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[VIDEO] Seattle’s $15 Minimum Wage is Hurting the Workers It’s Intending to Help

Three years ago, the city of Seattle voted to gradually raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour in the name of human decency and basic fairness. Several cities, including New York and Los Angeles, have done the same thing. Critics argue that boosting wages by bureaucratic diktat leads to fewer hours and jobs for low-income and low-skilled workers.

Now what The Washington Post calls a “very credible” study from researchers at the University of Washington finds that the critics are right. The Post calls this bad news for liberals. But the real victims are low-skilled workers.

The study finds that when wages were increased to $13, employers cut hours by 9 percent. That means that low-skilled workers saw their monthly compensation decrease by an average of $125.

Studies that downplay the effects of minimum wage hikes have mostly focused on teenagers and fast food workers. But the study at the University of Washington paper looks at the impact on workers spanning all ages and all demographics.

The findings may surprise progressives who believe that the only limit to higher pay for workers is the greed and selfishness of business owners. But it doesn’t come as a surprise to those who remain unconvinced that the law of supply and demand can be amended by city councils. Labor is simply another cost for any business, and when the price of something goes up, we tend to buy less of it.

Another takeaway from the study is that if you want to raise the income of low-skilled workers, taxpayers should pay for that burden through direct cash payments or other forms of welfare. Offloading the cost to employers has unintended consequences, even though it’s a lot easier to demonize business owners for being greedy cheapskates than to build a consensus around raising taxes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Science Shopping: Seattle Socialists Commission New Minimum-Wage Study After Dismissing Unfavorable Results of First One

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City officials stopped funding the UW team when they didn’t like the results.

Dan Springer  reports: When a University of Washington study came out this week showing Seattle’s minimum wage has cost 5,000 jobs and is hurting low income workers, city leaders attacked the messenger –- a team of respected economists at Washington’s premiere public university.

The researchers, led by Jacob Vigdor, were hired by the city in 2014 to study the effects of Seattle’s $15 wage experiment. The contract called for five years of research. City officials stopped funding the UW team when they didn’t like the results.

“The moment we saw it was based on flawed methodology and was going to be unreliable, the Vigdor study no longer speaks for City Hall,” said Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant.

Sawant, a former economics professor at Seattle Central Community College who ran for office as a Socialist, accused the UW team of “ideologically editorializing.” She and Mayor Ed Murray then contacted Michael Reich, an economics professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

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Reich is currently co-chair of the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment. Before earning his PhD in economics from Harvard, Reich was a founding member of the Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE), a group seeking a “human-centered radical alternative to capitalism,” according to its website.

Reich has authored several studies on the effects of raising the minimum wage. They all concluded that increasing the minimum wage only helps low-skilled workers.

As soon as Seattle politicians knew the University of Washington study found raising Seattle’s minimum wage from $11 to $13 an hour led to a 9-percent cut in hours worked and an average of $125 less earned each month, they commissioned Reich to do his own study and then criticized UW’s research.

According to emails obtained by Fox News, Reich was given a deadline by Murray. His work was to be completed just before the University of Washington team announced its results. Vigdor, the director of the study, shared with city council staffers the preliminary results of the research and provided a timeline for when it would be made public. Read the rest of this entry »


Socialist Utopia Setback: Seattle’s $13 Minimum Wage Led To Drop Of $1,500 In Income For Low-Wage Earners

Ben Shapiro writes: Remember that time Seattle’s socialist city council member Kshama Sawant pressed for the city to increase its minimum wage to $15 per hour? I actually debated Sawant on the issue; I asked her if she would be in favor of raising the wage to $1,000 per hour. She misdirected from the issue.

Seattle actually ended up embracing $13 per hour, raising the minimum wage from $9.47 in 2014 to $11 in 2015 to $13 in 2016 under the theory that an increase wouldn’t throw people out of work, wouldn’t encourage part-time hiring, and would inflate salaries enough to allow more affordability in the Seattle housing market.

From the dustbin of history: The socialist zombies of Seattle

A new study demonstrates that, as usual, central planning of the economy leads to precisely the reverse of the results the planners seek to achieve.

