In SeaTac, Everyone Pays for the $15 Minimum Wage

June 2, 2014

Last week I blogged about SeaTac employers who have responded to the new $15 minimum wage law by reducing or eliminating the benefits workers receive.  Employees earning the new wage say they have lost benefits such as 401k, paid holidays, paid vacation, free food, free parking and overtime hours.  

As one SeaTac worker put it, “It sounds good, but it’s not good.”

But workers aren't the only ones paying for the high wage.  Consumers are also picking up the tab, in the form of increased prices.  Many SeaTac businesses have tacked on an additional fee to mitigate the increased cost of labor.  On a receipt, a $6.93 "living wage surchage" was added to a $84.00 parking charge.  That is the equivalent of a 8.25% tax.

Contrary to what supporters claim, increasing the minimum wage does not create jobs and stimulate the economy.  The higher wages are not free money.  The increased cost must either be absorbed by the employer, which is impossible for many who already operate on shoe-string profit margins, or it must be passed on to workers, in the form of reduced hours and benefits, and consumers, in the form of higher prices.  Either way, someone pays. 


It's too bad you failed micro and macro

Increasing the minimum wage can have the effect of stimulating the economy, as long as the average price level does not increase the same amount as the minimum wage, it will shift income, towards people with lower incomes, these people tend to have the highest amount of income % spent on consumption, which then reverberates through the economy due to the multiplier effect. If a company is operating on such a tight margin they can't afford to pay something closer to a living wage, they should go bankrupt. There is wealth enough in this country that human beings needn't be mistreated so we can stay in industries that are inefficient. It's fascinating that people like you who claim to love "capitalism" have no real idea how it works.

min wage ? answered

Who are the primary victims of 'minimum' wage LAWS? Those who are not worth the minimum wage who will NEVER get a job because they don't have the skills to justify the wage. {Those who are currently employed with skills worth their current pay-rate, but not with skills worth the new 'minimum' wage, will lose their jobs either through automation, their job moving elsewhere, or because their existing employer can no longer remain in business.} With no opportunity to gain skills by starting at the bottom you have condemned the youth, especially inner-city and minorities, to a lifetime of welfare (at best) and other parasitical programs to be funded by the dwindling number of those who have managed to make something of their lives and are productive and self-reliant despite carrying an increasing burden of the hopeless victims of your 'minimum' wage program. Substituting government force for the free market will result in fewer jobs and higher prices. Where do you think those 'minimum' wage increases will come from?

ok, think about this. (devils

ok, think about this. (devils advocate). Maybe they could title that surcharge something else like 'Company Employee Subsidy", cc The fact that 'living wage' is implying a Wage payment, says so right there in front of us. So, do we need to get down and dirty with technicality and if we are 'helping' make the 'Living Wage" for these employees, would that not make us employers (3rd party, indirect etc), So is it not the law we also need to be paiying Workers Comp and deduct Withholding for taxes? Do we send the employee a 1099 annually?

Wage tax

So this isn't required by's the owner's complaining and adding it in so they can pay the extra right?

Sea Tac Living wage surcharge

That was .99 a day more for parking over the week there. Not that much. Now if they just carry this over to Pilot First Officer pay. Lets see here that would be over 30K finally as an F.O.!

And when you take into

And when you take into account the fact that they are forcing you to pay the extra for that employees hour of minimum wage, only 30+ times within that very same hour - per employee- now who's once again laughing to the bank and ripping you off even more than they already were? Yup, the mega-corp you're being screwed by every day. Have fun in those bread lines Americans, while your corporate fat cats and politicians all wine and dine themselves in Paris on YOUR dollar... Oh sorry, I meant on the blood of your children, animals and families. If you're "brave" enough to get REAL about it, of course.

Next, let's up the minimum

Next, let's up the minimum wage at places like MacDonald's to $15 an hour.
Hope you don't mind paying $20 for your next Big Mac.
What the heck did people THINK would happen?

Umm, maybe you need to learn

Umm, maybe you need to learn math. How much employee TIME does it take to make a Big Mac? Lets pretend it takes 5 minutes. That would translate into 66 cents EXTRA for a Big Mac. If you cant afford the 66 cents you can always go elsewhere. Would you like to check McDoanlds profit and advertising budget this year. Maybe they could reduce costs in executive compensation. The CEO alone cost $9.5 MILLION. I guarantee nothign he did added value to the CONSUMER. Only to the other owners

How about this. Pretend it

How about this.

Pretend it isnt an evil corporation, but instead a mom and pop burger stand.

They have no evil CEO absorbing all that money.

"If you cant afford the 66

"If you cant afford the 66 cents you can always go elsewhere."

right... because since everyone has to pay the increased minimum wage, then they wont have to increase their prices too. It is only evil McDonalds that will increase the price.

