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GOLIS: Too much politics, too few jobs

  • 9/30/2009:B6: Bobby Hubbard brings carts back into the Target store at the Santa Rosa Marketplace on Tuesday. The retailer is in talks to open an additional store at Coddingtown.

    PC: Bobby Hubbard brings shopping carts back into the Target store at the Santa Rosa Marketplace on Tuesday afternoon, September 29, 2009.

Let's begin this morning with a show of hands.

Raise your hand now if you think everyone should be paid a living wage.

I thought so. Except for the guy in the Ebenezer Scrooge T-shirt, we all share the belief that every last one of us deserves the wages necessary to provide food and shelter for his or her loved ones.

Now, raise your hand if you think government can make this happen.

Anyone?

This is the problem, isn't it? It makes everyone feel good to demand jobs that pay a living wage, but it doesn't move the needle. It's more symbolism than substance, more politics than real-world economics.

In Sonoma County, these familiar controversies also become a distraction. Right now, we don't need politics as usual. We need a grown-up discussion about our economic future.

Last week, the Santa Rosa Planning Commission was asked to reconsider approval of a Target store because a spokesperson for the retail chain admitted that he overstated the percentage of full-time jobs that the new store would provide.

Enter the usual suspects.

The Living Wage Coalition of Sonoma County declared that the store shouldn't be permitted until the city completes something called a community impact report.


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