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Free Minds & Free Markets

Minimum Wage Hikes Inflict Maximum Pain

Hiking the minimum wage is feel-good humanitarian idea that’s guaranteed to hurt actual humans.

There's probably no more popular way of patting yourself on the back for doing good while actually harming people than advocating for hiked minimum wage laws that forbid people to accept work that pays below a legally mandated floor.

When you raise the price of something above what people are willing to pay, people buy less of it, or else they pass the costs down the line, when possible. This isn't exactly a revelation; it's one of the older known economic realities. Unfortunately, there's always been a certain portion of the population that insists that labor is different and that you really can make people more prosperous by decree. But yet more recent evidence suggests that hiking the price of hiring people works just like raising the cost of everything else. This means that the recent craze for minimum wage laws has not turned out, after all, to be a genius plan for filling bank accounts.

At the beginning of this year, the Subway sandwich chain announced a $5.00 foot-long promotion at its stores—well, at a lot of its stores. Not participating is David Jones, a Seattle franchisee, who posted a sign saying that he couldn't offer the much-advertised deal because "The cost of doing business in the City of Seattle is very high. We are balancing the Highest Minimum Wage in the Nation, Paid Sick Leave, ACA, Secure Scheduling, Soda Tax and much more." Instead, he offered coupons that lowered the price of sandwiches—but not to the extent of the $5.00 deal.

The Secure Scheduling and Paid Sick Leave referenced in that sign are also expensive labor mandates in Seattle, in addition to the city's graduated hike to a $15.00 per hour minimum wage. In addition, the city whacks its residents with a 1.75 cent per ounce tax on sugary drinks that further raises the price of a quick meal.

So a Seattle Subway franchise necessarily charges customers more for their food and drink than they'd pay elsewhere. That is, it charges more from customers willing to make the purchase. More expensive sandwiches may mean fewer buyers. That could result in fewer jobs at Subway franchises—and at other businesses affected by the same laws.

In fact, employers in Seattle seem to be employing fewer people as a result of the minimum wage hike, and paying the people they hire for fewer hours worked. As a result, despite stepped increases in mandated hourly wages, "total payroll fell for such jobs, implying that the minimum wage ordinance lowered low-wage employees' earnings by an average of $125 per month in 2016," according to University of Washington researchers. (Flustered Seattle officials responded to the study by commissioning another paper from a socialist economics professor at UC-Berkeley who always finds that minimum wage hikes are beneficial.)

So the sharply increased minimum wage has resulted in slimmer paychecks for many of the people it was supposed to benefit.

But slimmer paychecks can turn into no paychecks if employers decide that it's not worth hiring people at artificially inflated prices when there are other ways to get tasks done. With 18 states and 20 cities hiking minimum wages at the beginning of this year, casual-dining hamburger chain Red Robin announced last week that it's eliminating busboys at all of its 570 locations, after having already dumped its expediters.

"We need to do that to address the labor increases we've seen," chief financial officer Guy Constant told attendees at a retail conference.

That doesn't leave many people still employed by the chain to take orders, prepare food, plate it, serve it, and clear tables—a point some industry critics are pointing to as a potential pitfall.

But if you're familiar with the mostly western chain, you know that it's one of the many casual dining restaurants that use tabletop tablets for ordering drinks, dessert, and paying your bill with a credit card. I don't remember which brand Red Robin uses, but when I first encountered Ziosk's version of these widgets a few years ago, the device was so obviously poised to take over ordering and payment functions that the Chili's chain felt obliged to publicly swear that no server jobs were at risk because "we'd never want to lose our awesome Team Members."

Uh huh.

"The biggest fear is that eventually the Ziosk will take over the job entirely," NPR reported in 2015. "Uno [Pizzeria] denies this; so did all of the chains I talked to. They said they are not firing servers and the Ziosks are there to help them, not replace them. But restaurants are doing more business without hiring more workers."

NPR also discovered that people spend more when they order through tablets then when they order from people—especially on dessert. Apparently, diners feel a little reticent about going full calory-count under the gaze of fellow humans, but have no qualms about indulging when dealing with robots.

So, replacing expensive human servers with cheap computers results in lower labor costs and higher expenditures by customers? Look for dining at Red Robin and its casual counterparts to become a barely-touched-by-human-hands process in the near future. An actual human server earning a paycheck may increasingly become part of the white-tablecloth experience, with prices to match.

And why should this be a shock? Is it really surprising that if you artificially demand premium prices for labor, that labor becomes a premium offering available only to those willing to pay extra for the experience?

In the years to come, don't count on fast-food sandwiches costing any less in Seattle, and don't be surprised if you have to order them through a tablet. Small businesses like Subway franchises are in for mandated wage hikes every year through 2021 (large businesses hit the maximum hike this year), making the employment of humans an expensive indulgence.

Photo Credit: OFL Communications/flickr

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  • Elias Fakaname||

    If there were no progressives, there would be no progressive policies.

    Think about it.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    #Antipr

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I go all the way and imagine a world without any strife. Go big or go home.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I also imagine a world where women have bigger boobies.

  • Aloysious||

    O.O

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Q Q

    Making the dance move to the left.

  • Johnimo||

    00 00
    .I.
    --__--

  • Leader Desslok||

    Go on...

  • Mark22||

  • rudehost||

    It would be like our political system being cured of herpes.

  • John B. Egan||

    Well let's see... If there were no progressives, we'd still be a colony of Great Britain for a start... Those damned liberals shaking up the natural order of things with their repudiation of the 'Divine Right Of Kings' and all! Wanting to create a new and farier form of government based on secularism! . Damn them! ;-)

  • Ariel||

    Not to mention how liberals and Progressives just ruined capitalism when they ended 12 to 16 hour work days every day of the week. Who would want to pay a guy the same for 8-10 hours work per day for only five days? Our economy collapsed and has never recovered. 888.

    Funny thing, the minimum wage around 1970 was $1.60, in inflation adjusted dollars that's $9.63 today (yes, I knew to look it up, primarily because I remember what the minimum wage got me in the 1970s). What Tuccille is arguing by ideology is that the minimum wage should continue to decline. Not stay the same, if it had stayed the same it would now be a minimum of $9.63 an hour, but decline. IOW, he wants the minimum wage to be the biggest bargain an employer could ever have by buying labor at an even lower price than 40 some years ago.

    Capitalism is an economic system that only looks at its costs and profits, like any economic system including Marxist. It is not self-correcting if it sees no cost to what it's doing. It is not a political ideology. And, no, Adam Smith wasn't a prophet, he made way, way too much of the Invisible Hand. If you want true costs, blue asbestos in the Pilbara, the Cayehoga River here.

    I remember Tuccille from his days in Arizona. His writings on the woman that followed the Yavapai Sheriff's advice (IIRC it was Yavapai): don't pull over until you're in a well-lighted place, she didn't, then got a felony charge and conviction. Tuccille pointed out the hypocrisy every step of the way.

  • vek||

    You forget that the world has changed since 1970 my dear! We didn't have the level of foreign competition we do now. Foreign near slave labor is the major reason lower tier wages are so low here.

    ALSO you forget that the federal minimum wage does not equal the REAL minimum wage. In most of the country where the state minimum wage is set to match the federal, REAL WORLD starting wages are higher. 2 examples.

    I live in Seattle. The minimum wage was the $9 whatever mentioned above on paper... The thing is, NOBODY actually worked for that here because the cost of living is too high. In reality all the people I know who worked at shit jobs were starting at $10 something or $11 an hour. That was the market minimum wage here.