According to a new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research:

Using a variety of methods to analyze employment in all sectors paying below a specified real hourly rate, we conclude that 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. Consequently, 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. Evidence attributes more modest effects to the first wage increase. We estimate an effect of zero when analyzing employment in the restaurant industry at all wage levels, comparable to many prior studies.

In other words, restaurants didn’t fire anybody, they just put them on part-time shifts and cut back their hours. That shouldn’t be a surprise, since that’s precisely what happens every time the government places an extra burden on employers. Read the rest of this entry »


Seattle Wage Hike Off To ‘Pretty Bad Start’ 

McDonalds-DC-Seattle

Connor D. Wolf reports: Seattle, which recently passed a $15 minimum wage, has seen the loss of 700 restaurant jobs despite the rest of the state seeing huge increases, according to a Wednesday report.

In its report, the American Enterprise Institute looked at restaurant job growth in both Seattle and the rest of Washington. The state itself has gained 5,800 industry jobs since January. Seattle, however, lost 700 jobs in the same time. The state minimum wage is $9.47. Back in June Seattle passed its own minimum wage of $15 an hour. The city ordinance is designed to phase in over the course of several years. It will reach $15 an hour by 2017 for most employers.

[Read the fully story here, at The Daily Caller]

“One likely cause of the stagnation and decline of Seattle area restaurant jobs this year is the increase in the city’s minimum wage,” the report speculated. “It looks like the Seattle minimum wage hike is getting off to a pretty bad start. Especially considering that restaurant employment in the rest of the state is booming, and nearly 6,000 more restaurant workers are employed today than in January.” Read the rest of this entry »


Brit Hume: Claim That Congress Gives Obama Everything He Wants Is ‘Utter Nonsense’

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Old School Automats are Back, Courtesy of the Minimum Wage

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From the New York Times:

There’s a new quinoa restaurant in San Francisco — yes, quinoa restaurants are a thing in San Francisco, so that’s not what’s noteworthy. At this restaurant, customers order, pay and receive their food and never interact with a person.

The restaurant, Eatsa, the first outlet in a company with national ambitions, is almost fully automated. There are no waiters or even an order taker behind a counter. There is no counter. There are unseen people helping to prepare the food, but there are plans to fully automate that process, too, if it can be done less expensively than employing people…

Horn-and-Hardat-Automat-Times-Square-Vintage-Untapped-Cities

Last week, I was in a fast-moving line and browsed on a flat-screen monitor the menu of eight quinoa bowls, each costing $6.95 (burrito bowl, bento bowl, balsamic beet). Then I approached an iPad, where I tapped in my order, customized it and paid. My name, taken from my credit card, appeared on another screen, and when my food was ready, a number showed up next to it. Read the rest of this entry »


Revealed: Democracy Alliance Member Nick Hanauer Crafted Seattle Minimum Wage

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Hanauer is now at the center of a lawsuit filed by the International Franchise Association.

 reports: Radical venture capitalist Nick Hanauer served on a city advisory committee that eventually produced the legislation boosting minimum wages to $15 per hour. The legislation takes special aim at franchisees, forcing them to adopt higher wages than other small businesses under a shorter timeframe.

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“The truth is that franchises like Subway and McDonald’s really are not very good for our local economy. They are economically extractive, civically corrosive and culturally dilutive.”

— Hanauer, in an email obtained by the association

Hanauer, a private-jet-owning multi-millionaire who once had a speech scrubbed from the TED conference website for being “too political,” is a member of the Democracy Alliance, a shadowy collection of liberal millionaires and billionaires that funnels money into Democratic causes.

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The group has pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into various liberal foundations, Media Matters, and Democratic super PAC Priorities USA. The group is secretive and does not divulge membership rolls, fundraising goals, or allow reporters at its annual meetings.

“Franchising has been under intense scrutiny by union activists and hostile labor regulators in recent weeks.”

Hanauer is now at the center of a lawsuit filed by the International Franchise Association to overturn the law, according to the Seattle Times.

needmoney

Wealth Destruction: Target Franchises.

“The truth is that franchises like Subway and McDonald’s really are not very good for our local economy. They are economically extractive, civically corrosive and culturally dilutive,” Hanauer wrote in an email obtained by the association.

