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Question of the day

Friday, Oct 28, 2016

* Progress Illinois

Suburban Cook County’s minimum wage is set to increase to $13 an hour under legislation approved Wednesday by the board of commissioners.

The hourly minimum wage will gradually increase from $8.25 to $13 by 2020. The city of Chicago has already approved an increase in the minimum wage, which will grow to $13 by 2019.

The People’s Lobby was among the groups pushing for a Cook County minimum wage hike.

“Today’s vote is a tremendous victory for working people,” said Pascal Brixel with The People’s Lobby. “It will give 200,000 people a desperately needed raise, and, when fully implemented, it will put almost $10,000 more dollars a year in the pockets of full-time, minimum wage workers.

* Daily Herald

Leaders of several Northwest suburbs said they’ll consider opting out of a measure gradually increasing the minimum wage in Cook County to $13 an hour by 2020. […]

Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson said that as the local government overseeing the nation’s largest industrial park, his village board intends to thoroughly consider both the minimum-wage law and another recently passed measure requiring most private employers throughout the county offer at least five days of paid sick leave a year to all employees.

Municipalities have until next July to decide whether to opt out.

* Daily Herald editorial

How to solve a problem if you really care about the outcome:

Talk to the main players, build consensus, and go with an approach that’s effective and that most can live with.

How to approach a problem if you only care about how you look, not whether anyone’s actually helped:

Ignore the other players, push through a plan most of them oppose, claim credit for taking action, and make the others use time and money to undo what you’ve forced upon them.

The Cook County Board led by Toni Preckwinkle followed the second route in passing its policy requiring sick leave for all workers, with the likely result that few workers will get helped, more lawyers will make more money, and the Cook County Democrats who control the board will make political hay at the expense of the suburbs.

The county board followed the same pattern again on Wednesday when it voted to raise the minimum wage for the county. Once again, suburbs can opt out, potentially creating a wage patchwork across the county and possibly resulting in no actual minimum wage increase, except in scattered unincorporated areas.

The IMA released a statement blasting the wage hike.

* The Question: Do you agree or disagree with the Cook County Board’s decision to raise the minimum wage? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.

customer survey

…Adding… Could it all eventually be moot? From a GOP county board member…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - @MisterJayEm - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 12:12 pm:

    “suburbs can opt out, potentially creating a wage patchwork across the county and possibly resulting in no actual minimum wage increase, except in scattered unincorporated areas”

    The Cook County Board appears to be engaging in a political farce.

    – MrJM

  2. - Mokenavince - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 12:12 pm:

    I have been an employer all my life. I have always paid more than the minimum wage.

  3. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 12:14 pm:

    The Daily Herald just doesn’t want to have to pay its reporters more.

  4. - DuPage - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 12:16 pm:

    Good idea except: Anything like this should be done statewide so there would be a level playing field.

  5. - Liandro - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 12:24 pm:

    It’s regional, and I struggle to see why people with little to no experience with the regional nuances of their economy (such as myself) can weight in. Not saying that to knock the poll, Rich, so don’t tell me to bite you, lol. I’m just reflecting on how different regional economies can be.

    That average household income in Wheeling, for example, is $73,321. In Dixon it is $39,924. They just aren’t the same place, and of course that is reflected in the cost of living (rent, etc.).

  6. - kimocat - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 12:24 pm:

    While I would much prefer to see statewide consistency, it may take smaller jurisdictions pushing the envelope to get this done in the end.

  7. - Liandro - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 12:25 pm:

    I utterly and completely with Dupage; that makes no economic sense. Why would we jam a square into a circle?

  8. - Piece of Work - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 12:25 pm:

    Love how the left thinks. If we raise the wage to X, people will make X as if there could not possibly be a downside.

    What if hours get cut? What if a few people get laid off? What if the small business can’t increase prices and has to absorb most of the wage increase and they cease operations? What if the company can’t hire that extra person or two?

    Yeah, real world stuff is possible!

  9. - Honeybear - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 12:25 pm:

    I learned on this blog not long ago that politics is about addition and not subtraction. With that in mind. It is for the interested parties to keep up the fight lock in the gains and push it farther. It’s a good first step but one that should be guarded and used as s launching pad for further gain.

