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Council Member Sawant, Can We Talk?

An Open Letter from a Small-Business Owner Who Voted for You

Council Member Sawant, Can We Talk?

Kelly O

DELICATUS My business operates in a segment of the restaurant industry where the $5 foot-long reigns supreme.

Mike Klotz is co-owner of Delicatus, a Seattle delicatessen. This piece is part of a series of minimum wage op-eds from activists, business owners, low-wage workers, and experts. If you have an editorial you'd like to submit, send it here.

Council Member Sawant,

I am a progressive, and upon hearing of your campaign for city council, I found myself with a moral dilemma. I was excited to support a candidate who spoke of the injustices of corporations, but as a small-business owner, I was also concerned at the impact a 60 percent wage increase would have on the very business I worked so hard to create. My business partner felt as I did, and on October 26, 2013, he wrote you an e-mail addressing our very real concerns. Less than 24 hours later, he received a response from your campaign assistant* addressing our concerns and closing with this assurance:

We would not want to enact a minimum wage increase without also guaranteeing subsidies/tax credits to small business owners, an overhaul of the B&O tax code, and the establishment of a non-profit municipal bank to invest in small business. So in many ways, the plight of small businesses will be in a much better position with someone like Kshama in office fighting for the interests of ordinary people.

Because of that campaign promise, we both voted for you. And it is because of that statement that I find myself at odds with what you have done since taking office. You refuse to discuss any option but a 60 percent increase in the minimum wage, you threaten to take it to the ballot, and most unsettling of all is your unwillingness to unbiasedly listen to small-business owners about our very real concerns. You promised to find a way to elevate the minimum wage without destroying the very fabric of diverse, small, independent businesses that make this city so spectacular.

My small business employs 18 people, including my business partner and me. We were victims of the very corporations you speak of, where profit is valued above all else. In 2009, as the economy began to crumble, the corporation that employed us determined it was too costly to the bottom line to pay the nation's highest minimum wage and chose to close. Fortunately, we had managed to save some money and decided to sink every penny we had into opening our own restaurant. In the spring of 2010, during the worst recession this country has seen in a generation, we opened Delicatus. Since that day, we have worked shoulder-to-shoulder with our employees. And after four years, my business partner and I still work 60-plus hours a week.

I am writing today to hopefully begin a discussion that addresses the costs associated with a drastic 60 percent increase in the minimum wage. What I've heard from you since your election is a politicized and radical agenda that narrowly defines small business while lacking any specifics about the small-business tax credits and B&O overhaul your campaign promised—an agenda I fear will cripple the very businesses that make up Seattle's identity. My business operates in a segment of the restaurant industry where the $5 foot-long reigns supreme. We do not compete by engaging in the sort of irresponsible business practices that would be required to sell $5 foot-longs, as to do so would be to support the very policies that allow huge multibillion-dollar corporations to profit at the expense of not only their workers but also the local economy and the environment. We choose to purchase from local suppliers, farmers, and ranchers, and we adhere to a standard of sustainable and responsible business practices in choosing our suppliers. Because of this, we charge more than the big corporations, and fortunately many Seattleites understand the quality and principles we adhere to come at a cost.

Largely lacking in the rhetoric surrounding the demand for a $15 minimum wage is an honest assessment of the impacts of such a drastic increase to small business versus big business. Also lacking is how the majority of minimum-wage workers are employed by big business but the most damaging impact will be on small businesses. Again, I am a progressive and therefore I support legislation that mandates that big business pay the real costs associated with doing business. I also understand that if everyone made more money, there would be more money to spend—but there would be a cost, and that cost is an increase in prices. This is not debated. What is debated is who would be affected by a raise in costs and who would benefit. The nature of capitalism would dictate that those costs would be mitigated and those mitigations would be by either raising prices or reducing workforce, more than likely a combination of both. Corporations like Chili's and Applebee's would have an advantage, as they are already installing tablets at tables for self-checkout and automated ordering, resulting in a reduction in servers while minimizing price increases. Meanwhile, the small, independent restaurant would be forced to lay off workers and raise prices, with many having no choice but to close. With a drastic wage hike, all employers would expect higher levels of experience, training, and flexibility from employees. Less skilled, inexperienced, and less flexible employees, such as students and single parents, would be left without a job. Seattle would be flooded with highly skilled workers from outside of the city, resulting in fewer opportunities for less skilled workers. This would result in a larger number of chronically unemployed workers that would ultimately be forced out of Seattle in order to secure similar or lower paying jobs elsewhere. Without an incremental approach to an increase in the minimum wage, you will hurt many of the people your proposal intends to help.

The other way to mitigate costs would be to compromise on principles and products. This would force restaurants like mine into the arms of larger corporate suppliers with distribution centers outside of Seattle and therefore immune to a drastic wage increase. Without an incremental wage increase, the small, independent suppliers I currently source from would be at a competitive disadvantage. This coupled with a need to raise prices would make them unable to compete with corporate suppliers on price. You have stated repeatedly that big business is hiding behind small businesses, which is absolutely true. Small-business owners stand to lose the most—and as we speak out not against an increase in minimum wage but in an irrational 60 percent increase, we are being shouted down as greedy capitalists while big multinational corporations stand in the shadows. You say you speak for the just under 100,000 people who elected you into office, so does that mean you speak for me as well? If so, why do you refuse to listen to the concerns of the very constituents that helped you get elected? Why did you speak at labor-union rallies in SeaTac where the very unions that support you demand to be exempt from the minimum-wage increase while you refuse to engage meaningfully with the small-business community about their concerns? How do you justify allowing labor unions to collective bargain less than a proposed minimum-wage increase? You say you have not heard an alternative proposal. I write you today to inform you that I and many other local, small, independent businesses have come together to create many grassroots organizations that stand for a responsible approach to income inequality while ensuring the very nature of Seattle's truly small, independent businesses are preserved for all to enjoy in the future.

You ask us to join you but demand that it has to be your way. We are asking you to join us in working together to bring about the improvements we all want to see without decimating the unique nature of Seattle's small businesses. Independent businesses are what make Seattle great, and together we can implement real changes that will ripple across the nation. recommended

 

Comments (140) RSS

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1
Maybe you should put your money where your mouth is and run for office yourself instead of expecting that the socialist will act as your puppet.
Posted by treehugger on April 9, 2014 at 8:18 AM · Report this
2
Why are we only talking about restaurants--one of the most volatile and hype-driven businesses around? If everything was run like restaurants are, we'd be screwed. Are we already? Why not talk with people who are innovating and succeeding? (Are they too busy making money to bother?)
Also, I hope this small business owner respects the holy institution of property rights and has permission and/or pays willingly to use the copyrighted silhouette of the Space Needle in his sign.
Posted by the (walk-in) cooler on April 9, 2014 at 8:24 AM · Report this
3
"I am writing today to hopefully begin a discussion"

Good luck with that.

No doubt the discussion about to happen in the comments section is about the same caliber of discussion you can expect from Sawant.
Posted by derpyderpington on April 9, 2014 at 8:24 AM · Report this
WFM 4
Seriously, @1? Sarcasm? Or are you trying to re-invent stupid?
Posted by WFM on April 9, 2014 at 8:24 AM · Report this
5
Sawant lied to you? What a shocker!
Posted by Sawantanistas lie like they breath on April 9, 2014 at 8:24 AM · Report this
6
TYPICAL KLOTZ
Posted by Bingbongbingbong on April 9, 2014 at 8:27 AM · Report this
7
Do you have any data or studies to support these claims?
Posted by frozenfrog on April 9, 2014 at 8:29 AM · Report this
Call me Scott 8
You've not kept up on Sawant's position. Here it is, including the phase-in you deem necessary:

Speaking at a march and rally Saturday for a $15 minimum wage in the city, Sawant said she would propose a three-year phase-in for small businesses and human-service organizations. For them, that would raise minimum wages to $11 in 2015. with $2 step increases each of the next two years.

Read the whole thing here: http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2…

And, to imagine that any of the corporate sponsored City Council candidates have your back . . . at all . . . is simply silly. Voting Sawant was a good decision on your part, and it will pay off for you to continue supporting her struggle against corporate greed and in favor of local business.
Posted by Call me Scott on April 9, 2014 at 8:29 AM · Report this
9
"I and many other local, small, independent businesses have come together to create many grassroots organizations that stand for a responsible approach to income inequality while ensuring the very nature of Seattle's truly small, independent businesses are preserved for all to enjoy in the future."

What you meant to say was "we have come together to not actually do much to lift our workers out of poverty while ensuring we still make a lot of money." Sorry, we're not buying it. We can phase in a $15/hr wage over a few years but no exemptions, no tip penalties, no "total compensation" nonsense. Those things mean workers don't actually get a $15/hr wage and therefore those policies are simply not acceptable.
Posted by junipero on April 9, 2014 at 8:31 AM · Report this
seatackled 10
Wait a second, Mr. K. What is your alternative proposal?

And why does your open letter not reflect CM Sawant's shift to a gradual rise for small businesses such as yours? (Which I understand Dave Meinert took as an opportunity to deride Savant as weak.)
Posted by seatackled on April 9, 2014 at 8:35 AM · Report this
Call me Scott 11
This 'open' letter is an agenda piece out of Tim Keck's playbook.
Posted by Call me Scott on April 9, 2014 at 8:38 AM · Report this
fletc3her 12
These negotiations are misguided. The goal is to get Sawant and others to negotiate their position down before any actual political negotiations start. Let's save concessions for when a bill is actually being debated.
Posted by fletc3her on April 9, 2014 at 8:39 AM · Report this
13
Here is a small, naive business person pouring their little hearts out about a 60% labor increase, which could very well mean the end of her/his business.

Let her fail many would say. Too Bad.

What do we do with her 18 employees when the business folds?

I don't see many new businesses anxious to open in this market and with these pending conditions.

