Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Quinn Mighty on Wal-Mart

As the NY Daily News reports, Speaker Quinn is reiterating her staunch opposition to Wal-Mart's attack on NYC-and she references her position with a strong stand for small business: "Walmart's new push to build a store in Brooklyn hasn't won over City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who said the company isn't welcome in New York. "Walmart is something I am not supportive of," Quinn told the Daily News. "I'm always going to stand with small businesses, and that's why I'm going to stay consistent in this position."

This is really continuing good news-and it comes on the heels of a bogus survey that tries to tell New Yorkers that small business is supportive of Big Wally. The NY Post, however, continues its dubious advocacy record on behalf of the retail giant-in a manner reminiscent of its cheer leading for mayoral control of the schools. In that fight, the Post simply reprinted DOE press releases, a habit that has been transposed her to the fight over Wal-Mart.

As the paper opined this morning: "Even small-business owners support the idea by a 62-27 margin. The opponents? Almost exactly a year ago, the labor-politico alliance -- which has twice previously kept Walmart out of the city -- killed a great plan to redevelop The Bronx's Kingsbridge Armory into a shopping mall."

What's that old saw about one lying and the other swearing to it? The Post, much like its class cousin Morticia, cannot seem to get over the fact that a community/labor/small business coalition killed that Kingsbridge Armory plan one year ago: "The project, developed by Related Companies, would have created more than 2,200 jobs. The unions, however, said no deal -- whereupon Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., famously declared, "The notion that any job is better than no job no longer applies." In The Bronx, sadly, the concept of any job all too often doesn't apply. The borough has the city's highest unemployment rate -- and it ranks among the nation's poorest communities."

The News also weighs in on the anniversary of the Kingsbridge demise-once again falsely claiming that BX BP Diaz was the culprit: " Diaz to this day insists that he was right to send the armory plan to its death. He argues that the city should provide taxpayer assistance only to economic development projects whose jobs pay a so-called living wage. His head is in fantasyland not the Bronx. A new study by the Community Service Society has found unemployment among young black men at 24.2%. Worse, joblessness is a staggering 52% for young black men without a high school diploma.

The elected official to blame for this is, not Diaz, but Hizzoner Mike Bloomberg, the guy who thinks subsidizing low paying retail is a substitute for preserving the city's dwindling manufacturing base-as we have seen with the departure of the NY's bakeries. The News went so far as to blame Diaz for the fact that Bronx bakeries were leaving town.

But the paper did get one thing right: "While there are variations on the sad sagas of Wonder Bread, Old London and Stella D'Oro, the common theme is that they couldn't make a go of it in New York - a state whose political leaders have all but assured future job losses. They fight fearlessly for hefty wage hikes, rich pensions and free health care coverage for public employees while saddling private enterprise with job-killing rules, regulations and taxes.They cook up economic development schemes that turn into money-wasting patronage."

Only one thing left out-the role of the mayor in the exodus. Morticia and Murdoch-as funny a comedy team as we have seen on the media front-can't seem to point any deserved finger at the role-or non role-Bloomberg has played in all of this. And if $300 million was available to Related for the Armory, how much of that subsidy would have actually preserved bakery jobs if the mayor, and EDC, actually gave a damn?

So it seems that we have some great media and corporate cheer leaders for the lowest possible retail employment we can muster-with the same folks telling the city's small business community to drop dead in the process. The sycophancy for Wal-Mart is part of a trend-and Speaker Quinn is to be congratulated for not being pulled along with this malevolent tide.