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TheAnk

COMPLETE: Charles Street Walmart

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Well, even though I hate Walmart, this area really needs it.. The Ames is all grafitti'ed up, and that area is surrounded by industrial and a lot of blight, so it shouldn't negatively affect anything.. Too much

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It would have been nice if WalMart had proposed an urban store in it's push to come to Providence. The opportunity to transform that section of town by moving the building up to the street and perhaps including a second story of housing has been lost. The good news is that it is replacing an existing strip mall and not creating a new one, it's replacing something that the community needs and lost. I was in that area a couple days ago, and as much as I dislike WalMart, I do think this is good news for that area. Having that massive derelict hulk sitting there is doing nothing for the neighbourhood. The WalMart will at least bring activity to the area, even if it is mostly automobile traffic. The addition of a traffic light will help the pedestrian environment, hopefully the development will address walk up customers. The Whole Foods Plaza on North Main is an example of how to not make a place accessible by pedestrians.

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Actually, when u get walmart, u dont actually just get walmart, there will be a bunch of other new strip mall open surronding the entire walmart.

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Yeah, that area of Charles has seen a few new business going in.. This should really jump start it.. I never really go there too much; maybe this will make a push for the "adult" shops to relocate elsewhere (out of Prov), cause the city voning prohibits them every where except Allens, Harris, and Charles in the North End

The Petco/Whole Foods/Staples development is not accessible? I go there all the time for dog food.. I see people walking down Doyle all the time.. Maybe cause it is on a main road?

What really intrigues me is the Promenade Section... So much potential.. From Jefferson Place to Eagle Square. I wonder what the vacancy rate is like..

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The Petco/Whole Foods/Staples development is not accessible? I go there all the time for dog food.. I see people walking down Doyle all the time.. Maybe cause it is on a main road?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

There's no direct sidewalk connection from the street to the stores. You have to walk through the parking lot in traffic. The bus stop on North Main is on the other side of a retaining wall, there's no steps up into the plaza, you have to walk around the embankment and through the parking lot. If you get off the bus and want to go to PetCo, you have to walk all the way up to the entrance near the bank, then walk all the way back to PetCo. Or walk up beside McDonald's but that puts you in the direct path of traffic using the drive thru. There should be a stairway down at the corner in front of McDonald's but there is not.

In a better world the plaza would have been built flush to the street with apartments above and the parking behind and underneath it all. Oh well.

What really intrigues me is the Promenade Section... So much potential.. From Jefferson Place to Eagle Square. I wonder what the vacancy rate is like..

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes, there's some vacant retail boxes at the corner of Pleasant Valley Parkway, and there are vast industrial lots that have varying levels of activity. It could be a good place to develop some moderately priced retail stores to complement the mall. It also has the mall's highway access going for it. That area was one of Cianci's "three cities," it would by nice to see some economic development over there. The Dean Street overpass needs to be reconfigured though to allow for safe pedestrian access. If it were planned better, the area could be a good version of Brewery Parkade.

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Actually, when u get walmart, u dont actually just get walmart, there will be a bunch of other new strip mall open surronding the entire walmart.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'm not sure this one will have too many if any side stores. The box it is replacing is not that big and it only had a couple of additional spaces. Hopefully they will include room for a few local stores to move in (I don't know how a package store in this neighbourhood failed).

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I need to get down to Providence, I havent been in a while. It sounds like there is alot of good stuff happening their judging from previous threads. How close is this proposed walmart to down town? IMO, Walmarts dont belong in any cities or urban areas, it will just create more problems instead of solving them. Isnt there a better solution to this area than building a walmart....

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"There's no direct sidewalk connection from the street to the stores. You have to walk through the parking lot in traffic. The bus stop on North Main is on the other side of a retaining wall, there's no steps up into the plaza, you have to walk around the embankment and through the parking lot."

Good point.. Now that I think about it, there is no front access... And it is set back.. Very suburban-like..