The business group claims that the law is discriminatory because many franchisees are themselves small business owners akin to mom and pop shops. Franchisees pay licensing and other fees to large corporations to operate under the company umbrella, but the vast majority are independently owned and manage their own affairs. Read the rest of this entry »


Minimum Wage Effect? January to June Job Losses for Seattle Area Restaurants (-1,300) Largest Since Great Recession

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Seattle minimum wage hike is getting off to a pretty bad start.

In June of last year, the Seattle city council passed a $15 minimum wage law to be phased in over time, with the first increase to $11 an hour starting on April 1, 2015. What effect will the eventual 58% increase in labor costs have on small businesses, including area restaurants? It’s too soon to tell for sure, but there is already some evidence that the recent minimum wage hike to $11 an hour, along with the pending increase of an additional $4 an hour by 2017 for some businesses, has started having a negative effect on restaurant jobs in the Seattle area. The chart above shows that the Emerald City MSA started experiencing a decline in restaurant employment around the first of the year (when the state minimum wage increased to $9.47 per hour, the highest state minimum wage in the country), and the 1,300 job loss between January and June is the largest decline over that period since 2009 during the Great Recession (data here). The loss of 1,000 restaurant jobs in May following the minimum wage increase in April was the largest one month job decline since a 1,300 drop in January 2009, again during the Great Recession. In contrast to the January-June loss  of restaurant jobs in the Seattle area: a) restaurant employment nationally increased by 130,700 jobs (and by 1.2%) during that same period (data here), b) overall employment in the Seattle MSA increased 1.2% and by 21,800 jobs (data here) and c) non-Seattle MSA restaurant employment in Washington increased 3.2% and by 2,800 jobs (data here). Read the rest of this entry »


‘Hard Times’: Stunning Development for Utopian Seattle CEO Who Set Firm’s Minimum Wage to $70,000 a Year

Dude

Price said McMaster and Moran, or even critic Rush Limbaugh, the talk show host, were not wrong.

The Seattle CEO who reaped a publicity bonanza when he boosted the salaries of his employees to a minimum of $70,000 a year says he has fallen on hard times.

“I’m working as hard as I ever worked to make it work. I’m renting out my house right now to try and make ends meet myself.”

— CEO Dan Price

Dan Price, 31, tells the New York Times that things have gotten so bad he’s been forced to rent out his house.

Only three months ago Price was generating headlines—and accusations of being a socialist — when he announced the new salary minimum for all 120 employees at his Gravity Payments credit card processing firm. Price said he was doing it, and slashing his $1 million pay package to pay for it, to address the wealth gap.

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“He gave raises to people who have the least skills and are the least equipped to do the job, and the ones who were taking on the most didn’t get much of a bump.”

— Gravity financial manager Maisey McMaster

“I’m working as hard as I ever worked to make it work,” he told the Times in a video that shows him sitting on a plastic bucket in the garage of his
rush-limbaugh2house. “I’m renting out my house right now to try and make ends meet myself.”

“Now the people who were just clocking in and out were making the same as me,” he told the paper. “It shackles high performers to less motivated team members.”

— Grant Moran, 29, who also quit

The Times article said Price’s decision ended up costing him a few customers and two of his “most valued” employees, who quit after newer employees ended up with bigger salary hikes than older ones.

“He gave raises to people who have the least skills and are the least equipped to do the job, and the ones who were taking on the most didn’t get much of a bump,” Gravity financial manager Maisey McMaster, 26, told the paper.

She said when she talked to Price about it, he treated her as if she was being selfish and only thinking about herself.

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“There’s no perfect way to do this and no way to handle complex workplace issues that doesn’t have any downsides or trade-offs.”

— Dan Price

“That really hurt me,” she said. “I was talking about not only me, but about everyone in my position.”

“Dan Price, 31, tells the New York Times that things have gotten so bad he’s been forced to rent out his house.”

Approaching burnout, she quit.

Grant Moran, 29, also quit, saying the new pay-scale was disconcerting. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Trade-Offs of a High Minimum Wage

Watch WPC’s new short video on the undeniable trade-offs of a high minimum wage through the eyes of employees and small business owners in Washington state.

 


How Much Renters Need to Make to Afford a Two-Bedroom Apartment in Each State

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 reports: A recent poll conducted by The National Low Income Housing Coalition compared the average renter’s wage in each U.S. state to the wage needed to afford an average two-bedroom apartment.

