I have great respect for Jay Hancock and in the words of an old country western song was almost persuaded by his reasoning on why a living wage hourly salary for 3,000 Baltimoreans laboring at big box retailers is counterproductive to the local economy ("Risk to city outweighs benefits of living wage," July 25).
Just when I'd reached the same conclusion I noted in the same business section that the heirs of George Steinbrenner are exempt from estate tax of over $500 million due to the happenstance that the Boss expired in 2010, having survived several of the managers he consigned to unemployment, such as Billy Martin and Bob Lemon.
What does that have to do with attracting retailers to Baltimore City?
Nothing except the 3,000 Baltimoreans working at less than a living wage are certainly paying taxes on their meager wages from these sweat boxes. In contrast Mr. Steinbrenner's heirs and other heirs and heiresses of even more garish fortunes aren't paying any federal estate taxes in 2010. Like the Beatitudinal lilies of the valley, they'll neither reap nor sow for their $500 million-plus. Of course pigs will go orbital before any of them to pay any of that $500 million into the federal coffers or make up the difference to 3,000 of Baltimore's hardest working albeit poorest citizens. What kind of a blighted planet do we live on when through Congressional inaction the heirs of the enormously wealthy escape all federal estate tax liability while working Baltimoreans are unable to meet their modest temporal living expenses and still have to pay taxes?
Of course in the sweet by and by the Steinbrenners could meet a more formative Boss who might have a problem with these arrangements.
Paul R. Schlitz Jr.