Thursday, June 22, 2006

Wal-Mart Attacks Continue

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The union-led attack on Wal-Mart continues unabated. Now the Chicago City Council is looking at an ordinance that will force the company to pay higher wages and higher health benefits:

CHICAGO - Opponents (read: unions--ed) of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s expansion into inner cities are scoring early success with a new tactic, enlisting support for a proposed local ordinance requiring giant retailers to significantly raise the minimum wage and help pay for health benefits.

Advocates of the so-called living wage or big-box ordinance, which advanced to a vote by the Chicago City Council next week after being passed by its finance committee Wednesday, say its approval would set the stage for similar actions in other U.S. cities.

"These proposals are really about whether it's reasonable to ask some of the largest and most successful companies in the country to balance growth and profits with paying a living wage," said Paul Sonn, deputy director of the poverty program at the New York-based Brennan Center for Justice, who helped draft the ordinance.

Emphasis mine. That's it in a nutshell. No, it is not "reasonable" to force one company to pay more than another because you dislike their pay or benefits practices. If that's the case, paople can choose not to work there.

I truly hope that Wal-Mart--or Home Depot, Lowes, etc.--simply abandons any plans to erect new stores in dilapidated areas. Apart from the good construction jobs such a venture provides, the lasting effect of steady jobs where none existed is the true benefit.

Let Chicago pass the ordinance and then erect the stores outside the city limits in the suburbs. Chicago loses a major ratable and the wage taxes that would've come from employee's.

Simply put, the market will show what the pay scale should be. If they wish to legislate that, they should suffer the consequences.

In conclusion, this says all you need to know about who the politicians are trying to protect:

"It's a way to allow big-box retailers like Wal-Mart to come in without threatening the level of wages and benefits that unionized stores and stores with a conscience are already paying," she said. "We believe lots of cities will pass something similar nationally."

Again, emphasis mine.

Update: They keep trying and keep failing.

Note: Update moved to here.

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