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There are multiple reports in the Chicago media that the city's lawmakers will consider a proposal to tax retailers retailers who use self-checkout lanes instead of employing cashiers.

According to the story, Eighth Ward Council Member Devon Reid "envisions a tax of about $5,000 per kiosk each year."

KC's View:

This is stupid.

At a time when labor is hard to come by and technology is reshaping the retail business, this guy wants to penalize retailers for actually grappling with reality.

He makes the point that retailers aren't lowering prices when they eliminate cashiers, and that is reason enough to assess them with a new tax.  Or, I would suggest, consumers can start making different buying decisions.

I'm not reflexively anti-taxes.  I think that they can be sued to accomplish positive public policy.  But this is just dumb.