There's a campaign in Chi-Town to force big box retailers to pay a living wage. El Potentate Richard Jr. Daley came out against it, warning that such an ordinance would cause these big box bullies to flee the city. Two points:
1. El Potentate is spouting theorectical economic wisdom that hasn't been empircally tested. As Harolod Pollack of U of Chicago says: let's test it out. Economic theory points to a number of cases where wage floors do not affect employment. (it has something to do with elasticities of supply and demand, don't ask). Why not do the risky thing and try it out?
2. Is it really that bad to not have big box stores selling China-breaking toys throughout the city of Chicago? Again, we don't know what would happen: would local business districts (63rd Street, 79th street, etc.) revitalize? Maybe they would, which wouldn't be so bad. At any rate, not trying a living wage law is just another example of El Potentate's fascination with bigness (skyscrapers, condo towers, stadiums) at the expense of the so-called city of neighborhoods.
Check out this little ditty on Wal-Mart: