Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Illinois legislature says no to Sears bailout: Don’t give Sears bosses a taxpayer funded bailout

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Illinois legislature says no to Sears bailout: Don’t give Sears bosses a taxpayer funded bailout

By Ray Hanania

Sears says it wants to leave Illinois if the state doesn’t give it a tax break. The economy has been rough on the once great hardware giant that has diversity its retail products so much it’s hard to say what it specializes in these days.

But who isn’t hurting in Illinois or in any state for that matter?

The economy is falling and it is killing everyone.

This week, the legislature considered giving Sears a bailout, because Sears has vowed to relocate its headquarters outside of Illinois. A plan to bailout Sears failed by a 99-8 vote in the house and 36 to 18 in the Senate. Finally, the legislature does the right thing.

Sears has a headquarters in Hoffman Estates and a dozen or more stores in Illinois. There’s one store in Orland Park, one in Chicago Ridge, one in the Lincoln Mall, one in the North Riverside mall, one in the River Oaks mall, one in Joliet and one in the Oak Brook Mall. There are three stores in Chicago.

But Sears isn’t threatening to relocate its 10 Chicagoland stores or others throughout the state. It wants to relocate its corporate headquarters to help cut down on its taxes.

It’s a typical selfish blackmail move. If you don’t help us, we will bail on you, is what Sears honchos are threatening.

And what is it that they want?

Sears wants the state to cut its taxes. Sears bigwigs want the taxpayers to give them $15 million a year for the next 10 years in tax breaks.

It’s funny. Sears revenues are down because Sears has done a lousy job of managing its retail business. The economy sucks but when was the last time anyone went to Sears to buy something?

I walk through Sears from the parking ot in the Orland Mall sometimes to get to the mall itself. They’re just a pathway to me. I haven’t purchased anything from Sears in years. I used to really like their products but in recent yearsm they have failed to compete.

I wouldn’t go by their to buy a flat screen TV, tools or even tires for my car. Years ago, I did buy a vacuum cleaner there but that was the last major purchase I made.

Is it our fault as taxpayers and consumers that Sears is having troubles? We’re all having troubles. What makes them so special? What makes them special is that they decided to hold the public hostage and blackmail the state. And Gov, Patrick Quinn, Mr. Nice Guy with no loyalty to the public, wants to keep them in Illinois. Not because keeping them does anything for the state but it will prevent him from looking like a bad governor. The Chicago Merchantile Exchange wants to leave Illinois, too. And they want a taxpayer bailout, too.

Well, this is one taxpayer tired of giving big businesses bailouts. When we do give these corporate giants tax money, they use it to pay their big fat-cat bonuses.

Who works at the Hoffman Estates Sears headquarters? The blue collar schmoes? Or the wealthy corporate big shots who profit off of their failed leadership.

When a business goes down, and sales slump, the people who should be punished should be the owners and the big shots, not the employees and certainly not the consumers.

Fire some of those big salaried robber barons who have run Sears to the ground. If they want to leave Illinois, fine. We’ll leave Sears.

If Sears cared about Illinois, they would tighten their belts, trim back salaries at the top tier and do a better job of managing the inventory.

But these days, big businesses find it far easier to ask for government help and taxpayer money rather than to be better business managers.


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