Minimum Wage

Minimum Wage Increases Kick In; Start Watching for Winners and Losers

Some businesses can't handle the increased burdens.


Fight for $15 protests
David Joles/TNS/Newscom

2017 ushered in minimum wage increases in 19 states, some more reasonable than others, and some of which are just the start of a series of massive jumps.

There will undoubtedly be "winners" and "losers" in these government-ordered increases, those who see actual raises vs. those who find jobs harder and harder to come by. And it's going to be a challenge to evaluate what truly happened. We are seeing increased automation of low-level low-skilled service jobs. Jacking up the minimum wage is going to increase the speed by which it happens, but it would be foolish to think it wouldn't eventually come regardless.

Houman Salem, who owns a small fashion house in the San Fernando Valley out in Los Angeles, took to the op-ed pages of the Los Angeles Times to explain why he's packing up and moving out of California. Los Angeles famously decided to eventually jack up its minimum wages to $15 per hour and the entire state followed suit.

Salem's commentary is particularly interesting because he writes about wages as a piece of a larger regulatory burden that affects his ability to do business. He explains that the minimum wage increase is the straw that broke the camel's back because of how difficult California makes it to operate a business:

Here's what the math looks like: I pay my employees $10.50 an hour, plus productivity bonuses. In addition, I pay payroll taxes and one of the highest worker compensation rates in the state. Even still, I could likely absorb a minimum wage as high as $11.50 an hour. But a $15-an-hour wage for my employees translates into $18.90 in costs for me โ€” or just under $40,000 a year per full-time employee.

When the $15 minimum wage is fully phased in, my company would be losing in excess of $200,000 a year (and far more if my workforce grows as anticipated). That may be a drop in the bucket for large corporations, but a small business cannot absorb such losses. I could try to charge more to offset that cost, but my customers โ€”the companies that are looking for someone to produce their clothing line โ€” wouldn't pay it. The result would be layoffs.

The irony here, Salem notes, is that because Nevada's regulatory costs are so much lower than California's, he may actually be able to pay his employees more by moving. Even though Nevada has a lower minimum wage than California, he'd be okay with Nevada raising it, because the overall cost per employee is lower there. (and it's probably also worth noting that the same amount of money goes further in Las Vegas than in Los Angeles, so employees making the same wages are actually wealthier)

Salem's warning is a reminder that many of the states with the highest minimum wages also have the most oppressive regulatory atmospheres to do business. And that's naturally going to wreak havoc on businesses with smaller profit marginsโ€”anything retail. (Over contributing to Forbes, Tim Worstall blasts a New York Times editorial calling for a higher national minimum wage for not grasping what a small profit margin even large retailers operate on. Over at the Washington Examiner, Jason Russell slams the same editorial for not grasping that different communities have different costs of living.)

Massachusetts officially has the highest minimum wage in the country right now at $11 an hour. And yes, it's hurting people. From The Boston Globe:

The owner of two family entertainment centers in Massachusetts said she has reduced her staff to 20 people, down from 50, over the past two years, to counteract rising payroll costs.

The employer, who asked not to be named because she feared repercussions from workers' advocates, said she and her husband have cut their hours of operation, replaced their DJ with canned music, and are working more themselves to stay afloat. They have also stopped hiring teenagers in favor of more experienced workers.

Oh, and Massachusetts' labor laws require paying employees time-and-a-half on Sundays. For these left-leaning states where residents declare their hate of big box corporate retailers, they sure do make it hard for anybody else to do business there.

Even in Panem (Washington, D.C.), where there's plenty of people cashing in on federal spending and pork, restaurants are shedding jobs as minimum wage requirements increase.

Sadly, though, I expect a lot of minimum wage coverage to focus on the impacts in urban environments, where wages are naturally higher already. I expect few will notice or care what happens outside big cities in areas that cannot absorb higher costs and prices. Unsurprisingly, those are the areas that voted for Donald Trump.

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  1. But but but intentions!

    1. Fight for $50!

  2. some more reasonable then others


    1. Among the jobs drastic increases in the minimum wage have eliminated …

      1. Don’t you talk about her.

    2. Salem’s warning is a reminder that many of the states with the highest minimum wages also have the most oppressive regulatory atmosphere’s to do business.

      ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™

      Grammar is under a Shack attack.

      1. Damn proofreaders’ union.

        1. Used to be that an editor for a publication was the final say in whether the grammar, spelling, and style of an article conformed to the publication’s guidelines. They were proofreaders with strong competence in the subject.

          Title inflation in the Internet age has made everyone an editor.

          1. That’s really “copy editor”, I think. It is pretty funny how everyone at Reason gets to be an editor, though.

            I think it’s probably unreasonable to expect that every blog post get full editorial scrutiny, though. They seem to do well with the actual magazine articles.

            1. Indeed, a copy editor is supposed to be the first pass over a piece. That doesn’t mean that the overall editors of a publication don’t carry the responsibility for the work of copy editors and managing editors. All used to be expected to have extensive competence in their subject medium: writing.

