Monday, July 24, 2006

Washington, D.C. Isn't Alone in Coming Up With Dumb Ideas

While I have ripped the DC City Council from time to time for their inane policy ideas, I have forgotten that my hometown of Chicago is also quite apt at coming up with dumbass proposals, as the Chicago City Council is proposing a "living wage" proposal that would only apply to large corporate stores like Walmart, Target, Home Depot, etc. The Chicago Tribune explains:
If enacted, the measure would require stores with at least 90,000 square feet and $1 billion in annual sales company-wide to pay workers a minimum of $9.25 an hour plus $1.50 an hour in benefits.
This proposal is completely stupid for two reasons. One, it's likely unconstitutionally, seeing as a federal court recently struck down a somewhat similar law in Maryland which required companies with more than 10,000 employees (the only company to fall into this category in Maryland was Walmart) to spend at least 8 percent of their payroll on health benefits or pay the same amount into a state low-income health insurance fund. Two, if this law is passed, it will drive away companies like Target, Walmart and Home Depot from building new stores in Chicago, as they will find much cheaper labor costs in the suburbs. In fact, both Target and Walmart have threatened to hold off building new stores in Chicago if this new law passes. Thus, this law would deprive many of the poor Chicago neighborhoods of potential economic development and new job opportunities that these stores would bring. Not to mention, that fewer Walmarts and Targets being built means less tax revenue for the city. But hey the City Council is really looking out for the poor people with this proposal.