Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Letting People Work
Following a four year battle in Chicago that had labor unions and small business owners aligned against politicians and activists working to create jobs on the city's West Side the first Wal-Mart store opened in Chicago on September 27, 2006.
Wal-Mart's store opening came just two weeks after Mayor Richard Daley vetoed the city's "living wage" ordinance which sought to mandate hourly wages of $10 plus another $3 in fringe benefits by mid-2010.
Regardless of what anybody's views are when it comes to the concept of living wages the key fact that I want my readers to know is --
"..................15,000 people applied for the 400 jobs at the store; an estimated 98% of workers live in the neighborhood.............." (Source: USA Today, September 28, 2006)
I don't care if these 400 hired workers were paid $5, $8, or even the mandated $10 per hour because the sad reality is that this four (4) year battle before the Chicago City Council HURT the unemployed people in the city by delaying the opening of businesses that are creating jobs in the first place!! When 38 people apply for every 1 job being created it should be clear to government officials that they should simply get out of the way by allowing businesses to build and expand so market forces can drive wages up as businesses compete for a decreasing labor pool.