    I'm considering moving to Idaho. So I scoped craigslist in Boise to see what jobs were offering. Even the lowest of the low jobs were basically starting at $9-10 an hour, despite having an official minimum wage of $7 whatever that the feds have set.

    So in lieu of a government sanction minimum, the market sets the rate... As everybody knows it would. Fact is in some places $7 or $8 an hour is in fact enough to live on, like rural Kansas... Other places it's higher. The market sorts it out on its own.

  • vek||

    I should note, on the Boise thing, I'm looking at what I'll need to pay entry level employees for my business, not because I'm planning on getting a minimum wage job! LOL

  • p3orion||

    You're on a libertarian website; I would assume (perhaps incorrectly) that you are at least somewhat libertarian yourself.

    If that's true, then what fucking business is it of yours what agreement a business and its employ come to in terms of wages?

    Would you insist that the minimum price for a dozen roses must be $50, to ensure that florists can support their families, etc.? Of course not. If the guy selling you flowers is OK with selling them for $20, and you're amenable to that price, it's no one else's business. Labor is a commodity just like any other; it's the "product" that is sold by people with nothing tangible to sell.

    If John is willing to take a job at $5 an hour, and the business thinks it can get at least that much productivity out of him, then both are satisfied. If that's not a price you would accept for YOUR labor, then fine, you're free to sell your labor elsewhere at whatever price you can get. Setting a minimum wage just means that some people will determine that labor is too expensive (like some of these restaurants in Seattle) just as at a mandated $50 for roses, you might decide not to buy any after all.

    Capitalism works great until you start putting a thumb on the scale.

  • shawn_dude||

    Two things:

    1) This is a libertarian news site that also hosts the Volokh Conspiracy which, while libertarian in viewpoint, attracts a wide swath of political and economic perspective. (You aren't claiming Reason out to be an echo chamber, are you?)

    2) What business is it of the tax payer (government) what the employment agreement is between two individual actors? As long as there is a desire to have social safety net programs that cover the difference between a living wage and an agreed-upon wage, the tax payer is the other party in the negotiation. Both the business (say Walmart) and the employee are negotiating knowing the employee can supplement wages with poverty programs.

  • vek||

    Most people here would advocate for no minimum wage, OR so called safety net programs. The world functioned fine before government got involved, and in fact since social norms have changed it would likely be even better for workers than in the past. In fact, if welfare were eliminated businesses would have more money (from taxes cut since no need to support welfare anymore) and wages would be higher.

    The truth is that one can support ones self in many parts of the country on, or even below, the current legal federal minimum wage. Expensive areas usually have prevailing wages above the mandated minimum wage specifically because nobody will work for the legal minimum.

    In other words the market works. Almost nowhere in the country is the federal minimum wage the prevailing wage for even starting work. That is the market doing its thing. In the few places where prevailing wages might actually be close to the legal minimum wage, that means that it is probably enough to scrape by on... Which is all STARTING wages should be anyway.

    People who drop out of 9th grade and then don't even bother to learn a useful trade should have no expectations of having a glamorous life. I've busted ass my whole life, and have never made minimum wage except when I was literally 15 years old. All the other odd jobs I worked in my life were harder, hence better paying, despite none of them requiring a degree or whatever. Making excuses for blow it cases is a BS argument.

  • Ride 'Em||

    Doubt it as many of the issues that got people riled up enough were economic in nature: taxes on tea, taxes on documents, etc.. Even the garrisoning of troops in homes was economic as the colonists had to feed them. And let's not forget that the favorite occupation of some of the rebel leaders was smuggling. It always comes down to what someone once said: "It's the economy stupid".

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    Well that'll be helpful since they eliminated my subway job.

  • Rockabilly||

    But man, I thought you guys wanted to make peace with the progs because Trump beat Hillary Clinton.

    They have good ideas. No?

    I voted for Gary's Johnson.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    I felt the Johnson and voted for him regardless

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    I found the Johnson distasteful, but I swallowed its line anyway.

  • sarcasmic||

    The solution is obvious. Apply price-gouging laws to greedy businesses that raise prices instead of cutting into their unlimited profits. Government knows how many employees these greedy businesses really need, and how much their products should really cost. A few more pieces of legislation and everything will be fixed. It will be different when we do it because we're Americans, and we have the right people in charge.

  • Cyto||

    you play at sarcasm, but these folks are beyond parody. Your post brought to mind the Carter era Windfall Profits Tax. For those too young to remember, during the rapidly rising oil prices of the late 70's, it was deemed evil that the big oil companies should be able to raise prices at the pump based on today's spot market crude prices when they paid yesterday's prices for that oil. So the government decided that they should get to keep those ill-gotten gains. The fact that this was passed in the name of protecting consumers from rising prices and loudly cheered by the left and joe sixpack didn't alter the reality that adding costs to the supply chain isn't exactly the best way to reduce the price to the customer.

    I live in hurricane country, and every time we have a sizable storm, people are angry that certain commodities like milk, water, plywood, generators and gas are in short supply. The same folk are loudly supportive of anti-gouging laws and cheer vigorous enforcement of the same. Not only does the connection elude them, they are violently opposed to even hearing a description of the connection when it is offered. They have their reality, and will not have it challenged.

  • sarcasmic||

    It's all about fairness. It's not fair that businesses raise prices when demand exceeds supply. I mean, people need that stuff. That's why demand goes up. Duh.

  • rudehost||

    So much fairer to let one person stock up on water they don't need because they were first to the store and let someone else die of thirst who would be willing to pay 50 cents more.

  • sarcasmic||

    That will never happen because that's not the intention.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    It's never a good idea to kill your customers in a free market

  • EscherEnigma||

    Tobacco companies disagree.

  • ||

    *unless very slowly, and only a percentage of them die for health reasons stemming from its use.

  • silver.||

    To add to this, I did an internship at a tobacco company and they were obsessed with safety. We weren't allowed to have ANY plastic on the manufacturing floor. Seriously I left my wallet (cards) in my computer bag during the day. Smoking plastic isn't so great for your health, and the metal detectors that are scattered throughout the plant can't detect them. If you goofed and plastic contaminated the line, they'd dump it without question and give folks a stern coaching about the dangers, but it wasn't strict enough to scare people into not letting somebody know.

    They also routinely dumped millions of dollars down the drain because the levels of carcinogens were too high. Well below the national mandate and even below the EU's, but their internal standards were much stricter.

    Many of these people smoked themselves. If we chose we could get a free pack a day from a vending machine, and we could smoke basically anywhere. It was a surreal sight. They sincerely wanted to make this massive health liability as safe as possible. It was good business. A dead "adult consumer" will not longer consume.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    I suspect if that were true the cigarette industry would never have introduced filters and low tar cigarettes.

    I vaguely remember a lot of complaint about the introduction at the time, though my sample size was probably 5 adults.

  • silver.||

    Low tar cigarettes are a marketing trap. They are "smoother" (I guess), but they're more damaging overall. Of all the things that my company did, producing "light" cigarettes was the worst. They contain roughly equal amounts of tar and carcinogens, but massively diminished quantities of nicotine, MAOIs, and various other psychoactive compounds. You smoke more cigarettes to achieve the same intake of dopaminergic chemicals. Invariably folks smoke more light cigarettes than they do "manly" cigarettes. It's a completely legitimate complaint. "Light" cigarettes are not safer, they are, statistically speaking, worse for your wallet and health.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    People are stocking up on water and will continue to do so in an atmosphere of economic uncertainty. It is a matter of survival not uncertainty. There is no solution except for enforced austerity ("2 gallons of water at a time only"), and I doubt anyone here is in favor of any such thing. On the other hand, people who prepare rationally also know that there is a limit on the probable period of deprivation and most likely prepare for that, and so are not stockpiling 1,000 gallons at a time. Like most things, it tends to work itself out.

