Seattle Prepares for Robot Revolution by Setting $15 Minimum Wage

If conservatives are anti-science, socialists are anti-math.15 NowOur labor participation rate is terrible and our economy shrank by 1 percent in the first quarter of the year. So it's the perfect time to raise the minimum wage to a degree unseen in America before, right?

That's what Seattle has done. Yesterday the Seattle City Council unanimously voted to raise the city's minimum wage to $15 over the next seven years. Labor activists are actually considering forcing a public vote to speed up the process so that it hits the new minimum in three years. The city recently elected its first Socialist council member, Kshama Sawant, so perhaps the move shouldn't have come as a surprise. The City Council dulled the edge of the new minimum a bit by allowing for a lower training wage for teenagers and disabled workers. This prompted outrage from Sawant and labor supporters, who I guess want to drive teens and the disabled out of the job market entirely.

Franchise owners are planning a lawsuit because the law counts them as big businesses and only gives them three years to phase in the increase. From The Seattle Times:

Local franchisee David Jones, who owns two Subway stores in Seattle, puts his cost of a $15 minimum at $125,000 annually. He pays the stores' 18 employees $10.50 an hour, on average; he figures he'll have to raise sandwich prices by a dollar or more to maintain profits.

"I'm going to increase prices and work hard to provide the best service possible so that I don't lose sales," he said, noting that his nonfranchise competitors will have four more years to phase in the increase. "The playing field is not even."

Seattle is at about the middle of the pack in metropolitan area unemployment rates—4.8 percent in April. There's also already some information about how a $15 minimum wage may affect the area. Voters set a minimum wage for jobs at hotels and parking garages serving the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to $15 last fall. The change went into effect with the new year. The Seattle Times looked at some of the impact in February. While acknowledging that it's still too soon to truly evaluate the consequences, the paper noted some price increases and "casualties":

The 215-room Clarion Hotel closed its full-service restaurant in December, laying off 15 people, said general manager Perry Wall. The hotel also let go a night desk clerk and maintenance employee and is considering a 10 percent increase in room rates for the spring travel season, Wall said.

He estimates that without a reduction in head count, the hotel's annual payroll costs would have increased $300,000. It still employs about 30 people for jobs Wall describes as more in-demand than ever.

"I just think unskilled workers are going to have a harder time finding jobs," he said. "You're going to have people from as far away as Bellevue or Tacoma wanting these jobs, and they're going to come with skills and experience. For $15 an hour, they'll go that extra distance."

Blog United Liberty tracked down some interesting comments from workers at the blog for Northwest Asian Weekly. They found a couple of workers who were affected by the new wages. Things didn't quite turn out as planned:

"Are you happy with the $15 wage?" I asked the full-time cleaning lady.

"It sounds good, but it's not good," the woman said.

"Why?" I asked.

"I lost my 401k, health insurance, paid holiday, and vacation," she responded. "No more free food," she added.

The hotel used to feed her. Now, she has to bring her own food. Also, no overtime, she said. She used to work extra hours and received overtime pay.

What else? I asked.

"I have to pay for parking," she said.

Several business leaders in Seattle's Asian community submitted a commentary to the weekly warning about the terrible impact of the wage increase on immigrants and minority-owned small businesses. Read it here.

And here's a chart showing how many adults between the ages of 18 and 34 who are living with their parents. Anybody remember how they used to make such a big deal of this number when Gen-Xers were first entering the job market? Take a look at the difference now:

Business InsiderBusiness Insider

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  • Alice Bowie||

    The Robots are coming the Robots are coming...

  • R C Dean||

    The sexbot thread is over there.

  • Suicidy||

    Good. Bender is awesome.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Shut up baby, he knows it.

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    Just don't tell Flexo you said that!

  • Daily Beatings||

    I'm gonna go build my own thread, with blackjack and hookers.

  • poppavein||

    I think this is great news!

    -- Robert's Robot Repair

  • Hugh Akston||

    It will be interesting to watch the effect this has on Seattle's employment and economy. It'll also be interesting to see if businesses move to T-town or Bellevue to avoid the cost increases.

  • ||

    There are very, very few businesses that would move to Tacoma or Bellevue. This is going to impact restaurants and bars most heavily, and they are very local concerns. It will be interesting to see how many go out of business (tons of them are in my neighborhood, so I'll see right away).

  • jmomls||

    Don't bartenders and waitresses work subminimum wage plus tips? If so, this won't affect them at all.

  • Warren's Strapon||

    It should also be interesting to watch the rest of the country respond to this. If a McDonald's in Seattle can figure out how to save $50k in labor costs, there's no reason one in Omaha couldn't try the same thing.

  • LynchPin1477||

    how to save $50k in labor costs

    But be careful. They may only be "saving" labor costs when labor costs $15/hr. It will be more a question of how much less it costs them to have fewer employees.

  • Warren's Strapon||

    Eh, the number wasn't the point. I guess I should have said if Seattle can use less labor in a given business (Starbuck's, McD's, whatever), so can Omaha.

    Yeah, Omaha's labor would be cheaper and would therefore need a larger labor savings to justify capital expenditure, but the theory still applies. Also, I wonder if new fast food technology is like new technology for smartphones or video cards or whatever: the first one in the generation is the most expensive; after that the price drops.

  • Brian||

    Also, I wonder if new fast food technology is like new technology for smartphones or video cards or whatever: the first one in the generation is the most expensive; after that the price drops.

    It probably depends on the system.

    Replacing a cash register operator? The technology already exists, and is already cheap. It's just a matter of whether it's worth it, given the cost, and whether you want to sell the product to your consumers that way.

    Making a three-man fast food prep system go down to one man? That might be more difficult. But, you already pointed out, all you need is the price of labor to go up and, suddenly, expensive solutions look cheap.

  • derpules||

    moar pink slime

  • Suicidy||

    Yes, we are seeing more pinko slime. In the form of a socialist city councilman. Who would rightfully be imprisoned if the country were run correctly.

  • Pulseguy||

    Seattle is a big coffee city. I've been to Italy and had some great espresso made with push button machines, instead of the labor intensive standard machine. In three years half the baristas will be out of work. At that point your typical PhD will really be in trouble.

  • ||

    The red signs and the fists are cute. Is it just me, or is overt communism more fashionable than it's been for decades? It seems like we're entering a very dangerous time.

  • MOFO.||

    Yes, but i see it as a good sign, not a bad one. That the left is reduced to warmed over commie bullshit tells me that they lack a better message, even a fictional one.

  • Suicidy||

    I just look forward to them all being trucked to the landfill after they are eliminated when good Americans have had enough.

  • Paul.||

    Gun control is next. Can't have an armed populace when you're trying to make the better man.

  • DarrenM||

    I think bullet control will be next. If there are no bullets, guns are just expensive clubs. :)

  • ||

    Unlikely, although it's not as popular as it used to be, hand re-loading is relatively simple and cheap.

  • ||

    the left is reduced to warmed over commie bullshit

    They just passed a $15 an hour min wage in Seattle and min wage increases are popular nation wide and no one in the media will talk about how min wages are bad despite the undeniable evidence that min wages hurt the very people they are designed to help.

    I don't see the left being reduced at all. If anything they are in ascension.

  • Paul.||

    I don't see the left being reduced at all. If anything they are in ascension.

    But heavily taxed and regulated legal marijuana is alive and well. LIBERTOPIA!

  • bassasaurusrex||

    You are correct. If there were any notion that this commie-lite routine was in decline it sure doesn't look like it. The 'give me entitlements now' population is growing. Those folks simply don't think for a second about how increasing minimum wage is going to do anything for their livelihoods. I am not sure what it will take to 'correct' this tacking left (on economic issues, I don't care about liberalizing social issues in general) that has been going on for nearly 100 years now but it will happen sooner than we thing I am sure. .

  • Sudden||

    When Warty is concerned about the danger others pose, the end is nigh.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Bill Nigh, the Apocalypse Guy.

  • VicRattlehead||

    This needs to be a meme mocking him for global warming

  • Doctor Whom||

    The further into the past communism in practice recedes, the better communism on paper looks.

  • ||

    You think that's it? Because I think a lot of these idiots would love to send people to death camps.

  • Virginian||

    I'd love to see them try. Those signs ain't bulletproof.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Those signs ain't bulletproof.

    And this is the saving grace. For as many as there are moving toward fascism, there are just as many moving toward liberty. (And we have all the guns.)

  • ||

    I'm becoming more and more convinced that John is right when he says that these people hate guns because they want mob violence. They would love nothing more than to have their own SA.

  • Virginian||

    I think the inner vanguard types definitely have that in mind. The old ones who remember using the threat of riots to extort money back in the day hate that you can't really do that in an armed society.

    Well you can, but it only works once.

  • The Original Jason||

    We have to kill the Kochs and other right wingers before they have a chance to implement their death camps for the poor and non-white.

  • Unable2Reason||

    We have to shatter the Cokes and other beverages that are leaning to the right before they quench our thirsts.

  • JWatts||

    Well they are both true. The useful idiots will apologize and obfuscate the short comings of Communism and declare that "This time it will be different."

    And many others will be too lazy to bother looking at the history for themselves. How many movies depict Stalin's purges, education camps and forced migrations? And how many depict Hitler's various evils?

    Most lazy thinkers don't actually "know" that Communism has an atrocious history.

  • ||

    ...or take 2s to realize that communism has some pretty crummy internal principles to begin with.

    Everybody loves the God in the Bible that parts the Red Sea, frees the slaves, feeds the masses, cures the sick, and makes mana fall from the heavens. Nobody likes the one that commands that non-believers are sinners and that they will all die by flood and fire and be damned to hell, so everyone should live life by his rules... for the greater good.

    There's a reason why economists refer to it as a 'command economy' and not 'malevolently guided economy' or a 'technologically sanctioned' economy.

  • ace_m82||

    I love that God. And you mischaracterize him horribly. First of all, Christianity isn't a religion where you are saved by rule-keeping. But if you still choose to ignore his acts to save you then he is a gentleman and allows you to "live" without him, until you die. Then you get to spend eternity without him.

    That's quite libertarian.

  • Harvard||

    Tip of the hat to you. Never better spoken.

    However you must understand, more Christianity bashing, the greater the responses. Think of it like a ratings contest.

  • VicRattlehead||

    Agreed and of all the teachings, Christianity is the only one you can best describe as deliberately saying
    "don't hurt people and don't take their stuff"
    but in the bible God puts it as
    "vengeance is mine"
    I think that it gets a notoriously bad rap for as anti-state as REAL Christianity is, probably because of those who try to rule others in the name of god when the same book says not to in its 10 rules not to break
    "thou shalt not have any other gods before me"
    if you let him Christ can teach you the meaning of true freedom and liberty and the basis through which it may flourish.

  • Suicidy||

    I would love to send them to the landfill.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Yeah, but its always other people, people they don't like. So, its all good.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Is it just me, or is overt communism more fashionable than it's been for decades?

    I've noticed this too. I can't even remember a time when anyone, except insane kooks, who would openly advocate socialism/communism. Lately, I see it all the time.

    And you're right. It's FUCKING scary. Even surreal. It is amazing what the ignorant will latch onto, but I guess that lesson was learned once in the early/mid 20th century...and forgotten.

  • JW||

    It's not communism. It's magic!

    Don't you understand how proglodyte magic works? The government passes a law and then everyone voluntarily complies. Unicorn farts then blanket the sky with happy lights and candy.

