Raise Up Washington, the union-backed coalition, is pushing a job-killing initiative (I-1433) that would raise the statewide minimum wage to $13.50 per hour and require employers to provide up to seven days of paid sick leave per year. The special interests behind the measure hope to qualify for the November ballot gathering than 250,000 valid signatures by July.
I-1433 already has the support of a long list of Democrats, with even Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders giving the initiative their endorsement. So, it should come as no surprise that a politician like Democrat State Sen. Dean Takko is considering joining the chorus (though, apparently, he prefers a county-by-county approach to raising the minimum wage).
It’s Takko’s less-than-ideal word choice when it comes to informing the public of why he supports raising the minimum wage that comes as a bit of a surprise. Here’s an example:
“Washington’s minimum wage is one of the nation’s highest, and the Legislature ended its 2016 session without acting on several other alternatives to boost it. So the Raise Up initiative ‘is the only game in town right now,” Takko said…
“Sen. Takko had hoped for a more regional approach that takes into account cost-of-living differences by county.
“Whatever happens, Takko said, ‘It’s going to be a great social experiment.’”
Some should alert Takko to the fact that using terms like “game” and “social experiment” in reference to an initiative that would impact the livelihoods of working families across the state is completely inappropriate… in terms of his party’s messaging strategy.
You see, Takko’s explanation is exactly right. It’s just not the terms you would expect to hear from Democrats. Rather, Democrats insist that they are “fighting” for a so-called “living wage.” They reject the argument that hiking the minimum wage to unprecedented levels would lead to economic uncertainty and guaranteed job losses.
Takko, perhaps inadvertently, exposed the truth about initiatives like I-1433. They are social experiments with some unavoidable, damaging outcomes. Take the word of small business owners:
“Jarrett Skreen, owner of Ashtown Brewing in Longview, said he likely would scale back workers’ hours.
“‘We’ll do the same amount of work, but with fewer employees,’ he said. ‘As small businesses, we operate pretty darn lean.’ …
“But Lynn Brewer, owner of Lynn’s Ice Cream, Yogurt & More, worried it would encourage employees to unnecessarily call in sick.
“‘I think you’re going to see a lot of independent businesses like me going out of business,’ she said.”
Raising the minimum wage to unprecedented levels is a social experiment, but not the kind small businesses can afford to be part of.
Fred Chittenden says
The solution to this sort of never ending MW nonsense is for the MW to self adjust up or down along with the employment in an area. If employment rate goes down, so does the MW… If it goes up, so does the MW. Let markets set the MW, not government.
Fred, that makes a lot of sense. We have seen stagnant wages for quite some time, but the cost of living keeps going up. So labor isn’t the cost of that, Production has gone up, which labor is the cause of production.
Now these business owners may have a honest complaint, but who is going to purchase your products if they don’t have the necessary funds to do so? The may need all they make to survive, and thus your business will lose customers, thus, in time the business will fail.
Also: Here in America we can’t give things away to freeloaders…unless it’s billions in tax rebates to corporations that move jobs overseas and hide profits there too to avoid US taxes. The republicons think this is just fine, as their masters also need more tax cuts.
When and where will this BS quit? You don’t want people to make a decent living, then don’t expect them to purchase any luxury’s that your business may produce. We probably will all meet in the food line.
Every change in legislation is, by definition, a social experiment. Some fail (e.g. criminalization of marijuana use), some succeed (I-688), but all are experiments.
The genius of democracy is not that we the people choose the best policy every time; it’s that we can change policy if we determine the results of the previous policy experiment are not satisfactory.
Maybe you Republicans are just shocked to hear an elected official speak the truth?
What people don’t seem to realize is that the true minimum wage is zero… when either automation or shutting down the business becomes the economically optimal choice. If you want a world worth only big companies that have largely automated their staff… don’t complain when there are very few unskilled jobs available.
They don’t want a world with only big companies, they want a world with only one company, a big company named government.