August 24, 2011
Recently, Dan Rodricks took on the Republicans in Congress who want to pay down the federal budget deficit by raising taxes on the middle class and the poor ("Tax the poor, protect the rich," Aug. 21). Never mind that these segments of the population already barely have enough for necessities, much less the wherewithal to pay taxes that should be borne by those who have the most: wealthy individuals and corporations. Yet the wealthy are considered more moral, somehow better people than the rest of us, and thus deserving of windfall profits and legal loopholes that allow them to pay little or nothing in taxes.
October 5, 2010
A Baltimore City Councilwoman says she has backed out of talks with Walmart officials about worker pay at a proposed store in Remington after they asked her to withdraw her support for a bill that would require all major retailers to pay a "living wage. " Councilwoman Belinda Conaway said she had attempted to negotiate higher wages for store employees, but that she refused Walmart's request that she abandon the living-wage bill proposed by Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke. "You get to a point where you don't have anything to negotiate with," said Conaway, who represents portions of West Baltimore, including the proposed site of the 25th Street Station development.
July 26, 2010
In his column "Risk to city outweighs benefits of living wage" (July 25) Jay Hancock perpetuates the myth that wage rates are the dominant factor influencing decisions of where large business will locate within the greater Baltimore regional marketplace. As a general rule, nothing could be further from the truth. In making location decisions, transportation access and the availability of a skilled workforce are very important to the success of a manufacturing concern; transportation and proximity to customers to a warehousing operation; and the existence of underserved demand and public access are crucial to retail sales outlets.
July 26, 2010
I have great respect for Jay Hancock and in the words of an old country western song was almost persuaded by his reasoning on why a living wage hourly salary for 3,000 Baltimoreans laboring at big box retailers is counterproductive to the local economy ("Risk to city outweighs benefits of living wage," July 25). Just when I'd reached the same conclusion I noted in the same business section that the heirs of George Steinbrenner are exempt from estate tax of over $500 million due to the happenstance that the Boss expired in 2010, having survived several of the managers he consigned to unemployment, such as Billy Martin and Bob Lemon.
July 25, 2010
There was plenty of talk about jobs, poverty and wages at last week's City Council hearing on making large Baltimore retailers pay workers a minimum of $10.59 an hour. But hardly anybody mentioned tax revenue. This was very strange. Less than a month ago, a very large shortage of tax revenue caused the same council members to adopt one of the most painful budgets in years. One would think they would have remembered. Along with manufacturers and wholesalers, big retailers are the most important tax-paying companies in a city that, let's face it, doesn't have enough of them.
July 23, 2010
Marta Mossburg's column ("A 'living wage' bill Baltimore can't live with," July 19) was short on logic and facts in charging that a proposed living wage law for large retailers in Baltimore would wreak havoc on the city's economy. First, Ms. Mossburg illogically blamed Baltimore's 1994 living wage law --- which affected a small number of city service contractors and a few hundred workers of their workers --- for Baltimore's loss of population and work force since enactment. Any Econ 101 undergraduate understands that the challenges facing Baltimore's economy are unrelated to $10.59 an hour for Baltimore City's tiny number of contractual custodians, parking garage attendants, security guards and tree-trimmers.