Study Says The More Walmarts In The Area, The More Hate Groups There Are

This one’s sure to boil some blood over at Walmart headquarters: A new study says there’s a significant correlation between the amount of Walmart stores in an area and the number of hate groups existing in that same area. As the big-box stores proliferate, so do the groups. cites the study by professors at Penn State University, New Mexico State University and Michigan State University, which says that the amount of Wal-Mart stores in a county was more statistically significant than other factors usually associated with hate group participation. For example, the unemployment rate, high crime rates and low education.

“Wal-Mart has clearly done good things in these communities, especially in terms of lowering prices,” said Stephan Goetz, a Penn State University professor who also serves as the director of the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development. “But there may be indirect costs that are not as obvious as other effects.”

An important puzzle piece in this research is that many local merchants, who are often members of community and civic groups, can be forced out of business while trying to compete with Walmart. Losing members of those groups might cause a drop in community togetherness.

When those leaders leave, the presence of ginormous, anonymous juggernauts of big-box retailers could play a role in fraying social bonds. People often act different when they feel like someone is paying attention — like when you decide not to shoplift at the local candy store because the owner is best friends with your mother.

The study only dealt with the correlation between Walmart and hate groups, but the researchers do note that if there’s a Walmart around, other box stores like Target and Home Depot likely are as well.

“We’re not trying to pick on Wal-Mart,” said one researcher. “In this study, Wal-Mart is really serving as a proxy for any type of large retailer.”

Do Big-Box Stores Help Create Hate Groups? Study Says Yes []


Edit Your Comment

  1. ancientone567 says:

    You mean hate groups that hate Walmart?

    • Peacock (Now In Extra Crispy) says:

      Now that’s a hate group I could get behind.

      I have stepped foot in a Walmart exactly once in my lifetime and that was only because there was no other place to get what I needed. When the greeter had no idea where I might be able to find the one thing I was there to buy and that was her job, after all, I knew I’d come to the right place.

      So to speak.

      • Sarahlara says:

        The greeter’s job really was just to greet. It was an attempt to make a big store feel more personable. That said, I think they’re doing away with greeters now.

  2. smo0 says:

    I could have told you this years ago.

    Yet another reason I refuse to even step foot in a Wal-Mart.

  3. Coffee says:

    Before people oversimplify and say that duh, correlation =/= causation, the authors of the study controlled for other demographic variables that are traditionally associated with hate group participation in an area, then determined that there was more statistical significance (a stats term meaning “The correlation is too strong for this to reasonably be considered a coincidence”) vis a vis the existence of Walmart than any of the other factors.

    • Vox Republica says:

      I can find you a gajillion other scholarly papers that purportedly “controlled” for other factors, but did a bad job with initial data curating. Further, by virtue of the world being an open system, they’re invariably ignoring transitive properties of Wal-Mart prevalence (population density, size of the local economy–heck, even things like topography).

      The social sciences really get in trouble when they think they’re actual sciences‚Äîand I say this as somebody that studied social sciences for years.

      • Coffee says:

        Of course I can’t speak to the methodology of the paper…in fact, I wanted to read it, and it appears that a full PDF of the document is unavailable at this time outside of an on-line library to which I don’t have access ( I’m simply stating that people who don’t understand statistical studies are likely to oversimplify – whether in favor or against – and ignore that this kind of study usually attempts to control for confounding variables.

        • fortymegafonzies says:

          Are the authors of the study even postulating a causal relationship? I’d be very surprised if they were. Correlation can be useful by itself, even when it’s known that there is in fact zero causal relationship. For example, insurance companies use credit score as a predictor of driving risk — there is a very strong correlation, but no one is even claiming that having a low credit score *causes* one to drive poorly.

