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Target threatens to leave city (Chicago) if 'big-box' wage rule passes
Chicago Sun-Times ^ | July 14, 2006 | FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter

Posted on 07/14/2006 4:02:49 AM PDT by Chi-townChief

Target is putting plans to build three South Side stores "on hold" -- and making veiled threats to close existing Chicago stores -- if the City Council mandates wage and benefit standards for "big-box" retailers, African-American aldermen warned Thursday.

The saber-rattling is intensifying as the clock winds down toward a July 26 showdown vote on plans to make Chicago the nation's first major city to establish a "living wage" for stores with at least 90,000 square feet of space operated by retailers with $1 billion in sales.

Minneapolis-based Target becomes the second retailing giant to threaten to pull out of the lucrative Chicago market in a last-ditch effort to stop an ordinance championed by organized labor that breezed through the City Council's Finance Committee 15-6 and has attracted support from 33 aldermen.

WAGE WAR

The current federal minimum wage is $5.15 an hour. Illinois' minimum wage is $6.50

Most Chicago area Wal-Mart employees average $10.99 an hour, with just a few making the starting wage of $7.25 an hour, Wal-Mart spokesman John Bisio recently said.

As of 2004, Target in many cities had a starting salary of about $7 an hour, published reports said. A few Target workers outside Illinois said they recently started with salaries as low as $6.25 an hour, according to postings on the Target Union! (www.targetunion.org) Web site for store employees.

Wal-Mart has threatened to cancel plans to build as many as 20 Chicago stores over the next five years if retailers are required to pay employees at least $10 an hour and $3 in benefits by July 1, 2010.

'It would be devastation for us'

Mayor Daley is taking the threat seriously. He has challenged aldermen who oppose Wal-Mart's 20-store expansion to describe how they would replace the 8,000 lost jobs.

Target failed to return calls on the admonition communicated to aldermen of the 5th, 9th and 34th wards in recent days. Target real estate executive Chris Case was scheduled to meet with African-American aldermen Thursday, but the meeting was canceled because of scheduling conflicts.

Ald. Carrie Austin (34th) said a Target pullout 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.

"It would be devastation for us. Our largest employer in the 34th Ward is the Police Department. The second-largest for us would be Jewel. We have no other resources," 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."

Accused of 'bullying tactics'

Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) said she has a letter of intent from Target to build a new store at Marquette and Stony Island in her ward. But the developer has told her the store is "on hold" and that Target may close existing Chicago stores if the big-box ordinance goes through.

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.

Ald. Joe Moore (49th), chief sponsor of the big-box ordinance, accused Target and Wal-Mart of using "bullying tactics" to stop a train that has already left the station.

"It's an idle threat. ... They're clearly trying to ... intimidate members of the City Council. I am very hopeful that members will hold firm. ... The votes are still there," Moore said. He predicted 33 votes for the ordinance, "maybe more," even though Daley has been buttonholing aldermen to try to stop it.

Ald. Howard Brookins (21st) is still searching for a big-box retailer to replace the Wal-Mart his colleagues nixed at 83rd and Stewart.

Brookins said Wal-Mart executives have told him they may take the lead of the riverboat casinos that ring Chicago and run free shuttle buses to their suburban stores if the big-box ordinance passes.

"I don't know if it was in jest, but they did say it. ... That is an option that they could employ. They could set up locations to have pickup and dropoff. I don't think that is that farfetched," Brookins said.

fspielman@suntimes.com


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Illinois
KEYWORDS: atlasshrugs; chicago; idiots; socialism; target; tarzhay; walmart
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WOW - 'good' Target is going the same route as bad old WalMart. This should piss off a few lefties.
1 posted on 07/14/2006 4:02:55 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
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To: Chi-townChief
So only the "big" stores have to abide by this law. So every other business in the area better not become too successful or else.
2 posted on 07/14/2006 4:05:29 AM PDT by mainepatsfan
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To: Chi-townChief

For once I'm proud of something "French", showing some brass ones.


