How much will rents go up when Seattle is flush with burger flippers flush with cash? Or is that when price controls will be imposed?
A $15 minimum wage in Seattle cannot start soon enough. Make this happen, Seattle!

The other side of the coin is to add a NIIT.

Passive incomes should be taxed.

Active incomes should not.

A WA State NIIT of 1% would solve lots of problems.…
$15 minimum wage is not an argument that will lose. It shouldn't lose. It also shouldn't be waged at the city level. I love this issue. Don't create a failure around the issue by doing it at the city level. Take it to the state and national stage.
So will The Stranger start paying it's interns $15 an hour?
@6 its too expensive to pay people for work!…
I can see it now... no longer will Seattle Taco Bells be 24 hour places. To be able to generate enough revenue per hour every place will start having dynamic, seasonal business hours. You thought the grocery store's two checkstands open at 10 pm was bad now ? Soon, they'll just have one guy monitoring the U-Scan line late at night.
I would love to read an intelligent argument against $15/hr. It's getting boring listening to the same gasps and snorts from ignoramuses.

Job killing! Bruce Ramsay barks. Because of some voodoo calculation done in 1991? Why not simply argue that there's a correlation between a state's minimum wage and the state's unemployment rate?

Because there is no correlation, perhaps? Dang.
I haven't heard one word about who this applies to. Everyone? The small restaurants who employ a handful of people and clear 50-80k per year? Or just corporations? Which is it?

Do you guys do analysis or just carry water?
The executive class will ensure that the extra labor cost will be payed the consumers. They will never allow the wealth to trickle down. My small business will simply have to avoid hiring or lay people off in order to stay in business. Seattle is getting to be a very expensive city for individual businesses which is why you see more big chain stores and restaurants take over. They can afford it.
#9 - I guess I have the opposite question. As a new reader to the Stranger, I'm curious what arguments does the pro-$15 crowd have to show that this increase will effectively help the citizens of Seattle?

I've seen old theoretical studies quoted, and commenters keep referencing the Australia situation, but is there an independent study (not financed by either political side) showing what would actually happen to businesses, employment (especially for teens and other unskilled populations), and prices here in Seattle if the MW goes to $15?

Hopefully the trolls are getting paid at least $15.00 an hour.

Yes, there have been studies that suggest wages would go up for people while businesses would do just fine.
Well, grade 4 "selfish" airplane mechanics start at … $15 and hour for their minimum wage, or, heat frozen meat patties.…

Want to make interior parts for airplanes (grade 3)? Take a paycut from heating frozen meat patties.

This false argument brought to you by what is the shrinking middle class.
#14, where are they located?

Here's one via a Slog post that Goldy wrote. It's technically an anecdotal rather than scientific account, and I'm sure if you're working from a position of trying to discredit the argument for a higher minimum wage, you'll find plenty of reasons to claim that this is invalid (for example, it's in California, not Washington, or it's a $12.93 minimum, not a $15 minimum, and whatever else), but it's evidence that employees and their employers do just fine with a higher wage.…
Another case of "progressives" towing the line for the Big Business allies of Big Government.

It's called equality.
One day the non-elites can all be equally poor.
The Corporate controlled Government always knows best.
This will be a winning issue Nationally (a large increase, maybe not to $15) for the Dems in trying to win back the House in 2014. Obama's inequality speech was clearly laying the groundwork.

Put the party of Romney's feet to the fire on this one. It is long overdue. And I can't wait to hear them whine about class warfare. THAT is a losing attitude in an election.
>Executive class will ensure that the extra labor cost will be payed the consumers.
So Big companies won't reduce their profits or compensation, so they will raise prices. Understandable

> Seattle is getting to be a very expensive city for individual businesses which is why you see more big chain stores and restaurants take over

Wait if big business raise its prices in Seattle to compensate, how does that change this dynamic? the fixed labor cost per day will raise for both big business and small. so the dynamic hasn't change. the competitive advantage of a big company isn't it's smaller labor cost- if anything its a liability as your overhead increases. So raising the minimum wage should if anything help small businesses.

What is your small business? How many employees do you have and what do you pay them?
Scold me for even mentioning this but, why did they use that pic. of the 300lb. guy holding a sign, getting free coffee begging for a raise from minimum wage? He doesn't look hireable for any kind of work, even at Mcwhozits. They could have used a better poster person.
#17, I'm not trying to discredit anything or anyone. I'm just a pragmatist who is swayed by numbers/facts/figures and not emotional appeals, and I'm interested in finding out if anyone (say the Seattle City Council?) has commissioned a study or has access to research showing what the aggregate effects of such a large increase in the city-wide MW, especially as it relates to business health, employment levels of unskilled workers, and prices.

I've seen a lot of rhetoric from both sides of this issue, but nothing that seems to specifically deal with the actual situation here in Seattle.

