CPEG’s Ron Baiman on Chicago suburbs and the impact of their decision to “opt out” of the Cook County minimum wage and sick leave ordinances.
Summary: After Chicago (in 2014) raised its minimum wage to $13 an hour (by 2019), activists in Cook County led by The People’s Lobby and Arise Chicago succeeded in getting Cook County to pass (in June 2016) a five day paid sick leave requirement and (in October 2016) a gradual minimum wage increase to $13 hour (by 2020), both effective July 1, 2017.
The “opt out” campaign first struck in November 2016, when Barrington, a wealthy and conservative town straddling the far north border of Cook County and Lake County, voted on Nov. 15, 2017 to opt out of the Cook county sick leave ordinance , and then in December to opt out of the “Chicago Style” Cook County minimum wage ordinance, on the technical grounds that part of the town is in Lake County. Then other wealthy towns in the northern suburbs (wholly within Cook County) voted to opt out, often claiming that as their neighbors had opted out they had no choice. Then the “opt out” movement spread to less wealthy communities throughout the County, often where many of the low wage workers who would have directly benefited from this live.
By actively subverting an increase in labor standards in Cook County, the most important and populous County in the state, local officials have acted to perpetuate and increase poverty and sickness for the lowest income and most vulnerable workers and families in the County. They should be ashamed of what they have done.
Read the Full Article (PDF)
CPEG’s Ron Baiman has just released a new book:
The Global Free Trade Error
The Infeasibility of Ricardo’s Comparative Advantage Theory
Ron Baiman – Routledge
The doctrine of “free trade” is second only to that of “free markets” in undergirding ideological support for our current global economic structures and rules. From David Ricardo’s “comparative advantage principle” to James Meade’s Neoclassical or mainstream economics proof of self-adjusting free trade equilibrium, the free trade doctrine has had a lasting and destructive hold on Neoclassical economic thinking since its inception.
Click below to read the Spring 2017 edition of CPEG Notes, a series of quarterly analyses of current economic reality by the Chicago Political Economy Group. In this edition: Luis Diaz-Perez on the early days of the Trump Administration, Joe Persky summarizes the bleak domestic economic scene, Bruce Parry and Bill Barclay tackle the political crisis and party system fiasco represented by last year’s presidential election results, Ron Baiman explores how macro-economic stagnation and recovery play out in employment terms, and Dr. Parry’s second contribution looks at how computerization, automation and other technological trends limit global employment possibilities.
Despite months of consistent polling indicating otherwise, Donald Trump was declared president-elect after the U.S. Presidential election on November 8th, 2016. However, a new statistical analysis conducted by CPEG’s Ron Baiman shows that the discrepancies between the reported results and unadjusted election polls fit a profile of chronic republican vote-count rigging, not random statistical patterns. Baiman explains that it is necessary to “analyze ‘unadjusted exit poll’ (UEP) results that have been captured by screen shots of exit polls publicized as soon as possible immediately after the closing of state election polls. These UEP results are the best real exit poll data that we have in the U.S. as Edison does not release UEP results in any other fashion”.
Download the full statistical analysis (PDF)
On October 25th, 2016, CPEG Member Joe Persky testified before the Cook County (Illinois) board about the potential effects of raising the county minimum wage. Subsequent to testimony provided by CPEG and many other groups, the county board voted to raise the minimum wage from $8.25 to $10 per hour on July 1, 2017. It will then rise by $1 per year until reaching $13 an hour in 2020! This is a major victory for low-wage workers in Chicago and all of Cook County.
As noted by Dr. Persky in his testimony, “Empirical evidence gathered throughout the country as well as here in Illinois supports the proposition that raising minimum wages increases incomes of low wage workers and their households without reducing employment. Cook County owes its low wage workers a serious increase in their minimum wages.”
Download Dr. Persky’s Expanded Testimony (.pdf) before the board.