    Magic!

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    They should pass a law making cancer illegal.

  • trshmnster the terrible||

    "The Cold War is over, man! We don't have to be afraid of the communists anymore!"

    /Your local $15/hr barista

  • VicRattlehead||

    /*un-employed barista who was replaced with a robot for a tenth of their annual wage

  • GroundTruth||

    I saw a cashier at the store the other day with an oh-so-cute hammer and sickle logo on his polo shirt where the alligator is supposed to go. I should have asked the kid where he got it, maybe he could find something with a nice swastika since he's into murderous philosophies.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Shoulda asked him if he was supporting the murder of 100 million innocent people with that logo.

  • GroundTruth||

    Yeah, that was sort of where I would have taken the conversation if he'd been foolish enough to respond to the prompt.

  • jmomls||

    "Foolish enough" to respond to something that wasn't said by someone that wasn't brave enough to say it.

    Yeah, you show 'em.

  • derpules||

    In New Albany, IN (near the Kentucky boarder) there is a local pizzeria called "New Albanian Brewing Company". They have an entire dining room dedicated to communism. Portraits of Stalin, Lenin, etc. Pretty much everything but Hitler is represented in this shrine. I'm told the owner is a card carrying socialist.

    And this is in the southern part of a red state...

  • JWatts||

    "I'm told the owner is a card carrying socialist."

    I don't think you are right about that:

    "by Roger A. Baylor » Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:50 pm

    Dan E wrote:
    Fair enough, but why? Are you a communist?.

    Not to my knowledge, unless I'm a sleeper cell.

    Dan E wrote:
    I'm just not sure I understand your affinity for linking NABC to Communism.?

    Before the Wall fell, I spent a bit of time in several of the Warsaw Pact countries (and followed up in the years since). Nothing about it made me want to convert, but I already was interested in that part of the world, and the experiences were fascinating. I was in Europe in the fall of 1989, when World War II finally ended (the Cold War was the final chapter of the conflagration).

    My chosen "affinity" is for history to be remembered, not forgotten; young people have no direct memory of Communism, and in my own small way, I try to remind folks of it by retelling my travel stories. The Red Room at the Public House began innocently, as a place to hang the posters I brought back. Now, it's a prompt to teach history."

  • Suicidy||

    I would have gotten him fired, out of spite. His kind need to be put down. McCarthy had the right idea.

  • MSimon||

    McCarthy had the right idea.

    Shoot heroin and support Anslinger (his supplier)?

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Actually, Suicidy has a good idea. The right thing to do would have been to go to the manager/owner and tell him you're offended and won't be back.

  • DarrenM||

    Suggest he get a matching Swastika to go with it.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Simple. Communism fell in 1989. Let's round up to 1990 for simplicity. That means anyone under 24 wasn't even alive when communism was still around. And, lets face it, communism's fall wasn't as inglorious as Nazism. So, for most of today's youth, talk about the horrors of communism is something that really doesn't have any real meaning.

  • ||

    So, for most of today's youth, talk about the horrors of communism is something that really doesn't have any real meaning.

    I don't agree with your lead up but 100% agree with this statement. Even up to the age of 30ish, say 'holocaust' and everyone knows; 'millions of Jews died'. Say the word 'holodomor' and nobody knows what the hell you're talking about.

    The spell checker even corrects you, "Are you sure you didn't mean 'holocaust'?".

  • Ivan Pike||

    Say the word 'holodomor' and nobody knows what the hell you're talking about.

    The spell checker even corrects you

    I am surprised it doesn't say "Hodor."

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Point taken. And I realized this might be kind of an issue with my analysis. But, I still think the fact that it was actually there for the rest of the world to observe at the time lent a degree of believability. Today's youth are reliant on a woefully deficient education system.

  • hotsy totsy||

    North Korea and Cuba are still around. And horrible places to live. Venezuela is headed that way fast.

  • VicRattlehead||

    Venezuela hasn't been there since chavez?

  • Pulseguy||

    I missed that. I don't think I've seen such an overtly communist sign in decades.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Local franchisee David Jones, who owns two Subway stores in Seattle, puts his cost of a $15 minimum at $125,000 annually. He pays the stores' 18 employees $10.50 an hour, on average; he figures he'll have to raise sandwich prices by a dollar or more to maintain profits.

    I think the spirit of the raising of the minimum wage was probably to get some of the owners profits along with price increases.

  • Kevin47||

    Of course. If you don't work for government, there is no reason you should make more than $35,000 per year.

  • Suicidy||

    Unless you are one of their important friends in. academia, entertainment, the media, or a big contributor. Those people will be exempted as members of the Party in good standing.

    Right comrades?

  • Sevo||

    "I think the spirit of the raising of the minimum wage was probably to get some of the owners profits along with price increases."

    I think there are people stupid enough to imagine that might happen for longer than it takes to get out of town.

  • Sudden||

    Methinks that "maintain profits" as used in this context isn't supposed to read as maintain the current level of profits but rather maintain any profit whatsoever.

  • Brandon||

    Profit is obscene. The business should be turned over to your betters in government so that they can distribute its resources fairly.

  • Brian||

    Alice Bowie:

    I think the spirit of the raising of the minimum wage was probably to get some of the owners profits along with price increases.

    I think it's ironic how often socialists complain that greed and wealth seeking is really crass and evil, and then spend the rest of their time obsessed with how much wealth they can get their hands on, and how they can redistribute it.

    It's not exactly "getting money out of politics."

  • ||

    Because they're evil fuckers who don't believe other people deserve it.

    No. Literally. They're evil.

  • derpules||

    people over profits derp!

  • Invisible Finger||

    I'm sure the first step is reducing store hours. Cutting at the margins. Why be open after 8pm? Why be open before 11am if the lower-price breakfast items can't be served by lower-cost workers.

    The busiest hot dog place by my house is open from 11 am to 2am. The second busiest one is open from 11am to 3pm.

  • Wasteland Wanderer||

    for a sandwich shop, "maintain profits" means "stay in the black and not have to close up shop". Their margins are pretty slim on just about everything but the drinks.

  • Kevin47||

    Raising the minimum wage has no negative consequences, though. That nation's only economist, Nobel Prize Winner Paul Krugman, says so.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    As he stroked his cat

  • ||

    Isn't it his dick?

  • MSimon||

    I believe it is someone else's.

  • Doctor Whom||

    So do my liberal Facebook friends, using blatantly cherry-picked data.

  • JW||

    I've blocked so many proglodyte sites shared by friends, from my newsfeed, that FB has actually become enjoyable.

    Minimizing idiocy in my life has made it happier place. And then I come here and get depressed all over again.

  • Suicidy||

    With enough attrition, our society can be restored. It's just going go to take a lot of dead progressives to make that happen. On the positive died, I see that as immensely cathartic.

  • gimmeasammich||

    When San Francisco did something similar it was the Subways there that put this little sign up...

    http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thes.....ancisc.php

    This isn't even a, "Well that's another type of business and won't happen in Seattle." It's the same damn franchise as the one run by the guy interviewed in the article. Basically and apples-to-apples comparison.

  • Sudden||

    But I bet all those Subway employees in SF can afford to eat a $35 filet mignon with balsamic glaze reduction instead!

  • ||

    This is too rich.

    alyciamoore Dec 10, 2012
    Fine by me. If they're not willing to pay their employees a "liveable" wage and still offer reasonable deals to the public as they do for the rest of the nation - then I won't be a continued customer. There's too much good food in San Francisco anyways, Subway is only a last minute desperate attempt when there's nothing else in the vicinity.

    They really should be paying their employees $14-$15 an hour to compensate for the ridiculously high cost of living. And for those that are like "But they're just making sandwiches!!1" - take a look at In N' Out [California fast food chain]. Delicious burgers that are under $5 and they start all of their employees at $15 an hour (Even the burger flippers) and gives full health benefits. The better you treat and pay your employees the happier they'll be and the more productive they'll be.

    In-N-Out, the explicitly Bible-thumping burger chain, is your model now? Delicious.

  • Sudden||

    Of course, I've never seen an In N Out drive-thru without a line of cars cascading into the street, even at odd afternoon and early morning hours. And I've rarely seen a subway enjoy such a line, even during the lunch rush.

  • JD the elder||

    When people say stuff like this - "The better you treat and pay your employees the happier they'll be and the more productive they'll be" - I can only assume that they think employers are mostly stupid and/or evil, since they shoot themselves in the foot by not paying people more.

    Yes, treating people better generally helps, which is why most jobs are not dark Satanic mills, but does he really think higher pay just magically translates into higher productivity? A fast-food job is one that literally a moron can do; how does higher pay increase the productivity of a fast-food worker?

  • ||

    "The better you treat and pay your employees the happier they'll be and the more productive they'll be"

    Demand, you left out demand.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    When you look under the hood of these claims, what you find is that they obfuscate relative and absolute wages. Yes, if you pay a lot more than everyone else, you get the best workers. But, we don't live in a world where all our children are above average.

  • gimmeasammich||

    My favorite was this one.

    вσвву вℓιѕн Apr 6, 2012
    but the 5 dollar sucky sucky in Chinatown is still available ... right???
  • Brandon||

    Only if you finish in 20 minutes.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    I'll also note that In-N-Out Burger is paying a high relative wage. They're probably a lot more selective about who they hire (yes, even for their burger flippers) than Subway. My guess is that they'd show alyciamoore the door when she failed to realize that distinction.

  • XM||

    I don't think In N Outs starting salary is 15 dollars an hour, although that might be different in the bay area.

    In N Out is an iconic brand that's only available in limited locations. And it enjoys the sort of cultish following that the Mcrib gets every once in a while its released.

    Plus, their menu is tiny. They have burgers, lemonades, shakes, fries, and coffee. That's it. Their portions are a bit small too. Quality over quantity.

    If the chain went national, I don't think they can maintain the low prices AND higher wages. Starbucks can do it, because they charges you nearly 4 bucks for blended coffee and their customers die hard with their brand.

  • ||

    Let me get this straight? Subway needs to subsidize your decision to live in SF? And why is the cost of living so high? Can it be, I'm just guessing here, because of endless regulations California is infamous for?

  • ||

    And then this old bag.

    Elizabethfrantes Apr 2, 2012
    When I moved to SF there were less than a dozen fast food places total in the entire city. We had lots of great food from delis and we didn't eat out of trucks. Everyone could afford to sit down and eat off china.
  • Brandon||

    Everyone *she* knew, anyway.

  • Sevo||

    When I moved to SF, I couldn't afford to eat off china.

  • JW||

    Tulpa is an old commie hag? That actually makes sense.

  • ||

    Everyone could afford to sit down and eat off china.

    I can only assume this is an off-color reference to the Golden Dragon Massacre?

  • gaoxiaen||

    That's because she moved there on April 19th, 1906.

  • VicRattlehead||

    totally read that as "beat off china"
    it made me laugh because I am currently listening to "Bukkake Tsunami" By Cattle Decapitation and had a visual of a giant wave of Chinese semen obliterating downtown SF. Figured id share my thoughts with the rest of you in case anyone needed to vomit or laugh

  • Bryan C||

    Forcing people to work for the wage you decide they should take is noble. Because fairness.