              It’s not just Reason. Title inflation is everywhere in publications, and it’s coincided with the shift to web publishing. Now anyone can scoop a story because a path to publication is so quick, so a lot of work has gotten very sloppy in favor of speed.

              I don’t expect a blog post to get a full editorial treatment, but I do expect writers to take enough pride in their craft to be able to catch egregious errors like those.

              1. Its hard to proof your own work well. You’d think they’d have someone else run an eye over it before it goes up on the site, though. Geez. I do that with frickin’ email, never mind letters, memos, etc.

                1. I have a bad habit of not doing that for emails. And forgetting attachments.

                  1. Subject: Now with attachment goodness! FW: RE: Doc Attached

                    1. You must have hacked my emails, the resemblance is so uncanny

                2. They’d have that gal, but you know, minimum wage hikes forced them to close the position. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      2. A $15.00 dollar an hour proofreader would have caught that.

        1. Just outsource it to India. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Sadly, though, I expect a lot of minimum wage coverage to focus on the impacts in urban environments, where wages are naturally higher already. I expect few will notice or care what happens outside big cities in areas that cannot absorb higher costs and prices.

    That would presume that most “journalists” know that the borders of the United States extend outside of the Amtrak corridor.

    1. And when they speak of “urban environments” they assume it’s feasible for poor, unskilled workers on the south side of Chicago (for example) to commute 2 hours one-way every day to the North Shore.

      It’s bad enough there are “grocery deserts”, this will even kill half the remaining convenience stores and short-order food places.

  4. I like touchscreen menus. Minimum wage workers generally won’t let me order things tactility.

    1. You have to pay extra for that.

      1. OK< I must admit laughing at that.

    2. They recently renovated the McDonalds near my house. Drove by the other day and noticed that they’ve reduced from 3 cash registers to 1, and installed a touchscreen kiosk. I’m kind of surprised they left the single human-operated cash register.

      1. Those people tend to be there for helping people use the automatic stuff, since both the kiosks and the users are error prone.

      2. Are you really sure that was a human?

    3. One of the nice things about ordering food/drinks at a Sheetz station – open 24 hours – made to order – and they start a few bucks above minimum wage as it is – at least in VA.

      1. Can confirm, have relatives that work at Sheetz. It’s one of the better places to get fast food around here, AND it’s a gas station/convenience store on top of that. Kiosks work really well for that setup, since you use the kiosk to order food, grab what you need at the convenience store, wait in line to pay for it all, and then the food’s almost done by the time you’re through the line. Very efficient.

  5. The next step will be states, someday the feds, offering make-work CCC-type jobs for teens and young adults, precisely because no real employers will be able to afford them.

    1. DC city government already does that:…..nt-program

    2. Most government jobs are basically make-work.

  6. If you read the comments on the LA Times piece you’ll see a lot of smug moral preening about “Well if he can’t afford to pay his employees a living wage then he clearly should not even be in business.”

    Yes, that’s right, people who contribute absolutely nothing to society by way of creating goods and services other people actually want are convinced they know exactly how to run a business and that they are in a unique position of enlightenment to force their views on others.

    1. Same with the Boston Globe article.

      Although this comment to the Boston Globe article beats anything I’ve ever seen.

      Small business is victimized by free market capitalism quite as much as are working people.

      The Paradox of the Free Market lies in the fact that a truly ‘free’ market quickly produces monopolies. A truly ‘free’ market quickly eliminates all ‘freedom’ for everyone but a small handful of dominant players.

      As in any competitive system, in any ‘free’ market, there are winners and losers. The winners get stronger. The losers get weaker. Being then stronger, the winners win more. Being weaker, the losers soon lose so much that they are eliminated altogether.

      Soon every market is dominated by a small number of the winners. This is called oligopoly. Once this point is reached, these dominant players realize that it will benefit them most to stop competing altogether, and instead consolidate through mergers.

      Thus are monopolies formed.

      Thus, and paradoxically, a truly ‘free’ market soon eliminates itself. It becomes a market dominated by monopolies, in which no ‘freedom’ for anyone else exists.

      The only thing that prevents this from happening is government interference in the ‘free’ market, via anti-trust laws and enforcement.

      This interference by government in the free market is the ONLY thing that allows small business to exist at all.

      1. Wow, that is truly derptastic.

        1. Anyone who believes that shit belongs in a landfill. Face down.

      2. I don’t know how people manage to live their lives at right angles to reality, but it’s almost sort of impressive.

      3. Good heavens. What world do they live in?

        1. My world. The world where economics is a zero sum game.

          1. Don’t touch my piece of the pie!

      4. Huh. In actual reality, companies without competition get dull and sclerotic and become ripe to topple by anyone with the capital and the willingness to take a risk. The main thing standing in the way is usually politics.

        1. Once companies reach a certain size/market share, it becomes more cost effective to lobby politicians for special considerations than it is to innovate. It doesn’t matter how libertarian the government is, humans are corruptible, therefore government will always be corruptible. And if you reduce the power of government to that point that it is pointless to corrupt, then you have a society no longer under the rule of law. You have a society where might makes right.

