NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


September 14, 2006

For the moment, Chicago Mayor Daley has abandoned liberal theology, casting his first veto of an ordinance telling retailers like Wal-Mart and Target what they should pay their employees in wages and benefits.  And it looks like enough inner-city alderman will switch their position to sustain it, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).

When Wal-Mart was told recently that it wasn't welcome to build a store on the Chicago's economically depressed South Side, the company put the store two blocks away in suburban Evergreen Park, taking jobs, employees and tax revenues with it.

  • About 25,000 people applied for just 350 positions. 
  • Chicago loses $300 million a year in sales taxes when residents go shopping in the suburbs for bargains. 

Wal-Mart critics who complain its employees live paycheck to paycheck, forget that many of its customers also live paycheck to paycheck and seek quality merchandise at decent prices, which is why 100 million people shop there every week.  How can they oppose "low" wages for Wal-Mart employees while in effect supporting higher prices for Wal-Mart customers?

  • The economic consulting firm Global Insight found the average Wal-Mart store saves families up to $2,300 a year by slashing prices -- and forcing competitors to do the same.
  • Nobody is forced to work or shop at Wal-Mart, yet 1.3 million workers draw a paycheck from this supposed enemy of the middle class and its hundreds of millions of loyal customers.

Wal-Mart gives people what they want at a price they can afford.  It believes a fair wage is one agreed upon between employee and employer.  It is efficient, innovative, successful and nonunion, says IBD.

Source: Editorial, "Big Win For Big Boxes," Investor's Business Daily, September 14, 2006.


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