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Progressives Declare -No Jobs- are Good Enough For South-Side Residents

Dennis Byrne 3 August 2009 4 Comments

If there’s ever an illustration of how “progressive” elites and organized labor are keeping the very people they supposedly care about locked up on the plantation, it’s their consuming opposition to a new Wal-Mart store on the South Side.

The impoverished, unemployed, blacks, seniors, teens—they’ve all getting a good frigging by the organized campaign by white liberals and powerful unions to block the construction of only the city’s second Wal-Mart, at 83rd Street and Stewart Avenue.

The rousing success of the city’s first Wal-Mart at 4650 W North Ave. providing jobs and shopping for a West Side neighborhood in great need of them hasn’t dissuaded the elites in the least from blocking something that people want and need.

More evidence of progressive, white elitism behind the opposition is provided by a new survey conducted for the retailer that found that 76.7 percent of the 75,347 city residents surveyed want the new store (margin of error of ±0.34 percent). While the poll received a decent amount of publicity, what didn’t was the ward-by-ward breakdown of the results.

Not surprisingly, and quite disturbingly, opinion generally reflected income and racial differences among the wards. In other words, support for the new Wal-Mart in North Side wards, which are chockfull of white progressives, is softer than in the South and West Side wards that are predominantly black or poor.

To be sure, majorities in every one of the city’s 50 wards supported the new Wal-Mart, which ought to alarm the City Council staunchest opponents. Aldermen usually can be counted on to rubber stamp any building or development proposal (including a Children’s Museum in Grant Park) that comes along. Especially if the alderman of the ward in which the project is to be built backs it, as is the case with Ald. Howard Brookins, whose 21st ward would host the new store. That aldermen would so easily toss overboard the public’s viewpoint demonstrates just how craven they can become when union campaign contributions are dangled before them.

But it would be a mistake to chalk this up solely to organized labor’s stranglehold on the City Council. Progressives, from their North Side enclaves, are full-throated in their opposition to a major job generator—elsewhere in the city. The liberal lakefront wards—44, 46, 48 and 49—all are home to some of the city’s strongest opposition. In stark contrast, the heavily black and lower-income wards on the South and West sides record the highest levels of support. Up on the Northwest Side, home to many blue-collar organized workers, support is weakest. What should be of some concern is the relatively weaker support for the new store in Hispanic wards; apparently minorities are not as unified as we are led to believe.

This column will inspire the usual howls of protest from “progressives,” who would have us believe that, from their distant perch, they only have the welfare of the oppressed and impoverished in mind. Even though their progressive roosts are blessed with an abundance of jobs and places to shop. They don’t have to get on a bus to travel outside the city to work or shop. From their roosts, they are comfortable and self-satisfied in their ideological hatred of Wal-Mart, brushing aside pleas from those most in need of jobs and access to shopping.

Progressives will portray themselves as guardians of those pleading for the Wal-Mart. Progressives say they are only are trying to “protect” those poor people from low wages, insufficient benefits and part-time work. Progressives have decided that for “those people” no jobs are better than jobs that they want and need. Progressives will cite their opposition to Wal-Mart as evidence of their compassion and, well, progressiveness.

It’s all too condescending and patronizing. It all sounds too much like racists who once said they know what’s “best for our colored.” It’s beyond shameful.

**
Dennis Byrne is a regular columnist for the Chicago Daily Observer.

image Ryerson Library, Grand Rapids Michigan.  Wal-Mart Chatham is previously Ryerson steelyard.