  • timbo||

    I love the terminology of the psycho left.

    The passive aggressive pussy always comes out in leftist speak. "windfall profit" - like there was not work done there, or smart capital allocation or market forces that work in the evil businessman's favor. See the evil capitalist just sits around and collects money from the poor by shaking them upside down and letting the wind blow their stolen money into collection bins I guess?

    Another passive aggressive pussy term invented by these lunatics is fugitive emissions.

    The number one identifier f bullshit is when politicians and other leftists sheep start inventing new definitions for things.

  • sarcasmic||

    Ever read 1984? When you control the language that people use, and the words with which they think, you can control their thoughts to a certain extent. The perversion of the language is very intentional. Terms like "social justice" or "economic justice" in reality mean "institutionalized injustice." But by framing "justice" in this way, they effectively remove the concept of justice from the thoughts of the people indoctrinated into their perverted language.

  • timbo||

    Well we are in the throes of never ending war and double speak on a daily basis so it would appear that orwell is one of the smartest people to ever walk the planet.

    Obama reigned for 8 years on doublespeak alone and somehow the party of the left became as big of warmongers as the neocons.

    not shaping up so well.

    War is peace and never a word is spoken about the patriotism of not sending these kids into harm's way or bringing them home.

  • sarcasmic||

    never a word is spoken about the patriotism of not sending these kids into harm's way or bringing them home.

    No shit. And that pisses me off to no end. The most patriotic thing one can do is kill strangers, usually brown people, for the benefit of politicians and big business. Really?

  • timbo||

    The only people responsible for war are politicians when it is all boiled down. The reasons behind their motivations are obvious.

    Then they use tax payer money to convince 17-18 year old kids to go to war for them.

    politicians truly are the f*cking devil.

  • Paper Wasp||

    My cousin, who's in the military, explained that we need to keep the wars going because we need to keep all those good jerbs at military contractors like Boeing and Cummins and Raytheon. "Millions of people would lose their jerbs!" she exclaimed. Because the government is a jobs program, see.

  • Ariel||

    I agree with the 1984 comment about newspeak, but what's missing regarding the 1970s is any discussion of what tax subsidies were for oil companies in the 1970s. I don't know what they were, and seemingly no one here does either. In 1970 you could write off every bit of interest from any liability, secured or not. I can only wonder the write-offs for the oil industry.

    It wasn't about 'social justice' or 'economic justice', it was simply about the cost to the American public and the at-that-time perceived level of profits that the oil industry was making from OPEC driven price increases. The tax wasn't repealed until the very end of the Reagan era.

    If you want real 'institutionalized injustice' just go talk to an American black.

  • DarrenM||

    Why do we never hear about "windfall losses"?

  • DrZ||

    It's not true that people are hung upside down and then the wind is used to blow the money that falls out of their pockets into bins.

    I believe they use high powered fans.

  • Could not connect to remo||

    The truth is (as if Leftists require the truth for anything they do) that big oil companies funnel their profits back into research and development as well as bonuses for employees such that only 3% of that profit is left for its corporate shareholders.

    Leftists have no conception of relative size when it comes to corporations and wealthy individuals and their tax liabilities. I am not sure about the exact numbers but the richest 1% about whom the Left constantly complain pay 80% percent of the taxes collected by the government. Leftists can only deal with literal terms so that if they see Person A saving $5,000 from a tax cut that only allows person B to save $500, they scream bloody murder about inequality, when, in reality, Person A pays 20 times more in taxes than Person B.

  • sarcasmic||

    Thing is, economic arguments won't penetrate the emotions of socialists because they only care about fairness.

    It's not fair that business owners are rich! It's not fair that someone can't raise a family of four while working as a dishwasher! It's not fair that some people make a lot of money while others do not! It's not fair, it's not fair, it's not fair!

    No amount of logic or reason will penetrate.

    That and it's also the magic of intentions which trump economic law. When social planners raise the cost of tobacco or sugary soft drinks, the intention is to help the poor by encouraging them to buy less of these bad things. When social planners raise the cost of employing low-skilled labor, the intention is to give them a raise by forcing greedy employers to put people before profits. See? Intentions are magic.

  • Shirley Knott||

    I can't agree it's entirely hopeless. Minds do occasionally get changed.
    The best counter to the 'fairness' argument is to reduce it to it's essentials: It's unfair that we live in a world of scarce resources.
    Given that, everything else follows. OF COURSE "it's not fair that x or y or z". That's life.
    The only way we've found to fix that, and the history of the last 25 years shows we can fix it, is with free minds and free markets [sorry, gotta borrow a good tag line when I can /semi-snark]

    If you can get them to see, to admit, that resources are scarce, there's not enough to go around, you can start taking about how we deal with it. If they think resources are unlimited, ask them for their house, car, and bank account info. Why not? If resources aren't scarce, they get new ones effortlessly and costlessly.

  • sarcasmic||

    I've tried this, and the invariable response is "Oh yeah? What about air? Huh? I just provided an counterexample, so that means your entire argument is false! Ha!"

  • Zeb||

    Tell them that Spaceballs is not actually a serious work of speculative fiction.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    I've tried this, and the invariable response is "Oh yeah? What about air? Huh?..."

    *facepalm*

    I sincerely hope those people are sterile.

  • silver.||

    Air is a finite resource. It's abundant enough that everyone can freely utilize it. If air and oxygen were actually infinite it'd actually throw a wrench in the vise-grips that are deployed in the name of stopping global warming climate change. Clearly we need to dump more taxpayer money into crooked clean energy subsidies that do literally nothing beneficial.

    Want to solve climate change? Let the price of fossil fuels rise. Be willing to fill your Prius with $20/gallon gas for a few years and see what we start discovering when it's financially prudent to invest in green. Cheap gas/power or clean energy. Pick one.

  • Mark22||

    Want to solve climate change? Let the price of fossil fuels rise.

    We'll have cheap solar long before the price of fossil fuels rises substantially.

  • plusafdotcom||

    Try something like this...

    "You say 'air is free...' well, air itself IS free but CLEAN air does have associated costs. If you want CLEAN AIR, you're going to have to pay [more] for it!"

    ?

    btw, "Silver"... "Let the price of fossil fuels rise."? Who or what is holding them DOWN? Nobody. Supply and demand have been the drivers OF lower costs since the widespread use of fracking for oil and natural gas.

    ... or was that comment missing "/sarc"?

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Unfortunately, so many of them do simply see economic activity and productivity as given, as a set of consumable resources that can now be distributed equitably among the population. How can you say resources are scarce, or why should we care about this technical meaning of scarcity, when there is such abundance around us?

    Of course they don't want their home or car taken away, because they want everyone to have a home and car.

    If you look at the world from that remote a view, with little understanding or interest in how this wealth comes to be (and how fragile it all is), it looks like a sensible position.

