Friday, July 14, 2006

Anti-Business Insanity Will Run Chicago Into The Ground

Reading NewsAlert (see blogroll at left) I get to follow the travails of cities that are not only losing population but also adding fuel to the fire. Boston, Detroit, Chicago, and I think San Francisco are shooting themselves in the feet, refusing to accept reality whilst trying to maintain their socialist utopias. Actually, I think we're past that, and are now in the realm of socialist Potemkin villages.

This story out of Chicago, though, is complete and total insanity. Quoting from the Chicago Sun-Times:

Target is putting on hold plans to build three South Side stores — and making veiled threats to close existing Chicago stores — if the City Council mandates wage and benefit standards for such “big-box” retailers, aldermen warned Thursday... (The ordinance being considered is being "championed by organized labor" and applies only to very large businesses--Darren)

Wal-Mart has threatened to cancel plans to build as many as 20 new Chicago stores over the next five years if retailers are required to pay employees at least $10 an hour by July 1, 2010...

Ald. Carrie Austin (34th) said a Target pull-out would be devastating to the 32-acre shopping mall at 119th and Marshfield that developers had hoped to build, with help from a $23 million city subsidy. Home Depot would likely follow Target out the door. As many as 1,000 jobs would be lost, Austin said.

Referring to the anti-Wal-Mart movement that gave birth to the big-box ordinance, Austin said, “If you want to bully up on Wal-Mart, you’ve got to bring in the other ones and, damned if you do on them. If they suffer from it, too bad. If you want to control Wal-Mart, you should go about that a different way...”

Hairston called it little more than a scare tactic. And even if the threat turns out to be real, she’s standing firm in support of organized labor.

“Wal-Mart and Target could pay their people a living wage. Then, we wouldn’t have this problem and people could actually live on the money they made,” Hairston said.

“My position is my position. They’ll do what they have to do. I’ll do what I have to do. If they want to lose the more than $3 billion that is not being captured in my ward, that’s a bad business decision for them.”

Brookins said Wal-Mart executives have told him they may take the lead of the many riverboat casinos that ring Chicago and run free shuttle buses to their suburban stores if the big box ordinance passes.

Why would a city want to run big businesses out of its borders? Wal*Mart is already building in Chicago's suburbs because of the unfriendly climate in Chicago proper, and now that climate will attack other big box stores.

Why doesn't Chicago's government just admit that they don't want successful businesses, along with the tax revenue and jobs they provide, in their city? Why not just admit that these companies are a necessary evil that should be taxed and regulated to pay for more political patronage?

Update, 7/21/06: It seems that not everyone in Chicago is against Wal*Mart.


EllenK said...

Chicago has a long history of backing organized labor. This doesn't surprise me in the least. What I want to know is if they will similarly enforce such policies against Chicago-based Sears and the Kmart stores. Funny how those stores weren't mentioned and it makes you wonder if there isn't a little bit of a retail end run going on to lock out competition.

Ronnie said...

People who take this stand do so because hating Wal-Mart makes you look good. It makes it look like your standing up for the little mom and pop stores while really your just holding back the natural progression of business. It will probably get them votes by taking this stand since people now identify Wal-Mart with evil, even though their business practices aren't that unusual. Now is $10/hour unreasonable, probably since the work isn't worth that, but that's why we have minimum wage, to pay people more then they are worth to keep the economic status of citizens within an expectable range. So really instead of picking on big business, or just a representative company of big business, they should be trying to up the minimum wage statewide, or nationwide if they believe it's lower then what's needed. I really doubt it's a big conspiracy that they aren't targeting all large stores, Sears isn't exactly in the news often for having “unkind” business practices. Your asking the wrong questions, since the obvious answers to yours is never. The real question is when is America going to wake up and recognize that big business makes the world go round. Only then will politicians stop taking advantage of this position.

Darren said...

Good points. Not bad for 1am. =)