Minimum Wage

Seattle Surprise: When You Raise Prices by Gov't Diktat, People Usually Buy Less

A new "very credible" study on $15 minimum wage validates law of supply and demand.


Rattlhed, Wikimedia

Three years ago, the city of Seattle voted to raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour, in the name of human decency and basic fairness. The minimum wage went from $9.47 to $11 per hour in 2015, and then to $13 per hour in 2016. Similar policies have been enacted or considered in countless other cities.

Critics argued that boosting wages by bureaucratic diktat rather than increases in worker productivity or market demand would lead to fewer hours and fewer jobs for low-income and low-skill workers.

Now what The Washington Post calls a "very credible" study from researchers at the University of Washington's School of Public Policy and Governance finds that the critics were right.

Specifically, the study, published as a working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research, concludes

the second wage increase to $13 reduced hours worked in low-wage jobs by around 9 percent, while hourly wages in such jobs increased by around 3 percent…. The minimum wage ordinance lowered low-wage employees' earnings by an average of $125 per month in 2016.

All told, that's the equivalent of 6,317 full-time jobs eliminated because of the latest hike.

Over the past few years, a lot of people—including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)—have argued that labor costs are different than other costs and that elasticity of demand isn't that great when it comes to low-wage workers. But many of the studies that downplay the effect of minimum-wage hikes focus only on teenagers or fast-food workers. The University of Washington study looks at low-skilled, low-wage workers "spanning all industries and worker demographics."

The findings may surprise progressives who believe that the only limit to increasing pay for workers is the greed and selfishness of business owners, but they don't come as a surprise to people who recognize that the law of supply and demand can't be abolished by city councils. Labor is simply another cost for any business and if the price goes up suddenly and for no market-based reason, you'll tend to buy less of it. That said, the Washington researchers didn't find much of an effect when the wage went from $9.47 to $11.

The study implies something else that progressives downplay. If you want to raise the income of low-income workers, taxpayers should be willing to shoulder that burden themselves through cash transfers and other forms of welfare, rather than by trying to off-load the cost onto employers, many of whom are barely covering their costs.

It's a lot easier to demonize business owners for being cheapskates than to build a consensus around raising taxes. But the experience of Seattle—even before the final hikes to $15 an hour kick in—shows that simply trying to force businesses to pay more only hurts the very people minimum wage hikes are supposed to help.

Related: From 2016, "The Cruelty of the $15 Minimum Wage"

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  1. Venezuela redux.

    1. It might be worse than the study shows. I know people in Seattle that have told me they’ve lost perks like free parking due to their employers absorbing increased labor overhead.

  2. “validates law of supply and demand.”

    I hope nobody was holding their breath. The law of supply and demand was validated long ago.

    1. Yeah, but some people continue to ignore it. It’s good to rub it in their faces from time to time.

      1. > Yeah, but some people continue to ignore it.

        That’s because the left is not really concerned with helping low-income workers. Pretty much every policy they push is more about punishing people they hate than about helping anyone. Any progressive over the age of 25 has been exposed to the repeated failures of going against supply and demand. Yet, they still want it because, “It’s the right thing to do,” never once do they show any consideration for the fact that they end up hurting the very low-income people they supposedly want to help.

        Their positions on guns have the same goal. They don’t care if criminals get guns. Their real goal is to punish the Duck Dynasty types who wear camouflage to gun shows. They hate those people with every fiber of their being and want to take everything away from them.

        People need to stop pretending that progressivism is about helping ANYONE. It’s not.

        1. I think it’s more than hate for some specific “enemies”. It’s hate for people who dare to challenge their idealism — hate for people who think for themselves.

          They are fixated on being correct, and anyone who challenges that is an enemy.

          I think that fixation comes from being failures in life. Maybe they wanted to be an engineer but hated math, so had to settle for sociology. Maybe their older sibling was favored to run the family business, so they had to settle for college, and they really hate researching details of Chaucer’s grammar mistakes and what that meant for the great vowel shift.

          Whatever. Life sucks, so they fixate on an ideal world where they get their way, and any challenges to that just make their brain hurt.

          And then there are the people who are succesfull and don’t have time to think things through, and all that idealism sounds good in a vague sort of way, so they go along to be nice. Vote Democrat or Republican, no real difference, as longas they don’t have to really think much.

          1. > And then there are the people who are succesfull and don’t have time to think things through, and all that idealism sounds good in a vague sort of way, so they go along to be nice.

            Excellent point. It drives me up the damn wall when I see a CEO roll over and cave to the left’s demands. They are busy and don’t want to deal with it, so they give them what they want, thinking they’ll go away. They won’t – it’s like blood in the water to sharks. If you give them anything, they’ll come back over and over again. Just ignore them and they’ll look ineffective and will eventually go away.

            University chancellors cave to SJW demands because they really agree with them deep down. But, they are under the same delusions about satisfying them as the CEOs.

            1. > ….. they go along to be nice.

              But also there are also the ‘CEO’ etc who will go along with because it does not effect them materially unless they do not go along.

              e.g. the Nick Cook is not materially effected if the min wage was raised to $15, $20, or possibly $30; his direct employees are paid way more than this.

              But should he disagree the publicity would indirectly effect him should some folks stop buying iPhones.

              But even the iPhone rebels will quickly forget their principles because they ‘need’ iPhones.

              I thought the view of Eric July in a recent Reason interview very informative regarding the impact of the min wage on Black employment. His Backwordz album (Veracity) is great also.

          2. I tend to be more charitable. I think it’s just a matter of a mindset that refuses to think beyond immediate causes and avoids having to think about the messy consequences that are a degree or two removed.

            1. Yes. Most people have enough on their hands with their own lives and own problems, so they let George do it. Then there’s the Marxian professors whose chosen field has zero useful research possible, so they have plenty of time for nonsense, and their students who pick a field with the least demands on actual thinking.

              I wonder how much of this Marxian faculty padding is the result of pushing so many people to college just to get a four year degree regardless of field or grades.

          3. It’s all about power and control.

            They hate anyone who stands in the way of anything they wish to exert their influence over.

          4. You’re both wrong on why the minimum wage exists.

            It was literally a tool to keep black people out of the labor market, and unsurprisingly this is exactly what it continues to do.

            I know, I know. It’s shocking since Progressives say they love the poor black community but Malcolm X railed against this bullshit specifically and, as much as I don’t really like the guy, he was right.

            1. That’s why it was invented, back in the 1930s. It’s not the specific reason they want it now, although it is the same general reason of control.