  • silver.||

    I agree with you on this. I think folks have their hearts in the right place, but simply don't understand psychology. It doesn't excuse them when the consequences of their actions are awful, but I don't think less of them as humans. Ignorance is sometimes terminal, but it can often be cured. To me the libertarian party is the learning party. The discourse we have on this site is frequently heated, but I've thought to myself, "hmmm" many times, from posters both left and right of me. It's a waste of characters to sling ad hominems when people are able to share their passions and experiences with everyone. Like your last sentence says, the progressive position (and any position) is one that they truly feel is right. We have to know that before we can make arguments that are compelling to them.

    /Hippy Kumbaya crap

  • Ariel||

    Well this was just one long thread of a mutual love fest.

    In the USA 20% hold about 89% of the wealth (the top 1% hold most of that wealth by having 49% or so). In Australia, a very wealthy country about one or two below us, the top 20% hold about 65% of the wealth. In Britain, the top 10% hold about 50% (it's likely that the next 10% add only a marginal more to that, I say that by drawing from the USA stat that the top 10% have 76% of the wealth, leaving the next 10% adding only 13% more). Russia's top 10% actually outdo us, with 84% versus 76%. Those unproductive Japanese top 10 percenters only hold about 48-49%.

    In many 3rd world nations, the top 20% hold about 50% or less of the wealth (that from the scanty info at the World Bank, so it's likely that some 3rd world nations may match us and Russia.) Anyway, you can just look here: http://www.businessinsider.com.....s-2014-10.

    I thank g*d that we are right in there with Russia, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, Indonesia, and all those countries that hold to our ideals. Otherwise, I might think there's a problem and y'all were just pushing the usual insular American bullshit.

  • plusafdotcom||

    Ariel, if the maldistribution of wealth in the US is so terrible, whyTF don't we see much higher migration OUT of the United States INTO those "more egalitarian" countries?

    Hm?

    Maybe that horrible distribution isn't as repulsive as the progs make it out to be?

  • vek||

    Ariel, you ignore that our lower middle class, middle middle class, and upper middle class are all far wealthier than their counterparts in those countries. Most of the reason for that is because we're more free market and lower taxes.

    Do you want to make $75K a year, but hold a smaller relative portion of your nations net worth... OR make $50K a year and have the feel good point of owning a higher portion of your nations net worth?

    Americans have FAR higher before tax incomes, and even greater after tax standards of living since the middle class gets taxed to death in Europe/Australia/etc.

    Their more equal distribution also causes them all, middle class and rich, to be poorer... So which do you prefer?

  • Ride 'Em||

    Additionally to the other counter arguments to your statement, I doubt your premise of skewed wealth distribution. I don't think the studies on such take into account assets controlled by such things as pension funds or investment funds held by institutions like colleges and universities. For example, the top ten pension funds each have over a 100 billion in investments. Add to that all the other pension funds and retirement funds like 401(k)'s and wealth or at least the beneficiaries of that wealth, there is a lot more spread to the ownership of that wealth. Just one pension fund, CALPERS, has 300 billion in investments.

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    To the point above about the perversion of language, I think it is time to attack their use of the word fair. It seems to me that their definition is absolutely not derived in fairness at all. Seeing that wealth redistribution is an ugly term by both sides we need something new. Graft is too technical for the masses. Theft is too strong for those of weak stomachs.

    I haven't yet found the right term, but it needs to be strong but simple. Thoughts?

  • Ariel||

    We have been doing wealth redistribution for 200 years. The railroads were built by wealth redistribution, every company that has had a subsidy profited from wealth redistribution, but I do know that you mean wealth should never be taken from you and given to someone else. Unfortunately, the US has been doing that for corporations pretty much from the get-go, and only added those people you don't want wealth redistributed to in the 20th century. So how you doing with the increase in the minimum wage to get it back to the same worth as in 1970?

    You have to forgive me, I'm recovering from being a conservative Republican with libertarian leanings. I get really irritable when I hear the bullshit I'm trying to escape. Yeah the SJWs use 'fair' like a hammer with nails everywhere, but then eschewing the word 'fair' as if it has no meaning whatsoever is just as bad. (I tried to come up with a stinging analogous phrase to hammer/nail to point out how you guys are just the same coin, but I obviously failed.)

  • DarrenM||

    Why is it always 1970? What's so special about that year? I have seen this year used by many MW advocates because it was near the high point for the MW, which is pretty disingenuous. It's as if the real value of the MW (or any other benefit) should never be allowed to decline, as if it's impossible to ever have it be too high. This was almost 50 years ago. Why does it even matter whether or not the MW is the same as one year or another in history?

  • RabbitHead||

    Well 1970 was the year that kicked off that decade of inflation, malaise and crippling high consumer interest rates, so ...

    And minimum was about $10 in current dollars. in 1969 the same actual amount was closer to 11. That's how bad inflation was back then. I don't know how $15, or almost 50% higher than MW has ever been is seen as "a return to the original idea."

    It isn't, it is a new idea. If progs wanted to go to 10 or 11 to restore the buying power that 69-70 MW had, they'd probably get that without to hard a fight. but that's not what they want, is it?

  • plusafdotcom||

    Start with my 47th Law(s)....

    Falk's Forty-Seventh Laws:

    "When one of the participants in an argument or discussion plays the "moral" card, it's because they don't have any facts, reason or logic to bring to their side of the argument."

    The neat thing is to be aware of how the "discussion" changes when one side suddenly and unexpectedly labels the topic "really a moral question." It means they know they just lost the argument, but in reality, if the other side rises to the bait, they just lost. Morality trumps logic, facts and reason all the time in a "discussion" or "debate."

    "You can always tell when the folks on one side of a 'Discussion' have run out of rational arguments for their side...

    They play the "For The Children" card or change the issue to one of 'Fairness' or 'Morality' or 'Justice.'

    After that happens, further participation in the 'Discussion' is worthless."

    ....... and then read the others at http://www.plusaf.com/falk's-laws.htm
    You might find some interesting or useful... :)

  • RenaD||

    The trip to the Dark Side is always paved with good intentions.

  • Could not connect to remo||

    We constantly hear about people deserving "A living wage" when they do not have sufficient skills to earn a decent living. Nothing gives a Democrat the heebie-jeebies like talking about a merit-based system, especially teachers.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    How is this a problem?

    Obviously the jobs lost by raising minimum wage will be more than replaced by the new profession of shock prod wielding government enforcement helpers that make sure those greedy business owners don't close their businesses or anything antisocial like that.

  • gphx||

    Anytime someone trots out the issue of 'fairness' you can be sure some pussy communist entitlement bullshit follows. Employees and employers have a right to establish any contract they both agree to.

  • timbo||

    The march to socialism has one overriding calling card: voter stupidity.

    When minimum wage hikes have adverse effects like Seattle and elsewhere, when years of government housing programs and food assistance programs result in increasing levels of poverty and jobless rolls, when a failing public school system brainwashes students towards Marxist thought and against business and capitalism, when entire swaths of the population turn into lemmings and espouse the lunatic rhetoric they are told to spew by the government propaganda press, etc., etc. , you have a populous that is moving in the wrong direction.

    People like trump might be able to slow the juggernaut for a few years with tax cuts, rolling back regulations, and maybe improving the economy, but you cannot re-educate an almost entirely ignorant population in under several generations. He also appears to care very little about the debt albatross which is what eventually brings us down.
    A walk down the street would show that far more people have been brainwashed to do what they are told than people with discerning viewpoints and who might question authority. The average leftist population is outnumbering the sane.

  • sarcasmic||

    The foundation of this country has always been a healthy distrust of government. People understood the inverse relationship between government and liberty. They understood that government is a fallible organization of fallible people.

