My little hometown, Noel, Missouri, is in a rural corner of the Ozarks that is not served by any major highways, passenger railways, or even a Greyhound bus stop. People who come to Noel are either lost, or they really, really want to be there.
Noel does have several canoe campgrounds where people stay if they want to float the Elk River, a languid waterway that flows through the heart of town. Camping is a necessity for the floaters who want to spend a night or a weekend because motel rooms are basically non-existent.
Noel is not the type of place that should attract a Walmart, yet when I was there this afternoon to check on some business concerns, a Walmart is just what I found. A Walmart "Neighborhood Market" has sprung up just inside of the city limits - right next to the Dollar General Store. The new "Neighborhood Market" has large outdoor signs advertising "Checks Cashed," "Pharmacy," "Groceries," and "Gas" - something for just about everyone.
And that bell ringing off in the distance is actually the death knell for the local grocery store, pharmacy, and gas stations.
Walmart single-handedly killed Main Street America, and now the corporate cancer is creeping into areas once thought to be too remote or too poor to host the disease. Jobs disappear when Walmart comes to town, and the few jobs that the corporate giant creates often have to supplemented with public welfare in order for their "associates" to be able to survive.
I guess if there is a stray nickel rolling down a sidewalk somewhere, the Walton family feels that it should be theirs.
And I don't think they are the least bit concerned about camels passing through the eyes of needles. That stuff is for suckers - the kind of people who stand in line to buy Chinese crap from their local Walmarts!