A revolution began here once.
A revolution began here once. Charles Mudede

According to the former McDonald’s CEO Ed Rensi, small businesses in Seattle are collapsing under the burden of the $15 an hour minimum wage. And it's not just restaurants that are closing their doors, but also beauty salons and dry cleaners. Seattle, the fastest growing city in the US, is, according to this view, in a recession. As for the protesters who were demanding $15 an hour at the McDonald's headquarters? They are being duped by union leaders, who are swimming cash and have lots of perks. On top of that, the protesters are "socialists and fascists." This is coming out of the mouth of a man who once ran one of the biggest corporations in the world. Fast food workers are in his eyes fascists and stupid for wanting a living wage. It's important to watch the bosses talk on Fox News. They hide nothing, they get right to it, they say it in your face, and they make it clear that class struggle is alive and kicking in the US.

After watching Rensi (and you need some mental cleaning), I recommend reading Eli Sanders' excellent 2014 interview of First Hill McDonald's then-employee, Martina Phelps. She went on strike to demand higher wages (at the time, she earned $9.47 an hour), and the following year the city began the schedule to raise the minimum wage to $15. (And if Phelps was working at this location last year, she would have been earning $13 an hour.) True, the business is now closed, but not because of the hike in the minimum wage. It was destroyed to make room for a luxury tower with lots of parking. In this city, if a small business is closing, it's often because of gentrification.

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