If sixth graders grasp this, what is wrong with our politicians?
Seattle, Washington, one of the strongest remaining bastions of liberal philosophy left in the country, passed a phased-in $15 minimum wage law earlier this year. The highest minimum wage in the country. The vote was unanimous and the throng outside cheered, but for many this is a loss from which they will never recover. It is a blow to the profitability of businesses that they just can’t take.
According to the National Review Hotline, Kathrina Tugadi owner of Seattle’s El Norte Lounge, no longer hires musicians for her restaurant, she said she can’t justify expenses that don’t directly “add to the bottom line.” And, she says, hours will have to be cut: El Norte Lounge plans to stop serving lunch and only serve dinner.
“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,” she said. El Norte may be unable to remain open once the ordinance is fully in effect, she said. Even Pagliacci Pizza, a Seattle-area pizza chain, is considering moving its call center and some of its production facilities outside the city. That’s a lot of job loss, a lot of new people with a new wage of ZERO.
Socialist Council-member Kshama Sawant was the main proponent of the $15 ordinance. She and her supporters denied that the policy change would hurt businesses in the city. In one interview, Sawant said there need be “no unintended consequences.”
In Seattle, 42 percent of surveyed employers were “very likely” to reduce the number of employees per shift or overall staffing levels as a direct consequence of the law. Similarly, 44 percent reported that they were “very likely” to scale back on employees’ hours to help offset the increased cost of the law. That’s particularly bad news for the Seattle metro area, where the unemployment rate for 16- to 19-year-olds is already more than 30 percent — due in part to Washington state’s already-high minimum wage.
Perhaps most concerning about the $15 proposal is that some businesses anticipated going beyond an increase in prices or a reduction in staffing levels. More than 43 percent of respondents said it was “very likely” they would limit future expansion in Seattle in response to the law. One in seven respondents is even “very likely” to close a current location in the city limits.
Yes, it it always sounds good to give people more free stuff, but once again, everything has a price. I asked a group of sixth graders what they would do. It only took them a few minutes to determine that their only choices were to; fire some employees, raise prices, or go out of business. They also concluded that people won’t come to your store if you charge too much. If sixth graders grasp this, what is wrong with our politicians?
Seattle is the first city in the country to pass a $15 minimum wage. Survey results suggested it will be the first city to find out why it was such a bad idea.