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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Bankrollers Come First in Chicago

While many groups, like ACORN are all gaga about the new Chicago "Big Box" Ordinance, that passed with a veto-proof majority today; the fact is 35 Chicago alderman put their bankroll (AFL-CIO, SEIU) ahead of their constituents this afternoon.

As John Kass pointed out last week in the Chicago Tribune, the neighborhoods in Chicago where Target and Wal Mart are looking to build are desperate for jobs, and shopping. The problem is, Chicago Alderman are desperate for money and support in elections. And lets face it, you can claim all you want that you support the little guy and the poor folks, but they don't give tens of thousands in campaign cash.

You see, the "big box battle" in City Hall today wasn't a battle between big box retailers and the poor folks they take advantage of with (supposedly) low wages and benefits. That wouldn't be a battle, every poll shows the residents in the areas the stores want to build want them, without the ordinance.

No, today was a battle between organized labor money and the poor, who labor says they know better than.

Last week I was working a job in one of those neighborhoods, a place where I don't roll down the windows, and have a tendency to jump red lights to get away from. Right in the middle of it is a half finished Target and Home Depot complex. Target was in a holding pattern, waiting on today's vote, Home Depot (which pays more than the ordinance requires already) was waiting on Target. If Target goes, so does Home Depot, because they know in that area without a retail anchor, they won't get enough traffic to make the store pay for itself.

Less than 6 blocks from the building site is the Chicago City limits, and open land, that could easily house both stores. Both would still be on the same transit routes, and still have access to about 90% of the clients they figured to attract in the city. They'll probably still get the same workers to apply for the most part that they did in Chicago. The difference will be which city collects on the tax bill for occupied retail space, and which one collects on vacant space, to large to be of use to retailers that don't hit the limits of the new ordinance.

Opponents have already threatened a lawsuit over the ordinance, which could be filed any day. Based on the overturning of Maryland's Big Box Law last week, it wouldn't be a surprise if they prevailed in the end.

So, one wonders, will Target pull the plug as they hinted they might last week? If they do, what we'll hear, from the union mouthpieces in City Hall isn't how they blew it, but of the evils of big business. Because we all know that limousine liberal alderman; the guys from the North Shore and Condo Crowd; who don't have constituents begging for work and stores, will not be willing to look in the mirror at where the blame goes for 300 lost jobs, and a few million in tax revenue for the Windy City.

What if they do move, and the courts toss out the ordinance, then Chicago will be stuck with an even worse situation; the law that drove everyone away off the books, and the stores already gone.

More available at Marathon Pundit

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4Comments:

Blogger ablur said...

I vote they move. Chicago gets what it deserves. The people who want to work there will. Most of them will be willing to commute a few miles to get a good job at a fine company. There will still be plenty of shoppers. The windy city elected that blow hard and now they will reap the whirl wind.

12:34 AM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Actually, Ablur, the "blow hard", I assume you mean Mayor Daly, is dead set against this ordinance.

4:43 AM  
Blogger shoprat said...

It seems that Unions prefer unemployment to non-union jobs. Sadly, for the unemployed, they are getting their wish.

7:14 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Shoprat, they just had a great quote on the news, a guy says "They voted to give themselves a pay raise last week, and to keep me from getting a job this week".

9:46 PM  

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