3 posted on 07/14/2006 4:07:26 AM PDT by AmericaUnited
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To: Chi-townChief

Maybe the spread of HIV/AIDS after the Gay Games will occupy the time of the alderman who don't like guns, cigarettes, trans fats, or foie gras.

I hope Target and all the big boxes come out to Will County (heavy Republican) where growth is spectacular.


4 posted on 07/14/2006 4:08:56 AM PDT by toddlintown
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To: Chi-townChief
"Chicago...." "big-box...." "wage rule...." the race of the alderman was specified (why is that newsworthy if color isn't supposed to matter?) --- all the buzzwords of a fat, lazy, dog-days shakedown.
5 posted on 07/14/2006 4:09:07 AM PDT by the invisib1e hand (dust off the big guns.)
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To: AbsoluteJustice; Augie76; Barnacle; BeAllYouCanBe; BillyBoy; Bismarck; bourbon; cfrels; ...

CHICAGO PING


6 posted on 07/14/2006 4:10:32 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
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To: Chi-townChief

The minimum wage is going to be at $7.25 everywhere in short order anyway. I don't think they are actually going to leave. They'll threaten. But there is no where to run.


It really doesn't make sense to leave even if the minimum does not go up everywhere else. You just raise your prices to cover it, and you give that as your reason.


7 posted on 07/14/2006 4:11:08 AM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Chi-townChief

"Ald. Joe Moore (49th), chief sponsor of the big-box ordinance, accused Target and Wal-Mart of using "bullying tactics" to stop a train that has already left the station."

Gotta love the way the libs insist that they have the right to demand that Target and Walmart build in their area, all the while giving up any rights to make their own decisions in regards to running the store. As far as I can see, if a person doesn't want to work for $8 an hour, they simply don't apply for the job. Raising the wages would only result in higher product cost - that way everyone gets to move backward.


8 posted on 07/14/2006 4:11:22 AM PDT by onevoter
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To: AmericaUnited
For once I'm proud of something "French", showing some brass ones.

Target is not French-owned. That's an urban legend.

9 posted on 07/14/2006 4:11:48 AM PDT by Egon (We are number one! All others are number two... or lower.)
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To: Chi-townChief
Our largest employer in the 34th Ward is the Police Department.

Maybe they should open another Bix Box Police Department.

The city is lucky that ANY business wants to open in this district.

10 posted on 07/14/2006 4:14:04 AM PDT by Mr. Brightside
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To: Chi-townChief

WOW - 'good' Target is going the same route as bad old WalMart. This should piss off a few lefties.



And a few Freepers.


11 posted on 07/14/2006 4:15:32 AM PDT by John D
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To: Brilliant
The minimum wage is going to be at $7.25 everywhere in short order anyway.

But the city is also demanding another $3 in benefits for every employee.

Plus, these stores will have higher insurance, higher rates of theft and vandalism, and higher employee turnover.

Something will have to give. There's not that big of a margin.

12 posted on 07/14/2006 4:17:10 AM PDT by Mr. Brightside
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To: Brilliant

"But there is no where to run."

Will and Kendall counties are waiting...


13 posted on 07/14/2006 4:17:16 AM PDT by toddlintown
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To: Chi-townChief
What makes this story so delicious is that so many lefties seem to worship Target as the anti-Walmart. I have long wondered why some embattled larger corporation did not exercise a boycot of their own and simply refuse to do business in states or cities where they are harassed. Can you imagine if one (or better yet all) of the tobacco comapnies just decided they would no longer sell their legal products in a state? Tax revenues would plummet and government officials would be demanding the resumption of sales.
14 posted on 07/14/2006 4:19:40 AM PDT by rhombus
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To: Chi-townChief
The saber-rattling is intensifying as the clock winds down toward a July 26 showdown vote on plans to make Chicago the nation's first major city to establish a "living wage" for stores with at least 90,000 square feet of space operated by retailers with $1 billion in sales.

So build 89,999 SF stores with the design ability to shed SF, based on changing standards....

15 posted on 07/14/2006 4:21:02 AM PDT by cbkaty (I may not always post...but I am always here......)
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To: Chi-townChief
I love the idea of running a shuttle bus from Chicago to the Walmart in the suburbs.!!!

