Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s plan to raise Seattle’s minimum wage garnered national attention. The general consensus? Murray’s plan is not a good idea.
In a recent article, Slate’s Jordan Weissmann—a business and economist correspondent—responded to Murray’s plan by bidding Seattle “goodbye.”
“…Murray seems ready to turn his city into a gigantic laboratory for one of the most ambitious, and quite possibly misbegotten, labor market experiments in recent memory… Minimum wage studies have typically looked at small increases, somewhere around 50 cents or a dollar. Seattle’s proposal would be far larger. It would also have virtually no U.S. precedent.”
Not only does Murray’s plan lack a national precedent, it lacks any international comparison. Weismann,
“Seattle’s plan has little global precedent, either. As Tim Fernholz at Quartz notes, the city is essentially considering adopting the highest minimum wage on the globe. That may come as a surprise, if you’ve ever read about Australia’s roughly $15 minimum. But once you adjust for purchasing power, the wage floor down under, as well as in high-pay countries like Belgium and France, is closer to $10, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. If the Swiss vote to raise their minimum to $25, as they are considering, Bloomberg reports it would be worth just $14 on a purchasing power basis.”
As if on a mission of total destruction, Murray put the final nail in the coffin of Seattle’s economic future by choosing to massively elevate the minimum wage in “a single city, where businesses can easily choose to open or relocate in the suburbs.”