From the web
In response to the Sept. 15 Arkansas Blog post "Walmart plans to build new HQ in Bentonville" about the corporation's plans to apply for a grant from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission:
No they don't need state help. Any conservative legislator who is true to their tea party principles will crow on about crony capitalism. I look forward to deafening silence.
God, I hope we can help them out!!! Maybe we can sell off the town of Waldron and give Walmart the proceeds.
Arbiter of All Things AOAT
Why does a corporation that is partly responsible for dismantling the Pulaski County Special School District deserve grants? Perhaps I am not being considerate of the dent building a new headquarters will have in their average $14 billion net profit every year. I feel like such a cynic.
Why does the world's largest retailer need assistance from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission? Shouldn't AEDC work on bringing in new economic opportunities? This sounds like corporate welfare.
You folks might want to visit Northwest Arkansas and see what Walmart has done for Arkansas. Jobs and economic activity run amuck. As the owner of the Arkansas government, do you know who your largest customer is? [If] these guys put their new headquarters out to bid (like Amazon), and the sucking sound in Arkansas would be deafening.
A broke Arkansas guy started a company and grew it into the largest company in the world. He kept the headquarters in Arkansas. And now, they are choosing to stay here for decades to come. Thank you, Walmart. Thank you for the payroll taxes we collect. Thank you for the income taxes we collect. Thank you for the contribution you make to our economy. Thank you for the intelligent people you attract. Thank you for the hundreds of millions you give away to make our communities stronger.
Here's to another half a century of success for all.
dowhat, we spent the night in Bentonville in June, having not been back there since we sold our house in Pea Ridge in '92. The Bentonville Square is nice. The hotels are aplenty, and reasonably priced. But Walmart HQ ? It was sad. It was almost laughable.
Sam and Bud were from Missouri. After being born in Oklahoma. Went to the same high school I went to in Columbia, Mo. Sam ended up in Arkansas after his military discharge (Oklahoma, again.) He, with help from Helen's dad, obtained a Ben Franklin store in Newport. He's been long dead, and it's not his Walmart any more. He was no more "broke" than Hillary Clinton. Nice try, though.
Walmart HQ in Bentonville looks like a warehouse district in some godforsaken river bottoms, only it's up on an eroded plateau and there's no river barge traffic.
I don't care how much Walmart has stimulated the economy, it does not deserve taxpayer help to build on land they already own. It's not as though it's a gonna raise up the local property tax base.
I agree with dowhat on this issue. Having lived in Northwest Arkansas for 50 years, I have witnessed how much beneficial effect Walmart has had on the economy — and the quality of life. It's much better for the state to hand out its incentives to a homegrown business than to foreign corporations, which oftentimes default on their obligations and have no philanthropic concerns for the local area. I'm looking forward to seeing the new headquarters. I understand there was a concerted effort by some officers in the corporation several years ago to move the headquarters to a more cosmopolitan location. The Walton family stood firm. It would always be in Bentonville, they said, as long as they have the controlling interest.
In response to the Arkansas Blog post "Arkansas legislature rejects bipartisan effort to study race relations":
Racial resentment runs deep here in good ole D'arkansas, especially since Trump fanned the dying embers into a roaring bonfire. Keyword "dying" may be the only long-term cure.
There should be lots of studies from around the country. Seems like it would be easier for some legislators to get some of the studies and then pitch ideas that have worked elsewhere. Not a fan of studies that do nothing and then politicians taking credit for "studying."
Screen name taken
Our legislature seems far more interested in exclusion than inclusion. Otherwise, why would they keep on introducing voter I.D. laws that are clearly meant to exclude anyone but white people? Rep. Robin Lundstrum (R-Springdale), Sen. Linda Collins-Smith (R-Pocahontas) et al. want us all to march lockstep to their white, Baptist dictates. I guess that's what their Jesus tells them to do. Oh, and I am white.
Naw, they are too busy erecting Ten Commandments and statues to be interested in too many things that will divert their attention from their worthy labor of love.
Don't know why, but your Tech Park (that I've been reading about in these blogs for, what, six years?) just popped into my head. How is that coming along for ya? The best and brightest diverse young minds flocking there for those jobs, are they?
In response to the Sept. 14 Arkansas Blog post "State Board of Education gives final green light to three more charters in Little Rock":
Anybody who thinks this isn't about completely charterizing Little Rock and Pine Bluff schools (the last strongholds of Democrats and democracy in Arkansas), let me know. I've got some prime oceanfront property in Northwest Arkansas you can have for a mere pittance. Excepting of course those poor and special needs students in Little Rock and Pine Bluff who can't be easily turned into profit centers.
Charter schools are good for those children who have already been dealt a good hand. We're resegregating the population with charter schools. On top of that, charters are not held to the same education services standard traditional public schools are. For instance, they offer limited special education services and those they do provide are typically contracted out. "At risk" children often need special assistance. When open enrollment charters do allow a certain percentage of children in this classification into their schools, they often cannot provide the services needed to ensure academic success.
I agree that there may be a public/charter partnership possibility. I just don't see the Waltons, Johnny Key or the State Board giving each its fair share.