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Kirby: Wholestone Slaughterhouse, Amazon Warehouse Will Drag Sioux Falls Down with Low Wages

Longtime Sioux Falls mover and shaker and new blogger Joe Kirby says neither the proposed second slaughterhouse nor the first Amazon warehouse in Sioux Falls will be good for local quality of life, due to their low wages:

Sioux Falls has a workforce availability shortage. My friends in business tell me that we still have more jobs than people looking for work. Given this, our community may not benefit from the arrival of an Amazon warehouse with 1,000 lower paying jobs.

Likewise, the community may not benefit from a significant increase in the number of slaughterhouse industry jobs.

…Some businesses externalize their costs into the community. A big employer with low wages can place significant burdens on the community’s social services agencies and resources. Its employees likely can’t financially contribute much to help those agencies, and if the company doesn’t, then the community ends up with the tab [Joe Kirby, “Thoughtful Growth for Sioux Falls,” Sioux Falls Joe, 2022.08.16].

Amazon was supposed to start shipping cheap plastic junk from China from its Sioux Falls “fulfillment center” this year; now that five-story concrete block will sit unfulfilled for two more years. Wholestone Farms is hoping to either win or render meaningless a public vote on its slaughterhouse and double Sioux Falls’s swiny stink starting in 2025.


  1. Donald Pay 2022-08-22 09:32

    When I was growing up in Sioux Falls, Morrell’s paid good union wages that allowed a middle class life, thanks to the strong union. If you want these jobs to be better paying, make it easier to unionize and force companies to bargain. Sometimes the elite don’t understand they created the problem that they are now bemoaning.

  2. Jake 2022-08-22 14:28

    Don Pay, your last sentence is “right on the mark!” I would add tho, it is far too often.

  3. Jake 2022-08-22 14:29

    Don Pay, your last sentence is “right on the mark!” I would add tho, it is far too often.

  4. Caleb 2022-08-23 11:28

    I don’t share as much faith as Don here. I believe the elite generally know what they create, which is why they go to such great lengths to make sure news and other media blame the working class for inflation and many other economic problems.

  5. Whitless 2022-08-23 22:08

    Donald is correct. Low wage jobs are detrimental not only to struggling workers, but also to the community. Overall, approximately 47 percent of Sioux Falls public school students currently qualify for reduced cost or free school lunches because their parents are low income workers. Increasing the number of low paid workers leads to greater pressure on programs that provide assistance for the impoverished, such as the school lunch program. It also leads to more unpaid health care costs, and frequently is associated with higher crime rates that in turn results in the cost of employing more law enforcement officers, the cost of more jail cells, parole officers, courtrooms, etc. There is nothing wrong in low skilled work as long as those jobs pay a decent living wage.
    Without collective bargaining, we know that operations such as Amazon and Wholestone pay marginal wages, and do not build a better community.

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