Why Not Walmart?

At a time when the economy continues to sputter and many middle-class New Yorkers are worried about the cost of everyday goods, you’d think that members of the City Council would welcome the nation’s largest discount retailer with open arms.

But Walmart remains a pariah in the City Council. Its efforts to find a location in the five boroughs have met with unconscionable grandstanding from members willing to do the bidding of local unions, which despise Walmart and its nonunion labor force.

Undeterred, Walmart is reportedly once again scouting the city for a possible location. Some reports indicate that the company is looking at a site in Bensonhurst near Gravesend Bay. The local councilmember, Domenic Recchia Jr., has made it clear that he will do what he can to stop Walmart from moving into the neighborhood.

That’s unfortunate, although predictable. Council members clearly are more concerned about union support than they are in creating opportunities for constituents to save more than a little money on just about everything. What’s more, Walmart is a job creator—indeed, it is the nation’s largest private employer. Lots of teens and young adults are having a hard time finding work this summer. Unfortunately, none can apply to a local Walmart, because the Council has kept the retailer out of New York.

To the company’s credit, it hasn’t given up on New York City. Too bad the Council has given in to union pressure, at no small cost to ordinary New Yorkers.