Meanwhile in SeaTac, a flood of new people are arriving daily to apply for an ever dwindling number of $15/hour jobs and those folks without skills in SeaTac are finding the competition fierce.

Our new Worker's Utopia unfolds.

Posted by mistral on April 9, 2014 at 8:42 AM · Report this
14
@10, @12, exactly, their approach is to try and force Sawant to concede further than she already has. Notice that these small business, who we now know are merely shills for big corporations, have not actually agreed to raise their workers' wages to $15. They demand we concede yet offer nothing in return. That's one reason to ignore them. The other is that all the evidence we have from 100 years of minimum wage increases is that it doesn't hurt businesses. These small businesses have no evidence - none whatsoever - to justify their claims. Until they produce actual evidence, we can safely ignore these whiny pleas to be allowed to keep paying their workers poverty wages.
Posted by junipero on April 9, 2014 at 8:43 AM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 15
Again, and not to diminish the message or your viewpoints, Mike Klotz, but what is your profit margin in pay to you and your business partner? What's your overhead? What is the real world impact in facts and figures, instead of anecdotally? That's the stuff that will turn people to your view, but the downside is you need to essentially open your books and spell out how much you profit and actually earn today as small business owners.
Posted by Joe Szilagyi http://twitter.com/joeszi on April 9, 2014 at 8:45 AM · Report this
16
I find it hilarious that the Stranger is caught between the ethical dilemma of advocating for their readers or advocating for their advertisers. Hey, Stranger staff and Tim Keck. This is how you become the Seattle Times.
Posted by Why are there cars? on April 9, 2014 at 8:51 AM · Report this
17
@14:
"The other is that all the evidence we have from 100 years of minimum wage increases is that it doesn't hurt businesses."

Great point. We've raised minimum wages for 100 years, and income inequality has gotten worse and worse and worse.

Anyone who thinks raising the minimum wage will end poverty or reduce income inequality is either mind bogglingly stupid or willfully ignorant.
Posted by think, please on April 9, 2014 at 8:51 AM · Report this
18
You both voted for her. Now enjoy that. You have zero argument if you voted for her. She didn't hide her sole agenda item as lacking in reality as it is. Sorry buddy better close down now or start offering a 5 dollar foot long, they are quite tasty if I do say so myself too.
Posted by SeattleTruth on April 9, 2014 at 8:54 AM · Report this
GlennFleishman 19
This letter has so many insane assertions. You can protect lower-skilled workers by ensuring that they always have a low-paying job to protect them from the higher-skilled workers who will flood into Seattle to take $15/hour positions? This is the most patronizing thing I've ever heard.

Some employees will be displaced: they will find it hard or impossible to get a job because people will re-enter the job market or commute in because the new wages are attractive enough to shift from a $9-something/hr job somewhere else.

But for every job that shifts, another job opens up. This will add hardship and require people to move. If a $10/hr Renton assembly job is available because someone in Burien is now commuting to Seattle for $15/hr, then the person who had the Seattle job (who is fired suddenly? how does that happen?) has left an opening.

Some businesses will be displaced. This is the reality of the market. It also sucks if your business can't adapt.

It's possible in your case that you will reduce staff by one or two people because both you wind up with workers who take less time off and are more productive on the job. However, those workers will have more money to spend, which spreads around the economy. (Most companies employ excess capacity to deal with absenteeism, sick days, uneven quality, etc.; with a higher wage, these factors all change. The ACA may reduce sick days by providing lower-income people with better medical care.)

"a 60 percent wage increase": You pay 100% of your workers the minimum wage? You don't factor in the cost of training and turnover in running your business?

You also, on the one hand, want to say that the quality of worker will improve; on the other, that there is no benefit from the increase. A higher wage produces employees who are better able to be good workers while reducing your costs associated with turnover.

"60-hour-plus weeks": That's not very much for a restaurant, and I expect other startup restaurant owners are amused by this.

The reason you are putting in long hours is that you are ostensibly building equity in your business and producing a return for yourself. If you're not making more than $15 an hour at 60-hour weeks and aren't creating a business that might become sustainable or valuable enough to sell when you want to move on, then you aren't in the right line of business.

Your wage-earning employees are not subject to your dreams and rewards (unless you offer ownership, stock, or revenue [not profit] sharing). Your employees shouldn't care whether or not you are working long hours or not, because you own the business.

I do sympathize with the increase in wages, but the proposal to phase it in, if adopted, should minimize the shock to smaller businesses.

However, defending a non-livable wage, which you apparently pay 100% of your employees if you would experience a full 60% wage increase, doesn't seem in accord with the business practices you admire.

Disruption is terrible at the personal level. But why try to deny people a better wage and a better way of life because it doesn't work out perfectly for you in your narrow thinking?
More...
Posted by GlennFleishman http://blog.glennf.com/ on April 9, 2014 at 8:56 AM · Report this
Big Boss 20
My only question is how much Mike Klotz and Derek Shankland make on other peoples' work? Somehow, I'll bet they're not taking home $9.00/hr.
Posted by Big Boss on April 9, 2014 at 9:01 AM · Report this
guerre 21
It's always good to know which businesses pay their workers minimum wage (60% increase= all workers get minimum).
Posted by guerre on April 9, 2014 at 9:27 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 22
It gets really tiresome seeing the blatant lie that Kshama Sawant "refuses to discuss" this that or the other thing. All you have to do is turn on the Seattle Channel and you can see with your own eyes Kshama Sawant discussing the very shit these shills and hacks pretend she "won't discuss". She's been engaging with you fuckers every day. Shall we go to video?

Attacking her as a rigid ideologue is nonsense, and these blatant lies that she isn't engaging with you all from the Chamber of Commerce is getting offensive.

Speaking of which, how about a correction for Andrew Friedman's fairy tale about his business? The one where he told us he was giving us "reality" and "facts" and then admitted his "facts" were made up?

Let's also remember that 15Now is not the puppet of Kshama Sawant. Although a leaked email reveals that guys like Friedman, Douglas, Meinert and Klotz here are sort of kind of (really) puppets of big business.

Think about it: if raising the minimum wage favors big business, that means that small business's workforce consists of more minimum wage workers than big business. Ergo, big business jobs are better jobs. If that is true, hey, bring it on! We'd rather have more of those good jobs.

Of course, it's a lie. Higher wages keeps the Wal-Marts and Olive Gardens from taking over. It's why you see more diversity here than in Kansas City. These mewling small business owners are peddling this lie because they're running interference for Yum Brands and McDonald's. All the while trying to wear the "progressive" label.
More...
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on April 9, 2014 at 9:32 AM · Report this
23
One mitigation factor completely left out of the discussion so far is including tips as compensation.

However, there's a twist. Rather than simply allow a lower minimum wage for people who receive tips, instead require a guaranteed minimum wage.

What's that? That means that tips are included as part of your income but, you are guaranteed to receive at least $15/hr (or whatever is resolved amount) regardless of the amount of tips you make.

For example, if your stated minimum wage is $5/hour and you make $8/hour in tips, you will receive an extra $2/hour in wages to ensure the total is $15. On the other hand, if you make $12 in tips, your total/hr would be $17 - you get the bonus.
Posted by pragmatition on April 9, 2014 at 9:35 AM · Report this
24
This is my open letter to Mike Klotz to learn how to make a good sandwich, not just how to describe a good sandwich on a menu.
Posted by Marcia on April 9, 2014 at 9:38 AM · Report this
DOUG. 25
"You refuse to discuss any option but a 60 percent increase in the minimum wage..."

Bullshit.
Posted by DOUG. http://www.dougsvotersguide.com on April 9, 2014 at 9:40 AM · Report this
26

We could use a good deli in Kent.

Plenty of retail space at the Station.

http://www.kentstation.com/

Why not just move to someplace business friendly?
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on April 9, 2014 at 9:40 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 27
I don't remember hearing Sawant rallying against any negotiations for the creation of a bank. Or a B&O tax.

In fact, all I keep hearing from "Progressives" like yourself is "let's give the workers less than what they asked for. Make wage exceptions for us." With your negotiations mainly referring to "Total Compensation" and "Tip Credit" as opposed to tax credits and low interest loans to ease the transition.

You're not a progressive. You're selfish.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on April 9, 2014 at 9:44 AM · Report this
28
Data? Here it is, coming from a multitude of studies:
1988/89 wage increase with 50% cost brought 11.7% lay-offs amongst the 100,000 people it affected. With time passing half of them were rehired, but the older and more experienced. Youth employment tanked.

10% wage increase = 1.5% overall price hikes. 63% would result in overall 10% price hike.

Restaurants are more affected than any other business, since a lot of employees, albeit considered minimum wage, are actually not- since their tip income + hourly currently = $28/ hour.

Restaurants run on slim profit margins, which normally are used not just as proprietor's pay, but to service business debt, re-investments and improvements and taxed as capital gains. That percentage varies, but is generally between 4% (Tom Douglas) and 8% (Dave Meinert). Or in between, but rarely higher.

McDonald's realized 4.4 billion of profits- or 25% last year.

If tip is not taken in consideration, restaurant prices will rise with about 25%- to compensate for wage increase and wholesale hike of 10%. Since most of the population will not get wage increase and their disposable income stays the same, they will not be able to afford gratuity. So, server's wages would increase from 9.32- 12, to 15- 18, but since tipping will be out, from actual wage of average of 28, they'll drop to their new hourly rate alone. Except few high end restaurants serving upper middle class and the rich, where tips can still be part of the income.

People on fixed income will be hit the worst, because 10% overall price hike will not be mitigated by any benefit increase.

Unions are basing their support on their national agenda, and not the interests of the local population. Requiring exemption for the sake of job retention is a benefit that is important for every employee and employer- not just their constituency. They are driven not by the progressive values and agenda of the city, but their own- mostly their national leadership, which is using Seattle as a test tube. Why?