          1. Exactly right. You’ve pointed out one of the fallacies of libertarianism.

      5. Congratulations, you fail econ forever.

      6. What universe did this person just fly in from?

      7. Only an educated person can sound this dumb.

        1. This. Way too many college educated people who were not smart enough for college…

      8. They never bother to explain why all the real world monopolies are government-granted. Or why an alleged free market monopoly is bad while a government monopoly is good. A monopoly is a monopoly, right? Then they go on to rant about non-monopolies who simply have large market share, like Wal-Mart, Microsoft, or McDonald’s. It’s a brilliant touch of irony that minimum wage increases help the larger businesses like Wal-Mart, by reducing their competition!

    2. They claim to hate the 1% and crony capitalism. Then they support all the regulations that ensure that only the biggest corporations can afford to play the game. It just goes to show that your worst enemy is often one you created.

    3. My favorite are the ones that start with “I’m a small business employer, and I know the minimum wage should be raised because…”. Yet, curiously, none of these small business employers can offer any evidence to support their claimed status.

      1. It’s because it’s a load of bullshit. If you can afford to pay your employees more and stay competitive, do it. When you go out of business, don’t complain that nobody told you so.

        What they really believe is that they can force the invisible hand without repercussions. Any repercussions they do perceive, they hand-wave away and blame on capitalism rather than their regulations.

    4. If you read the comments on the LA Times piece you’ll see a lot of smug moral preening about “Well if he can’t afford to pay his employees a living wage then he clearly should not even be in business.”

      This sentiment is more common than you think, and it shows you how hate-filled and lacking in empathy the left is.

      1. It’s also really shallow thinking. After all, if you are required to support your employees at a certain standard of living just because you have paid them for their work, where does the line stands that divides an employer from a consumer? Would the people that make these claims about business feel obligated to continue to support a self-employed person they had once bought something from? How about repeat business, does that make you an employer who is now responsible for the livelihood of the people you purchase stuff from? Why are small time purchasers or temporary employers (ie consumers) not morally responsible in the same way as large purchasers and full time employers?

        1. Customers should pay more for a product if they can afford to do so.

          1. That’s the way income tax works. Camel got his nose in the door…

    5. The minimum wage is just a more true indication of the cost of production.

  7. The minimum wage is a complicated issue. What I wish the Ayn Rand fetishists on this comment board were capable of is incorporating the idea that people now suddenly making 15/hr instead of 8.50 an hour might– probably– be significantly better off.

    1. And just like the other communists, AmSoc, you don’t give one shit about the people who will lose their jobs as a result of a $15 minimum wage.

      1. Don’t feed the troll, please.

        1. I can’t help myself! I think I need some kind of therapy to stop me from feeding trolls.

          1. For $15/hr, I will slap you every time you try to feed a troll.

            1. I’ll do it for free!

    2. I wonder if the people now making $0 per hour are better off?

      1. Now they can go in welfare and receive Medicaid. So in Obama’s point of view, yes they are.

      2. You have to ask your question both short-term and long-term. If short-term is job loss, not better off. If long-term is forced to go get more education and then makes much more money, better off. Depends on the person. If you have a view of low-wage people as incapable morons, you prefer the short-term view. If you have a view of low-wage people as having more capability if pressured, you prefer the long-term view.
        So, what is everyone’s opinion of people and their capacity to improve?

    3. If that’s the case, why settle for $15? Why not a $25 or $50 or $200 an hour minimum wage?

      1. 200 dollars an hour would make us the richest country on Earth.

        1. And amsoc still wouldn’t pay his mortgage.

    4. Repeat after me: an effective minimum wage increases unemployment. Whether there are other effects in the economy to counteract those effects is irrelevant.

      Global warmistas try to tease a far more faint signal from chaotic climate data noise than this and proggies are absolutely sure the effect exists. This is a far clearer signal. Stop being an economics denialist.

      1. Just had to go there, huh?

      2. Why are other effects in the economy irrelevant? Perhaps more creative people could see some which are relevant.

    5. How about the people suddenly making $0 per hour? Or the people suddenly paying more for food and clothing?

      1. But since other people are making more money, they can pay more for food and clothing, and contribute more taxes for welfare!
        (I actually have seen this argument.)

        1. It’s perpetual motion machine logic. Not surprising that people like AmSoc believe it.

    6. The minimum wage is 0, and more people are going to be making it.

    7. If we’re going to have mandatory, government provided education, it would be nice if basic macro and micro concepts were introduced, so we don’t have huge chunks of the population that still can’t understand the labor market is just another market. It’s not special. It’s not more or less complicated than other markets. It’s just a supply-demand market, in and of itself. Trying to project out economic benefits of a higher paid underclass is as ridiculous and economically unsound as pretending there’s such a thing as “trickle-down” economics.

    8. american socialist|1.4.17 @ 11:55AM|#
      “The minimum wage is a complicated issue.”

      Only to those who struggle with 2+2=4.
      That would be you, asswipe. Fuck off.

  8. There’s so much hatred here for people who dare ask to make $600/wk before taxes for working a 40 hour shift. I’ve been accused of provincialism and hating White racists who helped usher in the Great Unravelling of this once great country, but honestly I think your guys hatred for poor people burns hotter.