Also, this is just about

Also, this is just about smashing small businesses, despite the fact that they are the only "real" businesses out there.

For instance, the mega corps wouldn't even exist if it weren't for corporate welfare.. See, because things in nature balance out on all levels. Just as in nature, a creature can only get so big before it's a detriment to even itself. Its the same with corporations. Too big to fail is just BS, in fact, at a certain point it gets too big and begins to fail automatically as a result.. Hence the creation of corporate welfare - created in gov't by those who were shareholders in those same mega-corps while holding seats in office btw. But anyway, it's all about artificial inflation on all levels and smashing the little guy on all levels. Essentially it's feudalism on one level, society creating kings and peasants, nothing in between. When you let lack of thinking and action on the part of the people take hold, they will no doubt be oppressed and abused - and here it is happening all over again.

And when you take into account the fact that they are forcing you to pay the extra for that employees hour of minimum wage, only 30+ times within that very same hour - per employee- now who's once again laughing to the bank and ripping you off even more than they already were? Yup, the mega-corp you're being screwed by every day. Have fun in those bread lines Americans, while your corporate fat cats and politicians all wine and dine themselves in Paris on YOUR dollar... Oh sorry, I meant on the blood of your children, animals and families. If you're "brave" enough to get REAL about it, of course.

So... Reading the receipt, it

So... Reading the receipt, it was for 7 day parking @ $11/day and now it's $11.99/day to pay a living wage. That's not an major imposition.

Re-Think your math..

Only $7 for the cost of parking, plus the taxes, plus NO BENEFITS for employees. The owner didn't pass the entire cost on to the consumer he let employees absorb it, this way he could remain competitive with other businesses.

Fuzzy math

No, the employer is actually making a profit on this and then blaming it on the minimum wage. I REALLY hate companies who do the surcharge trick. If they bought more property and expanded the parking lot would he put on an "interest for my loan to buy the property surcharge" or how about the surcharge that says X dollars of this is for my profit, and let people know EXACTLY what your profit is on the "service" you are selling? If that employer does not like the business, he is free to sell it at anytime.

The numbers of course dont add up. DO some basic math. The parker paid $84 for the spot BEFORE. How many employee man hours did that require? A booth operator handed them a ticket at the beginning, so lets say that took 2 minutes (if they were SUPER SLOW). They then had a shuttle driver take them to and from the airport, which if they were the ONLY person on the shuttle might take 40 minutes (again I doubt it took that long).Then the payment at the end of the parking took say 5 minutes. So we will even round up and say it took a 50 minutes worth of labor per car to park at the lot. Then we can say it cost them 5/6 of an hour times the added $8 per hour and the added cost is $6.67 , and they charged an extra $6.93. That means an extra 26 cents per car profit. then we take that 26 cents and multiply it by 360 days a year (we will say five days are closed though that isnt reality). That means an extra $9360 PER YEAR in pure profit. Of course the assumptions I made are based on VERY long times to do the actual tasks and assuming empty shuttles (which I KNOW is not the case)


Yes someone pays, and at lower wages we all do with programs that give people who make poverty wages food stamps and earned income credits. Just to say cut those programs does not magically make those people earn enough, it would make some people become criminals just to feed themselves meaning you would pay more to find, capture, and incarcerate.
This added charge you are so put out about, is only marketing, the owners are mad and decided to advertise they are mad. You dont see other impacts to daily operations separated out. Where is their repaving fee, new parking structure fee, paper fee... See they lump all those together in the actual cost and charge you one price for all that. But they want you mad at the wage law thus its "advertised" on the printout.
Even with this its not like Masterpark is shedding employees, look online and you can find a picture of their banner showing they are hiring right now. And now at this wage they are lowering employee turnover, keeping training costs down, and benefiting from higher employee moral. Some of those employees didnt bring a lunch with them either and popped down the street for a burger too. Helping keep the money flowing and showing the general public what real costs are not hiding them behind government redistribution programs.

I called this, as did many others

Give it 2 to 3 years and they will be complaining that 15$ an hour isn't enough. Just raising wages doesn't work. Minimum wage wasn't meant to be lived on by itself. I'm sorry that it is that way, but it is what it is. There is no such thing as free money. It all has to come from somewhere. Even winning the lottery isn't free. You have to pay for the ticket. The money comes from others buying tickets. You have to pay taxes on it all as well.

You are wrong!

Franklin Delano Roosevelt made it emphatically clear when he worked to create the minimum wage that it is in fact fully intended to be a living wage.

Knock it off with the "let them eat cake" stance. Time and time again the minimum wage has been raised and time and time again the crazy inflation that is prophesized doesn't happen. Yet, the minimum wage stagnates, year after year, and we get inflation.