The Out of Reach study, which came out in May, found that there are a considerable number of states where average workers simply cannot afford to rent two-bedrooms.

Image Credit: The National Low Income Housing Coalition

Image Credit: The National Low Income Housing Coalition

City Lab notes:

  • The average American needs to earn $19.35/hour to afford a two-bedroom rental unit.
  • The average hourly wage earned by American renters is $15.16. That’s 2.5 times the federal minimum wage.
  • The median hourly wage of the average American worker is $17.09.

American-dreamers

This graph shows the states with the largest gaps between average hourly wages and wages needed to rent two-bedrooms.  Read the rest of this entry »


Seattle’s Socialist Experiment: When it Comes to the Impacts of a High Minimum Wage, a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

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Erin ShannonErin-S-web-103cropw writes: This sign in a Seattle nail salon is a perfect illustration of the unintended consequences of forcing employers to pay an aritificially high minimum wage.

Contrary to the claim that employers can afford to pay their workers more and will just absorb the higher labor costs, Madison Avenue Nail Spa shows what really happens–employers find ways to mitigate those costs.  This business owner has decided to pass the extra costs to consumers.

“All of these employers are doing what they must in order to deal with a mandated wage that is higher than the value of the job.”

They aren’t alone. Ivars Salmon House is also raising prices.  Ivars is also implementing a 17% service charge in lieu of tips.  The Icon Grill in Seattle is taking a different strategy; they aren’t increasing prices, but instead eliminating three weeks of paid vacation. All employees will now only earn one week of paid vacation time; before Seattle’s new minimum wage law went into effect on April 1, some long-time employees of the restaurant received four weeks of paid vacation per year.

From the dustbin of history, the zombie socialists

From the dustbin of history, the zombie socialists

“All employees will now only earn one week of paid vacation time; before Seattle’s new minimum wage law went into effect on April 1, some long-time employees of the restaurant received four weeks of paid vacation per year.”

Then there is Z Pizza–that business is closing in August, leaving 12 workers without jobs.  And long-time Seattle manufacturer Cascade Designs will move 100 of its lowest-skilled manufacturing jobs from Seattle to Nevada. Read the rest of this entry »


CATO Institute: New Research on The Minimum Wage and the Great Recession

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During the last part of the previous decade, the average effective minimum wage rose by nearly 30 percent across the United States.

New research from Jeffrey Clemens and Michael Wither analyzes the effects on the employment and income trajectories of low-skilled workers during the Great Recession and subsequent recovery. The authors estimate that the minimum wage increases reduced the employment-to-population ratio of working age adults by 0.7 percentage points, accounting for 14 percent of the total decline. Low-skilled workers in particular were hurt by minimum wage policies, despite being the purported beneficiaries.

Read more….


The Truth About the Minimum Wage

From the Foundation for Economic Education: People don’t like to think that anyone’s labor is worth less than the minimum wage. Someone might end up flipping burgers for $5.00 an hour. You might think the minimum wage is a way of paying some sort of dignity premium–hence language like “livingteen-worker wage.” People with such good intentions look at the direct beneficiaries of these policies, say, burger flippers now making $7.50 an hour. They pat themselves on the back. But they rarely count the invisible costs: willing human beings who never get hired in the first place.

[Also see – Fast Food Management and Customers Alike Have Every Reason to Tell Big Labor: ‘Go Pound Sand’]

“But $5.00 an hour is not enough to live on!,” they’ll say. For whom? A teenager living at home with his parents? An elderly person who wants simply to stay active? A single mom with three kids? A single woman sharing an apartment with 2 roommates? Of course, not all of these people could live off of $5.00 an hour. But some of them could given the opportunity. Concerns about those who couldn’t don’t justify minimum wages even if we ignored the invisible costs of the policy, which include reduced margins to businesses that might otherwise grow (and hire more people).

In other words, if you take off the bottom two rungs of the income ladder, many will never climb it. That’s the effect of the minimum wage. The more cynical side of me says that’s how many politicians and the overpaid teamsters want it.

Enjoy this great video and some timeless pieces on the minimum wage by some of FEE’s excellent scholars.