    1. I don’t the people making more money. More power to them, in fact.

      But they’re the lucky ones. We aren’t the ones who hate poor people. You’re the one who wants more of them to go from making $8/$9/$10 an hour to $0 an hour.

    2. There’s so much hatred here for people who dare ask to make $600/wk before taxes for working a 40 hour shift

      If that was what they were asking for, I wouldn’t have a problem. But it’s not. They’re asking for government to coerce their employer into providing that.

      1. If that was what they were asking for, I wouldn’t have a problem. But it’s not. They’re asking for government to coerce their employer into providing that eliminating positions that produce less return than that.

    3. Amsoc loves poor people, which is why he wants to create so many more of them.

      1. And keep them that way. I’ve watched people refuse a pay increase at their job because it would put them in a higher income bracket and they’d lose government entitlements. Proggies love this shit. It keeps people economically suppressed forever, and they keep voting for (D)ickheads against their own economic interests.

        We ought to call it what it really is: economic Munchausen syndrome by proxy.

        1. We should really challenge the built in assumptions of the terminology, like anti-povery programs. Anything called this tends to create more poverty and/or make the poor worse off, so they are actually pro-poverty programs.

          The left gets away with language manipulation all the time. Reason should at least make an effort to undo the damage.

          1. The programs don’t eliminate poverty, they make poverty a less undesirable condition. All but the simplest of minds could see the perverse incentive that creates. The programs are sold and maintained on the basis of ameliorating poverty. But nobody answers for the unseen cost of creating poverty through the funding of these programs and the regulations that they make “necessary”.

            1. To clarify, I agree entirely that “anti-poverty” is a misnomer and was just elaborating on why.

              1. Yeah. When I hear the word “anti-poverty” it sounds to me like it means it will reduce the amount of poverty by lifting people out of it. Many of them do benefit those in poverty, but as always you get more of what you subsidize so you get more poverty and more dependence – and it actually becomes harder for those unfortunate people to escape it.

    4. No hatred. People can ask for whatever they want. But paying someone more than the value that the job produces ain’t gonna work out well.

    5. There’s so much hatred here for people who dare ask to make

      If there is one thing you will never find a libertarian taking issue with, it’s an employee asking his employer for more money. But the employer has as much right to refuse as you have to demand.

      1. But in his world “asking for” something means asking someone else to force someone to give you something.

    6. You have no idea what money is or how anything actually works.

    7. If you want to make $X/week, then obtain the skills and experience to make yourself worth $X/week to some employer. You don’t have a right to stick a gun to someone’s head to force them to pay you more than what you are worth to them in return.

      1. It’s not even about rights or coercion, it’s about math and business imperative.

        If a worker costs me $10 per hour and provides about $12 in return to the business, they are worth keeping.

        If the minimum wage pushes that cost up to $19 (regulatory compliance included), then I would lose money by keeping that worker and be less competitive in the market – eventually having to go out of business or skip town. Corporate greed isn’t even a factor – everyone is greedy by default and that doesn’t change. It’s a matter of do you want to keep your business or not.

        In that scenario, the only solution is to reduce staff so that the marginal return of each worker outweighs their cost to employ. Or move to Las Vegas.

        1. everyone is greedy by default and that doesn’t change

          So much this. A business owner wanting to make (more) money = evil. An employee wanting to make (more) money = noble and pure. Yet each needs the other; sometimes, one more than the other.

          1. Communists are under the delusional belief that the owners (Capitalists) have an unfair amount of power/leverage over the worker so they can get away with whatever they want and the employee is powerless to negotiate. That’s because they are unaware of how competition in the labor market pushes up wages and other perks. You see the idiots worrying that without a minimum wage, workers would be paid 1c or slave wages, blissfully unaware of how the vast majority of wages well above the minimum are determined.

            1. The simplest disproof of the general thesis of communism is that, if the workers produce the value, then they could dispense with the capitalists* non-violently and form a worker’s cooperative or similar institution and not only remain competitive with capitalist-owned business but in fact outperform them. The fact that this has never happened on any substantial scale indicates that, in reality, the consolidated ownership of capital has value unto itself.

              * = Capitalist here meaning owner of capital, not adherent of capitalism as an ideology, per se

            2. We are past the point where competition will push up wages (on a large scale) in developed countries. Automation is in the process of making unskilled (and eventually skilled) human labor obsolete. The next big disruption will be the transportation industry. 3+ million jobs will being disappear soon after automated vehicles become economically viable.

              People who can provide nothing but unskilled labor will have a declining standard of living moving forward. Their future is bleak.

          2. Are you telling me it was evil to sell my house for more than I paid adjusted for inflation?

            1. Not me. I was characterizing the nature of arguments behind MW advocacy, not making such an argument myself.

        2. Or improve the productivity in your firm so that the worker provides more than the costs associated. Are you assuming that productivity is a fixed factor no matter what?

