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Reader welcomes Wal-Mart choices

Posted: Friday, December 09, 2005

Wal-Mart is coming. I don’t see a problem, just a lot of whiners and moaners fussing over change. I just got back from the Lower 48 and shopped my share of Wal-Mart stores. It was refreshing to see a variety of merchandise and prices.

I see Wal-Mart as a good thing for the Kenai Peninsula. So what if they pay minimum wage? Lots of people would be happy with a job. Too many people think they are worth more than minimum wage and so they refuse to work. My feeling is minimum wage is more money they would make than not working.

People used to make fun of others who worked at McDonald’s, but it is an honest living. Isn’t working a job that makes an honest wage worth anything these days? Take a look around at some of these other nationwide stores in the area. They aren’t great to work for and they don’t pay benefits for a majority of their employees.

Some of you might want to start reading the labels on clothes in the other limited stores we have to shop at. Few, if any, of the labels say “American Made.”

As for running these specialty shops and smaller businesses out, I don’t think so. Those businesses have their place in this community. Their merchandise will not be stocked by Wal-Mart, and the consumers will continue to shop those stores.

Wal-Mart will offer a variety of merchandise, so it’s not the highest quality, but families with growing kids won’t have to pay top dollar for clothing the kids outgrow in a couple of months. This store will also allow people on limited incomes to make purchases. This store will not only help our local community, but will help our neighbors on the southern peninsula.

We always hear “shop locally,” but I for one can’t afford to do that. Even with the high gas prices it is still cheaper for us to travel to Anchorage and buy groceries, clothing and household merchandise because it’s cheaper up there. By having a Wal-Mart here, many of us who travel to Anchorage to save money will be able to shop locally and keep the money on the peninsula. I know for me, it means fewer trips to Anchorage.

I think some of these whiners and moaners against Wal-Mart should think about the overall picture of what this store could mean to the peninsula. Won’t it bring more tax dollars into our area? It should keep more local money here.

Don’t Wal-Mart stores have optic shops, too? I know some of the insurances will only pay when these optical shops are used, so there again, people won’t have to travel far to get eyes examined to take advantage of their insurance benefits.

It’s got to be better than what we have now, because we sure don’t have much to select from here. I resent being forced to purchase what our local stores stock and if we don’t buy what these stores carry, we do without or leave the area to shop.

Tracy Miller

Kasilof



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