I figure it would take a few months for the liberals to find a law squashing that..but it would be great to see....they could make a point to drive by city hall and maybe have a counter on the bus to show how many shoppers they pull from the city everyday!!!
16 posted on 07/14/2006 4:22:02 AM PDT by conservativehusker (GO BIG RED!!!!)
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To: Egon; AmericaUnited

True, the French do not own Target.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/military/target.asp


17 posted on 07/14/2006 4:22:39 AM PDT by dmw (Aren't you glad you use common sense, don't you wish everybody did?)
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To: Chi-townChief
"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.

Well, geez, Ms. Hairston, you seem to know so much about how to run a Walmart or Target store, why don't you just step in and take over as CEO?

Typical liberal the state should run everything mindset.

18 posted on 07/14/2006 4:23:43 AM PDT by Marathoner
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To: onevoter
"Ald. Howard Brookins (21st) is still searching for a big-box retailer to replace the Wal-Mart his colleagues nixed at 83rd and Stewart."

This WalMart ended up at 95th & Western with hundreds of employees, thousands of happy customers, and of course, millions of tax dollars for Evergreen Park instead of Chicago.

Protesters bash Wal-Mart's attempt to open 2 stores in Chicago
19 posted on 07/14/2006 4:24:12 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
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To: Egon; dmw

Wow! I never knew that. The French story is just so pervasive. I looked at Target's "About Us" and just read that they are the old Dayton-Hudson and Marshall Fields.


20 posted on 07/14/2006 4:25:16 AM PDT by AmericaUnited
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To: rhombus
"What makes this story so delicious is that so many lefties seem to worship Target as the anti-Walmart."

Exactly.
21 posted on 07/14/2006 4:25:18 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
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To: Chi-townChief
Union thugs taking pot shots at Walmart and hitting their Target
22 posted on 07/14/2006 4:26:00 AM PDT by joshhiggins (O you who believe! do not take the MUSLIMS for friends; ...surely Allah does not guide the unjust...)
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To: Chi-townChief
Brookins said Wal-Mart executives have told him they may take the lead of the riverboat casinos that ring Chicago...

It was here that Mrs. jimfree smiled and asked if they were going to build a floating store in Lake Michigan. Then I read on:

and run free shuttle buses to their suburban stores if the big-box ordinance passes.

It's a great idea, but the image of a container ship moored in the lake with a senior citizen greeter and 45 checkout lanes is forever etched in her mind.

23 posted on 07/14/2006 4:26:07 AM PDT by jimfree (Freep and ye shall find)
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To: Mr. Brightside
Plus, these stores will have higher insurance, higher rates of theft and vandalism, and higher employee turnover.

Well.....aren't these businesses in the business of giving away profits? They exist as entities of the state......or city councel. /sarcasm

The small businesses may be laughing now....eventually the socialists will come for them too.

24 posted on 07/14/2006 4:26:44 AM PDT by cbkaty (I may not always post...but I am always here......)
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To: mainepatsfan
So every other business in the area better not become too successful or else.

Typical liberal mantra. Misery and failure need to be spread out evenly.

25 posted on 07/14/2006 4:28:33 AM PDT by beaversmom
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To: Brilliant

What does $7.25 have to do with it? The article says $10.00 PLUS $3.00 in benefits.

And if you "just raise prices" the 'poor' workers in non big box stores making less will be even 'poorer'.


26 posted on 07/14/2006 4:31:33 AM PDT by Hazcat
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To: Marathoner
Her comments caught my eye too!

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.

Just like the Air Traffic Controllers did in 1981...guess big labor taught Reagan a lesson didn't they?

Chicago and any other city that tries to regulate/mandate wages and benefits should lose all their big box stores...a pox on all their houses!!!

27 posted on 07/14/2006 4:32:50 AM PDT by borisbob69 (Old shade is better than new shade!)
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To: Chi-townChief
establish a "living wage" for stores with at least 90,000 square feet of space operated by retailers with $1 billion in sales. and whose name begins with the letter W.