  • PapayaSF||

    "So what are the effects of increasing minimum wages? Any Econ 101 student can tell you the answer: The higher wage reduces the quantity of labor demanded, and hence leads to unemployment." —Paul Krugman (before he became a progressive tool)

  • Bill Dalasio||

    My guess is that, if you look at his actual academic writings, it's still pretty much the same. If you look, Krugman takes a big heaping draught of derp before he writes his NYT columns.

  • sarcasmic||

    Well we all know that those rich business owners aren't paying the workers their fair share because they're still rich! If they would give up some of their obscene profits then maybe they wouldn't have to raise prices and take away benefits from their workers! But no! Greed wins! They put obscene profits before people! The city should just take over the businesses! Everything government does is more efficient because it doesn't waste money on obscene profits for the rich! Power to the people!

  • MSimon||

    Power FROM the people. The methane collectors will be by shortly.

  • Calidissident||

    OT, but this headline was so ridiculous I had to post it in the first thread here

    Slate: "Obamacare is the Most Important Piece of Gay Rights Legislation Ever Passed"

    www.slate.com/blogs/outward/20.....ights.html

  • DJF||

    The headline is true if you think the government's job is to subsidize your life style and force people to engage in trade with you even if they don't want to engage in such trade.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    My last partner was of the same sex and my disposable income has only shrunk since 0care went into effect. Fuck. You.

    PS: sexual orientation =/= lifestyle, at least no more than heterosexuality is a lifestyle.

  • Sudden||

    If its heterosexual marriage, it most certainly is a lifestyle. Its getting nagged at all fucking day, not getting laid, and then rubbing one out in the bathroom when that bitch goes to sleep.

  • 21044||

    Are you really me?

  • VicRattlehead||

    Is gay marriage the same?
    or is it more like dudes chillin with dudes except with sex

  • Andrew S.||

    Sometimes I think, or at least hope, that Slate and Salon are both troll sites, competing with each other to see who can post the most outrageous headline/article before somebody notices.

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    While I don't think they are just 'trolling', in the sense of making ridiculous statements just to piss people off, they clearly write outrageous headlines to attract clicks.

    The recent well-thought-out, not-at-all inflammatory articles on how it is time to get serious about paying reparations to anyone with a grievancce and on how millenials who think being color-blind means you aren't racist are actually just propping up White Supremacy each attracted over 3,000 comments.

  • Eggs Benedict Cumberbund||

    Slate was worth visiting before Hitch died.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Yep. It's been so long that I've read Salon that I forgot about it until now.

  • Pulseguy||

    My fantasy is Hilary hates Obama and is desperate to become President so she can prove once and for all he was not born in the US, and out him for all his outrageous acts, and have him tossed into jail for life.

    Let me know how your fantasy works out. Mine isn't doing so well right now.

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    It was inevitable that Democrats would recognize that the gay community is another interest group whose votes they can buy via wealth transfers from others.

  • ||

    The beauty of the gay community as a political group wasn't that you could enlist them in your constituency (they're only ~5% of any given population). The brilliance was that, despite any privilege and opulence the homosexuals may enjoy you could convert them to victims, generate sympathy, and bludgeon your opponents with said sympathy. SCOTUS granted a federal tax decision of $300,000 to a lesbian woman who had already inherited a $3M estate while the Occupy movement was protesting the 1%.

    It wasn't that they could get voters, it is/was a litmus test to see if there are enough useful idiots around. Anyone willing to put their neighbors' bedroom activities ahead of their own personal/national finances, NSA spying, foreign policy, etc., etc. are the people you want to get votes from.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    What does the Occupy Movement have to do with gay rights? Aside from the fact that I, a bisexual, wished napalm would rain on OWS protestors, gays and bisexuals are far more likely to be business owners than government employees.

  • Sudden||

    That was his point.

    SCOTUS granted a federal tax decision of $300,000 to a lesbian woman who had already inherited a $3M estate while the Occupy movement was protesting the 1%.

    The point is that the occupy movement was aghast at the idea of people earning $500k annually are teh evul while simultaneously thinking it a victory that a lesbian inherited $3 million because homophobia!

  • Robert||

    Bisexuals have tended to catch heat from all sides. The fact that they'll fuck as they please, thank you, is especially vexing to trads on the "right" and to many y & lesbian identity activists on the "left", and I think even the middle of the political spectrum of thought finds their existence unnerving.

  • Pulseguy||

    I think there is some same sex attraction in almost everyone. For most of us, it is an idle thought here and there and doesn't have to be acted upon. I do know people who are really in the middle. They like both sexes equally, for different purposes, and each elicits different emotional responses. The guys I know like this keep it hidden from their wives. Wives can't handle same sex attraction at all well. The women I know who feel this way are generally pretty accepted by their husbands.

  • Pulseguy||

    I also know more than a couple of gay guys who claim a lot of their sexual experiences are with married guys. Oral sex usually, given to guys whose wives don't like it. I don't know if they're exaggerating.

  • ||

    "I think there is some same sex attraction in almost everyone."

    Er, no.

    I lefty girl I dated in university used to say the same thing about guys wanting to secretly fuck other guys. I told her she was being ridiculous and presumptuous. Years later, she admitted - as she grew wiser - it was a silly thing to say and no longer believed it.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    I wouldn't say that about everyone, but claiming either homosexuality or bisexuality is a "phase" is the sign of a closet case, especially the latter as the former is now more accepted. Too many self-identified gays with bisexual impulses and too many self-identified straight people who do and say all sorts of gay things but claim otherwise. If they really weren't attracted to both then one sex would, on a physical level, disgust them. Not the case with many. Especially when said person previously went through a so-called phase.

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    "Bisexuals have tended to catch heat from all sides"

    That is pretty much the definition of a bisexual, isn't it?

  • MSimon||

    Bisexuals have tended to catch heat from all sides.

    I thought that was the point.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    No. I did not like losing my same-sex partner at the time because I got sick of hiding part of my sexuality, nor did I like losing friends or the trust of family members who accepted me when I thought and said I was gay at first. I mean in hindsight I was bi because I sort of had a girlfriend in preschool but I shrugged it off when I experienced more intense feelings for the same-sex in my early teens. Alot of people think they're gay the second they have same-sex attractions, like with the "hide yo kids" guy on YouTube a few years back who identified as gay at first but completely went into the closet the second he realized he liked girls.

  • ||

    What does the Occupy Movement have to do with gay rights?

    It doesn't, that's how a diversion works.

    For example, what does your being a bisexual have to do with any other part of your post?

    Homosexuals own more businesses proportionally and are generally better educated but, because homosexuality, they're victims.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    what does your being a bisexual have to do with any other part of your post?

    Because mad.casual tried to tie OWS with not being heterosexual even though I, again, a bisexual, wished that napalm would rain on OWS protesters. Do you know what napalm is?

    OWS was about economics, not sexual orientation.

  • Robert||

    Interesting how the "left" can tweak their -ism to make homosexuals either decadent enemies of the people or downtrodden deserving types.

  • Eggs Benedict Cumberbund||

    Half breed, that's all I ever heard...

  • SIV||

    The government should seize and run these uncooperative businesses and eliminate profits, duplication of services and other "so-called free" market inefficiencies by careful science-based top-down central planning.

  • Sevo||

    Absolutely!
    Who needs a pizza joint if there's a Micky Ds right over there. All the people who are fired can go on assistance.

  • Sudden||

    All fast food should be driven out of existence and community gardens shall sow the land they vacate!

  • VicRattlehead||

    hahaha we have a "community garden" the only thing it ever generates is weeds
    though they still waste the tax dollars to til it every end of spring (late as fuck in the season i might add) and put plants in that wont be maintained and die within a week
    yay Kommunity garden!!!!

  • Bryan C||

    Pizza and hamburgers are unhealthy. We certainly can't allow our government to subsidize that sort of thing. We'd offer you some nice healthy vegetables but they take too much water to grow. Here, have some Soylent Red instead.

  • The Original Jason||

    Tepary beans are adapted to grow and produce beans in dry climates. We're going to replace your resource hungry meats, fruits, and vegetables with tepary beans.

  • Matrix||

    Just think of the glorious day... a "fast food restaurant" will have 30 full-time employees at all times. A "dollar menu" burger right now would cost $5, but any toppings you want would be extra. Plus, it would also take an hour to get to you (on average) than the 2 minutes you might typically wait!

    Oh, and the meat would be cold and cooked 3 or 4 days ago, probably rubbery and overcooked. And the bun would be stale and dry.

    Just imagine the possibilities! Oh what a glorious day that will be!

  • Bardas Phocas||

    They'll still serve Victory Gin, won't they?

  • PapayaSF||

    Due to a high minimum wage, many French bistros now get food from off-site central kitchens, and just reheat it.

  • Pro Libertate||

    You know, fast-food prices in particular are difficult to raise much without killing demand. So something has to go to protect the pricing if labor costs are mandated far above market. Robots are a long-term solution if the rates were to remain way above market, but what goes in the meantime? I'm guessing that food quantity and quality would be the first to suffer. Mmm, McRamen.

  • Pulseguy||

    Big Mac meals in my area are over $8.00. A really great burger joint, best I've ever eaten, costs in the same area $12.00 for the same. But, you get twice the food, endless great fries, etc. at the good place. Raise both places minimum wage to $12 - $15 an hour and the great place, which already pays well, goes to $13 a meal. MacDs goes to $12, and they're out of business.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Does it have a name?

  • gaoxiaen||

    You can asterisk out some of the letters. I like to keep up on the topic of hamburgers, butt here are trademark issues on this site. Many of my posts on medical issues got the banhammer.

  • VicRattlehead||

    which only works until inflation sets in for the new min.

  • NYC2AZ||

    "MacDs goes to $12, and they're out of business."

    It's a feature, not a bug.

  • Pulseguy||

    The best and brightest could all gather in committee rooms in Washington somewhere and using the best science available will ascertain how many Big Macs you and I should eat in a year, and then declare it. And, when I say declare it, pass a law, and then be really surprised it doesn't turn out well.

  • Sudden||

    Franchise owners are planning a lawsuit because the law counts them as big businesses

    That right there shows you how completely ignorant of business these leftists truly are. They think that merely because a sandwich shop bears the Subway trademark, it is run by some evil multinational corporation that wants to starve teh chirrunz. The don't even have a basic understanding of what a franchise is.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    They don't even have a basic understanding of what a franchise is.

    An ethnic studies degree will get you that.

  • MOFO.||

    :%s/understanding/concern/g

  • LynchPin1477||

    This is where there needs to be a rec button.

  • Sudden||

    I don't get the script. Translate?

  • LynchPin1477||

    Replace "understanding" with "concern"

  • Sudden||

    Thank you.

    One of these days I'll have to learn programmer lingo, if only because it will be the only means left for communicating crimethink without being arrested.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Pretty sure the NSA speaks 1337. We're fucked no matter what.

  • Robert||

    Speaking of programming, when are they going to start using a placeholder for "reply to this" while the page is loading?

  • gaoxiaen||

    I thought that that only happened to my computer.

  • Gadianton||

    They don't even have a basic understanding concern of what a franchise is.
  • Robert||

    That's it. I'm sure most of them understand, but they don't care, because it's all symbolism.

  • #||

    "You're going to have people from as far away as Bellevue or Tacoma wanting these jobs, and they're going to come with skills and experience. For $15 an hour, they'll go that extra distance."