          • Stickdude says:

            I don’t know if the authors are, but the reporter certainly is – “Do Big Box Stores Help CREATE Hate Groups? Study Says Yes”

          • Coffee says:

            I think they’re suggesting that:

            Walmart –> closing of local business/institutions and the social ties established thereby –> fewer community ties –> decreased social responsibility/more isolation from other members of community –> etc. etc. etc. –> more hate groups

            So even if the relationship is merely a correlation, there may be causal inference pertaining thereto which is very difficult to actually prove.

            • Henry Brzrki says:

              It’s just as easy to say, and just as incorrectly, that neighbourhoods with lots of hate groups are less likely to fight Big Box stores, therefore the hate groups cause Walmart, not the other way around. Controlling for other variable has nothing to do with what causes what. What would take it a *little* further would be measuring presence of hate groups both before and after Walmart enters the scene, which I don’t believe they did. And if they did the Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc fallacy could apply.

        • ihatephonecompanies says:

          Well… these guys process some stats and find a correlation, but only speculate on the walmart thing.

          “In particular,higher incomes,more income inequality,higher crime rates,
          and the presence of more Wal-Mart stores and foreign-born populations are
          each associated with a more likely presence of one or more hate groups in
          the county. The Wal-Mart coefficient has the second highest t-statistic among
          these regressors, ahead of income inequality and second only to MSA status.”

          “Protestant ethic, in turn, has been shown to activate
          anti-Black attitudes (Katz and Hass, 1988).” While Wal-Mart does not
          actively use any of the words included in the JRL study, its corporate tag
          line is “Save Money. Live Better.” The concepts of savings and thriftiness are
          components of the Protestant ethic (Hansen, 1963). Thus,Wal-Mart, with its
          media campaigns emphasizing concepts central to the Protestant ethic, may
          inadvertently trigger hate in individuals particularly susceptible to this kind
          of priming”

          “In addition, however, we cannot rule out that omitted variables (that we
          were unable to measure) may account for the coexistence of Wal-Mart and
          hate groups within a county. Such variables might include consumption preferences,
          14 entrepreneurial spirit,15 or susceptibility to religious priming discussed

          There’s some more even more speculative stuff in there… The actual article isn’t exclusively about walmart anyway.

      • deniseb says:

        Exactly. That the presence of Walmarts directly causes hate groups is a pretty extraordinary claim. Unless the researchers can provide a convincing explanation for a cause-and-effect relationship, it should be assumed that this is due to correlation with some other factor or factors.

    • dangermike says:

      I don’t have any fancy statistics to back this up, but I really wouldn’t be surprised if it could be shown that “hate groups” have a higher occurrence in low socioeconomic orders. Being that Walmart is a super-budget-bargain store, its target audience would naturally be among poorer populations. I bet you’ll also find similar correlation among exotic car dealerships and philanthropic groups. So, hey, let’s put a Ferrari lot in the middle of Compton and watch the droves of volunteers funnel into the local Red Cross foundation center.

      • Conformist138 says:

        That is exactly what they controlled for- low income, low education, high crime, etc. This study claims Walmart (or big box stores) is even more important than those other variables.

    • HappyBigCar says:

      You’re missing the point of correlation not being necessarily indicative of causation. Something can absolutely be statistically significant as a correlation, but that does not mean one of the variables has a causative effect on the other. “Strong” correlation does not imply causation. Based on the data, it may be irrefutable that “where there are more hate groups, there are more Wal-Marts.” but that in no way implies that “Wal-Mart causes hate groups” any more than it implies “hate groups cause Wal-Mart.”

      Sorry for the rant, but this point always irks me! “The correlative evidence is overwhelming” is not sufficient to establish causation.

      • Beef Supreme says:

        Thank you.

        I’m just glad some of my federal tax money funded a grant for this crap.

        Hmmm let’s see…they build Wal-Marts where there are more people. And where there are more people, there are more hate groups. You don’t say?!?!?!?!?

        • chargernj says:

          The comments here show that people really really do not understand how statistical analysis works.

  4. dush says:

    If you rearrange the letters in WAL MART is spells I HATE YOU

  5. FilthyHarry says:

    Cheap sheets

  6. Minj says:

    Study was done by…”director of the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development”.

