Saturday, May 20, 2006

Big box ordinance or Wal Mart ordinance?

From today's Defender,

Residents, business owners and community leaders from the West Side, where Chicago's first Wal-Mart is scheduled to open this summer, spoke out Thursday against the so-called "Big Box Retail" ordinance currently before the City Council's finance committee.
[...]
Residents of Ald. Emma Mitts' 37th Ward, who would be likely candidates for jobs at the Wal-Mart when it opens, said the $10 minimum wage would deter businesses from investing in their neighborhood.

"The communities, especially on the West Side of Chicago, are excited about opportunities for jobs. We need jobs. Our communities are filled with the young and the old standing on corners with nothing to do, some laid off from companies that have closed down or moved away, some ex-offenders looking for a new start," said Frankie Freenie of the Nobel Neighbors Association in Humboldt Park.
Drive around Austin and you'll see housing stock is in pretty good shape but the local retail is devasted. There's no local retail for Wal Mart to put out of business. Any kind of investment can only do good for the neigborhood.

This is as true of Galewood as it is of further east along North Ave, or at Madison and Pulaski. The only local retail that can survive now in Chicago are niche retailers for people with money, and ethnic retailers who will cater to their local communities. Everyone else will make the drive to a discounter. Might as well keep the discounter in the City. It seems so foolish to keep them out.

Espeically when you consider the City makes it none to easy for the few local folks who venture into retail either. Read Arlene Jones Why is the city harassing business owners in Austin?

8 comments:

Larry Horse 1:19 PM  

Yeah, the best thing that government can do for the economy is just to stay out of it. Government should build the roads and educate future workers, but beyond that, just about anything it does will do more harm on the whole than good.

Milton 3:23 PM  

We (the tax payers) don't need to subsidize these companies either as most cities do as Wal-Mart has expected in the past. Just because a special class of neighborhoods doesn’t want Wal-Mart near them or a bunch of liberals don’t want them around. Does not mean Wal-Mart should not be allowed in the town.

Anonymous,  5:53 PM  

Larry Horse, government does not have to educate, Montessori, Catholic, Waldorf, Lutheran, Chabad Jewish, Conservative Jewish, Dutch Reformed etc all do a MUCH BETTER JOB at a much reduced cost
SCHOOL CHOICE is part of the answer

Levois 10:40 PM  

This is messed up. And that Austin story is worse. Reminds me of a scene in a movie Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored.

tired of this silliness,  10:31 PM  

Today's paper sez the Aldercowards are thinking of linking this big-box wage proposal with their own pay hike.

Let me put it this way -- I think the Chicago City Council deserves a cost of living raise, it's a pretty thankless job and -- although there are a few who double-dip -- most members are full-time aldermen, and the cost of living in the city is not going down.

But the surest way to convince me that they do NOT deserve a raise is if they take further steps to drive business out of the city. There are two Targets, a Wal-Mart, and a Costco within a couple miles of the north end of the city. That is sales tax revenue that should stay in the city to (among other things) pay for Aldermanic salaries. The right place to push a minimum wage change is at the state and national level, not at the neighborhood level.

Yellow Dog Democrat 12:40 AM  

Nobody's saying Wal-Mart can't build in Austin, or anywhere else. The ordinance simply says that these mega-retailers can't sponge of the taxpayers any longer.

It's called "corporate citizenship," and it means you don't pay substandard wages to your employees and encourage them to sing-up for public aid because you're trying to pad your bottom line.

Half of the ten richest people in America are members of the Walton family -- how poor do we have to be before these fat cats are rich enough? Hell, atleast Carnegie produced something -- these folks are mere moneychangers.

JB Powers 1:08 PM  

Why is that a substandard wage? If a wage was actually substandard, would anyone show up to work?

Wal-Marts owners are suffering a 5 year drought on their stock price. The dividend is 1.4%. The owners don't make anything, the employees get paid competitively.

JBP

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