Because we all care.
More...
Posted by valume on April 9, 2014 at 9:44 AM · Report this
29
Can someone, especially one of those "I can't believe Slog commenters don't care about small businesses or want nothing more than chain stores" people please, please explain to me the following:

What is so special about being a "small", "independent" and/or "family-run" business that grants them an indulgence for paying shit wages that "large" and/or "corporate" stores do not deserve?
Posted by Solk512 on April 9, 2014 at 9:52 AM · Report this
30
And by @29 I mean not to defend larger companies, but to simply point out that the employees of "small", "independent" and/or "family-run" businesses still have bills to pay and they don't get the same love as their employers do. No discounts on rent or food, no special considerations of any kind really.

So when assholes wander in and complain for "the sake of small business", what they're really saying is "fuck you, got mine".
Posted by Solk512 on April 9, 2014 at 9:58 AM · Report this
31
Great letter. Great article. Great debate. Thank you,
Posted by boses on April 9, 2014 at 9:59 AM · Report this
32
Presumably Seattle's Only Newspaper has already taken the initiative and embraced the $15 hourly minimum wage. Perhaps it would be helpful to other businesses out there if someone from The Stranger could discuss just how they made that happen. Set some minds at ease.
Posted by Arthurstone on April 9, 2014 at 10:01 AM · Report this
33
@19... Thank you! This is the best response comment to all of the anecdotal, woe-is-me editorials by small-business owners so far. It would be much easier to sympathize with these concern-trolly entrepreneurs if they presented a little less self-serving approach. Where is the small-business owner saying "Hey, I WANT to be able to pay a $15 minimum, here are a few suggestions for how I can get there." Like a phase in (which has already been conceded... and honestly, was always going to be a part of any final policy...) but also, things that would be helpful to allow for small businesses to compete with the true targets of this policy push (bigger corporate interests) and weather the transition period. As long as those large corporate voices are staying out of the fight, these small-business owners should be taking this opportunity to re-balance the economic landscape back into their favor. Figure out other ways that Seattle can structure this policy to stick-it to mega-corps. This is your Robin Hood opportunity! Be specific... and quit attacking the $15/hr number. Whether intentionally or not, you need to acknowledge that you have benefited greatly the entire time you've been in business, from the chronic wage stagflation that has occurred over the past 40 years. If labor costs had kept pace with inflation since the introduction of the first minimum wage, you would already be paying your lowest-paid employee at least $15/hr (probably more)… so get off that, and start providing substance to the conversation about what you need to get there!
Posted by SimplyNotClever on April 9, 2014 at 10:04 AM · Report this
34
Christ, it's like dealing with Tea-Bagger fanatics in SLOG. There is literally no reasoning with you.

No matter what these small business people say - unless it's some obsequious kowtowing "Yes, a 60% wage hike will be awesome" you pile on them. They cannot win.

And for what? The temerity no want to stay in business and make some money? To voice their fears? How many of you make more or want to make more than $15 per hour? Why is it so terrible these people who put in 60 hours per week scratch out more than money than their base employees. That's the whole point of attempting to own a business, dipshits.

You vilify the fuck out of them. Christ. I'm ashamed to even live in the same city as you assholes.
Posted by tkc on April 9, 2014 at 10:15 AM · Report this
35
dear small biz owner:

the 1968 MW adjusted for inflation and productivity is like 15 to 20 an hour. therefore, you are currently screwing your MW workers by underpaying them the value of their labor. you are paying them poverty level wages. you are exploiting them. you're stealing the value they create. so STFU. and until you raise your MW to at least 10.50 whidh is the 1968 MW adjusted for inflation you're extra bad. no matter who little you make, or how cute you are, or how hip, or how independent or artisanal, you're fucking screwing your MW workers by not paying $15 now. so you're not hip, not cool, not too creative class either; you're just a petty bourgeoisie who's screwing the help.
Posted by under $15 is screwing workers on April 9, 2014 at 10:35 AM · Report this
36
@tkc, no the Boswell piece is the Tea Party garbage.

Also, if The Stranger is going to keep printing pieces that misrepresent 15 Now and Kshama's proposal (for a three year phase-in for small biz and non-profits) they need to post some standard warning, or else it may become too obvious to too many people that they are shilling for their advertisers.
Posted by bogart14 on April 9, 2014 at 10:36 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 37
@34

Weird how you get "vilified" when you lie. Weird how when your "fears" get "voiced" in a form that we call slander, everyone just piles on.

Tell the truth about Sawant. Tell the truth about how many of your employees make minimum. Tell the whole truth about what your accounting books say. Tell the truth about your secret emails with Target and McDonald's and Yum Brands and 7-11.

Tell the truth about how many low-wage workers work two or three jobs. Tell the truth about how "lazy" they really are. Tell the truth about wage theft.

Maybe treat minimum wage workers with just a teeny tiny bit less contempt and you might get a warmer welcome. Calling people struggling to feed their families lazy tends to bring out their grouchy side.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on April 9, 2014 at 10:39 AM · Report this
guerre 38
@34 if we don't start passing some of these laws to help workers, soon you won't have to live with us as we all move to Renton, then you'll have your SF/Manhattan paradise.
Also I've hung out with teapartiers, and for a bunch of "teapartiers", the slog commentators have a surprising low count for calling their opponents hitler/fascists.
Posted by guerre on April 9, 2014 at 10:41 AM · Report this
alpha unicorn 39
Tat's.
Posted by alpha unicorn on April 9, 2014 at 10:41 AM · Report this
40
at the end of the day, there are more employees than there are employers. And evidently, they vote.

So this, essentially, is an inevitable reckoning. Either small business can get behind it and find a way to survive, or they can get out of the way. Regardless of any ideological OR practical notions anyone has. This is what's going to happen. Enjoy.

Posted by stilettov on April 9, 2014 at 10:56 AM · Report this
41

#40

They just have to raise prices...since it's an across the board increase, everyone will have to.

Then it's up to the employees who buy their lunch there whether to keep ordering the Ruben sandwich and broccoli-cheese soup or brown bag it or go running during lunch.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on April 9, 2014 at 11:37 AM · Report this
seatackled 42
@39

I've eaten at Delicatus and Tat's once each. Delicatus was pretty good and a little cheaper; Tat's had a better sandwich, though. I had the reuben at both places.

In either case, both sandwiches are kind of expensive--I think over ten dollars each. It's not really a competitive price when the competition is putting out the $5 footlongs that Mike Klotz is describing, and yet, I pay for them more frequently than I pay for a Subway sandwich. And so do others. So if the MW going up means prices go up a little, I'm not sure that's really going to push anyone to choose Subway over Delicatus, because those who would go to Subway probably already do.
Posted by seatackled on April 9, 2014 at 11:41 AM · Report this
seatackled 43
Also, Market House.
Posted by seatackled on April 9, 2014 at 11:42 AM · Report this
billbillbillbillbill 44
Can't pay a living wage=can't stay in business. Go capitalism!
Posted by billbillbillbillbill http://www.hereswhatithinkaboutthesebooks.blogspot.com on April 9, 2014 at 11:52 AM · Report this
45
@13
You can't see a business waiting to open in its place because you aren't looking. Why dont you check the permitting office, or the DPD? This town is blowing up. Something will open there.
Posted by JonCracolici on April 9, 2014 at 12:07 PM · Report this
John Horstman 46
Woe are the small-time capitalists. If you can't break even without exploiting people, then your business is already a failed venture, and it should fold.

@23: That's how the alternative minimum wage for tipped employees already works. However, becasue most people working less-than-minimum-wage jobs really need the job, many employers flagrantly violate wage laws and do not make up the difference. Really, we just need to end (mandatory or normative) tipping so all costs are up-front and there are no free riders exploiting both the generosity of others and the scrupulous business owners who actually DO pay out the difference to pay less than their food (or whatever) actually costs.

@34: "And for what? The temerity no want to stay in business and make some money?"

Yes, for exactly that. If they're making money exploiting their workers, then absolutely fuck them for insisting we continue to let them do so. Profit is theft.
Posted by John Horstman on April 9, 2014 at 12:13 PM · Report this
47
My partner is a small restaurant owner with less than 5 employees. It's been open for a couple of years, and he still can't afford to pay himself anything - I support him financially with my corporate job. We pay all of our workers above minimum wage on principle, and labor costs are our biggest expense. Like Mike, we try to do the right thing by having local, organic suppliers instead of FSA. In other words, we are trying to do things right, trying to build a sustainable business from the ground up, and a $15/hr minimum wage would likely force us to close for reasons described in the article.

Now you might say - fine, if your business isn't profitable enough to compete in the new environment, so be it! Fair enough; we would close, and the corporate chains would stay open. Raising prices would only widen this gap.
Posted by MisterMan on April 9, 2014 at 12:31 PM · Report this
48
Also, the popular slogan seems to be "pay a living wage or gtfo!" Hiring a high school or college student with no experience, who still lives with their parents, is on their medical insurance, etc - do they also need a "living wage" from their first job?
Posted by MisterMan on April 9, 2014 at 12:35 PM · Report this
49
Any business owner voting for that lying socialist gets what they deserve. How can you be so fucking stupid to vote for a socialist?
Posted by eradicate socialism on April 9, 2014 at 12:52 PM · Report this
50
I am making $50 an hour.

If you up the minimum wage I'm going back to have some fun at $15 an hour for 20 hours a week or so.

