I am an Ultra-Conservative, Alpha-Male, True Authentic Leader, Type "C" Personality, who is very active in my community; whether it is donating time, clothes or money for Project Concern or going to Common Council meetings and voicing my opinions. As a blogger, I intend to provide a different viewpoint "The way I see it!" on various world, national and local issues with a few helpful tips & tidbits sprinkled in.
Here are the highlights:
"I am not a fan of Wal-Mart," Mayor Ryan McCue said — it feels too downscale. He's hoping that Cudahy can become an adorable little place on the commuter rail line that may someday run south from Milwaukee. Low-cost, 24-hour groceries apparently don't fit that. There are seven Wal-Mart supercenters within 40 miles of Milwaukee. Every one is in a ZIP code where the median household income is markedly higher than Cudahy's — 38% on average. Near them are other thriving retailers, including precious Main Street shops of the kind Cudahy wants. It seems convenient bargains might not repel time-pressed, affluent dual-income families inclined also to patronize boutiques but, instead, appeal to them. Who knew?
The union-funded Economic Policy Institute can't say whether or not the chain has more Chinese goods than Target or Kmart. Their point man on the issue won't venture a guess. He says his impression is that all discount retailers rely heavily on China.
That's because China's specialty is low-cost goods, say trade experts. Ikea sells some low-cost China-made goods, and practically every suburban Milwaukee mayor would surrender a kidney to snare that chain.
The feeling behind the crack about cheap Chinese crap is that we all ought to be buying American and would do so if we weren't lured into imported sin by Wal-Mart. But Midwestern manufacturers say they have a devil of a time hiring anyone nowadays. Why that scarce, capable labor should quit making jet-engine parts and should instead make sneakers is a mystery.
Most sneakers at Wal-Mart — or Target, for that matter — are imported because they're adequately made by semi-literate ex-peasants for a buck an hour overseas. If you want $15 sneakers, that's how you'll get them. You can buy American footwear: Allen-Edmonds' superb shoes are made in suburban Milwaukee. Casual styles start at about $150 a pair — not what you'd wear to wash the car. Again, when you want high-end, Milwaukee's got you covered.
Really, the Cudahy Wal-Mart argument is all about unionized groceries. Supercenters take Wal-Mart beyond the nonunion discount department store sector, where the chain's wages and benefits are typical, and into competition with unionized supermarkets.
It's tough for grocery unions to explain to customers why unionized help is worth higher prices. So instead, unions say Wal-Mart is déclassé and its Chinese imports are a dead loss. All they've got going for them is a feeling this must be so, which may be enough to win at next week's Cudahy planning commission meeting.
Man is not free unless government is limited.
- Ronald Reagan