MOLA:42’s Guide to Getting What You Pay For
Watching Channel 3 News is a trifle more interesting (and depressing) than it used to be. That is, since a former president of the Eureka Chamber of Commerce (J. Warren Hockaday) became their News Director.
Since then their news leans toward pro-business stories (especially their “Special Reports”) and anti-anything that inconveniences our heroic business leaders.
Please understand… I’m very much pro-business. We’d all be living in huts and wiping our hinders with our hands without what business provides for us. I get it. But when they go on and on about how oppressed the Business Person is….
Back to Channel 3: The ultimate was one night they ran a Eureka Chamber of Commerce press release as a major news story (they did everything short of starting the story with, “Our Glorious Dear Leader has announced…”) and didn’t even bother to mention the other side of the story.
Oh, the other side? They were the folks who are trying to raise the minimum wage in Eureka from the mandated $9 an hour (as of July 1) all the way up to $12 an hour. That would be Measure R, which the city electorate will vote on in November.
The poor Eureka City Council does not have it easy on this one. Encourage a vote for Measure R and your major financial backers will become unhappy with you (we all know what happens then). Encourage a vote against and you will be the target of a lot of angry people (some of whom do vote in elections).
So the Eureka City Council took the courageous stand of, “We don’t want to get involved.”
Okay, what exactly is Measure R and why does it cause fear of city-wide devastation?
Measure R will raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour for employers within the city limits that employ 25 or more people. It gives non-profit groups 18 months to comply and everybody else 90 days.
So you can see why the Pacific Ocean will crash over the City of Eureka leaving few survivors to tell the tale.
Businesses will either go under or pack their bags and take themselves elsewhere in pitiful lines of refugees pushing rickety carts filled with all their worldly possessions. Their teaming masses choke the roads as they are ruthlessly machine gunned by Nazi fighter planes… sorry.
That is essentially the argument given by the Chamber of Commerce and their like-minded allies (minus the Nazi fighter planes). Combine that with the arguments for Measure Q (the extension of the Measure O “Public Safety” sales tax) and the City of Eureka is on the verge of a Mad Max-like dystopia where life will have no value and death and destruction will be a common entertainment. (Hey… don’t they have that already?)
And yes, the cost of doing business will increase… for SOME businesses.
Who are those businesses you may ask?
Well, think on it. Who employs 25 or more people?
Not the boutique on a nice corner in Old Town, not the plumber, not the building sub contractor, not the candy shop nor the Ma and Pa grocery store (but the Chamber of Commerce takes perverse glee in scaring the holy crap out of those folks).
So, who does take the hit?
There are of course Kmart and Walmart and their crowd. As a group they are not likely to pack up their kit and move on.
What local businesses in town employ 25 or more people? Not many and also not likely to flee the city.
The really sad part is actually how few workers will directly benefit from Measure R.
But let’s look at Costco (which wouldn’t be affected by Measure R because it already pays a minimum wage near or more than $12 an hour). Costco could no doubt get a full crew for their Eureka store for $9 an hour.
Does Costco pay its workers more than it has to out of the kindness of its corporate heart?
Which brings us to the pro-Measure R folks main argument (at least that a business person can appreciate). Pay more and you get more competition for every job you need to fill. More competition means better employees to choose from. Better employees mean higher productivity, better customer service and longer retention (so you aren’t constantly paying to train new workers to do the job).
That means more bucks in your pocket.
That is why Costco does what it does. Costco does better by its workers because its workers do better for Costco’s bottom line.
Pretty clever of Costco, huh?
Another Measure R motivation: People at the lower pay scales tend not to hide their money in their mattresses. They can’t afford to. Their wages flow right back into the community stimulating more economic growth. I mean, my fellow Americans, someone has to buy Stuff, right? The rich can’t buy enough Stuff to keep the rich… rich.
The more money minimum wage earners have, the more they will spend.
Those without cars get cars; those with cars get better cars.
Those who live out of their cars or in tents get a place to rent. Those who live in gawdawful rentals move up to awful rentals. Those who live in awful rentals move up to minimal but decent housing.
They buy more and better food and so are healthier and less inclined for themselves and their families to be a drain on medical resources (like the ER).
What this means is if you are a business person, you may be paying more in wages but you will be getting
much more in return.
Even a good fascist like Henry Ford understood that. In the beginning he paid his workers far more than his competitors. But… he could look over his company parking lots and see row after row of shiny new Fords that his employees were able to buy.
The moral of the story is: Just because you could hire a worker at $9 an hour does not necessarily mean you are wasting money paying that worker $12 an hour.
Come on Chamber of Commerce supporters; you DO get what you pay for.
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Standard Disclaimer: My opinions are my own and not necessarily those of the Tuluwat Examiner. I am not on the staff of the Tuluwat Examiner. I don’t even know who these people are. But my secret sources at the jail have informed me the entire staff of the Tuluwat Examiner was arrested after loudly playing circus music outside of the latest Eureka City Council meeting (I think they used kazoos).
Fortunately, there were plenty of meth dealers and drug distributors to kick loose to make room for them.
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