      2. That’s exactly right. I supervise one department as part of my job, but before I was promoted, I worked in another part. That part was severely understaffed this past weekend, therefore I ended up spending approximately half my time there. The sales I made were enough to get the % increase up double the past years’ % increase, when I took time off to visit family. In addition, I managed to get almost all of my own stuff done, and pursue some forward planning for my old department as well (it currently doesn’t have a supervisor, and about half the employees there don’t want to work very hard, and the good half are in school, and therefore only work part time). I provide value at a level greater than my paycheck to my employer, which is why my boss values me, and since I can assist the old department when possible, my value is greater than a normal supervisor, who might not know what I know about that department.

    8. Projection.

      You’re an idiot.

      Know the difference between ignorance and deliberate ignorance?

      The former is more honest. You’re in the latter group.

    9. “We” hate poor people, yet you’re the one trying to put them out of a job. Totally typical leftie projection.

    10. american socialist|1.4.17 @ 12:03PM|#
      “There’s so much hatred”

      Not to mention mass murder:
      “Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union, set in motion events designed to cause a famine in the Ukraine to destroy the people there seeking independence from his rule. As a result, an estimated 7,000,000 persons perished in this farming area, known as the breadbasket of Europe, with the people deprived of the food they had grown with their own hands.”…..stalin.htm
      Fuck off, asswipe

    11. Hang on. At what point did it start becoming great and then start to decline? Is that in any way related to the meddling of central planners in trying to dilute learners issues into palatable bites? Seriously, what is the timing of the start and, by your definition, end of greatness. I only know that since the late 1800s that progressives have grown in power, more exponentially of late. Is it possible they are responsible for the decline you highlight? Or is this where you proclaim that even more rights, freedoms, thoughts, and money should be funneled to the few Top Men that shall be or redeemers, saviors, messiahs, and overall providers?

      Who hates “poor people”? The person that presumes they know more about those people than themselves, or the person that that believes a person should have free reign to make their own decisions? As a former poor person, I’ll thank you to stay out of my business, slaver.

      1. Larger issues, not learner. Stupid autocorrect.

    12. Shorter amsock: “dance, Commentariat, dance!”
      Seriously, stop feeding this idiot.

    13. How can you not understand wage pricing is based on productivity, relative to a labor supply/demand curve. Not proclamation by some goddamn bureaucrat, or politician.

      I know my intellect and education vastly outstrip yours AmSoc, but holy fuck you are a clueless neoMarxist

    14. Those of us who had to sharpen our brains a bit to earn those increases don’t care to subsidize those who can’t be bothered. It’s as simple as that.

  9. Scott, I think we all know there will be only losers and no winners.

    Minimum wage – at its core and as originally intended – is discriminatory and wreaks havoc on pricing and wages.

    Only a complete ignoramus would think this is good policy and politicians do it to get votes while keeping people out of the job market at the entry level. It’s lose-lose-lose.

    As for profit margins, don’t expect the average left-wing progressive to understand this or care. To them if you can’t absorb increased as a result of their economic-engineering benevolence you shouldn’t be in business or are a poor businessman or are not viable. This from people who don’t run businesses.

    Salem’s example echoes mine. The government set wages for subsidized daycares according to their scales thus forcing every private operator to play ball. For example, the government determines employee A is worth $15/hr but to us they’re worth, say, $13. We have to absorb that $2 skew in wages. Not only that, as he notes, payroll taxes bring my costs closer to $19 for Employee A. Worse, I can’t just raise prices or pass it off to the client because of daycare here is now too politicized. It’s asinine. Americans should STAY AWAY from subsidized daycare. It’s a mess.

    1. So, why did you decide to get into the daycare business? Has this all gotten a lot worse since you started?

      1. Yes it has. As for the wages, I made a small *error* in thinking – as is natural in any industry – I could just raise my prices accordingly as labor costs or new regulations eroded my margins. But currently we have to ‘freeze’ our prices to see what the government will do next. I have no idea what they’re planning. We hear rumours but it’s not a way to run a business. So we’re stuck. I will sell out as soon as it’s appropriate to do so.

        1. I will sell out as soon as it’s appropriate to do so.

          That is the most Canadian sentence i have ever read. “Sore-y!” says Rufus.

          1. You don’t get out much:


            1. If by “out” you mean “to Canadian Buzzfeed,” you are correct.

    2. Even Marx agrees that wages should be dynamic with the economy. He just arrives at the conclusion in a backassward way. Given a dynamic wage there is no way to support a minimum wage enforcement. The minimum wage is as agreed upon by the payer and payee.

      1. No…no….according to the progtards, these people are forced into servitude at gunpoint. Unable to choose their own employment.

  10. I honestly thought when Puerto Rico got into the news for its bankruptcy situation that learning it is subject to the federal minimum, which is 77% of the local median wage (the equivalent of a $38 wage mandate in D.C.) might jolt some people into noticing that it is moronic to have one wage mandate that covers every square inch of land in the U.S. and then some.

    Nah, they of course just papered over it and blamed Puerto Rico’s troubles on Congress not stimulating hard enough.