There fixed it.

28 posted on 07/14/2006 4:33:49 AM PDT by joshhiggins (O you who believe! do not take the MUSLIMS for friends; ...surely Allah does not guide the unjust...)
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To: onevoter
"As far as I can see, if a person doesn't want to work for $8 an hour, they simply don't apply for the job."

But plenty of people do, as evidenced by the 25,000 who showed up to apply for the jobs at the Evergreen Park store.

29 posted on 07/14/2006 4:33:52 AM PDT by Reo
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To: Chi-townChief

The demonrats just don't get it and will be the losers every time.


30 posted on 07/14/2006 4:36:09 AM PDT by OldFriend (I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag.....and My Heart to the Soldier Who Protects It.)
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To: Mr. Brightside

Exactly. And if a city council can dictate wages and benefits, can prices be too far off as well? This is just so wrong on so many levels.


31 posted on 07/14/2006 4:38:58 AM PDT by rintense
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To: Reo

The complaint was that they didn't want these "slave jobs" by St. Sabina parish in Chicago.


32 posted on 07/14/2006 4:39:38 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
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To: Chi-townChief

I think they should force all the big stores to run charity stores where all the merchandise is free to people who live in the neighborhood. They would need to hire a lot of people to stock the shelves and they should be paid at least $25 an hour since they will be working so hard.

OK, African-American councilpersons, do you see any flaws in this plan? If so, how would you improve it if you were the owner of the store?



33 posted on 07/14/2006 4:40:57 AM PDT by Right Wing Assault ("..this administration is planning a 'Right Wing Assault' on values and ideals.." - John Kerry)
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To: Hazcat

These power hungry shakedown artists and racebaiters don't care and don't understand. To them it really doesn't matter if nothing makes sense. The only thing that matters is making sure the constituents feel like victims and that they personally get their cut. They drive through poverty and despair all day with a smile on their face and they feel like kings and queens in control of their "peoples". IF those constituents took control, bettered themselves and tried to escape, well then they become nothing more than a Rice, Watts, or a Powell.


34 posted on 07/14/2006 4:41:10 AM PDT by commonguymd
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To: dmw

"...French own Target"

I thought there was a snippet of humor there.

Target as in Roget.


35 posted on 07/14/2006 4:41:50 AM PDT by burroak
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To: jimfree

That is a great idea! You should float it past the Walmart people! /slight pun.


36 posted on 07/14/2006 4:42:16 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: Chi-townChief
Excellent move by Target. let the consumer decide if these stores will be built by letting their Representatives know they will be help to blame if their choices of where to spend their money are curtailed for political reasons.
37 posted on 07/14/2006 4:43:25 AM PDT by Eagles Talon IV
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To: jimfree

I don't know if there was ever a test on this but I would guess people would travel to the nearest Wal-Mart. We don't have a Wal-Mart in our town. The closest one is about 25 miles but that doesn't seem to stop people from shopping there. I would think you could build a Wal-Mart or Target in the middle of a field and it would still be busy. Like the "Field of Dreams", if you build it, people will come.


38 posted on 07/14/2006 4:49:34 AM PDT by OldYank1
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To: cbkaty
You are correct as once the socialists succeed with these stores they then would say "Why not government stores? We can do it better them them."
39 posted on 07/14/2006 4:49:38 AM PDT by crosslink (Moderates should play in the middle of a busy street)
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To: Chi-townChief

So Target is gonna close those stores.

Its so unlike the French to surrender.


40 posted on 07/14/2006 4:49:51 AM PDT by driftdiver
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To: Chi-townChief

If discount retailers pull out of the Chicago market, the consumers of Chicago will wind up paying hundreds of dollars in excess costs for every dollar of benefit that may have accrued to any of these low-wage employees. Even by the standards of Liberals, 0.1% to 1.0% of the money getting to where it is supposed to be is a poor investment.

This is emotionalism disguised as politics. If this goes through, some outfit will come along and build to the rule with stores of 89,999 square feet, pay the employees whatever they want, and use the non-competitive market to screw the consumer.