-The Editors

The Truth About the Minimum Wage

Further Reading:

Minimum Wage, Maximum Folly by Walter Williams

“While there is a debate over the magnitude of the effects, the weight of research by academic scholars points to the conclusion that unemployment for some population groups is directly related to legal minimum wages. The unemployment effects of the minimum-wage law are felt disproportionately by nonwhites. A 1976 survey by the American Economic Association found that 90 percent of its members agreed that increasing the minimum wage raises unemployment among young and unskilled workers. It was followed by another survey, in 1990, which found that 80 percent of econo­mists agreed with the statement that increases in the minimum wage cause unemployment among the youth and low-skilled. Furthermore,­­ whenever one wants to find a broad consensus in almost any science, one should investigate what is said in its introductory and intermediate college textbooks.­ By this standard, in economics there is broad agreement that the minimum wage causes unemployment among low-skilled workers.”

Raising the Minimum Wage Will Do No Harm? It Just Ain’t So! by Richard McKenzie

“With the money-wage hike and the reduced benefits, workers can be left worse off since the fringes and slack work demands taken away were provided in the first place because workers valued them more highly than the wages forgone for those benefits. Given the findings of his own as well as other researchers’ studies, Wessels deduces that every 10 percent increase in the hourly minimum wage will make workers 2 percent worse off.” Read the rest of this entry »


Help Wanted: Cuckoo Bananas Seattle Socialist Group Pushing $20 an Hour Minimum Wage Wants to Hire Web Developer for $13 an Hour

karl-marx-money

Killer item from Pundit Press:

It’s sometimes said that if some people didn’t have double standards, they’d have no standards at all. That applies to the Freedom Socialist Party.

In 2012, their official website was pushing for a drastic increase in the minimum wage. In fact, they pushed for a full $20 per hour minimum wage, even for the most basic jobs:

From the dustbin of history: The socialist zombies of Seattle

From the ash heap of history: The Seattle SOCIALIST ZOMBIES

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Well, if you are a socialist, I have good news: the Freedom Socialist Party is hiring! They must have competitive wages for a web developer, right? Not exactly.

The people who want people who flip hamburgers for a living to earn $20 an hour to do that are willing to pay an experienced web developer… $13 an hour.

Their ad, posted on both indeed.com and craigslist.org, can be seen here:

Web-Design-Job-Socialists

Read the rest of this entry »


Why Raising Minimum Wage Means Less Money in Your Pocket

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“The Affordable Care Act demonstrates the phenomenon. This landmark piece of social legislation extended free or highly subsidized health insurance to millions of additional Americans. But it also, therefore, increases the loss of benefits to low-income workers after a raise.“

TIME

Will you actually be richer when your pay is raised to $15 per hour?

Perhaps the question seems ludicrous. Of course you’re better off making $15 an hour than you were at $9 per hour, right? But the answer is, unfortunately, not as obvious as you might think. And the question itself—will workers getting a raise be better off?—has been missing from debates in cities from New York to Los Angeles over whether to establish $15 per hour minimum wages for some workers.

Instead, we’re seeing the same old arguments — from San Francisco, where voters must decide on a November ballot measure proposing a new $15 per hour wage floor, to Seattle, which will begin phasing in $15 per hour next year — over whether the minimum wage hurts business and jobs, or whether it boosts local economies by giving workers more money to spend. For the record, I…

View original post 828 more words


ALERT: L.A. Biden Watch


Seattle Activists Try to Reverse a Huge Job-Killing Minimum-Wage Hike

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For National Review OnlineCelina Durgin writes: Seattle’s plan to dramatically increase the minimum wage is going to be unsustainable in the long term and is already costing jobs and raising prices, business owners say.

“I am concerned about my business and others in the community, but it isn’t just about any one business. It’s about how the entire economic community will be affected.”

Seattle businessmen lead by Forward Seattle, a non-partisan organization representing independent businesses, collected about 19,500 signatures to put a referendum on the city’s minimum wage ordinance on this November’s ballot. Several of the petitioners have said their businesses cannot withstand the ordinance’s schedule for increasing the minimum hourly wage, which will boost it from $9.25 to $15 in as few as three years for the largest employers.