And from what I have read about it nationally, opinions from economists tends to be very mixed if it would help or hurt.………

Pragmatist. Right. Sure.
Republicans think Walmart is a "small business". Fuck 'em.
Say a small business that nets $75k a year and has ten employees at full time who make $13 an hour now has to pay $2 x 10 ppl x 40hrs a week = $800/ week x 4 weeks = $3200/ month x 12 months = $38,400 per year. $75k - 32,400 = $42,600 new net. A small business owner might work anywhere from 40-70 hours per week so let's say 55. 55 hours x 52 weeks = 2860 hours a year x 15 per hour = $42,900 a year. So that small business owner would make less than $15 per hour ie less then MW at $14.89. They also don't get paid sick leave. Add that to the equation and workers will earn way more per hour than their employers and NOT assume a single risk. Assuming risk and earning the education that enabled that propensity for creativity/capability/confidence is exactly what makes small business owners deserve a higher pay. Not to mention student loans. Otherwise why would they do it when they would clearly have a better quality of life (less hours worked for more money) if they were the hired and not the hirer? And none of the stress inducing responsibility. Therefore the choices become lose the indie businesses that make Seattle a desirable place to live or pay prices at those cafés and bars and theaters and markets and etc. that would make visting NYC feel like spending pesos in Guatemala. I just spent $3.50 on a bottle of rainier. In a $15 MW Seattle that would have cost me $6 or so. So my $2 MW increase makes me: a.) middle class/and better off financially or b.) the same as before?

I suppose I could live in the suburbs like a monk and save money/ reallocate the city's resources to the sprawl. I mean, after all I'm a teetotaling Bible Belt social conservative that needs that money to feed a family that I don't believe should be intentionally limited by contraceptives. My brood doesn't need higher education because they don't need to excel in the suburb of a city that let's the lowest common denominator do just as well as the ambitious. It's not like we can/should/ought to strive to be educated or rich or cultured like the increasingly shrinking coorporate executive elite when there is no incentive to be anything in the middle. Now that the class gap is so wide that we are back to peasant/royalty dynamics. What's the point of having small businesses succeed in a city I only work in full of people doing things (and paying prices for those things) that I find morally reprehensible (alcohol, caffeine, liberal/intellectual culture) which they can't afford? There's way too much hipster on hipster crime anyway. How else do they afford the 25% tax on the pot they just legalized? I'll just pop out dumb babies and watch cage fighting while listening to glen beck and letting my pastor molest my fat cross eyed rat-children. Thanks socialism! Thanks Goldy!
@26. In the world I live in, when expenses go up, the business owner raises prices a bit to maintain a profit margin. I'd happily pay $7 instead o f $6 for a fast food combine if I knew it meant the burger- flippers had a living wage.
@23: "I'm just asking questions."

Just asking questions. JAQ. Jaqing off is what you are doing.
@7 A similar article about the Stranger is long overdue. Come on, Stranger, pay your own employees $15/hour if you really think that's the right thing to do. What, you already pay your employees at least $15/hour? Good, then say so. If you don't, then just shut the fuck up about other companies not paying $15/hour. It's really that easy.
John Stewart takes the idiots at Fox News to task for their stupid arguments against raising the minimum wage:

"why not raise it to $100,000 an hour? Minimum wage jobs are apprenticeships. Don't be emotional. Yes Yes We know people are starving but lets talk economically (seriously!) Let's talk morally. Minimum wage jobs shouldn't be a hand out (!), they should be an incentive to get more skills and do other jobs"…
bullshit this thing is done and dusted. Put it for a vote and then we'll see.
@27 we are not going to see a jump from $6 to $7, it will be frm $6 to $9.50. How would you feel about that kind of increase?
Why are so many conservatives ok with the idea of a business underpaying their employees so much that they need government assistance to survive? I'm not a fucking owner or investor, why in the hell should I have to subsidise shitty businesses?

It's nothing more than privatization of profits socialization of costs. If your shitty business can't survive the idea of paying your employees a good wage you deserve to go under and stop sucking in the air for businesses that can.
@ 30 yeah I hate the ultra-idiot argument "but minimum wage jobs aren't meant to provide a living wage." Hard to believe non-head injured people can make such an obviously stupid argument with straight faces ...
So we've got ChefJoe and Mr. X here to concern troll the fuck outta this thread. Not surprising, they must be shitting themselves imagining anything but the status quo.

Somehow Spokane manages to compete with it's Washington State minimum wage, even with free market libertarian Idaho just across the border a few miles away.…


In fact it reminds me of when republicans say that they shouldn't raise taxes, but rich Dems could donate if they wanted to while completely ignoring the impact of a level playing field.
I speak as a social democrat who finds American liberals to be amusing, but you cannot escape the realities of what creating an economic high pressure front within the city will do to the employment market.

Every professional service firm (you know, the businesses that occupy all of those office buildings) will face a substantial hit with this type of hike. Every $12/hour file clerk will suddenly cost an additional $6,240 a year when their wage gets hiked to $15. Ten of those equals $62,000 a year. Many firms will opt to relocate to places like Shoreline or Tukwila, because the one time cost of a move will be substantially cheaper than the permanent cost of the wage hike. This will also put a massive strain on public transportation, as all of those ORCA subsidized workers will now need to re-route to outside the city limits.