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It's actually quite close to Downtown, but Providence is so small everything is close to everything. :lol:

There's this big box retail zone just to the north of Downtown, mostly centered on North Main Street heading toward Pawtucket, the WalMart location is a little tendril of this big box zone. There is already a Home Depot, a Super Stop & Shop, and a Benny's in the area around this proposed WalMart (and the WalMart is replacing a vacant Ames store). I would be outraged if this were a new frontier for big boxes, but since it's more of the same, I can't get too upset. It would be nice if it were better urbanistically, but the retail is needed.

The area is rather poor, and their are a lot of low-income elderly in the area as well. Right now these people have to leave the area to shop, they need low priced options in their neighbourhood, so this is a good thing in that regard. I just wish it weren't WalMart with their deceptive pricing and poor labour practices.

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How close is this proposed walmart to down town?  IMO, Walmarts dont belong in any cities or urban areas, it will just create more problems instead of solving them.  Isnt there a better solution to this area than building a walmart....

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

This area is a good fit though.. Believe me, I think Walmart is the anti-Christ.. But one, the area needs jobs, and two you really have to drive to Warwick or Smithfield for any retail like this, and its like a 20 minute drive.. For RI'ers, thats a day trip!! :D

Its kind of a odd area.. Train tracks run through it and its very industrial on one side, and on the other side is a highway, RT146.. There is a narrow strip of land between, which has some brick factories, a Home Depot, and a few sex stores and clubs.. Yet it is still accessible to a lot of residents, as Charles Street runs from downtown through Charles and North End hoods...

Honestly, as an investor, I never really gave the area any thought.. Its not desireable.. So, that evil yellow Walmart price slashing smiley face can move there.. :whistling:

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Honestly, as an investor, I never really gave the area any thought.. Its not desireable.. So, that evil yellow Walmart price slashing smiley face can move there..  :whistling:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That reminds me of something funny...... :D

Wal-Mart Announces Massive Roll Back of Employee Wages

BENTONVILLE, AR-Wal-Mart, the world's largest discount retailer, announced its biggest-ever rollback Monday, with employee pay cuts of up to 35 percent.

A sign announces a Louisville, KY Wal-Mart's low, low wage for cashiers.

Above: A sign announces a Louisville, KY Wal-Mart's low, low wage for cashiers.

"Just in time for the holiday shopping season, we're rolling back the hourly wages of workers in every department-housewares, automotive, health and beauty, and so many more!" Wal-Mart president and CEO H. Lee Scott Jr. announced at a press conference. "From Baton Rouge to Boise, we're continuing our tradition of low, low prices and using our muscle to create unbelievable savings!"

"For us!" Scott added.

Scott then turned to a large projection screen on which the company's trademark yellow happy face whizzed through the aisles of a Wal-Mart, enthusiastically "slashing" the hourly wages of employees all over the store.

"Paying $7.75 an hour for a Class-2 cashier with fewer than two years' experience?" a cheery narrator asked in amused disbelief. "How about $6.50? And $8.45 an hour for a dockworker to unload boxes of bath towels all day? We think $6.75 sounds more like it!"

In addition to wage rollbacks, Scott said Wal-Mart will discontinue a number of shelf-stocking, warehousing, and sales-floor jobs that have been occupying valuable space on the payroll.

"Why, some of those old stockers have been collecting dust in our aisles and ledgers for five years," the narrator said as the smiley-face ushered reluctant ex-employees and their bloated wages to the parking lot. "It's time for a store-wide clearance! Out with the old and in with the new!"

The beaming smiley-face then placed a sign reading "Help Wanted

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Get ready to hear a big sucking sound as the opening of that Walmart will spell doom for the mom & pop stores in the area.  Any store that you have who might sell something that Walmart sells will die.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

There isn't really any existing stores in the area for WalMart to suck.

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Get ready to hear a big sucking sound as the opening of that Walmart will spell doom for the mom & pop stores in the area. 

As for jobs, remember that these are very low paying jobs

selling Chinese goods that used to be produced in the USA.  Ironic isn't it?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

1. There are no Mom and Pops in this area, or the immediate vecinity.. I will get a land use map here for you in a second...