  11. Why are all these places stopping at $15?


      1. My new year’s resolution was to read fewer comments.

        1. Good job, then.

          1. Yeah, but why are they stopping at $15?

    2. All the Republicans on the Seattle city council forced them to.

    3. It is like a base camp where you temporarily rest in preparation for the next climb.

  12. But it is ok if a high minimum wage eliminates jobs, because those are jobs nobody “really” wanted to do anyway. Right? That is what I remember learning in school.

    1. I remember learning what domo arigato Mr. Roboto means.

      1. Why you’re most welcome ๐Ÿ™‚ Squeak, squeak

  13. I can’t help myself! I think I need some kind of therapy to stop me from feeding trolls.

    You’re just being overly charitable. We all know the trolls are incapable of feeding themselves. They’d starve without you.

  14. My opinion is that the mark of a good intellect is one’s ability to incorporate contravening facts into one’s ideology and explain why that ideology is still correct. Therefore, I’m perfectly capable of acknowledging that there is a minimum wage that, set high enough, would result in higher unemployment. That’s why right-wingers are reduced to employing Reductio ad absurdum arguments (I.e. well, why not raise the minimum wage to $200/he) because they don’t know exactly what the effect on employment is by raising the minimum wage. The empirical data from people that actually study these things for a living is that the effects of raising the minimum wage range from a slight beneficial effect on employment (because workers now have more money to spend) to a moderate decrease in employment because workers are laid off in companies with difficult margins. I’d say the centerline of these studies is that raising the minimum wage results in a slight increase in the unemployment rate depending on the nature of the increase and the location that it is mandated.

    None of that goes to the fact that retained workers now have increased buying power and income. That last part, right-wingers is where the ability to incorporate contravening facts might be necessary for you all. But, really, can you just admit to yourselves that this is all about how you as a future billionaire are going to be hassled by poor people and their insistence on being paid enough money to pay the rent AND for food.

    1. You talk about incorporating contravening facts then end on a total fantasy.

      When will you admit that you don’t care about the people who lose their jobs, and you don’t really care about the people who might get paid more, because the ultimate goal is to punish employers? You are a font of projection. I don’t expect to directly employ anyone from now until the day I die. I have no fantasies about being a billionaire, and if I die a millionaire, it will likely be because I’ve saved and invested my earnings, not because I’ve exploited hapless workers for the sake of personal gratification. You are the one who refuses to accept “contravening facts”.

      If you want to get paid more, ask for it. Nobody has a problem with the bargaining power of labor. The problem arises when the government intervenes with force, and when somebody is left without a job so somebody else can get paid more. Normal people would call that result unfair and exploitative, and they would be right.

    2. “That’s why right-wingers are reduced to employing Reductio ad absurdum arguments (I.e. well, why not raise the minimum wage to $200/he) because they don’t know exactly what the effect on employment is by raising the minimum wage.”

      Not really, the point of such an argument is either to force the person on the other side of it to take an absurd position, or acknowledge the general principle that, at some point, employment is going to get screwed by a minimum wage increase. Once that is established as a generally accepted premise, discussion can instead focus on what exactly that minimum wage/unemployment function looks like and what sort of employment loss should be considered acceptable.

      1. The reductio ad absurdum* is a perfectly legitimate tactic for demonstrating that a position is fundamentally flawed. As in “If in artificially high wage is beneficial and has no downsides, why not raise it even higher?” At some point, rational people begin to question whether artificially high wages are beneficial, and may actually have downsides.

        The reductio is not a logical fallacy – it is a tool for exposing logical fallacies.

        *A mode of argumentation or a form of argument in which a proposition is disproven by following its implications logically to an absurd conclusion. Arguments which use universals such as, “always”, “never”, “everyone”, “nobody”, etc., are prone to being reduced to absurd conclusions. The fallacy is in the argument that could be reduced to absurdity — so in essence, reductio ad absurdum is a technique to expose the fallacy.


    3. By what magic formula precisely does “increased purchasing power” create economic value? In imposing price constraints, you are moving money dollar-for-dollar from one person to another. If you force a transfer to the fast food workers, you are taking it directly from one or more of the following:
      1) Fast food customers
      2) Newly unemployed fast food workers
      3) Fast food restaurant capital investment
      4) Fast food employee salaries (including evil CEOs)

      It’s true that minimum wage workers are going to spend a larger percentage of each dollar on food and retail products than evil CEOs. But that’s just one way of putting money into the economy – capital spending (ie, stock purchases) and lending (ie, savings accounts) are just as beneficial to the U.S. economy as buying toilet paper.

      1. Are stock purchases just as beneficial to the economy? How does…say…high-frequency trading, create economic value? And how is high-frequency trading more beneficial than people buying toilet paper (sanitation being arguably the greatest invention in human history).

    4. Except for the now-debunked Card-Krueger study on minimum wage in fast food restaurants, provide a single study that shows a beneficial effect on employment or the local economy as a whole.

      What’s baffling, is the same people who decry the imaginary trickle-down concept, believe in some sort of magical “trickle-out” effect in raising wages. It’s never been shown to exist. Economically, it doesn’t even make sense- if there’s some sort of free flow of cash into an economy, we call that inflation- which means buying power will decrease commensurate with the magical wage increase.

