They will never learn

Mary Pat Clarke thinks that if the city says you must pay a living wage, then it will be so.

Retailers that are part of a chain that grosses more than $10 million annually would be required to pay employees the living wage rate under Clarke’s proposal.

“This would apply to the businesses that can afford to do this, not the mom-and-pop stores on the corner,” Clarke said.

Opponents of a plan to build a Walmart store in Remington, who have formed a group called Bmore Local, have asked that the city require businesses that move into the former site of Anderson Automotive on Howard Street to meet several criteria, including paying workers the state’s designated living wage of $12.25 per hour.

Or, she knows it will keep large retailers (Walmart) from polluting empty car dealerships and providing inexpensive goods to poor people.  Or something.

Mary, you need an Economics lesson.  First, if what you do isn’t worth the “living” wage, you do not make the “living” wage.  You make $0.  Further, the ability of poor people to obtain inexpensive sundries goes away, as companies who sell inexpensive things we all need (the evil Wal Mart) won’t open stores here.

Second, that “they can afford it” isn’t relevant.  I can “afford” a Ferrari (I really could… pay cash for it, too).  But I don’t, because I’d rather retire at 55.  Companies make choices like that all the time about pesky little things like Return on Investment and Profit Margins.  But forcing companies to pay more for labor than the market will bear is exactly like forcing me to buy a Ferrari to keep Italians employed.

I guess it sounds good, so they’ll just ignore the basic Economic facts and keep making it more difficult to do business in Baltimore and more difficult for poor people to get the things they need for low prices.  Or BMore Local has more campaign contribution clout.

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About Paul Stagg

Husband, lifter, MBA in Baltimore, MD. Will post about Powerlifting, politics, Classical Liberalism, Economics, building wealth, self improvement, productivity, heavy music, wine, food, beer, and almost anything else. View all posts by Paul Stagg

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