Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Chicago Sun Times Editorial - High-paid aldermen will cost city jobs

Chicago Sun Times Editorial - High-paid aldermen will cost city jobs
Copyright by The Chicago Sun Times
July 26, 2006

Chicago aldermen today will probably vote themselves annual cost-of-living raises that would boost their pay into six figures as early as next year. They could also pass the controversial big-box ordinance that, under the guise of raising pay for workers at Wal-Mart and other large stores, will actually cost the city jobs. The irony couldn't be more delicious.

On the one hand, we have a group of people who have been preoccupied of late with relatively trivial issues such as banning foie gras and trans fats complaining that they are underpaid. On the other hand, that same group will be acting in a way to deprive their constituents of jobs.

Many of those constituents would be happy to receive an alderman's current pay of $98,125 a year. They might also point out that if aldermen don't think that's enough, they're free to step down and find a better-paying job that isn't funded by city taxpayers. And they might remind the aldermen that plenty of people would campaign to replace them on the ballot and not complain about their salary once elected.

With the big-box proposal, the aldermen are gambling that retailers won't follow through with threats to avoid Chicago rather than pay a higher wage. That's a risk they're apparently willing to take. Then again, they already h

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