Ward PercentagesJ

ALDERMANIC WARD
BREAKDOWN OF 7/28 WALMART SURVEY
Alderman Ward Total Responses Yes No Unsure
Manuel Flores 1 1461 57.08% 31.35% 11.57%
Robert Fioretti 2 1992 71.39% 18.78% 9.84%
Pat Dowell 3 1353 82.56% 8.80% 8.65%
Toni Preckwinkle 4 1922 76.17% 13.84% 9.99%
Leslie Hairston 5 2054 76.87% 13.68% 9.44%
Freddrenna Lyle 6 2384 84.65% 7.51% 7.84%
Sandi Jackson 7 1812 85.10% 7.01% 7.89%
Michelle Harris 8 2197 86.44% 6.51% 7.06%
Anthony Beale 9 1543 85.94% 5.83% 8.23%
John Pope 10 1138 76.01% 13.36% 10.63%
James Balcer 11 1227 70.50% 17.93% 11.57%
George Cardenas 12 489 71.17% 14.11% 14.72%
Frank Olivo 13 1274 73.55% 14.91% 11.54%
Ed Burke 14 678 72.57% 14.90% 12.54%
Toni Foulkes 15 1041 84.05% 6.24% 9.70%
JoaAnn Thompson 16 953 85.31% 7.14% 7.56%
Latasha Thomas 17 1622 86.56% 6.04% 7.40%
Lona Lane 18 1682 84.19% 8.44% 7.37%
Virginia Rugai 19 2013 74.37% 18.18% 7.45%
Willie Cochran 20 1274 83.83% 7.93% 8.24%
Howard Brookins 21 2233 87.77% 6.14% 6.09%
Ricard Munoz 22 470 73.83% 10.43% 15.74%
Michael Zalewski 23 1536 74.61% 13.54% 11.85%
Sharon Dixon 24 1155 78.18% 9.00% 12.81%
Daniel Solis 25 920 63.15% 24.67% 12.17%
Billy Ocasio 26 914 64.22% 25.16% 10.61%
Walter Burnett 27 1344 72.62% 17.71% 9.67%
Ed Smith 28 1134 81.66% 8.20% 10.14%
Issac Carothers 29 1274 81.95% 7.61% 10.44%
Ariel Reboyras 30 767 74.58% 15.65% 9.78%
Ray Suarez 31 692 75.43% 11.56% 13.01%
Scott Waguespack 32 1769 59.75% 28.94% 11.31%
Richard Mell 33 952 62.82% 25.32% 11.87%
Carrie Austin 34 2001 86.41% 6.25% 7.35%
Rey Colon 35 1032 59.40% 29.17% 11.43%
William Banks 36 1401 74.88% 13.63% 11.49%
Emma Mitts 37 1183 81.40% 7.44% 11.16%
Thomas Allen 38 1446 72.48% 14.87% 12.66%
Margaret Laurino 39 1237 67.18% 20.29% 12.53%
Pat O’Connor 40 1345 61.49% 25.50% 13.01%
Brian Doherty 41 1908 73.85% 15.09% 11.06%
Brendan Reilly 42 2552 74.69% 15.79% 9.52%
Vi Daley 43 1994 68.66% 19.96% 11.38%
Thomas Tunney 44 2061 62.69% 25.81% 11.50%
Patrick Levar 45 1611 72.19% 16.70% 11.11%
Helen Shiller 46 1562 62.74% 26.50% 10.76%
Eugene Schulter 47 1860 57.15% 31.77% 11.08%
Mary Ann Smith 48 1789 65.01% 23.48% 11.51%
Joseph Moore 49 1325 65.28% 23.70% 11.02%
Bernard Stone 50 1449 69.08% 15.53% 15.39%

4 Comments »

  • Tim Worstall said:

    Oh, we like angry. Very well said indeed sir.

  • Frances said:

    Revoke corporate charters.
    We the people are sovereign over our legal creations, governments, as well as corporations. Both creatures of the law.
    We need jobs. Let’s revoke the charters of corporations that move their factories abroad to escape environmental protections and workers rights. rights.

    Corporations do not have the rights of real persons, human beings.
    Thus Wal-Mart does not have any intrinsic right to build anywhere it wants.

    Corporations are different from regular businesses.
    Don’t let their propaganda tell you otherwise.

  • John Maynard Krebs said:

    Frances, you just qualified to be an Alderman in Chicago.
    JMK

  • Tom Mannis said:

    Excellent post, Dennis. (That map is great too.)

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