I think it would be awesome if Oprah interviewed Jason Mewes.

Score one for clerks everywhere.

The City Council of Chicago last week overwhelmingly passed a measure that requires "big box" retailers to pay their employees a minimum of $10/hour plus $3/hour in benefits by mid 2010. This is fucking awesome. Mayor Daley, who didn't support the measure, couldn't veto the ordinance because it received enough votes that made it veto-proof.

Basically, this affects all retail stores having more than 90,000 square feet or over one billion dollars in annual sales, and it was targeted at Target and Wal-Mart. Daley and those who are against the ordinance claim that the ordinance will prevent those businesses from developing in Chicago, losing jobs, and effectively worsening the economy. To this, I call bullshit on several levels:

1) As long as there is money to be made, I doubt Wal-Mart/Target/Best Buy/BBB will stay out of the entire city of Chicago. The city council is calling their bluff.

2) Even if those businesses don't come and don't produce jobs, that doesn't mean that no development will happen. Other businesses can and will still choose to open in Chicago.

3) To say that a city would rather have shitty jobs with low pay if the alternative is no jobs is like saying you can only choose "bad" or "worse". There's no room for a positive viable alternative? A living wage with benefits will pull people and families out of poverty, which IS A GOOD THING. Duh.

4) As far as hurting the economy, having more money in your citizens's pockets can only help your economy.

This is such a step in the right direction for Chicago and other groups around the US, including St Louis, who are trying to increase minimum wage. I ain't even trying to hear what big boxes are saying in response unless it's positive, because you know the fat cats who would make the statement make in one day what people who work full-time in their stores make in a fucking year. Those who oppose increasing minimum wage are just trying to keep the people down, man, I swear. Greed, greed, greed. I'm tired of that shit.

Speaking of Chicago, Oprah today is a rerun about the crisis in public education in America, and how Bill and Melinda Gates are pouring all this money into school. Props to them. Props to Oprah for at least broaching the subject, because she's right, but I have one question: why are you not talking about the government's role in all this? Come on, now. I know you aren't going to blame teachers, because we are overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated. You won't blame parents, because some parents do their job, and the ones that don't are assholes who never will. Oprah, you've got a bajillion votes who watch you religiously. Give them a call to action. Bring in some educational policy experts to talk about what school districts must do to succeed and how parents and voters can help achieve that. Don't dumb shit down with empty rhetoric.

Okay, enough about that shit. I'm going to Ryan Adams tomorrow night! Good thing we're in the balcony, because any day now I expect that motherfucker to piss or puke on the front row during one of his shows. Any day.


Anonymous said...

Yeah that was a school like 40 minutes away from my new house. really sad. i think instead of pencils and multicolored pencil top erasers, parents are buying beaters and snickers bars. surius.

Anonymous said...

that was me. vanessa. in cali.