I read this editorial several times to make sure I actually understood what the News & Record is saying—with a straight face—-cities—specifically Greensboro—-should have the power to dictate wages standards to private business:

The Greensboro City Council last year voted to increase pay to at least $10 an hour for “roster and seasonal employees” and $12 an hour for “benefited positions.” It also set a goal of reaching $15 an hour by 2020.

House Bill 2 does nothing to stop that. But it does prevent the city from taking two further steps.

The first step would be to require companies that provide contract services to the city to pay their employees more. “If we contract with you, you ought to pay your folks the same thing we pay,” City Councilman Jamal Fox said Thursday.

The second step would be to set a citywide minimum wage above the state level for private employers.
Greensboro can’t do either of those things under HB 2.

…..Locally elected city councils know best whether the “general welfare of the people” would be improved by raising the minimum wage in their own communities. The state shouldn’t encourage competition for low-wage work but should let cities demand more of their own businesses and industries.

It’s that last part that really gets me—- does the N&R really believe the City Council—-our City Council– is qualified to dictate how much local companies should pay their employees? Evidently they haven’t watched enough council meetings on local access television.

I also like this logic:

If some cities want to create a higher living standard, why should the state interfere? If the answer is that this would drive businesses out of those cities, then legislators should welcome the opportunities for outlying towns and counties that tend to have higher unemployment.

Make it sound so easy— and is that not selling outlying towns short—so desperate that they’re willing to accept wages that cities think are unsuitable for their residents?

Yet another example of our local paper of record not understanding its audience—a good many who are small business owners. That’s not going help save the paper—which some believe is still possible.