Cautionary Hypothetical Anecdotes Aside, the Media Has Not Documented a Single Job Lost to a $15 an Hour Minimum Wage

Comments

1
"not subject to SeaTac Proposition 1"

So wait, Goldensteinemberg is arguing that small businesses should be exempt for Seattle's 60% hike? Wow, that's close to 60-70%.
2
Great work on this.
3
Time will tell indeed. The higher minimum wage may put more money in the pockets of some employees in the area, but certainly not in the pockets of travelers coming to the airport (or seniors on fixed income who live here) who will now avoid eating at SeaTac restaurants with higher prices or staying at hotels with higher rates. I think your should re-look at your argument 6 monhts or a year down the line to see how things are then.
4
Goldy, sometimes you're just an idiot. The SeaTac law doesn't go into effect until Jan 1. So good luck finding any effects from it before it actually starts. Nice straw man argument.

Two things will happen if we get $15 across the board immediately. We'll see a rise in prices from the businesses in industries with high intensity of labor which will lead to lower sales and some small business closures, like restaurants, we'll see some slashing of other benefits to keep labor costs down, we'll see some job loss as hours are cut at times that don't justify the new expenses.

I don't think we'll see an overall drop in jobs, at least statistically. But many people will lose jobs, and some small businesses will close.

Of course, if we phase in an increase over time, exempt some businesses or make their phase in period longer, then we'll see a less dramatic effect. Maybe we go to $11.50 quickly, then from there make the Walmarts of the work increase quicker toward $15 while smaller businesses increase with the CPI or something. There's a smart way to do this, and a community college part time teacher way to do this.
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@4 No, I'm refuting a straw man argument. Just like you and your description of what you claim "will happen," the media has been hypothetical presenting job losses as fact. But we don't actually know what will happen.
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@5: Pretty weak critique for calling out the media for sepculation when it claims some jobs will be lost when you yourself claim that some jobs will be lost in the post.

Especially when you go on to speculate what will happen with the same amount of evidence the news outlets are using.

7
Theres plenty of evidence of business owners laying off employees due to higher taxes. The bar that Mike McGinn held is victory party in 4 years ago closed 2 years ago and the owner cited high taxes. Was he right? No idea, but thats what he said.

Basically what im saying is, people can cite high minimum wage as a reason for having to lay off employees or even close their business down, but it doesn't stop politicians or city leaders from raising taxes or enforcing fee's and fines. There could be tons of evidence of wage hikes causing layoffs and it wouldn't matter, politicians would look at the data/evidence, ignore it and move on with whatever plans they had.

If you gradually raise the minimum wage, its not going to kill jobs, because owners can gradually raised prices a few nickels. But to jump from .. lets say $9 an hour to $15, its going to sting some companies and either they immediately jack up the prices a few dimes, or they layoff an employee or three.
8
@Goldy - your headline states there is not a documented job loss from the $15 minimum wage, a wage that as of right now is not in place. You're looking for an effect from a cause that doesn't exist. It's intellectually dishonest, as much of your writing is, as it's not journalism, it's shilling for a candidate or cause. The upside is that it's so transparent you are losing credibility, which will leave room for the more intellectually honest to have this important debate.

PS - SeaTac is a poor example to look at for what will happen elsewhere. For many reasons including that the businesses there won't see their suppliers raising prices like they will in Seattle. And prices at SeaTac can rise without so much of a corresponding decrease in sales, as it's a contained environment, which Seattle is not. Look at DC as a better example of a place that will be able to raise the MW without tons of negative effects. Lessons to be learned from them, not SeaTac. But that reality doesn't fit your marketing message.
9
If You Like Your Minimum Wage Job, YOU CAN KEEP IT!
10
You're right, Mr. Fake Journalist: There has not been a single documented effect from a law THAT HASN'T TAKEN EFFECT YET!
11
Goldy's speculation about how many jobs will be lost is far superior to Real Journalists' speculation about how many jobs will be lost.....
12
>>>>>>>> Goldy NEWSFLASH >>>>>>>>>>

End of World did not cost Seattle ONE SINGLE JOB!

...........stay tuned.......
13
Look, the Dark Side lives on Fear.

But when all your competitors have the same base labor cost as you, there is REAL competition, not just stealing from workers.
14
"higher wages lead to higher productivity"? How's that?
15
@14 You attract and keep better employees. Less turnover. Lower training costs. Happier and more dedicated workers. How do you think Costco compete with Sams Club while paying substantially higher wages? Higher sales per employee.
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@15 - if you mandate the higher wages and everyone has them, then you no longer have the competetive edge. You can't argue both sides. But then your actual knowledge of these things is pretty limited, so no hate. You might want to take a economics class - at a college, from a professor, not a part time community college teacher.
17
Delta Airlines has already terminated their contracts with FSS and Bags, inc. at sea-atc in light of prop 1 - about 100 people are already out of a job at the airport. Something a lot of people seem to miss about the initiative is that it does not apply to ALL workers at sea-tac airport. In fact, it only applies to "contracted" employees. In other words, people who don't receive their paycheck from the airline they serve. All of those contracts expire, many of them at the end of this year... and they're simply not being renewed. A higher minimum wage is needed but the way that prop 1 just creates a new type of income inequality and, you guessed it, kills jobs.
18
15

and workers who are not productive enough to justify $15 get fired.

you're welcome.
19
There should be an autocorrect feature that notices any instance of a $ sign followed by a number followed by the word "dollar/s" and then fixes it or flags it for you. Or ¥1,000 Yen, or £5 pounds.