            2. It is the Davis-Bacon act for federal contracting that says federal construction projects must pay the prevailing union wage. Back in the 1930s (or so), unions were all white–since you had to have friends/relatives get you in–but blacks were willing to work for less to get government construction jobs. So the D-B act was passed to prevent this. It doesn’t actually say “no blacks” it says you must pay union wages, but if you have to pay that rate, they go ahead and hire union, which is all white. The explicit rationale for the act was that it prevented defectives (minorities) from getting jobs that belonged to whites. And yet the Left continues to support unions, of which the trade unions continue to be the most racist out there (does not apply to gov employee unions or teacher unions). It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so sick.

            3. BYODB, Eric July agrees with you – see recent interview.

            4. It’s also a tool for Big Labor. As many state, local, and national labor contracts will include the prevailing minimum wage as a variable in the wage calculation in their agreement. So a bump to minimum wage is also a bump to union worker wages.

          5. It used to be understandable when young people were idealistic but a awful lot of these people are not young. When you are older you are supposed to understand what things cost and that we cannot take care of the world and all business is not evil.

        2. Or it’s that the main push is coming from union members who are covered parties to contracts where the pay is tied to a multiple of the minimum wage. Low-income workers are a fig leaf to conceal their own self-interest.

          1. Right. In a lot of cases, the unions will push for the minimum wage, then use their political clout to get an exemption from it. They then go to businesses and sell themselves as exempt, so the business will unionize. It’s a back door method of unionization.

            The businesses end up paying just as much in the long run, because the unions never stop increasing their demands.

          2. Even more generally, regardless of what their pay is pegged to, driving up the price of labor increases the demand for labor already priced above the minimum wage (which invariably includes unionized labor). So they are indirectly driving up there own wages by driving up the minimum wage, at the expense of disemployed non-union workers.

        3. No, they really DON’T understand supply and demand. And even the very few who do don’t understand it to apply to their particular pet peeve of the moment.

          And it’s not just progressives. It’s liberals, conservatives, populists, etc. Pretty much only libertarians, and not even all them, understand the basics of real world economics. In fact, the reason we’re libertarians may very well be because we do understand it. Most people sincerely believe that the economy is planned, and economic policy is merely about who gets to do the planning. It sounds nuts to us, but actually sit down and talk to people and it’s surprising how many have this idea as their model of how the universe works.

          Not necessarily consciously. If they had to stop and focus on the problem, they would know that the social world is not planned. But subconsciously they still think it is. If wages are too low, then someone has made the wages too low. If gas prices are too high it’s because some cabal of petroleum corporations have set it too high. Why would they demand that politicians keep house prices high but rents low, if they didn’t think someone had the power to set market prices?

          Government is the progressives proxy god, the omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresence force from which all good things flows, and when Trump is in power, from which all evil springs.

          1. Krugman is a great example of an economist, who should know better, who changes his tune on basic fucking mathematics if it helps his pet causes.

            1. Yeah, Krugman is an example of someone who uses his status to move causes in a political way that can be divorced from reality.

              But re: the above comment, to say that the world is not planned, or that central banking hasn’t been a force for social change, etc. would be going too far. Oligopolies, trade associations, etc. have all done alot to test the limits of the Sherman Act when it comes to “the social world.”

              1. The Sherman Act is ok in theory, I suppose, but in practice when the government is in bed with the industries they are intended to monitor it becomes a complete joke. Or, worse than a joke, a tool to punish companies that are politically disfavored. A prime example is the Microsoft case in how that act doesn’t really do a damn thing.

                Frankly, I don’t even particularly like the idea of the Sherman Act even though I would suppose it’s kosher enough under the Commerce Clause.

                1. Im decidedly less cynical in this context given that I’ve worked around this, but agree that microsoft is a bad example of us trying to model the eu. For me, to a large extent it comes down to the regulatory approach (eu) versus our enforcement approach (good), where we go after companies based on actual violations and let courts decide rather than unilaterally telling markets how to work. I also strongly feel that preserving competition is imperative for anyone who wants markets to function.

                  1. Err…the Microsoft case was a case filed under the Sherman Act itself so…

                    1. Right. But the theory underpinning the litigation pushed the very limits of Section 2 in a direction that I don’t think was entirely positive. There haven’t been many cases like it, you’d probably have to go back to the very beginnings of antitrust law in the US. Not exactly representative.

                      But perhaps youre right, and the hands off approach is best. The Chicago era economists thought so, and I don’t think it got us anywhere favorable.

        4. *clap clap* what insight. The left got the numbers wrong with a tactic that is (imo) ill conceived and therefore we can say what their motivations are (evil har har).

          1. “*clap clap* what insight. The left got the numbers wrong with a tactic that is (imo) ill conceived and therefore we can say what their motivations are (evil har har).”

            I too tend to think it’s not about evil as much as it is about stupidity.

  3. ” If you want to raise the income of low-income workers, taxpayers should be willing to shoulder that burden themselves”

    Funny. I thought this was a libertarian publication. Shouldn’t individuals who piously beat their chests on behalf of the poor shoulder the burden instead of forcing other taxpayers to pay for their wish to feel morally superior? This place feels more like Salon every day.

    1. I think this was a tongue-in-cheek statement from the author, meaning to set up his point in the next paragraph that voters are more likely to say stick it to the man (big business) but not stick it to ourselves (taxpayers). I’ll agree that it wasn’t obvious that’s what the author was doing and I had a double-take on that line as well.

      1. I see the next paragraph as doubling down

        “It’s a lot easier to demonize business owners for being cheapskates than to build a consensus around raising taxes. ”

        I don’t know how you could read this as anything other than an endorsement of the idea that this should be dealt with via tax increases rather than voluntary action. Voluntary approaches are not even addressed in this article but tax increases are suggested twice. This is just not a very libertarian publication anymore which is sad because one of the things I gave them credit for was that they did try to be even handed and honest in their analysis which I appreciated.

        1. I don’t know how you could read this as an endorsement since it’s simply a statement of fact.

          1. Maybe I should have been clearer. That statement itself is really more of a statement of opinion on what is easy and what is hard.

            On the other hand the combination of

            “If you want to raise the income of low-income workers, taxpayers should be willing to shoulder that burden themselves”


            “It’s a lot easier to demonize business owners for being cheapskates than to build a consensus around raising taxes.”

            Is clearly an endorsement of raising taxes to “solve” these problems which should be obvious to anyone who isn’t fucking retarded.

            1. The latter also sounds like a statement of fact about practical politics.

              1. Cancel my subscription!

            2. Bullshit. It’s clearly just a comparison of the easy and hard ways to change things in a democracy. It’s not an endorsement of democracy or either alternative or even the English language.

              Life isn’t black and white. Just because Nick doesn’t color every sentence with Ayn Rand doesn’t make him a statist.