Starve, motherfuckers.
Posted by worthless_people_are_worthless on April 9, 2014 at 1:51 PM · Report this
51
@47... to that I say, what would your partner need to be able to continue to run his (almost but not really quite yet) successful business? A phase in over a few years that applies to him but not his more monied competitors who can absorb the increase right away? DONE! Tax breaks for small businesses like his that we want to encourage in the city? Sure, make a proposal. Let's put it on the board, you'll have my full support. Low interest loans to help ease the transition? Absolutely, let's put in the proposal! Permission to continue paying people less then they would have been making doing the same job 40+ years ago (adjusting for inflation)? NO!
Posted by SimplyNotClever on April 9, 2014 at 1:52 PM · Report this
JF 52
@46 Why does paying minimum wage equal exploitation?
Posted by JF on April 9, 2014 at 1:53 PM · Report this
53
@48... Yes.
Posted by SimplyNotClever on April 9, 2014 at 1:54 PM · Report this
54
This small business owners vs. low-wage workers is a false dichotomy. If the minimum wage in this city is raised, even gradually over a few years, it will be the current (and slowly dwindling) middle class that will be paying the bulk of the increases in the city's cost of living. Nick Hanauer and his cronies will be able to absorb the increased cost of living because they are filthy, stinking rich. Current low-wage workers will get a higher wage but with added everyday costs --- groceries, gas, Metro bus prices, heat, electricity, parking, child care, etc. The current middle and even upper-middle class will NOT be receiving a pay increase but we will have to pay more for everything. So, please, please, please, put this issue to a vote. And as someone previously stated --- there are way more employees than employers. But, there are way more middle and upper-middle class voters than the rest of you combined. While most of us are progressives, we'll choose our children's well-being over your well-being everyday of the week and twice on Sundays.
Posted by RufusBrown on April 9, 2014 at 2:18 PM · Report this
55
@47 Yet you never stop to consider the fact that with more money in poor people's pockets, they're more likely to go out and eat at your partner's place.

But no, you can't be bothered to even consider that, can you?

@48 Yeah, they have no reason to try and save money to, I don't know, move out or become independent or anything like that.
Posted by Solk512 on April 9, 2014 at 2:19 PM · Report this
56
Minimum Wage hurts minorities and promotes racism. It favors those who are white(male)to capture the new jobs in the labor market & creates a larger barrier to entry.

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/walter-e-wi…
Posted by A real live employer on April 9, 2014 at 2:29 PM · Report this
57
@8, "Sawant said she would propose a three-year phase-in for small businesses and human-service organizations. For them, that would raise minimum wages to $11 in 2015. with $2 step increases each of the next two years." - Call Me Scott

Again, please take a moment to learn the most basic elements of Small Biz 101.

A rise of $1 would cost my business (20 employees) $20,400 (plus taxes)/yr. So, a rise in wages to even $11 would cost my business $34,068 more in the next year, and then an additional ~$41K the next year, and then ANOTHER ~$41K the next year, totaling in an additional $100K+ within three years (before our tax contributes, which is ~17%.).

This well-meaning small business owner is not saying that he'd not like to pay that money, he (and so many others) are saying that they CANNOT AFFORD to pay that additional amount.

As #14, Junipero says, "They demand we concede yet offer nothing in return.", that's the mantra of those that don't know enough to know enough.

Junipero, what we are "offering...in return" is quite simply that we are offering to be able to stay in business so that our employees can keep their jobs and we can keep operating. It's not a lie, it's not selfish, it's not a manipulation - it's reality. If this rise goes to where Sawant wants to take it, there's little question that many small businesses, many otherwise strong & community-driven small businesses will fail, relinquishing those jobs to the market, surely without the requisite number of similar jobs to fill those positions.

All small biz asks is that people will LEARN the most basic small business principles before they opine. We're not all liars. We're not all money-grubbing, as so many of you insist. That's just ignorant, dishonest rhetoric that debases what otherwise could be an important discussion between reasonable people.

All us small biz want is to have a real conversation using real numbers by people who care to learn before they just parrot the talking points. I know that's more difficult, but that's the right thing to do.
More...
Posted by I'm Cool on April 9, 2014 at 4:52 PM · Report this
58
@54... Your lack of understanding about how the economy works is showing. Unlike in the hospitality industry (that argument is raging separately), the marginal impact of labor costs on "groceries, gas, Metro bus prices, heat, electricity, parking, child care, etc." are minimal at best, with the possible exception being child care. Plus, more money in the hands of the people who struggle to cover those basic expenses means more money going towards those basic expenses, meaning there will be an even smaller marginal impact in those costs for everyone. Plus, some folks will just suddenly have more money to put towards other things (like hospitality industry services).

You can't claim to be progressive just because you call Hanauer names... especially if your attitude toward economic policy is "our children's well-being over your well-being". That is in fact the opposite of progressive. To be progressive you have to be willing to say "whatever does the most good for the most people, even if it is marginally detrimental to me personally".
Posted by SimplyNotClever on April 9, 2014 at 4:55 PM · Report this
59
@33 " If labor costs had kept pace with inflation since the introduction of the first minimum wage, you would already be paying your lowest-paid employee at least $15/hr (probably more)… "

No true, it is a widely known fact that the most purchasing power the minimum wage ever had was in 1968, which in todays dollars would be $10.74. People that say worker production has gone up more than that always conveniently leave that the invention of computers & machines are the cause of this increased production, not longer harder work weeks.

All that said I support raising the minimum wage but in a more gradual practical way than shocking the system. I would like to see more done to address income inequality through the tax code than by extreme wage increases. The problem is the extreme concentration of wealth at the top, not in the middle class that would effectively see a pay decrease by the resulting inflation $15 would cause. Prices are always influenced & determined by costs, and labor is always one of the largest costs in any industry. It seems that those adamantly demand $15 NOW want to shock the system more than fix the system with comments like, "profit is theft".

The holy grail price structure in the restaurant industry is 30/30/30/10, look it up if you don't believe me. 30% is & should be labor, and the 10% is hopefully the profit, so it does only takes about a 30% in increased labor costs to wipe out the 10% of profit. This means lost jobs & inflation.

Lastly we only hear from restaurant small business owners. They can at least raise their prices. How come we haven't heard from organizations like Meals On Wheels, Goodwill, or Nursing Homes who all depend on sub $15/hr labor. What corners do they cut? Who suffers when they reduce their service?
More...
Posted by practicality not ideology on April 9, 2014 at 5:01 PM · Report this
60
@15, Joe - "Mike Klotz, but what is your profit margin in pay to you and your business partner? What's your overhead? What is the real world impact in facts and figures, instead of anecdotally?"

Joe, in my own Op-Ed in The Stranger last week, I explained my numbers in detail. I showed % by % how my costs would increase, but I can tell you that the abuse heaped upon me (which I am sure shall continue there) is still ongoing, 300+ posts, 90% of it of the kind of cautionary tale to most businesses that few want to put themselves out there for that kind of abuse.

No business-person will open their nooks. There'll be no complete P/L, because if for no other reason, most here won't believe these numbers, anyway. Reality has no hold on most here. But when even the likes of Tom Douglas mirrors my numbers, when the operators of dozens of small businesses mirror each others numbers, at what point will people stop saying that we are lying?

Again, at $15/hr., at 60% rise in cost to emply my 20 employees, my payroll will rise by ~18%, my purveyors reportedly will raise their prices by ~10% which will result in ~an 8% rise in cost... That's the black & white numbers. Believe them or not. They've been vetted by many people, they are the real numbers.

But, sadly - as I mentioned - even if we DID show our numbers, most here would not care. They have more of an agenda and bias than a care for reality. They'd rather see these businesses close and get their Phyrric Victory instead of help the employees & our city. This is a war that they want to see start here, and if our logic, reason & reality beat them here, then their national march will fail.

So, what's more important? An arbitrary number of $15 or our small businesses, Joe? Unless we're all lying, of course...

#16 - "I find it hilarious that the Stranger is caught between the ethical dilemma of advocating for their readers or advocating for their advertisers."

See, Joe? That's what we're up against. If someone simply tells the truth, they are "advocating for their advertisers". It's a zero-sum game. There's no winning with people who have already decided their opinion even if the information available to them would destroy that belief.

There's no winning this. For anyone.
More...
Posted by I'm Cool on April 9, 2014 at 5:06 PM · Report this
61
@37 - "Tell the whole truth about what your accounting books say."

See? Goldy here AGAIN saying that we're all lying. Even if I showed him my books, wide open with every penny shown, he'd still call my books an aberration or an isolated business even though we all have shared with each other our numbers and along with even Tom Douglas, our numbers all generally match.

"Tell the truth about your secret emails with Target and McDonald's and Yum Brands and 7-11."

And...time to put on the tin foil hats...
Posted by I'm Cool on April 9, 2014 at 5:19 PM · Report this
62
"We would not want to enact a minimum wage increase without also guaranteeing subsidies/tax credits to small business owners, an overhaul of the B&O tax code, and the establishment of a non-profit municipal bank to invest in small business."

I guess we'll have to hold Sawant to this promise. What progress has been made on this?
Posted by Seattle91 on April 9, 2014 at 5:31 PM · Report this
63
Minimum Wage Does promote Racism and has already. Seattle is already going through a gentrification due to higher rent & housing costs. And you know think that when business owners raise prices and rotate staff to higher skilled at the new rate that it wont accelerate Gentrification????? WTF

What do you NOW 15 crowd not get about that..
Posted by A real live employer on April 9, 2014 at 5:32 PM · Report this
64
@59: We've had decades to try those alternatives, and they went nowhere. Minimum wage hike it is.
Posted by Phil M http://twitter.com/pmocek on April 9, 2014 at 6:35 PM · Report this
65
@61: the numbers you ADMITTED you'd made up after people pointed out that they weren't internally consistent?
Posted by Hanoumatoi on April 9, 2014 at 6:36 PM · Report this
66
@60: Andrew, it appears to me and to others that you admitted (here, then confirmed here) to having falsified the numbers you provided in your op-ed.
Posted by Phil M http://twitter.com/pmocek on April 9, 2014 at 6:53 PM · Report this
67
Phil M..Speak for yourself. Just go promote racism and sexism and vote for a higher MW. I know that concept seems strange but reality is what is.