    Yeah, no agenda there at all.

    • kataisa says:


      “Studies” such as this are to be taken with a grain of salt.

    • Extended-Warranty says:

      I always wondered what is the big deal against sites “with an agenda”? Should all studies go on As long as the study is accurate, who cares?

      • Minj says:

        I’m not invalidating it at all. I’m saying that as soon as you know they have a very real agenda, you shouldn’t just be reading their abstracts and accepting it as is. You should be pouring through their methodology and seeing how valid the study it. The last one about Walmarts causing crime was repeated everywhere but if you read the study, it was complete trash.

        • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

          It’s all part of the Tri-Lateral Commision’s plan to undermine the Sekert Mooslim presidency of Barack Hussein Osama bin-Not-a-Citizen to distract the masses from the FEMA emergency camps we’ll all be herded into when the Socialist Liberal Revolution starts. Vaccines are how they control us.


  7. Tubal says:

    You mean to tell me that where there’s a larger population, there are more groups? Whoda thunk?

    This is like saying “study says the bigger the city, the more people that live there”


    • iesika says:

      It’s not about population – NYC is Walmart-free, last I heard. I don’t have citable stats to back this up, but from my observations, rural Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas probably have a higher Walmart/capita ratio than major cities.

      The article mentions other big boxers, but in the Southiest of American South, it’s Walmart or nothing in town after town.

    • Aphex242 says:

      What’s stupid is not recognizing that a study of this nature of course controls for population density.

  8. gman863 says:

    I have a hard time buying this.

    The logic doesn’t apply at all in Houston. There are dozens of Supercenters and Neighborhood Markets in the Houston metro – if the study held water, the number of alleged hate groups would equal riots at least per week.

  9. jono_0101 says:

    could we get funding for someone to do a study to see if they can determine if water is wet?

  10. Tim says:

    Ehh. Consumerist readers tend to deny that racism still exists, so this comment thread should be pretty predictable.

    • framitz says:

      There isn’t much obvious racism where I live, but I realize it still exists.
      I’ve seen it first hand, so much energy wasted on hatred, it’s hard for me to understand it at all.

      In Mississippi, in 1971. Two of my friends and I, along with a security guard witnessed a white man pull up in front of a home where three black children were playing. I saw the gun firing as he shot and killed those Innocent children. The police spoke with us briefly and left. We watched the newspaper in hopes of learning more about the murders, all we found was about a 1.5 inch column on page three.
      I still see that whole scene in slow motion and the father coming out of the house and screaming and holding his dead children… Yeah I’ll probably have really bad dreams since dragging out that horrific memory.

      sorry if this is too far off topic, I had to get it out once I remembered it. I need to take a walk now to calm down.

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        I hope so many bad things happened to that shooter, I can’t even tell you. *hug* I’m sorry you ended up seeing that.

  11. xanadustc says:

    Interesting…..State College, PA is one of the safest, lowest crime areas in the country and they have two Walmarts in addition to a few other large stores….

    Perhaps the PSU prof should have looked in his back yard.

    • nishioka says:

      > Interesting…..State College, PA is one of the safest, lowest crime areas in the country and they have two Walmarts in addition to a few other large stores….

      Being in a hate group isn’t a crime, otherwise the Phelps family would be serving life in prison right now, wouldn’t they?

    • Raider Duck says:

      I suspect Jerry Sandusky’s victims (who are all too aware of the blind eye turned towards the crimes against them) would disagree with your assessment of State College’s lack of crime.

    • pgr says:

      Unless you are a disadvantage young kid, of course.

      Go team!

    • birdieblue says:

      Actually, there are tons of hate groups in central PA. I used to live there, and I’ve read statistics suggesting that, outside of Idaho, which is brim-full of separatist hate-fueled militias, a chunk of central PA counties have the highest density of hate groups in the US.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Hate groups don’t always commit crimes..or at least not ones that are known yet. There are lots of hate groups out there – a lot of them just sit around hating or making their comments online or within their own groups but many of them choose to act on it. James Von Brunn was a hardcore white supremacist and lived to 88 before he opened fire inside the Holocaust Museum.

