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Smaller is better, but not good enough 


Wal-Mart’s announcement that it will be submitting plans for a “smaller” store in Atascadero (still the size of two football fields plus), is a step in the right direction. Apparently, Wal-Mart realized, as their competitors have, that a smaller store can be profitable and sustainable. But, the proposed project is still the wrong size.

 Wal-Mart has told Wall Street analysts that it is now comfortable with the idea of building 70,000-square-foot superstores, which are less costly and more efficient for the company to maintain. Shrinking the new proposal down to this smaller footprint would minimize traffic, air pollution, and other environmental impacts, and reduce
the economic and community impacts on
the City.

 However, changing the size doesn’t change corporate policies. These policies and impacts—because of which many of last year’s Atascadero voters likely will not be shopping at a Wal-Mart of any size—are still in place: unsavory business practices; labor and environmental law violations; coercion, intimidation, and other unfair labor practices aimed at blocking union representation; low wages and poor benefits. They are the driving force behind the massive loss of American manufacturing jobs and loss of locally owned small businesses across America.

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