Yesterday the Michigan Supreme Court upheld that state’s new right-to-work law with its ruling that state workers are subject to the law. This means public employees are subject to the same protections from forced unionism as those in private industries.
Last week Greg Devereux, Executive Director of the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE), revealed he, and other union executives, believe unions will likely lose the Freidichs v California case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The loss would render forced unionism for public employees illegal; individual workers would have the right to decide for themselves whether to join a union and pay union dues.
Greg Devereux, Executive Director of the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE), recently revealed he, and other union executives, believe the era of forced unionism for public sector workers is coming to an end. And surprisingly, he doesn’t think it will be the union-crippling catastrophe unions have long-claimed.
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.
As employers in SeaTac and Seattle comply with those cities’ new $15 wage law, some have added a surcharge to their customers’ bills to cover the cost of the higher mandated wages. The surcharge policy has the added benefit of transparency, showing customers how prices have gone up as a result of the change in the law.
We previously highlighted how the state Department of Commerce has long used Washington’s lack of income or capital gains taxes as part of their marketing pitch to encourage businesses to come to Washington. Apparently department officials still believe having no income tax is a strong selling point.
Last month I reported on the push by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray to get the city in the Internet-provider business with municipal broadband. In the effort to move Seattle one step closer to that dream of government-run broadband, Mayor Murray commissioned a study to determine the costs and feasibility of making Seattle the first big city in the nation to treat broadband Internet access as a public utility.
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.”