Advocates of the $15 minimum wage—the 15 NOW crowd—used the slogan “$15 now because the rent won’t wait” as one of the 15 reasons for supporting the large wage hike in Seattle. They argued,
“We have the fastest rising rent in the U.S. but the landlords won’t phase in our payments. We aren’t just teenagers trying to make an extra buck, we have families to support and bills to pay. No delays, we need 15 Now!”
Well, according to University of Washington economist Marieka Klawitter, rent in Seattle could increase because “demand for apartments will rise as low-wage workers move to Seattle to get paid more.”
Beside the irony of the potential increase in rent prices across Seattle due the $15 minimum wage, the potential impact reveals just how clueless 15 NOW advocates—and their leaders—are concerning basic economics.