One Small Town's Battle
Against China-Mart

By Ted Twietmeyer
 One year ago, I wrote two articles here on which were based on an MSNBC investigation of Wal-Mart's business. Incredibly, even MSNBC did an honest documentary even though everyone I spoke to never watched it. Perhaps to most people, they think these documentaries are like watching CSPAN. The articles last year covered how they used various techniques to expand their chain and how bad they treat their employees. [1] 
One may think that a Wal-Mart story is a local matter. Before you dismiss this, be assured that this same drama you are about to read about can be, and will be most likely will be, repeated in your town if it hasn't happened already.
 Like standing out in a golf course holding up a 10ft. metal pole during every thunderstorm, sooner or later Wal-Mart takeover lightning will strike a town near you.
And indeed, it just has here. That cursed town-killing big-black-box store chain is planning on buying up a 56 acre parcel of prime farm land, about 15 minutes away from me. The town of Lima, NY has numerous frowning yellow smiley faces standing on many of the front lawns up and down Main St. in the town, protesting the takeover attempt.
Frowning smiley face like those on front lawns on Main St.
(courtesy of Google images)
Tonight there was a town board meeting - and I am eternally sorry I didn't bring a camcorder. I figured I'd see a small room in the basement with a handful of people.
Was I ever wrong! This meeting was held in a local mega-church which was almost filled to capacity. About 1,000 people were there, along with at least three local television stations and the R News Network. On past television documentaries, we have been led to believe that only handful of people get upset when the ChinaMart store attempts to move into a town.  Often the protesters are portrayed as standing outside with placards like striking auto-workers. Not this time.
Several spokespeople were there, though none were from ChinaMart. One can be certain that the store's "intelligence agents" were out there in the audience. There were some present taking notes like mad, and they left half-way through the meeting. When millions of corporate dollars are at stake, no company on earth would miss this.
There was a powerful, fact-filled presentation based upon the real facts that go with accepting the big-black-box into a town. I'll summarize some of the high points here:
* The store receives 10 YEARS of tax breaks in any town it goes into, which almost always requires a zoning law variance
* Store does NOT pay for added infrastructure into the community, such as increased fire and police protection
* Most small Businesses DIE soon after the store is opened. It has a serious impact on grocery stores, florist shops, hardware stores, gift shops, pharmacies and more
* Taxpayers must pay for additional road maintenance and repairs caused by increased traffic
* School taxes RISE and business and home property values DROP. Would you buy a home beside a ChinaMart or within eye-shot if you were moving out into the country?
* The store's con-men state that "480 new jobs will be created." But in reality, history has shown they may only create 70 new jobs.
* Only 8% of the store's revenue benefits the local economy
* Communities lose more jobs as all the local businesses die, with a typical net increase of just EIGHT $9.80 per hour jobs with little or no real benefits. In fact, most store employees receive public assistance for health care since their salaries are BELOW the poverty level and they cannot afford health insurance premiums.
* If the store FAILS to generate the anticipated revenue, it will be closed. By that time, the town already stripped of it's important small businesses and their tax revenue - leaving a big, ugly empty big-box store that no one will ever buy or rent. Does any startup business need 500,000 square feet? The town's tax revenue base is destroyed, and Main St. becomes desolate with boarded-up storefronts. And the chain moves on to wreck yet another small town.
My comment: Whether or not the store closes in the future, the small businesses destroyed won't be restored. Most of small town America's successful family-owned small businesses were created decades ago. That was when the average CITIZEN could realize the dream of owning their own business and doing well at it. Today, startup capital to begin any business (especially in manufacturing) is almost non-existent. And it's well know among entrepeneurs, that banks only loan money to people that really don't need it.
But wait - this big-black-box story is about to get even more interesting....
 It appears that perhaps the one person that could be behind disolving the town's Master Plan planning board may be the town's attorney, although it wasn't specifically stated. And here's why - it was announced in this same meeting that this attorney has "stepped out of the decision-making process because of his past ties to Wal-Mart" according to the board's chairman. Is it also a coincidence that the store wants to come to this town?
