What’s going on in Montgomery County? It has always been a big spender unable to reduce its police powers to extract evermore revenue from homeowners and businesses alike. But by proudly dictating the beginning wage that employers must pay its employees to twice what the Federal government imposes, the County has now stepped closer to becoming a Socialist enclave in an already tax-happy state.
I suspect not a single member of the Montgomery County Council — just like the Alexandria City Council — has ever started a business from scratch; thinks profit is exploitation and would rather have its new, higher starting wage be effective immediately. This mindset combined with zero experience creating wealth, the font of all tax revenue, has emboldened County Council members to boast that it is leading the way toward a worker heaven in Maryland. Not.
What its arrogant decision will do is increase the cost of doing business in Montgomery County. To recoup this new government-imposed cost, county businesses will be compelled to raise prices by charging its customers more than they charge now. Some businesses will succeed with this tactic; some won’t. Those that won’t will leave for more business-friendly environs or, worse, will close forcing its employees to scramble for another job.
Also inexplicable is why the County Council doesn’t recognize that its compassion is misplaced. More to the point: the hapless entry level worker in Montgomery County will be better able to attain the American Dream if the council removes impediments hobbling businesses from succeeding. Like Alexandria's City Council, the Montgomery County Council apparently is oblivious that if its employers prosper, then they can pay higher wages; pay more taxes and hire more employees.
As it is now, businesses in Montgomery County are told by law and regulation what to do, how to do it and what to pay its entry level employees. Like in all Socialist societies, government overreach stunts the risk-taking, wealth-creating and job-making enterprises. Montgomery County will be no exception.