Chaos for workers and biz when only HALF of Illinois town raises minimum wage

Chaos for workers and biz when only HALF of Illinois town raises minimum wage

Barrington, Illinois is in a state of chaos. See, Cook County, Illinois — home of liberal stronghold Chicago — is going to be slowly raising the minimum wage, from $8.25/hour to $13/hour. Barrington lies within Cook County… or, half of the city does anyway. The other half lies in Lake County, where there is no plan to raise the minimum wage. This left Barrington in quite the predicament. So what did they do?

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Barrington had several options. They could enact the increased minimum wage across the entire city… or, they could choose to keep the lower minimum wage city-wide. They also could choose to let the businesses in Cook County be forced to pay the higher wage, while the Lake County businesses could keep the lower wage. Ultimately, though, they did the smart thing and kept the lower minimum wage city-wide.

The Chicago Tribune reported, “Barrington officials crafted an ordinance that lets all Barrington businesses honor state and federal-minimum wage laws, instead of an ordinance approved last month by the Cook County Board that increases minimum wage countywide to $13 an hour by July 2020.” The reasoning behind the decision was pretty simple: it would doom the Cook County side of Barrington.

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“It would be difficult for Cook property owners to lease to retail businesses,” Village Manager Jeff Lawler said. “I can very well see businesses locating to the Lake side.” Businesses that remained in Cook County would need to pay more money, while in Lake County, they had to pay less. On one side of town, businesses would die out; on the other, they would flourish.

While it might have been fun to watch the chaos in all of its splendor, ultimately, Barrington made the right call. And it only took a little basic knowledge of economics to figure out what the right thing to do was… isn’t it about time liberals figured this out?

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