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Forward Seattle’s petition for a referendum

Some petitioners had tried unsuccessfully to oppose the ordinance when it was passed June 3. They attended meetings, lobbied, and tried to file an amendment to the city’s charter, which they discovered wasn’t possible this year. “We hit a brick wall every single time,” Kathrina Tugadi, co-chair of Forward Seattle and owner of El Norte Lounge, told National Review Online.

“We thought it was interesting that everyone wanted to push this through so quickly.”

As a final recourse, Forward Seattle organized the petition to gather signatures for a referendum, giving voters the opportunity to repeal the ordinance in November.  Read the rest of this entry »


Discrimination: Group of Seattle Franchise Businesses Sue to Stop $15 Minimum Wage 

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Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, right, announces his proposed increase of the city’s minimum wage. Steve Ringman / AP

For the Los Angeles TimesMaria L. La Ganga reports: Five Puget Sound business owners and a trade group based in Washington, D.C., filed suit in federal court Wednesday to stop Seattle from enacting a $15-an-hour minimum wage, which would be the highest in the nation when it takes effect.

“The city’s minimum wage statute arbitrarily and illegally discriminates against franchisees and significantly increases their labor costs in ways that will harm their businesses, employees, consumers and Seattle’s economy.”

The suit, filed by the International Franchise Assn. and five local franchisees, argues that the new minimum wage discriminates against the owners of franchised businesses because it treats them like national corporations instead of the small businesses that they really are.

[Surrender: Seattle Prepares for Robot Revolution by Setting $15 Minimum Wage]

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray signs a bill raising the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour. (David Ryder / Getty Images)

Calling a thing what it is: 1930s-era Socialist wage and price controls in a 21st-century economy. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray signs a bill raising the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. (David Ryder / Getty Images)

[See also Seattle-Area Businesses Charge Customers Extra To Meet Minimum Wage Hike]

The ordinance, which was passed unanimously by the Seattle City Council on June 2 and signed into law by Mayor Ed Murray a day later, violates the U.S. and Washington state  Constitutions, the suit says, along with federal statutes and state law, and could put some small franchisees out of business. Read the rest of this entry »


Surrender: Seattle Prepares for Robot Revolution by Setting $15 Minimum Wage

Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg/Getty

Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg/Getty

For Reason.com writes: Our labor participation rate is terrible and our economy shrank by 1 percent in the first quarter of the year. So it’s the perfect time to raise the minimum wage to a degree unseen in America before, right?

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

[Also see: Capitalist-Flesh-Eating Zombie Socialists Hail New Zombie Leader in Seattle]

From the dustbin of history, the zombie socialists

From the dustbin of history, the zombie socialists

[More: Unexpected’: Are Seattle businesses adding a surcharge to pay for the new minimum wage?]

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

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


Sanity Outbreak: Swiss Voters Overwhelmingly Reject World’s Highest Minimum Wage

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Geneva (AFP) – Swiss voters on Sunday rejected a proposal to introduce the world’s highest minimum wage, which would have guaranteed every worker in one of the world’s priciest nations at least $25 an hour.

…the initiative flopped as voters heeded warnings from government and other opponents that it would deal a death blow to many businesses and would weaken Switzerland’s healthy economy…

A proposal to introduce a minimum wage so high it could pass for mid-management pay elsewhere, was rejected by 76,3 percent of Swiss voters.

…Swiss voters also overwhelmingly voted in favour of harsh laws against convicted paedophiles, with 63.5 percent supporting a lifelong ban on them working with children, regardless of the gravity or nature of their crime.

A series of referendums in Switzerland also saw voters nix a multi-billion-dollar deal to buy fighter jets from Sweden and massively support a lifelong ban on convicted paedophiles working with children.

The massive rejection of the “Decent Salary” initiative was widely seen as a slap in the face to its union backers, who insist at least 22 Swiss francs ($25, 18 euros) an hour, or 4,000 francs ($4,515, 3,280 euros) a month, is needed to get by in Switzerland. Read the rest of this entry »


[AUDIO] Mad Dogs & Englishmen: Charles Cooke & Kevin Williamson Discuss the Over-Importance of the Presidency, Minimum Wage, and the 2016 Mid-Term Elections

Charlie Cooke and Kevin Williamson discuss the 2016 midterm elections, the presidency being too important, and the minimum wage.

