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The [Wednesday] Papers

"Illinois' Republican governor-elect says he's finding the state budget is 'worse than has been discussed' as he learns more about it," AP reports.

As predicted. By me. Many times. Because I've seen this movie before.

Good reporters memorize the scripts.

But Not So Bad That We Have To Stop Subsidizing Corporations
"Medline Industries, the giant medical supply distributor in the northern suburbs, has agreed to keep its headquarters in Illinois in exchange for nearly $18 million in tax credits from the Quinn administration," Crain's reports.

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"David Roeder, a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, which administers the tax credit, said the negotiations have been a 'very lengthy process.'

"I think they were finally won over by the substantial roots they've already put down in Lake County and the fact that they've enjoyed a good work force there," Roeder said.

Indeed.

"Medline Industries cherishes its 100-year-plus heritage as an Illinois company and prizes the talented workers it finds here," Joe Cahill writes for Crain's.

Yet the Mundelein-based manufacturer and distributor of medical supplies apparently has been eyeing the exit for a decade or so. Only a steady stream of tax breaks has prevented it from leaving the home state that contributes so much to its success.

That's the only conclusion one can draw from Medline's assiduous use of Illinois' Economic Development for a Growing Economy, or Edge, tax credit program. Edge credits are available only to companies that make credible threats to leave the state, according to a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, which administers the program.

An Edge credit of nearly $18 million awarded on Dec. 1 by outgoing-Gov. Pat Quinn is the fourth Medline has landed since 2001, according to the commerce department. The tax credits were worth about $12 million to Medline over the past five years, state records show. So it seems Medline has made at least four credible threats to move jobs out of Illinois since 2001.

Click through to read the rest - and why Medline's threats hardly seem credible at all.

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"A Medline representative did not provide further comment."

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Oh, and Roeder, the state spokesman defending the move? He used to be a business reporter for the Sun-Times who once reported stories such as this one:

"Economic development in Illinois is dominated by state government programs that lavish subsidies on big businesses, especially manufacturing firms, while providing little proof that the money is wisely spent, a report to be issued today concludes."

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P.S.: "Medline is the eighth-largest privately held company in the Chicago area, with $5.8 billion in 2013 revenue."

Raising Wages Minimally
"The City Council on Tuesday approved Mayor Rahm Emanuel's plan to boost Chicago's minimum wage to $13 an hour by mid-2019, while efforts in Springfield to hike the state's rate and apply some brakes to further city increases fizzled at least until January," the Tribune reports.

"In an overwhelming 44-5 vote steeped in aldermanic and mayoral re-election politics, Emanuel and supportive council members sought to frame their move as a way to lift out of poverty children in thousands of families, many led by single mothers.

"'The minimum wage is speaking to making sure that nobody who works raises a child in poverty,' Emanuel said. 'The minimum wage . . . really comes down to making sure that your child does not go to school on an empty stomach (or) making sure that you don't pick between medicine or school supplies.'"

Thank you, massa!

This is progress, but it's bread crumbs. I find it hard to be impressed by a new wage that won't be reached for another four-and-a-half years. That's right: the minimum wage won't reach $13 an hour until July 2019.

"Under the new ordinance, Chicago's minimum-wage workers will see their first increase next July, when the rate increases to $10 an hour from the current statewide hourly rate of $8.25.

"It then will increase by 50 cents in July 2016 and another 50 cents in July 2017. After that, the minimum wage would go up $1 in July 2018 and $1 in July 2019 to reach $13 an hour."

So let's rewrite Rahm: "The minimum wage is speaking to making sure that nobody who works raises a child in poverty four years from now - and even then, it will be close. The minimum wage really comes down to a political issue that Democrats exploit when they are desperate and need votes. Look at Pat Quinn.

"So, because I face a difficult re-election and I've royally pissed of low-income folks - particularly African Americans - by closing their schools while I pal around with hedge funders, I need to say things like 'this really comes down to making sure that your child does not go to school on an empty stomach or making sure that you don't pick between medicine or school supplies.' Even though that's bullshit. You still won't be able to afford medicine and school supplies."

By the way, Bulworth is on FUSE tonight at 7 p.m.

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Lifting people out of poverty can wait!

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"For his part, Rauner voiced his concerns over the city's actions and its affect on Chicago's 'competitiveness.'"

By which he means employers competing to see who can pay their workers the least while not actually descending into slavery.

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"While Chicago aldermen press to boost the wages of the city's lowest-paid workers as they enter campaign season, half of those seeking another term on the City Council also have seen fit to accept their own pay increase," the Tribune also reports.

"In all, 28 of the city's 50 aldermen accepted a 2015 pay increase, which added more than $2,000 to each of their salaries."

Effective immediately!

"Aldermen will no longer have to choose between medicine and, um, a bottle of Rauner's wine."

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Bear in mind, many aldermen have second jobs - or first jobs, as it were.

Meanwhile, Colleges Break Promises Not To Screw Poor Kids
They pledged at the White House that they wouldn't do exactly what they're doing.

Kids of aldermen and Medline execs take precedence over kids waiting four more years until their parents can earn $13 an hour.

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Fantasy Fix: Playoff Push Possibilities
There's still time to get help.

Embrace Winter At The Forest Preserves!
S'mores, sledding, canoes, surfing, storybooks, DIY reuse bird feeders and more!

The Thanksgiving Week/Weekend In Rock
ICYMI: Mean Jeans, The Lemons, The Gizmos, Death To All, Animals As Leaders, Lydia Loveless, Lucinda Williams, Angel Olsen, Thee Oh Sees, Wiz Khalifa, Toupee, John Krautner, El La Arrolladora Banda El Limon, Twista, El DeBarge, Ace Frehley, Jack Name, Vicious Attack, WHUT?, En Masse, Air Raid, Krooked Drivers, Old Shoe w/Chicago Farmer, The Acacia Strain, Korn, George Dalaras, Slipknot, The Devin Townsend Project, and Monuments.

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BeachBook
* Peanuts Gang Singing Chicago's "25 Or 6 To 4."

* Ditka Comments Predictably On Ferguson.

* Montgomery County Exec Invokes Richard J. Daley.

* United Ends Chicago Flights To Atlantic City.

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TweetWood

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The Beachwood Tip Line: No Sleep Till Posen.



Permalink

Posted on December 3, 2014


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Vizio Settles Spying Complaints.
POLITICS - The Terror And Rights Violations Of Obama's Deportees.
SPORTS - Saturday's 'Greatest Horse Since Secretariat.'

BOOKS - Bannon, The Best And The Brightest.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Beachwood Photo Booth: Descending Darkly.


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