In a city where the unemployment rate is 9.1 percent, above both the statewide and national average, you'd think that mayoral candidates would be competing to attract businesses and jobs. And in a city where the cost of living is so high that the city pays $3,000 a month for landlords to house the "homeless" in rooms without kitchens or private bathrooms, you'd think that mayoral candidates would be competing to welcome a discount retailer that would allow residents to save money on clothing and groceries.
Yet this is New York City. Instead of laying out a welcome mat for Walmart, observes Ira Stoll, the Democratic mayoral candidates are trying to keep the company out of the city. An account in The New York Times recently quoted the speaker of the City Council, Christine Quinn, declaring, "As long as Wal-Mart's behavior remains the same, they're not welcome in New York City…New York isn't changing. Wal-Mart has to change."