality to a segment of people that many identified as “the least” in society. But what this practically meant is that WalMart became significantly attached to the prejudices against this particular cultural slice of
Indeed, in fact of course, this meant that some locally owned stores in towns such as Smallville faced price pressure, and maybe went out of business. That’s what losing your monopoly status means. I remember traveling with some people from a small town in Wisconsin, and they mentioned that a WalMart had recently opened there. I thought: "Oh, here comes the hymn to small town downtown