Is it discrimination? No. Is it bullshit that the owner of a Jimmy John's who makes just 70,000 a year and works there six days a week himself is treated like the CEO of McDonald's under this law? YES.
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)
I am not against $15. I say that at the outset because anyone questioning means that I am against it. I don't.

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.

@1: Oh for fuck's sake. Knock it off with the bullshit strawman "trust fund socialist" business. You are the first to bitch and complain about being stereotyped for your political and economic views.

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?
@1 Exactly. 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%". There's a reason the companies don't publish a lot of numbers when they're trying to get people to franchise: the margins are extremely small. However, the unfortunate fact of the matter is that, thanks in no small part to wage/mobility stagnation, more and more people are stuck in what used to be, generally speaking, temporary/short-term jobs. Rather than having a real conversation about economics, we get Sawant and the 15 Now crowd. It's rather emblematic of the overall state of politics in the United States at the present moment.
Paul Clement is a top flight lawyer who has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court a number of times, including the ACA case, when he represented the challengers.
That felt good, to win a little, but here comes the real sons of bitches and their McDuckian piles of money.
The franchisees of Seattle would be doing themselves a favor if they could demonstrate, either inside or outside the IFA, that they are also interested in reducing their other business costs such as licensing and marketing fees they have to pay to their corporate parents, as well as franchisors' profits on any sole-source equipment and supplies.

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.
Another way to ask the question is "Who takes the business risk?"

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 would support leveling the different rates of scaling up if all management or franchisee level employees of the large chains were required to wear one ski boot on their left foot at all times.
Paul Clement? The same Paul Clement who was W's Solicitor General? The same Paul Clement who worked for the House of Representatives BLAG group to argue to uphold DOMA?
@1: it's not bullshit. operate within the business climate of a given market, or don't. no one but your hypothetical franchisee/sucker is going to miss a subway franchise that closes.

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.

Yet another way to look at it is to ask "Who is profitable?"

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.)
No business has to be a franchise. There are plenty of local businesses which are not franchises. The benefit of franchising is that you get the benefit of all the national advertising, branding, menus, etc. You also generally get a guarantee you won't have to compete directly against another restaurant of your same brand. The downside is you have to participate in promotions and you have to purchase supplies from the national company. And you have to pay a slightly higher minimum wage for a year or two.
@4: have "we" ever had a "real conversation" about anything in America, let alone Economics? give me 1 example, please - restore my faith.
The IFA Law suit is about equal execution of the law. Restaurants average 4% income on the dollar. The new law absorbs 10%. That obviously puts the majority of restaurants in the negative. The only ways to respond is to (1) Finish your lease and move your business - Franchises usually are not allowed this option from corporate. (2) Layoff some of your team (3) increase prices. Franchises have 3 years to comply with the new law, while competing businesses have 4 additional years. If we increase prices to cover the costs while our neighbors wait, we risk losing our customers seeking the best value. If we wait and absorb the costs, we risk going bankrupt. All the IFA is trying to accomplish is to level the playing field. Franchises live off the bottom line as do all small business owners. It should be the same time frame for all.

@11 She sounds rational to me. If their marriage ever ended, she'd need to support herself.

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.
The franchise system is one of the responsible parties for monsopsonizing the labor market and driving wages below a their Pareto-efficient equilibrium level. If a few franchises need to fold because their profitability depended on unjust/unfair wages secured by the market power of their franchise, then so be it and good riddance.
If you can't pay your employees a living wage then you are a sweatshop owner, pure and simple. And that means you should go out of business
"Illegally discriminates against franchisees"

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.
Franchising is about buying into a proven brand. You have blue prints to build it, vendors lined up to sell you food & uniforms and a track record of success. It is less risk than jumping out on your own.

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?"
@14: You're absolutely right, we haven't! But why should that stop "us" (the population of the United States) from striving to do so? Every deep breath taken, every thoughtful consideration of a point of view other than our own, every friendly engagement is a small step towards this.
@15: "Restaurants average 4% income on the dollar. The new law absorbs 10%."—Citations needed.

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.

Not so.

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.
@20 " A franchisee has to get their own loan with no help from corporate."
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.
@Herman_herman - Agreed. A deep knowledge of economics is required here. A price floor of 15 is not justified based on the job supply. Secondly, influx of migrants seeking low wages means influx of unskilled workers seeking jobs that aren't there. Third, rents for working people will certainly increase, which means rents for poor people will also increase probably resulting in more people applying for state benefits. Which may be too much for the state to bear. A commenter said why not go after franchise licenses instead of wages? Why not decrease rents and subsidize farming and tuition instead of increase wages. 15 now keeps a small business owner small and mega-corps large. Mega-corps can easily absorb a $15 minimum wage, Walmart probably won't even blink. However, imagine a small business faced with an artificially inflated cost curve when they are considered 'large' employers. They will not be able to compete with Walmart. Franchises don't 'bail out' franchisees. They will have to make a trip to the bank, which by the way, do get bailed out. 15 now is horrible for the little guy. Unless of course you're a little guy that can't see beyond '$1 = 1 burger, $2 = 2 burgers' As for franchises being monopsonies, I don't know if that is true. What is true is that there will be a significant decline in the demand for labor in an already stagnated job market. 15 now sucks.
Do I have to pay the Mexicans I pickup at Home Depot $15/hr to help around the house?
CS betrays the real elite attitudes behind opposition to the minimum wage. In his own words, he thinks that poor people need to stop breeding. He believes poverty is genetic. So he's probably racist on top of being stupid.

