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A lot of franchise owners are not rolling into dough and are just middle class. But this is Seattle, where everyone who is against Sawant is the 1% (including the restaurant workers who think she's nuts and the immigrant business owners who are nearly poor themselves) and Sawant's followers are the working class masses (even though most of them are trust-fund socialist white kids living off of their parents checks who have never worked a day in their lives)
Unless the City can show that the corporation is in fact the business and takes any all or even any significant business risks, then the City should and will lose.
I think it is open and shut.
The vast majority of people who support things like a strong minimum wage are working people. They have jobs, they don't live off their parents. How many "trust-fund socialists" do you even think there are? Have you ever actually met anyone living off a trust fund?
It would be disingenuous to attack labor costs alone. A necessary increase in labor expense (so their employees don't have to fall back on public assistance) should result downward pressure on other business expenses.
If they try and fail to do this within the IFA, that organization will be outed as a tool of the franchisors (who use franchisees only as "partners" when it suits their legislative purposes), but the franchisees should still publicize their efforts and continue them on their own, perhaps forming a new group.
The franchisor (e.g. McDonald's)? or the franchisee (e.g. local owner who may in fact be wealthy by our standards but is not huge corporation)?
The problem is that we set the definition of small business way too high at 500 employees. Way dumb. Should have been 15 or 20.
i, for one, am sick of subsidizing the income of multinational corporate franchise employees with my tax dollars because the GOP won't legislate a living wage.
@3: i have met someone living off a trust fund. ONE person. and his wife works 50 hours a week because she's crazy.
The marginal large business (Frederick & Nelson -- most of you too young to remember) was in bad shape for years...kinda like Sears today.
But the small business -- "web coding" or whatever it is you young folks do -- might be only 10 employees and hugely profitable.
So who should we give the break?
(Putting administrative issues aside.)
What if the Council had said "3 years for big business, 3 years 1 day for franchises, 5 years for small business". Then the franchises would be treated as an independent category. I mean, if the Council has the right to set a minimum wage, it has a right to do so for franchises as surely as other businesses.
Huh. I didn't realize that being a franchisee was a protected class covered by anti-discrimination laws. Thanks for clearing that up for me, IFA.
The rest is propaganda: A franchisee has to get their own loan with no help from corporate. They pay to have the site built out on their own. They pay for all the food & supplies. They hire, train and develop their teams. The menu boards and supplies are paid from their contributions to an advertising fund. If you see it on TV, read it in print or hear it on the radio, the franchisee paid for it. At the end of the day, they survive from the crumbs left over. The Franchisor supplies the brand and collects a fee from sales as payment. They gave you the opportunity to open a store with a proven track record and you agreed and signed a contract agreeing to terms, often 20 years. They are not going to lower fees because Seattle decided to make a difference. Franchisees are stuck in the middle. Moving a franchisee towards $15 faster has no effect on corporate, CEO's or Wall Street. It has every effect on the small business franchise owner.
Yup. What he said.
The test (I believe) both in terms of the law and basic fairness is "Who takes the business risk?"
When energy prices rise, what do franchisees (indeed all businesses) do in response? They certainly don't file suit against utilities and oil/gas companies; they first and foremost invest in energy-conservation technology and retrofits, they try to save money on labor and supplies (which may result in reductions of quality and customer service), they raise prices, and/or they accept lower profits.
@17 has it right. It is the monopsonization of the labor market (where franchise operations tend to be the majority buyer of labor, as contrasted to monopolization, where there are few sellers of a commodity) that makes franchises feel safer and more likely to succeed in attacking labor, rather than other items in their overall cost structure.
Btw, everyone thinks that all franchisees are all huge McDonalds.
Think about those little mini-post office stores or even franchise cleaning services. Those are SMALL businesses by any standard.
We are having one now.
Also about guns.
Also about sex.
Also about a thousand different issues.
