Here’s What Happened When Half of Town Got Min. Wage Increase, Other Half Didn’t


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was a time of economic wisdom, yet liberals who didn’t know economics continued to try and raise the minimum wage beyond reasonable limits. And for Barrington, Illinois, it was about a tale of two cities.

According to Fox Business Network, Cook County, Illinois, was set to begin gradually raising its minimum wage from $8.25 an hour to $13 an hour, starting next July.

Cook County is the second-most populous county in America, thanks to the county seat of Chicago. However, it also contains a number of smaller communities, one of them Barrington. But Barrington isn’t wholly in Cook County; the county line runs down the middle of town, leaving half of the community in Lake County.

As it turns out, Lake County has no intention to raise the minimum wage. And here the trouble begins. What should Barrington do? Adopt the increased wage, stay with the Lake County wage, or simply let businesses on one side of town pay less than the other?

In the end, Barrington did what liberals would hate the most — they chose to keep the lower wage.

According to the Chicago Tribune, last month, “Barrington officials crafted an ordinance that lets all Barrington businesses honor state and federal-minimum wage laws, instead of an ordinance approved last month by the Cook County Board that increases minimum wage countywide to $13 an hour by July 2020.” In other words, they opted out of the county’s new higher minimum wage.

Perhaps most damning for liberals was the reason they gave for it.

“It would be difficult for Cook property owners to lease to retail businesses,” Village Manager Jeff Lawler said. “I can very well see businesses locating to the Lake side.”

Yes, that’s right. Basically, if you were a minimum wage worker on the Cook County side, you’d be competing for fewer and fewer jobs with more and more applicants. Meanwhile, on the other side of town, business would be flourishing, all with lower prices, more job opportunities and more customers.

While what Barrington did might strike you as the most conservative way to go about it, I think it should have been left as-is, with the town divided. It would be, literally, the face of the “fight for $15.”

One side of the town prosperous, one side of the town where there are no minimum wage jobs and few businesses, and a lot of liberals whining about how businesses should really give Cook County a chance.

It could be the face of failed liberalism. And it would — except for the residents of Barrington — be glorious.

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