Hawaii County Council rejects Wal-Mart ban

Comment on this story HILO, Hawai'i - The Hawai'i County Council yesterday unanimously rejected a proposal to ban retailing "supercenters" on the island, with members of the council citing calls from ... Full Story
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ken

Wahiawa, HI

#1 Oct 18, 2007
While market forces do shape the dynamics of the retail industry, all too often people don't do enough homework into the long term effects of the impact a retail giant like Walmart can do when Walmart has no competition nearby. Very little of their profits go back into the community, and the philosophy they've adopted in recent years can kill a town, or destroy the very livelihood of the very people who want Walmart's presence. Before shooting down such a bill, perhaps they would do well to see what has happened to other counties across the USA that have similar characteristics of Hilo. Local businesses utilize many other local establishments and tend to hire a greater number of employees. Money exchanges more hands and gets much more circulation before leaving the area. In the case of Walmart, they siphon huge amounts of cash out of the community. Think about the number of products that you can no longer find in town. While it may seem to benefit young families, the reverse is more often the case. They can't find things of the quality they want, they can't find jobs that can support the lifestyle they want, they end up buying things that break more often as that's all they can afford. Or the things they buy, don't get fixed, as the service industry for what they have bought has dried up. This is just the tip of the larger picture, one that will ultimately keep biting them until it's too late. They will get what they want, a superstore. And then they'll find the jobs they thought was secure is no more. Some of them will even end up working for Walmart, with lower pay, lower benefits. And all that realized savings will end up costing more than they realized. It's also called not paying attention to the lessons learned by counties all over the country.
Harley

Kapaa, HI

#2 Oct 18, 2007
ken wrote:
While market forces do shape the dynamics of the retail industry, all too often people don't do enough homework into the long term effects of the impact a retail giant like Walmart can do when Walmart has no competition nearby. Very little of their profits go back into the community, and the philosophy they've adopted in recent years can kill a town, or destroy the very livelihood of the very people who want Walmart's presence. Before shooting down such a bill, perhaps they would do well to see what has happened to other counties across the USA that have similar characteristics of Hilo. Local businesses utilize many other local establishments and tend to hire a greater number of employees. Money exchanges more hands and gets much more circulation before leaving the area. In the case of Walmart, they siphon huge amounts of cash out of the community. Think about the number of products that you can no longer find in town. While it may seem to benefit young families, the reverse is more often the case. They can't find things of the quality they want, they can't find jobs that can support the lifestyle they want, they end up buying things that break more often as that's all they can afford. Or the things they buy, don't get fixed, as the service industry for what they have bought has dried up. This is just the tip of the larger picture, one that will ultimately keep biting them until it's too late. They will get what they want, a superstore. And then they'll find the jobs they thought was secure is no more. Some of them will even end up working for Walmart, with lower pay, lower benefits. And all that realized savings will end up costing more than they realized. It's also called not paying attention to the lessons learned by counties all over the country.
MAHALO, VERY WELL SAID!
runnah

Honolulu, HI

#3 Oct 18, 2007
Ken, well said. We should also do an EIS on supercenters too!!!
Wankine

AOL

#4 Oct 18, 2007
As an East Hawaii resident, I can tell you all that the people here are overwhelmingly against the Big Box ban. For once, the lame local politicians got the will of the people right and chose not to "save us" from ourselves.(The bill passed 5-4 on the first reading, but that was before the Council got legal advice and a deluge of complaints from citizens.)

This is not Oahu, where there are multiple grocery chains to choose from and CostCo and Sam's Clubs are easily accessible. Our one and only CostCo is a two hour drive from Hilo. Entry level wages and benifits at the two "local" grocery chains are the same or only marginally better than WalMart.(I know this because a friend interviewed at both.) Only Safeway, a mainland chain, pays union scale wages.