Again, how is the guy who owns a single Jimmy John's and makes between 40-70,000 a year a "multi-national corporation"? He isn't. He's just a guy with a Jimmy John's.
Conflating the person with a franchise with the company makes about as much sense as accusing the business that uses Ipad's of being in control of Apple's sweat shops.
Actually, it is usually working people who support free-market economics. Ever see the political map of the country? Do you REALLY think it's only multi-millionaires living in Oklahoma, Kansas, New Hampshire, the Dakotas, the Carolinas, Idaho etc?
Sad fact no socialist will ever admit: most working people want NOTHING TO DO WITH THEM.
And 15now's base was made up mostly of white college students or hipsters who don't have jobs but just mooch off of their parents. Very few 15Now people were actually low wage workers, but MANY working people voted against Sawant while many rich people supported her:
Sawant lost working class districts of South Seattle and Northgate and the Aurora corridor, but won Union Bay, Ballard, Fremont and other wealthy neighborhoods.
Sawant and her crowd are just as bad as the Tea Party: a platform based on emotion with no logic and/or reason behind it. She's the left wing version of Sarah Palin, and just as stupid.
A living age for a single adult in Seattle has been determined to be 10.62/hour.
Enough to raise a family? No, but if you think working at the McDonald's drive-thru is going to give you enough to raise a family anywhere, you are someone who shouldn't breed anyway least you pass on your stupid genes.
I'm a libertarian, but I would be okay with a 10.75 MW in Seattle as a compromise. Sawant and her flying monkeys with their dorm room sloganism don't want to compromise. They never explained how 15/hour is the magic number.
Enjoy your revolution, Seattle.
That is blatantly false. ALL of the major food franchisors have financial plans available for new franchise owners. (I used to have Quiznos Financial Services as a customer.) They have extensive campaigns to find people who have a wad of cash to spend and are looking for ways to turn that wad into a pile. (Another customer of mine used to prey on these people.) They have commercial real estate connections to help the new franchisee find a good deal on a location.
Those potential franchisees? They got their wad of cash from: early retirement/stock options; inheritance; injury settlements & other court awards. The average franchisee owns several restaurants in a geographical area and are usually incorporated or a LLC. The notion that they are some struggling lower-middle class person who used to be a fry cook is a Randian fantasy.
Can you please elaborate on what the law is here? My understanding is that this is a non-protected class distinction, and thus is subject to a rational basis review under the 14th amendment (i.e., an impossible case for the plaintiffs to win). As far as I know, there is no where in the relevant law where profit distribution or business risk would be relevant to the legal analysis. But please, if you know more about this than us, elaborate.
According to the Jimmy John's website, the average JJ's restaurant, once it's been around for four years or so, nets about $320k profit yearly, and grosses $1.4 million in sales. That's per restaurant, not per franchise. And while Jimmy is probably reporting the best figures he can get away with, Seattle isn't some tiny nowhere town, and two of the company's most profitable stores (Bellevue and South Lake Union) are in the Seattle franchise.
I'd be very surprised if other fast food franchises in this city aren't making similar amounts of money.
I can understand the depressed part, after all you've convinced yourself that your about to be fired from your job. Though nothing you've written indicates that your boss is threatening to do so, so I find the claim dubious at best. But I'll grant it is a depressing thing to convince yourself of.
I don't get the anger, other then in a general "reality and society won't conform to my idealized version of what I think it should be" kinda way.
That is just being angry at the rock you just stubbed your toe on. It's ok to be angry that you stubbed your toe, but the rock, it is just a rock. If it was soft and fluffy it'd be a pillow.
All that is just a long way of saying, I don't see how whipping yourself into a state of angry depression is helping you. In fact seems to me that it would make you difficult to deal with which could get you fired.
Maybe you should talk to someone. Not about libertarianism of course (that's just the utopian fantasy you latched onto after becoming disillusioned with the last one), but about anger and depression. On second thought, toss in your propensity for latching onto simplistic utopian ideologies too.
