Saturday, March 14, 2015

Fifteen Times Nothing is Nothing

Seattle eateries closing as $15 minimum wage approaches
Seattle’s $15 minimum wage law goes into effect on April 1, 2015. As that date approaches, restaurants across the city are making the financial decision to close shop. The Washington Policy Center writes that “closings have occurred across the city, from Grub in the upscale Queen Anne Hill neighborhood, to Little Uncle in gritty Pioneer Square, to the Boat Street Cafe on Western Avenue near the waterfront.”

Of course, restaurants close for a variety of reasons. But,according to Seattle Magazine, the “impending minimum wage hike to $15 per hour” is playing a “major factor.” That’s not surprising, considering “about 36% of restaurant earnings go to paying labor costs.” ..,
“Washington Restaurant Association’s Anthony Anton puts it this way: “It’s not a political problem; it’s a math problem.”
The effects of raising the minimum wages is one of the great debates in the United States. Conservatives point out that raising the cost of anything inevitably results in less of it being purchased, in the case "it" being labor. Liberals, in turn like to point to cases where a small increase in minimum wage during a rising economy resulted in no apparent massive increase in joblessness over normal noise as a validation of their beliefs.

It's nice that a good progressive city like Seattle is actually carrying out the definitive study, raising minimum wage sharply during a relatively stagnant economy.  I hope they enjoy getting their burgers from robotic cooks and table top computerized ordering systems. How soon before Starbucks is totally automated?

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