Kunstler: The Cargo Cult

James Howard Kunstler on the impact of big retailers on communities.
May 27, 2004, 8am PDT | Abhijeet Chavan
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments

"...all over America, and the wreckage is visible in crumbling, vacant Main Streets everywhere...

But for all the tears shed over the ruins of Main Street America, there is no question that we got exactly what we wanted...

...the American public in general has supported the Wal-Mart cargo cult until their own towns stand in ruins. I have been present in many a planning board battle both at home and in other parts of the country and watched a broad faction of that public holler about their right to "bargain shopping" as though it were one of the first ten amendments to the constitution...

The Wal-Marts, Targets, and Best Buys landed like the Martian mother ships from The War of the Worlds, and in thirty years they have transformed the American terrain into a desolate wilderness of free parking and sodium vapor lamps...

Jobs are not prizes handed out by a government. They are roles in a social matrix. A big box store is not a social matrix. It is a parasitical economic swarm organism like a cloud of locusts that descends on a locality and picks it clean."

Thanks to Atlantalarry

Full Story:
Published on Tuesday, May 25, 2004 in Orion Online
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email