Handbasket Report — Shop till You Drop

Considering the rising, if generally uninformed, financial hysteria in America, the headline “Wal-Mart Employee Trampled to Death” failed to surprise me. It certainly didn’t surprise me that people continued to pursue deals even after finding out that a human being had died and reacted with anger when asked to leave the store.

I mean, really, what’s important in America? Human life? Well, uh, maybe if it’s unborn. But a heavily pregnant woman was injured too, and there was apparently no remorse for endangering her unborn child either.

So what are American priorities? Did these shoppers not deserve deals? Had they not waited almost until opening time? Is it not the first priority of Americans to shop, to CHARGE?!

But now that Black Friday is over, is it time to reflect?

What do we know of this particular Wal-Mart, this place? When you heard/read of this incident, did you envision the community around this store?  If so, I’ll bet you imagined poverty.  Admit it.  If you’re middle class, that was probably your first thought.

So what is Valley Stream like?  Interested?  If so, click this link: Valley Stream on the Long Island Exchange Website. Some tidbits:

As of 2000 census, there were 36,368 people . . . . The median income for a household in the village is $189,243, and the median income for a family is $172,585. Males have a median income of $90,094 and only $56,260 for females.

Valley Stream is considered a middle-class community with so many lovely homes with different styles such as ranches, capes, colonials, and Tudors. Prices normally range from $300,000 up to $1.29 million.

Of course, those prices are most likely inaccurate given the current market.

And if you are at the Valley Stream site, you might want to click on the surrounding communities. Hmmm. Looks like a lot of them are poorer, much poorer–and heavily foreign born. I feel middle class fear rising as I type.

Of course, at the bottom of “Wal-Mart Employee Trampled to Death” is mention of another, less serious trampling at another Long Island Wal-Mart, one in Farmingdale,which is further out, and mostly “Italian, Irish, German, and Polish.”  This place is also much poorer–household median income $58,411–and the towns around it are also much poorer and whiter than those around Valley Stream.

So I guess this second assault wasn’t on one of the “better” Wal-Mart stores.

But the good news. Despite her cut leg, this plucky woman soldiered on. She shopped, checked out, and then she filed a report with the police. A true American, right?

Cassandra

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One Response to “Handbasket Report — Shop till You Drop”

  1. Sybil Says:

    Cassandra,

    Right now I don’t have the necessary level of hope required to post, so I do appreciate yours. Who would listen and would they- could they- learn?

    I think too many Americans are fundamentally miswired.

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