Hey Seattle! How About That $15/hr Minimum Wage

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Last year, in a fit of Socialism, Seattle passed a $15 per hour minimum wage.  The Socialist member of the City Council cheered the move.  (She’s actually a full-fledged member of the Socialist Party.)  Barack Obama cheered the move.  Seattle’s hoity-toity rich folks cheered the move.

Everybody was full of hope and dreaming dreams of the change that the $15 per hour “living wage” was going to bring.  And then…

Well, quite unexpectedly, at least to Seattle’s Progressives, reality came home to roost, to paraphrase the good Rev. Jeremiah Wright.  The $15 minimum takes effect in a couple of weeks.

Instead of planning for a big party to celebrate the great things that big raise was going to do for working-poor families, the mood is a little more like the Seattle weather:  downcast and drizzly.

Last month—and particularly last week— Seattle foodies were downcast as the blows kept coming:

  • Queen Anne’s Grub closed February 15.
  • Pioneer Square’s Little Uncle shut down February 25. Shanik’s Meeru Dhalwala announced that it will close March 21.
  • Renée Erickson’s Boat Street Café will shutter May 30 after 17 years with her at the helm…

What the #*%&$* is going on? A variety of things, probably—and a good chance there is more change to come.

See, Progressives are good at cooking up change that sounds hopeful.  Unfortunately, they don’t do “details” and they don’t do anything that remotely resembles “math.”  (See “Common Core.”)  Here’s what reality looks like for the guy paying the $15 minimum wage.

  Current $15
Food Cost 30% 30%
Operating Cost 30% 30%
Labor Cost 36% 42%
Profit Margin 4% -2%

See, Progressives are a one-dimensional group of “people.”  They are the one dimension.  Everybody doesn’t exist, except to pay for their wishes and desires.  And then comes the “oops.”

In this case, $15 drives the labor cost up to the point where the business owners (known to Progressives as “The Rich”) actually loses 2 cents on every dollar they take in.  That’s called, by everybody BUT Progressives, insolvency.

And, as the above closings note, that which can’t continue, won’t.  Unfortunately they’ll never figure that one out.



About Author

Michael Becker is a long time activist and a businessman. He's been involved in the pro-life movement since 1976 and has been counseling addicts and ministering to prison inmates since 1980. Becker is a Curmudgeon. He has decades of experience as an operations executive in turnaround situations and in mortgage banking. He blogs regularly at The Right Curmudgeon, The Minority Report, Wizbang, Unified Patriots and Joe for America. He lives in Phoenix and is almost always armed.

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