There have been forty centuries of governments trying to control wages and prices ( wage controls are merely price controls on the cost of labor ). Now Chicago want to get in on the act. You would think people who want to get involved in government would spend a little time analyzing and reading about the history of government attempts to regulate the economy but evidently ignorance of economic reality is a prerequisite for holding political office. During the Second World War there was price controls and rationing, during the Nixon gasoline crisis there were price controls and shortages, during the Soviet “experiment” there were price controls and shortages. All these instances and multitudes more throughout history demonstrate trying to force the laws of supply and demand to bend to the wishes of the politicians is futility big time.
The first clue politicians should notice is they are parcel to a bunch of mis-mangers that couldn’t balance a budget if it was backed by Fort Knox. We have proof of that in Washington today. Another clue would be the first hand observation that people who want to hire people on the open market pay what they must to attract the people they want. This all works fine without a decree from City Hall. Third if the city fathers want to hire competent people for their paper shuffling tasks, they will have to compete with the higher wages they impose on businesses which runs up their costs and destroys any attempt to balance their budget without ( you guessed it ) a tax increase.
Another obvious overlooked and/or obfuscated fact is the regulation of business by government fully implemented is a totalitarian essential. Living in a free country means you are free to operate your business without the government telling you who to hire, how much to pay , what you can sell, how to sell it and how much you can earn. It is no longer enough to just pronounce, “ It’s a free country” it is time to start challenging those who are making this into the kind of country where freedom of the individual to act is disappearing daily by the noose of a government at all levels dictating their wishes ( in the name of knowing what’s best for “everyone”).
But let’s get specific about the Chicago buffoonery. Chicago wants the most efficient and therefore larger retailers like Walmart to pay more for their workers than other less efficient suppliers of goods and services. This will not help the attraction Walmart has built its business on ,namely low prices Why would a political body want its citizenry to pay more than necessary? Who are they looking out for? It isn’t he people who work in the same job at a smaller company. It isn’t the consumer. it isn’t the welfare of the large retailers who want to supply Chicago citizens with bargain prices. so it must be they are thinking they are looking out for the poor worker who may get a job at a new Walmart but that person will be fighting those with more experience working at the lower rate of the smaller retailers. So Walmart ends up with experienced formerly small retail workers getting paid more while the new workers are replacing the small retailer’s job at a lower rate for the workers they lost to Walmart. Since the workers newly coming into the work force are displaced into small retailer jobs at a lower wage why would they want to infuse into Chicago? Can you see a labor shortage coming?
Shortages and government meddling in the economy go hand in hand, even in Chicago. If the government says you must pay more than the market will bear, either there is a black market or shortages. The black market idea is a government invention that says it is bad to disobey the pricing shenanigans of the politicians. But in reality it is a way to avoid the shortages brought on by the politician’s mistaken notion that they know more about the market than the market itself. It really isn’t that difficult to see if you keep your eye on the ball instead of the polls. Make the price of something higher than what it is worth and people will not buy as much of it. If less is being bought , less will be made. Presto…shortages. This is not something that only happens occasionally or is an anomaly. This is what happens each and every time the government meddles with supply and demand. In the case of price supports a surplus may occur but then there is a shortage of storage or the downright waste of the commodity. Farmers know full well about the dumping of milk they produced because of a price they couldn’t get when price supports fell.
Chicago is trying in microcosm what has been tried in nations and states for centuries but evidently living in the cosmopolitan city with all its “culture” isn’t enough to wake up the politicians to the realities of economics. I’m planning to visit Chicago again this Summer and I might end up in a Walmart ( inevitably ). I sure would hate to think I drove 400 miles to pay more for a bar of soap than I could have paid in the Mt. Pleasant Iowa Super-Center where wages are not fixed by power hungry politicos bowing to the god of altruism trying to avenge the downtrodden with mistaken notions of justice. I say , “Go Walmart” and with the same gusto for cleaning out the political numskulls in the Windy City, I say , “Go Chicago”.Tags: Chicago price controls walmart