Mad Dogs & Englishmen: February 20, 2014 – YouTube


[VIDEO] Small Ball: ‘Shrinkage’ of Presidency Will Be on Display in State of the Union Adress

“In baseball you play what’s called small ball — stealing bases, bunting — when you can’t do anything else,” Will said. “This is the miniaturization of the president’s agenda…”

George Costanza Will previewed Tuesday’s State of the Union address on Sunday, arguing that the president will focus on initiatives like universal pre-K and increasing the minimum wage because his major policy initiatives have been hamstrung.

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 “I was in the pool! I WAS IN THE POOL!”

— George Costanza

“In baseball you play what’s called small ball — stealing bases, bunting — when you can’t do anything else,” Will said. “This is the miniaturization of the president’s agenda.

Read the rest of this entry »


The Curious Conservative Case for Increasing Nationwide Minimum Wage to $12 an Hour

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Neil Munro  writes:  A nationwide minimum wage of $12 per hour would shrink government, aid families, curb illegal immigration, spur high-tech investment, and boost GOP support among working-class voters, says Ron Unz, the California libertarian entrepreneur who wiped out his state’s Spanish-only K-12 classes.

The $12 wage would slash the huge taxpayer subsidies now given to companies that hire low-wage immigrants, and move tens of millions of Americans into the middle class and sharply reduce the 47 percent of the population who are now completely or partly dependent on federal handouts, Unz told The Daily Caller.

“Politics would be completely different… what you’re doing is reducing the 47 percent by 10 to 15 points and giving Republicans a chance to make their case about cutting government spending and reducing taxes,” he said.

Unz’s unorthodox proposal is likely to catch fire, partly because he’s working to put it on California’s ballot this year and force Democratic and Republican politicians to take sides by November.

Read the rest of this entry »


Cartoon of the Day

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Big Socialism Lands $15 An Hour Minimum Wage in Seatac, Washington

thelma and louise Big Labor wins court battle in Washington State, and now employers in SeaTac, Washington wil have to pay transportation and  hotel workers $15 an hour.

The minimum wage was  $9.32, but with the new ruling, employers will look to cut jobs, and some are even saying that they will close up shop, because they won’t be able to pay the 60 percent increase in worker pay.

Backers of the $15 minimum wage vow to appeal the ruling up the state Supreme Court. One of the biggest supporters is Kshama Sawant, a socialist who also won her election to the Seattle City Council. She plans on making Seattle the next city to have a $15 minimum wage.

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[VIDEO] ReasonTV: What We Saw at NYC’s Fast Food Strike

Less than 0.1 percent of the industry’s workforce participated

  writes:  Yesterday, Naomi Brockwell and I attended a demonstration demanding that fast-food restaurants boost their minimum wage to $15 per hour, or a little more than double the current federal minimum wage. The strike, which was led by a group called Fast Food Forward that’s affiliated with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), was one of more than a 100 similar demonstrations held in cities across the country.

The New York demonstration had about 150 people, but the number of actual fast food employees participating in the strike was small. It was business as usual at every restaurant we dropped by yesterday morning and, at a McDonald’s restaurant on 23rd Street and Madison Avenue in Manhattan, employees behind the counter said they had heard nothing about a strike. Read the rest of this entry »


Obama’s Unfresh Economic Ideas

Paleo-Liberalism’s Last Stand? Obama’s Economic ideas are a relic of big government’s industrial-age past

Paleo-Liberalism’s Last Stand? Obama’s Economic ideas are a relic of big government’s industrial-age past

His solutions for a stagnant economy were tried and found wanting long ago
Mona Charen writes: If President Obama has entertained an economic insight that wasn’t fashionable in 1933, I haven’t heard about it. Doubtless he’s for recycling glass and plastic, but he’s even more wedded to recycling ideas that were fresh and interesting during the New Deal but have since been discredited.

All of this was clear when he became the Democratic party’s pinup in 2008 (just by way of example, I wrote then that while Obama was “shiny bright and new” his ideas were “suffering from senility”). What’s dumbfounding now is Obama’s detachment from his own presidency. He continues to campaign (well, speak, but it always sounds like a stump speech) as if someone else were sitting in the Oval Office, as if someone else’s policies were responsible for the state of things, as if someone else should shoulder the blame.