    Now those who distrust government are a ridiculed fringe. People want to ask permission and obey orders. Because liberty is scary. How will you know you're doing it right unless you are acting on the command or with the permission of authority? Government is looked upon as a god, and its agents as angels.

  • timbo||

    Why would I plan ahead or save for a rainy day? The American way is to do nothing and then cry and whine like a pussy when your sh*t breaks. Look at Puerto Rico. They did it right. They had to go without electricity for a while but they got a total bailout for their failed government policies. I wonder where the check will be written from for the shipload of utility trucks that just got sent over there.

    Those are true americans.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Public school teachers have a vested interest in teaching the kiddies that government is good. Their livelihood depends on it.

    Show me one course that spans a child's entire public school tenure where the history of government is shown as always tending toward totalitarianism and I'll recant.

    We absolutely need to get rid of public sector unions as well as government support of any unions.

  • silver.||

    Verbose anecdote 1/2. I'm sorry.

    I actually had a government teacher in my senior year of high school that was most likely libertarian. He made us closely follow the '08 election as an exercise. Most of my peers couldn't vote that year, but I could. Seems that even in my highly conservative suburb most of these kids were clamoring for Obama. Maybe it was because he was a minority, and that's pretty cool. They thought of our teacher as an old lunatic, though.

    This is a man who'd fought off cancer and was having spells of vertigo that would force him to place a hand on the chalk rail for balance. He could've retired with his fantastic benefits and nice pension, but I got the impression that he truly wanted to stay just to be a voice of reason in kids' lives. He made clear to us that it was important that we always examine alternative viewpoints. Watch Fox News and CNN. Read the Daily Kos and Breitbart. He knew the destructive power of confirmation bias and echo chamber before it was cool.

  • silver.||

    Verbose anecdote 2/2. I'm super sorry.

    I had a college professor that was equally as effective. He was the Donald Trump of the department. Crass and unapologetic, he shocked people with hypotheticals like (paraphrased), "if you insufficiently design a stroller, a baby will die, and you will end up on the stand and in a cell." Most of the professors were there to do research and honestly didn't care that their undergrads were blatantly cheating. One beloved professor was essentially fired after bringing an egregious case before our "honor board". Three students had turned in identical work - including the name which belonged to none of them. All of them were the sons of wealthy oil families from the middle east. Their parents also make multi-million dollar donations to the school. The parents of one student filed a defamation suit against the professor. They said they would drop it if she left. My university would not provide and aid to this professor, so she left.

    Knowing all this, the bombastic professor had become quite cynical, and he was determined to beat some integrity into us. I hated him at the time for assigning 30hrs/week of hard labor that came from a textbook with no solutions manual, but years later he's one of my favorite professors. I get it. I would've just given up. He'd retired from Exxon and probably had a half-million dollar/year pension. I respect that he stayed to talk some amount of sense into us.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    That makes me a little less full of hate for the profession as it is today. I appreciate you taking the time to write all that you did.

  • Could not connect to remo||

    You're lucky to have had a professor in college since most of the time professors send in teaching assistants to do the instructing. This is of course a ripoff for the college student who paid a ton of money to be taught by the best but who gets the cheapest person the college can find to actually teach classes. After all, professors cannot be bothered doing the menial work of teaching when there's so much useless research to be done.

  • Rich||

    In the years to come, don't count on fast-food sandwiches costing any less in Seattle, and don't be surprised if you have to order them through a tablet.

    Unless, of course, Seattle bans ordering through tablets to protect minimum-wage workers.

  • sarcasmic||

    Luddites.

  • DarrenM||

    No. They'll still use tablets. It's just that there will be a mandate that a worker must be hired to operate it. In fact, there will eventually be a degree required to operator a tablet to order food on behalf of a customer. That will then be used as a justification for requiring higher wages.

  • plusafdotcom||

    Hey.... Just Like not being allowed to pump your own gas in NJ!
    See any similarities? Trends?

  • Rhywun||

    More likely they'll just ban fast food. Those people shouldn't be eating cheap, disgusting food anyway.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    More likely they'll just ban fast food.

    Nostradamus ain't got nothing on you.

    Seriously, put that in the form of a quatrain and 500 years from now people will be calling you a prophet.

  • Paper Wasp||

    That's where the soda tax comes from. Seattle is chock-full of pretentious food nannies to whom banning fast food would be a totally serious plan. But the ever-hilarious part is that they'd only go after chains, not local, hipster-ridden joints that serve even unhealthier shit at 4x the price. The important thing, however, is to make sure to cut off the supply of burgers, pizza, and fried chicken to poors.

  • plusafdotcom||

    Did they all do graduate studies in that crap in NYC?

  • Longtobefree||

    Maybe Seattle could pass a tax on the generous government pensions of California and New York?
    That is no more ridiculous than what they are doing now.

  • Zeb||

    Or just ban being poor.

  • sarcasmic||

    It pretty much is illegal to be poor. Or at least it's illegal to live like a poor person. Want a place to live? It's gotta be up to code. Want to drive a car? It better pass inspection. Want a job? Well you better be skilled enough for one that pays well.

  • timbo||

    A civilized society cannot tolerate a populous that can think or do for themselves.

    I would rather trust the bureaucrats at the board of health or the presidential cabinet.

    After all, one of Obama's cabinet members said, in a speech, that Mao was her idol.
    Newt Gingrich said he wanted to prosecute oil speculators during the high oil prices of 2008. That's correct, a supposed small government guy said he wanted to prosecute capitalists for betting on market prices.

  • Rhywun||

    Or at least it's illegal to live like a poor person. Want a place to live? It's gotta be up to code.

    Well, on your own it's illegal to live like a poor person. That's why the government gives the poors a place to live for free. And they don't worry about silly "codes", either.

  • shawn_dude||

    As long as the taxpayer is on the hook to cover the difference between a low wage from an employer like Walmart and a living wage, it's fair to demand a minimum wage.

  • DarrenM||

    Or just ban being poor.

    Excellent idea. This goes straight to the root of the problem. I expect legislators to get right on this any time now.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Good discussions above; of course no matter how sound the economic argument may be against such good intentions as raising minimum wage to adverse levels, the outcome will depend upon whether there are enough who want it who will vote their pandering politicians into office. Feel the Bern or some more recent incantation? And if we are to believe economist/ pop writers like Tyler Cowen [The End of Mediocrity] there will be ever more of the chronically underachieving who will flock to these notions. Then we can all live in a shithole.

  • knockatize||

    Let's play devil's advocate for a sec and assume that some kind of floor for hourly wages is a good thing, and that certain occupations deserve a higher floor than others...which is the move right now in Mos-Eisley-on-the-Hudson a/k/a New York.

    If that's the case, why in the name of Cthulhu The Funky would any sane progressive think the higher minimum should apply an industry that feeds people processed crap?

    We're hugely short on home health aides, and thanks to "progressives" like Andrew Cuomo the people who would otherwise help seniors with their activities of daily living are putting in applications at Mickey D's.

  • timbo||

    problem solved then. If everyone wants to work at McDonalds, then mcdonalds can lower the wage due to high demand to work there. Then we can all get cheaper french fries.

    Wouldn't that be awesome if that market forces scam could actually work?

  • Cy||

    If we had a $50 an hour minimum wage we could live in a utopia!

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    If we had a $1000/hr minimum wage, all full time workers would be multimillionaires! Then we could call them evil for being so rich and demand they finally pay their fair share in taxes!

  • plusafdotcom||

    Not funny at all.... a few years ago, I had a Facebook flame war with some Lawyer Gal (would you believe) in Georgia about minimum wages and higher pay for Teachers.