Lower skilled workers will get replaced with higher skilled workers @ $15..That doesnt mean higher unemployment for Seattle it means higher unemployment for poor people and by in large minorities in Seattle.

Right now a large percentage of MW employee's are minority and in poverty. I think Taxing the Rich more(State income tax) is way more progressive and does less damage to minorities and small business owners. 15now is going to be a failure.
Posted by A real live employer on April 9, 2014 at 7:03 PM · Report this
68
@56: so if people were paid 25% more (to use his numbers), suddenly people would buy more. So raise the minimum wage already seems to be his argument there...
Posted by Hanoumatoi on April 9, 2014 at 8:19 PM · Report this
69
@56: so if people were paid 25% more (to use his numbers), suddenly people would buy more. So raise the minimum wage already seems to be his argument there... Add to that that his contention that there is no good which people buy more of if it is more expensive is provably false: see lobster for the most common counter example.
Posted by Hanoumatoi on April 9, 2014 at 8:24 PM · Report this
TCLballardwallymont 70
I love watching these people who can't even manage to get a $15+ an hour job currently attack small business owners.

Good luck with that guys, perhaps you should look into opening your own business or getting some training in something other than the manual labor / burger flipping fields.

Also, good luck with your unemployment checks.

$15 an hour is coming. The shitty jobs you used to have are going.

That arts degree that cost $100,000+ and landed you a spiffy job as a barista still looking like a great choice? Don't worry though, I'm sure your encyclopedic knowledge of socialist buzzwords will come in handy on your long and costly commutes to where your new, even crappier job awaits.
Posted by TCLballardwallymont on April 9, 2014 at 8:44 PM · Report this
Call me Scott 71
@57 I'm cool:

I never said a minimum wage increase wouldn't cost the author. I was pointing out that he did not have his facts straight on Sawant's stated position.

. . . and as a 30 year employee in small businesses, including general management,s and a current owner of a licensed small business in Seattle, I'll wait for your apology.

Find me in the bar.
Posted by Call me Scott on April 9, 2014 at 9:05 PM · Report this
72
No need for tip penalties, the only reason for tipping is the lack of reasonable pay for minimum wage workers, I would hope that any business where a customer might feel compelled to tip would explicitly post no tipping policies once the 15 dollar an hour wage is implemented. They should also remove the option to tip from their credit card reciepts.
Posted by econoline on April 9, 2014 at 9:14 PM · Report this
73
His point is not that 69..His point is that there is a negative effect to minorities and low skilled workers. Yes obviously for the people who actually make the minimum wage have more discretionary buying power until inflation catches up.
Posted by A real live employer on April 9, 2014 at 9:17 PM · Report this
74
When are you socialist losers going to realize that your approach to social and fiscal issues have not and never will work. We are all born with the same opportunity at our finger tips. Quit being lazy, do something with your life and stop blaming other people for your problems. Stop trying to take money from the people that have the balls to save and invest in themselves. Wake up!! If you don't fix the leaders running this country it doesn't matter what your paid. Get paid a higher wages.. Pay higher taxes...pay more for a sandwich.... Pay more for gas.... Pay more for milk!!! It all ends up being waisted by our leadership. It isn't the wage your paid that is important . What is important is the cost of living. Don't be fooled by the smoke and mirrors or promises of "vote for me I will make your life better!!!"
Posted by Ballard78 on April 9, 2014 at 9:23 PM · Report this
75
All I know is there are two main reasons for small street front businesses closing in my Seattle neighborhood. The first is the most damaging. The landlords simply raise their rent to the point where they can't afford it, no matter how little they pay their employees. Or two, with newer businesses primarily, their business or business model doesn't fit their location. And the workers could be working for free and those businesses aren't going to make it.
Posted by cracked on April 9, 2014 at 10:04 PM · Report this
76
Also, I'm with Ballard78's contention that we can only solve this with Nixonian price fixing on commodities and rents. "What is important is the cost of living."
Posted by cracked on April 9, 2014 at 10:06 PM · Report this
77
There is a large portion of the restaurant community who is trying to look at a model that works, that model is total compensation. Its pretty simple.

lets take the employee with the lowest tips from the below snap shot from yesterdays. These are real numbers. Lets assume there is no health care in one example, but there would be an hourly credit of say $1.5 for health care if provided in the other. and mock up what a future check would look like….

Hourly wage = $9.32
Tips per hour = $5.875
Heath Care = $0
Sub Total per hour = $15.195
Employer contribution = 0
Total Wage = $15.195

Lets say they only made 28 cents an hour as some people have actually suggested, but they had health care benefits.

Hourly wage = $9.32
Tips per hour = $.28
Heath Care = $1.50
Sub Total per hour = $11.10
Additional Employer contribution = 3.90
Total Wage = $15 per hour.

Its pretty simple, and all verifiable as 90% of tips are credit card, they appear on employees checks. IRS receives this information and the taxes associated to prove they are real.

Here is what my servers made in tips yesterday, with the tip percentage average... if anyone is curious or interested.

server 1- $97.52 (18%)
server 2- #125.61 (20%)
server 3- $47.00 (21%)
server 4- $134.58 (21%)
Server 5- $126.87 (21%)
Server 6- $74.55 (22%)
Server 7- $118.45 (22%)
Server 8- $105.33 (23%)
Server 9- $258.54 (26%)
Posted by swakinc on April 9, 2014 at 11:43 PM · Report this
78
Great points @Swakinc -- Im all for 15now but I dont give a fuck about making 15$ minimum wage because I make that an hour in tips plus hourly. And I don't want to hear "tips dont equal wages". What do they equal? Extra? Because I don't fucking show up to work my balls off for extra--I'm there for the tips that I earn, that will always be there, because thats the American restaurant culture and I provide excellent service.
Posted by i make your drinks on April 9, 2014 at 11:59 PM · Report this
79
These Sawant people are starting to scare me. It's like watching the Fox News channel over here. I didn't think a Tea Party could survive here in Seattle but it's going strong! They accuse everyone of lying or not providing any data even though these owners have done nothing but provide real numbers.

These owners are not rich and many employees make more than them without the pressure of owning and running a business. I guess none of you have worked for tips, but to insinuate that servers in Seattle are making poverty wages is not only insulting but completely ignorant! It makes me laugh actually so thank you.

The Seattle restaurant community is a small community of people that are really wonderful and supportive of each other. Many owners I know have worked there way through every position in the restaurant before owning their own place. Shame on you for accusing them of lying and having an agenda. They care about their employees above anything else. Employees who make WELL abouve $15/hr. This is why we are banding together as employees - your $15/hr will result in drastic pay cuts for most of us in SEATTLE (stop giving me statistics from small towns, it's comparing apples and oranges).

I used to work with Mike and know he's a great person. I used to work with the woman who posted about surviving comfortably on tips and was too afraid to post her name because of the office filled with Sawant volunteers dedicated to filling the comments with pro 15NOW information and insults.

This whole thing is becoming disgusting and as I said before, kinda scary. Don't drink the Kool Aid! Actually, drink it, I dare you.
Posted by serversdontneedyoursaving on April 10, 2014 at 1:06 AM · Report this
Eastpike 80
@30, the difference between small and large businesses is that the owners of small business are members of our community, in some cases they are among the same class as the folks they employ. I know of several owners that don't even make minimum wage themselves, but work their ass off in order to attempt to get ahead, or in the case of my childcare provider, to help raise the next generation of kind and thoughtful citizens.
Posted by Eastpike on April 10, 2014 at 2:06 AM · Report this
81
@79: They admitted lying, and their agenda is laid bare when they go on and on about tips but then push total compensation without justifying suddenly getting credit for health care.
Posted by Hanoumatoi on April 10, 2014 at 3:23 AM · Report this
82 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
83
@45 If its such a "paradise for business owners" why not open a business here.

In Ballard, this past quarter we have the following restaurant closing:

Anita Crepes
Ravioli Station
Smoking'n Pete's
Ivar's on 15th
Sahara Pizza
Savour
Great Harvest

and I'm sure there are a few more I missed....yes, quite the favorable environment for businesses, small ones and with Ivar's folding the tent, it appears for big ones as well.

The only new ones opening have been large, deep pocket ventures and they continue to crowd out and prey on the few small ones remaining.

Look at Craig's list....not a lot of job openings in hospitality for Seattle.

Get your head out of technical, dry reading... join the real world.

The $15 Now isn't helping to bring business, jobs or attracting them.

Its repelling them and diminishing the prospects for those who need jobs and starting positions...oddly the very people your "camp" is trying to help.

Posted by mistral on April 10, 2014 at 8:28 AM · Report this
84
@58 - Good strategy...insult the very people you need to convince...lack of understanding of economics. Good one.

And, no, "most good for most people" is the definition of socialism, not progressivism. Let's not confuse the two.

And, yes, us progressives out here in the neighborhoods are funding parks levies, school levies, transportation packages, etc. Now you're asking us to subsidize additional pay for low-wage workers. If you think small and large business owners are not going to pass their labor cost increases on to the consumers, you need a lesson in economics. And we are the largest block of consumers as well as voters.

In other words, think twice before you bite the hand that feeds you.
Posted by RufusBrown on April 10, 2014 at 8:40 AM · Report this
85
You know, it's irritating that he says that his costs go up 60% for labor because he's paying everyone MW. So if he was paying his cooks $13 because they've been there a bit or are skilled, then the new guy comes in, and wow, he's making the same amount for less skill. Maybe people actually want to increase the wages of ALL his employees equally (probably not but it's a good thought). What happens to the people that are getting paid more than MW with this increase? Is everyone gonna be bumped up to $15 and who cares if you have more skill or have spent more time there. I agree that this is a good idea, but it's gonna screw over the people that have worked hard for their raises. It's funny that the majority of the people that support this are either people that make MW and don't want to work harder to make more or people that make WAY more than MW. Or big businesses that know this is gonna drive out the small businesses and will mean more people going to them because they are going to be the only ones open.
"In the future, all restaurants are Taco Bell."
Posted by KevR on April 10, 2014 at 10:08 AM · Report this
86
@84 Yes--Indeed, prophetic words

"think "twice about the hand that feeds you"

1) You will indeed see price increases across the board...groceries, restaurant bills, coffee houses, bakeries will all raise prices.