The last segment of the meeting allowed anyone to come up to the stage and speak for a few minutes. I live in a nearby small town, and I didn't want to take precious time away from those who are impacted by this incursion. My purpose there was to see what actually unfolds at one of these meetings, first-hand. Most of the people who spoke had brilliant, well thought out remarks.  No stone was left unturned and I salute them for it.
The town's Master Plan planning board was working for 7 years on a Master Plan for residential and business development.
One woman who spoke which lives in the town, announced the dissolution of the town's Master Planning Board. Everyone was shocked, in disbelief and quite upset. Hundreds yelled out demanding answers with "Why? WHAT? HOW COME?" The entire town knew that countless hours were spent on creating that plan.
The board chairman then literally yelled over the sound system "now calm down, I'll explain. We're going to hire a consulting firm to review the 7 years of work." Another woman then yelled out, "is that going to be a local firm?" He wouldn't answer her, and everyone knew what that meant. She asked again and the people demanded an explanation. The zero-tolerance chairman then threatened, "I'll close this meeting right now if you don't keep quiet." Incredibly, some people clapped at that threatening remark. Apparently some enjoy that warm, cozy feeling that only a high-voltage shock from a cattle prod can give.
Is it a coincidence that 7 years of planning work was just tossed out like last week's milk? It doesn't appear to be that way -especially that now is the time for board members to make a decision. All the surrounding towns already have plans in place to prevent this kind of corporate takeover. Someone should be watching all the board member's bank accounts for large deposits,  and their yards for new pools, SUVs and RVs. Several residents looked right at the board only a few feet away on stage and called dissolving the Master Planning board "criminal."
Many testified of the damage the store would do to their property values. The lost property equity could never be recovered, even if the store were to close. Many others could easily see a sharp increase in property and school taxes, as the multi-billion dollar store chain will receive 10 YEARS of tax breaks. TEN YEARS!
Only one person talked about how "wonderful it would be to have the store in Lima." She was repeatedly booed by everyone.
Another man spoke, and closed his remarks with "we have found the weapons of mass destruction, and it is Wal-Mart."
Many who spoke received standing ovations accompanied by a deafening applause.
Another lady however, had it all thought out. She proclaimed to the board, "if you approve this, then there is no reason to give them a tax break. You should tax them at the HIGHEST possible rate." That created a loud applause.
Testimony went on into the late evening, with many voicing their concerns over the many negative factors associated with this attempt at a corporate takeover. One man noted that the land is a protected area under NY State Dept. of Environmental Conservations regulations because of streams and creeks in the immediate area, and cited the law chapter and verse.
Of course, if you or I wanted to build a home on any protected land, we would never receive a building permit.
In THREE different directions from the town of Lima, NY, there is already a ChinaMart and two of them are "super-centers." Each one is only about 10 to 15 minutes away from where the new store will be. Will Mars have one on it, too?
This coming week, the big box chain will have their 15 minutes of fame at a local country club (tonight's meeting was held in a very large church.) I'm planning on attending, if they allow my trouble-making self past their sentries. I will attempt to obtain some digital footage of the big store's BS session. I'm willing to bet they will be serving "refreshments" to butter everyone up, complete with Sam's club aspartame-laced diet soda. Perhaps my wife should be home to receive my one phone call when they haul me away. I'm one of those weird people that doesn't carry a cell phone - I've read the research reports and know what RF does to people.
This isn't just about a small town's battle - it's a battle that will come to everyone's door sooner or later. The chain has big plans to cram one of these small town killing stores into almost every town in America, whether they want it there or not.
 If the US is taken to condition red and rationing is started - would not the military step in and take over the biggest national store chain for their own purposes? They already have the distribution system in place. There is also a special section in the mile-square headquarters of the chain, which is off-limits to most employees. The sign says "Homeland Security." Is it any wonder that they will try to put one of these stores in every town - just for that terrible day?
For more about saving small businesses see [2].
Film at 11...
Ted Twietmeyer
Please help support the ground-breaking work of by buying your copy online of the book with more than 160 images, "What NASA Isn't Telling You About Mars" at
[1] Article links to documented stories about Wal-Mart:
Part 1 -
Part 2 -
[2] -




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