The Washington Policy Center recently highlighted two examples of the consequences of Seattle’s $15 minimum wage. Check out a sign posted by a nail salon and a sign posted by a McDonald’s franchise owner in Seattle below.
The first sign reads, “Due to the rise of minimum wage, we will be changing some of our prices starting Saturday, April 11th, 2015.”
The second sign reads, “Dear Customer: You’ll notice the fine print on your coupon states that prices may vary. Well, unfortunately, this is one of those times. As we work to successfully adjust to the higher cost of doing business in the city of Seattle we find that we cannot offer the same value prices that McDonald’s restaurants outside the city of Seattle offer. Rather than not participate, we have chosen to participate by accepting the coupons shown below at a slightly higher price than is shown on the coupon. We appreciate your understanding.”
Proponents of the $15 minimum wage claim that employers can “afford to pay their workers more and will just absorb the higher labor costs.” The problem is that claim has failed to hold true to reality, i.e. employers will find ways to mitigate costs. In the case of the Seattle nail salon and McDonald’s franchise, the employers decided to pass costs to consumers. And, they are not alone. The Washington Policy Center,
“Ivar’s Salmon House is also raising prices. Ivar’s 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. 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.”
Ultimately, an artificially inflated minimum wage—especially one as high as Seattle’s $15 minimum wage—often serves to negatively impact those it seeks to benefit via unintended consequences. The Washington Policy Center,
“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. The simple fact is if the output of a job is not greater than the wage, employers must make tough decisions on how to adapt and survive. The typical result is higher prices paid by customers, along with fewer benefits and job opportunities for workers. The end result can be a double whammy for the very workers a higher minimum wage is supposed to help–workers may be earning a higher wage, but they often lose other valuable benefits and perks, not to mention the very real possibility of reduced hours and even job loss. All while paying the higher prices caused by the wage hike.”
Eastside Sanity says
No, say it isn’t so! You mean if the cost of doing business go’s up then the price of doing business go’s up? That sounds a lot like free market economics doesn’t it? Liberals are Idiots! Hamster Brain, Wheel Spinning Idiots!
Has an independent auditor examined the accounts of these businesses, to validate these claims? Or has the WPC (and Shift) simply swallowed the self-serving anecdotes of owners and franchisees who oppose the $15/hour minimum wage?
For the WPC, it wouldn’t be the first time they published unverified anecdotes as if such rumors were indeed facts. After all of the WPC’s predictions about negative effects from SeaTac’s $15/hour minimum wage completely failed to materialize, the WPC passed along third-hand rumors as facts — which Shift then helplessly swallowed and regurgitated.
These stories are good for illustrating how easily gullible fools will swallow what they already want to believe. As a basis for making sound public policy, however, they are utterly worthless.
Did any independent auditor validate all the claims made by the I-594 campaign? Or did the low information voters simply swallow all the self-serving lies told by a carpet-bagging billionaire who wanted to purchase a gun registry? How many prosecutions have occurred under I-594?
Those are all interesting questions, but completely off-topic for this thread. If the anonymous front-page posters here wish to address the topic of I-594, then we can consider your questions in relevant context.
Given a search of this site for “I-594” returns just one post, from before the November election — and that lone post does not address the substance of I-594 — it seems the folks running this site see no need to address *any* questions about it at all.
As a financial contributor to this site, perhaps you could request such a post?
Bradley Whaley says
Start gearing up for perhaps a $20-$25 minimum wage. I told you this numerous times, but you still don’t get it. Businesses will adjust. Socialism doesn’t work. Btw, according to what you will next try in a feeble attack, there is an article in one of my restaurant trade magazines about how McDonalds Corp has purchased 7000 ordering kiosks that they plan on testing in Europe and Asia that works in place of employees as well as this really cool machine that cooks and assembles gourmet hamburgers. Granted it takes a human to load the fresh ingredients, but is cuts staff needed by 80%. Do you think this is because of the national scuttle about a nationwide $15 minimum wage? Bottom line is businesses will adjust. Looking forward to seeing what logic you come up with now. 😱
So all the claims weepy woman made about the purchased gun registry are taken as irrefutable facts immediately after leaving her piehole then when somebody says something you don’t like about maximum idiocy, you call for an independent auditor to validate the claims. Right. Expected from a lying communist hypocrite. How many prosecutions have there been under uber effective I-594? Zero? As irrelevant mandates go, I-594 is a hands down winner over 15 not right NOW and not for everybody.
I-594 is completely off-topic. Complain to the site’s owners — you know, the persons to whom you gave your money — if you want that to change.