  12. framitz says:

    This seems to be self serving nonsense by the so called researchers.

  13. waicool says:

    mary beth is at it again, logging the walmart stories, this time some bogus government/academia/elitist funded study, for next years worst company tally. hey mary beth, check out goldman sachs, yeah, that company that nobody ever comes in direct consumer contact with (kinda like haliburton, the very first “worst company”) but who has us all by the nads.

  14. Naked-Gord-Program says:

    This is a tepid cause and effect argument that places a widget on one each side where there are groups opposed to each.

    “People often act different when they feel like someone is paying attention”

    You know that can be a good thing. Why not a study on if decreasing these “community leaders” (who, in small towns can often push a moral conservative agenda) with the rise of big box retailers increases the percentages of gblt people who feel comfortable coming out of the closet?

    A gay couple may not feel comfortable holding hands shopping in small shops if the bigoted store owner “community leader” has sway with city council but feel perfectly fine holding hands in Wal-Mart because the manager of Wal-Mart doesn’t care if they’re gay – they just care that they’re buying widgets in his store.

  15. balderdashed says:

    Here’s what I suspect might be going on: building a Walmart in a community doesn’t cause local residents to suddenly (or even gradually) become racially intolerant. Rather, Walmarts tend to be located and prosper in areas where folks may be more inclined to be prejudiced. Though generalizations are always dubious, one could probably create a psychological profile of an average Walmart shopper. This person would tend to have different beliefs and a different temperament than a Costco shopper or a Whole Foods shopper — even we factor in differences in education, income, etc. It does not seem a huge stretch to believe that at least some shoppers who like Walmart might be more prejudiced than shoppers who loathe Walmart. And if there’s only a little bit of truth in this assumption, it might be enough to explain the statistically significant correlation identified in the report. Anyway, this theory makes at least as much sense as the idea that Walmart is causing “a drop in community togetherness” by forcing out local merchants, which sounds even more speculative, and like a page from somebody’s political agenda.

    • dangermike says:

      I dunno, I consider myself pretty tolerant, if not downright egalitarian and whenever I see the latest compilation of People of Walmart images, I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t distill just enough misanthopy to be inspired to perfect my impression of the Hubert Farnsworth line of “I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.”

  16. sparc says:

    so basically this article has no real direct relation to Walmart…. Any large box retailer is correlating to this.

    You could insert “Target” just as easily in the title and it would follow this study.

    • Shadowfire says:

      Consumerist is a hate group.

    • INDBRD says:

      That’s what I was thinking… the more big box stores you have in a area the larger the area… larger area equals more people. More people equals a more diverse area, a more diverse area equals more groups (tolerant or intolerant)…. Headline is only targeting one company and could be substituted with any company out there…

  17. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    What hate groups and hate groups as defined by whom?

  18. umbriago says:

    I’ve found that the more Costcos there are in a metro area, there’s a larger of percentage of people owning SUVs with ASHLEY #16 soccer stickers on the rear window.

    Scientist: “It’s true!”

  19. iesika says:

    I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that there are more Walmarts per capita in poor, rural areas with lower education rates and job opportunities than there are in major cities, highbrow resort and vacation towns, etc. I used’s store locator and did some quick numbers on my hometown and current town.

    Baton Rouge, LA, population 230,000, has 17 Walmarts
    San Diego, CA, population 1,300,000, has 12 Walmarts

    One of those cities figured out high school desegregation in about 2006. I’ll let you guess which.

    Looking a little further, Monroe, LA, population 51,640, has 8 walmarts within 30 miles of the city center (about the same area I was looking at for Baton Rouge and San Diego. In that part of Louisiana, people of different skin color mostly live in separate towns.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Hatey McHatersons a) think it’s ok to hate but that b) it’s not acceptable to “the man” to hate and will seek more rural areas to hide from “the man” and do their hating there.

