State of Vermont Endangered by Wal-Mart, Group Says

The National Trust for Historic Preservation released its list of endangered historic sites yesterday, citing such imperiled landmarks as Pennsylvania’s Bethlehem Works steel plant, Utah’s Nine Mile Canyon, and the state of Vermont. Yup, the whole state. According to the trust, mega-retailer Wal-Mart’s aggressive plans for expansion in the state threaten its unique small-town character. Critics have long contended that the arrival of a Wal-Mart “Supercenter” decimates small businesses and town centers and creates poverty-level jobs with meager health-care benefits, not to mention the environmental harm of increased sprawl, traffic congestion, and loss of open space. Given all this, one might wonder why the company has, according to a new study by Good Jobs First, a Washington, D.C.-based research and advocacy group, received more than $1 billion in local and state government subsidies over recent decades.