2. Providence needs ANY jobs, even if the yellow smiley face offers them along with a pound of flesh..

3. I think people need to realize that the US has just about fully transitioned from an industrial manufactoring country, to a service sector country... I know it sucks that China is going to be the #1 superpower in the world, but the bottom line is, they are bigger, can produce better and fasters, and now that the communist regime has been ousted, and they too are now capitalist, they are on a tear..

People fear the "China Price".. Its misguided anger, I think.. They need to adapt to the times.. As times change.. Just look at Prov.. Industrial manufacturing hub in the late 1800s and early 1900s.. But that sector moved South for: cheaper labor and production.. And the city suffered... But regions reinvent themselves, as what is going on now..

And now, the city is finally smartening up and attracting service sector jobs, and its on a huge rebound..

And if you really think about it.. The assembly line jobs of yesteryear are basically the cubical jobs of now.. Its just under a different name..

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3. I think people need to realize that the US has just about fully transitioned from an industrial manufactoring country, to a service sector country...  I know it sucks that China is going to be the #1 superpower in the world, but the bottom line is, they are bigger, can produce better and fasters, and now that the communist regime has been ousted, and they too are now capitalist, they are on a tear..

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I wouldnt exactly say that the communist regime has been ousted. There hasnt been a revolution, or a coup or anything. True they have adopted a more free market economic system, but the chinese still lack a true democracy where people can elect their leaders in a fair way. Many still live in fear of speaking out against the government, especially the press. This has been a slow process for China. We can only hope that their society evolves into a more freely democratic one. They will be the number one economy, no doubt

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Land use in Charles neighborhood (also referred to as the North End)

Where the Walmart is going:

http://www.provplan.org/nprof/maprnks/cha_plu.gif

The store is going where Rt 146, Charles St, and the railroad come to a "V", just under Silver Street.. As you can see, there are a few vacant parcels, and it is all railroad, industrial, and commercial..

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If we were the best at producing, there would be no problem.. There would be no China Price.. Providence would still be a hotbed of manufacturing.. There wouldn't be blighted old mill properties or brownfields being rehabbed into office space and loft condos..

All things happen for a reason in a capitalist world.. Hey, its a neccesary evil for free markets.. Prov was too expensive for companies to produce there.. So they moved South.. Where labor was cheaper, everything was cheaper...

So, I don't think the blame should go to company owners.. There is no blame.. Even terms? The world doesn't work that way.. So its a pipe dream.. We all have to, at all times, change with the times...

Its not a China laborors fault they will work for cheaper than you or I.. Just the same as its not the South's fault for having cheaper labor and land when companies were leaving the North East for cheaper pastures..

I know it is just my opinion, but I really don't think there IS a middle class.. Maybe entrepenuers are middle class, but basically, if you are a worker, you are selling your labor..

On the flip side, its a sad fact that labor unions have hamstrung airlines to the point that they can't pare down costs, and have to file backruptcy.. Those labor laws are equally restrictive to free market operation.. Only, its not the ideal opinion of the mass public of workers, cause labor unions raise wages..

Its very easy to sit and say I should be paid more.. And damn those evil companies... Those CEOs once were wage earners like you and I; only either their ancestors or themselves, stood up, and either started or created a business and grew it.. Instead of complaining about their job..

I am an employee or worker or laboror, just as you probably are.. Only, I don't feel entitled to the company owner's profits.. Its not my company.. I just work there.. I'm not entitled to the fruits of their labor from the hard work starting a business.. We just sell our labor in return for a wage.. I know thats not "rosy", but its the truth..

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If we were the best at producing, there would be no problem.. There would be no China Price.. Providence would still be a hotbed of manufacturing.. There wouldn't be blighted old mill properties or brownfields being rehabbed into office space and loft condos..

All things happen for a reason in a capitalist world.. Hey, its a neccesary evil for free markets.. Prov was too expensive for companies to produce there.. So they moved South.. Where labor was cheaper, everything was cheaper...