Meanwhile, a downtown Subway will face a $10,400 hit for every counterperson - plus the shift supervisor and store manager will also demand a hike, so add another $4,160-8,320 for each of them. How many extra $5 footlongs will they need to sell to a decreased number of downtown employees?

Lest we also not forget all of the housekeepers, janitors, receptionists, bellhops, waiters, dishwashers, security personnel, and retail clerks that will now be adding as much as $10,400 per employee. This will hike costs for stores, restaurants, hotels, etc., possibly reducing convention and tourist business.

You CANNOT have this kind of wage mandate happen within a single municipality. Google "Long Beach hotel minimum wage" if you believe otherwise. To do so will only create H. Ross Perot's famous "giant sucking sound" and will economically cripple business within the city limits.

You want a wage hike? It needs to happen at AT LEAST the state level, if not federally. Better yet, let's cut the Gordian Knot and work on implementing universal basic income and do away with the minimum wage issue permanently. Time to start thinking big, people.
@22 Because it was dark, and people were moving, and that was the least blurry image my iPhone produced under those circumstances.
A $15 an hour minimum wage will be a boon for landlords. Think of how much everyone will raise rents to capture that extra income.
@38 - Speaking as someone who lives in Washington State, small incremental steps are the way to make progress. Thinking "big" isn't as easy as you seem to think it would be. In our state, big ideas incubate in municipalities. At some point, Seattle signs on. The law is tweaked and iterated upon when it progresses to state level and at that point we've managed to change the conversation nationwide, frequently with other states alongside us.

Thinking big in this scenario only invites inaction and failure. When the nation has a belief that they are loathe to give up, they have to see the change in action with their own eyes before they'll sign on.
@40 - Wow, that's all you got? Sad.
@41 I've lived in Seattle for over 20 years, and in Washington State for over 30, sonny boy. Don't play the residency card on me. And all of your pie-in-the-sky idealism doesn't change the fact that this proposal will create substantial economic shock within the municipality and generate massive upheaval for businesses, and their employees, large and small. You think that the regressive assholes that run Bellevue will suddenly sign on because Seattle does? Give me a break.

But then again, I suppose real-world scenarios are easy to dismiss when you're living in mom's basement.
@33 That's why these plans always call for a gradual increase, dipshit. Have you been looking at this issue for any length of time what so ever, or did you drop by just to take a shit and leave?

@36 Fuck you, why aren't the interns paid?

@38 Why to go Jeff, completely ignoring the economic benefits of having people make more money! Do you have any fucking clue what happens when the poor are given money? They fucking spend it, driving up demand! I know you're a fucking master of Econ 101, but you might want to try some of the more advanced coursework!
@44 way to go genius, completely ignoring where that payroll comes from! Do you have any fucking clue what happens to business owners when they are unable to pay for expenses? Obviously not. Try not flunking out of Econ 101 and then come at me WITH SOME ACTUAL NUMBERS instead of spending all day jacking off to your Kshama Sawant poster.
@41, you said it yourself: small incremental steps are the way to make progress. dropping a 60% increase is no small incremental step.
@44 - The Stranger no longer has an unpaid internship program. Try to keep up.
@43 - Cool story bro.

@46 - Please, I was making a distinction between action at the federal level vs municipal. I wasn't talking about the size of the minimum wage increase.
Goldy - you don't win just by declaring you win. If that was true, McGinn would be our next Mayor. The majority of Council members do support a higher MW. They don't support $15. In fact, many of the leaders of the $15 MW movement don't actually support $15. You can see evidence of this by looking at how they compromised in Washington DC, where the new minimum wage is $12.50 for companies with over $1 billion in annual gross revenue, and are now considering raising the MW for everyone else to $11.50, phased in over 3 years, and including a tip credit. This is the sort of compromise we'll end up with in Seattle, possibly going even further by exempting new and small businesses.

Please stop being the bully here. There is a real conversation to be had. You're attempting to silence that conversation and several small businesses and non profits on Capitol Hill are afraid to speak up because of it. They will be included in the conversation Council has in deciding what happens with this, and that's good news.
@50 Your well-thought out argument has no place here. Trying to have an economic discussion with the Cult of Kshama Sawant is like trying to discuss women's reproductive issues with a member of Operation Rescue.
@48 I am concerned about the Stranger's hypocrisy. And you should be too. If the Stranger argues that it's immoral for firms to pay less than $15 an hour in Seattle, then the Stranger should be paying its own employees at least that much. Don't you agree? Or is it okay for the Stranger to be exempted from paying a living wage? If so, why?

It's good of you to admit that you don't care about the interns.

Does anyone know or can they find out how much stranger delivery drivers make currently? Janitors? Quite curious
@52 - Talk to me when Tim Keck starts using his papers to editorialize against the increase. Until then, I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt regarding his support for it, given an even playing field throughout the city.

You could see if they're hiring and apply. If you get an interview and it goes well, you'll be able to find out first hand.

Please wait...

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