Monday, April 17, 2006

Playing Dumb:

The Wal-Mart issue has made it back into the news again as the chain continues to try and convince the New York City Council to please take their money. What I’m referring to is the fact that New York City continues to loose millions of tax dollars to New Jersey, Nassau, Connecticut and Westchester. On Thursday I posted how Wal-Mart was trying to find a space in Flushing, Queens. I mentioned how Wal-Mart knows City residents want Wal-Mart based on their collected credit card data that shows residents are leaving the city to shop in Wal-Mart’s elsewhere. My comments were confirmed this morning when the New York Sun reported that Wal-Mart will today release credit card data showing just how much money the city is loosing. My comments and the report had nothing to do with each other except pure coincidence and the fact that it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know what goes into a retail company deciding where to open up shop.

Considering it doesn’t take a rocket scientist it continues to blow my mind how the City Council ignores all the obvious facts surrounding the issue. Facts like, it is known that New York City losses millions of dollars in tax receipts to surrounding areas because Wal-Mart is not here. This isn’t theory. If a Wal-Mart in Nassau takes in a credit card sale from a Queens resident we know that money would have been spent in Queens if Wal-Mart were located there. Another fact is that the city looses additional tax money through the businesses people like John Liu on the City Council are claiming to protect. They claim Wal-Mart would hurt small businesses but these businesses skim the city everyday of the week. We all have been to stores in this city where the owner told us if we pay in cash the tax would be waved. These businesses skim the city of millions of dollars every year, something Wal-Mart can’t do. Further these small businesses violate every labor law on the books by paying workers off the books, evading income taxes. Many also violate child labor laws hiring teenagers off the books without working papers. Again something Wal-Mart could never get away with.

When all the data is put on the table it becomes obvious that the city councils constant attacks against the company are ridiculous and shine a light on what the real issue is. The real issue is that the unions who view Wal-Mart as a threat control the city council. The council being the lowest people on the totem pole when it comes to politics have more strings attached to it then a wooden puppet. Even though people like John Liu and Christine Quinn know Wal-Mart would do wonders economically for the city’s cash strapped accounts they have to play dumb. Then again for the city council I guess that’s not too hard.

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