              1. Just because Nick doesn’t color every sentence with Ayn Rand doesn’t make him a statist.

                Heresy! /sarc

              2. Bullshit. It is a clear statement that says raising taxes is the way to deal with it. There is nothing randian about pointing out that nick endorsed a very non-libertarian solution.

                1. If it’s such a damned clear statement, then why do you have to point it out? Answer: it’s not as clear as you think. B — your mind is muddled.

                  Brain farts like you are fun to argue with.

                  1. “If it’s such a damned clear statement, then why do you have to point it out? Answer: it’s not as clear as you think. B — your mind is muddled.”

                    Damn you are stupid. Calling out a statement made in the article means it is worth calling attention to. It doesn’t imply it was unclear.

              3. Bullshit. There is absolutely no moral difference between subsidizing a group of people through direct, tax-supported welfare payments and supporting the same group through higher mandated wages. In both cases one population is forced to subsidize another.

                Nick amazingly believes that raising the price of labor results in lower demand yet can’t wrap his head around the consequences of raising the cost of working through taxation. Those UBI shades sure are rosy.

                1. How do you come to that conclusion? Easy — you get a preset opinion in your little mind and refuse to entertain any simpler conclusion.

                  1. To the conclusion that the two are morally equivalent? Well the answer is pretty apparent to mg small brain which is very clearly larger than yours. It also helps to recall that Nicky is a big advocate of the UBI which is completely consistent with rudehost’s interpretation of what Nicky wrote. I realize that’s inconvenient for you. Tough.

                2. Yep, so much for free minds and free markets.

                  Also consider the inconsistency of being in favor of ‘open borders’ for things likethe free flow of labor while also advocating for entirely border restricted things like government healthcare or UBI.

                  Moral hazards be damned.

            3. Nick doesn’t seem to be endorsing that at all he’s simply pointing out a more logically consistent way for these fucks to screw themselves over, and then pointing out that they’ll never do that because selling massive tax hikes to cover an expansive welfare state is an incredibly hard sell, even to a bunch of socialists.

              It’s actually pretty much the definition of impartial journalist to lay out the facts, even if they’re facts you don’t particularly like in that Seattle people, and their government, are essentially retarded.

              1. Except for the fact that nick loves the UBI which is completely consistent with the narrative here.

                1. Sure there are multiple values at play here, sometimes they come into conflict. There is nothing inconsistent with wanting a UBI and maintaining libertarian values. Theres no question a UBI redistributes wealth (potentially away from the poor), but does so by minimizing the size and scope government action. It is a better way of dealing with the fact that we want the poorest people in society to be able to be free of forces driven by market failures.

                  1. There’s nothing inconsistent with libertarian values with taking wealth from one person and giving it to another by force? Remind me what the definition of theft is again. And what is this bs assumption that if you’re poor it must be due to market failures? The majority of poor ppl today got their through their own bad decisions. Graduate high school, don’t have kids before you’re married, and work fulltime and the odds of you bring poor are about 1/4 the official rate of poverty on this country.

                    1. Yes, I must have forgot that we live in a true “meritocracy.” What a coincidence, that people who are poor tend to stay poor, and people who are very wealthy, tend to stay very wealthy. Truly, the flip side of affirmative action is the equally retarded policy of non-blind resume review, and “legacy admissions,” which for some reason no one dislikes even though they are way less justifiable.

                      As to the theft stuff, you were born into and implicitly accepted the social contract. Taxes are an unavoidable evil. How we structure and limit government, promote freedom, and attempt to reward merit are choices that we make, just like those kids who chose not to graduate from high school, or to have sex without a condom on (which, you wont be surprised, has happened to wealthy kids as much as poor ones).

                    2. And there’s the money shot. Nothing is tour fault. Everything is market failure. Personal responsibility is an archaic concept. Ehat a coincidence that the 1% have the lowest proportion of inherited wealth in decades id not since the numbers were tracked. What coincidence that the Forbes 400 has the lowest % of inherited wealth amongst its members in history. What coincidence that economic mobility is essentially unchanged from decades ago.

                      And what choice do I have in the ‘social contract?’ It’s the same implicit ‘acceptance’ I have of choosing not to get shot by a mugger.

                    3. It’s obviously both. Some people can afford to make those mistakes, some can’t. My point is we have work to do re merit, even if personal responsibility still can singlehanded?y get some people very wealthy. But if you’re in some way denying that inherited wealth isn’t an issue *at all* i would point you to the “Idiot Chavez” we elected to president, who can’t complete a thought, thinks tariffs are good for the economy, and was able to attend Wharton.

                    4. Inherited wealth isn’t an issue AT ALL. Precisely how did his inheritance change a thing? If you want to work re merit, then stop rewarding failure. And as to “Idiot Chavez” candidates we just got rid of the Marxist occupant of 1600 Penn. Ave. who can only speak with a teleprompter, thinks redistributing wealth is a good thing, thinks that “you didn’t build that,” thinks Obamacare was a success, and was able to attend Harvard.

                      So, point: do you have one?

                    5. LOL@rewarding failure. I’m not giving out participation trophies, I’m talking about creating a safety net so that things like (a) automation, or (b) career changes can be done without dumping someone to the curb. That isn’t a personal failure, thats a market shift, and should be treated as such.

                      Anyway, you can disagree with him (I do), but Obama was your golden example of merit based success. I would say Trump is more the poster child for rich, privately educated new yorker (with inherited wealth). Let me say that, after seeing him speak for a few years now, if he had been born without money, I wouldn’t have bet on him making it to Wharton. But i guess you were too offended by my characterization to adequately address that point.

                    6. People who are wealthy tend to stay wealthy? Not true


                      not sure where you get these things. Are you suffering from some level of progtardation?

        2. You may be right. I was trying to give the author the benefit of the doubt since, as you point out, this is supposed to be a libertarian website.

          I still think he makes a salient point, whether it was deliberate or not. The pols who propose minimum wage increases do it because they know voters will generally accept it, because it’s a secondary or tertiary effect on their bottom line. IE there’s not a clear direct link to the average person who doesn’t understand economic principles.

          Tax increases to support more welfare on the other hand have a direct impact that can be easily seen and felt by all, thus they are much less popular.

          Both are transfers of wealth, and neither are effective means at reducing poverty, as this article points out (at least for minimum wage).

          I honestly suspect that those on the left primarily want to increase minimum wage in order to increase the tax base.

          1. They want to increase the minimum wage to curry favor with voters. If they wanted to increase the tax base, they’d be trying to make it easier to get a job or open a business instead of making it harder.

        3. so from whence cometh the concept that, since some folks are poor, others who are less so must contribute to the maintainence of those more poor.

          Isn’t that the description of socialism? It certainly is NOT libertarian thinking.