    She complained that teachers were so important that they should be paid more.
    I pointed out that if everyone agreed to that, they'd have their local or state governments raise their taxes to cover the increased costs, but apparently nobody's done that!

    So I asked her "how much should the salaries be raised?" If $20-30k a year (irrespective of local living costs) was too low, would $50k be better?

    She said yes. Then I asked what teachers REALLY should be paid. Maybe $50k was too low... how about $100k?
    YES!, she agreed.
    How about $200k? Yep, that would be acceptable to her.
    $500k? SURE!
    A Million Dollars A Year??? Fine with her.

    No, I'm not kidding OR exaggerating. She actually could not find ANY salary that she considered Too High or in any way unreasonable for teachers.

    And she was (is?) a lawyer.

    Economic Illiterates of every flavor and color can be found everywhere. No city or country has the market lock on stupidity in that realm.

    -continued--

  • plusafdotcom||

    part 2.......

    To me, it just says that humans are reverting to Tribal Behavior, just like tens or hundreds of thousands of years ago. They find a common interest or belief, gather like-"minded" others into their fold and immediately everyone who doesn't share their beliefs is an Evil Outsider who must be shunned or eliminated.

    I label such shit as Cult Thinking. "My guru/leader/Special Person is Always Right in All Ways and YOUR guru/leader/Special Person is The Devil's Own Spawn.

    Think I'm wrong? Compare the following...

    Democrats / Republicans
    Liberals / Conservatives
    Radical Fundamentalist Supremacist Islamists / Everyone Else
    Socialists / Capitalists - Free-Marketeers
    Pro-Life / Pro-Birth
    Pro- / Anti-Capital Punishment
    Gay Rights Supporters / Phobes of anything not-straight
    Global Warmites / "Deniers"
    Atheists / Religionists

    The list is endless.
    All Tribalism and Exclusionary and Us-Versus-Them Hate.

  • plusafdotcom||

    I've been labeled so many things I'm not that I finally gave up and created this page for reference...

    http://www.plusaf.com/aboutme.htm

  • Could not connect to remo||

    Or to put it simply, "Do as I say and not as I do."

  • Cynical Asshole||

    ...the Chili's chain felt obliged to publicly swear that no server jobs were at risk because "we'd never want to lose our awesome Team Members."

    I'm sure they don't want to lose their "awesome Team Members" but they may not have a choice in the matter if it becomes impossible to stay in business because of the price of labor.

  • Rhywun||

    That just means they don't deserve to be in business anymore.

  • creech||

    I've been to Chilis (when no choice, like in airports) and I'd hardly describe their Team Members as "awesome."

  • EscherEnigma||

    We have a minimum wage because we have welfare, and we (as Americans) think it's pretty shoddy to subsidize an employer's profits by giving their employees welfare on top of their wages, so we expect them to give higher wages so they don't need welfare.

    We have welfare because we (as Americans) have a "floor" on the quality of life for Americans, and so instituted a variety of government programs to make sure people don't fall through that floor too often.

    So if you want to get rid of the minimum wage, you either need an alternate system to minimize the profit-subsidizing effect of welfare, or convince folks that we don't need a "quality of life floor" and get rid of welfare too.

    The economic arguments are just dickering about what the minimum wage should be set at, but aren't very good for arguing against the minimum wage itself.

  • Microaggressor||

    None of that changes the fact that the minimum wage doesn't even achieve its own goals of providing higher incomes to the working poor.
    That's the argument and you're just pretending it doesn't exist. Try harder.

  • EscherEnigma||

    See paragraph 4. That kind of argument is dickering about what the minimum wage should be, but isn't effective at arguing that the minimum wage itself should go away.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    Not up to a business owner to insure an employee isn't on welfare, you brainless twit.

  • Rhywun||

    convince folks that we don't need a "quality of life floor" and get rid of welfare

    If we continue along our present course, reality will make that decision for us.

  • Sevo||

    "We have a minimum wage because we have welfare, and we (as Americans) think it's pretty shoddy to subsidize an employer's profits by giving their employees welfare on top of their wages, so we expect them to give higher wages so they don't need welfare."

    I'm assuming this is sarc, since any reasonably intelligent person wouldn't post such malarkey seriously.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Not sarcastic at all. And it's not like y'all don't argue against both welfare and the minimum wage. All you gotta do is argue against them at the same time, and be convincing.

    It's not like it could go any worse then arguing against then separately and hoping that folks don't remember that you're against both.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    If we didn't know you were an economic illiterate before now, you've certainly erased any doubt.

  • DarrenM||

    Many (most?) MW workers are part of a household that would not be eligible for Welfare anyway.

  • Mark22||

    The economic arguments are just dickering about what the minimum wage should be set at,

    Your reasoning doesn't work. Businesses will only hire workers if they can make a profit. If you set the minimum wage to $X/h, then all workers that are less productive than $X/h will not get hired and will instead be on welfare. Likewise, if you set welfare to the equivalent of an hourly wage of $Y/h, then any worker who can't make at least $Y/h will choose not to work. So, between a minimum wage of $X/h and welfare of $Y/h, you ensure that everybody less productive than the maximum of $X and $Y will be out of work (and it's actually even worse in practice).

  • RobertK||

    Working fewer hours at $15 per hour is a massive quality of life improvement over working long hours at minimum wage. It allows people to do things, like leave work early enough to avoid paying for childcare after school. For example, the cost savings of that aspect alone, make it worth while.

    Claiming that the loss of $125 a month makes it not worthwhile, is false. You could get 1 hour part time #2 where you would have had to work 2 hours at your previous full time job.

    It is patently absurd to claim that a $125 month loss for a higher minimum wage is a bad thing.

  • NoVaNick||

    Except when your job suddenly vanishes, and there are fewer jobs to replace it...

  • DarrenM||

    More importantly, they could spend that extra time watching reruns of "The Dukes of Hazard".

  • NoVaNick||

    I wouldn't mind having extra time to watch Daisy Duke

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    I'll bet missing out on that $125 won't feel so great once the price of everything rises to accommodate the higher cost of labor to produce food, clothing, etc..

  • Could not connect to remo||

    OMG! You finally brought up the issue of total income that everyone seems to miss when talking about minimum wage.

    KUDOS!

    If people want to bring home more money, they can either find a higher-paying job or have more than one. If they want to keep the same amount of income that bring home every month but have more time for other pursuits, then they can also search for a job that offers a higher hourly salary rate and/or better fringe benefits.

    Hmmm. Maybe we should discuss the issue of fringe benefits a little more here?

  • operagost||

    If you work less than 30 hours a week, your employer is not required to provide health insurance. Of course, all the employers started doing that when Obamacare first kicked in.

  • RobertK||

    At $15 per hour, that $125 per month loss, is like asking, "Hi working poor person. Would you like to increase you wages to $15 per hour, but you also have to take one Friday per month off?" The answer would be a universal yes. This average monthly wages lost claim is really off the mark.

  • Microaggressor||

    And the next time they whine about "chronic underemployment" and "no entry level jobs", you'll just say, "shut the fuck up, it's for your own good. Because I know you'd take the deal without having consulted you."

  • Rhywun||

    "I got mine already. Who cares about those people who are out of work."

  • DarrenM||

    Well, they can become artists or start their own business on the side with that extra time. They could learn new skills to improve themselves and find jobs that pay more. Or, they could just play video games or watch TV. I know which way I'm betting.

