Common Sense and the Fight for $15
By Steve Holecko-
Cleveland City Council’s refusal to support the $15 per hour minimum wage, leads me to question their common sense.
Common sense tells you that a minimum wage of $15 an hour should be called a living wage since one cannot live much less raise a family on $8.10 an hour.
Common sense tells you that despite the risks, drug dealing and prostitution offer a much higher economic return than working for $8.10 an hour.
Common sense tells people trying to raise a family on $8.10 an hour should have been given the same amount of time to speak in city council hearings as businesses, corporations and those hired to present “studies.“
Common sense tells you that some business owners large or small may be opposed to a living wage not because they would have to close up shop and move, but because they would have to pay higher wages. Common sense tells you this because the success of most businesses is based on location, location, and location!
Common sense tells you that if every worker in Cleveland were paid a living wage, those workers would most likely spend that extra money in Cleveland.
Common sense tells you that if businesses such as Dave’s Markets paid their workers a living wage, they could make more profit because of this extra spending. Common sense tells you that increased spending would also yield increased sales tax revenue for the City of Cleveland.
Common sense tells you that increased income tax revenue would be generated by the City of Cleveland as well - not only from taxes paid by workers earning a living wage but also from new workers being hired due to the increased spending generated by the living wage.
Common sense makes you wonder why Cleveland City Council did not present any studies related to the idea of such increased tax revenue. Numerous studies on Seattle’s success could have been consulted.
Common sense makes you wonder if extra Income tax and sales tax revenue generated from paying city workers a living wage could eliminate the need for the income tax increase City Council has placed on the November ballot.
Common sense makes you wonder if City Council’s attempt to prevent the living wage issue from appearing on the ballot this year has anything to do with limiting turnout to maximize the chances of the income tax increase passing.
Common sense makes you wonder if City Council’s opposition to something 72% of their constituents favor has anything to do with the Greater Cleveland Partnership and their corporate donors.
Common sense makes you wonder why City Council would oppose anything that 72% of their constituents favor.
And finally, common sense makes you wonder how much more than 72% approval a maximum wage ballot initiative would have.