Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Toledo Chamber weighs in on proposed county living wage

Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce President Mark V'Soske has sent a letter to Commissioner Ben Konop opposing his proposed living wage requirement for Lucas County.

Yesterday, the Commissioners referred the proposal to the County Prosecutor's office for an opinion on their authority to implement such a plan.

The letter states:

"Your proposed ordinance to adopt a Lucas County Living Wage Policy will be just one more poke in the eye to the efforts for attracting, growing, and expanding businesses – and the jobs they create for our citizens - not just because of the negative economic impact, but also because of the reinforcement of an anti-business attitude. You have been on record complaining about the lack of economic development in the County, yet you will be responsible for setting up one more roadblock to business development and job creation.

So in the future, as you complain about lack of progress, be sure you look in a mirror."

Harsh - but true.

And as we've seen with other proposals from Konop, this one doesn't appear to be well thought out. All the miscellaneous issues, like cost of administration and long-term impact, are never mentioned. But the Chamber, being comprised of business people, certainly believes those items need to be detailed:

"There are so many other problems with this ordinance such as the cost of compliance. Who is going to be employed to insure compliance? Who is going to collect the information? Who is going to inspect? Surely you are not going to pass an ordinance without the appropriate systems in place to enforce? And if you do, then this whole exercise jeopardizes job growth by being nothing more than a political move to look like a hero to some people. This ordinance is not needed and will ultimately hurt the people you are trying to help.

I encourage you to re-think the practicality and the impact of this ill-advised ordinance and withdraw it from consideration."

Business people understand this - why don't the commissioners?

SIDE NOTE: Toledo has a living wage requirement and I cannot help but wonder if anyone has evaluated the cost of contracts under the living wage versus the cost if the living wage requirement had not been present. Is it likely that the city's financial situation would not be so dire if it wasn't paying an artificially high rate for services it receives?

Has anyone thought about the contradiction between 'helping' some workers get more wages when doing business with the government versus 'hurting' the taxpayers who are footing the bill? Why aren't these elected officials more worried about my (and your) dollars going farther than they are about ensuring the paychecks of a limited number of people?

Liberals always like to talk about the 'greater good.' So I ask proponents of a living wage how harming the greater number of people (taxpayers) to benefit a limited number (the employees working at the few companies who actually do business with the government) is the 'greater good'?


Roman said...

A free market with everyone acting in their "own enlightened self-interest" would make this country, or any country trying it, very prosperous. I am concerned, with all of the "stimulus" happening, that too much control will be exerted by the Federal Government. Most people know that this way to exert central planning will not work. Just look at all who have tried it.

Hot Dog Man said...

I have two comments. First - how many people would go into, oh Home Depot to buy maybe a shovel today and look at the $24.95 they are charging and find the manager and say, this is a good price but if I am going to purchase this shovel you have to charge me $29.95 or I just won't buy it! This is the living wage personalized. not bright.

Second - it has been said before but surely applies to Toledo/Lucas county in spades...Democrats/Liberals should be judged on their INTENT, not by the actual outcome of their plan. Unintended consequences is a concept that the left never seems to acknowledge or understand!

Timothy W Higgins said...


What I believe that you point out quite succinctly here is that when looking not only the City of Toledo and Lucas County, but as we are discovering at a Federal level all to well these days, is that there is no idea so bad that government will not try to recycle it.

Then again, perhaps this is the greener initiative that government at all levels are seeking.

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