          1. I think context is what you’re missing. If the people are demanding that the government use force to help the poor (which is exactly what the Seattle proggies wanted) then the government should do just that, use government force to extract money from the citizenry to help the poor. Thats how you do this in a democracy… you say “You want it? Great, now you have to pay for it”.

            Instead they shove the costs onto some other unpopular entity that makes it difficult for the people to feel the actual burden of what they want and thus their anger at reduced spending power becomes about “greedy businessmen” not “the dumb idea we voted for”.

            That’s what I think was meant.

    2. It’s just an analysis of the politics involved, not an endorsement. Not the word “if”. Seems to me that the point is that IF (big “if”) you are going to do income redistribution, raising minimum wage is a really dumb way to do it.

      Sure, he could say that Seattle should adopt a libertarian approach, but that’s just not going to happen.

      1. I think “should” is the more operative word here. When you say someone should do something you are endorsing a course of action.

        Also the “If” was not if you want to do income redistribution. The “if” was

        “If you want to raise the income of low-income workers”

        There are actual libertarian arguments for how to do that.

        In the end I expect a libertarian magazine to propose libertarian solutions not authoritarian ones. If that was only done when we actually believed politicians would do it then this entire website would be a blank page except for the periodic missives about how we should raise taxes.

    3. I also read the piece as more of an, “if you’re going to advocate a massive wealth transfer which everyone will pay for, at least be honest about it and put it forth as the tax that it is and see if the public, who will ultimately pay for it, will support it”.

      1. The pubic rarely gets to vote on tax increases. Usually they get to vote on bond issues, which is confusing enough that most people don’t realize issuing bonds = increasing taxes.

    4. Realistically speaking, there are certain social “goods” that the government can deliver without distorting markets, can increase freedom, and minimize oversight. Having a UBI or a PBI has been endorsed by libertarians for some time now. If you want markets to work, and people to be free to act within them, you need to stop trying to deliver social goods by distorting the markets, i.e. delivery through businesses (which is how we’ve handled minimum wage, employee health care, etc.)

      1. Right. Free shit doesn’t distort markets at all. Just more horwitz bhl bullshit.

        1. What is “free” about any of this? One requires almost zero government oversight and gives everyone the same basic amount that they can spend however they choose, the other (current) practice requires tons of government oversight to implement and monitor and disincentives working so that the very poor don’t lose welfare benefits.

          1. A UBI would require massive taxes on the producers, RE: Socialism. The idea such a program wouldn’t require massive government oversight is frankly not of this world.

            The idea that such a thing wouldn’t ‘distort markets’ is ludicrous as well.

            I was under the impression than UBI was a classically liberal idea (Milton Friedman, right?) vs. a Libertarian idea, but I could very well be mistaken.

            1. The eitc for all of it’s faults isn’t as bad as the ubi. I can’t imagine anything more destructive than paying ppl just to exist.

              1. Agreed. Now that I think about it I specifically recall an interview with Friedman where I believe he said that something like the UBI would destroy society. It was a long time ago, in my defense. ^_^

          2. Where the hell do you think the money for the ubi comes from? And if you think that this will be truly universal with no means testing and yet be sufficient to cover living expenses you’re talking about the government becoming a ~4TT clearing house. And you think that will be a small endeavor with almost no government oversight?!

            1. Yeah, a UBI would be great for everyone for less than a year. At that point, with no producers left, society comes to a screeching halt.

              It’s literally the same problem with straight up socialism; there is no incentive to work. If all my needs are met, is it really worth becoming a Doctor when I can just survive on the basic income plus a part time job for some fun money? Not really, for most people.

              That’s not a sane way to try and run anything, which is naturally why any attempts to make it work have failed. Sometimes disastrously so, with people dying in the millions.

            2. It would be extremely complicated – no question there. If youre asking for my personal view on this, I’d like to see income tax removed completely and replaced with an elevated progressive vat that taxes consumption. Increase buying power on both sides, free the minimum wage market of coercive job pressure and allow people to be taxed on what they buy. Maintain estate taxes pretty much as they are, and continue to put pressure on people to earn money through merit.

              As to government oversight, its much more difficult to monitor everyone who is going to receive a large number of discrete, particularized benefits, as opposed to just making sure that a single benefit is going to every person.

    5. My thoughts exactly, let them pay extra to cover all their humane wants.

  4. I noticed a lot of rich people drive Rolls Royces so I went out and stole myself a Rolls Royce – I’m still not rich. Somebody told me it’s because I hadn’t “earned” the Rolls Royce, some gibberish about how I have to produce more than the value of what I consume in order to prosper, like if I want to make a million dollars a year I have to produce more than a million dollars worth of value to somebody.

    1. Just appropriate the rich mans culture.

      Or simply declare to everyone that you identify as being rich now and they’ll have to respect that.

      There are several ways of getting rich without putting in the effort.

      1. Home equity loans and credit cards are the fastest way.
        Followed by car equity loans and 401k loans.

    2. I noticed a lot of rich people drive Rolls Royces

      Are we back in the 70s?

      1. Rich people do not drive Rolls Royces.

        They pay people for that.

      2. Rich people here in SoCal drive Bentleys.

  5. It’s a lot easier to demonize business owners for being cheapskates than to build a consensus around raising taxes.

    Leftists don’t believe business owners are cheapskates. They believe that businesses achieve their profits by paying their employees less than what their labor is really worth. The call for a living wage stems from that severely debunked (and beaten and left for dead*) fallacy.

    * Elegantly debunked by Austrian economist Eugen von Bohm-Bawerk, to the point that the butt hurt is still felt by generations of Marxists to this day.

    1. > They believe that businesses achieve their profits by paying their employees less than what their labor is really worth.

      Exactly. But, I would add the caveat that leftists are diametrically opposed to any form of measurement of a person’s productivity. That’s just not fair!! That way they absolve themselves of ever having to admit that their employment brings less value to the business than it costs.

      Caveat to my caveat – The people who are against productivity measurement are always the first to bitch that they deserved a bonus more than someone who received one. How TF is an employer supposed to know who deserves a bonus if he/she cannot measure productivity? We’re not supposed to ask these questions – they’re cruel, don’t you know?

    2. Elegantly debunked by Austrian economist Eugen von Bohm-Bawerk

      That’s clearly a German name, which means “Nazi.” /sarc

    3. Not exactly. Profit extraction can obviously come from labor, or it can come from consumers in noncompetitive industries, or it can come from innovation, etc. Whatever the reason, there has clearly been a growing trend in the US towards higher profits being extracted from labor, and we have seen that this hasn’t been due to automation. From a consumer or labor standpoint, high profits are too often not a great sign. Relatedly, I don’t think liberals see this as a problem where low income workers are not being paid “what the job is worth,” so much as seeing the social cost of people not having a “living wage” and seeing business profits as an area where they can reverse extract to fix it.

