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.