    5. “…raising the minimum wage range from a slight beneficial effect on employment (because workers now have more money to spend)…”

      That’s one dubious side of the coin. The negatives far outweigh any benefits which to me add up to nothing more than ‘we did something’. Where wages were set lower than the market you get bet it’s in an industry with low competitiveness or a dying industry or one propped up by the government. Usually, wages are set at the perfect price point. It’s literally IRRATIONAL to impose a blanket wage for hundreds and thousands of businesses in different industries each with their own unique circumstances and for millions of people each with their own set of special considerations and incentives. You can’t empirically prove it works because it’s premise is faulty.

      With less purchasing power. Raise it all you want, prices and inflation will erode it via this scheme. When people want more things prices go up. Except in this case it’s artificially imposed and comes with all sorts of unintended consequences. The person suddenly earning $15 without an offset to the person who is worth more (because they’re likely to stay put) will cause all sorts of problems in the office and market place. Not only that, the person who is given $15 for politics is likely to complain they need more in a few years.

      ‘Why not $30 hr” is a perfectly acceptable rebuttal because $15 /hr base line is arbitrary and not rooted in any evidence. You have no clue at what point prices

      1. Disregard last sentence.

      2. Wages are never set at the “perfect price point”. There is no such thing as a “perfect price point”.

        Also humans are not rational calculators. Humans are irrational, emotional beings who rarely use logic to make a decision. We instead use logic to justify our emotional decisions after the fact. Even the most logical and rational among us do this.

    6. “Therefore, I’m perfectly capable of acknowledging that there is a minimum wage that, set high enough, would result in higher unemployment. ”

      Bureaucrats or economists who don’t run businesses CAN’T and shouldn’t be left to make those decisions because A) they have no skin in the game and B) don’t have to deal with the unseen consequences. Never mind that most of the time it’s borne out of an academic scheme believing it can tinker with the economy with positive effects.

      As if they know what that point is.

      Know who knows that? THE FUCKEN MARKET.

      You may not like what it settles on but that’s your problem. This is why the best arguments people have is ‘we have to do it because not fair’ and ‘greedy corporations’ and ‘hoarding profits’. None of it is rational and ALL of it is emotional.

      1. Although one can argue the architects of minimum wage laws are cold, calculating eugenicists who know exactly what they’re doing.

    7. The proper comparison isn’t to what employment was before the increase, it’s to what the employment would have been without the increase. Those places that have already started increasing their minimums right next to areas that don’t are showing a *significant* decrease in the expansion of minimum wage jobs.

      If Region A jumps their minimum wage by $2/hr and Region B right next to it doesn’t and the job growth in minimum wage type jobs in A is 1.4% and the job growth in B is 4.8%, that’s a 3.4% decrease in what employment *would* have been, not the “See? Businesses are still hiring more people so nobody’s lost anything.”

      To make matters worse, there’s never been an increase in the minimum wage so large. Usually they are just catching up to inflation and most workers are already making more than the new minimum. This jump to $15? Uncharted territory, but not unpredictable. Business costs have gone up so much in so many ways in the last few years that there are already more businesses closing down than opening up now. A jump in the wages like this is one more nail in the cofffin.

    8. american socialist|1.4.17 @ 1:08PM|#
      “My opinion is…”

      Fuck off, asswipe.

    9. So he just agreed along the same lines that reducing a tax burden puts more spending power in the hands of consumers. That enriches all. It provides the same path to wealth. Unfortunately, it does so by reducing government power rather than increasing it.

    10. “My opinion is that the mark of a good intellect is one’s ability to incorporate contravening facts into one’s ideology and explain why that ideology is still correct.”

      Cognitive dissonance as an ideology. Leftism in a nut shell.

    11. You’re acting like you have a rational, valid position in the first place. You do not. This has been explained in terms even one such as yourself should be able to understand.

  15. retained workers now have increased buying power and income.

    You’re a fucking whiz at checkers, I’ll bet.

    1. They have increased income. Whether that is increased buying power is another issue.

      1. Of course it increases buying power! As long as you act like whatever change you’re making isn’t that big. Hence why they talk about “living wages” but (generally) settle for small increases (although, Seattle is notable in stepping outside the usual range here). Marginal changes have marginal disruptions.

        They’ve already shown repeatedly they not only don’t have a problem with inflation but believe inflation is an economic virtue. Why would you be surprised that they would not understand or care about the inflationary effects of throwing more money at the same (or less!) labor?

      2. Increased buying power will be temporary. Prices will catch up and another round of MW demands will follow.

  16. My new year’s resolution was to read fewer comments.

    My advice- skip lesser ones.

  17. Maybe we could get rid of the income tax? or withholding for people who make less?
    or end payroll tax? that’s an easy 10% raise for everyone.

    1. Yes, but how does that help unions?

      1. don’t poke holes in my utopia, zeb!

  18. “Start Watching for Winners and Losers”

    People making minimum wage were already losers.

  19. I don’t give a fck about minimum wages. They mostly harm Democrats.

    I am puzzled as to why an atheist lefty would insist on overtime pay for Sundays. Is this a subsidy for the NFL?