      1. “Profit extraction”



        1. Yeah, this isn’t ground breaking. Profits come from somewhere, right? sometimes its from things we want to encourage, like innovation and consumer choice, and sometimes its not, like colluding on maple syrup prices to extract more money from consumers.

          1. Profits come from producing something of value.

            You can extract sap from trees to produce maple syrup. You can even pay someone to do it for you, but you have in no way extracted maple syrup, much less profit, from your employees.

            And before you profit from the sale of your product your employees have already profited from their production of labor.

            1. Not entirely sure what you mean here. Labor is a cost, it factors into profit. You can lower costs and thus increase profit by spending less on labor. In the post-walmart world, where goods are so cheap that mom and pop stores across small town america have been shut down, profits no longer stay in their region – they are extracted from iowa to new york (or Arkansas, in this case) and it drains the lifeblood of the community. In single-factory towns, where one company is the only game in town, you can force labor costs to be less than you would have to pay anywhere else (certainly less than you would be “willing to pay”), because they don’t have a choice but to work for you, and people can’t compete with them because the goods cost decidedly less than you could manufacture on your own. Tangent but it ties into your point, I think.

            2. Profits come from producing something of value while keeping costs to a minimum. Since prices are determined by what people will voluntarily pay for a good or service, the most profitable firms are the ones doing the most to conserve the resources of the Earth and society that are used to produce those goods or services.

      2. This is known.

    4. Well, that and the living wage stands directly against their other pet idea of equal pay for equal work. The living wage would pay, for an example, a single mom with two kids a lot more than a man with no kids doing the same job.

      Thus the issue results in a whole lot of cognitive dissonance since the two idea’s are mutually exclusive.

      1. Two things 1) Sure, it can include dependents in the calculus, but typically “living wage” discussions just mean what a person working full time requires to obtain the basics. 2) given the above, nothing about a “living wage” implies or requires treating a mom with two kids differently than a man with no kids, even if their actual living wages differ drastically.

        1. So while you admit the living wage can and does take into account things like dependents which would alter the individuals income, this somehow doesn’t mean that it violates the idea of equal pay for equal work since they both end up with the same ‘basic’ standard of living?

          Is that your argument here?

          1. Um no. You can say that a living wage should allow people to afford children (and its therefore higher than just the amount needed to take care of one person), without saying that we have to treat people differently for equal work.

            1. But they would make more, which would not be equal pay for equal work. It would be equal outcomes for equal work, which is absolutely not the same thing at all.

              1. Like I was trying to say above (perhaps not clearly), is that that is a possible view for “living wage” but i dont think its one that makes much sense. A more typical version looks at this and says: we can say a living wage is 30k a year, or 50k a year and base that number on whether or not someone can afford to have children in our society, but in either case, the person making that money is making it without regard to whether or not they do, in fact, have kids. Both would make 50k in a 50k system, or 30k in a 30k system. One would be able to spend that extra money on travel, one would be able to spend every penny feeding her daughters.

                1. What you describe is not a ‘living wage’ it is ‘equal pay for equal work’. There is an actual, honest to god difference here and it seems like you’re willfully ignoring it.

                  That, or more probably you’re in the middle of cognitive dissonance which explains your flailing rationalizations on this issue.

                  1. No, in fact, I hadn’t encountered your version of the “living wage” until now. See generally…..xplains-24 (to see how a living wage is calculated in various countries, usually by reference to the poverty line)

                    1. You probably haven’t encountered it because it’s not backed up by any actual economic theory. It’s a rhetorical argument used by the left, which I should have clarified once I realized that you were going off the technical definition. My fault.

                2. Why not put her daughters to work selling lemonade and cookies and washing cars and make even more money?

  6. Damn, Nick, stop needling them! They are just doing their best.

  7. They should all just hire women. Then they could pay them 25% less, right?

    1. > They should all just hire women. Then they could pay them 25% less, right?

      [Laugh] Yes. Just ask the nearest progressive, if you can find one who isn’t glued to their TV waiting for the Democrats to impeach Trump so Hillary can take over.

      I get a sense that there are a hell of a lot of people on the left who actually believe that 1) Impeaching Trump automatically removes him from office – he doesn’t have to be convicted in the Senate, and 2) If Trump is impeached, Hillary will take office, not Pence.

      They’re an entertaining lot, aren’t they?

    2. …good point. That proposal might send them into a cognitive vortex of pain.

      1. On a lighter note, what would a set list for Cognitive Vortex of Pain (CVP to their fans) look like?

  8. Ok…here ya go….Each one of us is assigned a Billionaire, (I got dibs on the Amazon dude) Once a week you go over to his house and get some money….Just like that….short and sweet, no government debit cards-n-shit…

    Ya-all can thank me later….

    1. I’ll take Elizabeth Holmes from Theranos. Oh….wait…Forbes valued her at “nothing” this time last year. $4.5 billion to “nothing” is an impressive achievement.

      Mind you, I am not somebody who begrudges wealth. Just amazed that people can take promising companies like that and ruin it all.

      1. Well considering all of that wealth came from fraudulent claims she really didn’t ruin anything except the suckers she conned.

        1. Fortunately, she only owns common stock, so she won’t get paid until after the preferred shareholders do. So, she may very well end up with nothing.

          1. Ashes to ashes. Bullshit to bullshit.

        2. I thought the FDA destroyed all that wealth by refusing to certify her products and following the orders of their Big Pharma masters.

  9. You can pay someone a wage to produce widgets for you or you can buy widgets from someone. Either way someone has to do the work of producing those widgets and someone has to get paid for doing so. The final effect of raising the cost of producing them is not much different.

  10. Would prefer if the article was a little more impartial. Minimum wage laws are tricky, highly contextual creatures that should be used with caution. Obviously, they can provide net benefits if they aren’t too high but rarely at a state or national level will they be truly effective except as setting a very low baseline. People who want minimum wage laws have to understand that there is such a thing as “too high,” and often don’t.

    This article does a poor job of characterizing the scope of research as being fairly complete by saying things like “All told, that’s the equivalent of 6,317 full-time jobs eliminated because of the latest hike.” or using the quote “The University of Washington study looks at low-skilled, low-wage workers “spanning all industries and worker demographics.” Its important to probably note that: “The paper’s findings are preliminary and have not yet been subjected to peer review. And the authors stressed that even if their results hold up, their research leaves important questions unanswered, particularly about how the minimum wage has affected individual workers and businesses. The paper does not, for example, address whether displaced workers might have found jobs in other cities or with companies such as Uber that are not included in their data.”

