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Fri Apr 13, 2012, 06:12 PM

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

Not just correlation the researchers say, but big-box stores actually create conditions favorable to the formation of hate groups.

According to the study by professors at Penn State University, New Mexico State University and Michigan State University, the number of Wal-Mart stores in a county correlates significantly with the number of hate groups in the area.

The amount of Wal-Mart stores in a county was more statistically significant than other factors commonly regarded as important to hate group participation, such as the unemployment rate, high crime rates and low education, the research found.

"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."

...

While the study only specifically examined the correlation between hate groups and Wal-Mart stores, the researchers feel the presence of Wal-Mart in an area generally indicates the establishment of other types of big-box retailers, such as Home Depot and Target.

"We're not trying to pick on Wal-Mart," Goetz said. "In this study, Wal-Mart is really serving as a proxy for any type of large retailer."

Full article: http://www.livescience.com/19660-big-box-hate-groups.html

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Reply Do Big-Box Stores Help Create Hate Groups? Study Says Yes (Original post)
salvorhardin Apr 2012 OP
Jim__ Apr 2012 #1
salvorhardin Apr 2012 #3
matt819 Apr 2012 #2
salvorhardin Apr 2012 #4
Butterbean Apr 2012 #5
salvorhardin Apr 2012 #6
ThoughtCriminal Apr 2012 #7
Bolo Boffin Apr 2012 #9
salvorhardin Apr 2012 #10
emilyg Apr 2012 #8

Response to salvorhardin (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 06:39 PM

1. That's surprising - but what the article says about the destruction of the local community ...

... makes sense. As a society we seem to attach no value to community.

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 06:44 PM

3. I don't know -- I think the LiveScience writeup is spinning it

Here's a better writeup from The Atlantic where the author says the study's authors are not implying causation: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/neighborhoods/2012/04/big-box-stores-linked-presence-hate-groups/1745

"Before anyone gets too worked up, the studyís authors arenít saying that Walmarts cause hate groups to form..."


And here's the actual journal article (which I don't have access to): http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1540-6237.2012.00854.x/abstract

Social Capital, Religion, Wal-Mart, and Hate Groups in America

The recent surge in hate group activity is a concern to many citizens and policymakers. We examine the roles of socioeconomic factors measured at the county level that are hypothesized to account for the presence of such groups, including social capital and religious affiliations.
Methods

We estimate a Poisson regression model using counts of hate groups provided by the Southern Poverty Law Center for each of the over 3,000 U.S. counties. Our regressors include a wider set of variables than has been considered in previous studies, such as Jefferson and Pryor (1999).
Results

Our approach produces a better statistical fit than that in Jefferson and Pryor's paper, and the additional regressors contribute significantly to our understanding of hate groups.
Conclusion

Both social capital stocks and religious affiliation exert an independent and statistically significant influence on the number of hate groups, as does the presence of Wal-Mart stores, holding other factors constant.

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Response to salvorhardin (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 06:43 PM

2. To be fair. . .

Correlation is not necessarily causation.

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Response to matt819 (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 06:47 PM

4. The LiveScience writeup stated that the study's authors were saying causation

Looking at The Atlantic writeup of the study I posted above, and the abstract, it seems to me that LiveScience was putting words in the study's authors' mouths.

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Response to salvorhardin (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 06:51 PM

5. Honest question: do stores like Costco fall into this same category or not, since shoplifting from

Costco is relatively difficult? When the article mentions community disconnect and breakdown, it cites shoplifting as an example, which I understand. However, on the other hand, I view stores like Costco as a "big box" store.

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Response to Butterbean (Reply #5)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 07:04 PM

6. I think the study's authors would say yes but they were looking specifically at Walmart density

On the other hand, they also talk about stores like Walmart making changes that are more supportive of the community. Give The Atlantic article I posted upstream a read. It's better than the LiveScience writeup.

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Response to salvorhardin (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 09:15 PM

7. It's easy to create a hate group at Walmart

Get in the express line with 21 items.

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Response to ThoughtCriminal (Reply #7)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 01:20 AM

9. Good one! n/t

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Response to ThoughtCriminal (Reply #7)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 08:46 AM

10. Hah!

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Response to salvorhardin (Original post)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 01:18 AM

8. I don't buy it.

 

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