So, I don't think the blame should go to company owners.. There is no blame.. Even terms? The world doesn't work that way.. So its a pipe dream.. We all have to, at all times, change with the times...

Its not a China laborors fault they will work for cheaper than you or I.. Just the same as its not the South's fault for having cheaper labor and land when companies were leaving the North East for cheaper pastures..

I know it is just my opinion, but I really don't think there IS a middle class..  Maybe entrepenuers are middle class, but basically, if you are a worker, you are selling your labor..

On the flip side, its a sad fact that labor unions have hamstrung airlines to the point that they can't pare down costs, and have to file backruptcy.. Those labor laws are equally restrictive to free market operation.. Only, its not the ideal opinion of the mass public of workers, cause labor unions raise wages..

Its very easy to sit and say I should be paid more.. And damn those evil companies... Those CEOs once were wage earners like you and I; only either their ancestors or themselves, stood up, and either started or created a business and grew it.. Instead of complaining about their job..

I am an employee or worker or laboror, just as you probably are.. Only, I don't feel entitled to the company owner's profits.. Its not my company.. I just work there.. I'm not entitled to the fruits of their labor from the hard work starting a business.. We just sell our labor in return for a wage.. I know thats not "rosy", but its the truth..

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You raise many valid points that contribute to a very sensitive argument, one that I am very much on the fence about. This has become an even more urgent issue due to the "jobless recovery" that we are currently witnessing. The economy as a whole is growing very rapidly, but we havent yet seen the kind of job growth we saw back in the 90's. Part of the problem lies in the fact that the US has not been able to create jobs as fast as they are being sent overseas. Higher paying manufacturing and service jobs are now being exported, while lower paying jobs (like Wal Mart) are really the only options that some people face. You call this progress?

If these large companies and their rich and powerful CEOs choose to move operations and jobs to China, fine let them. They are the ones contributing to the decline of our society to simply benefit the elite few who own stock, or are executives. And yes, they are responsible for these actions, they are directly accountable. Corporations are not just committed to improve stock holder wealth, they are also vital members of the community in which they do business. They have a responsibility that goes beyond their balance sheet.

I choose to express my opinions with my dollar. I dont buy goods or services from companies that I feel are not good corporate citizens.

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And that is our action, which as a consumer is our strongest weapon.. As is monsoon's with his boycott of Chinese goods.. I agree with and respect all your points, LeTaureau.. I think that there should be a more collective conscience with respect to labor..

Let me clarify; by service sector, I don't mean just Walmart jobs.. Stock brokers, phone reps, customer service people and other call center-like jobs are the new service sector.. This is the direction our country is going..

I personally dislike Walmart for the effect it has on small Mom & Pops stores, and I personally at all times possible frequent small businesses in lieu of large corporations.. I would rather pay more at Mom & Pop, LLC. than less at Wal-Conglomerate Inc... That is my action against the qualities I dislike... Walmarts hurt the best part of our society, the entrepeneur..

But I don't feel bad for workers who complain about a company they work for, demanding more for the same job.. And I don't agree that ALL corporations are greedily twisting their handlebar moustaches and purposely putting American workers out of workers so they can upgrade their personal 737 and get a 747.. Its far fetched, and media induced paranoia..

But to say that China and the US should be on a level playing field as far as labor costs is at best naive, and probably more ignorant.. Should we have a level playing field in quality of life then too? How about the ability to bear female children? Should we level that playing field?

China has a commodity; and that is great manufacturing capabilities and cheap labor.. monsoon says that no one in the world can produce better and faster than the US.. I completely disagree.. No one in the world can consume better and faster than the US..

All new adolescent ecomonies start with manufacturing.. That was the US and its industrial revolution.. But we are past that. Take your Sim Cities, for example.. You need Industrial at the early years of a city, then gradually shift to a commercial majority, right?

China is adolescent, a very big George Muresan-like adolescent economy as it is, and not a real problem to the US.. The real, and very real problem for US jobs, is India.. They have an extrememly well educated workforce, who work service sector jobs for a fraction of what US white collar salaries are.. That is the real issue, and why the current economic mini-expansion has been "jobless"...