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Robots vs. Laborers: The Minimum Wage and the Rise of the Machines

The robot future is coming, and helping human laborers will require creative responses

Jonah Goldberg writes:  After you heard President Obama’s call for a hike in the minimum wage, you probably wondered the same thing I did: Was Obama sent from the future by Skynet to prepare humanity for its ultimate dominion by robots?

ROBOTS_B_400But just in case the question didn’t occur to you, let me explain. On Tuesday, the day before Obama called for an increase in the minimum wage, the restaurant chain Applebee’s announced that it will install iPad-like tablets at every table. Chili’s already made this move earlier this year.

With these consoles customers will be able to order their meals and pay their checks without dealing with a waiter or waitress. Both companies insist that they won’t be changing their staffing levels, but if you’ve read any science fiction, you know that’s what the masterminds of every robot takeover say: “We’re here to help. We’re not a threat.”

But the fact is, the tablets are a threat. In 2011, Annie Lowrey wrote about the burgeoning tablet-as-waiter business. She focused on a startup firm called E La Carte, which makes a table tablet called Presto. “Each console goes for $100 per month. If a restaurant serves meals eight hours a day, seven days a week, it works out to 42 cents per hour per table — making the Presto cheaper than even the very cheapest waiter. Moreover, no manager needs to train it, replace it if it quits, or offer it sick days. And it doesn’t forget to take off the cheese, walk off for 20 minutes, or accidentally offend with small talk, either.”

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Applebee’s is using the Presto. Are we really supposed to believe that the chain will keep thousands of redundant human staffers on the payroll forever?

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The Wonkocracy Abandons Evidence: Dispassionate Analysis or Partisan Hackery?

krugman-998x736

How A Progressive Regresses

 writes: Ever since President Obama endorsed a federal minimum wage hike in his State of the Union speech, progressives have lined up in lockstep support. Economists, bloggers, tv hosts all have come out saying that a minimum wage hike is clearly the right move. You’d be forgiven if you thought that it’s been a very short while since the very existence of a minimum wage was considered controversial.

In the late 1980s, the New York Times advocated for an abolition of the minimum wage. With 25 more years of research, much of it showing that the minimum wage is an inefficient distortion of labor markets, the New York Times reversed position and advocated for a minimum wage hike to historic highs.

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The War of the Wages: Obama Moves Left on the Economy to Change the Subject

Zuma Press

From ‘Hope and Change’ to “Hope we can Change the Subject’         Zuma Press

For all of their mutual public admiration, Presidents Clinton and Obama react differently to political trouble. Bill moved to the middle, while Barack always moves left. So it’s no surprise that Mr. Obama is responding to his ObamaCarerollout slump by doing his best Elizabeth Warren imitation.

Mr. Obama returned to his favorite theme of rising income inequality on Wednesday, which he called “the defining challenge of our time.” He ought to know since few Presidents have done more to increase inequality than he has. Median household income has fallen since the economic recovery began, while the rich who own capital assets have done very well thanks to the Federal Reserve’s focus on reflating stock and home prices. Mr. Obama is the Chief Economist of Nottingham posing as Robin Hood.

Editorial board member Steve Moore on why Congress shouldn’t hike the federal minimum wage to $10.00 from $7.25.

The President’s political purpose here is what the pros call rallying your base. Many Democrats are as dismayed as Republicans at ObamaCare’s rollout, so the White House wants to change the subject and give MSNBC viewers something else to debate. Mr. Obama didn’t have much new to offer that would help the economy or the middle class, so instead he’s decided to escalate that hardy liberal perennial, the minimum wage.

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On Labor Day 2013, Welfare Pays More Than Minimum-Wage Work In 35 States

Charles Murray launched the welfare reform movement in 1984 with his landmark book, Losing Ground: American Social Policy 1950-1980. (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Charles Murray (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Since 2009, the Fair Labor Standards Act has dictated that the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Some people think that’s too low; others think it’s too high. But it turns out that, in 35 states, it’s a better deal not to work—and instead, to take advantage of federal welfare programs—than to take a minimum-wage job. That’s the takeaway from a new study published by Michael Tanner and Charles Hughes of the Cato Institute.

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