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Archive for Saturday, July 20, 2002

Rural retail

July 20, 2002

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To the editor:

Your editorial 7/17 about losing our roots should encourage residents of Kansas to study this problem and search for an answer.

You raised questions about the future of rural areas, small towns and family farms. As small towns disappear, people become disconnected with each other because they spend more time traveling to retail stores for daily needs.

The first step we need to take is identify the problem. Your editorial did a good job here. Next we need to find out why small towns and family farms have disappeared. I would suggest that we should look at the retail business and see how many retail grocery stores we have in cities. Have the big box retailers built on the outskirts of cities, and has this affected home-owned stores?

Kevin Phillips, in his recent book "Wealth and Democracy," lists the 30 richest families. At the top is Walton family (Wal-Mart) with $25 billion. The second highest on the list is Mars family with $9 billion. What does this tell us?

The July 16 J-W carried a column by Mark Patinkin titled "Big Money is killing baseball." I believe the same is true with retail stores and small towns. Yes, corporations are ruling the world and we need to rescue our democratic system because it is slipping away. To help solve the problem, we need to watch where we spend our money.

Lester C. Marsh,

Lawrence

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