As fast food employers in the state of New York brace for that state’s impending $15 wage mandate, one business owner succinctly explained what the high wage will mean for her business and her employees:
It really is going to come to less people. What I envision is cutting labor, hiring less people, having less people per shift.”
The Tax Foundation released a report today showing how much $100 buys in each state. The same $100 can buy you comparatively more in a low-price state than a high-price state, which shows the true cost of living.
Yesterday Starbucks announced an increase in drink prices that will go into effect in its stores around the country. Most notable though, was the company’s decision to increase prices even higher in the Puget Sound region. Customers in the greater Seattle area (which includes King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties) will pay an average of about 3.5% more, while customers in other areas will pay just 1% more.
The group that calls itself “the leadership of the world socialist movement” has published a hard-hitting editorial on organized labor’s efforts to carve out special exemptions from minimum wage and paid sick leave mandates.
Supporters of a higher minimum wage dismissively argue there are no downsides to a wage hike. They simplistically declare that employers can afford to absorb the extra costs. One Harvard professor that supports a higher minimum wage dismissively says: “If you’re so unproductive that you can’t pay a little bit more, then maybe you don’t belong in a modern economy.”
In the real world, however, things aren’t so easy.
After reading the comments of a blogger last week shrugging off the closure of Z Pizza in Seattle due to the city’s newly increased minimum wage, it occurred to me that what seemed like the insensitive (and even offensive) musings of one political gadfly are disconcertingly shared by other supporters of a higher minimum wage.
Liberal political blogger and columnist Kevin Drum, whose musings are published in the leftist Mother Jones magazine, says he is “thrilled” that cities like Seattle, San Francisco (and soon Los Angeles) are mandating a $15 minimum wage. Not because such a wage will lift working families out of poverty, but because he says it will “give us a great set of natural experiments to figure out what happens when you raise the minimum wage a lot.”