Wal Mart and Jobs
While I am not on either side of the argument over whether Wal Mart should open a brand new Super Wal Mart in North Adams (I could really care less), I find it odd that people keep talking about the jobs that this new store will bring. Aside from several dozen temporary construction jobs and some money flowing to the developer's pockets, I don't see a net gain in jobs.
Wal Mart is no longer a destination store. People are not going to travel to North Adams to spend their money at a new Wal Mart when they have their own in Bennington, Pittsfield, Albany, Hadley, etc....
No, a new Wal Mart Super Center would simply rejigger the existing local economy. This is not necessarily a bad thing (lower food prices, etc...) However, people in North County are not magically going to be spending more on groceries or underwear just because a new store opened. For every job at the new store, one will be lost at Big Y or Price Chopper.
This is simple supply and demand stuff. Grocery and Retail rarely create actual new jobs without creating a new product or niche. Super Wal Mart does neither.
Jobs in North County will only come with actual growth in incomes and/or population, new/relocating firms or entrepreneurship. To think otherwise will only lead to disappointment.