    For a local area min wage, this might be one of the stronger effects. That is shifting the mix of labor employed towards more better skilled workers. If you have to pay a high wage, you mind as well be picky with who you hire and better people will come from further distances and out of the woodwork to take them. Meanwhile low skilled workers now have very little shot at even the most simple jobs.

  • sarcasmic||

    Watch the proponents try to spin this by claiming the higher wage magically caused workers to become more skilled.

  • DJF||

    Its also a good way to get the unskilled out of your city.

  • #||

    It's also a good way to make work conditions worse. You can push your employees/treat them like shit when you know there is a line of people outside reader to take their spot.

  • ||

    On the margins this is almost certainly true. You will likely also see a reduction in fringe benefits and perks. Goodbye, free food!

  • #||

    Also at $15 this is going to hit a lot more jobs than just fast food.

  • Trouser-Pod||

  • Trouser-Pod||

    *bit

    /dammit!

  • Pulseguy||

    One side of the road you're in Seattle, the other side in another city that doesn't have the same minimum wage. The best workers walk across the street to get the $15 an hour. The guy across the street loses his best workers. Until his uncompetitive competitor goes broke. In which case the guy across the street has twice as many unskilled people to choose from, thereby driving down wages in his area.

  • Christophe||

    Is there such a road with significant amounts of businesses? We should take before/after pictures.

  • JagerIV||

    agreed. This is the kind of field work that must be done to show economic principles in action.

    Without pictures and the peoples stories, everything is just abstract numbers that they can easily dismiss.

    Anyone live in the area who could do this? Find such an area (or a few) and take a picture every year, maybe interview business owners/employees?

  • OneOut||

    The unskilled can't afford to relocate just to get another minimum wage job.

    They have to get on government benefits just to survive.

    Then they feel the need to vote for the party who promises to increase them.

    That's the plan.

  • DarrenM||

    Progs can't make utopia with the population they have, so they'll drive out he middle and lower middle classes. All that will be left will be those with household incomes in the 6 or 7 digits and the peasants on welfare. There will still be the servant class of course. It's a slow walk back in time to a more feudal environment.

  • ||

    I, for one, welcome the job gentrification.

    I'll be moving to an "affordable" suburb and commuting to my low-skilled fast food position.

  • Alice Bowie||

    The current companies that pay minimum wages are in the service and food industry that cannot easily reduce their workforce or offshore their workers or make machines fast enough. It is simplistic in the extreme to assume that McDonalds is somehow going to hire fewer workers if the minimum wage goes up assuming that demand stays constant.

    They cannot resort to the usual tricks of hiring more part time workers to avoid the minimum wage as they can and have done to avoid providing insurance benefits and they have already maximized mechanization to reduce the number of necessary employees, nor can they offshore those jobs to a lower wage country.

    What is more likely is that they will increase their potential pool of customers that will largely offset any losses in increased wages.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    What is more likely is that they will increase their potential pool of customers that will largely offset any losses in increased wages. raise prices.

    FIFY

  • WTF||

    No, Scruffy, they "will increase their potential pool of customers that will largely offset any losses in increased wages". Because, magic!

  • Sudden||

    If we raise the minimum wage to $1,000,000 annually, everyone will own a yacht and the yacht making industry will be cranking out millionaires by the day!

  • Bryan C||

    And then we can raise taxes to 90% to pay for the free health care! Brilliant!

  • Robert||

    Perpetual motion, yeah. Alice, did you think minimum wage workers to be some kind of closed society such that businesses employing them get their business primarily from them? If so, what would be the point of decreeing any wage, when the money just goes around & around anyway?

  • Sudden||

    In order to maintain profitability, they will be forced to increase prices. As prices increase, overall demand decreases, thereby freeing them up to get by on fewer hours worked. Ergo, lower overall employment.

    And anyone who was previously making minimum wage (or not working at all) was already maxing out their fast food intake.

  • Christophe||

    Bam. Demand and Supply will balance. Unless Seattle institutes price controls for Big Macs.

  • WTF||

    What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent rant were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone on this thread is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  • Drake||

    I honestly thought it was sarcasm.

  • WTF||

    No, Alice really is that stupid.

  • The Original Jason||

    I think it makes sense:

    What is more likely is that they will increase their potential pool of customers that will largely offset any losses in increased wages.

    How does a chain increase the potential pool of customers?

    It closes stores and fires the workers.

  • ||

    How will every fast food restaunrant in San Franciso "increase their potential pool of customers" ?

    Next, the progs will be forcing us to eat out more, because not doing so is stealing jobs from fast food workers.

  • JWatts||

    And home cooking is a burden on the back of womyn who are oppressed by the Patriarchy!

    So we need to immediately pass a law that requires all home cooking to be subject to a yearly home cooking inspection and all home cookers to be compensated according to their efforts. Any home cookers who are cooking for "free" are clearly undermining the "living wage" of all fast food workers and furthermore they are engaging in tax evasion. /derp

  • JagerIV||

    Is it really necessary to be this mean immediately?

    You don't convince people of anything by yelling at them.

    Were supposed to be the reasonable, collected ones after all.

  • #||

    Funny how grocery stores starters self check out right when minimum wage laws started rising again.

    There is also a mechanism for lower employment via less new start-ups. The average ideal franchise area may now be a larger one.

    And demand for the final product will fall somewhat.

    It amazed me how many lefties who like to think of themselves as smart and educated and "science based" hold views on this topic that is entirely driven by faith.

    This is very basic econ. The only question is the magnitude of effect, not the direction of the effect itself.

  • MOFO.||

    Add this to the list of things the self-styled "reality based community" chooses not to believe.

  • Bryan C||

    I'm convinced that most lefties simply can't conceive of anything happening beyond their own immediate actions. They're convinced their plans would work perfectly if everyone would simply do exactly as they're told to do, and nothing else. Building a society is like building a strong brick wall - some people just have to accept that they belong on the bottom.

  • Eggs Benedict Cumberbund||

    Progressive Plantation

  • ||

    It amazed me how many lefties who like to think of themselves as smart and educated and "science based" hold views on this topic that is entirely driven by faith.

    They believe economics is a zero-sum game. It makes perfect sense to them that if you pay employees more it's just coming out of some rich guy's pocket. They have no idea that value is added and wealth is created.

  • JagerIV||

    and this is a good summary of the driving mechanisms.

  • Doctor Whom||

    RTFA and see how much reality backs up your argument.

  • ||

    What they can do is higher workers with better skills, increase the work burden of salaried employees, and invest capital into automation.

    They will likely do all three.

  • ||

    Hire*, Jesus, I need coffee.

  • Sudden||

    Until I noticed the comma, I thought to myself "well, all those pencil-armed bearded hipsters working the barista circuit do have a jebuz-like appearance."

  • Robert||

    And in the process, division of abor takes a hit. What's the point of having anybody do work for you, unless you can get it for less than it's worth to you?

    I see this leading to a bifurcation wherein the work lost will go into either more DIY or higher-value-added prod'n. In the fast food example given, more people will either make their own lunch or pay more for fancier product/service.

  • MOFO.||

    "What is more likely is that they will increase their potential pool of customers that will largely offset any losses in increased wages."

    How does that work? If a restaurant can just increase their potential pool of customers, why wouldnt they just do that anyway, why should they wait and only do that in response to a minimum wage hike?

    And i think you will be surprised at what companies can do to avoid higher costs. Close earlier to cut out more marginal times, outsource non-core work to subcontractors, move to a nearby locality where they dont have such a high minimum wage.

    And really saying that a higher minimum wage is good because it wont make things that much worse for employment is a fairly weak measure of success. Maybe McDonalds wont fire anybody as a result of the minimum wage hike, but they sure arent going to rush out and hire any extra people thats for sure.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    How does that work? If a restaurant can just increase their potential pool of customers, why wouldnt they just do that anyway, why should they wait and only do that in response to a minimum wage hike?

    It's a retarded way of saying close stores. Each store now has a larger geographical footprint for a customer base. It assumes that people will travel further and that competition will do the same. Of course, that also means firing employees.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    No, I think it's even more retarded still. It's under the delusion that increased demand will offset higher production costs. Of course, the only way this could possibily work is if all minimum wage workers spent all of their money on goods produced by minimum wage workers. But, why let logic or mathematics interfere with a good narrative.

  • ||

    "Close earlier to cut out more marginal times"

    This is almost a certainty for 24hr fast food. I expect two things to happen. Late-night prices will go up first, and if that offset isn't sufficient then the shift will disappear altogether.

  • Invisible Finger||

    The first thing the 24-hour sores do is reduce the number of items they offer after a certain hour. The top 50% labor-intensive items are removed from the late-night menu because they are forced to reduce labor.

  • Jordan||

    The current companies that pay minimum wages are in the service and food industry that cannot easily reduce their workforce or offshore their workers or make machines fast enough.

    Somehow the SEATAC hotels managed to do it. Oh, and self-service registers are already a thing. I'm guessing they will become much more common in Seattle.

  • ||

    self-service registers are already a thing. I'm guessing they will become much more common in Seattle

    Every single Fred Meyer, QFC, or other "cheaper" grocery store already does. The Metropolitans and Whole Foods and Trader Joe's don't, but they're more "upscale" and charge higher prices and already pay their employees more.

    It will be interesting seeing how my local QFC reacts as opposed to Metropolitan.

  • Jordan||

    Yeah, but I meant in fast food restaurants. They're very common in grocery stores around here too (not Seattle), but I never see them in restaurants. In Dallas, Jack in the Box had them.

  • Christophe||

    Jack in the Box had them in California too.

    I suspect it's a franchise-wide thing.

  • Tak Kak||

    I've never seen a Jack in the Box around Seattle with a self-service register. I'm looking forward to it though, the less human interaction the better. 20/Hr!

  • The Original Jason||

    They're testing them in Chili's...

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    I eventually see automation at ALL restaurants. Touch screen on every table. The only job of the "waiter" will be to deliver the food. Reduce wait staff by 75%. No tipping. No more errors.

    This ain't really a bad thing. These morons are pricing themselves out of the market. Fuck em!

  • LynchPin1477||

    The Delta terminals at Laguardia already operate this way. iPads at every seat, even in the traditional restaurant areas along with a credit card reader.

  • Ann N||

    no this is a terrible thing.

    eating food prepared and controlled by someone else is an act of trust.

    eliminating the human connection will not only make customers uneasy, but it WILL result in spitting in their food.

  • Invisible Finger||

    A robot won't spit in my food.

  • ||

    Yeah, I will bet anything that they will get rid of workers by setting up self checkouts on stylish little I-Pads.

  • Toki Wartooth||

    So what exactly will McDonalds, as an example, offer to draw new people to their stores. They're a burger shake fry place. Thats what they make most their profits off, and it will always be their base. Adding a soy stirfry on a bed of endive certainly isnt going to bring in a swarm of vegetarians, and raise McDonalds profits enough to offset the loss in salary wages. People dont just eat there because of the food, but also the cost. Some people will never eat there because of they disagree with McDonalds labor practices. Either theyll reduce labor costs or raise prices. Why do you have to troll this website Alice, you're just annoying. Go bother Breitbart or The Blaze if youre not already.

  • ||

    Even if McDonalds could draw more new people to their stores, they would be drawing them AWAY from other stores.
    The total pool of customers for all restaurants in Seattle is not going to increase.

  • trshmnster the terrible||

    It is simplistic in the extreme to assume that McDonalds is somehow going to hire fewer workers if the minimum wage goes up assuming that demand stays constant.

