Comments

1
It's important to make a distinction between an anecdote and a study. The former cannot refute the latter. This isn't to say that the UW study is unassailable, it isn't. Their lack of data on multiple site employers, as the author mentions, is one notable, but not fatal, flaw. I am happy that the author is more financially secure now that she's earning more but she shouldn't attribute an increase in business for Domino's to any sort of causation from the increase in the minimum wage. It isn't there. The UW study tried to account and control for economic growth and given their data limitations I think they did a laudable job. You could quibble with their cutoff of $19/hour for low wage as too low, but their findings that hours worked were lower than they would have been under the previous law cannot be dismissed out of hand by one worker's success story.

It is perfectly within reason and still in keeping with the UW study's results that some low-wage workers, likely most, would see overall increases in income. It's that hours worked in aggregate are lower, so some low-wage workers are worse off. This anecdote does nothing to nullify that result. Given the strength of the local economy it is still quite possible that this and other worker's wages would have increased regardless of the minimum wage law. I'm not against having raised the minimum wage, I just think it is important that we try to discuss both the benefits and the costs associated with it to the best that we can. I think the UW study added significantly to that conversation.
2
I second Roger Mortimer's comments.
3
Well, I'd like to hear an anecdotal essay from a worker that is worse off. Are they real or hypothetical?
4
This is the worst kind of piece (OK, not *the worst* but it's unproductive). Like obviously an increased minimum wage works for a lot of people, basically everyone who sees a minimum wage increase. But anyone who reasonably feels they lost their job due to the minimum wage increase could just as quickly stay "The Slog Guest Editorial does not reflect my life as an unemployed person".
5
Bravo Crystal. Thanks for sharing your story!
6
Seattle hit 2.6% unemployment in April. That's friction. There were literally 11,349 jobseekers that month, and only about 20% of those were likely looking for low-wage work. The biggest constraint on the growth of low-wage jobs in Seattle is the scarcity of low-wage workers.

So yeah, Crystal's piece may be anecdotal. But it's an anecdote that supports the facts on the ground in real Seattle, rather than the hypotheticals of the UW study's "Synthetic Seattle" model.
7
The OP is only talking about her place. And she's a Manager. So she makes more anyways. I know a Dominoes manager. And he makes more than $15 hr for sure. Her experience is one person, in one store only. The study has a wider range of observation.
8
I'm more with godly on this one. I haven't read the us study, but what summaries I have read make me concerned about the methodology, not least the comment from Berkeley. I'm interested to read it, and the authors response to the comments submitted. Models aren't reality, and I'm concerned that this one may not have been properly calibrated to reflect the ground truth, given the employment situation in Seattle. It seems to me that a good poll might provide more info than a synthetic model.
9
@all, when you start with "I haven't read the study but" really says to most people your opinion is uninformed
10
@9, I thought my comment was pretty clear about the level of information I have at the moment. I'm not sure about the results, but I think it is totally reasonable to have doubts about the study given Cals response, and the economic situation of Seattle at the moment. If you are going to make predictions using a synthetic model, you really need to carefully calibrate it to ground truth stats. All of that is tricky, and smart and diligent researchers can still get it wrong.
11
Most people lack the qualifications to understand a peer-reviewed economics paper anyway, let alone have the expertise to critique its methods, so it doesn't matter if they read it or not. The majority of comments you will see from the peanut gallery on this or any other scientific paper are simply parroting comments from professionals whose opinions align with their own.

The only relevant points that anyone who is not an economist / scientist can make and be 100% accurate every time is that no study is perfect; all methodologies have limitations; and our collective understanding does not suddenly shift course based on a single paper, but on the accumulation of evidence from multiple studies and methodologies. Everything else is smoke being blown up your ass.
12
@11, good comment. Although I would say that econ papers are especially prone to being misunderstood in that way. I saw someone quoting a study based on the employment statistics of a tiny (pop 3000) fishing island in an argument against the min wage hike. That said, I feel that folks with a background in STEM are often able to understand econ papers. It might be my overconfidence, but I feel I have more or less understood what was going on in the ones I have read. I'm sure some would be beyond me though.
14
@13 yeah she should have to work endlessly in misery. Go fuck yourself.
15
@13,

Pretty sure the world feels the same toward you. Probably a big part of why you're so bitter.
16
She's obviously not doing so great if she is still needing sec 8 and food stamps, Something isn't right, as a Burger King manager I can say all team members are part time and the manager pick up the extra duties, I would like to know how she qualifies for sec 8 and food stamps making 15 an HR, I Know ppl that are making 13 in Tacoma area that don't qualify because they make too much at a 40 he work week. Notice she didn't mention if she's working 40 hrs a week, or part time. With min wage at 15 an HR times 40 hrs a week (what employees were working before 15 an HR and Obama care) that makes gross pay at 600 a week, how is it a person can make that much and still get sec8 and food stamps!!!! Vacation to universal studios on taxpayers dime obviously, I work 50 hrs a week with no state help, pay my own rent, food, med, single mom with 2 teenagers and can't afford to take my family on a camping trip...
2 years ago I was off work for cancer treatment, and couldn't get state help because with short term disability they said I brought in to much. To me it's mind blowing that someone working full time at 15 an HR can basically scam the system, brag about it and take an extremely expensive vacation..you pple should be outraged because it's taxpayers that are funding the vacation. Not to say family's Don't deserve vacations, a person that can't afford to pay full rent and buy food with cash can't afford universal studios. Those programs are in place for ppl that are barely treading water, not for ppl to take expensive vacations and build a savings account.... Someone is scamming the system, or not being truthful!!!!!!
17
@16

As a general rule, I try to remember that poor folks scamming a bit from the gov (not saying that happened here) is peanuts compared to what the ultra rich get away with. Anyone here remember 2008?
19
Happy for you, Crystal. I do wonder one thing though. So does this mean last year's stories about how you sometimes had to get by with only 15 hours a week are untrue? (e.g., http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news…). Because if those stories are true then the study -- which found drops in hours for low-paid workers in 2016 -- would seem to fit pretty well.
20
@18,
Reasonable misunderstanding. I wasn't saying that any level of fraud is ok, just that a lot of folks outrage meters are broken, and I believe it is because it's hard to internalize the scale of the financial industry. I believe that "Not ok" is a spectrum. For instance, stealing a candy bar and stealing a retirees life savings are both theft, but I'm more upset about the retiree. Widen that gulf a bit (maybe a lot) farther and the have the difference between the level of damage an I'll intentioned poor person and an I'll intentioned financial institution. Many folkz get more upset by the candy bar, cause it's closer to a normal level of life.

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