  20. I was happy to offer a little above the minimum wage for kids to cut my grass, but when the price got too high, guess what, I cut it myself now. Ask these people if you double the cost for baby sitters if they will still hire one. idiots.

    1. Is the babysitter in question still a nubile cheerleader with daddy issues and a tendency towards risky behavior?

  21. So help me. Why do governments feel that they can tell an employee the minimum he can accept? Why can’t an employee determine the minimum he/she is willing to accept?

    The government is not forcing an employer to pay a minimum, what they are really doing is forcing the employee to not accept less than an arbitrary amount set by government fiat.

  22. The original impetus to the minimum wage back in the 1920s or so was to keep the undesireables (immigrants and chinese and blacks) from getting jobs. The logic was if employers had to pay more they would hire whites. As so often, the roots of the wonderful ideas are truly awful.

  23. If somebody wants to take a job for $1 an hour, why would you tell them they can’t? Because they’re too stupid? Because they’re not independently wealthy? Because they don’t know what they want? Because voters and elected officials know what’s better for them? Because they’re better off unemployed than earning a dollar? Because begging for change is better? Why?

    If they want to work for a dollar an hour, let them. Sheesh. Maybe they ARE wealthy. Maybe they’re living in their car and they need gas money. How does adding politics make them better off? Why is it any of our business to tell them they can’t set their own minimum wage?

    1. I’ve had people offer to work for me for less so they could learn to train dogs. I couldn’t do it.

  24. Like most things the truth is in the middle. A nation wide minimum wage of $15 seems t0o high–$10-11 seems right–with higher amounts in higher cost of living areas.

  25. I would like to see New York pass a law requiring the NYT to go back to using street corner vendors (to help reduce unemployment, say) and watch them happily pay all those vendors $15.00 and hour plus benefits.

  26. Bentley . true that Ashley `s blurb is good… last week I got Lotus Esprit sincee geting a check for $5815 this-last/five weeks and-even more than, ten/k lass-month . without a doubt it is the easiest work I’ve ever done . I began this seven months/ago and almost immediately startad earning minimum $77… per-hour . more tips here


  27. But here is the conundrum: Why do States with the highest minimum wages also have the most vibrant economies, the most regulations, the highest standards of living, most effective social safety nets and the longest lifespans of their inhabitants? Interestingly enough they also have the highest cost of living and the highest levels of education. Could it be because the States with the highest minimum wages have the most intelligent inhabitants, the best universities, the highest tech industries and the least number of firearms? I am looking for answers.

    1. “Why do States with the highest minimum wages also have the most vibrant economies, the most regulations, the highest standards of living, most effective social safety nets and the longest lifespans of their inhabitants? Interestingly enough they also have the highest cost of living and the highest levels of education. Could it be because the States with the highest minimum wages have the most intelligent inhabitants, the best universities, the highest tech industries and the least number of firearms? I am looking for answers”



    2. Your premise is highly flawed.

  28. A minimum wage Los Angeles worker now costs about $30,000 a year, and climbing. This FroYo Robot costs $30,000 and falling, and works 21 hours a day. The times they are a-change-ing. We’ll be looking at 20%+ sales taxes when the government doesn’t see enough workers to tax anymore.

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  30. my roomate’s step-mother makes $72 every hour on the computer . She has been out of a job for six months but last month her check was $13623 just working on the computer for a few hours. blog here


  31. uptil I saw the paycheck for $7608 , I accept that…my… friend woz realey bringing home money in there spare time on their apple labtop. . there aunts neighbour has done this for under 18 months and at present paid the loans on there house and purchased a new Chrysler . Check This Out


  32. Late to the thread (as usual) FUN FACT: the McDonald’s in the picture is just up the block from me. I go in there once and awhile because they have a REDBOX. If I wanted to be a complete dick I suppose I could point to it and say,”This is what a $15/hr video store employee looks like.”

  33. I bought brand new RED Ferreri by working ONline work. Six month ago i hear from my friend that she is working some online job and making more then 98$/hr i can’t beleive. But when i start this job i have to beleived herNow i am also making 98$/hr if you want to try just check this out…..


  34. Yes, it will be complicated to figure out the repercussions of this. For example, suppose someone is laid off because of the new minimum wage, they get frustrated at looking for more work, and they go and get an education and eventually start a new Silicon Valley enterprise making billions for California. The minimum wage is responsible for this, which means well-paying jobs for thousands (for the sake of argument). Suppose this happens more than once. Did the new minimum wage help or hurt Califormia, its residents, its economy and anything else? In this situation, the answer is obvious, and the conclusion is that minimum wage hikes are wonderful…
    By ignoring the long-term effect on workers, and only looking at the short-term job loss, a completely distorted view might be obtained. Digging deeper will require some real creativity and understanding of what goes on in the lives of people affected by this. There are certainly other effects, maybe even less obvious.

  35. Massachusetts officially has the highest minimum wage in the country right now at $11 an hour.

    I assume you mean of any statewide MW. There are cities with higher MW.

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