    Why the hell would demand stay constant? The cost of doing business for the McD's just went up, meaning that they are going to shift their price point (raise prices!), meaning that demand would, by definition, go down! Less demand means less work means less workers means higher unemployment. The only way you could possibly try to argue out of that paper bag is if you make the utterly laughable claim that the higher minimum wage is somehow going to replace all the lost demand, which effectively means that either you don't think that inflation exists, or you think that inflation currently outpaces a doubling of the minimum wage over the next 3 years.

    No matter what path you take, Seattle just fucked up their local service economy.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    What is more likely is that they will increase their potential pool of customers that will largely offset any losses in increased wages.

    Huh. Why didn't every company that EVER went out of business, throughout the entire history of planet earth, think of that. Just get more customers. Boy I bet they feel stupid.

    ANd they way to get more customers is to pay your employees more, requiring you raise the price of your product. BRILLIANT!

    Moron!

  • Raston Bot||

    they have already maximized mechanization to reduce the number of necessary employees

    citation?

  • LynchPin1477||

    Ever been to a Sheetz? They already have removed the person who takes your order. You just choose everything you want from a screen, get a printout, and pay at the front. You don't think McDonald's can't do the same thing, but implement the payment method you see at grocery store self-checkout lines?

    That is just one possibility that comes to mind. I suspect people who make their living in the fast food industry have plenty of others.

  • Sevo||

    Alice Bowie|6.3.14 @ 11:03AM|#
    "The current companies that pay minimum wages are in the service and food industry that cannot easily reduce their workforce or offshore their workers or make machines fast enough."

    If that is true, they will:
    1) Raise prices
    or
    2) Go out of business.
    I'm guessing it's not true; order pads are already in place and they will rapidly replace the folks at the front counter. Prep and serv robots aren't hard to imagine. Nor are pink slips.

  • Robert||

    A restaurant or store with sunk cost in table or aisle space isn't going to be able to take advantage of this model, but one way to neutralize the min. wage ^ will be a deliveries-only model wherein the waiters will have to provide their own cars.

  • Azathoth!!||

    What is more likely is that they will increase their potential pool of customers that will largely offset any losses in increased wages.

    What kind of fucking retard actually believes this?

    That McDonalds will suddenly aquire a new, previously untapped, mass of customers that can offset this.

    Will these customers just materialize out of thin air?

    Will progs suddenly flock to McDs to support their 'living wage'?

    What utter horseshit.

  • ||

    The progs think that the new customers will be the minimum wage workers who can now afford to eat at mcdonalds.

    Because minimum wages workers are immediately going to rush out and spend all their extra cash on eating out, thus exactly replacing all of the money spent on wages with an identical amount of extra income.

    because multiplier effect, or something.

  • DarrenM||

    The progs think that the new customers will be the minimum wage workers who can now afford to eat at mcdonalds.

    Because there are so many people who yearn to have a Big Mac, but just can't find the extra 38 cents.

  • ||

    I have no doubt there are marginal consumers, but if the number of them was enough to make up for the loss, then it would entirely negate the minimum wage increase.

    It's not like the workers are going to run out and spend every last dime of the extra cash on eating out.

  • GamerFromJump||

    It's not like they can save the money.

    'Cause anyone with savings is a rich bastard keeping money out of the economy, or something. That inactive money is abandoned, and should be confiscated. /progderp

  • Bill Dalasio||

    "...they have already maximized mechanization to reduce the number of necessary employees..."

    Except, no, they haven't. Businesses will mechanize to the extent that the labor savings offsets the marginal cost of additional mechanization. Guess what? Seattle just raised the labor savings from additional mechanization a whole lot. That means, by definition, more mechanization. You'd be surprised how eliminatable many of these jobs prove.

  • Pulseguy||

    I sincerely hope one day Alice you and I get to do business together. I love dealing with people like you. People like you have made me rich.

  • Pulseguy||

    What happens when you have two McDs, 1/2 a mile apart. One in Seattle, one in a neighbouring city. One charges $10 for a Big Mac meal, one charges $7. What will happen? Will the $10 Big Mac suddenly have MORE customers? Or, will it close its doors and put a bunch of people out of work? I'm betting the second. You appear to be betting the first.

  • Christophe||

    To Alice, that's an argument for making the high minimum wage be nationwide.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Especially if you're feeding a few people.

  • JWatts||

    "What is more likely is that they will increase their potential pool of customers..."

    Could you explain how this is likely to work?

    Don't you think that most businesses have been aggressively trying to increase their customer base in the past? So, what would cause such a bump now?

  • OneOut||

    Alice Bowie

    "What is more likely is that they will increase their potential pool of customers that will largely offset any losses in increased wages."

    How would a business go about "increasing their potential pool of customers" Alice ?

    Have you ever given thought that they have already given thought to increasing their "potential pool of customers" prior to mandated wage increases ?

    After all, they are evil profit seekers.

    I am proud to say that Alice and I did not go to the sane University.

    I don't know where she went to learn that.

    I do know that that economic theory was not taught where I went.

  • Suicidy||

    Don't kid yourself. Robo burger has been under development for years. The more the cost of labor increase, the more feasible robo burger becomes.

  • DarrenM||

    Increase prices and close down newly unprofitable locations.

  • ||

    Fast food companies have already experimented with remote audio/video for the drive through window. It's fairly trivial technically to have your order taken by someone in Eastern Europe. The next logical step is the customer entering their own order and paying via cell phone. Food items will skew to things that can be made in a factory and just reheated in a microwave. The remaining humans will truly become human robots with every second of their work day calibrated against rigorous time and motion studies.

  • albo||

    $15 an hour? Pssht. Make it $45 an hour and everybody is rolling in the clover.

    And imagine how that will increase the "potential pool of customers" to offset the increased wages! Fast food owners will become the new millionaires. If $15 an hour increases the pool of customers, $45 will increase that three-fold!!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The joke's on them. In seven years the dollar will have devalued to the point that they're losing money.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    *Nervously laughs along with Fist*

  • Sudden||

    Time to patent voice recognition drive thru speakers and earn my monocle.

  • ||

    More like patent the automated burger/burrito/pizza assembly line.

  • Christophe||

    Already happening: http://momentummachines.com/

  • Raston Bot||

    couldn't call it momentyummachines.com could they, imaginationless pricks.

  • Leigh||

    Haven't you heard? With the cheap cost of data transmission, you'll be able to off shore order takers to anywhere in the world. Not to mention apps will be developed to do your ordering right off your phone. Opps, there goes another paid position!

  • ||

    Well no, the paid position is now a skilled position. You will now have people developing and maintaining the order software. Now those positions operate on a massive scale, thereby freeing the old order takers to do other things.

    The move basically subsidizes this kind of transfer from unskilled to skilled. Works just as intended...

  • trshmnster the terrible||

    Pretty much. The technology currently exists to automate the entire process, and simply have a few skilled technicians on call throughout a region to repair any issues that come up. You could literally cut a workforce in the hundreds to 5-10 people if you had the incentive to invest in the mechanized line.

    They already automate the drink filling, vending machines show how easy payment can be, and college kids are building burger assembly machines as senior design projects.

    It's just a matter of cost right now. I wouldn't at all be surprised to see fast food restaurants reduced to only 1-2 employees on premises, even at the busiest of times. That could happen within months in Seattle.

  • BigT||

    The automated order process has been implemented - I saw it 5 years ago in Paris (I think)

  • Sevo||

    That would be the place it starts.

  • Sudden||

    Even Frenchmen don't wanna deal with other Frenchmen.

  • Sevo||

    French employers want nothing to do with French employees.

  • LynchPin1477||

    So we are becoming more European! How enlightened!

  • SpitzersBlackSocks||

    Yep, they're doing it already in Europe. See this article from 2012 on the new design for French McDonalds. Kiosks and an automated counter coming soon, Forward Seattle!

  • DarrenM||

    Redbox for burgers.

  • Rhywun||

    They already automate offload the drink filling

    Maybe they could just have customers assemble their own burgers. Pass it off as "fun".

  • OneOut||

    trshmnster the terrible|6.3.14 @ 11:48AM|#

    That could happen within months in Seattle."

    You are right. Even if it doesn't happen in months it will be the epicenter of development.

  • R C Dean||

    It is simplistic in the extreme to assume that McDonalds is somehow going to hire fewer workers if the minimum wage goes up assuming that demand stays constant.

    Assuming no reduction in workforce, expenses are going to go up, and prices are going to go up as well. Higher prices are rarely consistent with demand staying constant.

    The fantasy, of course, is that wage inflation will allow people to pay the higher prices. Of course, that leaves those without jobs in the shitter, and strips away some or most of the benefit of the higher wage. You could afford McD's once a week on the old minimum wage, and with you can afford McD's higher prices once a week on your new, higher minimum wage. You are better off how, exactly?

  • kinnath||

    Increasing the minimum wage fucks the working poor who have slowly climbed up from unskilled to semiskilled positions.

  • C. Anacreon||

    If this trend continues nationwide -- and it seems like it just might -- it's going to fuck all of us. For this "feel-good" legislation will lead to serious inflation, and your savings and investments just might not keep up.

    There's really some delusion among people that everyone's wage in a company can double just by reducing the CEO salary by half.

    I also shudder when these people complain about what CEOs make when typically much of their compensation is made up in shares or options. There's no actual cash going to them that could have been re-routed to the minimum wage staff.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    I also shudder when these people complain about what CEOs make when typically much of their compensation is made up in shares or options.

    This. The Fed is leaning on the gas pedal and driving stock prices thru the roof. CEOs are benefiting as a result.

  • Robert||

    Inflation it will not cause, because the amount of money will stay the same. In fact its velocity may even decrease a little.

  • Pulseguy||

    Not true. I'm a landlord. Woohoo! Minimum wage $15 an hour, rents skyrocket. Woohoo!

  • Invisible Finger||

    Increasing the minimum wage fucks the working poor who have slowly climbed up from unskilled to semiskilled positions.

    When you become semi-skilled, you don't depend on TOP MEN as much as you did when you were unskilled.

    So the TOP MEN want to undo your climb.

    It's a sick co-dependency.

  • DarrenM||

    Progs don't care about the working poor. The only care about the non-working government-dependent poor that can be more easily manipulated.

  • alittlesense||

    You're better off because you won't be able to go to Mickey D's as often, hence losing weight. Wins all around!

  • WDATPDIM?!||

    But, don't you see, McDonald's has figured out how to make hyperpalatable food that people are addicted to. So demand will stay constant no matter how high the prices go!

  • ||

    Am I the only one who thinks this is awesome? All previous minimum wage bumps have been so minimal that their true effects are always difficult to measure. But THIS...this should produce very easily observable effects. So who's right? Those that see the unemployment effects to be substantially disruptive, or those who see the cost effects to be easily absorbable across the community?

    LET THE BATTLE BEGIN!

    (I'm just glad I'm not going to be stuck paying $3 for a taco bell taco)

  • ||

    This is my opinion as well, although I wish it wasn't so gradual and distant.

  • sarcasmic||

    Oh the effects will be observable! The effects of greedy businesses refusing to give up their obscene profits! The government attempted to force them to put people before obscene profits, but no! They're not going to do it! They'll keep their obscene profits and stick it to the workers! It won't be because of the fifteen dollar per hour minimum wage! It will be because of greed and obscene profits! Power to the people!