  • Eman||

    or drive for uber!

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    These prog trolls must have all taken Econ 101 from Idiot Sawant.

  • vek||

    Except it's not usually distributed like that... Many people get axed entirely, others lose 2 days a week. If everybody had 1 hour shaved 4 days a week or something you would be almost correct... But it's not perfectly distributed. AND it also means the weakest links get canned entirely, the very most vulnerable of all.

    My buddy works at a kitchen in downtown Seattle. He just got promoted to kitchen manager. They're planning to fire a couple of their slowest employees, including one who has worked there longer than him! Keep in mind he started at the bottom of the totem poll, and is now one of the top guys there. He's going to be firing a 50 something year old lady because she just isn't good enough to pay the new wages.

    It's crappy, but it's real life. They kept her there for years at the lower wage scale because she was barely acceptable for that... But no more.

  • Microaggressor||

    Those reports have previously grated advocates of the $15 minimum wage. In September, Councilmember Kshama Sawant took the research group to task for various aspects of a report from last July, which Sawant argued cast the wage law in a poor light due to bad methodology and accused the director of the study, Jacob Vigdor, of "idelogical editorializing."


    Lysenkoism is back in vogue.

  • mgseattle||

    Sawant is only happy when she has a bullhorn and is surrounded by chanting activists waving signs who will happily shout down anyone who doesn't agree with them.

  • NoVaNick||

    Progs love any law that will never apply to them, but makes them feel better about themselves.
    -How many of them or their trustifarian offspring have ever worked a minimum wage job?

  • Eman||

    people who argue for a higher minimum wage need to check their fucking privelege, cuz it's showing. you can't experience losing hours to illegal immigrants *because* they're illegal if you've never had the kind of job that might hire illegals, and you can't go through that and still think a minimum wage makes any kind of sense. I don't think.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    By the way, and for whatever its worth, the Ziosk started here at Red Robin and has now been picked up by Applebee's. I have no doubt its use will spread. It is after all far more economically efficient than paying workers for what is after all a relatively mindless job (pick up check, feed it into computer, return check to patron). But I can easily see an automated ordering system on the horizon, with humans limited to a small cadre whose sole functions are to ask if everything is OK and bring you extra napkins.

  • John B. Egan||

    What does the health oriented 'sugar tax' have to do with anything?

    As to whether or not rasing the minimum wage (as seems to be common across the US this last year), destroying jobs, you'll find argumants on both sides of the equation. Opting to chose the study that supports the author's 'opinion' while denigrating the opposing view is childish nonsense.

    Low paying jobs have had casualties across the US, irrespective of the Seattle wage increase.. 2017 set a new high for store closings: In fact, Major retailers have closed over 5000 stores last year.

    If large retail outlets are closing for various reasons, then why is it surprising that smaller shops are as well? And the reason isn't only labor costs.. Has anyone been paying attention to the cost of renting space? Skyrocketed! Business insurance? Up! Utilities and product! Yup! Higher... That is what happens in business and it's unreasonable to balance to cost of staying in business on the backs of the employees... In fact, the much heralded GOP Tax Cuts were supposed to generate jobs through the marvel known as 'trickle down'.

    All that aside, the simple truth is that minimum wage (and basic wages) have not kept up with inflation. That translates to 'perople earn less each year'... At what point do we start paying people a living wage again if not in Trump's 'our economy is doing great' era?

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    Another economic illiterate prog who fails to understand that the real minimum wage is zero.

  • Barry Gold||

    Not just Seattle. California is on a path of stepped increases in the minimum-wage:
    $10.50/hour last year
    $11.00/hour this year
    then 4 more $1 increases until it reachs $15.00/hour in 2022 (2023 for small businesses, 25 or fewer employees).

    What's wrong with this? After all, Los Angeles and Silicon Valley are very expensive places to live...

    Problem is, this is a statewide minimum wage. (Mostly: it's already $13 in San Francisco.) So the minimum wage will go up to $15/hour in Bakersfield, and Kettleman City and Wasco and Yreka, and Perez. All very much cheaper places to live, and some of those have barely-functioning economies even now.

    Dumb idea. If it must be done at all (a bad idea anyway), let cities and towns decide for themselves.

  • DarrenM||

    This is really going to hammer the areas east of the mountains, but that could very well be deliberate. I also expect the black market to increase. More people will work under the table. They would not be paying taxes anyway, so this would actually be a freer market than otherwise. Whether this would be good or bad depends on your ideology I suppose.

  • Pyrrho21C||

    One dirty little secret is that many union contracts have pay scales that are pegged at a certain amount or percentage over the statutory minimum, so that raising that minimum gives the members of the union a wage hike without even having to go to the bargaining table.

  • Fred G. Sanford||

    Restaurants would move to things like Ziosk regardless of whether the local minimum wage is increased. If they can cut expenses while still maintaining the same level of sales they will take advantage of it.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    And stupid minimum wage laws just speed up the process......success!!!!!!

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    Had the tube on not really paying attention but they had a show with Marcus (?) lLemonis (Shark Tank guy, I think) in Cuba. He was interviewing a brother and sister who sold cupcakes as the regime had loosened up rules on starting businesses. He asked how much they made and though they were very reticent about answering they let slip around 100 bucks a day. The woman trained as a dentist, the brother also in a medical field said they made 40 bucks a month working for the state. So after the regime spent however much training them they were making 30 times the going wage baking fucking cupcakes.

    Tells you all you need to know about progonomics.

  • working poor||

    We should just make the value of a dollar go up then nobody would need a raise.

  • Galane||

    By 2021 there will be no fast food or many other small businesses in Seattle, if the minimum wage hikes are not stopped and rolled back.

    What should be done is eliminate the minimum wage completely. Then we'd see all businesses competing for workers with their pay offerings.

    Setting a minimum is essentially the same as setting a maximum for low skill and entry level jobs. Without enforcing a wage amount, businesses that need people to do stinky, dirty, even somewhat dangerous work would have to pay more just to get anyone to want to take the jobs.

  • Liberty Lover||

    The problem with minimum wage is not the working poor, and it is not the employer. The problem is the government's (and Fed's) policy of 2-3% inflation every year. That is a massive increase in prices over a ten or twenty year period. If inflation was kept in check or we had mild deflation (which should be natural with increases in production and technology), we would have no need to debate minimum wage increases.

  • sscjobs||

    But yet more recent evidence suggests that hiking the price of hiring people works just like raising the cost of everything else. This means that the recent craze for minimum wage laws has not turned out, after all, to be a genius plan for filling bank accounts. Apply for the SSC CHSL (10+2) Recruitment Exam of 2018 from here http://sscjobs.in/

  • vek||

    I can't wait for the day I move out of Seattle...

  • RenaD||

    Every argument I've ever had against the minimum wage has resulted in progtarded friend insisting that even small business owners make too much profit. If they only shared, they could afford to keep their prices low and their wages high.

  • DarrenM||

    If everyone started a business, there would be no problem what with those unlimited profits now accessible by anyone.

  • Could not connect to remo||

    The Socialists in Seattle and in Washington don't believe that anyone is entitled to make a profit. Exactly from where is the extra money needed to pay for a higher minimum wage supposed to come, if not from profits? Raising the minimum wage eliminates the entry-level jobs that are primarily filled by unskilled teenagers and adults from disadvantaged neighborhoods as well as students seeking jobs part-time or full-time during the summer months when school is out.. A fast food job is not a career choice, namely it is a temporary position through which a person gains entry into the world of work. It is a stepping stone to higher level positions that bring with it more pay and more responsibilities.

