The Rich Get Richer
Just like they always do even in a bad economy
In this perilous economy when you look in your wallet and $4 a gallon gas is siphoning away your hard-earned bucks, take heart. The Walton family is richer than ever. Way richer.
The heirs of Sam Walton, for the first time since 2000, is holding stock valued at more than $100 billion. That’s doesn’t mean they haven’t been this rich before, they have, but they are back baby. The data was taken from filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which requires disclosure by officers, directors and any person or entity that owns at least five percent of the outstanding shares of any company. The Walton family’s mind-numbing total: $101 billion, all of it in stock of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
The Walton clan is composed of S. Robson Walton, the eldest son, a Wal-Mart officer and long time family employee of the world’s largest retailer; laid back son Jim Walton, who’s also the Arvest banker king and a Wal-Mart Board member; only daughter Alice, the rancher and art collector who’s putting some of her millions into the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art that’s under construction in Bentonville; and the estate and heirs of the late John Walton of Colorado, the only child who did not actively participate in the Wal-Mart empire. This rise in the stock should propel the heirs back onto some of the “richest” lists, certainly among the richest Americans, if not some of the richest in the world in these uncertain economic times, when many of those previously on these lists may be dropping off.
BIG QUESTION: What percentage of American women said they would be more attracted to man with a new fuel-efficient car than a flashy sports car? (Answer at the end of the column).
Although there are plenty of boarded up storefronts around town these days, there’s still some spark. Daddy W hears, and happily so, that the Little Bread Co. in downtown Fayetteville will be reopening in the next week or so. The buzz in town is all about the new Wine Cellar wine bar in the Dickson Street district. The Wine Cellar has the only enomatic wine machine in the state. The machine holds 24 bottles of wine and puts out a taste, half-glass or glass at the perfect temperature and it’s self-service. You can also order a carafe or bottle and there’s a full bar. Plus, live jazz on Friday nights.
Well the Northwest Arkansas Naturals season is over and a blockbuster first season it was. The club announced they averaged over 5,000 tickets per contest in the 69 homes games, wowo. Daddy W. laughed at these stats: The ballpark’s most popular snack was funnel cake hot dog on a stick and of course, the most popular night was Thirsty Thursdays with $1 beer in a 12-ouce cup.
It was no big surprised to Daddy W. that one of the first groups to endorse the state lottery proposal was a trade group representing convenience stores. Duh. Where are you gonna buy them lottery scratchers? Down at the local convenience store.
Wait, wait, don’t tell me. Can there be another group about to join this lottery endorsement parade? The Arkansas Oil Marketers Association has endorsed the lottery amendment. The association represents roughly 3,000 of the 3,500 convenience stores in Arkansas. Will the liquor industry be the next in line?
TOUGH TIMES, TOUGH JOB
Looks like Mayor Dan Coody isn’t going to bite the budget bullet, but he wants the City Council to make the necessary cuts or reach into the cash reserves to the tune of half a million for the next city budget. Lord Mayor Coody, now in a re-election campaign, says it’s the job of the city council to make these really hard decisions. Hmm. Being mayor, apparently, is easier than we thought.
BEAT TEXAS WEEK
As we all know the Arkansas vs. Texas match has been moved to Sept. 27, but hotel problems abound in Austin where the game will be played. The gi-normus crowds of around 150,000 ticket holders for the Austin City Limits Music Fest will also be in the Texas capitol on that date. Back home in Fayetteville, next weekend the Bikes, Blues and BBQ is in town. Remember the Hogs were supposed to be off that weekend. Thank goodness both aren’t here on the same weekend. Again no hotel rooms for miles and miles around.
Looks like the Landers bunch from Central Arkansas knows a good thing when they see it. They gobbled up the Central Arkansas Harley-Davidson dealership and are looking to buy more. Watch out NWA, they love their car dealership, why wouldn’t they want a two-wheel dealer up here, too?
Tyson Foods has raised the ire of local poultry growers in an effort to save fuel. The Tyson folks wanted local growers to double-stack two units of newborn chicks in a single unit chicken houses (under warm 90 degree temperatures) rather than have wasted heat. But that’s ain’t the way they done it before, so local growers protested. Let’s see who wins. Growers or Tyson or high propane prices.
THE ANSWER: A whopping 88 percent of American women said they would be more attracted to a man with a hot new fuel efficient car than a hot new sports car.