      • iesika says:

        It’s not about fear of the man. The hardcore haters don’t really hide.

        I believe intolerance lingers in the South and other rural areas because the populations are small and isolated. If you live in a big city on the east or west coast, you’re going to have daily interactions with people from different racial and ethnic groups, different sexual orientation, etc.

        There’s a lot of *old* hate, too. To enslave someone, you have to dehumanize them in your own mind. Then, when (some) of your privilege is taken away, you’re going to perceive it as an attack and probably attempt to retaliate, or at least seethe with anger for a few generations.

        The smaller town I mentioned in my previous comment is in an area that was once openly and officially run by the KKK. We’re also talking about a state where this guy could get elected.

  20. momof2kids says:

    I live in a rural college town with an almost new Super-Walmart (pop. about 30,000 with all the kids between September and May). They just opened a new Super-Walmart 8 miles away in another rural college town (pop. about 20,000 with all the kids between September and May) right over the state border.

    Who in their right minds needs TWO SUPER-WALMARTS less than 10 miles apart in an area with less than 50,000 people including college transients?????

  21. Raider Duck says:

    I’ve had years of people telling me I shouldn’t patronize Wal-Mart because they’re so evil or whatever.

    So, I’ve made this standing offer: As soon as you sign a binding contract wherein you agree to reimburse me monthly for all the additional money I’ll spend shopping elsewhere, I will agree to stop patronizing Wal-Mart.

    Strangely, the people who think it’s SO important for me to never ever shop there refuse to take me up on this.

    • SeattleSeven says:

      No one is saying you can’t choose to be an asshole. They just want you to think through the choices you make.

    • LMA says:

      It’s only “cheaper” to shop there if you don’t consider what “cheap” actually means. In other words, the price *may* be less on an item than someplace else, but if you were to factor in the real costs of the better paying jobs that were eliminated by Wal-Mart forcing all local small family owned businesses and local factories to close, the more people who are working there but are under-employed, underpaid and uninsured, the cost in fuel and pollution in shipping the products that used to be made in the States but are now made in China and sent around the world, the poor quality/lack of durability in “cheap” items in contrast to higher priced items, etc, it’s not cheap at all.

  22. mr cloudy says:

    Westboro Baptist Church (they hate gays; picket dead soldier funerals) is located 2.4 miles away from a Walmart. Go figure!

  23. reybo says:

    Absurd thinking from start to finish. A community is defined by the size and economics that attract big box stores. It’s not the stores that define the populace.

    • SeattleSeven says:

      Oh really?

      You don’t think the demographics of a community change over time and that one factor in that change is the type of commercial establishments?

  24. Realety says:

    Its because the white sheets and lynching materials are so cheap.

  25. RayanneGraff says:

    I think the correlation here is that there are more Wal-Marts in poorer areas, and in poorer areas there is worse education & more religion, and where there is worse education & more religion there is more ignorance & hatred.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      My experience is that the Deep South suffers from lack of good education and in many areas, a misguided religious teaching. I know many people from the Deep South who are just the kindest, most giving people you could know and I think a lot of the Deep South, especially with younger generations, have recognized the hipocrisy of having racist beliefs when the Bible says “love thy neighbor” and doesn’t add “except for black people.” Having been to the Deep South recently, I think it’s taken many steps forward. It’s unfortunate, though, that the education still has not improved as much. The rural South is one of the least educated areas in the country.

  26. Mrs. w/1 child says:

    They didn’t define “hate group” in the linked article. What was the criteria for a “hate group”? I smell horse hooey.

    • drjayphd says:

      Go ask the Southern Poverty Law Center (which the linked article conveniently neglects to mention in its summary of the study, because that article SUUUHUUUUCKS). They compile data on hate groups, the study used their definitions, and Wikipedia has a list.

