Corporate Profits at 18 Year High, Workers Must Suck it Up

It has not been officially announced, but it's time you knew that the former Republican Senator from Bucks and Montgomery, Sir Rob Wonderling, is now the Real Mayor of the City, and in his spare time he also instructs City Council on what it is permitted to do. In his role as Real Mayor, Wonderling recently told Council (using the alias of "Michael Nutter") that it may not pass an ordinance requiring businesses to give their workers a few days of paid time off when they're sick. But Council apparently didn't get the message, and two of its members proceeded to introduce and vote out of Committee a measure that would do the very thing that Real Mayor Wonderling told them that they may not do. So Wonderling had to go all the way from his office, wherever it is, to City Hall yesterday and REMIND the folks of who's who and what's what. But his time was not wasted (without calculating lost opportunity costs, that is.) After Real Mayor spoke, sick bill lead sponsor Darrell Clarke immediately let the world know, through the Chamber's very own house organ, the Philadelphia Inquirer, that his legislation wouldn't even be "put on the calendar for final passage" much less actually passed "without additional conversations." I'm sure those conversations will be incredibly enlightening. Oh, I forgot, I'm not invited to participate. Nor will representatives of anyone else who is not a member of the business "community". Never fear, I'm sure that we will hear loud umbrage about that from the Philadelphia Inquirer, as well as see reported many exposes by that institution about the plight of the non-corporate people who will suffer due to Council's subsequent failure to pass this bill.

Oh, and btw, corporate profits were recently reported to be at 18 year highs

Tonight, at the Progressive Council At-Large Forum, we'll hear

whether the candidates running to be the next Council believe that legislation should still require issuance of permits from Real Mayor Wonderling. So we may make news. The event takes place at the Free Library Central Branch at 6:30 tonight, Monday night. It should be interesting.

So we need to make the city more uncompetitive?

My biggest problem with an article like this one is that it totally ignores both rational theory as well as empirical proof that backs up that theory.

Take a drive through North Philadelphia some time. If you're too afraid to go there by yourself, I can take you sometime as I have spent a lot of time there. The shells of Philadelphia's proud industrial past speak to us. They tell us the danger of being too shortsighted with our policy and the thought that business has no choice by to put up with its current situation. The businesses that used to be there as well as in Center City were (and still are) able to make choices if they view the city has being too uncompetitive.

Philadelphia's poor struggles so much not because they lack help, but instead because there is little opportunity for them. There are simply very few jobs in this city that they can hope to obtain and as time moves forward, the culture of despair just makes things worse. Why do you go to school when there is really little hope for a job ultimately?

I don't care where corporate profits are (let's ignore two facts as well: 1) That article refers to NATIONAL corporate profits, not local ones and 2) Recessions flush out excess in the system, so it makes sense that corporate profits are so high on margins.). IF IT STILL MAKES SENSE TO BE IN BALA CYNWYD, A MERE 50 FT FROM THE CITY BORDER BECAUSE OF A MORE FAVORABLE BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT, WHAT DOES THAT REALLY TELL YOU?

We can sit here and feel sorry for ourselves about how the budget is affecting the City and the services that it offers. We can view the existing businesses in the city as a honeypot ready to be reaped. Or we can do the prudent thing by listening to business that have the resources to move so that they stay competitive. "New Economy" jobs are even more slippery. When all you need is an office building and a connection to the internet, cost is one of the few remaining driving factors of a business.

Worker culture (a.k.a. wanting the amenities of a downtown) can only go so far. You have to listen to businesses that want to be in the city. We need to rebuild our tax base. That needs to be the goal of any administration moving forward. It really is the most important issue we face.

Is there anything we should deny business to get them here?

They don't really like the Zoning Code, or the Fair Practices Code, or the Building Code or the City's first in the nation Plant Closing Law. They find Workers' Compensation, and Unemployment Compensation very costly. We could reimburse them for the costs of those. Landlords don't like the Housing Code. Inside businesses would like to get rid of street vendors. Signage companies don't like street sign regulations. Office building owners hate the Displaced Worker Protection Ordinance that bars them from throwing union workers into the street when they privatize their janitorial services. There are special regulations on any number of other businesses like dentists who have to notify their patients about the dangers of mercury fillings, and restaurants that have to keep rat droppings out of their food. Where do we draw the line between satisfying the raw, self-serving, obsessively single-minded motivation of businesses to maximize profits, and the need to protect the public? Or is there no line, and we should simply substitute the Chamber of Commerce for the government?

does it matter to you that approx 90% of the commercial

development along city ave is on the surburban side or is that irrelevant ? wouldn't it be better for the city if it was 50/50?

Non-responsive response, ian.

How far should we break our backs to satisfy the demands of capital? Should we give up regulating and taxing business altogether? Is it OK for homeowners and wage earners to make up for the revenue lost from not taxing business, or would there be no loss because of the magical growth that would be caused from eliminating taxes? Does it matter if the quality of life and incomes of anyone but business is hurt in trying to lure those businesses in? And why is it that, in the view of conservatives, of all the costs that businesses pay, for utilities, insurance, land, workers, transportation, goods, etc., only the cost of paying taxes is linked to their locational decisions?

i'm no expert on the differences of either side of city ave

so please tell me what are the other reasons that would make 90% of busineses go across the street? land is more expensive on the suburban side of city ave, septa costs the same , i know that much and still busineses pick that side

How long is this bogus number going to be repeated.?

In the last two years, a big plaza opened on the city side of City Line Avenue with a Target, Verizon store, a restaurant and a bunch of other stories.

It's hard to believe that the percentage didn't drop a little, maybe to 85% or 85%.

But of course, the number has always been bogus. I'm not sure which pro-tax cut flack came up with it. But it was pulled out of thin air and just ain't true. There have been plenty of businesses on the city side of the Avenue forever.

You just pluck stats out of thin air, ian

No idea where you get 90% from. But in any case I have not made a survey; I don't know what the cost of gas, electricity, insurance or any of the hundreds of things that businesses pays for might be on one side of the Street compared to the other. And, interestingly enough, none of the industry funded think tanks seem to have done any such surveys either, just filling the media with the incessant line of propaganda that the only factor a business ever considers in locational decisions is taxes (and on an issue by issue basis, regulation.) But while we're engaging in the realm of the anecdotal, I do know that in business development districts throughout Philadelphia, businesses voluntarily have increased their real estate taxes to pay for amenities. So the issue for them seems to be not just what they pay, but what they get for what they pay. And that's a legitimate issue for all of us.

Also, the only choice is not whether to tax or not to tax, but how intelligently to tax. The Sanchez-Green revamp of the BPT is a way to intelligently revamp the business tax so as to take away much of the advantage that non-Philadelphia companies have when selling good and services into the City. Of course, the Chamber opposed it because it's shooting for the moon, total abolition of the business tax. Similar to how Republicans, when elected, don't want government to run well because they want to abolish most of it, the Chamber isn't looking for a good business tax, since the only good business tax they've ever seen is no business tax.

Reviving manufacturing, without whining over taxes

Here's something you should look at ian, along with anyone else who is sick of the narrow, self-defeating obsession with lowering business taxes as a cure-all for what ails us: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/27/the-future-of-manufactur... And yes, I know we're not San Francisco or New York, but I don't accept the notion that there's no one in Philly who is smart.

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