AlwaysLowPrices.net links to a story by Steve Maich titled Why Walmart is Good. In it, he parrots these figures:
To the project's advocates in City Hall, this is just the kind of development Cleveland so desperately needs. Aside from precious jobs, the mall will spin off US$3 million in property taxes annually, US$1.8 million of which will go to the city's struggling school system, plus US$700,000 in local payroll tax. It will also give city residents a place to shop near home, rather than travelling to the suburbs. Officials estimate local residents spend US$4 billion a year in retail shops, a third of which currently goes outside the city. If ever there was a Wal-Mart that deserves support, they say, this is it.Where the hell have these come from? Walmart? First Interstate? Has the economic impact study been done? After rambling on about the benefits of Walmart, Maich gets back to Cleveland. He talks with Tom Robertson of the United Food and Commercial Workers union who he quotes "They just fuckin' destroy jobs, period, because they replace high-paying jobs with low-paying jobs." You kiss your mother with that mouth? Kevin Brancato of AlwayLowPrices.net comments "A trifecta: Crude, internally inconsistent, and deviod of fact!" and I have to support him. Not a good idea to curse to a reporter. Did Robertson substantiate his claims? I sure hope so. I hope Maich took his quote out of context. At least Chris Ronayne isn't crude, though I question the factual basis for his statement:
"We see this as a first step toward a bigger turnaround, toward making Cleveland into a city that can attract residents," Ronayne says. "We know these are starter jobs, but this city has seen a serious erosion of our employment base and a starter job is better than no job, from our perspective. We need jobs, period."Starter jobs implies a greater economic development strategy and along with it - workforce development. Have we heard anything about that lately? Part of Maich's closing:
But the war on Wal-Mart raises more complicated questions. If the company helps poor families, creates decent jobs and fuels economic growth, what does it say that so many are so determined to stop it?For one thing, Maich doesn't do very much to inform these "complicated questions". His reporting comes off to me as rather lop sided. Did any he contact any of the bloggers involved in NCW? I would have been happy to dicuss it further with him. As for the rest of his question, those are exactly the reasons this website and our No Cleveland Walmart group exists. The developers and city administration have been selling this as "creating decent jobs and fueling economic growth". We're the only ones who've questioned - does it?