Matt Driscoll’s recent column (TNT, 7-23) on the Chamber of Commerce has all the ingredients of savory political scandal - fat-cat business owners and politicos colluding to stick it to the working class. The only problem is this story has no arc.
What’s missing is context. The Tacoma-Pierce Chamber of Commerce represents a vast array of businesses large and small, corporate and nonprofit (including my own small enterprise with a payroll of two - myself and my wife). This is an organization of doers and dreamers, risk-takers and conservatives. They strive to succeed and sign the paychecks.
That’s why the Chamber looms large in the discussion over an immediate increase in the minimum wage to $15. The goal is to remove the rhetoric and discuss facts. As recently pointed out in a News Tribune editorial (TNT, 7-26), economists have disputed the positive effects of a $15 minimum, which would undoubtedly lead to layoffs and reshuffled work hours. Other means, such as tax credits, would be more effective at bridging the widening wage gap.
The private sector is a vibrant arena, a reality the members of the Chamber of Commerce understand all too well. Their united voices deserve to be heard by Tacoma’s elected officials.