I questioned completely self-serving claims, made in one case by a franchise owner who couldn’t make money selling pizza to college students(!). If you have any information to verify their claims, please give it. Otherwise, I’ll continue to give their claims proper skepticism.
Of course your hypocrisy is always off-topic. That’s the communist way, it’s how you roll. I too questioned completely self serving claims which you can’t provide information to verify because it doesn’t exist. I guess it’s tough to provide hard info on touchy-feely, warm, fuzzy emotional pleas.
Well, I own a business and have done so for 30 years. I have had to lay off employees due to rises in minimum wage because clients vote with their pocketbooks and the clients refused to pay more. Thus, I had to adjust. Currently, I have stopped subcontracting to anyone in the Seattle and Los Angeles markets due to the increase in the minimum wage there, which is already causing wages above min. to begin the upward creep. There are plenty of places across the nation and around the world where I can find subcontractors. Now if people like you would always buy the highest priced item, I wouldn’t have to do this — so I encourage you to go into Seattle and buy today there, anywhere and everywhere. It’s your way of telling owners that the new wages are supported by those who truly foot the bill, customers and clients.
Bradley Whaley says
Why don’t we have our own State Auditor do the job? Oh wait, he has his own problems doesn’t he. What kind of idiot are you? Questioning a business in a free market? Is that all you have. First off, it isn’t anyone’s business. Look forward to more businesses doing the same in the near future. In all likelihood, many businesses will raise prices without any fanfare. You will simply feel it, all warm and snugly, huh?
First off, it isn’t anyone’s business.
Then maybe they should not have put up signs?
Look forward to more businesses doing the same in the near future.
Restaurants raise prices all of the time, for many reasons. At least this is one I support.
In all likelihood, many businesses will raise prices without any fanfare.
Given how Tom Douglas publicly backed down from his mighty two per cent surcharge after his own patrons told him to quit whining, I’d say you’re right.
Then again, saying they’ll just continue doing what they always have done hardly makes for a bold prediction, now does it?
Bradley Whaley says
I forgot that Socialists don’t believe in free trade. Under collectivism, the books are open to anyone, so it is totally understandable that your twisted thoughts are that a privately owned company should spread their records out like a gutted pig. Thank god you are wrong here.
I still suspect that even though that dishwashing job you have was just granted an artificial raise, that it certainly won’t get sucked into the mire with price increases to sustain the insanity. You just keep plodding along with the logic friend.
I still suspect that even though that dishwashing job you have was just granted an artificial raise…
A personal attack always reveals far more about the maker than the target. Your attempt to demean me here is an especially good example of this. How long would an otherwise excellent restaurant remain in operation if it served food on dirty plates?
… a privately owned company should spread their records out like a gutted pig. Thank god you are wrong here.
The owner of that franchise freely made a public and factual statement concerning her business. Do we have the right to demand she show us hard data to support her statement? If, on the other hand, you believe it’s alright for her to lie to us with impunity, just have the guts to say so. Don’t try to hide behind the very concept of privacy she forfeited when she chose to speak.
Bradley Whaley says
Before you blather another counter argument, it isn’t just restaurants but retail as well. You need to start thinking macroeconomic rather than microeconomic when it comes to the negative effects of this artificial inflation you socialists are creating. It isn’t all about the rock you live under.
It will be a cold day in hell before I let an independent auditor look at my business books to satisfy a political position. But at least I live in some other county that is yet unaffected by such stupidity.
It will be a cold day in hell before I let an independent auditor look at my business books to satisfy a political position.
That’s your prerogative, of course, but the owners of the businesses in question have taken an explicitly political position. Without an independent audit, we have no reason to believe their political statements.
But at least I live in some other county that is yet unaffected by such stupidity.
If you don’t go around making public statements you then refuse to support, no one should bother you.
Logic from tensor? Please. There’s no logic there, only emotional, feel-good talking points.
Eastside Sanity says
Just fur & a wheel……..
Try looking up “technological unemployment.” You’ll see it predates “minimum wage” by a century or so.
… this really cool machine that cooks and assembles gourmet hamburgers.
Less jobs for burger flippers, but more jobs for engineers, skilled assemblers, service and repair technicians — all with fewer chances to get filth into the food during cooking? Sounds like a win all around. (You are free to disagree, of course.)
Bradley Whaley says
But unfortunately this technology isn’t lining the pockets of Washintonians. Both of these technological wonders are European.
You should consider a little compassion for the service industry. I have heard stories of what these unskilled workers do to your food. Gotta wonder?
Both of these technological wonders are European.
So, Europe’s elimination of poverty-wage jobs gave them an incentive to build these machines — which Washingtonians will install and repair here — while our lower wages gave us no such incentive. Thank you for providing yet another example of how poverty wages have hurt America.