2) Decrease in "aggregate demand" for goods and services...resulting in less demand for labor and jobs.

3) Fewer jobs for those without skills, experience or just entering the job market..the very ones this $15 Now is trying to help.



Posted by mistral on April 10, 2014 at 10:09 AM · Report this
87
oh yeah, and i decided to see what a livable wage is in king county
http://livingwage.mit.edu/counties/53033
yep, 1 person, $9.64 per hour
why is it that everyone is saying that the living wage should be 1 adult supporting 1 child? are we encouraging people the have kids before they can afford them? damn right, the government will give me money if I have kids and don't make enough.
Posted by KevR on April 10, 2014 at 10:25 AM · Report this
Nick CapHill 88
Gentrification!

So agree with this article. Perhaps the slogan "This is what Democracy looks like" will soon be replaced with "This is what gentrification looks like"

15now does nothing to address the concerns for the working poor. Looking at the B&O was a start!
Posted by Nick CapHill http://thestranger.com on April 10, 2014 at 2:01 PM · Report this
89
How odd the restauranteurs are getting this much voice. You know what? Fuck 'em. They're affected way less than the workers, workers who make the food that they can't legitimate afford.
Posted by hazzzzel on April 10, 2014 at 3:25 PM · Report this
90
@ Sawant: How does your position help resolve the impending hyperinflation, "the marginal impact of labor costs on 'groceries, gas, Metro bus prices, heat, electricity, parking, child care, etc.' are minimal at best, with the possible exception being child care"? Doesn't that go against the exact population you claim to want to assist? Your efforts to eliminate tipping, lowering my overall take home pay, and raising child care costs are not helping.
Posted by Real Person with Thoughts and Feelings on April 10, 2014 at 7:53 PM · Report this
91
Restaurants are getting this much voice because they are going to get hit the hardest. A lot of small businesses work off very little profit margin (which a lot of restaurants downtown are), so they will feel the increase more. Most servers get paid minimum wage, and live off their tips so the raise will really be felt by them. If they don't close down, people will tip less because the server is already getting paid more, so their income (which after tips is probably way over 15/hr if they do a good job) will actually go down. If you actually read the post of the various articles around, most of the servers are against 15now, or think that total compensation is a good idea (provided we don't totally drop how much we pay them per hour base).
Posted by KevR on April 10, 2014 at 9:24 PM · Report this
92
@29
"What is so special about being a "small", "independent" and/or "family-run" business"

They are human beings who are my neighbors and friends, who more often than not have been champions for those in need in this community and would find their lives broken if their businesses fail. Saying people are shils and puppets is a great way to dehumanize their fears. it makes it easier to dismiss them just like labeling people the "entitlement class" makes it easier for republicans to trod on the poor without any guilt. This is a great article.
Posted by Brian Robinson on April 11, 2014 at 8:49 AM · Report this
93
@92

"Big Businesses" are often owned by real people too. Here is the obituary of the guy who used to own most of the McDonald's franchises in Seattle:

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/seattle…

He was an immigrant who worked hard for what he had. He is buried in Issaquah because that is where he lived with his family. This is the kind of person that actually owns all those big faceless corporations that we all love to hate so much.
Posted by highside on April 11, 2014 at 9:09 AM · Report this
94
@87 Hear, hear!
Posted by seatownr on April 11, 2014 at 10:00 AM · Report this
95
@87 Hear, hear!
Posted by seatownr on April 11, 2014 at 10:00 AM · Report this
96
"They are human beings who are my neighbors and friends, who more often than not have been champions for those in need in this community and would find their lives broken if their businesses fail."
********************
Posted by AinWA on April 11, 2014 at 4:24 PM · Report this
97
"They are human beings who are my neighbors and friends, who more often than not have been champions for those in need in this community and would find their lives broken if their businesses fail."
********************
I agree with your overall sentiment, that the author of the article is telling it like it is and should not be vilified.

But I don't know if putting small biz owners on a pedestal as candidates for sainthood is helpful either.
Posted by AinWA on April 11, 2014 at 4:28 PM · Report this
98
Why can't I have the choice between a 5$ foot long and a 9$ locally sourced specialty sandwich?

Why must I have only one choice....I higher priced lesser quality sandwich made by a staff that is making more money than the free market will support which then requires a subsidy by the taxpayers to hide the true costs of the product?

Why can't I buy a cheap sandwich on Tuesday made by entry level work force employees and then on Friday splurge and spend $13 dollars on an excellent sandwich with organic locally sourced ingredients in between two halves of a freshly baked rosemary roll......made by a small business owner filling a nice market which needs servicing?

Why must some socialist demand that all sandwiches be of the same value?

What is next?

If this is about "fairness" and "social justice" why make the minimum wage $15.00?

Why shouldn't everyone make at least $40.00 per hour?

And why isn't there a maximum wage? Why is it socially just for one person to make $150,2000 and another person only makes $80,000? How is social justice and basic fairness served by those disparite outcomes being allowed?

Why
Posted by Cody was an addict aka a liar on April 11, 2014 at 8:10 PM · Report this
99
And then all of the trash clamoring for wages that once took years to earn are ousted from their holy city by the cherry picking capitalist pigdogs, saving their own from the midwestern fate.

Because really, I wanted some retarded Swede who can't understand a kindergartner or some ugly Russian running my shit when I can truck in hard working, pretty blondes.

You fucking idiots.
Posted by worthless_people_are_worthless on April 11, 2014 at 9:37 PM · Report this
100
Fuck it, let's make Paris 2.0

Nojaws be damned.
Posted by worthless_people_are_especially_worthless on April 11, 2014 at 9:53 PM · Report this
101
You pass $15 an hour, I put the banded Cross of Lorraine on my arm.

And do my best to make you cry yourselves to sleep for the rest of my glorious, joy-filled life.

Jeff, Howard, Bill, and all the rest will dance on your fucking graves.
Posted by lake_superior on April 11, 2014 at 10:13 PM · Report this
102
I think the local small business community has (mostly) been honest and forthright in this discussion.

Unlike Corporate America, these business owners seem to genuinely feel that workers should be paid more. I think they are sincere when they tell us, "I don't think we can stay in business if the minimum wage goes to $15." A person can hold both of these thoughts at the same time!

Business owners have to push back against increased costs everywhere - rent, utilities, insurance, supplies. And they push back against labor.

What I think that "We The Customer" have to do in this debate is to stop pushing for rock bottom prices everywhere. If the real cost of a burger is $7, a cocktail in a bar $10, a shirt cut and sewn by adults $40 - either we pay it directly at the register, or we continue to pay it to the corporate kleptocrats who give us price instead of value and quality.

Gee. Maybe if the minimum wage is $15/hr, commercial rents will come down.
Posted by Will Pay More For Working People on April 13, 2014 at 11:56 AM · Report this
dorimonsonfan 103
Funny how Sawant rails vehemently against large business while she enjoys all the perks of being married to a six figure Microsoft employee.
Posted by dorimonsonfan on April 13, 2014 at 12:26 PM · Report this
104
@83
uh, some businesses closing doesnt mean that the area is in dire straights. Even you said that others were opening.
I dont own a small business because I dont want to. I thought about it, and decided against it. Even in a great market with a sure margin, I dont want to do it. Thats just me.
Youre off base saying that there arent hospitality jobs in Seattle right now. Like, really off base. I know lots of baristras and servers and its easier to get a job now than it has been in years. And yeah, go check craigslist... there were 51 job postings just TODAY.
Posted by JonCracolici on April 13, 2014 at 8:34 PM · Report this
105
@87: I'm childless, but your link that lists the livable wages for people with one, two, or three children living in King County still doesn't look like it's nearly enough to efficiently support a family and afford the basics. If that's your point, I agree. The entire Minimum Wage system is totally fucked up.

I'm still slowly learning about becoming self-employed.
Posted by auntie grizelda on April 13, 2014 at 9:14 PM · Report this
Jill on the Hill 106
70% support among voters for raising the Minimum Wage.
15now is filling their ballot initiative tomorrow.
Posted by Jill on the Hill on April 13, 2014 at 11:10 PM · Report this
107
@104 It seems you aren't following along very well.

In the current market we have many restaurants closing and struggling...with the minimum wage @ $9.33.

This after the minimum wage in the past two years was raised (with payroll taxes figured in) over 20%.

10% increase 2012
3% increase 2013
7% increase in payroll taxes, L&L, Employment
security taxes
20% Total Increase in base payrolls costs

We now have the highest minimum wage in the nation.

Unless you live in a vacuum, its very clear that raising the cost of basic labor an additional increase of over 60% resulting in a $15/min wage will cause even more small businesses, restaurants, bakeries, coffee houses etc to CLOSE.

This puts the very people you seek to help out of work.

Your decision not to open a business is a wise one.

Sadly, it appears you have no business acumen or common sense when it comes to economic matters.

Posted by mistral on April 14, 2014 at 9:18 AM · Report this
108
@107
Restaurants close all the time. Everywhere. In every town and city, and in every time. The fact that restaurants are struggling may not be solely due to the cost of labor in Seattle, and instead be because of *gasp* their business model.
If you have data on how many restaurants are closing v opening in 2013 versus some other time when wages were much lower, Id be interested. It might also be interesting to track that Opening v Closing stat for a few other inputs too, to see if it tracks more closely with say.... rents... or pedestrian density...or average neighborhood income.
So far, from what Ive heard, no peer reviewed study has shown there to be good correlation to increased closures with higher wages. But what do peer reviewed studies know right?
And thanks for the ad hom attack. Youre right, since I dont find your arguments from authority convincing I must not have any common sense. Come at me with some numbers that actually strongly support your hypothesis instead of just looking mathy, and maybe I'll see reason.
Posted by JonCracolici on April 14, 2014 at 5:12 PM · Report this
109 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
110
@109
Im sorry, but I honestly dont understand what youre doin with that french website for portable batteries. Love the non sequitur though.
Posted by JonCracolici on April 14, 2014 at 10:53 PM · Report this
111
@108 Now you are just being ignorant.