    Ideally, for me, we would create a stronger income/welfare baseline (see e.g. ubi/pbi), and stop trying this roundabout way of forcing businesses to do the right thing by their workers.

    1. “… roundabout way of forcing businesses to do the right thing by their workers.”

      The ‘right thing’ for any business to do is to pay their workers something within the realm of a)market rates and b) rates that the business can sustain. Anything else pretty much being a guarantee that the business will not be around a whole lot longer.

      1. Obviously net profits across most consolidated industries runs counter to that. Moreover, businesses have made that argument for – at least – 150 years. You want worker safety laws? it kills business. You want limits on child labor? it kills business. You want workplace harassment laws? more red tape. Yes, of course certain things don’t help profit levels. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a role for the government in making sure we have functioning markets (like lowering barriers to entry, etc.). And this is coming from someone who doesn’t like minimum wage laws as the delivery method for fixing income inequality.

        1. “Obviously net profits across most consolidated industries runs counter to that.”

          No, it does not because it flat out ignores any businesses that have failed and no longer exist.

          Everything else is either straw men or false equivalences.

          That you think ‘income inequality’ is even a thing, much less something that government needs to ‘fix’ says everything that needs be said.

          So, fuck off slaver.

          1. That is actually a salient point, even if it’s not phrased in the nicest way, in that ‘income inequality’ in a nonsense concept.

            When people say this, 9 out of 10 times they are thinking of economics as a zero sum game where if person A has more, person B must necessarily have less.

            This is completely false, and if it’s false than ‘income inequality’ must therefore simply be the observation that some people make more and some make less, but that has zero value since it has nothing at all do with actual purchasing power.

            1. As to the supply side comment, I agree – people too often look at “minimum wage” laws and forget that buying power will go down if the costs of goods rise. Thats part of the reason why its a freaking complicated thing to even consider implementing.

              1. It’s common sense what businesses will do because of a hike in their labor costs. What’s ‘complicated’ is all of the hand-wringing and mental masturbation on the part of economists.

          2. Two different things happening here.

            (1) As to income inequality, you’re wrong. We want the overall pie bigger, and distribution can effect the growth of the pie. So obviously we want income inequality, but we want it in ways that make sense. Like rewarding people for hard work and innovative thinking, not for inheriting a fortune and paying off congressman to get rid of estate taxes so they never have to earn anything.

            (2) As to “net profits,” youre missing the point. Net profits ignores market breakdown and just focuses on financial gains made. In this instance, we’re looking at places where companies are able to charge higher prices than what we would expect given market circumstances. So for instance, we would *expect* that in a functioning market, when gas prices fell, airline ticket costs would decrease. But in a consolidated industry, we saw profits rise and tickets stay the same, while airlines recouped the benefits of fuel prices but consumers did not.

            1. Airlines took a bath for years and decades before, so you’ll need to find another industry to fit your narrative (it’s not hard, just look for ones with the most government intercention). In the aggregrate, consumer surplus accounts for all but 3% of productivity gains. But we need government to save us from that scourge!

              1. So, because historically airlines have struggled (hence the massive number of mergers since the 80’s) we should not be surprised when the market is no longer functioning? You’d be hard pressed to convince me of that.

                But sure, if you want something more remote, in the titanium dioxide market when demand went down and supply went up, the prices somehow started to increase after a trade association was formed. This is what we would describe as unexpected market behavior, given the basic underlying economics. And paint pigment isn’t exactly a market people consider “highly regulated.”

                1. The market is functioning. Are airfares today higher than they were ten years ago or lower? Were you lamenting that airlines were suffering under high fuel prices a decade ago? Were you calling that a market failure? Real airfares are down 24% since 1995. More market failures please.

                  1. Ah, the classic “things are better than they were” therefore “they couldn’t have been better” argument

                    1. Ooo, the classic counterfactual game. The advantage I have is that I actually have hard data. You have feelz.

            2. What “we” would expect, even if all else was equal, is meaningless. No one can possibly account for the trillions of decisions that are made each day to run an airline, especially the business decisions and ever-changing motivations behind them made by employees who cannot really account for those trillions of decisions either, except in the aggregate.

              If ~everything~ were equal between the two airlines, and I mean EVERYTHING, as a result, the airlines could compete ONLY on ticket price, only then could you maybe surmise that ticket prices would drop as a result of lower fuel costs.

              You don’t know the market circumstances, no one does, especially in a market as complex as that. Consumers may have recouped the benefits in any number of ways. Better food, better planes, more routes, better pilots, again, ad infinitum.

              Profits are not only money, they are everything (anything?) that is important to the person who has to make the decision at the time that he actually makes the decision, even if he regrets it instantly.

              This is why libertarians work on principles, in this case, that driving up any cost (including labour) means that ~at the margin~ the net result is that less of that item will be sought. When the net effect of minimum wage laws always drives costs higher, why would *anyone* think that the net would be a benefit?

        2. “That doesn’t mean there isn’t a role for the government in making sure we have functioning markets (like lowering barriers to entry, etc.).”
          The actions of government are the exact opposite of this. Always. Any exceptions are errors or missed opportunities they’ll get around to eventually.

          1. Seems like an overly simplistic view of the world. Market failures are real. Government doesn’t always deal with them well. At some point, however, they need to be addressed either privately or publicly if you want to reap the benefits of a market system.

            1. What’s overly simplistic is invoking the market failure bogeyman. True market failures are rare and the vast majority are caused by government intervention (see CRA and fannie/freddie). That’s not to say that markets always go up and never face corrections or misallocations, but when they do retrace they recover quickly IFF they are left to their own devices. The alternative ranges from France’s perpetually unemployment and slow growth to socialist collapses like venezuela.

              1. Venezuela lol, an oft-hailed example of the ills of socialism, and theres no doubt they made horrific macro economic policy choices but its only real parallel is saudi arabia, so forgive me for thinking that there were plenty of better examples you could have picked (france works fine, and most of europe, if youre looking at strong welfare states).

                But on to your actual point, market failures are no “bogeyman,” they’re nearly ubiquitous these days. The real argument is that in the vast majority of cases, the prescription can be worse than the problem.

                1. Of course you haven’t provided a single citation of the ‘ubiquitous’ market failure (hint: they almost invariably involve the government you love).

                  Saudi arabia didn’t confiscate wealth and redistribute it. Saudi arabia didn’t fail to make investments to maintain production. And finally, saudi arabia is quickly learning that it can’t buy off its citizens with petrodollars it doesn’t have. The fact is the venezuela was a relatively prosperous country until your ‘market failure’ ilk destroyed its economy.

                  France works fine? I guess, if you consider low growth and high unemployment to be fine. Me, I prefer low unemployment and improved living standards. I’m strange that way.

