Friday, July 28, 2006

How Does the Living Wage Ordinance Affect Your Life?

A. Have to drive to Joliet to get those Toby Keith CDs
B. Miss out on Equate-brand lattes
C. No more of the smiley-face guy, goddamnit!
D. Now that I can never be a Wal-Mart greeter, I can look forward to playing shuffleboard in a nursing home.

There is actually some truth to that last one. Now the people that could have gotten jobs at Wal-Mart or another big box store will have to go back to doing what they were doing before. And if that means calling me during dinner to ask if I want to sponsor a starving child in Kenya for just pennies a day, I want no part of it.

The problem with the living wage ordinance is that at even those big box stores that might stay in Chicago, people will have a harder time getting jobs. Maybe Joe Schmoe can get a Wal-Mart job for 7$ an hour, but not $9.25.Where does that leave us? With a whole lot more people watching daytime TV, I can tell you that. Which means more people who will want to buy Toby Keith CDs--and Wal-Mart will get even more money. Geez...economics is hard. (The only reason I keep talking about Toby Keith CDs is that they're the only thing I'm sure Wal-Mart actually sells, other than those 99 cent hot dogs.) At any rate, the choice between a job at Wal-Mart and no job at all is not, as one Chicago labor leader put it "a choice between bad and worse." If Wal-Mart were that bad, no one would work there. People may not want to work there, but no one makes them. And hey, working at Wal-Mart sure beats being a telemarketer.

So we don't get more calls from telemarketers, or more old people with time on their hands(which, as Henry Winkler showed, can be a dangerous thing), we should give everyone a fair shot at getting a job. Chicago shouldn't subsidize those who have the skills and training to get jobs at 9.25$ an hour, at the expense of those who can't. If only because not having a job leads to more country music.


Blogger John Ruberry said...

Amy...You'll hear the sqealing all the way downstate when Daley vetoes that bill..

9:26 PM  

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