And if you were running a business, what would you do? Take losses and eventually file bankruptcy like the current airline situation, or use a completely equivalent resource, that with the advent of technology is readily available in realtime overseas, and costs $0.10 to the $1 of unionized labor???

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And that is our action, which as a consumer is our strongest weapon.. As is monsoon's with his boycott of Chinese goods.. I agree with and respect all your points, LeTaureau.. I think that there should be a more collective conscience with respect to labor..

Let me clarify; by service sector, I don't mean just Walmart jobs.. Stock brokers, phone reps, customer service people and other call center-like jobs are the new service sector.. This is the direction our country is going..

I personally dislike Walmart for the effect it has on small Mom & Pops stores, and I personally at all times possible frequent small businesses in lieu of large corporations.. I would rather pay more at Mom & Pop, LLC. than less at Wal-Conglomerate Inc... That is my action against the qualities I dislike... Walmarts hurt the best part of our society, the entrepeneur..

But I don't feel bad for workers who complain about a company they work for, demanding more for the same job.. And I don't agree that ALL corporations are greedily twisting their handlebar moustaches and purposely putting American workers out of workers so they can upgrade their personal 737 and get a 747.. Its far fetched, and media induced paranoia..

But to say that China and the US should be on a level playing field as far as labor costs is at best naive, and probably more ignorant.. Should we have a level playing field in quality of life then too? How about the ability to bear female children? Should we level that playing field?

China has a commodity; and that is great manufacturing capabilities and cheap labor.. monsoon says that no one in the world can produce better and faster than the US.. I completely disagree.. No one in the world can consume better and faster than the US..

All new adolescent ecomonies start with manufacturing.. That was the US and its industrial revolution.. But we are past that. Take your Sim Cities, for example.. You need Industrial at the early years of a city, then gradually shift to a commercial majority, right?

China is adolescent, a very big George Muresan-like adolescent economy as it is, and not a real problem to the US.. The real, and very real problem for US jobs, is India.. They have an extrememly well educated workforce, who work service sector jobs for a fraction of what US white collar salaries are.. That is the real issue, and why the current economic mini-expansion has been "jobless"...

And if you were running a business, what would you do? Take losses and eventually file bankruptcy like the current airline situation, or use a completely equivalent resource, that with the advent of technology is readily available in realtime overseas, and costs $0.10 to the $1 of unionized labor???

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

All your points are true and well atriculated.

But where are we to go from here? You say that you dont feel bad for people who complain about their crappy service sector jobs, but what other choices do they have? Large service employers such as Wal Mart, McDonalds and the like keep wages low and benefit from the high turnover. There is no incentive for them to raise wages, because they dont have to. There have been numerous attempts for McDonlads employees to unionize. Everytime, it has been quashed. McDo, if it finds out about rumors for unionizing, fires all employees and closes that store. Great way to get out from under a "costly" situation.Their is no career in these jobs, they dont even offer benefits. I sincerely hope that WalMart employees are able to unionize, that would be awesome.

You talk about the new service sector, but to me its nothing new. These jobs that you speak of, call service, stock broker, etc have existed now for decades. To many, Especially in small town America, even these opportunities are not available. IMO, the new service sector consists of menial retail jobs working at the local brick box chain outlet. IT jobs were a new recent development, though not sustaining through the recession. Entrepreneurship used to be a vibrant part of our economy, but competition with large corporations has made it exceedingly diffiicult to succeed.

We are a service economy, it is the natural progression of development. Problem is, these jobs are not sustaining middle class America. The rich are getting richer, and the poor, poorer.

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There is no incentive for them to raise wages, because they dont have to. 

There have been numerous attempts for McDonlads employees to unionize. 

IMO, the new service sector consists of menial retail jobs working at the local brick box chain outlet. 