      Oh, and here’s the actual study.

      • TheMansfieldMauler says:

        SLPC is hardly objective in its definition of “hate groups”. No one made them the defacto keeper of the list except for themselves.

        • drjayphd says:

          Well, no. But who would be the best objective keeper of the list? I sniffed around on the SPLC’s website earlier today and couldn’t find any hard and fast criteria.

  27. Kuri says:

    Makes me think of a story my mom told me.

    Ages ago we visited my grandmother in Oklahoma. We went to a restaurant, and my dad, who is obviously Native American(and I was growing my hair out at the time) was getting filthy looks from the wait staff.

    Later on during our visit, we went shopping at, well, Walmart, and the “lady” ringing up our order was slamming our merchandise around like she was actively trying to ruin it.

    Honestly, if this had happened today, and the manager said “Come again now” I would have shot hi ma dirty look and said “with how your employees treated me, un-fucking-likely”

    The staff at our local Walmart is very courteous

  28. bricko says:

    What are the odds that these professors that did the study are the usual vile Leftist that infest most of academia.

    Such as the new study….by the National Association of Scholars…(yes I know…more academics)

    Political activism has drawn the University of California into an academic death spiral. Too many professors believe their job is to “advance social justice” rather than teach the subject they were hired to teach. Groupthink has replaced lively debate. Institutions that were designed to stir intellectual curiosity aren’t challenging young minds. They’re churning out “ignorance.” So argues a new report, “A Crisis of Competence: The Corrupting Effect of Political Activism in the University of California,” from the conservative California Association of Scholars.

    The report cites a number of studies that document academia’s political imbalance. In 2004, for example, researchers examined the voter registration of UC Berkeley faculty. They found a ratio of 8 Democrats for each Republican. While the ratio was 4:1 in the professional schools, in more political disciplines, the ratio rose to 17:1 in the humanities and 21:1 in social sciences.

    Read more:

  29. FrankReality says:

    This is not a defense of Walmart.

    It’s one study – is one study credible?

    Was the study subject to peer-review before publishing?

    Was the study replicated elsewhere independently?

    What was their definition of hate groups?

    What was their methodology for collecting and sources for data. Was the data collection blind?

    Correlation does not mean causation regardless. For example, maybe Walmart (coincidentally) locates its stores in localities where members of hate groups tend to exist? Or that members of hate groups tend to move to localities after Walmart places stores.

    I agree with this statement –

    “The social sciences really get in trouble when they think they’re actual sciences‚Äîand I say this as somebody that studied social sciences for years.”

    Social sciences can rarely cleanly isolate variables since the systems they study are very complex.

    Begin speculation –

    Consider that hate groups may tend to attract lower-income and less educated people and consider that Walmart may tend to draw lower-income and less-educated people due to their low prices. Consider that lower-income people tend to live closer to where they shop due to limited transportation dollars.

    Is this true? Heck if I know (and heck if I care).

    But one study isn’t sufficient.

  30. B2BigAl says:

    I…I don’t even know what to say…I’m now dumber for having read this.

  31. FLConsumer says:

    In other news… there are more police in areas of high crime. Therefore, obviously, higher levels of police presence cause increases in crime.

  32. cspschofield says:

    My personal guess is that what this demonstrates is the subjective nature of the term “Hate Group”. And I’m not suggesting that a neutral definition is even possible. However, I am willing to bet that from a fairly simple definition such as “A politically active group that advocates violence against some segment of the population” it would be fairly simple to frame a study showing that the presence of a college campus in an area is strongly connected to the presence of a large number of “Hate Groups”.

    • drjayphd says:

      Since the linked article is a steaming pile, I’ll clarify for you. The study uses the Southern Poverty Law Center’s definitions and list of hate groups.

  33. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    Does it count if I hate to go to Walmart?

  34. Otto44 says:

    A gazzilion? How about you find 3? What the heck, make it 2.