This is stupid, even for Democrats.


41 posted on 07/14/2006 4:53:05 AM PDT by gridlock (The 'Pubbies will pick up two (2) seats in the Senate and four (4) seats in the House in 2006)
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To: AmericaUnited

Yep, and crazy Sen. Mark Dayton (D-MN) is heir to the Dayton-Hudson fortune. Between that and kicking out the Salvation Army, I haven't shopped there in two years and never will again. To hell with them and the idiots running Chicago. Bravo to Wal-Mart for sticking it in their eye, too.


42 posted on 07/14/2006 4:53:07 AM PDT by Jezebelle (Our tax dollars are paying the ACLU to sue the Christ out of us.)
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To: Chi-townChief

Chicago aldermen(and women): the closest you can come to being brain dead without a flat line.


43 posted on 07/14/2006 4:55:11 AM PDT by Cheburashka (World's only Spatula City certified spatula repair and maintenance specialist!!!)
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To: Reo

Personally I can't see how people are able to rent an apt, buy food, pay for utilities if they are earning $8 and hour
which probably nets about $6 and hour, however earning say $10 an hour would net about $8.00 per hr. $6 x 40 hours is $240 a week, under $1,000 a month, apartments are about $400 to $800 a month which than places the burden on the taxpayer as the wage earner is than able to receive welfare benefits, section 8 housing, etc. So someone explain to me why this is a benefit to the average taxpayer to applaud big box employers not having to pay little more than minimum wage? Wages are state specific, so someone in Chicago may get $8, someone in Texas may receive $6 etc.
The minimum wage battle equates to either the big box employer pays a living wage OR the taxpayer is subsidizing the big box low-wage earners. What am I missing?

That's been the rub for me, the low-wage earner welfare, section 8 recepients.


44 posted on 07/14/2006 4:57:27 AM PDT by stopem (God Bless the U.S.A the Troops who protect her, and their Commander In Chief !)
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To: cbkaty

"The small businesses may be laughing now....eventually the socialists will come for them too."

I would have titled the article, "How to make Chicago the new Detroit!"


45 posted on 07/14/2006 5:06:19 AM PDT by FastCoyote
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To: Chi-townChief

I don't shop at Target since they banned the Salvation Army bell ringers at Christmas. I believe they also financially support the gay agenda.

Having said that, good for them for standing up to the socialists in Chicago.

This "living wage" crap on "big-boxes" is just the beginning. Soon, it will apply to all retailers, who will drastically reduce employees, puting many people out of work.

And who is to say what a LW is?

Socialists are either the dumbest people on the planet, or they are the biggest crooks. Either way, they do a disservice to the people they claim to represent.


46 posted on 07/14/2006 5:13:36 AM PDT by Mister Da (The mark of a wise man is not what he knows, but what he knows he doesn't know!)
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To: AmericaUnited

Marshall Fields owned Target for only a few years and they dumped them last year. Earlier this year Macy's acquired Marshall Fields and the conversion process/name change should be complete by years end.


47 posted on 07/14/2006 5:31:04 AM PDT by CaptObe (satan's Dream Battle - Christianity vs. Islam)
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To: Hazcat

I'm not in favor of it. I'm just saying that they aren't going to close shop in Chicago over this. At worst, they will raise their prices.


48 posted on 07/14/2006 5:31:35 AM PDT by Brilliant
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To: burroak

:)


49 posted on 07/14/2006 5:34:45 AM PDT by dmw (Aren't you glad you use common sense, don't you wish everybody did?)
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To: stopem

You are missing a clue about economics. Why $10 why not $20? then they would be much more comfortable. How about $30? Stores don't operate on large margins and don't have printing presses. Your calculations leave out the only important factor. Can the company survive those wages or will they then have to get rid of X number of employees and not build X number of stores.

I am not even getting into the whole discussion of what they actually produce. Go out and read some Walter Williams/Thomas Sowell columns on the subject. You need to educate yourself on basic economic principles. I hope you don't run a business.


50 posted on 07/14/2006 5:46:12 AM PDT by pas
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