            2. Governments enact barriers to entry. They don’t remove them.

              1. So if the DOJ requires United give up Gates at LAX for a Low Cost Carrier auction in order to, say, receive joint venture immunity, that doesn’t lower barriers to entry at the above aiport? interesting.

      2. And i’ll add controversy here by saying CEO salaries far outpace risk, as even the most cursory look at wage differences between risk-takers and employees since the 1950’s will show. The size of industry and corp cronyism has made sure that risk takers are more insulated from risk than ever – and taxpayers are picking up the baggage. I’d rather we spent that money on a UBI.

        1. Shareholders bear the burden not taxpayers. Fuck the ubi.

        2. Fuck off, slaver….

        3. As companies get bigger, CEO salaries will do likewise. The larger the business, the greater the risk of losing large amounts of money with one bad decision. If you want to minimize bad decisions, you fork over the money to get someone who is more likely to avoid them.

          1. The point is, they don’t shoulder the risk any more. This isn’t your grandfather’s beer distribution plant. If it goes badly, they receive their paycheck + a parachute.

    2. Why is it important to note that the paper hasn’t been subjected to peer review, when this matches 150 years of theoretical and practical economics? I mean, I’m not saying it shouldn’t be peer reviewed just because it matches essentially the preconceptions of the entire science, it absolutely should be, but I don’t think anyone except WaPo was surprised with the end result of the study.

      Oh, and all of those regulations you mention do actually kill business so I’m not sure what you’re getting at. Perhaps you’re saying that some businesses should be killed, because people want to work for them even though they’re evil? Interesting.

      1. Oh, and to this:

        Obviously net profits across most consolidated industries runs counter to that.

        Yeah, I’m not sure that using a consolidated crony capitalist industry as a control is a super idea here. Especially if we’re talking about one that controls all the aspects of it’s production chain.

        1. Fair point, but the fact is most industries across the US are becoming part of said “control group.” If you want me to cite some articles on growing consolidation and net profits I will gladly oblige. The “hands off” approach to market consolidation hasn’t worked out great for consumers, or advocates of the a free market due to barriers to entry, regulatory capture, etc.

          1. More claptrap from the hive mind. What part specifically hasn’t ‘worked out great’ for consumers?

            Some of us actually remember the ’70s…

          2. Yeah, only you’re leaving out that the driving force of consolidation, at least in my industry (healthcare) is a direct response to government meddling. It’s a way to control your risk in an uncertain market, both in bargaining with the government and as a way to defray your losses.

            So you’re suggesting a government fix to a government created problem, and while you seem knowledgeable I would say the last 100+ years have shown that to be a foolhardy approach when we’re dealing with the financial ramifications of those terrible decisions today, and they’re only getting worse for tomorrow.

            1. Again, I think to a large degree that is fair – Healthcare is a stupidly complicated industry that is insulated from market pressures in a lot of ways. I’m not saying we don’t need to break the barriers around these markets down, so that people are competing for coverage on a national scale, etc.

              But if youre asking me if the government should have allowed the Aetna Humana (or Anthem Cigna) mergers, I would have said no. That is where the government needed to step in and say, no – no matter what our healthcare markets look like, we need to have _minimally_ these four companies competing for business, and not allow them to consolidate into two even larger firms.

              1. Healthcare isn’t ‘super complicated’ at all until you hit the labyrinth of red tape. Learning to be a Doctor or nurse might be complicated, but the business side has no reason to be anywhere even in the same universe of complicated that it has become.

                If you become a Doctor and want to open a practice in a small town, you’re fucked. There is absolutely no way to do so without being a part of a health system. That is drastically fucking different than it was even back in the 80’s.

                1. You want less regulations that will lower costs, barriers to entry, etc.. Fine me too. I want competitive markets that would be aided by those lower barriers. We can agree on simplifying that without saying the government doesn’t have a role in stopping bad mergers from making things worse.

              2. Just more special pleading.

          3. “barriers to entry, regulatory capture, etc.”
            Again, the function of government is to create these things. More Government is not going to reverse that.

            1. Indeed, how one could possibly attribute regulatory capture to business is a rather amusing logical disconnect.

              1. Businesses certainly can purchase it. But it is a ‘product’ that can only be produced by government.

            2. Well, we disagree. Putting aside the fact that the *function* of government is clearly NOT to create barriers to entry (even if its a side effect of regulation), we’ve seen them created by public and private companies alike for as far back as there have been private enterprise. See e.g. cartels.

              Re: “how one could possibly attribute regulatory capture to business is a rather amusing logical disconnect”

              Seriously? I’m interested in hearing how one could possibly extricate “business” from regulatory capture. I’m guessing you fall under the mistaken belief that government action constitutes capture, whereas government inaction does not. Just an arbitrary decision which helps some business and hurts others, either one can be a showing of “capture.”

              1. ” I’m guessing you fall under the mistaken belief that government action constitutes capture,”

                Because regulations otherwise occur spontaneously??? Or are you faulting the businesses for creating a set of circumstances amenable to regulation?

                Damn them for wearing that short skirt….

              2. If there’s no regulatory system to capture how can you have regulatory capture? And yes the function of government frequently is to create barriers to entry, see zoning laws, safety regulations, CON, etc.

              3. Cartels like the taxi cartel, which exists solely because of government force?

                1. Sure, or cartels that operate in secret globally to collusively price fix

              4. I’m interested in hearing how one could possibly extricate “business” from regulatory capture.

                I shouldn’t need to spell this out for you if you’re a thinking creature, but I’m game since you seem like a nice enough person.

                If regulatory capture were not for sale, no one would buy it.

                I realize now that I was badly mistaken when I said you seemed knowledgeable. Your knowledge, such as it is, was clearly provided to you by Marxists and fools. I don’t mean to disparage you or your intellect, but I can see you have literally never been challenged on these issues since the things you say can only be believed in a vacuum.

                1. No need for the ad homs, it’s all in the spirit of debate. Let me pose a hypothetical for you: net neutrality: if the regulations get put in place, it’s considered (especially here) an example of regulatory capture from the perspective of content providers like Netflix or Facebook, who receive s benefit from ISPs covering data highway costs. But if these rules are never placed, or are retracted, it’s an example of regulatory capture from th perspective of ISPs (hey look, the former Verizon attorney is putting in rules that favor his former company). How come that’s so? And what’s the right call? From my perspective it’s the one that benefits consumers long term, but the framing will be there no matter which you choose. You’ve decided to try and step this back further: no government involvement at all means no capture! But in reality where the government interjects itself, or the reverse: where it doesn’t, is an arbitrary choice that just chooses to benefit one or the other (in the net neutrality arena, it would be ISPs who had the ability to charge additional highway charges, etc. This is the classic example cited in law as the lesson of the apples and cedars. There is no neutral place to which we can retreat. 😉

                  1. This is immensely stupid. The absence of regulation is not regulation. The absence allows the market to sort itself out (cf. Wealth of Nations).

