The letters defending Walmart in the Dec. 14 Leader — “Crime isn’t any worse at Walmart” and “Can’t wait for Walmart to arrive” — are laughable because they reflect a total ignorance of the destructive effects that the retailer has had on American workers.

The authors' main concern appears to be that they have easy access to cheap, Chinese-made goods.

There are very good reasons why many cities have fought hard to keep Walmart out. Walmart has destroyed the livelihoods of thousands of small business owners throughout the U.S. by offering non-competitive volume purchasing and discounting that small businesses can't match.

They have allegedly discriminated against countless female employees and have reportedly encouraged workers to use emergency rooms as their primary source of healthcare and to sign up for food stamps. And Walmart's pay scale has greatly contributed to the “race to the bottom” employment crisis that imperils our middle class.

In China, the cities and ports of Shenzhen and Yantian and thousands of huge ships are dedicated to supplying the insatiable desire of American consumers for cheap goods at any cost to our society. This exists despite the fact that the U.S. views the motives of China with suspicion.

It is very hard to find an American-made item in a Walmart store.

Isn't something wrong with this picture?

I will never shop at a Walmart, no matter how cheap the prices are. Consumers need to make a statement against unethical business practices. Burbank needs to do everything possible to keep Walmart out of our city.

Thomas Saito

Burbank