If you can't see the correlation between increased labor cost and restaurant closing, then I guess you don't. (Its kind of amazing for one who professes to being so smart.)

Restaurants and food service businesses run on about a 5% net profit margin.

That means out of every $1 of sales the owner keeps about 5 cents....if they are running a tight ship.

If you raise labor cost 60%, then the food service business will be operating at a loss.

The restaurant has a few choices:

a) Close Shop--and "PEOPLE ARE LAID OFF".....the very people you find deserving of help, assistance and a better living.

b) Reduce Labor--"PEOPLE ARE LAID OFFf"

c) Raise prices-- "PEOPLE ARE LAID OFF" as less aggregate demand for product and less labor is required...result "people are laid off"

As I said, if you don't understand this, then you are indeed lacking common sense.

That's a pity, because aside from the blind approach you are taking to this issue, you seem to have some intelligence.
Posted by mistral on April 15, 2014 at 7:12 AM · Report this
112
A flat across the board, no exemptions allowed, immediately in effect, vigorously enforced $15/hour minimum wage will be the best economics lesson that Seattle's progressives could ever hope to get.

Make it so.
Posted by Homple on April 15, 2014 at 11:08 AM · Report this
113
They will do what they want, facts, basic economics and reasoning do not matter. It is all about the hated "big corporations". We will show them.

Small business owners like myself are aghast at what is transpiring. It is simply unbelievable that our government would do this to us.

John Gault for me, I do not even recognize your right to dictate these terms. The sad thing is, many business will leave, most you will not even know about.

S
Posted by SS56 on April 15, 2014 at 12:50 PM · Report this
114
@111
You can call me ignorant if you want, but it doesnt prove your position. You position is clear,you dont need to outline it. Your supporting argument is not clear, and "common sense" is not a persuasive argument. Make an argument if you want to convince people. Use data and studies, not general statements that have no shown validity.
Posted by JonCracolici on April 15, 2014 at 12:55 PM · Report this
115
@114 JonCracolici-Here are some data & studies supporting the assertion that raising the minimum wage does result in job loss.

Here in Washington State in 88' & 89' when the minimum wage went up as a result of I-518, for the 100,000 people that got a raise 11,700 jobs were eliminated as a result of the raise in the minimum wage. It is important to note that of the 11,700 jobs lost about half were refilled in a couple years, though by older more experienced workers. Meaning that the unskilled were still out of almost 12k jobs. This study was done by Washington State Treasurer Jim McIntire, a Democrat in favor of a minimum wage increase, he is just honest about the fact it comes with a cost. Here is the link

http://blogs.seattletimes.com/opinionnw/…

On a national level the non-partisan CBO just released a study saying the if the minimum wage is raised from $7.25 to $9 it will cost 100,000 jobs. If it is raised to $10.10 as Obama suggests it will cost 500,000 jobs. Please note the relationship between wage raise & job loss is not direct but exponential according to the CBO. Here is a link for that

http://money.cnn.com/2014/02/18/news/eco…

Don't get me wrong, I am for raising the minimum wage, but more in line with what it's highest purchasing power has ever been, which was in 1968 which adjusted for inflation would be $10.74. To do such a radical localized wage increase without studies & data to back it up seems like a dangerous risk. If it works great, but if not people will really suffer, most likely those on the lower end who this is intended to help. Raise the minimum wage to match the highest it has ever been ($10.74), keep it indexed to inflation as it has been since I-688 passed, and let's move forward. The fact that $15NOW has already filed a ballot initiative shows they are not willing to negotiate or listen to any data that doesn't agree with their ideology.
More...
Posted by facts not ideology on April 15, 2014 at 1:57 PM · Report this
116
@115
could you provide working links?
Posted by JonCracolici on April 15, 2014 at 2:25 PM · Report this
117
@ 116 The Stranger only let's registered commenters put links up. Though you can copy & paste in your web browser, or just google "jim mcintire minimum wage study" or "cbo minimum wage study".
Posted by it's not that hard on April 15, 2014 at 2:34 PM · Report this
118
@117
You should register! The CBO was good reading, but I dont think it says what you think it says. You should give all 47 pages a read sometime. It mentions that according to its estimates, the % of low wage workers who will make less money afterwords is 1.5% And that's for an increase of 40%. And even they acknowledge that there is a 66% chance that the number varies from 0% to 3%. AND that model that they used seems to track too pessimistic, after comparing it to historical minwage/joblessness figures. They even mention that they may be looking at it in a too supplyside way, given the discrepancy. And that even with their estimates, poor people will be making significantly more money.

So maybe they dont think it will be a disaster.
Posted by JonCracolici on April 15, 2014 at 3:25 PM · Report this
119
@ 118, I am not saying that the CBO thinks that raising the minimum wage would be a disaster, but the CBO does support that raising the minimum wage would cost jobs, even though it may still be a net benefit (just not to those who lost their job). As does recent Washington State history in the Jim McIntire study also indicate. You asked for studies & data showing that raising the minimum wage causes layoffs, which I provided. In each example the increase was smaller than $15 NOW's proposal, so who knows how many job losses $15 would result in?
Posted by gotta go make dinner now on April 15, 2014 at 5:54 PM · Report this
120
@18, well, given that the CBO felt that their model was perhaps too pessimistic, and that they were modeling a jump of 40%, not 60%, and they believe the number would be 1.5% of low wage workers, Id hazard a guess at 2.25% of low wage workers. With their error margin of +- 1.5%. So with a pessimist's pessimistic view, 3.75% of low wage workers, or 3.75k jobs(thereabouts) in Seattle. With a pessimist's optimistic view, 0.75% or 750 jobs. So absolutely not sky is falling numbers at all. And this is a study that says that they believe that their model may be too Chicago school, since its not tracking that well with historic data, which shows that the jobless rate would go down less, or go up. So if anything the CBO report shows that the reports of the "Great Seattle Job Massacre" were wildly exaggerated.
Posted by JonCracolici on April 15, 2014 at 7:06 PM · Report this
121
^^^@119, not 18
Also, thanks for bringing something actually interesting to the table. Not just condescension. Its super nice. I really appreciate it.
Posted by JonCracolici on April 15, 2014 at 7:08 PM · Report this
122
@120 Even when confronted with study after study by leading economists, CBO and other legitimate authorities....you still cling to the same position.

There are few studies which contemplate a 60% increase in base min wage above a prevailing rate of 50% of avg wage in existence...because few competent governments have been foolish enough to do so.

Here is a link to what happened in the US protectorate of Samoa.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/19…

But again you'll probably just discount it or choose not to believe it.

Posted by mistral on April 16, 2014 at 8:05 AM · Report this
123
@122
Uh, I didn't discount the CBO report. I read all of it. You should too. You'll probably be less worried about disastrous effects to the economy if you do. Did you not notice that comments 118-121 were on the contents of the report?

I haven't read the other reports. You know, life and all. But if you use data from them to make your case, our conversation will get more fruitful.
Im not sure that the link for what happened in Am. Samoa is very relevant to the situation here. In the same way that loosing 100 dollars means something different to a millionaire and a begger, losing 800 jobs means something different to Am. Samoa than it does to Seattle. Also, given that the 800 jobs lost were from a single employer, who still has operations there, it could have been a strategic decision to control the future costs of wages there. See, Boeing-SC... And, its not a study. But sure man.
Posted by JonCracolici on April 16, 2014 at 7:00 PM · Report this
124
@123 No its not a study....its what actually happened. Shocking isn't it.

Low skill, entry level workers were laid off wholesale and the economy collapsed as jobs shifted to other areas nearby where labor was more rationally priced.

In a way, this is more apt to what will happen to the less skilled workers in Seattle.

Low skills jobs, entry level positions will shift to Renton, Shoreline, Tacoma, Tukwila etc.

Large employers seeing the "base" increasing such as Boeing will begin to diversify labor centers outside Seattle ...which is already happening.

New manufacturing will avoid Seattle like the plague in favor of other cities.

Why pay $15 when Tacoma offers $9.33?

The logic of "no job @ $15" verses "jobs @ $9.33" has never made sense.

Posted by mistral on April 17, 2014 at 7:52 AM · Report this
125
@124
But "not a study" I meant anecdotal evidence with tenuous connection to our situation. Therefore, its not very good material to build an argument out of.
Posted by JonCracolici on April 17, 2014 at 12:53 PM · Report this
126
Mistral, you seem to be trying to build an argument out of logic, but not actually follow its methods. You say, if p then q, and offer a specific example of p and q both happening. That is not a logical proof. If you want to prove it, you must prove the statement(the sets are the same), prove the contra-positive(~g then ~p) or prove by contradiction. Which would be showing that raising wages in all cases always costs jobs. So good luck with the logic oriented but not logically sound arguments.

If you want to make an argument from evidence, which is prolly the more reasonable way to go here, you should use peer reviewed studies. Researching your subject makes you more informed, and also allows your argument to have a nuanced, reality focused approach. Anecdotal evidence is very misleading. For instance, I saw a house in Florida fall into a sinkhole, but that does not mean that all houses built in Florida will have the same fate. The odds of such a thing happening would be found in a peer reviewed study outlining the geology of Florida. Reading the CBO was very informative, I recommend you try it too.
Posted by JonCracolici on April 17, 2014 at 1:38 PM · Report this
127
@126 Nobody has ever been foolish enough to raise the min wage 60%.

