LEAVE IT TO PEEVER
We been GREDAsized
-Bumper sticker of the week: Sorry for driving so close in front of you.
-Quote of the weekÓ ÒWe shall squeeze you empty, and then we shall fill you with ourselves.Ó George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four.
-You wanted it-you got it: Putting a super Wal-Mart on the edge of town was a bad idea. HereÕs the thinking. ItÕs good for the consumer. Their products are cheap. If you think in terms of individualism, congratulations. You can buy the cheapest crap America has to offer, straight from China, where 70% of their products come from. If you are thinking about the community, which the city council should be doing, you have done Galesburg a great disservice. I said from the beginning EconoFoods would be the first to go. ThatÕs conservatively 150 jobs, maybe more. GREDA is bragging on recent businesses bringing us around 60 jobs, most that have still not materialized.. So at this point we are minus over a hundred or so. Now for the fun. Watch the following go down over the next year or two: HyVee on Henderson St., Peoples, Alexander, Hansen, and any remaining independent clothing stores. Hi-LoÕs profit margin will need to be low for them to survive. So will the lumberyard towards Knoxville, whose name I canÕt keep up with. This is the price we pick for placing individualism, or cheap, over community. And to top it off, Wal-Mart employees are paid poorly, and treated worse. It is a well known fact that Wal-Mart is anti-union, (except in China, where the union is State operated), anti-health insurance (60% zero benefits), in fact, just plain anti-employee(thousands of worker violations), as noted by all of the lawsuits they are needing to settle. I hear people say, well at least $8 per hour is better than nothing. Go about figuring 30 hours at $8 per hour. YouÕll find it adds up to nothing. A non-living wage is by no stretch of the imagination any better than welfare. Both are degrading, humiliating, discouraging, and self-defeating. The Walton family pays themselves a bit better. TheyÕre said to be worth $100 billion. In one of the latest years, Wal-Mart made $380 billion, making it the largest company in the world, employing the most people, most at ridiculously low wages with poor, or no, benefits.
So go figure. IÕm betting super Wal-Mart will do Galesburg more harm than good. It already has changed Seminary Street into a drag-strip for cars and ambulances. If IÕm right, I win, the rest of you lose. If IÕm wrong, IÕm glad, but we still lose. We need community, not individualism.
-It looks like there has been a divorce: The Register-Mail and GREDA, and the Chamber, have always been bed partners, thanks primarily to Don Cooper, past editor. In a stunning desperate attempt for the Register-Mail to become relevant, the two appear to have parted company. I have heard stunned onlookers mumble in almost incoherent tones, ÒA miracle, a true miracle.Ó Seems one of their reporters noticed that GREDA was pulling the wool over our eyes. While certainly not a new revelation, itÕs good to see that they finally noticed. GREDA bought farm acreage for double the price, paying a board member a commission for the sale along the way. Ends up the five years since the purchase they have been cash renting the property, probably back to the original owners, for half the price. Sweet deal! Unfortunately, not for us. But alas, weÕre not to worry. Or so says our mayor, Mr. Smith. He knows about these things. Why, this whole thing could take years, in fact, maybe twenty of them. I like that kind of hope and optimism. Just how the hell many trips are we going to see to China over twenty years? WeÕll be bulldozed under in twenty years to make room for corn and soybeans. The platform for his reelection should be, ÒIÕm right and all of you are wrong.Ó Reminds me of an episode of The Three Stooges. Mo was always right. Anyway, I stand in Shock and Awe over his abilities to out-think us all. IÕm glad to see The Register-Mail has opened up their eyes a bit. They might want to follow-up their stories with a closer look at who benefitted, and continues to benefit, from the purchase of the Logistics Park acreage; how successful our other industrial park has proven to be; and top it off with the salaries of some of the key players giving us these brilliant economic plans. After all, we may be underpaying them. So good luck on your newfound critical reporting and investigative journalism. You wonÕt be hurting for topics.
-GREDA calls for result directed contracts: In a last ditch effort to keep the money flowing in from taxing bodies, GREDA wants to be judged on their results. They should have made this recommendation 20 years ago, but I guess it slipped their minds. Watch the taxing bodies do a flip-flop now. This will be seen as a miraculous fix, and all will be well between the county, city, and GREDA. It all adds up to more of the same: Give us your money so we can pay ourselves high salaries at the taxpayers expense, with a history of 20 years of result related failures. And weÕll call this progress. And everyone will be off the hook. Again.