  • SugarFree||

    Am I the only one who thinks this is awesome?

    I think they are phasing them in too slowly to create effects disastrous enough for honest supporters to notice. Given the lead time for disruptive technology to get put in place and the slow boil of the wage increase, most of the damage will be waved away as part of normal economic churn.

    For the dishonest supporter, less minimum wage jobs will be touted as a positive effect.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    You don't really think that when everything goes to shit because of this that they will change their minds? They will find something else to blame and double down on their stupidity.

    Doncha know the downfall of Detroit was because Republicans (read anyone not a prog) were impeding the dream.

  • Almanian!||

    Any ill effects = MARKUT FAYlYOOR!11! and requires MOAR GUMMINT INTERVENTION, natch.

  • sarcasmic||

    They will find something else to blame and double down on their stupidity.

    It's those businesses refusing to cut back on their obscene profits!

    Fix it with profit cap!

    That will force businesses to share their profits with their workers!

  • Eric Bana||

    You don't really think that when everything goes to shit because of this that they will change their minds?

    True, but hopefully some people toward the middle who are not fully brainwashed might be open to taking a lesson from it. That's the most anyone can hope for.

  • ||

    You don't really think that when everything goes to shit because of this that they will change their minds?

    I know that I'll have a good laugh. The entertainment value alone makes this worth supporting.

  • Jerryskids||

    You don't really think that when everything goes to shit because of this that they will change their minds? They will find something else to blame and double down on their stupidity.

    Everybody keeps citing the law of supply and demand to suggest that passing a law raising the minimum wage is going to lead to higher prices and fewer workers. But what is government there for if not to pass laws? Just pass a law to prohibit businesses from raising their prices or cutting the number of employees.

    And don't think for one second that requiring businesses to massively increase their costs while prohibiting them from increasing their revenues will lead to businesses simply shutting their doors - we've got a law for that, too.

  • ||

    What do they intend to do when they can't pay the payroll anymore?

  • DrAwkward||

    We need a comprehensive "Dog-eat-dog" law that will address these problems. Simply forbid business from moving, changing prices or closing down. Solved.

  • #||

    The problem with this is that they are fazing it in over 7 years.

  • gimmeasammich||

    (I'm just glad I'm not going to be stuck paying $3 for a taco bell taco)

    You may not end up paying $3 for that taco, but the taco itself will become smaller and smaller. I don't have facts for this, but the bean burritos from Taco Bell seem to have gotten smaller in the last 10-15 years. The only reason I noticed is because I only go to Taco Bell maybe three times a year when I feel like I need to take a good dump.

  • Sudden||

    As per my experience last night, if you need a good dump or seven, simply order a shrimp chimichange from a sketchy Mexican food joint.

  • Trouser-Pod||

    That adds a new dimension to your screen name, Sudden. ;)

  • GamerFromJump||

    Fusion is very difficult and tends not to last long.

    Now you know from experience.

  • Tak Kak||

    We already have a perfect example of the effects of minimum wage. Just check out the first federal minimum wage and how it destroyed Puerto Rico.

  • JD the elder||

    Thanks for bringing that up - I never knew that story, but it's an interesting one. There are some noteworthy observations in the studies: for example, if people lose their jobs, they may just emigrate to more favorable places, which makes the effect of the wage hike not look so bad (since you've just exported the costs to someone else). For anyone else interested in the story, there's a good writeup here:
    http://www.nber.org/chapters/c6909.pdf

  • Gorilla tactics||

    It also completely fucked over low skilled black workers

  • DarrenM||

    No problem. They'll still vote Democrat.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    If we were dealing with intellectually honest opponents, I'd agree with you. But, we're not. It'll be because of suburbaization. Or because of insufficient social programs for those on public asssistance. Or because of, oh, look, a squirrel.

  • waffles||

    We're heading towards a 21st century John Henry where instead of driving steel it will be making sandwiches.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Instead of having a minimum wage let's have a maximum wage and use the surplus money for government programs.

  • ||

    You're still here?

  • ||

    Shitty sockpuppets gonna sockpuppet.

  • Eggs Benedict Cumberbund||

    More likely she has been being hollowed out and used as prophylactics by thorn-cocked Gulbuth The Rampant.

    h/t The Onion. From the article "Hijackers Surprised To Find Selves In Hell"

  • Jordan||

    That already exists in Cuba. Feel free to move there.

  • ||

    Doctors in Cuba just got a raise to $75 a month. Nurses will get $60 a month. Income inequality!

  • sarcasmic||

    What surplus? Say a business owner, halfway through the year, reaches his maximum allowable profits. So at that point he's being taxed at a rate of 100%. You really think he's going to keep working hard, knowing that 100% of his earning will be taken away? No. He's going to lay people off for the season, go on vacation, and start again next year. The idea of a maximum wage totally ignores incentives.

  • Virginian||

    Reagan had a good bit on this how when he was in the movies, they'd stop making them after they hit a certain wage. The stars were of course laying around the pool or partying. But the crew? Scrambling to make ends meet. Way to go tax man.

  • Christophe||

    He'll add his spouse and children as co-CEO's, also being paid the maximum wage.

    Bam, profit limit circumvented.

  • Matrix||

    So, we just created more jobs? Genius!!!

  • Matrix||

    But, but, but... my ideas are bulletproof! So says the prophet Paul Krugman!

    /progderp

  • Alice Bowie||

    My solution is to keep the Maximum wage a Secret until the end of the year. This way people will keep working and working not knowing the actual cut-off.

  • Trouser-Pod||

    Did you show up just to shit all over the graves of Seattle jobs and Hope?

  • Virginian||

    My solution is to keep the Maximum wage a Secret until the end of the year. This way people will keep working and working not knowing the actual cut-off.

    God you're on evil fuck.

  • Matrix||

    It's an ingenious way to raise revenue by the government. Oh, we're low on funds this year? Let's set the maximum wage to $150,000 and fuck all those doctors, lawyers, executives, etc. Oh, but we'll keep the exception for our cronies and for the President (of course) and the rest of the government folks.

    How the fuck do you even keep people from not dragging politicians out into the streets and beating them to death? (Hell, I'd be all for it)

  • Brandon||

    How the fuck do you even keep people from not dragging politicians out into the streets and beating them to death?

    You disarm the populace and more heavily arm police and politicians' "security" forces.

  • Mt low rider||

    Too stupid to be evil...like a box of rocks.

  • Christophe||

    What are you going to do for year 2, you stupid evil shit?

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Bury the bodies of the ones she had shot.

  • Doctor Whom||

    In year 2, no one will work at a level above that of bare subsistence, but that will make everyone equal, and that's all that matters.

  • trshmnster the terrible||

    My solution is to keep the Maximum wage a Secret until the end of the year. This way people will keep working and working not knowing the actual cut-off.

    So, you're in favor of civil war? That's what it would start, a fucking civil war, and you would be hanged from your toes like Mussolini.

    How does this sound? No maximum wage, no minimum wage, and you leave the 1st Amendment alone, you envious fuck!

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Not sure if serious

  • BigT||

    Max wage will just make us a cash society to keep it off the books. Like the drug trade.

  • Brian||

    Alice Bowie:

    My solution is to keep the Maximum wage a Secret until the end of the year. This way people will keep working and working not knowing the actual cut-off.

    But, taxation isn't theft, amirite?

    It's funny how socialists argue that taxation isn't theft; it's the price we need to pay to live in civilization.

    And then they start coming up with the rules for getting their hands on as arbitrarily large an amount of money as possible, with little or no justification on how civilization needs it to function.

  • ||

    This will work for like, one year.

  • Pulseguy||

    I thought Alice was serious, right up until this minute. She is pulling our legs. Funny, actually. I actually believed you until now.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    he

  • Christophe||

    Joke's on you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poe's_law

  • GamerFromJump||

    The problem is that there's NO WAY to know for sure. Even with my normal policy of assuming progs are evil.

  • Bryan C||

    The cotton industry pioneered some very promising maximum-wage pilot projects back in the 19th century. It was an industry-wide success and resulted in nearly full employment among the studied cohort.

    The Republicans, of course, had to step in and ruin the whole thing. Greedy bastards.

  • Toki Wartooth||

    I see what you did there. Nicely played sir.

  • Sudden||

    Indeed. A work of majestic art by Bryan C

  • Jerryskids||

    Majestic art indeed, Brian C. I would tip my hat to you if the orphan I employed to tip my hat hadn't run off to become a barista at Starbucks.

  • Alton Knutson||

    Awesome

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Alice Bowie,

    Instead of having a minimum wage let's have a maximum wage and use the surplus money for government programs.


    Because people will work the same if paid less than what they believe their labor is worth.

    Seems like learn nothing from past experiences... or famines.

  • Sevo||

    Alice Bowie|6.3.14 @ 11:36AM|#
    "Instead of having a minimum wage let's have a maximum wage and use the surplus money for government programs."

    Alice, do you, oh, pay an extra $10 at the checkout counter for the check-out guy?
    Do you purposely take jobs where the pay is less so other people might get the higher paying job?
    Or are you a slimy hypocrite who only figures other people should be forced to pay for your fantasies?

  • OneOut||

    Alice Bowie|6.3.14 @ 11:36AM|#

    Instead of having a minimum wage let's have a maximum wage and use the surplus money for government programs."

    What surplus money ?

    How much does reason pay you to keep the commentariat riled up ?

    I couldn't afford the pay cut I'm sure but I have a nephew that isn't working .

  • The Late P Brooks||

    If a restaurant can just increase their potential pool of customers, why wouldnt they just do that anyway, why should they wait and only do that in response to a minimum wage hike?

    Look, as any idiot community organizer knows, when costs go up, you reduce your prices. Volume will save you. It's simple, really.

  • Pulseguy||

    I'm losing a dollar on every meal I sell, but I'm hoping to make it up on volume.

  • Almanian!||

    Like Seattletes need ANOTHER rason to be suicidal. THANKS, CITY COUNCIL!

  • Almanian!||

    I think Alice is Tulip, trolling us with one of his 666 personalities. 8% of the time that works, Tulip.

  • Toki Wartooth||

    I dont think Tulpa is PB. Now maybe Tony is PB, and vice versa. Tulpas dumb, but Tony and Pb are a very special kind of stupid.

  • Jordan||

    Nah, Alice makes Tulpa look smart. None of his personalities were ever that retarded.

  • ||

    Maybe that's the point. He thinks Alice makes his points less dumb, or something.

  • Pulseguy||

    Until that last comment, I believed Alice. I'm almost certain now she/he is pulling our legs. I'm serious. I bet Alice is killing himself laughing right now.

  • paranoid android||

    Either joking or literally an idiot high school student. I knew some people back then who would float that kind of idea with a straight face.

  • JW||

    Alice started off as the sock of an author, who was pimping his libertarian-ish book here, years ago. I doubt it's the same person today.

  • Trouser-Pod||

    So, is the idiot behind this hike of the opinion they are Leto II? Is this some sort of "Golden Path" thing, where if they smother us, people will rise up and evolve past their limitations/ensure the survival of Humanity?

    That's got to be it, right?

  • Volren||

    Yeah, basically. But at least Leto could honestly see the future, these assholes can't see past the end of their noses.

  • Eggs Benedict Cumberbund||

    Should set up a business JUST outside of Seattle to prey on the poor dumbasses doing business IN Seattle.