  35. Press1forDialTone says:

    Well, duh.
    Nice to finally get some scientific backing for something everyone already knew though.
    Now, how do we fix the problem?

  36. Fishnoise says:

    Marge: “Mmmm … we can’t afford to shop at any store that has a philosophy. We just need a TV. We’re going to the outlet mall in Ogdenville.”

  37. mattb47 says:

    As others have noted, what is a hate group?

    I think everyone agrees that white supremacy groups are hate groups.

    Islamic terrorists? Hate group.

    But sorry, you don’t need to be white or overtly criminal to hate. La Raza? (“The Race”) Black Panthers? Nation of Islam? Ethnic supremacy groups are all hate groups.

    You can even hate the whole darn human race: Earth First, ELF, and other eco-terrorists. (And meanwhile, PETA is all cuddly with them.)

    None of these other groups would (necessarily) be clustered near Walmarts.

    I call hokum!

    • drjayphd says:

      I’ll give you a chance to retract your declaration of hocum, since the linked article is a steaming pile, so it never mentions this. The study uses the Southern Poverty Law Center’s definitions and list of hate groups. As per the list on Wikipedia, while most of the hate groups are KKK groups, neo-Nazi groups or other white power ones, the list does include 113 black separatist groups, such as the New Black Panther Party and the Nation of Islam.

  38. crazydavythe1st says:

    I’d imagine there are more hate groups in socioeconomically poor areas. Living in Austin, you should see the battles that ensue when Walmart wants to place a store in one of the better parts of town.

    You have a coalition that is against it due to increase in crime. You have another one against it due to environmental effects, another that represents the small business lobby, and you even have big grocery store (HEB/Randall’s/Sprouts/Whole Foods/Fiesta) that work together to lobby against Walmart since Austin is one of the few cities in which Walmart has one of the lowest grocery market shares and even do relatively poorly compared to Target. I don’t have anything against Walmart personally, and it seems ridiculous to me that HEB can open a giant 120,000 sq. ft store without anyone blinking an eye. But when Walmart wants to do anything, the pitchforks come out.

    If this happens nationwide, it stands to reason that Walmart places its stores where there is less resistance to them opening one.

  39. andre nickatina says:

    ‘As the big-box stores proliferate, so do the groups’
    Really? You think every time they open a Wal*Mart these hate groups form? I think they open Wal*Marts in the low-income areas where hate groups are likely to already exist.

  40. nonzenze says:

    Repeat after me

    Correlation is not causation.
    Correlation is not causation.
    Correlation is not causation.
    Correlation is not causation.
    Correlation is not causation.
    Correlation is not causation.
    Correlation is not causation.

  41. Wathnix says:

    Yet another study from the Department of “Pulled It Out Our A** Facts, Figures and Statistics”

  42. SiddhimaAmythaon says:

    correlation isn’t causation

  43. impatientgirl says:

    You mean in areas where there are more people, there are more hate groups? astounding. So in my city of 1 million plus there are more hate groups than in my hometown of a couple thousand? wow. I am SO shocked.

  44. shepd says:

    Do anti-walmart groups count as hate groups? That alone would tip the percentage, I think.

  45. Jimmy37 says:

    Liars, Damn Liars, and Statisticians, especially liberals.

    There is nothing statistically significant about a Walmart and a hate group. What is statistically significant is the density of population and the distance between population centers. This is what draws Walmart to rural areas. The same paucity of population is what supports nut jobs.

  46. DragonThermo says:

    Poor Walmart! Once upon a time, all of societies ills were blamed on witches, then the Jews, now it’s Walmart’s turn. All Walmart wants to do is still products at affordable prices. Now they are being blamed for causing everything that is wrong with society. Nevermind rampant drug use. Nevermind the epidemic of single-parent, usually fatherless, households. Nevermind that government schools are all about teaching self-esteem first and knowledge second. Nevermind that government spending has created an entitlement culture. Yes, naturally Walmart is to blame for the rotten, drugged up, gang member kids!