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Proviso Probe

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

BUSINESS, Daley vetoes Big Box

See Sun-Times (Fran Spielman).
Wal-Marts a hit in suburbs

Leaders in Chicago's suburbs say Wal-Mart and the sales and property tax revenues its stores generate have helped pay for vital projects and invigorate once-moribund shopping centers....

And west suburban Forest Park has leveraged its Wal-Mart store to improve its aging infrastructure.

The village has rebuilt and resurfaced streets and alleys and made water improvements.



  • I believe that the street improvements are due to the sales tax increase in FP, not from allowing WalMart to soil our fair village. From the site: "Funding for the project is through the recently enacted Village Sales Tax Referendum."


    By Anonymous forest park citizen, at 12:41 PM, September 12, 2006  

  • Walmart contributes over $300,000 in sales tax to fix FP streets and alleys. How much do you contribute to our s trees and alleys, citizen? If you even send one kid to school, you're taking more in services than you're paying in taxes.

    By Anonymous Observer, at 1:57 PM, September 12, 2006  

  • It is sad that Daley is vetoing this... it was good to see the city council get some teeth and stand up to Wal-Mart, et al... Chicago needs redevelopment on a grassroots level that actively involves the community, not the jobs band-aid that big box stores provide.

    By Blogger Nathan Helsabeck, at 2:24 PM, September 12, 2006  

  • observer: I have no children in school (never had any) and have been paying taxes in since 1978 (when I moved to FP).

    I'm glad you like the WalMart. I prefer to spend my money elsewhere.

    By Anonymous forest park citizen, at 3:51 PM, September 12, 2006  

  • Well, I'm certain you enjoy all the new streets and alleys, as well as the 24/7 police and fire, cheap garbage, and everything else that's subsidized by people who do shop at Walmart. And that $300,000 - that's annually what they put into the fund for new streets.

    Just how do people like you think services get paid for, anyway? The tooth fairy? Looking at your previous posts, I see you support irresponsible people who share your irresponsible views.

    By Anonymous Observer, at 4:22 PM, September 12, 2006  

  • At the last community crime meeting Walmart was identified as a major (the major?) consumer of police services in the village.

    And Walmart freeloads on taxpayers by failing to provide health insurance for its workers, so they use Medicaid and the county hospital system.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 6:03 PM, September 12, 2006  

  • Daley Ain’t No Dummy

    Historically, the economic vitality of any area or region was predicated upon the presence of an underlying manufacturing base which tended to be somewhat vibrant in nature. Such a structure served to give life to its working class citizenry and contributed strongly to the development of those values and social structures that most of hold as dear. All these phenomena was in turn a function of our national economic policy which acted to firmly place the US as the central figure in world productivity growth and trade.

    This structure essentially began to erode as early as the 1980’s. Since that time America has undergone a huge shift due to the forces of globalization and an accompanying scurge in the form of deindustrialization/decapitalization.

    What we've witnessed in recent years is nothing less that the transition away from a relatively strong domestic manufacturing base to what has now become primarily a service-based economy, one characterized by mostly low-wage jobs and other related economic dislocations.

    Most assurredly, our urban centers are dying on the vine as the ranks of the working class undergo extreme decimation.

    The horse is out the barn, in my opinion, and we might as well face reality: Big-boxes are here to stay and, for a variety of reasons (chief amongst them being wage arbitrage vis-a-vis China, India and Eastern Europe) the future growth in employment is destined to hover in the low-wage range.

    Wal-Mart is a part of this new reality and to resist its encroachment is to operate as if in a state of utter delusion and denial.

    Excerpted from August 8, 2006 issue of Newsweek:

    "Aug. 9, 2006 - For the first time ever recorded, Americans owe more money than they make. Household debt levels have now surpassed household income by more than eight percent, reaching 108.4 percent in 2005, according to a May 2006 study by the Center for American Progress. Consumer debt is now at a record $2.17 trillion, reports the Federal Reserve Board and consumers cashed out a whopping $431 billion in home equity last year.

    Christian E. Weller, the author of a recent Center for American Progress (CAP) report, 'Drowning in Debt,' says the middle class, specifically, is struggling.  Wages have been stagnant and they're losing the battle to keep up with the cost of living.  "The data shows that people are borrowing more money not because of over-consumption, but because they're caught in a bind," says Weller, a senior economist at the CAP."

    Recommended reading: The Real Wal-Mart Effect

    August 2006 online issue of Working Knowledge (Harvard Business School), and

    A related review published online at Business Pundit.com (Maybe WalMart Should Destroy More Jobs).


    "Most of the value created by the company is actually pocketed by its customers in the form of lower prices. There is general agreement that Wal-Mart prices are significantly lower than its competitors. Assuming that the company's prices are 8 percent lower-at the low end of the estimates from various studies summarized in a recent report by Global Insight-and applying that to Wal-Mart's domestic sales volume, U.S. consumers save on the order of $18 billion per year. And because Wal-Mart forces its competitors to charge lower prices as well, this figure is a fraction of the company's real impact.

    These kinds of savings to customers far exceed the costs that Wal-Mart allegedly imposes on society by securing subsidies, driving employees toward public welfare systems, creating urban sprawl, and destroying jobs in competing operations. Thus, juxtaposing these customer savings against the estimate cited by Fishman and others that Wal-Mart destroyed 2,500 jobs (on a net basis) in 2005 yields customer savings of more than $7 million per year for each job lost. (Fishman actually works with higher numbers for customer savings, so if he had done this calculation, he would have come out in the $12-$60 million range.)"

    By Anonymous simon, at 7:41 PM, September 12, 2006  

  • You gotta hate the Forest Park Wal-Mart from the ick perspective because is sure is one dirty ass store. Don't like the burden it places on police resources either but they are an undeniable sales tax behemoth. That is for sure. Their sales tax contributions to the Village have to be at the very top end, if not the top end. Once heard, not sure if it's true, they did in the $60 million range in that store alone. With the sales tax increase, I think I read that FP gets 1.5%. Having them is better than not having them as far as revenue goes. I personally drive to the Target in Broadview to shop but far more chose the FP Wal-Mart than not.

    By Anonymous gotta agree, at 11:58 PM, September 12, 2006  

  • pmsa observer says: I'm for less government regulation. How dare gov't tell a store how to pay their employees. If this ordinance stands, no new busdiness will come to Chiago. Employers will build outside the city. People in the city will then have to get in their cars and drive to the 'burbs instead of shopping in their neighborhood. How dare the city coucil declare themselves dictator?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:37 AM, September 13, 2006  

  • observer: I give up with you. I guess you love WalMart. I don't live on any of the streets and alleys that have been repaved. My alley floods every rainfall.

    Doesn't every town (in a metropolis like Chicago) have 24/7 police and fire?

    As far as how do services get paid? My guess is I help. My taxes have more than doubled in 15 years. Thank goodness I have a fixed mortgage rate or I would be in trouble.

    Thanks to all the people who shop at WalMart. Thanks for all the time the police have to spend there because of crimes.

    So observer just stop. I realize WM pays taxes but so does everyone else.

    By Anonymous forest park citizen, at 9:17 AM, September 13, 2006  

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