You Decide: Seattle's Experiment in High Wages VS. Kansas' Experiment in Tax Cuts


Charles, you rock. Keep fighting the good fight.
If this were FB, I would react "Pride".
I am all for the opposers to be relocated to Kansas.
@4, Engineers are paid decent middle class wages. Doctors are paid upper-class wages, Veterinarians are paid for less than doctors, and five men own as much as everyone else combined. It's not binary, and frankly, the reason we're not more angry about it is that one tenth of the world's wealth is literally incomprehensible. You have to be able to conceive of something to get angry at it, and nobody has an inkling of what that really means.

tldr; stop being reactionary. We're all in this together.
Doctor's come out of med school steeped in so much debt that their starting pay has to be well into the 6 figures - and it only goes dramatically up from there. It's another great argument for subsidized or free STEM education for anyone who demonstrates aptitude. I agree on CEO pay, but know for a fact that for software engineers it's supply and demand. A mediocre coder creates far more work than he or she achieves.
Boycott McDonalds forever Now! Run them out of business Now!
I'm tired of hearing from economists and Charles Mudede. What do the actual minimum-wage workers say about how this is affecting them? Did I miss that story?
Charles, name one Marxist Socialist system that works anywhere. Anywhere!!!
I'd argue with the idea that the authors haven't read Keynes, etc. They most likely have- it's hard to get a PhD in economics without having read them, and to be familiar with the basics.

The issue is more likely that Economics is an Art not a Science in that the conclusions and perspective are far too likely to be based on a person's personal beliefs than by anything concrete. This is the problem with it- it's not that they don't have access to understand that this sort of short-sighted, small minded study that doesn't look at a larger picture (where would the additional 5,000 jobs be? Would they help anyone? Would anyone work those jobs willingly?).

Economics is a sibling to Game Theory, which is not a study of human behavior, but a study of methods of justifying laws. Economics is the same thing- not really a study of economics, but a study of justifying the economic results one wishes to believe are moral. Both are much easier than looking at the result of current and past methods and judging their efficacy.
This article states, verbatim : "While Seattle's economy is booming, Kansas' imploded after implementing deep, 'job creating' tax cuts in 2014."

This statement is factually incorrect. There is no indication that the private-sector economy of Kansas has "imploded." In fact, the unemployment rate in Kansas is slightly lower than the US unemployment rate overall, as is demonstrated by this graph based on US department of Labor statistics:…

And the Kansas tax cuts were very haphazard as they left huge loopholes. People who are genuinely pro-low taxes want tax rates that are low, but far. That is why even Libertarians are generally against the Kansas tax cuts:…

And as for the minimum wage, again, it is NOT a question of pure unemployment rate. It is also an issue of demographics and the fate of initially low-skilled workers. Again, the question no one wants to answer:
If the value of $15/hour doesn't change based on inflation, who is going to risk hiring a high school drop-out at starting at that rate? Who is going to hire a recent immigrant who doesn't yet speak fluent English? Who is going to hire a convicted felon at $15/hour? Those groups and others go from being unemployed, to umemployable.

And I say "initially low-skilled" because that is just what they are: people who, at the moment they are looking for a job, are low skilled. It says NOTHING about their ability to acquire skills after being hired and hence making their labor more valuable and thereby allowing themselves a chance to earn better pay later on. Minimum wage is a STARTING POINT, not a be-all, end all. At a lower starting wage, those workers can at least have a chance to work their way up.

And a disproportionate number of those initially low-skilled workers are people of color. The result is greater discrimination against minority applicants. At a lower wage, they have a chance to start low and work there way up...a lot better than having no chance what so ever.

Both academic studies, like this one:… and history shows us that minimum wage results in, essentially, state-sanctioned white supremacy.…

And now I will receive nothing but ad hominem attacks in reply, with no substantive arguments what so ever.
@9: did charles say that "marxist socialist systems" were the solution to something? must have missed that.

sounded like he was saying that raising the minimum wage so that it was a living wage was good policy. it's not really a radical contention.

Fuck yeah, someone lit a fire under Charles. That was a great rant. Loved it.
@11 This is not an ad hominem attack.

Would you support a basic guaranteed income?
@11 It sounds like what you're saying is that we shouldn't raise the minimum wage because employers are racist dickwads.

I think the problem here is the racist dickwad part, not the minimum wage part.
did Charles' posting rate go up ten times to make up for the fact that the rest of the site is practically devoid of daily content compared to even a year ago?

Are you still here? I thought you were going to blow this Popsicle stand of PC liberal progressiveness for a more suitable Galt's-Gulch inspired paradise in Tejas or whatnot? Or did they already kick your sorry ass out?
@19 These libertarians and their ideals only work as long as they're allowed to suck off the teat of progressive taxpaying citizens.

and @mistral Your rant makes it clear you only made it to Econ 101 and most likely didn't pass.
I read this assuming there would be some analysis of the job market and/or wages for low-skilled jobs in Kansas. Is there some reason that was omitted from the piece?
This is more a rant than an argument - and there are real arguments to be made here. The advantage of a minimum wage is not that it helps the poorest workers (although it does that for many of them, some who would otherwise get jobs don't find them). The advantage of a minimum wage is that is stop wages from spiraling ever lower over time, and helps stop top earners wages from spiraling beer higher. It creates a hard line business must balance around. That is not a bad thing overall.
The study itself found no negative effects overall - it hits the very poorest to some extent, but that was not unexpected. Over time that effect should diminish. More important, over time you won't see wages continue to drop steeply compared to past earnings.
I looked at 11's picture and decided I would be happier and just as well informed if I ignored that mound of bull shit.
Good article.
I absolutely 100% would support Universal Basic Income, as long as it was funded not through taxes on income, but on land and, natural resources, and taxes on carbon.

The Libertarian philosophy is, among other things, that a person should keep what they create. Well, no one created the land, the natural resources, or the environment that is being ruined. I absolutely support the Georgist idea of giving every adult basic income, and think that should be explored as a replacement or at least a supplement to welfare state spending and things like minimum wages.

I basically would like to see what is being done in Alaska spread to the rest of the country, but not just income from oil profits but also from all natural resources and the land itself. I'd even be open to nationalizing all energy and natural resource companies, as long as other private industries remain, for the most part, free from government interference.

And thank you for being an adult and asking an adult question, unlike others who ignore all my cited points and instead fling ad hominem.

@21 I provided a link to a graph based on Department of Labor data showing the Kansas unemployment rate is lower than the national average. An argument can certainly be made for Kansas's public sector being in trouble with lack of funding, but the private-sector economy and the job market as a whole is actually doing pretty good.
Racism is real, no question about that. However, is an employer saying "if I have to pay $15/hour, I can't take a chance on an ex-felon" really said employer being racist?

It just so happens that, thanks to the racist war on drugs, a disproportionate number of convicted felons in America are people of color. So it isn't really simply "employers are racist" as much as it is they are parts of the same system that disenfranchises people of color, whether they want to be a part of that system or not.

At the very least the city government could have passed complimentary ordinances to say, for example, that people may say "not convicted of a felony" if said felony was non-violent and happened more than two years earlier. But that would be too much work without the glamour of photo-opps with clenched fists and slogans, so our city council wants nothing to do with it.