Wal-Mart has hurt small towns
By muscling out all its competition, Wal-Mart has killed thousands of businesses across America, costing people their livelihoods and obliterating small towns. Many people don't realize that small town America no longer exists. Ghost towns and abandoned corpses of former businesses litter the main street of almost every small town in America. These communities have had their jobs, stores and vitality drained by the corporate money vacuum. People in these towns either find themselves unemployed or are forced to work for Wal-Mart, two options that are almost equally bad.
That's because Wal-Mart's business plan involves exploiting their workers, draining them for all they are worth. The company pays terrible wages (below cost of living), often forces employees to work overtime, and is infamous for prohibiting workers from organizing. Worker "medical benefits" are virtually non-existent and employees who miss work, even for legitimate reasons, can be fired on the spot without severance. This puts the burden on the taxpayer to pay for their health care, food stamps and generally supplement their low wages. It is a system by which many Americans save a little money at the expense of serious hardship to a few. Think before you shop.
ANN BENTON, Signal Mountain
Liquor presence is a bad influence
If I had been in the Tennessee Legislature recently, you can be sure I would have voted against bringing liquor distilleries back to the county. (Chattanooga Times Free Press, Nov. 30).
I had an alcoholic relative whose favorite pastime seemed to be pummeling people on Saturday nights after he'd spent the entire day drinking at the local bar. What a monster he became when under the influence of that evil spirit!
The overindulgence of alcohol brings deep scars and ruined lives in its path. What a legacy to give to one's family. What a high price to pay. I would like to encourage our teens to a life of total abstinence. The liquor store in our town has a most appropriate name: Lucifer's Liquors.
NORMA E. WITTER, Sequatchie, Tenn.