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.
Less than 40% of franchises are Quick Serve restaurants (QSRs), such as McDs, Burger King, etc. Sawant's effort is misinformed and misguided.
Less than 40% of franchises are Quick Serve restaurants (QSRs), such as McDs, Burger King, etc. Sawant's effort is misinformed and misguided.
@26: Nobody in Seattle owns "a Jimmy John's." There are at least a dozen Jimmy John's in the local franchise, all owned by the same people. Nor do the owners work 6 days a week; you're probably thinking of the managers, who are also employees of the corporation, and even they only work six days a week if there is a reason for them to come in on one of their days off.

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.
@37 Mmmm... Yes, talk adult to me some more. *Condescend* to me, baby! You big hunk o' Shoreline man meat, you.
When ever you see the text "independently owned an operated", these are franchises and not limited to fast-food restaurants. Think Jiffy Lube, gas stations, motels, 7-11, etc.
@28 awfully angry and depressed aren't you.

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.
"Murray said the City of Seattle was aware of these legal threats and had done their research about compliance with relevant laws"

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. :)

@27: So I take it your answer to "Have you ever actually met anyone living off a trust fund?" is "No, I just make shit up."

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.
Came to say what @33 said: Businesses of a given size, however defined, are not a protected class. There is no heightened scrutiny; the burden of legitimacy is "rational basis". The city will explain its reasons for its codified distinctions, and if those reasons are remotely plausible -- which they are -- then the city's determinations will pass muster.

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?
@42: The primary rational basis is explained in the first sentence of @17.

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.
This is for all you right wing Anal Randian types who are screaming and crying how this is bad and going to hurt the poor franchisees.

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?"…
@ 50 not all businesses, or even franchisees are McDonalds. Is that the only example you guys can think of? But, but, but McDonalds.......... $15 NOW and it's single focus on McDonalds even though 70% of businesses are small businesses, reminds me of Fox News obsession with Benghazi. Can't either side have a nuanced and honest discussion?
If these large corporations are going to have franchises in areas where people are paid a decent wage, then they're going to have to cut the franchise owners some slack. That's really all there is to it.
The fact that McDonalds was just referred to as a "Small Business" and a beloved one at that, totally discredits this writing, for me. Done. What a bunch of pink slimy BS. What about mentioning and fighting for ACTUAL small businesses? Taco Bell? McD's? Are you serious?
Franchisees should not be whining about this, nor should they be given a small business exemption. They should be treated as members of the corporation they belong to. This is coming from somebody who has worked at a location that transitioned from corporate to a franchise operation. Our prices went up, quality went down, and our benefits were effectively cut in half. Most franchises use their status as a franchise to squeeze everything they can out of the law and their employees.

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.
@48 How does the concept of a union-negotiated wage floor line up with your views on personal freedom, i.e. that you should be free to offer your labour to any employer at any price that you and the employer agree upon?

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?
Will you living wage idealists please stop your yapping and get to work figuring out how to obtain one of these franchises yourself? I mean - wouldn't that be a pro-active way to get what you want - MUCH MUCH faster?

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?
If you don't like the options open to you for franchising, I suggest you look into Eugene, Oregon's Cafe Yumm! - a wonderful business with a great reputation in the Eugene community. They are looking to you won't have to sully yourselves by associating with a "corporation":
@57/58, that's a horrible idea. We need less franchises, not more. Why would I want to become part of the problem?
#59 then start any small business of your choosing. Just DO something more than embody the "Seattle Way" of forming committees, getting signatures, and talking, talking, talking about problems instead of doing direct and tangible. I'll bet you can have your business up and running and paying $15-$20 hr, with full benefits to boot, well before the $15 hr kicks in for small business.

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?
Boycott any business that is anti-livable wage. ---
This small business, that will pay $15-$20/hr, could also be "public" without trading on the market. The owner(s) can publish their financials quarterly, like any big corporation trading on the NYSE. Everybody's wages will be made public, including the owner(s); expenditures public; debt - public. Post financials on The Stranger, who will be there reporting on each move along the way.

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.

@60, that's actually a decent question, and one I have an answer for. I don't want the money. If I could, I would eliminate all currency and trade from the face of the Earth, since the origins of trade have always been in greed, and I see no reason to support the process greed has made.

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.
IIUYK - if we eliminated currency/trade, the human failing called greed would disappear? Have you never witnessed a greedy 3 year old, who knows nothing of currency or trade? No one would conduct a barter motivated by greed?

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.
@64, you miss the point completely. Once you eliminate processes based on greed, hatred, and fear, you are free to replace them with processes based on charity, goodness, kindness, and mercy.
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.
Humans are flawed, capable of greed. Humans create our economic systems for other humans to participate in. Therefore, anything humans participate in - there is potential for greed. If the threat of burning in hell for eternity (Christianity) for sins like greed doesn't deter humans, what will?

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?
Sure, there is a potential for greed. But trade is based on greed. Bad apples in a good system are infinitely better than good apples in a bad system. The former can be fixed easily.

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.
What @13 said.

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