Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Chicago the Hip New San Francisco

The Chicago city council has approve a new big box ordinance that will require all businesses making more than 1billion in retail sales and larger than 90,000 sq ft. This is aimed at WalMart and Target. Both stores have said that if this ordinance passes they will re-evaluate building in Chicago.

Union leaders cheer after 35 council members agree to vote for this. In the next couple years they will require the stores that meet the above requirements to pay 9.25 an hour plus 3 bucks an hour benefits. So that makes the price of each employee at least 12.25 an hour.

This is why I hate specialty laws. They are trying to make a definition for something, in this case 1billion dollars and 90,000 sq ft, and treat it differently than other businesses. So we are now treating businesses differently under the law. I hope laws like these go to the supreme court and get ruled unconstitutional.

The other thing I think WalMart should do is open a new business model called a "strip mall". It would be several smaller stores, say 89,999 sq ft, that all share the same parking lot. One may have clothes. One could be groceries. And one for general merchandise. They would get around the definition of the ordinance.

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