  10. - Allknowingmasterofraccoondom - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 12:34 pm:

    Voted no. This is political pandering at its worst.

  11. - NoGifts - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 12:37 pm:

    Is it for everyone, and not just people over 18? and how many jobs are in unincorporated cook county anyway?

  12. - JS Mill - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 12:39 pm:

    One of the ways to raise ourselves is to see an increase in wages above CPI. That is how people get ahead. This just isn’t the way to do that.

    Voted “no”.

  13. - Shemp - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 12:42 pm:

    Even in my downstate area, our organization can’t hire quality summer help for minimum wage.

    At least it isn’t statewide since as previously noted, a statewide minimum wage doesn’t take in disparities in costs from Chicago to Quincy to Mt. Vernon

  14. - Century Club - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 12:50 pm:

    I agreed. Good to see Chicago and Cook take leadership when the State fiddles.

    I haven’t read the opt out clause, but I think that many suburban officials in Democratic-dominated Cook County are going to have difficulty running for re-election if they have effectively voted to lower the minimum wage in their town. That being said, you can see scenarios where it would be easier, towns led by Republicans, towns where businesses don’t employ locals, and smaller towns where the business owners are local. It will be an interesting 7 months.

  15. - Responsa - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 12:52 pm:

    This good intention legislation has worked poorly in several other states where increased minimum wages, particularly in food services, has caused restaurants to close down because adding offset to the prices customers have to pay for their food orders has lessened demand. It’s hard to see why the same thing will not affect some if not many such places in suburban Cook. And the patchwork style application is ridiculous.

  16. - Dan Johnson - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 12:54 pm:

    Cook County is a huge jurisdiction. 5 millions people. More than a dozen states. Bigger than some countries. I think it ought to act to strengthen its economy through higher purchasing power.

    Evidence is overwhelming that higher minimum wage laws are, net, better for all. Some marginal losses offset by higher purchasing power.

  17. - Just Observing - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 12:54 pm:

    I think this will be a big mess doing it on the county level, and even more so since many home rule munis can opt out. So one McDonald’s will pay their works $8/hour and the other one across the street will pay $13?

  18. - Keyser Soze - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 1:04 pm:

    Will this result in more Cook County teenagers being employed, or fewer?

  19. - Steve - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 1:29 pm:

    The demand for labor is always a downward sloping curve. Why make it illegal for someone to be paid less than $27,000 annually? Many people who don’t have college degrees and lack work experience aren’t worth $27,000 a year. Why disemploy them??? Why?

  20. - burbanite - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 1:33 pm:

    State and Fed needs to raise minimum wage as well. It’s 27000 by 2020 Steve give me a break. I am no actuary but 27000 ain’t what is used to be.

  21. - late to the party - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 1:38 pm:

    You would hope the “invisible hand of the free market would take care of the wage issues, but it hasn’t. We continue to see wage falling or not growing year after year since the 80s. We’ve tried trickle down and it doesn’t work for the bottom 80%

    Additionally, it’s funny how those who would tend to side with the mantra “make america great again” don’t want to index the minimum wage back to where it was when America was supposedly “great”. Makes you wonder what they thought was so great? Oh wait, I think I know…

  22. - Plutocrat03 - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 1:42 pm:

    Well meaning legislation that will fail like it has in the other jurisdictions that have gone this way.

    While remaining workers will get paid more, there will be fewer jobs available.

    The solution for low wage workers to get a larger income and find a job that uses the new talents.

    An entry level job is just that. Get one, learn a skill, move on.

  23. - ChrisB - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 1:57 pm:

    What a terrible idea. It’s almost as though they never want teens to work. Must have missed the CRS memo that said raising the minimum wage would cost a ton of jobs.

    Also, according to nationwide BLS data, raising the minimum wage only affects 2.5% of adults over 25. Even if extend that back to adults over 16, and assume that each one of them is the sole income to support their family, you only get up to 3.8% of hourly workers. So no one is trying to raise a family on minimum wage. You can retire that canard.