Therefore, your contention it will work is based on what?

Nothing!

Thus your argument is pure fantasy and wishful thinking.

Can you point to any example where the minimum wage was increased 60% above the half the prevailing average wage rate and it worked.

Whereas I cite an example of what happens and you simply say ...well it won't happen here or its not relevant.

I guess your logic is "one sided" or maybe it only fits your fantasy.

You are indeed wrong, but can not admit same.

That's really all there is to it.
Posted by mistral on April 17, 2014 at 2:09 PM · Report this
128
@127
Uh, I formed my arguments from a kenyesian economic framework, supported by evidence from a peer-reviewed neutral government report. I could be wrong, but I'm at least trying to be thoughtful and clear minded.

You are forming your arguments from a chicago school economic framework, supported by "common sense", ad hom attacks, and and citing a newspaper article about a fish process facility closing. That isnt really good supporting evidence for your predictions of the future. You could be right, but to convince people(or even have an interesting convo) you might want to use better evidence.

Also "any example where the minimum wage was increased 60% above the half the prevailing average wage rate and it worked". What does this mean? Above half the prevailing average wage? So are you saying that the min wage is based on 50% of the average wage in the area? Where did you get that information?

And no, I cant answer that question because I dont really understand the phrasing, and also dont know what would qualify as "it worked" to you. To me, raising wages and purchasing power of the lowest paid workers, while absorbing miniscule to small job losses(which could potentially be regained over time) would qualify as "it worked". That's what the CBO is projecting, and they admit that they might be overly pessistic. Would that qualify as "it worked" to you?
Posted by JonCracolici on April 17, 2014 at 2:28 PM · Report this
129
@127
Im just going to step through your comment so we can stop with the "common sense"/logic approach please.

Line 1 is an "appeal to tradition" logical fallacy.

Lines 2,3,4 are completely ignoring the structure and substance of my argument, and then saying that you see no argument at all. That's a classic straw man fallacy

Line 5 Im not sure I understand

Line 6 Is a hasty generalization fallacy and a weak analogy fallacy.

Line 7 Is you acknowledging that I understand logic fallacies.

Line 8 puts quotes around words I didn't use(misquote) and contains an ad hom

Lines 9,10 is an argument from authority fallacy

Maybe in the future our conversations should focus more on arguments with proper supporting evidence, and less on arguments supported by attempting to prove a rule. If you want to prove the rule you see, you should brush up on proofs. Its super hard to do, and a pain in the ass, especially with stuff involving human decisions.
Posted by JonCracolici on April 17, 2014 at 3:47 PM · Report this
130
^ excuse, Line 6 and 7 are the same line :0
Posted by JonCracolici on April 17, 2014 at 4:29 PM · Report this
131
Hi Jon,

You simply don't understand economics or the base issues very well and there is little if any point in trying to discuss same with you.

The mere fact you have no grasp on the economic theory and studies of min wage is clear when you say:

Also "any example where the minimum wage was increased 60% above the half the prevailing average wage rate and it worked". What does this mean? Above half the prevailing average wage? So are you saying that the min wage is based on 50% of the average wage in the area? Where did you get that information?

Holy Moses!

This is basic minimum wage theory and econ 101.

It akin to saying you don't understand what a point, line and plane are and then wish to proceed to discuss geometry.

Posted by mistral on April 18, 2014 at 6:48 AM · Report this
132
Hi Jon,

You live in the rarefied air of a professional, well paid world. Little wonder you have a disconnect between those trying to enter the job market, build skills or learn how to work...so they can move on to make higher wages.

In your world that interim step of building skills, learning work skills doesn't exist....it disappears and everybody starts at $15 NOW.

It reminds me of Willy Wonka.

"BUT I WANT THE GOLDEN TICKET NOW DADDY!"

Start by reading this:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42973.p…

So, based on empirical data and numbers the minimum wage should hover around $10.15/hour in real dollars....not $15 Now.

An increase to this level, $10.15 .... 50% of avg hourly wage will have little if any impact on the economy. (Why because most employers are already paying this rate anyway)

Raising the min wage 50% above this level $15....will indeed have extremely adverse impacts on:

1) employment for those entering the job market for the first time

2) horrible consequences for minorities...they call it the "slum maker"..or worse

3) price inflation...which in turn put the screws to those just displaced
(minorities & low income folk alike)

4) price increases and labor cost increased will reduce aggregate demand and thus reduce employer demand for labor

5) It will make the city less attractive to new businesses opening or expanding and will in point of fact cause many to move elsewhere.

That's the story with $15 Now.

But if you wish to believe the concept of everybody will be okee dokee....then great.

However, please don't complain when unemployed youth, minorities, stress on social relief agencies occur and crime begins to climb.

You can just say....well we are better off.

Skilled workers get $15 Now and well the rest of the first time job seekers, minorities and unskilled are "better off under employed or unemployed".

More...
Posted by mistral on April 18, 2014 at 7:25 AM · Report this
133
Jon,

read this:

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2011…

You foolishly stated your position was Keynesian...but in fact you don't even understand Lord Maynard Keynes's theories.

You think Keynes was "pro minimum wage" ...he wasn't.

You think Milton Freedman was "anti Keynes" ...he wasn't. He was a great admirer of Keynes.

Keynsian policies were predicated on the government "kick starting the economy" during recession by making investments, creating work, jobs etc.

His policies did not, I repeat did not require or involve the private sector being forced to pay for the kick start by spiking the minimum wage 60%. ....which is what the Sawant rant and her hate of public companies is attempting.

Frankly, Keynes would be rolling over in his grave at this perversion of his theories and policies.

Posted by mistral on April 18, 2014 at 7:52 AM · Report this
134
@mistral
Well, you did get me with your statement of prevailing wage. I admitted that I didn't know what that meant, and now understand that you meant the average wage in the country. I'm not sure how you've concluded that there is will be a disaster if the MinW is raised to 75% of the average wage of the nation, in this part of the country. I see two potential issues with the conclusions you reached from the factsheet you linked to.

1) The average wage is not necessarily what that table displays, it displays "average hourly earnings" of all non-farm workers who also aren't supervisors. So anyone in middle management doesn't count. This is only measuring the average wage of the lower middle class and below.

2) The average wage of this sort of employee in Seattle is obviously above that of the national average. So a comparison of what % of the prevailing wage the increase would be should probably reflect that. It could be that the avg wage for non-supervisor workers in Seattle is 14.68 or some such.

3) I dont see your evidence for the conclusion that the MinW should be $10.15. What on the factsheet suggests that to you? It seems that you took the first year on record, 1968, noticed that the % of the "avg wage" was 50%, and then divided the current "avg wage" by 2.

4) the factsheet provided doesnt support your points. Especailly point 3. In the decade between 97 and 07 the MinW fell as a propotion of the average wage dramatically, and even more dramatically the dollar inflated. In my eyes, this is because the labor market was strong, and many workers were getting paid well above minimum wage. Strangely, no one remembers those years as lean years... maybe if workers are well paid, the economy benefits.

Point 5 is a idea you have, not a fact. Its a fine idea, and many subscribe to it, but its not a fact. Seattle has a higher sales tax than other areas, yet people still live here.

Could you provide a study illustrating point 4? I fail to see how providing the people most likely to spend money with money will lower demand.

You're right that I am unfamiliar with the finer points of economic theory. I was trying to use Keynes/Chicago as a synonym for demand/supply side. Please excuse the fuax pas.

One last thing, please don't ascribe opinions or history to me that aren't mine. If you have any personal questions you'd like to ask me that's fine, but making assumptions about my life is just silly. What is your background that you hold your opinions so strongly?
More...
Posted by JonCracolici on April 18, 2014 at 1:41 PM · Report this
135
Jon,

I've built 5 different companies from scratch, have a BA in Business, Econ & Finance, CPA and do economic modeling for companies wishing to expand or be sold.

My business partner is a graduate of the LSE (London School of Economics), MBA, CPA and does economic modeling & extrapolation for a wide variety of applications.

We've been in business for 25 years....now thankfully semi-retired.

That is the extent of our limited qualifications.

Please forgive me the impatience in explaining these things to you. We were never meant to teach economics, but rather assist companies to make sound decisions.

Posted by mistral on April 20, 2014 at 7:58 AM · Report this
136
@mistral
So that must be why you make so many arguments from authority. You have had success with your opinions before, so it makes sense that you feel that people should adopt them. Whats your name? Would you mind if I googled you?

I hope you understand that even with your success, folks will still want to be shown the evidence supporting your opinions. I mean, if a couple Harvard professors can be dead wrong about austerity, then ya know... anyone could get it wrong.

Posted by JonCracolici on April 20, 2014 at 6:20 PM · Report this
137
Jon,

I suppose we could ignore centuries of economic theory, data and real life experience and adopt your position.

Posted by mistral on April 21, 2014 at 7:33 AM · Report this
138
@mistral
So I guess thats a no? Then I'm going to have to decline to accept your arguments from authority. Boasting on the internet has *shockingly* happened before.

Im willing to be proved wrong, I have my opinions, and you have yours, but if you want to make a good argument for yours, you should use peer reviewed studies. When you have used data, Ive raised my own points about it, and questions about yours, which you have always ignored. Honestly, that leads me to believe that you have very strong opinions but a weak argument.
Posted by JonCracolici on April 21, 2014 at 7:42 AM · Report this
139
Jon,

You have proved this over and over again in the thread of this conversation.

"argumentum ad ignorantiam"

Posted by mistral on April 21, 2014 at 8:13 AM · Report this
140
well i guess thats it then.

doesnt use data + arguments from authority + constant ad hom + never has a counter-rebuttal and just tacks to something else = classic troll
Posted by JonCracolici on April 21, 2014 at 12:14 PM · Report this

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