The rich are getting richer, and the poor, poorer.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The GOV needs to raise the minimum wage.. Thats the first thing.. $5.15 is ridiculous.. Americans are subjected to an "accepted rate of inflation" that averages 2.5% per YEAR.. That compounds.. Its the reason a house cost $5k in 1930, and 400k now.. But the minimum wage isn't keeping up with it... It needs to ba at a minimum $7, but a far better minimum would be $10.. AND, it needs to be PEGGED to the CPI.. That would put a full time worker at minimum wage 20k a year, and instantly take a ton of people out of "poverty".. And, it will redistribute income from the top to the bottom, with out all these silly plans that the gov creates.. It will also drastically reduce the number of people dependand on the GOV, and thus reduce our taxes...

The union has its positives and negatives... And I agree with you that the union is a blue collar thing, and not a service sector thing.. Although, it should be... Personally, I think unions are evil, as I think any non-free market things are evil, just as a monopoly is evil.. But I know their importance and relevance in history...

The "new" service sector is defined as: Retail Trade, Business Services, Health Services, Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, and Wholesale Trade.. Not just Walmart employees.. ;) And as a whole, even with The Walmartites, they are a well paid sector.. And really, the only thing separating a wallmart clerk and a phone broker is education... Of which anyone can get almost 100% student loans.. Very few manufacturing jobs pay remotely close to any of the forementioned sector, with the exception of energy and metal manufactuing jobs.. They are well paid.. The rest are worse off that Walmart employees..

And I know this is very negative, and people really don't like to hear it.. But.. The rich have always been rich, and the poor have always been poor.. Nothing is changing.. No one is getting worse.. There are two classes... You can certainly move between them, but its highly unlikely... I am the working poor.. So, we can complain about the rich getting richer, or do something about it.. Like start a business... The "middle class" does not exist.. It is a made up word to make people who are not rich feel better about being slightly less poor than some people...

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It's interesting how much passion the mere mention of WalMart brings out in people. It's all very fascinating, please carry one. :)

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but a far better minimum would be $10.. AND, it needs to be PEGGED to the CPI..  That would put a full time worker at minimum wage 20k a year, and instantly take a ton of people out of "poverty"..

Personally, I think unions are evil, as I think any non-free market things are evil,

The "new" service sector is defined as: Retail Trade, Business Services, Health Services, Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, and Wholesale Trade.. Not just Walmart employees

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I like the points you have made and I agree with most of them, however I see a flaw in the first one regarding the minimum wage. Yes I think the minimum wage should be raised, but it should be done slowly, in incremental amounts, over a span of time. Raising the wage by a drastic amount would be nice in the short run, but as you know, working in finance and all, inflation tends to be linked to this. The fed can do all in its power to control inflation, but if the minimum wage is raised by alot, and even linked to CPI, the costs for companies will rise dramatically, and eventually consumer prices will rise with the wages. Not only will costs rise for companies, but if an increased amount of people have more disposable income, demand will increase, goods will become more scarce, and prices will rise to equilibrium. Linking the minimum wage to inflation would be disastrous: Prices would increase out of control. Its a double-edged sword, there is just not an easy solution to it.

IMO, unions are the solution to the labor problems we face in many of these low paying low skilled jobs. There is just noboby looking out for the rights of these employees. Unions may seem evil to some, but they are necessary in cases like this when employers take advantage of employees. Look what happened to the Meat packing industry. What was once a highly paid, respectable career has become an assembly line type environment where low skilled workers are consistently endangered by harsh conditions. Repeated attempts for these workers to unionize have been illegaly thwarted by corporate big-wigs and spineless politicians. True, unions are typically a blue collar thing, but that could change very easily. Free market YES, oppressive, greedy corporations NO.

Your description of the new service sector is perfect. What I guess I was trying to say were the service sector areas that were growing the most rapidly, and the others that were contracting. It seems like retail jobs have been increasing, and higher paying services have been contracting. IT jobs went bust big time.

Anyways I think I've digressed from the thread topic, but this is sort of relavent to Providence: the one case where I would support a NIMBY response, unless of course the Wal-Mart were a glistening 30 story tower :lol:

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