Today's emails seem to be following the theme of government exempting itself from its own regulations.
In the first story, many California government employees (and their families!) are issued with license plates that effectively exempt them from traffic law violations.
In the second story, the town of Ann Arbor, Michigan sets out on a voyage of discovery in which they find out that minimum wages can drastically increase costs and that different people have different needs. And so, they exempt themselves from the law. I am particularly sensitive to this story because the reason the city claims it is unfair to apply the law to them exactly matches my business:
After several months of negotiation, Ann Arbor elected
officials Monday agreed to waive the city's
"living wage'' law for the Ann Arbor Summer
What's been at issue is the application of the wage
law to the festival's temporary workers. Under the
living-wage law, groups that have contracts of $10,000 or
more with the city must pay above-minimum wages. That wage
level is now around $12 an hour for employees who don't
receive health benefits.
Because the increased wages would significantly add to the
costs of putting on the festival
Wow, who would have thought that artificially setting wage rates above the market clearing price would increase costs? But to continue:
City Council Member Chris Easthope, who's promoted the
change, argues that the festival's seasonal employees -
almost all students - are not the kind of workers the wage
law was meant to protect.
"This isn't an attempt to drop people below
living wage levels, but to recognize there are some
short-term events that struggle. I don't think that,
when it was adopted, the living wage was meant to have that
effect on a one-month event.''
Let's see. I hire temporary seasonal workers in Michigan for about three months of the year. And thought they are not students, most are retired people in their seventies who are also likely "not the kind of workers the wage law was meant to protect." In fact, many of my workers are disabled and work slower, so I probably have a better argument than the city. So where is my exemption?