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Neil Cavuto Claims that In Every Community Wal-Mart Goes Into “People Are Pretty Damn Happy” They’re There

Reported by Ellen - May 2, 2010 -

Co-authored by Brian

On yesterday’s (4/28/10) Your World, Neil Cavuto interviewed Pat Purcell of United Food and Commercial Workers Union about Wal-Mart possibly coming to Brooklyn. Cavuto not only insisted that Wal-Mart was good for communities, he minimized the impact on small businesses, maximized the effect on employment and overlooked all the other concerns people have about a Wal-Mart moving into their neighborhoods. With video.

Purcell told Cavuto that the problem with Wal-Mart is "Treatment of workers, impact on the community, effect on loss of jobs."

Cavuto said, "Every community Wal-Mart goes into, it boosts employment, and people are pretty damn happy they're there because jobs are scarce."

Well, not quite. There’s plenty of unhappy people in Johnstown, PA and in Frisco, TX, for example.

And boosting employment? Yes, but it does so while driving out other jobs and businesses.

Cavuto acknowledged that "Some small businesses are no doubt shaken out."

Purcell countered, "I think we've actually seen cases where large percentages of the small businesses have gone out."

"Let’s say you’re right on that. I don’t think you are by the way,” Cavuto argued, without, apparently, having done any research for the segment. Had he bothered, he might have discovered, for example, that a study of communities in Maine between 1992-1995 found that in about one-third of the communities, the impact on existing businesses was severe (i.e., other businesses lost more than 10% of the existing market). Or that a study of 2,000 Wal-Mart stores that opened between 1977 and 1999 in nearly 1,800 counties across the country found that both small and large businesses closed in the five years after Wal-Mart opened.

Instead of offering facts, Cavuto took swipes at Purcell by suggesting he was willing to gouge working folks for the sake of his own agenda. “Most of the folks in that community benefit from lower prices, so who are you for? The businesses there or the folks who buy from them? We're here in the New York metro area. Folks in this city pay ungodly rents that rival and double people's mortgages elsewhere. Cut them a break. If Wal-Mart's going to let them get toilet paper half price, so be it."

Of course, the point Purcell was making was the same one that Robert Greenwald noted in the subtitle of his documentary, Wal-Mart, which is that there's a high cost to low prices. But Cavuto, Fox News’ business expert, didn’t seem to know a thing about that.

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