If their research was as good as their work on the legislative timeline for Charter Amendments, then the IFA absolutely has a winning case.
Also, why is the depth of understanding franchises limited to food establishments? Most of the franchisees I know are salons. Seriously, get out of the box.
I agree with you that franchisees shouldn't be a protected class.
But there does have to be a rational basis to create a new class franchise versus independent. What is the rational basis?
I just read the City's legislation
and it offers no explanation I could see. Maybe it is somewhere in various reports (but I doubt it) and nor (I believe) would the City be able to find a rational basis anywhere to separate franchisees from non-franchisees.
Yes the City has wide legislative discretion but it is not unlimited. It's rules must be rational. Where is the rationality?
Why, for example, would a franchisee of (say) ten employees have to qualify for large employee status? (unless you study the franchise agreement and find out that in fact the franchisor is bearing all or even some large part of the risk, which is not typical.)
So I think that the City will fail on the franchisee issue.
Anyway, that's my guess. :)
As to the devotion of the working man to unfettered free-market capitalism, I suggest you take some time to read up on the history of the labour movement.
Jurisdictions have the right to categorize however they want, and to carve out exemptions however they please. They can ban chains completely if they so choose (some towns have). All they cannot do is to treat individual entities disparately if they are identically situated under the letter of the law.
(And even then, they could probably draw up an exemption that included franchises starting with the letter "S" but excluded franchises starting with the letter "M". That might not be politically wise, but then again, consider how many state-level tax breaks have been written solely to apply to a large aerospace company beginning with the letter "B".)
@2 is wrong. The franchise association will lose this handily.
Let me ask it another way: do you think that franchise rule is "fair"? And why?
The chains in question have been in large part responsible for suppressing wages in order to support their sole corporate aim of unfettered profit maximization. That they have achieved further profit maximization by offloading risk upon their franchisees -- while simultaneously transferring moral responsibility for the effect upon employees of following their non-negotiable business model -- is irrelevant to the wage outcomes that the law seeks to correct.
Furthermore, the gradual-implementation exemption for "small business" is explicitly designed to protect businesses that do not have access to vast cash reserves. By virtue of their corporate insignia, franchisees are known to have a relationship with large and wealthy entities who could easily act (by changing the franchise terms) to ensure the stores' continued productivity. It is not the city's business whether or not those corporate entities choose to act; it is enough that they could.
Both of these are "rational bases". You do not have to agree with their logic. It is not up to the Court to decide whether their logic is sound (that would be "heightened scrutiny"). All that matters is that the logic exists.
This guy agrees with you:
Oh well, I don't care about people who own a McDonalds. They do make a lot of money and can afford it and they'll just raise prices.
I guess the really small franchisees (Subway?) who don't make enough $$ will quit the franchise relationship (if they can) and go independent; or maybe they'll just go out of business and if they do, serves 'em right -- asshole losers.
What I am waiting for is the drop-dead gorgeous coffee making machine which will provide a continuous flow of high quality fresh coffee so it only needs be stocked once a day. Still need baristas for those absurd $3 drinks but they can get rid of a lot of labor on basic coffee. I assume that Starbucks is working on that one.
The man in my profile pic was a believer in the labor movement, and I too am 100% in support of organized labor and is why I, like most libertarians, oppose right to work laws.
If they unionized low-wage workers I would be for that and would donate money to that cause. A union can go business by business, case by case and figure out a fair wage. One over-arching law can't do that.
It is a telling fact that in those "socialist paradises" like Denmark, Norway and Sweden there is no minimum wage but the unions handle that and government stays out. That's REAL free-market economics: unions, not government, being the voice of the working class.
But still that doesn't change the fact that plenty of working class people believe in the free-market and I'm one of them. I once saw a perfect example: A Volvo with an Obama sticker parked next to a BMW with a McCain sticker and next to them an old jeep with a Ron Paul sticker.