  • Doctor Whom||

    Businesses never cluster on one side of a local-government boundary. Oh, wait ....

  • ||

    Flint Michigan decided to have a city income tax to gouge the GM workers in order to hire all their relatives on the city payroll. What Michael Moore didn't show in Roger & Me was as soon as you crossed the line outside the city limits, business was flourishing and people weren't eating rabbits for food.

  • trshmnster the terrible||

    Shit like this makes me advocate for a city-state system. Give these meddling shits a place to ruin, but give the people an option to move out to the countryside where they can't touch you.

    What we have now is a choice between cities run by three layers of meddling shits or countrysides run by two layers of meddling shits.

  • antisocial-ist||

    Agreed, actual federalism could show the real cost and consequences of this and other forms of statism quite clearly.

  • american socialist||

    Who else in recent history has trashed city people and urged everyone to move into the country?

  • BigT||

    Mao

  • Sevo||

    And Lenin.

  • Brian||

    And Pol Pot.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: American Stolid,

    Who else in recent history has trashed city people and urged everyone to move into the country?


    Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. About several million of them. Left the cities almost completely empty.

    There was even a film about it, with Sam Waterston. Didn't you see it?

  • Sevo||

    See it?! He was leading the cheers!

  • Brian||

    It's funny how socialist trash libertarianism and capitalism by talking about the 1800's. As if horse-drawn carriages are the ultimate result of capitalism.

    But, all those people that socialism killed within living memory? That's just living in the past.

  • Gorilla tactics||

    "revolution betrayed"

  • american socialist||

    Yay... Another one of these articles. Should I talk about my mortgage now and fighting for your economic best interest or should we just move on?

  • Toki Wartooth||

    How about you just move on, and don't comeback. Everybody would be happier.

  • LynchPin1477||

    I wish we had more intelligent, trolls arguing in good faith (of course then they wouldn't be trolls). They sharpen the mind. Unfortunately, we get people like american socialist. But that still has value, in a killing wild boars to level up sort of way.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: LynchPin1477,

    I wish we had more intelligent, trolls arguing in good faith


    The only good Trolls I know are all dead.

    /Phillip Sheridan

  • Brandon||

    Have you ever made a cogent, or coherent, point?

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    He hasn't to my knowledge.

  • Sevo||

    american socialist|6.3.14 @ 12:26PM|#
    ..."Should I talk about my mortgage now and fighting for your economic best interest [...]?"

    Naah. Your stupidity and lies don't need regular exposure.

  • R C Dean||

    Should I talk about my mortgage now

    I have a hard time imagining anything more irrelevant to a discussion of the minimum wage.

    and fighting for your economic best interest or should we just move on?

    I'll determine my own economic best interest, thanks. And I certainly don't need or want you to fight for it.

  • ||

    I have a hard time imagining anything more irrelevant to a discussion of the minimum wage.

    Well they are both related to inflation.

    Without inflation there would be no need for min wage increases.

    With the housing bubble which was in part created by cheap money has great effects on his mortgage.

  • Gorilla tactics||

    inflation is actually good for the minimum wage because it negates the threshold effect it has. Minimum is the barrier but the money devalues that barrier until it is a fiction-then more lower skilled people get employed.

  • Brian||

    american socialist:

    Should I talk about my mortgage now and fighting for your economic best interest or should we just move on?

    That's OK: if I feel like losing a house to a bank, I think I can pull that off without your assistance.

  • american socialist||

    Hey Brian, instead of talking about my house (old new) let's revisit your offer of a "microphone". I really, really, really want to work for Koch Industries. My last writing credit was at the Independent Alligator. Those guys would publish anyone!

  • paranoid android||

    I bet that, like everything else you say, sounded more clever in your head.

  • ||

    I think this is what a victory dance from American Socialist looks like.

    He gets his longed for $15 min wage in a major US city then just starts babbling about Kochs and mortgages in celebration.

  • gaoxiaen||

    I hate when that happens.

  • Brian||

    american socialist:

    I really, really, really want to work for Koch Industries. My last writing credit was at the Independent Alligator. Those guys would publish anyone!

    I can imagine. I assume that most professional writers went to college majoring in permanent unemployment/underemployment.

    You know the Koch's aren't even the biggest contributors to the Reason Foundation.

    When are you guys going to cross into Sarah Scaife derangement syndrome?

  • american socialist||

    I don't care. I just want to get my pay checks from boring, unpleasant, entitled, and unhappy plutocrats. Is it as great of a job as it sounds? Hook me up, man.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Alice Bowie,

    The current companies that pay minimum wages are in the service and food industry that cannot easily reduce their workforce


    Oh, they can and will reduce their workforce by eliminating their marginal workers. At $15.00/HR, these companies will simply ask the remaining employees to do more work or face the street. There will be others lining the sidewalks to get to a $15.00/HR job, so that will not be an idle threat.

    What surprises me is that the above economic deduction is fairly obvious yet you keep wishing companies do not act upon their economic interests. Why is it that socialists can't calculate? Is it that all socialists were dropped on their heads as babies or something?

  • Sudden||

    My derpbook feed has crowded with a number of resident Californians speculating on whether they should move to Seattle now. If there is a just and loving God they will all congregate there and an asteroid will nuke it from orbit.

  • ||

    I will gladly help them with their moving expenses.

  • ||

    That will be awesome. Raise the minimum wages and induce a shit ton of unskilled laborers to Seattle, thereby causing the unemployment rate to skyrocket.

    There is no escape from economics proggies.

  • Pulseguy||

    Hey, I like it. I'm a landlord. Fill the city with 10s of 1000s of extra people, raise minimum wage. I kill in scenarios like that. Rents go up 50% pretty much overnight.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Wrong. Wages go up for those there, but the number of workers goes down.

    Many of those nasty poor people will have to move out of the city.

    The Proggies know what they're doing.

  • ||

    I get it. It's sort of like how making housing unaffordable prevents slums from developing. If you make sure that it's impossible for poor people to live anywhere near you, you can keep out the riff-raff.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    Seattle just went into creationist territory on economics.

  • np||

    From Trouser-pod's link above:

    “Are you happy with the $15 wage?” I asked the full-time cleaning lady.

    “It sounds good, but it’s not good,” the woman said.

    “Why?” I asked.

    “I lost my 401k, health insurance, paid holiday, and vacation,” she responded. “No more free food,” she added.

    The hotel used to feed her. Now, she has to bring her own food. Also, no overtime, she said. She used to work extra hours and received overtime pay.

    What else? I asked.

    “I have to pay for parking,” she said.


    I wonder if the cut in benefits alone will cause some employees to seek other jobs outside of Seattle.

  • Brandon||

    Then Seattle can just mandate benefits. Because there is no possible downside to that!

    -Alice Bowie.

  • JWatts||

    You know, that's actually a more thoughtful idea than Alice Bowie's last two actual posts.

    It wouldn't work. But you probably need an IQ of at least 100 to understand why.

    Whereas almost anybody bright enough to be able to actually read it understands why this is completely unworkable:

    "Instead of having a minimum wage let's have a maximum wage and use the surplus money for government programs."

  • Bardas Phocas||

    Meet me at the Automat!
    http://www.theautomat.net/
    I was thinking about this concept. If you have the kitchen outside of the high-wage metropolis, you can assemble the food and ship it in on trucks through the day to your stores. A few custodial, technical and cashier people could serve the masses. The kitchen/assembly line would be out in the sticks and hire Mexicans.

    Ohhh, new idea: Cyborg Mexicans -- Mexiborgs, if you will.

  • Sudden||

    Machicanos?

  • ||

    ALDI is the template. A supermarket with only two employees - one to collect the money, the other to call the police.

    Customers bag their own groceries, return their own carts. Selection is limited to only the most active items, products come in boxes that are display units, only needing a few seconds to stack and pull out the flap to open.

  • JW||

    "Seattle to drastically increase youth and inner city unemployment. Local liberals rejoice at the news."

  • buybuydandavis||

    You're missing the point. Those nasty, dirty poor people will have to *move*.

  • Gorilla tactics||

    the progs are gettin pretty clever with their "cleansing", look how good they are with the open space and zoning laws to cause property to skyrocket, hence keeping the brown/black people out.

  • Jerryskids||

    The city recently elected its first Socialist council member, Kshama Sawant....

    Well fuck me. I googled the name; who would ever have guessed that Kahama Sawant isn't a 20-something white boy with dreadlocks?

  • Sevo||

    He claims to represent 'the workers'. I have a feeling he represents them exactly as well as Lenin did.

  • american socialist||

    Here dumbass: http://www.socialistalternativ.....ma-sawant/

    I want you to be able to tell the difference between an Indian woman and a dude. I'm just trying to help you out.

  • american socialist||

    Libertarian derp part #1,214,634. "He" is a 30-somethingeconomics professor from India, who just so happens to have a vagina. Can't you guys get anything right? Jesus Christ.

    In reading about her, I found that she was the first socialist to serve in Seattle since Anna Louise strong, champion of the IWW, pacifist, and anti-fascist.

  • JWatts||

    And are you smart enough to speculate why it's been decades since even Seattle had a elected Socialist?

  • Brian||

    One of the reasons it's more popular, is that socialism has been redefined.

    Last century, socialism was defined as the Marxist/Leninist variety. They spent most of that century disproving their own economic theories, killing people, and generally terrifying anyone involved or close by.

    Lately, socialism means capitalism. Seriously.

    Socialists claim that Somalia is libertopia. When you ask them where socialtopia is, they say "Nordic countries". And, what's their model? Apparently, capitalism + welfare state.

    So, apparently free market capitalism is a horrible greedy system in which everyone and everything is eaten alive in a plutocracy. It's horrible nasty, and bad. And the socialist alternative is: capitalism + welfare state.

    In other words, socialists have drastically scaled back their expectations for managing an entire economy, and wish to borrow the economic model that actually, you know, produces things that work, and doesn't starve everyone. Then, they tack on some government hand outs and public sector jobs, and call it socialism.

    I had no idea that the alternative to capitalism looked so much like capitalism.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: American Socialist,

    Libertarian derp part #1,214,634. "He" is a 30-somethingeconomics professor from India, who just so happens to have a vagina.


    Socialist 'derp' #1,276,234 - thinking that anybody gives a shit about a typographical error you just found.

    In reading about her


    Whoa, whoa, whoa! You read?

  • Brian||

    american socialist:

    In reading about her, I found that she was the first socialist to serve in Seattle since Anna Louise strong, champion of the IWW, pacifist, and anti-fascist.

    Pacifism is opposition to war and violence.

    Of course, I'm sure if you try not paying your taxes or violating any regulations, that pacifism is quickly replaced with a billy club.

  • PapayaSF||

    Every discussion of the minimum should include the fact that the Progressives who popularized (invented?) the concept didn't just want to improve the lives of the poor. No, they knew it would disemploy women, minorities, and the disabled, and that was intentional. It was sexist, racist eugenics: they wanted higher wages for white men, for white women to stay home and have babies, and to disemploy blacks and the disabled so that they would not be able to afford to have kids. More.

  • mr lizard||

    We'll define "works" for that first try, as in how well would the riot work out after the first broken house window?.

  • mr lizard||

    Wait a minute.... The thread I was responding to got squrl'd

  • Paul.||

    The city recently elected its first [openly] Socialist council member, Kshama Sawant,

    Fixed.

