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International magazine says nice things about Buffalo...

The Economist magazine - an international publication - has a nice profile of Buffalo and Rochester. The story notes all the positive things going on in downtown Buffalo and along the waterfront. Citing Brookings Institution researcher and Buffalo fan Bruce Katz, the mag hints that the city may have finally turned the corner.

Walmart turns 50, and remains controversial

RogersArkOn this day in 1962, Sam Walton opened the first Walmart store in Arkansas. A lot has happened in those 50 years.

Not only has Walmart become the most successful retailer in history, it has become one of the most polarizing. Bad news and critics just seem to follow Walmart everywhere.

In North Tonawanda, the company is constructing a super store it had fought residents for years to build. It's the kind of opposition that follows the store everywhere it tries to make a home. Even as I type this blog, thousands of people are protesting a proposed Walmart store in Los Angeles' Chinatown.

WalmartThis film by Robert Greenwald paints Walmart as a worse villain than anything Hollywood could have dreamed up.

 Walmart's most recent bad publicity concerns a bribery scandal in Mexico that implicated top executives. But over the years there has been outcry over just about any economic and social crime you can think of: child labor, depressing wages, driving jobs overseas, withholding employee pay, putting mom and pop companies out of business, polluting the environment, union busting, discrimination.

Type any crime plus the word "Walmart" into a search engine and you're bound to find something. On a lark, I Googled the most heinous thing I could think of, "Walmart kills kittens," and got this.

Why don't other mega retailers have this problem? Do you recall anyone protesting the arrival of a Target store or a Wegmans?

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