                  2. While in your view I’m sure you could point to countless ‘good’ regulations such as things that come out of OSHA that force employers to be ‘safe’, in my view these types of regulations are easily perverted once the Government is in charge of defining those parameters. It’s a matter of watching the watchers, so to speak, and after 200 years it’s clear our checks and balances are no longer effective for a whole slew of reasons.

                    The ‘good’ regulations, in other words, enable the bad one’s that provide the Government with the means to enact regulatory capture on behalf of connected businesses. It would be nice if Liberals and Progressives could outline a meaningful way for that not to happen, but frankly I consider them to be inseparable as a matter of human nature. I realize that it’s something of a Hobbes vs. Locke situation, but I already know which side of that argument I fall on.

                    It’s something C.S. Lewis talked about as well, regarding the tyranny of good intentions.

                    1. I think thats a really fair way of looking at this. For me, its the reason I think simplifying and reducing the government’s role is important. But yes, for me, there are times when we need to have a public authority in place to do things like create reasonable market baselines, lower barriers to entry, etc. This inevitably leads to some capture and as we discussed earlier, its the reason I like the enforcement models set up by the Sherman Act that have courts as the arbiter and not companies or regulators.

                      But I would also be extremely amenable to progressives laying out a vision that doesn’t involve so much capture. i.e. non partisan issues like term limits, which are realistically difficult to enact, would be one way of drastically reducing the amount of time spent fundraising to habitually keep politicians in office.

      2. The point is that when it looked at net earnings, it did not factor in possible alternative forms of income like working for uber in your spare time. So to say that minimum wage workers were harmed, or not, is still something thats worth looking at.

        Again, I don’t like this method at all but just was pointing it out as a problem with the way the article was presented.

  11. See! This is the problem with the free market. All those people deserve a level of compensation that the market simply cannot deliver. So, clearly the blame must lie with the market.

    Application of more government force will surely fix it.

    Just like Certificates of Need fixed the problem of government payments distorting the pricing of medical services.

  12. Australia’s high minimum wage is frequently referenced to by fans of the $15.00/hr minimum wage. What they are ignoring is the fact that there are carveouts for those under 21, apprentices and other trainees and the handicapped. Furthermore they ignore the fact that after accounting for exchange rates and taxation minimum wage workers in the Ozzie utopia get to take home less than ten dollars an hour. For minimum wage American workers with families EITC, SNAP and Section 8 housing put them at or close to this in equivalent earnings.

  13. “Governor Dick-tat” was my nickname in college.

  14. One lousy study proves NOTHING. If it did, you wouldn’t still be doubting that climate change was real.

    I wonder what those that have a living wage think of this study? Bet they’d just love to go back to just getting by, and living of Federal Assistance. You can’t have it both ways: either provide a living wage or be OK with government aid.

    Why is it OK to give corporations government subsidies (Hello Koch Industries), yet not for individuals?

    A website subsidized by Kock Brothers that purports to be free market, what a crock of BS.

    1. Translation: I WANT YOUR MONEY!

  15. It’s great news if you are selling solutions involving automation, robotics, kiosks, and AI. As the price of low end labor goes up, and the price of automation going down, the crossover point makes it worthwhile.

    But then governments, like those in Seattle, have no problem with artificially raising salaries as they view businesses as an extension of the welfare state.

  16. It does not matter that workers lose out in liberal, artificial minimum wage program. These people will not be seen. Those who manage to survive can be show cased by liberals as how effective the minimum wage increase was.

    Remember, it’s not the results that count, it’s the inner feeling of doing good that is the only thing that matters.

    Don’t look at the hard numbers, just feel good.

    I feel better now.

  17. I was just reminded that Seattle has a statue of Lenin on display. It’s hopeless up there

  18. I don’t want either, I don’t want them to make the businesses pay the increased cost and I don’t want the taxpayer to pay an increased wage to them. I want the owners to pay them what they want and not what the government wants they to pay. In most places minimum wage workers are not worth that much as they would be making as much or more as many workers that have to have at least semi skills at their place employment. Minimum wage jobs are not supposed to be careers.

  19. Labor is simply another cost for any business and if the price goes up suddenly and for no market-based reason, you’ll tend to buy less of it.

    I do not think this is 100% accurate anymore, at least not to all industries. There is definitely an inherent impression of what something should cost, if it is vied as simple or easily replaceable.
    We run two small companies. One provides Janitorial services and the other Facilities services (snow removal, landscaping, handyman work, etc) in the Boston area. Min wage went from $8 to $11 going up a $1 a year.
    There was backlash with the increase on the Janitorial and landscaping services, but not on the snow removal, handyman work, and everything else we do. When we engaged with the customers, the response was often “minimum wage should be good enough for them” normally followed up with a discussion about how unimportant the task/job is, or how anyone can do it. On the other side, we did not get a peep about the snow removal (in this case, sidewalk shoveling/throwing) or other services when that went up (we stay ahead of the minimum wage by a bit, in the case of snow services, we stay ahead of it by a lot, but it went up in any case), no one said a thing.
    Our conclusion had to do with the impression of what is simple and easy to do, which typically mimics tasks performed at home vs more difficult/challenging tasks, either not performed or undesirable at home. We changed our whole sales approach as a result, and so far, so good.

    1. I assume by “changed our whole sales approach” you are also referring to your fee structure as well.

      Because it sure sounds like you were under pricing some of your services.

  20. Another bureaucratic bucket full of MASSIVE CRAP BESET UPON PRIVATE INDUSTRY because some wacko libs said to do it with garbage evidence from BS liberal college professor dolt. Even before the ink was dry on another seriously flawed feel good babysitting jackass liberal / socialistic convoluted totally screwed up law created by thieves in government. Furthermore, these laws are never vetted by competent leaders outside of government and academia. The reason, they would fail the basic smell test. Next, they would have serious problems understanding why no was their finding from experts. The creators of these disasters are masters of massive liberal / socialistic disease called the unintended (extremely costly) consequences that beset the world today. These bozos who dream up this crap up have never owned a business, or they are from academia afflicted with serious cases of stupid written all over them.

  21. what else is being downplayed is that since you are paying order takers $13.00 / hour at mcdonalds business owners may also be expecting them to help in the kitchen now.

  22. No matter what dollar amount the minimum wage is, if that’s what you are making per hour then you are making “MINIMUM WAGE”. You will still compete with people who are making a lot more and lose. Buying power is the same so social status is the same. Improve your life and working skills and get out of the basement.

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