I have been talking about this issue on my show for quite a while and finally, a city government steps up to the plate to do something about it or did they.  When I discovered this report in the Foundation for Economic Education I was happy to hear of their efforts until I read the details.

The city council of Long Beach, California decided that the people who worked at the grocery stores in their city from day one of the pandemic deserved hazard pay.  They realized that they were actually on the front lines of this disease keeping us alive along with the healthcare workers.

They also realized that if teachers could get hazard pay for working from home then these grocery store workers who actually went to their place of business certainly deserve so.

Great!  So did the city council of Long Beach, California step up and used some of their Federal Cares (Covid-19) relief funds to pay them the hazard pay that they felt they deserved?  Not exactly.  The city council of Long Beach, California did what government officials always do, they mandated that the grocery stores pay their employees a “Hero’s Pay” of $4 additional dollars per hour.

I almost fell out of my chair laughing when I read that.  To be exact they mandated that all stores in the city of Long Beach with over 300 employees nationwide pay employees an extra $4 per hour.

Once Kroger grocery stores were made aware of this new mandate they closed their two stores in Long Beach.  A company spokesperson said:

“As a result of the City of Long Beach’s decision to pass an ordinance mandating Extra Pay for grocery workers, we have made the difficult decision to permanently close long-struggling store locations in Long Beach...This misguided action by the Long Beach City Council oversteps the traditional bargaining process and applies to some, but not all, grocery workers in the city."

For a point of context, Long Beach‘s minimum wage is $14 per hour for all employers with 26 or more employees.   That means the mayor and his city council cohorts were increasing these grocery stores' labor costs by approximately 30%.  Kroger stated that these stores were already struggling financially before their mandated 30% increase in labor cost.

So now the employees at these two Kroger’s will not be earning $18 dollars an hour or $14 dollars an hour, they will be earning ZERO dollars per hour.  Brought to them by the left-wing government of the city of Long Beach California.

I am sure they all what to give their brilliant mayor and his council a huge thank you for all they did for them.  This is what happens when you have, let’s just say, less than the intelligence of your average teenager running the government.

As economists Antony Davies and political scientist James Harrigan stated:

“Every human action has both intended and unintended consequences...Human beings react to every rule, regulation, and order governments impose, and their reactions result in outcomes that can be quite different than the outcomes lawmakers intended.”

The Live with Renk show airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts call (269) 441-9595

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