You should consider a little compassion for the service industry.
I’ve dined at Plum Bistro for years. Every employee there already makes $15/hour. Plus tips.
Clay Fitzgerald says
“…more jobs for engineers, skilled assemblers, service and repair technicians…” But most of those jobs won’t be in Seattle and there will be fewer of them. Normally jobs like that are for highly trained and skilled persons with commensurately higher wages/salaries. In addition, they design and build other things beside just those mentioned. The net result is elimination of low skill, entry level jobs in a locale where they are needed and the businesses affected must compete with those outside Seattle with the lower minimum wage.
“…more jobs for engineers, skilled assemblers, service and repair technicians…” But most of those jobs won’t be in Seattle and there will be fewer of them.
Because from Boeing to Microsoft to Amazon to biotech, Seattle has a very bad history with engineering (and other skilled labor) employment? (Also, did you just claim installing and maintaining machines in Seattle’s fast-food places won’t require skilled labor in Seattle?)
Normally jobs like that are for highly trained and skilled persons with commensurately higher wages/salaries.
So, Seattle will have fewer low-wage, unskilled jobs, and more higher-paying, skilled positions. If you want to see that as a bad thing, go right ahead. (Good luck getting those better-paid workers here in Seattle to agree with you.)
In addition, they design and build other things beside just those mentioned.
So, our growing pool of skilled labor will have other high-paying job opportunities. (Tell us again how that is a bad thing…)
The net result is elimination of low skill, entry level jobs in a locale where they are needed…
In April 2015, King County had the lowest unemployment rate in the state. The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area’s unemployment rate declined in January, February, and March of this year. Actual employers in Seattle want skilled technical employees:
The tech job market seems to work in reverse. It’s the company doing the job-hunting. Software engineers like Giacomo Ferrari at Socrata can expect six-figure jobs straight out of college along with attractive perks.
…and the businesses affected must compete with those outside Seattle with the lower minimum wage.
Because Socrata’s employees in Pioneer Square will drive to Tukwila for fast food. Riiiiiiiiiiiiight…
Clay Fitzgerald says
What a completely disingenuous response. The low skilled entry level jobs that are needed for the unskilled, high school and college students and others seeking to enter the job market won’t be in Seattle along with the other types of jobs I referred to. The people hired to maintain the automated devices that will replace people in the unskilled/low skilled service industries will have their places of employment located outside of Seattle and will drive to the locations where those devices are located when the need to be serviced. The source of the automation that will replace the low skilled workers at MacDonald’s and elaswhere, probably won’t be in Seattle, Washington State or even the U.S., so where are the high tech manufacturing jobs going to be? And you seem to be thinking that King County is the same as Seattle and that there will be a $15 minimum wage every where in the county or the state for that matter.
Bottom line is that the Socrata’s employees you refer to won’t have a choice of going to fast food outlets in Pioneer Square because there won’t be any. They’ll have to brown bag it, go to higher priced restaurants or skip lunch altogether.
Bottom line is that the Socrata’s employees you refer to won’t have a choice of going to fast food outlets in Pioneer Square because there won’t be any.
So, when will this prediction of yours come true? Or will you just keep making it, no matter how long there are fast-food places in Pioneer Square? Seriously, you really believe this?
Also, could you please explain why the *only* ‘concern’ you guys ever show for “unskillled, high school and college students” is when you want them to work long hours for little money?
Clay Fitzgerald says
There really is no explanation that will suit you, you’re right and everyone else, except those that you agree with, are totally wrong. Sigh, there’s no mind so closed as that of a liberal, secular-progressive.
So, tell us then — at what future date will we be able to visit Pioneer Square and see no fast-food places? Next year? Five years? Ten? How much time has to pass before you admit your prediction has failed?
Don’t worry, you’ll never actually be held accountable for your prediction, no matter how badly it fails. In 1998, opponents of I-688 told us raising our minimum wage annually would cause huge price increases and reduced employment. Fifteen years later, Washington state had the highest minimum wage of the fifty states, small businesses here were providing more jobs than ever, and over one hundred new restaurants had opened on Seattle’s Capitol Hill.
Clay Fitzgerald says
There are a few possibilities… raise prices to be less competitive, more automation (been discussed) while reducing the number of employees, relocating to an area not covered by the $15/hr min. wage, closing down completely or some combination of the first two or three. That covers it. Do you have anything constructive to ad?
So, still no firm date range on when the last fast-food joint leaves Pioneer Square, eh? Your demonstrated lack of confidence in your own statements is truly impressive.
(Like I wrote, don’t worry — like every other opponent of raising the minimum wage ever, you’ll never take responsibility for any prediction you make, so you can predict whatever you like.)