Oh, and 32° degrees or 25% percent. Pretty simple algorithm.
20
@16

Everyone doesn't have the higher wage. Only Seattle.
21
Here you go Goldy... some real, informed opinions on the matter. From the president, Nobel winning economist Paul Krugman.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact…
Obama’s claim that there is ‘no solid evidence’ that boosting the minimum wage harms jobs
Economics 101 tells us to be very cautious about attempts to legislate market outcomes. Every textbook — mine included — lays out the unintended consequences that flow from policies like rent controls or agricultural price supports. And even most liberal economists would, I suspect, agree that setting a minimum wage of, say, $20 an hour would create a lot of problems.

The Pinocchio Test
The president is making a bit of a judgment call when he uses a phrase such as “no solid evidence.” But at the same time he appears to be dismissing the research and findings of a significant part of the economic academy.
22
ChefJoe @ 21 -- The WaPo "fact check" you cite includes a deceptively excerpted quote from a Krugman column in which PK comes to <>diametrically opposite conclusions.

Two Pinocchio's for the WaPo factcheckers.

OTOH, the Sam's/Costco comparison is wobbly for a number of reason ... and in any case provides no basis for conclusions re a uniform $15. @20 is correct that almost all advantages of employee selection and retention evaporate in the case of a uniformly higher minimum wage.

The truth of the matter is that we don't know the truth of the matter. That's where experimental evidence comes into play, and we haven't done the necessary experiments (of which the SeaTac test is only a toe in the shallow end of the pool).
23
Sawant holds a bumbling press conference on minimum wage with no specifics and few supporters on Tuesday, and within two hours Slog has two articles about it, and a third today. Murray does an awesome presentation with a diverse group of some of the city's most important and intelligent leaders talking about his living wage task force, and, silence. The bias of The Stranger is beyond laughable.
24
@21,

You didn't even think to read the Krugman column, did you?

@22,

I can still think of reasons why workers would prefer to work for Costco over Sam's Club even with the loss of an advantage in compensation. Not being treated like cattle is the most important one.
25
I'm just laughing that Sawant is already backpedaling on her ability to get it passed in Seattle directly, then goes on to say she would push for it to be approved as a referendum. Compared to an initiative (180 days to gather signatures, language is approved prior to signature gathering, 20,000+ signatures in Seattle) she wants to go the referendum route... (only 29 days to gather, no approval of the exact language prior to start, and a lower bar of about 16,000 signatures). Such confidence !
26
@24, I read the wapo article through, sure... just took a bit more time now to read the original Krugman text from 1998. Yes, I quoted that the article says this certainly isn't "known" what will happen either way. But Goldy gets the gold star for saying not-yet-enacted legislation hasn't verifiably done anything yet.

http://www.pkarchive.org/cranks/LivingWa…
In short, what the living wage is really about is not living standards, or even economics, but morality. Its advocates are basically opposed to the idea that wages are a market price--determined by supply and demand, the same as the price of apples or coal. And it is for that reason, rather than the practical details, that the broader political movement of which the demand for a living wage is the leading edge is ultimately doomed to failure: For the amorality of the market economy is part of its essence, and cannot be legislated away.
27
Wow, that was one of the worst articles I have ever read on the subject. Of course some jobs will be lost. How many will be the question when it kicks in. Price increases will also be something to look at. $15 is a big jump, adjustments will be made.

But the fact is, our media hasn't clearly documented a single job being lost due to SeaTac Prop 1. Sure, there are employers who, like the folks at Cedarbrook, have said they would layoff workers if the initiative passed. And there are employers who now claim to be canceling or delaying (unverifiable) plans to expand. But so far, minimum wage opponents have yet to produce a single worker who has lost their job because their employer couldn't afford to pay $15 an hour. Not one.
28
@27, but has the media documented and verified a single job in SeaTac that has raised their minimum pay to $15/hr ?
29
@15 have you ever owned and operated a business? If the answer is "no" then you can go fuck yourself. Let's start a campaign where shitty journalists get taxed at a higher rate when they argue for inanities that they know nothing about.
30
$15 is so ridiculous it's unbelievable. I am loathe to agree with Chamber of Commerce types, but there is no way in hell that the kid flipping burgers at McDonalds should be making $15/hr. That's just insane. All that would happen is the cost of everything would go up, and those costs would be passed on to the consumer. This will not redistribute the wealth from the rich to the poor, this will redistribute the wealth from the working middle class to the working lower class. Minimum wage jobs are not intended to be wages that support a family.

Sawant should stay at SCCC. She should be recalled IMO.