Basic rule of economics of a business. If you cannot afford your SG&A you need to go out of business. Yet our small and large businesses alike cut large salaries and bonuses off the top of their earnings, cut labor and compensation packages to the lowest level of workers and cry rivers of tears how they cannot afford to pay their people or create jobs. They are getting some of the lowest taxes in our history and reporting the huge profits and still crying they can't afford to be in business. The problem is our business leaders never learned how to properly run a business, they only learned that they are to feed Wall Street reports of profits.

Pay people better, put more people to work and watch all our economic problems fade. More money pumped into the lowest levels of the economy fuels it, not by giving it to business owners and executives who will only put it in their pocket - they will ensure their pay even at the cost of the company's existence. Higher wages leads to a higher tax base. More tax dollars in the system mean better roads, bridges, schools and society. Business leaders are parasites of our economy and we all need to stop listening to their red herrings and accepting their smoke screens.

If you want to see all what I said above in action, just look into the prosperity of our nation from 1946 through the 1950s. When we gave into the businesses' demands is when our nation started falling apart.

By the way, the last time the pendulum swung from the haves to the have-nots there were a lot of pretty rich heads rolling.

A market solution that can’t absorb wage increases

It’s fascinating to me that the ingenuity of the market can triumph against all odds except an increase in wages. Showing a receipt with a “living wage surcharge” demonstrates nothing except the existence of at lease one short-sighted business owner.

Let’s say every parking garage adopts this fee, and so parking becomes $6.93 more expensive at every parking garage. “See! Someone pays,” market analysts scold. Then along comes a new garage that finds a way to absorb that cost without passing it along to its customers—possibly through thinner margins—and suddenly one garage in town is $6.93 cheaper than everybody else. Guess which garage fills up first? And guess what happens next? The market adapts! Prices come down as everybody else figures out how to make the new pricing structure works, or they go out of business.

Do increases in the minimum wage lead short-term price increase? Almost surely. Does the competitive free market eventually correct these price increases? Just as surely.

Markets do adapt, but.....

Yes, markets adapt, but the ENTIRE wage hike is passed on to someone, PERMANENTLY. There's no free lunch...and there's a reason economists generally oppose minimum wages. It hurts people, and some of those who would want a 10.00 an hour job, or a 5.00 an hour job, get shafted. To these few people, a silly law causes real pain. Hoping SeaTac gets a grip and at some point backs down. On the other hand, it'll be a great experiment in what happens when wacky socialist government intervention rules the we'll know. Poor Milton Friedman must be turning in his grave.

But there IS no competitive

But there IS no competitive free market anymore. The government has taken that away. All they do is add more laws to "fix" the law that didn't work, and that leaves even more more problems.

Minimum Wage debacle

If more money really was the cure for poverty, let us end poverty.

Let’s give everyone 22 billion billion quatloos - more than they could ever spend in a lifetime - and then step back and watch. In short order, civilization would collapse if no one bothers to farm, harvest, labor, mine, produce, trade, transport, serve and sell to others. Remember, everyone has more money than they ever can need, but without anything to buy, that money is useless, worthless, and meaningless.

And, let's also remember that government has no power to create money. If it did, why would it need the power to BORROW it? (Art. 1, Sec. 8, USCON)

Governments borrow money

Governments borrow money rather than creating money because creating money devalues the money whereas borrowing it increases its value. (Economics 101)

Also, the US government absolutely has the power to create money. The Supreme Court gave it that power by ruling that the Constitution does not expressly forbid the printing of money and that printing money was a necessary power of government.

I'm not sure which economics

I'm not sure which economics 101 class you took, but borrowing money does not "increase its value." Economics 101 actually says that debt is not wealth.

Living Wage

I hope they're advertising this in the prices! -- I'd be pretty upset if I was told something would cost me $XX and they added in an 8.25% charge just because they could.

Oh you would be upset that

Oh you would be upset that parking your car would cost you an extra dollar per day? Think of the people who DON'T HAVE CARS. Think of the people who may be able to feed their children a little bit more food. Let's get together and bitch about our champagne problems.

You'd be unhappy if someone

You'd be unhappy if someone applied an 8.25% surcharge to the cost of something, how to you think employers feel having some dumbass liberal moron adding labor cost to their businesses, cost which they bare no liability for should they force the business into bankruptcy.


This is the SeaTac Parking Reservation website and clearly explains that this "8.25% tax" on parking is actually just $0.99 a day that you're parked there. The receipt shows that they are staying for 7 days. Therefore, 7 days x $0.99 = $6.93

They do. It's listed as a 99

They do. It's listed as a 99 cent per day 'living wage surcharge' on their website. In this case, it was a 7 day use of their services, so $6.93.