Chicago's Dem Mayor Brandon Johnson now wants to create city-run grocery stores to promote 'equitable' access to food after Walmart and Whole Foods close stores | Daily Mail Online
(full disclosure - the call below is imaginary)
“911 – what's your emergency?”
“I can't find the frozen seafood aisle . . . “
Stop laughing. This is about to become reality in Chicago. The city that can't recruit, train or manage a police force is giving up (kind of), and instead wants to open a division of groceries. To replace all the legitimate stores that are fleeing. See link above.
This is a bold experiment, and one that deserves to be debated rationally, instead of being dissed as a hilariously incompetent fiasco. Ignore the fact that the Mayor of Chicago is named Brandon Johnson. I will NOT tolerate any “Let's go Brandon” jokes at this time. In any case, the Biden White House is jetting off to Detroit instead, to solve the UAW strike demanding 40% wage hikes and a 4-day workweek. President Biden wisely chosen to avoid turning Chicago into another 2024 campaign issue, and having to explain why cities which cannot keep their streets safe should just give up and open grocery stores instead.
Apparently, nobody wants to run a grocery store in Chicago. Both Walmart and Whole Foods have bailed, effectively putting the entire city at risk of imminent starvation. Wait . . . what? That's NOT true? You mean there are 948 other supermarkets still open? Whew . . . crisis averted. Then I don't have to suggest that Chicago residents could have used Instacart to get groceries delivered, if they didn't find the nearest Albertsons or Safeway convenient. But then why DOES newly elected Mayor Brandon want to break ground for a chain of city owned supermarkets?
First, I checked to see if this was a campaign promise by Mayor Brandon. Nope – nothing about it in his materials. When you Google “Brandon Johnson for mayor” his top issue was “transforming Chicago into a national model for gender equity and reproductive rights, champion LGBTQ rights as human rights, and be a visible and vocal ally to creating safety and equal opportunity for the LGBTQ community.'' Wow – that's certainly a mouthful. Note that they got to use LGBTQ twice in a single sentence. Adjectives rock!. Nothing in his campaign materials about weekly specials on Perdue chicken and Thomas's English Muffins. Other Brandon for Mayor issues include making Chicago a sanctuary city for immigrants, and higher taxes on someone else. If any of this solves homelessness or failing schools, I'll be the first to applaud. But even before the first nickel of higher taxes has been collected, the city treasury is being looted to launch a new supermarket bureacracy. What about affordable housing, safe schools, and police response times? I've long advocated automatic impeachment hearings for any political charlatan who campaigns on one set of promises, then pivots to something unannounced the day after taking office. I renew my call for these sorts of legal proceedings now. Cleanup in aisle 7, please . . . !
I'm actually in sympathy with Chicago's problems. I used to live in a city near a river, and there was great political angst about “food deserts”. Not desserts, as in Chicago's iconic Atomic Cake. "Food deserts" are big swaths of urban dystopia where people are moving out, entire blocks of rowhomes are abandoned, and liquor stores, bodegas, and pawn shops are taking over. And drug dealers. Don't forget them. You can't have dystopia without narcotics.
And I understand why local police instinctively take a step back when drug dealing and bribery are on the table. This is to avoid disrupting the natural equilibrium. See the movie Serpico if you're not familiar with how this works in real life. There are delicately balanced interests between crime syndicates and police officers who might or might not be on the take. So when grocery stores move out you get another Bodega selling crack pipes and rolling papers. Or a Popeyes Fried Chicken location. Popeyes, as delicious as it is, is not considered real food. Even bodegas don't count, because the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables doesn't tick all the boxes on the FDA checklist for a complete nutrition. If you're going to research FDA food pyramid guidelines, don't forget to see if Chicago public school cafeteria meals are nutritionally complete. I'm going to move along, and not wait on this, however.
Okay, so I understand how Chicago got here. Police can't stop smash and grab shoplifting and looting at places like Whole Foods and Walmart. If the police CANNOT be fixed, and crime cannot be stopped then the only possible solution is . . . to open your own "Windy City Supermarkets" chain. Or maybe call it “Chicago Bulls and Bears Food-a-rama”?
This idea is just crazy enough that it might work. Provided that Chicago can keep it's youthful looters from overrunning the city owned supermarkets, like those guys already did with legitimate stores. Chicago – if they get this right – could franchise their new grocery chain thing to other cities which are seeing an exodus of stores. Los Angeles and San Francisco come to mind. Philly might be in the mix. Detroit? Cleveland? This is a target rich environment. All you have to do is divert money FROM police and fire, and into some new grocery bureaucracy run by city councilmen. Will these city councilmen (and women) secretly have a financial interest in the locations where these stores are? (See HBO's hit series "The Wire" for details on this scam). We'll need to file the freedom of information act paperwork, and wait five years, to find out.
I'm just sayin' . . .