This article kind of brushes the true extent of the big box problem under the carpet. And I love that it's covered in Wal-Mart advertisements. Upon seeing those, this article instantly lost all credibility.
It kills me that so many jobs are being taken from the US so that the people here "don't have to pay as much" for goods. However, when as huge a part of the population is now unemployed, cheap goods don't mean much. With no money, it doesn't matter how cheap the goods are because your pockets are empty.
Why do people in the United States enjoy visiting other places, or places within the states such as Province Town or the beaches of Maine? Because they have their own local flavor, and a Wal-Mart or a Best Buy are hard to come by.
I don't know about you, but Chilli's, TGI Fridays, Ruby Tuesdays, and 99 are all basically the same restaurant, and none of them are very good. Yet as I drive through my home state of CT, that's all there is. Bristol has now been completely taken over by 2 Stop and Shops, a Wal-Mart, all of the aforementioned restaurants, an LA Fitness, Price Chopper, and Stop Rite. And guess what? No one likes Bristol or ever goes there, especially not to work, and it looks exactly the same as any other city. Oh yeah, and unemployment and poverty are an increasing problem -- and the problem really skyrocketed when said big box corporations appeared, all around the same time.