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Welcome Walmart

Dear Editor,
The pending closing of the Sears in Flatbush represents a great opportunity for Walmart to open its first store in New York City.
Polls of ordinary New Yorkers year after year show support the right of Walmart to open stores in the five borough.
Residents in the other 57 counties in New York State have had the option of shopping or not shopping at Walmart for decades. The same is true for virtually every other city and state. Only New York City is behind the times.
Residents continue to be denied the opportunity to shop at Walmart by politicians such as Mayor Bill de Blasio, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, most members of the City Council, and other Democratic elected officials and their union allies.
They feel that we should oppose Walmart because of substandard salaries and unfair competition it would create for smaller stores.
Construction of a new Walmart can provide work for construction contractors and their employees. Once opened, there are employment opportunities for many workers.
Many students, heads of single-family households, senior citizens and others currently out of work could find employment. The city would benefit by millions in sales, payroll and real-estate tax revenue that could help fund essential municipal services everyone desires.
Walmart is the nation’s largest private sector employer with over 1.2 million employees and growing each year. Starting pay averages several dollars above the minimum wage for new employees around the nation. They also offer health care and other benefits.
Several hundred thousand New Yorkers work off the books, full and part time, with no benefits. Many existing retailers pay minimum wage with no benefits. These same public officials opposing Walmart never talk about these abuses.
The free enterprise system made our nation great. Economic growth and the creation of wealth comes from businesses — small and large. Consumers shopping at Walmart get a bigger bang for the buck by being able to compare prices, quality and service to other stores.
It is time to allow Walmart the opportunity to compete in the New York City marketplace. For the “politically correct” don’t shop at Walmart, but give everyone else a choice.
Larry Penner
Great Neck

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