People here are tired of paying more for basic necessities so that two locally owned and one mainland groceries can make higher profit margins. Hopefully this is the beginning of the end of the great old Hawaii tradition of everybody paying more so that a tiny minority can enjoy enhanced prosperity at everyone else's expense.
Poi Dog

Kaneohe, HI

#6 Oct 18, 2007
ken wrote:
While market forces do shape the dynamics of the retail industry, all too often people don't do enough homework into the long term effects of the impact a retail giant like Walmart can do when Walmart has no competition nearby. Very little of their profits go back into the community, and the philosophy they've adopted in recent years can kill a town, or destroy the very livelihood of the very people who want Walmart's presence. Before shooting down such a bill, perhaps they would do well to see what has happened to other counties across the USA that have similar characteristics of Hilo. Local businesses utilize many other local establishments and tend to hire a greater number of employees. Money exchanges more hands and gets much more circulation before leaving the area. In the case of Walmart, they siphon huge amounts of cash out of the community. Think about the number of products that you can no longer find in town. While it may seem to benefit young families, the reverse is more often the case. They can't find things of the quality they want, they can't find jobs that can support the lifestyle they want, they end up buying things that break more often as that's all they can afford. Or the things they buy, don't get fixed, as the service industry for what they have bought has dried up. This is just the tip of the larger picture, one that will ultimately keep biting them until it's too late. They will get what they want, a superstore. And then they'll find the jobs they thought was secure is no more. Some of them will even end up working for Walmart, with lower pay, lower benefits. And all that realized savings will end up costing more than they realized. It's also called not paying attention to the lessons learned by counties all over the country.
Walmart and other retailers buy products made with cheap labor and lax environmental laws. We consumers supposedly benefit from the lower prices. But I recently heard a story on NPR about how toy manufacturers bid against each other in order to secure contracts from toy companies. In some cases, the bids are so low that the manufacturers cut corners by using inferior materials (like lead paint) in order to make a profit. I would imagine the same holds true for other products, too. What are we sowing when we shop at Walmart and other "discount" retailers?
Bill

Glendale, CA

#7 Oct 18, 2007
WalMart is well known for its predatory tactics both within the community they "serve" and with the suppliers they contract with. A great example is what happened to the once American owned and manufactured RubberMaid products.
Check out:
http://www.pacificviews.org/weblog/archives/0...
or:
http://www.sprawl-busters.com/search.php...

Be careful what you wish for...
Chad

Murphys, CA

#8 Oct 28, 2007
F wallmart. They sell chineese crap, period. Everything in the entire store is from China? Wtf? The cheapest and often times most dangerous products on the market are sold at wallmart, many chineese made toys are now being found to be painted with poison lead based paint, which also bad for the environment when it hits the landfills. Aside from their selection of chineese garbage for sale, they tend to crush small busineses in areas they do business in, anyhow, like I said F wallmart, im out...

Since: Oct 07

AOL

#9 Oct 28, 2007
Chad wrote:
F wallmart. They sell chineese crap, period. Everything in the entire store is from China? Wtf? The cheapest and often times most dangerous products on the market are sold at wallmart, many chineese made toys are now being found to be painted with poison lead based paint, which also bad for the environment when it hits the landfills. Aside from their selection of chineese garbage for sale, they tend to crush small busineses in areas they do business in, anyhow, like I said F wallmart, im out...
Sam Walton must be turning in his grave right now. There was a time in the not-too-distant past when WalMart used to have advertising that proudly stated that its products were "Made in America." Target and KMart are not far behind in the Chinese goods market; Target just happens to do a better job of advertising to a slightly more affluent class of people.
Duke

Makawao, HI

#10 Oct 28, 2007
The "public" is duped so easily. If we can save 2 we abandon our local little store that has served us well for years. We get what we deserve when we don't think about what we are doing. Nobody forces us to go to Walmart. Walmart doesn't force out the small businesses, we do it by not going to them anymore! The only way to stop Walmart is to not shop there!
Cat Manapua

Saint George, UT

#11 Oct 28, 2007
If they ban Walmart where will they store the containers full of the iwi they dig up at the next big box construction site? Huh? Huh?
looking4job

Mililani, HI

#12 Nov 2, 2007
Wankine wrote:
As an East Hawaii resident, I can tell you all that the people here are overwhelmingly against the Big Box ban. For once, the lame local politicians got the will of the people right and chose not to "save us" from ourselves....
This is not Oahu, where there are multiple grocery chains to choose from and CostCo and Sam's Clubs are easily accessible. Our one and only CostCo is a two hour drive from Hilo. Entry level wages and benifits at the two "local" grocery chains are the same or only marginally better than WalMart.(I know this because a friend interviewed at both.) Only Safeway, a mainland chain, pays union scale wages...
People here are tired of paying more for basic necessities so that two locally owned and one mainland groceries can make higher profit margins.
...
I agree!!! I graduated from a college on Oahu, trying to find a job and want to raise my family here in Hilo, where I was raised and grew up. If it wasn't for Walmart, we couldn't make it, this is not Oahu, the pay and the quality of jobs in Hilo sucks. If you not from the East Side of the Big Island, you don't know what we go through. All I see is good local employees who wouldn't have a job if it wasn't for Walmart. If you want to spend more at the other supermarkets in Hilo, go head nobody stopping you.
The county council and local politicians should be engaged in spending more time trying to enhance and diversify the economy in Hilo and focus on improving education for our youth (our future leaders) than wasting time on writing bills to keep big box stores out that help people with tight budgets to make ends meet.
Hilo Resident