  24. - m - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 2:02 pm:

    Voted no, not based on merits for or against higher min wages, but because the opt out means you will likely just see more jobs pushed out of the areas that need them most

  25. - Hit or Miss - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 2:16 pm:

    I see the minimum wage increase to be hard on many businesses located near the county line. Many Cook County businesses near the county line will need increase prices to cover wage increases. If I need a Big Mac why buy one in Sauk Village when it will be lower priced in Dyer or in Crete just across the county line? If I lived far from the county line then it would take a sharp price difference to make the drive worth the trouble but the impact will be felt for smaller price differences if a business is near the county line.

  26. - Christopher - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 2:20 pm:

    I voted Disagree and here’s why, in most cases raising the minimum wage means raising costs of living for the state as everything moves up with the minimum wage. It says a “Victory for working people” when really it’s just a defeat for people who already make more than minimum wage.

  27. - BK Bro - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 2:41 pm:

    Like 6 months ago people were commenting that labor laws/regs are more appropriately handled at the State level when counties/cities were trying to exempt themselves from prevailing wage and collective bargaining issues. I wonder if they feel the same way about this.

  28. - zatoichi - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 2:52 pm:

    When the average lunch goes up $1, day care increases 15%, and those low, low big box discount prices are not so low, what was gained?

  29. - Bigtwich - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 2:55 pm:

    In 1963 the minimum wage was $1.25. Run that through an inflation calculator and that would be $9.86 in todays money. I am not concerned about it going to $13 by 2019. I am concerned about why I was being paid $.85 in 1963. Now where did I put those papers?

  30. - Rich Miller - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 3:16 pm:

    ===those low, low big box discount prices are not so low, what was gained? ===

    I dunno, how about taxpayers stop subsidizing giganticly profitable retail corporations with Medicaid and food stamps?

  31. - Anon - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 3:20 pm:

    This is classic Cook County politics and nothing more. It was voted in by City of Chicago Commissioners where the minimum wage is already set by a city ordinance. And, the suburbs had this foisted upon them by President Preckwinkle and her merry band of progressive liberals. She says she’s about collaboration and working with the region. In the end, she’s the same as all the others - political ambition masked as social justice.

  32. - Boone's is Back - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 3:32 pm:

    I agree- particularly in that it doesn’t fully ramp up until 2020. It’s the right thing to do.

  33. - wordslinger - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 3:40 pm:

    –While remaining workers will get paid more, there will be fewer jobs available.–

    Why is that? Will there be less demand for the goods and services minimum wage workers produce for their employers? Had those minimum wage workers been employed previously out of some sense of charity?

    –Love how the left thinks. If we raise the wage to X, people will make X as if there could not possibly be a downside. What if hours get cut? What if a few people get laid off? What if the small business can’t increase prices and has to absorb most of the wage increase and they cease operations? What if the company can’t hire that extra person or two?–

    Yeah, McDonald’s and Taco Bell will just crash and burn. Or the dollar menu might skyrocket to $1.02.

    It’s simply weird that people can get so worked about a reasonable bump for the 4.3% of the workers on the bottom of the rung of ladder; mostly young white women, half over the age of 24.

    If you’re laissez faire against the concept of a minimum wage, spit it out and regale us of the glory days of the Harding Administration.

    And then tell us why it’s good policy to subsidize McDonald’s and Taco Bell with billions in taxpayer money for Medicaid, SNAP, etc.

    As an antidote to non-sensical zealotry some facts.

  34. - wordslinger - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 3:44 pm:

    I should add, the Democrats in Springfield are cynical hacks on this issue.

    They trot it out at campaign time, then never even call it for a vote, never force the issue that enjoys overwhelming public support.

    Their working-class hero message, it comes and goes: Comes at election time, goes when they get some cash from the right sources. It’s the ultimate “fetcher” legislation.

  35. - Dead Head - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 4:14 pm:

    Explain? Piece of cake, try to live on minimum wage!

  36. - froganon - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 1:29 pm:

    Raising the minimum wage has improved local economies and incomes for poor people everywhere it’s been done in recent years. I’m fed up with subsidizing employers who won’t or can’t pay employees enough to survive without taxpayer subsidies in the form of food stamps and subsidized housing medical care, etc. Prices go up marginally if at all, jobs don’t disappear in the local economy. Some jobs or businesses may lose but the larger economic picture has shown gains in areas where the Minimum wage has been raised to this level. Time to look at the metrics in places where it’s been done. Time to ignore the hysterical hand-wringing from the nay-sayers.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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