Conspiracy Theorist

Who owns Target stores?

By Mark Luedtke

Bush and Obama’s state-run economy continues its downward spiral. To virtually no media coverage, the Wall Street Journal and Heritage Foundation released their 2014 Index of Economic Freedom, and for the first time, the U.S. has fallen out of the Top 10 to 12th. This is scandalous.Our American forefathers practically invented economic freedom. Because of the tremendous economic freedom Americans enjoyed for most of the nation’s history, America became the greatest economy in the world. Economic freedom lifted more people out of poverty than any system known. Now we’re squandering it by allowing our rulers to force fascism and socialism on us. Canada and Estonia are more economically free than the U.S.

The consequences are everywhere. Dow component and perennial chip-making and money-making machine Intel recently announced it will lay off 5 percent of its workforce. While tech CEOs like Bill Gates lie about having too few tech workers in the U.S., the reality is 35,000 electrical engineering jobs were eliminated last year.

Finance is down, too. Mortgage lending by big banks is down 50 percent from the beginning of 2013. No company is deeper in bed with the government and the Federal Reserve [Fed] than Goldman-Sachs, but its profit fell 19 percent in Q4. The Dow – divorced from reality by a flood of the Fed’s newly printed money – fell 494 points over Jan. 23-24.

However, most Americans don’t notice these things. Unless they or somebody they know is directly affected, these economic problems are invisible. But CNBC reported on a tsunami of retail store closings that will be visible to pretty much every American: “On Tuesday, Sears said it will shutter its flagship store in downtown Chicago in April. It’s the latest of about 300 store closures in the U.S. Sears has made since 2010. The news follows announcements earlier this month of multiple store closings from major department stores J.C. Penney and Macy’s. […] In addition to J.C. Penney – which announced last week that it will close 33 stores – there are about a dozen retailers that still have too many stores, [analyst] Sozzi said. Among them: American Eagle, which needs to move some of its Aerie lingerie locations into its main stores; Aéropostale, which is on track to close 175 stores over the next few years; and Wal-Mart, which has about 100 stores in the U.S. producing same-store sales declines deeper than 3 percent, Sozzi said.”

Like the good propagandist it is, CNBC blamed online purchases for the closings, but the real reason is our declining economy.

Target suffers from our declining economy like other retailers, and Target’s plan to shut its Trotwood store – part of its plan to close 12 stores and open 10 new ones – has Trotwood’s rulers and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) wanting to exercise ownership control over that store. Dayton Unit NAACP President Derrick Foward is unhappy Target didn’t inform Trotwood’s rulers of declining revenue. The Dayton Daily News reported he was unhappy with Target’s response when he asked why, “All they can say is, ‘we’re sorry.’ I can tell you that’s not good enough. […] At the end of the day, it’s about the community. Corporate responsibility.”

On the contrary, Target has no corporate duty to lose money in Trotwood, nor does Target answer to Trotwood’s rulers. Its managers answer to its board of directors. Their fiduciary responsibility is to Target’s stockholders. If Foward wants a say in Target’s decisions, he can buy Target stock. He can run for Target’s board. That’s the only way he should have a say.

Foward prefers to pressure government to use its power of coercion to force Target to obey him. The DDN documented Forward’s threat: “Foward said the NAACP will monitor developments whether Target moves down the road to Clayton or Englewood. ‘The NAACP is going to have a huge problem with that,’ he said.”

This isn’t about race. It is about Economics 101. That is why Target is also closing their Middletown store, which historically been one of their test market stores.

Bureaucrats consider tax incentives an issue too: “City Manager Mike Lucking said Target received a 15-year tax abatement worth $1.2 million. ‘That’s money that would normally go to the schools, go toward city services,’ Lucking said. ‘That’s money they realize they benefited from […] Basically, at the end of their abatement, they’re moving out of town.’”

If true, that would make perfect sense. With revenue declining, Target could hardly afford an expense increase due to higher taxes. If Trotwood’s rulers really wanted to keep the store, they could offer to forego all taxes. I doubt they’ll offer that though. They prefer to make Target the bad guy even though they’re stealing Target’s money.

Our rulers’ greedy looting programs – increases in spending, regulation and taxes by local, state and federal governments including the Fed’s printing of money – are dragging our economy off a cliff. The tsunami of retail closings is the next phase of the collapse. The malls are emptying. The mother of all busts is coming. The only way to turn it around is to stop the looting so producers can begin creating wealth and advancing civilization again.


The views and opinions expressed in Conspiracy Theorist are the views and/or opinions of the author and do not reflect the views and/or opinions of the Dayton City Paper or Dayton City Media and are published strictly for entertainment purposes only.

 Mark Luedtke is an electrical engineer with a degree from the University of Cincinnati and currently works for a Dayton attorney. He can be reached at

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