Kailua, HI

#13 Nov 6, 2007
Don't vote for Stacy Higa. He was trying to keep Wal mart from opening the super stores in Hilo. He also voted against the bill he introducted to ban the super store. He is running for mayor of Hilo. What a loser.
Waipahu

Lihue, HI

#14 Nov 7, 2007
Interesting reading here. Everyone outside of East Hawaii is trying to tell them that a Walmart is no good for them, yet the posters who live there are welcoming it. FWIW, I'm 5 minutes away from the Pearl City Walmart, 10 minutes from the Kunia and Mililani Walmarts. Yet I rarely shop there, only late nights when everything else is closed. Just because it's there doesn't mean I have to shop there. I could care less if everyone else wants to spend their money on Chinese junk. They haven't run any smaller stores out of business that I've seen.

The one thing that DOES bother me is all of the retail space going up. Only places to spend money, not really anywhere for people to make money, save for the proprietor and a handful of employees at barely over minimum wage. But again, just because it's there, doesn't mean I'll shop and support it.
Willie

Farmington, MI

#16 Nov 7, 2007
If Walmart says it lowers prices everyday how come nothing is free yet?

It has been my observation that Walmart has a very loyal and limited following, they probably make 90% of their money off a relativly small percentage of the population. I can count on one hand the number of times I have walked in their doors and I can count on one finger the number of times Ihave bought something there.

To each their own and as one poster said, stop protecting us from us.

“s'up”

Since: Sep 07

Davis, CA now King City, CA

#17 Nov 7, 2007
I never shopped at Wal Mart until I got married and had kids. Now I shop at Wal Mart.

btw, The Wal Marts in HI are nice. A few in Sacramento and the bay area are a bit um, urban (shudder).

Anyways, I wish the Wal Mart in Marina,CA had the Hawaii products that are in stock over in HI.

There are quite a few former island residents here.
Poi Dog

United States

#18 Nov 7, 2007
Mach5Motorsport wrote:
btw, The Wal Marts in HI are nice. A few in Sacramento and the bay area are a bit um, urban (shudder).
What's wrong with "urban"?

“s'up”

Since: Sep 07

Davis, CA now King City, CA

#19 Nov 8, 2007
Vist the Sacramento Wal Marts in Natomas and South Sac locations. You'll notice the difference. Cluttered, dirty, and the kids running around yelling with "parents", turning the stereos up to the max in the electronics/automotive sections frequently.

“4 "Blondie"”

Since: Nov 07

;-) @>--;--

#20 Dec 17, 2007
runnah wrote:
Ken, well said. We should also do an EIS on supercenters too!!!
They certianly should.

I'd like to add that Wal-Mart bulldozed pretty much the last remaining native forest in coastal Hilo to make room for this mega center.
i love wal mart

Honolulu, HI

#21 Mar 2, 2008
HIIslander wrote:
<quoted text>
They certianly should.
I'd like to add that Wal-Mart bulldozed pretty much the last remaining native forest in coastal Hilo to make room for this mega center.
not true and even if it was... nobody else cares
takspyr

Honolulu, HI

#22 Mar 2, 2008
Ken's comments represent the ignorance born of the public education system in Hawaii. I'm surprised he learned how to write. "...Very little of their profits go back into the community, and the philosophy they've adopted in recent years can kill a town, or destroy the very livelihood of the very people who want Walmart's presence..."

Hey, knucklehead, yeah you, if any company spends millions of dollars to establish itself in your local, it's not going to destroy the economy and shoot itself in the foot.

If you want Walmart to go out of business, try not shopping there. Go pay higher prices somewhere else!

This is Hawaii public education at its best. You go Ken and Harley.

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