Forum: Mall event mostly a trick
November 15, 2013 10:30PM
Updated: December 18, 2013 6:46AM
I want to share my experience and disappointment with regards to the Orland Square Mall trick-or-treating event held on Halloween. The mall had advertised that trick-or-treating would be offered from 5 to 7 p.m. and to look for the orange pumpkins posted in windows for participating stores.
My 7-year-old son and his friends arrived at 5:45 p.m., having done some trick-or-treating in the neighborhood, and every store had posted signs saying, “Sorry, out of candy.” The children were walking around with empty bags and saddened faces. It was heartbreaking. The weather was not conducive for long-term trick-or-treating, and we had looked forward to not only spending time but money at the mall.
I called mall management and was told that the stores did not plan on the “droves” of children who showed up. I asked whether they might’ve expected a large turnout because of the bad weather and was told that the stores were accustomed to having one bag of candy each.
What a great response for a community that spends both time and money in a turbulent economic environment at this mall.
Pension reform essential
It seems the Illinois Senate president, in saying there is no public pension crisis in the state, clearly does not understand the power and pain of compound interest. Illinois has an unfunded pension liability of nearly $100 billion — the worst in the nation, according to official government numbers.
As a result, our credit rating continues to slide. This means taxpayers will be forced to pay even higher penalty rates when the state borrows money. Illinois already pays the highest borrowing penalty rate in the nation — nearly three times higher than California’s.
What’s worse is that the problem grows by about $21 million every day that lawmakers fail to enact reform. This debt growth, coupled with the fact that the quickly growing pension payments continue to crowd out resources for core government services, should have been reason enough for lawmakers to enact reform during the fall veto session.
Contrary to the Senate president’s assertion, this is not just a cost-cutting move by business interests. This is wise guidance by smart business owners who understand how to handle money, obligations and time. Demonizing businesses and those who make a profit (the reason we are in business) is counterproductive and only sends more jobs out of Illinois to states that “get it,” including our neighbors in Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin.
Businesses are here to make a profit, create jobs and sustain the Illinois economy. Watching our costs is simply a prudent and essential move that state government should emulate. It’s high time for state government to enact meaningful pension reform and send a strong signal that Illinois is a place where we can do business.
Chairman, Technology & Manufacturing Association of Illinois
Chief alignment officer, Atlas Tool & Die Works