Gristides supermarket chain owner John Catsimatidis has an op-ed piece in the Daily News trying to keep Walmart out of New York City. He writes that Walmart would have an adverse impact on smaller stores:
Nor should it be lost on us that many of these store owners are immigrants pursuing the American Dream, as I was when I started out. Not so of Walmart - so letting the huge retailer set up shop in New York will have an unavoidable anti-immigrant impact.
Who does Mr. Catsimatidis think shops and works at Walmart? Plenty of immigrants, believe me. Walmart might be bad for immigrant store-owners, but it might be good for immigrant shoppers and job-seekers. Just looking at it from the perspective of the immigrant store-owners without including the perspective of the immigrant shopper or job-seeker doesn't do justice to the full story of Walmart's impact on immigrants.
Mr. Catsimatidis goes on: "It's a basic law of economics that when one retailer gains, it's going to come at least partly at the expense of others." Then he warns, "haven't we been trying to build a more environmentally friendly city? ... Walmart....will generate tens of thousands of additional ...truck trips a week." If one buys Mr. Catsimatidis's zero-sum logic that any retailer's gains come at the expense of another's, the tens of thousands of additional truck trips attributable to Walmart will be offset by fewer truck trips to the other retailers, which will now be selling less stuff. How does Mr. Catsimatidis think that merchandise arrives now, at New York City's existing retailers? On horseback?
It's one think for Mr. Catsimatidis to use his arguments that local stores are better for immigrants and more environmentally friendly to urge customers to make the choice to shop at a local store rather than Walmart. But it's another thing to use the power of government to prevent New York-based customers from making that judgment on their own. That use of government force is the real goal of the New York anti-Walmart campaign.