The single largest employer on the planet, Walmart, has made the decision to abandon four of its locations in Chicago where crime rates have continued to spike, as the city moves from a radical, leftist administration under Mayor Lori Lightfoot, to another, far-leftist administration under Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson.
The multi-national retailer announced that it would close four of its eight locations in Chicago, and revealed that the Chicago stores have not been profitable since the first one opened in Chicago nearly 17 years ago. It makes sense, though.
According to Walmart, the Chicago stores have lost tens of millions of dollars a year, and their annual losses have doubled in the last five years. Now, this isn’t from mismanagement, of course.
Walmart’s revenues are more than double those of its nearest competitor, Amazon. Walmart operates almost 5,000 stores – just in the United States. It serves 265 million customers around the world. They employ 2.2 million and pay their employees (on average) almost $15 per hour. They are the most profitable company in the world.
With all of that said, they couldn’t make a few stores work in Chicago?
No, they couldn’t. But not because of Walmart, but because Cook County’s Attorney, Kim Foxx, mandated that Chicago prosecutors only issue felony charges for theft of property over $1,000. Thieves there know they can grab armfuls of merchandise without being stopped by store security. As Ms. Foxx explained, these are “low level offenses.” Really, to the victims, these are low level offenses? What about to the small businesses, and their employees who rely on the paychecks from those businesses to pay their rent, make a car payment, and provide food for their families? Would they also consider these to be low level offsenses? Of course not.
But to the left-wing district attorneys, and the politicians who go along to get along, they don’t see the elephant in the room: it’s crime. They don’t understand that what you tolerate you promote. For example, consider your own family, or the company where you work: What do you expect from your children, your spouse, your co-workers, etc.? Now, what you tolerate from them? Because, more than likely, what you tolerate is what you are getting.
Chicago, like so many other cities with woke district attorneys, tolerate crime. And what are they getting? More crime. To date in 2023 over 2022, thefts are up by 25 percent according to the Chicago Police Department, while robberies are up 11 percent. ”
This isn’t just happening in Chicago, though. Walmart is closing stores in Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Florida, Hawaii, New Mexico, and Arkansas. And it’s not just Walmart. Starbucks is another example of where a company has started closing stores because of crime in Seattle, Los Angeles; Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and Portland, Oregon, just to name a few.
So what did the politicians in Chicago do when they learned of Walmart’s closings in Chicago? The blamed Walmart and called them “unethical” and that if they “cared” about the community “they would have implemented strategies to combat their rising prices.” Crazy.
And by the way, Walmart did (does) care about the community. They invested hundreds of millions of dollars in Chicago, including $70 million in the last couple years to build two new Walmart Health facilities and a Walmart Academy training center.
But the response from the politicians in Chicago is emblematic of the challenges facing so many communities across the country: those being elected to office simply aren’t qualified to lead. You see that in how they blamed Walmart, instead of the policies that created the conditions that made it untenable for Walmart to remain.
And blaming others is not how leadership works, whether you are an elected official, a department manager, or head of your household. That’s because none of us can improve any situation unless we accept responsibility for ourselves, and otherwise reject the idea that someone else, or something else, is to blame for our circumstances in life – whether it happened last week, or from when you were a child, or even 150 years ago.
None of us can lead when we resort to blame, and refuse to take life on, and accept responsibility for our circumstances. In fact, we hand over the power – the control of our very destiny – to others, as if other “people” will fix everything for us, like a genie in a bottle.
Blaming others may make those Chicago politicians feel better about themselves, but that’s only because it helps them avoid accountability for their own actions.
There’s lots of folks that will soon be out of a job in Chicago, and if the rest of the country doesn’t wake up, then what happened in Chicago, with Walmart closing down stores, will soon be happening in a neighborhood near you – because what we tolerate, we most certainly will get.
Louis R. Avallone is a Shreveport businessman, attorney, and author of Bright Spots, Big Country, What Makes America Great. He is also a former aide to U.S. Representative Jim McCrery and Trump elector. Follow him on Facebook, on Twitter @louisravallone or by e-mail at [email protected], and on American Ground Radio weeknights from 6 – 7 PM on 101.7FM/710AM KEEL in Shreveport, or weeknights from 9 – 10 PM on 96.5FM KPEL in Lafayette, or weeknights from 8 – 9 p.m. on 990 AM WGSO in New Orleans, and streaming live on iHeart.com, on iTunes, at americangroundradio.com and in over 40 markets across the country.