  • mickeyg||

    Kumbaya, you stupid west coast socialists. If you worked as hard at making a living as you do trying to bring down the businesses and people that actually fuel big government, you would all be rich and could give it away to whomever. Dumbasses.

  • Pulseguy||

    One of my sons is really ripped, in great shape, lean and energetic. Occasionally someone gives him a hard time about it, as if he is chiding them for not being in shape just by being in shape. Which he doesn't do. He isn't a proselytizer. Some chubby types, which I've got nothing against, said 'you don't understand how hard it is for me to lose weight'. My son, said, 'Dude, what do you think it took me to get into shape like this? Do you think I just went out and goofed around at the gym 3x a week? I've put 1000s of hours into this. If you did what I've done, you'd be in good shape. Don't give me a hard time because you won't do what you have to do.'

  • ||

    With all due respect to Mr. Shackford, I detest graphs which don't extend to 0 (or whatever the base is). Showing the graph between 24 and 32 percent is a form of lying.

  • Scott S.||

    Blame the government. That graph came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. I didn't make it. Something else the government can't do right.

  • Scott S.||

    Oh wait. Wrong graph. I left out the BLS graph that showed labor force participation. It committed the same sin as this graph, though, which I also didn't make.

  • DrAwkward||

    Agreed, and I see this done all the time. You get a dramatic looking graph for very small changes. It is a form of fraud.

  • paranoid android||

    I don't see what there is to get so bent out of shape about. It's done as a convenience to the reader to better see changes over time (otherwise there'd be a ton of white space at the bottom of the graph). As long as the axes are clearly labeled (and they are), calling it "fraud" is patently ridiculous. At most, you could say it's somewhat misleading...to people who can't read graphs.

  • Pulseguy||

    The reason one uses graphs is to make it visual. That is its purpose. Not taking it to zero makes the visual more impressive than it actually is. Calling it fraud is perhaps a bit excessive, if one is using fraud in the criminal sense. But, not if you are using fraud in the sense you are attempting to show something that is not true.

  • ||

    it's somewhat misleading

    I can live with that characterization.

    (otherwise there'd be a ton of white space at the bottom of the graph)

    Indeed, and that is the point: that "ton of white space" would show that the change is relatively small. It seems that the variation is roughly 20% (from ~26.5% to ~31.75%), yet the graph visually implies a much bigger variation.

    Which brings up the question: what amount of "white space" at the bottom is justified and on what basis? The vertical axis could have started at 26%; it was started at 24%. Why? Is that the amount of "white space" which is "convenient", or aesthetically pleasing?

  • Pulseguy||

    I agree. Standard practice now though.

  • ALP||

    Seattle is a very techie town - full of early adopters and anti-social "Seattle Freeze" types. Very, very fertile ground for replacing people with robots. I just hope I am dead before our Robot Overlords arrive.

  • Christophe||

    If I lived surrounded by commies, I'd be anti-social and wishing for robot overlords too.

  • ElDuderino||

    Wow, Seattle really missed an opportunity to make every worker in the city a billionaire by mandating a one billion dollar minimum wage. Obviously the socialist city council could learn a thing or two by simply watching Austin Powers every so often.

  • Gorilla tactics||

    it comes back to the perpetual motion thing. I mean it really is funny how no one just asks that one fucking question;

    Raise the minimum wage: Why not double or triple it and eliminate poverty altogether?

    For every dollar we spend on X we get more back: Why not sink the whole fucking budget into it then?

    So commonsensical yet no one asks.

  • califernian||

    This will be unlikely to cause a major disruption, because the prevailing wages in Seattle are already much higher than $7.50/hr

    Same as the 'living wage' that got passed in SF which put minimum wage at about 12/hr. Wages were ALREADY bottoming out at about 10/hr.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Doubling labor costs won't have ANY effect on businesses or employment.

    Sure.

  • JWatts||

    Actually califernian makes a good point, at least for the next several years.

    If the amount of workers already making an amount equal to or greater than the new minimum wage is fairly small then an increase to the minimum wage is unlikely to have much of an effect.

    In this case they've raised it by an exceptional amount, but, on the other hand, they've stretched the increase out over a 6-7 year period.

    So, while there will almost certainly be a measurable unemployment effect, it won't be seen for a while. if the effective minimum wage in the area is already around $9 per hour. Then you won't see much of an effect for at least 3 years.

  • ||

    This law was passed by the same sort of people who prattle on about food deserts. If some fast food restaurants go out of business, they'll see that as a net positive.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Several business leaders in Seattle's Asian community submitted a commentary to the weekly warning about the terrible impact of the wage increase on immigrants and minority-owned small businesses."

    Like most regulation, squashing small business is a feature, not a bug. New, small businesses compete on price. Minimum wage laws make it next to impossible to compete on price.

    This is about the well to do squashing opportunities for those not well to do. Sure, many workers who don't get a pink slip will get a raise. What do the well to do care if their coffee now costs a dollar more? Lost low paying jobs mean that their commute gets easier and parking is more available.

  • JohnLocke||

    Socialism: Looks good on paper. Fails in reality.

  • ||

    Libertarianism: Looks good on paper. Fails in reality.

    /prog.

  • Will4Freedom||

    Alice/A.S./Tony/et al

    I'm surprised I've read through 200+ comments and nobody has brought this up.

    Do you want to know how the free market would deal with this issue?

    One or more disgruntled, underpaid workers would go to Costco and buy 5 pounds of ground beef and a package of hamburger rolls. At Home Depot, buy a small charcoal grill. Total investment $50. Find a busy street and cook hamburgers. Sell them for a competitive price. Reinvest profits. Hire more people. Pay them $15.00 an hour if he truly believes that's their value.

    But they can't do that, can they. FDA, IRS, HHS, EPA and any number of local, state and federal red tape regulations are in the way, right? That is NOT a free market.

  • Gorilla tactics||

    Tru dat

    and when all those regulations translate into higher prices, the left accuses businesses of "gouging" or whatever. Proggies seem to conflate those who cause higher prices and those who charge higher prices.

  • american socialist||

    You mean the workers now receiving $15/hr. There have been numerous studies done on this. Low income workers benefit on the whole from increases in minimum wage. I *might* grant you that an increase from $10 to $15/hr might not be what you'd consider incremental and that you *might* see some increase in unemployment. Can we get back to this in 2016 and will libertarians give a shit if unemployment is below 5% in Seattle. Nah, they'll just publish more bullshit on how socialism is killing America. Take one look at their predictions in 2009 on the stimulus, on tax increases, on unemployment and honestly ask yourself if one of these predictions have come true.

  • gaoxiaen||

    "One or more disgruntled, underpaid workers would go to Costco and buy 5 pounds of ground beef and a package of hamburger rolls. At Home Depot, buy a small charcoal grill. Total investment $50. Find a busy street and cook hamburgers. Sell them for a competitive price. Reinvest profits. Hire more people. Pay them $15.00 an hour if he truly believes that's their value."

    Kind of how it works in Communist China, but they might buy the grill at Walmart instead, or even make their own.

  • GamerFromJump||

    Beat me to this observation. The number of such vendors is unbelievable. Technically it's illegal, but the cops don't wreck the stalls and beat up the vendors. This isn't America, after all.

  • ||

    Jesus.

    Cripes.

    Seattle.

    What the fuck did you do you stupid socialists?

  • Brian||

    Someone told them that incremental changes in the minimum wage don't effect unemployment.

    So they decided that minimum wages have no effect whatsoever, except good effects, and went psycho.

    In the true spirit of socialist economic calculation failure.

  • ||

    That's seriously retarded.

  • american socialist||

    I might have to change plans and move [back] to Seattle instead of Copenhagen. Seems like they've got it going on. You mean I won 't be able to buy my Happy Meal and fries anymore in Wallingford ? Boo hoo hoo hoo. Boo hoo hoo hoo.

  • Brian||

    You couldn't pay me to live in almost permanent suicide weather. Unless you're only happy when it rains.

    I'd take sunny California any day.

    Of course, not everyone can afford the People's Republic of California. If you think a $300K house is a challenge, try over $1M. My neighbors would love to have a $100K mortgage problem.

    You'll still get your Big Mac and fries, though. From a machine. Which is practically how it's done now, anyway.

    Anyway, enjoy getting excited about Seattle.

  • Invisible Finger||

    You couldn't pay me to live in almost permanent suicide weather.

    Why do you think the inane $15 idea started in Seattle? They loves their suicide, even economic suicide.

  • blcartwright||

    There are currently jobs in Seattle that pay $15/hr or more. If these people want to make $15/hr, maybe they should apply for a job that pays that much.

    What they do not understand, or refuse to acknowledge, is that they are selling their labor, and the employer will pay what their labor is worth. Instead, they want to be paid what they need. Well, if they need more income, then they need to increase the value of their labor in order to receive more in compensation.

    I'm 54 years old and I am teaching myself new computer programming and database skills so that I can sell data as a home business, and it's starting to take off.

  • ||

    Selling labour? I'm no slave!

    Now subsidize my lifestyle and make up for my bad decisions you greedy capitalist punk-pig!

  • booboobambam||

    Seattleites are the totally insane fringe leftwingers whose brains are fried and have absolutely no common sense. Perverted, idotic and dependent upon those who actually work and produce something, they are the poster children of the post-human who will not survive when their ideological gods of progressiveism die when reality set in.

  • ||

    Perhaps we can induce them into some sort of Eloi/Morlock style arrangement.

  • gaoxiaen||

    I'd like a leg and a breast, please.

  • Paul Spomer||

    I for one welcome our new robot overlords.

  • Response||

    Over time, only jobs that deserve $15/hr will get paid $15/hr. All other jobs that are artificially being raised will simply disappear in favor of automation.

  • VicRattlehead||

    So, the gold standard was eliminated resulting in forever setting afloat the dollar to the whims of minimum wage. we can claim its backed by the faith in the USG blah blah but if you look at our economy our dollar is valued at what it can buy. if the min is 5$/hr your dollar can buy 1/5th of an hour of time, if it is 15/hr your dollar is worth 1/15th of an hour of time
    no matter how you slice it minimum wages set the inflation of any society its the law of.

  • VicRattlehead||

    I've mulled this over and as a compromise with the socialist i would like to propose a real solution to the wages without inflating our economy into oblivion.
    Leash the employer to a maximum percentage of the average workers pay
    say John hires bill as an electrician for 15/hr and we cap john at 300% of his average workers pay or 60/hr.
    all profits in excess of this formula would fall under profit sharing for all employees so if the company succeeds the employees make a little more at the end of the year.
    minimum wage then does not destroy the economy and employers won't make exorbitant salaries on the backs of their workers because paying the worker less would mean employer topping out at less, if the workers make more than the employer can make more.
    yes this is socialist drivel but i could deal with this better than raising the min forever

  • Anon E. Mouse||

    Here's a better idea: How about we simply pay people what their labor is worth? If you bring $15 an hour value to my company, I'll pay you $10, because I'm not only paying your wages, I'm also paying for half of your Social Security, and I'm paying for workman's comp and unemployment insurance. If you don't like those wages, you can always sell your labor to someone else.

  • VicRattlehead||

    no shit thats what everyone here believes
    I said to compromise with the socialists we apparently share the country with, unless your planning to wipe them all out so we can live in Libertopia.
    the enemy has a message, shouldn't we use it against them?

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