Debate, and discuss, just dont Bore me.
Published on June 13, 2006 By Dr Guy In Misc

Ah yes, that old cliché - the Road to hell is paved with good intentions.  It may be old, and it may be a cliché, but like other natural laws, it is also true.  And it is about to be proven again by the Evil big box store Wal-Mart and the City of Chicago.

Chicago has decided to gig big companies.  Requiring that they pay their employees a 'living' wage of at least $10/hour with another $3/hour kicked in for benefits (probably mostly health, but also Vacation and sick time).  Wal-Mart has told them "not so fast. We would like to bless your city with 20 stores over the next 5 years, but not if you pass this law."  In essence, Wal-Mart is saying if you want us, then don't penalize us.

However, like every fairy tale, there is a classic line, and this one has one as well.

Chicago Federation of Labor President Dennis Gannon accused Wal-Mart of "holding a gun" to the Council's head. Gannon said he would "not be intimidated" by a behemoth that clearly needs Chicago more than Chicago needs Wal-Mart.

"Who are they kidding? They need this market. They're saturated [everywhere else]," Gannon said.

Not be intimidated.  It seems that the one doing the intimidating here is the City of Chicago and the Union thugs!  It was just recently that Wal-Mart built a store just outside the city of Chicago because of Politics inside the city limits.  And still these clowns called aldermen (alderpersons I guess) did not learn a lesson.  So instead of getting the tax revenue from that store, a burb is going to get it.

Are these alderpersons and this union guy, so myopic as to not understand that Wal-Mart can do that for the other stores they want to build?  While the City Council may think they have Wal-Mart over a barrel, the real truth is that Wal-Mart has them.  Wal-Mart does not need Chicago. After all it has gotten to its current position without them.  But Chicago needs Wal-Mart - and other businesses to locate within the city limits in order to survive as a city.  So many cities are already dying for this very reason - the burbs cost less to do business in.

My prediction?  Chicago will vote that law in, and Wal-Mart will not build the stores in the city limits.  And in 20 years, as the core of Chicago crumbles due to the flight of citizens and the loss of a revenue base, they will look around and wonder what they can do to fix the problem.  One they caused.  And they will not see that cause, nor the solution.  They will just pass more unfair laws, and raise the taxes more.  And kill the golden goose.

So long Chicago.  It was nice knowing you when you still lived.


Comments
on Jun 13, 2006
My prediction? Chicago will vote that law in, and Wal-Mart will not build the stores in the city limits. And in 20 years, as the core of Chicago crumbles due to the flight of citizens and the loss of a revenue base, they will look around and wonder what they can do to fix the problem. One they caused. And they will not see that cause, nor the solution. They will just pass more unfair laws, and raise the taxes more. And kill the golden goose.


Excellent article, and great points made above.

{ sarcasm on } Of course it will all have been G.W. Bush's fault, for it was his economic policies that caused wages to remain so low as to need liberal laws passed to help force corporations to do the right thing. { sarcasm off }
on Jun 13, 2006

{ sarcasm on } Of course it will all have been G.W. Bush's fault, for it was his economic policies that caused wages to remain so low as to need liberal laws passed to help force corporations to do the right thing. { sarcasm off }

Actually, Wal-Marts beef is that they are not mandating that all business conform to the new wage laws.  So it is even more insidious than just a feel good law.  It is punitive.

on Jun 13, 2006
Ouch. And the sad part of all of this? I've seen this exact principle in action before.

The city of Petersburg did just this to themselves starting over 25 years ago. The amusement park Kings Dominion wanted to settle outside Petersburg, but the city wouldn't do anything to "help" them and drove them off. The mall located in Colonial Heights wanted to build inside Petersburg. The City Council said "screw that" and watched the businesses downtown move out of the city (the mall deal was just one of a long line of stupid rules/regulations that the council had dreamed up). The folks who run Colonial Williamsburg (a major money maker for this area) wanted to setup a similar setup in Old Town Petersburg, an area that is RICH in Civil War history.

Only now, after nearly bankrupting the city (and completely gutting the City Council), they've started slowly dragging the city back to something near to climbing out of the hole they dug for themselves.

That's Chicago in 15 years ... and they'll only have themselves to blame.
on Jun 13, 2006

The city of Petersburg did just this to themselves starting over 25 years ago. The amusement park Kings Dominion wanted to settle outside Petersburg, but the city wouldn't do anything to "help" them and drove them off.

Your examples are good, but your math is a little off.  I worked at KD when it opened - 31 years ago.

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