A look at the political map will show that there are plenty of working people who believe in free-market economics.
"Though I despise McDonald's, Taco Bell, et al on grounds of taste and aesthetics, people running these things are trying to make a living and many of the franchisees are barely breaking even--hardly members of the "1%"."
One of the prerequisites of buying a McDonalds franchise is that you have capital. The bare minimum for a middle of nowhere franchise is around $600k, in Seattle it's about $5 million dollars. Hardly the 99% you fucking drooling idiot.
Sen Warren Minimum wage
Brilliant, as usual, watch your Senator from Massachusetts and enjoy.
Sen. Warren:"Are you telling me you can't raise your prices by eight cents?"
Franchises are neither beloved nor small businesses. They're a way for a local business person to leverage all the power of a large business in a single region. We'd be better off without them.
Should you be able to walk into a union shop, where the union has negotiated a wage of, say, $15 per hour, and offer your services for $10 per hour?
Do you not see how that totally undermines the power of collective bargaining?
How can someone who calls himself "collectivism_sucks" turn around and say that collective bargaining is good?
It doesn't have to be fast food - why don't you open up your OWN Jiffy Lube...and pay your workers $15/hr or more...AND LEAD BY EXAMPLE? Would this not be the most direct way to redistribute this wealth - do it from the inside?
Don't even TRY to convince me you can't afford it. After all, the readers of this paper are "affluent urbanites in their 20s and 30s with impressive disposable incomes and an appetite for everything the city has to offer."
Instead of being known as the demographic that will: "...see more live shows and movies, eat out and shop more, and spend more time online than readers of any other paper in town." why not make this change happen yourselves?
After all, why are you putting your disposable income into the pockets of these small business owners that you profess to hate so much instead of the workers you profess to care about? With your college degrees and "impressive disposable income" - I am sure you'd be a bigger savior of Seattle's working class than Sawant.
So...what are YOU waiting for?
So answer my final question: if what many of these advocates posting on these threads is true, that small businesses rake in tons of money, hoard it from their employees, and exploit them - why are you not starting your own business, and redistributing the wealth directly? I know a group of Stranger readers can raise the cash. And the newspaper could follow each step, and report on your success. Win win all around.
What are you waiting for?
I think its an excellent idea, but I doubt anyone making comments such as "if you can't pay your workers a living wage you shouldn't be in business" has the balls to risk their OWN money. Or do you?
PROVE the naysayers wrong instead of just shouting them down. Too much stock placed on words and discussion, not enough on actually producing results.
In other words, I don't want to be part of the problem. Why do you want me to be part of the problem so badly?
Fuck money up the ass, and fuck the people who like money up the ass twice with the money they so desire. Mankind is my business, not the Federal Reserve note.
No chance of new system arising - also capable of inspiring greed?
Walk me through how you see this unfolding - pretend that tomorrow, June 14, is the first day of "no currency", "no trade".
Please elaborate on how you see this elimination of greed coming about. I am intrigued.
I've witnessed greedy three year olds. I've also witnessed completely selfless three year olds. I'm not sure what you're getting at here.
Elaboration and description aren't really possible, and you know that full well. I'm describing a singularity style change. By definition one can't see the other side until one is already on the other side.
I like how for all you malign my statement, you can't actually refute it. In such a case, mockery is the best form of validation possible. It shows my opponent has lost all substance to their argument and is only a step away from mindless ad hominem attacks.
Have you ever been offered a raise at your place of employment? If so, did you turn it down because to accept it would be greedy?
Tell me how you are walking the walk - you live on JUST ENOUGH to get by, not a penny more?
I work on a Ranch for room, board and less than 250 dollars a month (most of which goes to bus fare and food when I am away from home). I would turn down a raise for more than about 20 dollars a month. My pay hasn't kept up with inflation and I anticipate a rise in bus fare.
If I didn't have to pay for bus fare and food away from home, I'd work for free.