Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Maybe They Don't Want Your "Help"

Last week, Chicago City Council approved a measure that would require stores with greater than 90,000 square feet of retail space and more than $1 billion in sales to pay a higher minimum wage and provide additional benefits. This was brought on to help poor residents of the city have a living wage. Besides the questionable constitutionality of the law, economists know that the real effect will be to drive big-box retailers out into the suburbs, making it more difficult to find work in the city. Interestingly and encouragingly, those who actually want and need these jobs are far less keen on the idea than the people who spend their time trying to "help" them:

More than a dozen church and community leaders ratcheted up the rhetoric Monday over a proposed city wage ordinance for big-box retail stores, saying the measure would hurt economically depressed areas.

The group, made up of leaders from predominantly African-American communities, said the measure would scare big retailers away from the city because it sets a higher minimum wage than the federal minimum.

"Why aren't we doing all we can to attract businesses?" said Dr. Leon Finney of the Metropolitan Apostolic Community Church. "Many of these jobs in retail are starter jobs.... I'm more interested in having a job than a living wage."

At least some people understand economic incentives.


Post a Comment

<< Home