The elimination of the Item Pricing Law would lead to a reduction in thousands of jobs. The projections can be from a high of 100,000 jobs to a conservative number of 60,000 jobs. This is based on the retail industry’s projections of the two billion dollars in cost caused by the regulation. This is a labor intensive law. This law has a cause for people to be hired to allow compliance with the law and then to inspect and regulate the law. The projections above do not include government jobs only private industry jobs.
This law forces a physical encounter with every tag-able item. Then forces a manual encounter with store shelves to apply additional pricing information. More physical activity occurs when repricing merchandise already located on store shelves. Machines stamp bar-codes on the items themselves and update store computers. This happens today. Removing the law only removes the physical or manual efforts. This leads to a reduction in the workforce. This existing workforce is not an area of restructuring to serve in another capacity. The retail association has stated that its a cost they wish to do without which means a reduction in jobs in the state of Michigan at a time when that would lead to a deeper recession, a further reduction in taxes and increased unemployment.
This $2 Billion dollars will flow directly into the executive bonus packages and executive salary compensation. Neither the republicans or their business partners have said that this money can be used elsewhere to meet other needs. Also there have been no promises and more importantly no projections of savings to consumers such as a percentage drop in prices. There has also not been any promises or projections of consumer benefits elsewhere such as better customer service or newer services where the money can be redirected. This matter is strictly a grab for profits to place into executive pockets.
This is in addition to the natural increase in problems Michigan consumers would encounter when making purchases. Today the law demands compensation when consumers are hurt by incorrect pricing. Scams such as Bait and Switch or outright fraud are not common in Michigan thanks to this law. The compensation serves as a deterrent that does not harm the retailer and serves as a self regulating punishment. Without the law, pricing errors would increase unchecked and without recourse. Retailers would not have any incentive to check for accuracy or ensure legal behavior.
The suggestion to remove this law is anti-labor, anti-consumer and against the best interest of the State of Michigan.