  • DarrenM||

    I'd like my teenage son to get a job. I would even reimburse the employer so the effective wage was manageable.

  • shawn_dude||

    You appear to have a few misconceptions.
    1) They're not "socialists" if they don't want to eliminate private ownership of industry. Since minimum wages are an element of private ownership, they're clearly not socialists.
    2) Unless you're a mind-reader, you don't know what they believe outside of what they tell you they believe. And what they're telling us is that this is about the employees not the employers.
    3) No one is *entitled* to profit. You earn it.
    4) "...if not from profits?" Your lack of imagination is cringeworthy. How about raising prices? Studies have shown that the difference in cost hasn't led to much of an increase in prices or loss in margins. Apparently, a $15/hr minimum wage, averaged across an entire business, comes to pennies.
    5) Adults, from any neighborhood, need a living wage.
    6) These jobs aren't always temporary, and they aren't always fast food.

    What you don't mention is the cost to the tax payer to cover the difference between minimum wage and a living wage. If your employee needs to feed a kid, they'll be getting food stamps, subsidized housing, medical care, and other benefits from the tax payer to supplement the employer's low wage. Why should tax payers subsidize the Walmarts of the world for hiring at the lowest wages? Walmart gets to increase its margins because tax payers pick up the difference.

  • vek||

    God, you're such an idiot.

    Have you ever bothered to look at the statistics? Most minimum wage workers are:

    1. Not the sole income earner in a "family" unit.
    2. Usually single, or without kids.
    3. Young.

    And a bunch of other stats that undercut your whole BS argument. In short most people who make minimum wage aren't the sole worker in a household trying to support a spouse and 3 kids! That's a VERY rare instance. And the fact is, for those that are in that situation, maaaaybe they should grow up since they've taken on all these responsibilities and get a proper adult job!

    Even working in the restaurant industry if you work hard, and learn, you will make far over minimum wage. But there are a ton of other real trades that pay better, and you don't need a college degree. Carpenter, house painter, and a ton of other similar trades. Then there are a million more than require only a short series of courses or more extended on the job training. 40 year old adults with kids making minimum wage are fucking morons, there is no other way to put it. I never got a college degree, and have not made minimum wage since I was 15. It's not hard to find a real job if you look...

  • Mark22||

    They're not "socialists" if they don't want to eliminate private ownership of industry. Since minimum wages are an element of private ownership, they're clearly not socialists.

    Correct. A program kind-of-like socialism but with strongly regulated private businesses has a different name: it's called "fascism".

    No one is *entitled* to profit. You earn it.

    Yes. These people don't believe that you are entitled to the profit you have earned.

  • Phil41||

    Was disappointed in this article. Its use of "seem to be" and "may mean" puts this in the speculative category. Could we stick to the facts and only the facts?

  • shawn_dude||

    Bottom line, as long as we have a social safety net system that uses taxes to pay the difference between what an employer pays someone and a basic, living wage, we need a minimum wage.

    If Walmart can pay people $8/hour and the cities it resides within have to cough up another $5/hour in food stamps, Medicaid, and other poverty benefits, then all we have is Walmart shiftings its actual labor cost to tax payers.

    As a society, we've decided that we don't want fully employed people going homeless in large numbers because it has long-term consequences for all of us. If there's a libertarian approach to resolving that, fine, but so far I think the solution is: tough. If you can't make a living wage, die of poverty.

  • Mark22||

    Bottom line, as long as we have a social safety net system that uses taxes to pay the difference between what an employer pays someone and a basic, living wage, we need a minimum wage.

    Employers will never pay more than a worker actually produces. So, if welfare gives John the equivalent of $8/h, a worker can (and would be paid roughly) $10/h, and you set the minimum wage to $15/h, then John will not get hired and will end up on welfare at $8/h instead of earning $10/h. You can work through the other permutations.

    Not only is it impossible to force businesses to pay for the difference between John's productivity and what society considers a "living wage", it's also unjust. The employer didn't cause John to be an unproductive loser, society did, through a bad education system and a bad social environment. Therefore, society needs to bear the cost through taxes raised on everybody. In different words, government subsidizing employers for the difference between welfare and a living wage is the objectively right thing to do.

    (I would point out that Walmart voluntarily gives all workers a starting salary above the minimum wage, plus medical coverage, so I don't see why you're beating up on Walmart.)

  • vek||

    If you can't make a living wage the answer is:

    1. Move somewhere that is cheaper to live.

    2. Learn a more valuable skill.

    This idea that day one income from a job is supposed to be able to support, what, an entire family according to some people... Where did that come from?

    Some jobs are just low value ancillary positions. If you can train somebody in 2 hours to be 80% as efficient at doing something as somebody who has been doing it for 5 years, then it isn't a very friggin' complicated job, and will NEVER hold much value. That's how reality works.

    Even 2000 years ago the world recognized that a skilled blacksmith was worth more money than somebody who swept a floor. This will never change. People with adult expenses, like kids, need to learn real trades. I do not believe everybody needs to go to college. Some people just aren't mentally suited to it, and there are tons of great jobs where you don't need to. I never graduated college, but I have never earned minimum wage since I was 15 years old!

    I did jobs that paid above minimum wage because I wanted to make more money. If somebody needs to earn more than minimum wage become a painter, or a mechanic, or a garbage man, etc etc etc. Working at entry level jobs is for teenagers and other young people. 50 year olds should have real jobs, and there are plenty open right now.

  • RenaD||

    You'd think progressives would actually champion the end of a minimum wage. Because that would spur more competition, and encourage people to educate and train themselves out of low-paying jobs in order to make more money. More moneymakers, more taxpayers to grease the progressive machine.

    The simple fact is that living in the modern world, and that means getting married and having kids, COSTS MONEY. And no one owes you that money.

    Finally, I think it's impossible to define a "living wage." According to whom? It's different for everyone. For instance, after my parents divorced when I was a teenager, my dad effectively "dropped out." He worked nothing but a series of low-level, physical labor jobs (which he enjoyed immensely), probably never made over $25,000 a year in his life. He lived very frugally but, by all accounts, happily, until he died in his late 70s last year.

  • Mark22||

    The simple fact is that living in the modern world, and that means getting married and having kids, COSTS MONEY. And no one owes you that money.

    No, unfortunately, that's not how it works. In our modern world, women can have children from any male they want and then either get the male or the state (meaning: other males) to pay for raising them. Short term that means that men are disincentivized to be productive, and long term it means that the inherited characteristics that make men economically productive will largely disappear from the population.

  • vek||

    Both of you are totally right. Many men are dropping out. I want to have kids, but know it's Russian roulette. I've not married multiple women that would have gladly married me because they weren't a good bet for lasting for the long haul. I'm in my early 30s now, and have to get more serious over the next few years. But it's a terrifying thought in 21st century America. The Mens Rights Activists make a LOT of valid points.

    But as to the living wage thing, it's all over the map. I can't conceive of how anyone could live on less than 50-60K a year and be happy and saving for retirement. I'm not too pretentious, but just having a mediocre car, a house, bills paid on time, etc adds up. In a low cost of living area with cheap houses you could chop some off of that, but even 40K with an $800-1000 mortgage doesn't leave a lot for other stuff.

    I can conceive of how that 50-60K is tolerable for people, because I could see myself dealing with that, but for me personally I think my preferred minimum is more like 75-100K, which I have generally been at or above even during lean times thanks to my hard work.

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