Thursday, June 5, 2014

Following $15 Minimum Wage in SeaTac, Local Businesses are Adding an 8.25% ‘Living Wage Surcharge’


Erin Shannon, Director of the Center for Small Business writes on The Washington Policy Center blog that “In SeaTac, Everyone Pays for the $15 Minimum Wage“:
Last week I blogged about SeaTac employers who have responded to the new $15 minimum wage law by reducing or eliminating the benefits workers receive.  Employees earning the new wage say they have lost benefits such as 401k, paid holidays, paid vacation, free food, free parking and overtime hours.  As one SeaTac worker put it, “It sounds good, but it’s not good.”
But workers aren’t the only ones paying for the high wage.  Consumers are also picking up the tab, in the form of increased prices.  Many SeaTac businesses have tacked on an additional fee to mitigate the increased cost of labor.  On the receipt pictured above, a $6.93 “living wage surchage” was added to a $84.00 parking charge.  That is the equivalent of a 8.25% tax.
Contrary to what supporters claim, increasing the minimum wage does not create jobs and stimulate the economy.  The higher wages are not free money.  The increased cost must either be absorbed by the employer, which is impossible for many who already operate on shoe-string profit margins, or it must be passed on to workers, in the form of reduced hours and benefits, and consumers, in the form of higher prices.  Either way, someone pays.
(via MarkPerry)


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29 comments:

  1. Note to self: Never use Masterpark again... Ever!

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  2. This is an incredibly stupid and biased article. Any business who cannot stay afloat paying a minimum wage should go bankrupt. It's how the free market works. Try reading a book on economics, or buying groceries on a "shoestring budget".

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    1. A free market doesn't have a minimum wage. A free market wage is whatever the workers/employers agree to. What books on economics have you read? I hope they had pictures.

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    2. If it were a free market, the goverment would not be mandating what businesses pay their employees. Perhaps it is your who should crack open an economics book.

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    3. LOL, I think you should take your own advice. And, clearly you are careless in your use of words. There would never be such as stupid thing as a minimum wage in a free market. Secondly, a business goes out of business because it cannot sell a product at a price that covers its cost. This is where the left goes off the rails in its economic thinking. If customers really believe in the concept of a $15/min wage, then surely they'll have no problem paying the higher costs. Unfortunately, history demonstrates, consumers are not willing to pay much of a premium for what the left calls social responsibility. Maybe SeaTac will be different.

      Also, if you really think you have a grasp on economics and what it takes to run a small business, why not get off your pedestal and open a business in the SeaTac area to help make up for the job loss from the employers you feel should go out of business because of their incompetence and show everyone how its done. Who knows you may become wildly successful and at the same time the Neanderthals running today's small businesses may learn how paying someone a wage that the value of their productivity cannot cover can still make a profit and thrive.

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    4. "Incredibly stupid and biased?" That's not even economics, that's just common sense. $15 minimum wage is ridiculous, and at the end of the day businesses are going to do what they have to do to retain their margins, ie cutting full time employees hours, charging customers more, etc. In the end, everyone loses.

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    5. Did you read what you wrote before submission, mate?

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    6. Zastels....or JW or dickhead or whatever your name is....

      I'll echo another poster and say you need to follow your own advice. You have absolutely no clue what a free market is do you? YOU need to crack open a an econ 101 text. Here, let me help you...

      http://mises.org/books/lessons_for_the_young_economist_murphy.pdf

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    7. "Any business who cannot stay afloat paying a minimum wage should go bankrupt."

      Any minimum wage? Even a sudden hike? What if we increased it to $30/hour, is that still true?

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    8. I love how everyone here takes the stance that we currently do not have a free market. Great argument guys, didn't realize capitalism came and went and the market closed.

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    9. @ Zastels

      Your ignorance is understandable as 'capitalism' as we know it has been used as a word directly interchangeable with the words "free market".

      Strictly in terms of definition, capitalism doesn't seem to reference voluntary exchange, which ipso facto the words 'free market' do.

      This is an important distinction, you are equivocating the two, which is your mistake and understandable if you are influenced by mainstream media & its thinking, etc.

      BUT, the importance of voluntary exchange in understanding what a 'free market' is, is paramount. Capitalism as we see it today in the US is rife with things that undermine voluntary exchange.

      Two examples:

      A. Compulsory insurance(whether car or health)
      B. Regulations imposed on the current market(not free) by government- somethings these regs hurt all industry, but many other times they hurt only small business and favor big business and are lobbied for by big corps.

      So a 'free market' is simply that, 'free'. Capitalism, mmmnmm, not so much as we see it today here in the US.

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  3. Did Jerry Wolfgang change his handle to "zastels"? Buddy, you are a clinical moron.

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    1. I like that: "Clinical Moron". Makes very good sense as a descriptor for those who think money grows on trees...

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  4. If only they could pass the surcharge to only those who voted for the MW increase.

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  5. I'm all in favor of this explicitly itemized surcharge as a way to back even more liberals and economic illiterates into a corner. Having the surcharge displayed openly at least illustrates how ideas have consequences, and how the consequences of bad ideas must be borne by someone, rather than obscured by collectivism.

    To anyone who said you wanted a $15 minimum wage, now you have it. And now you're seeing exactly how it's going to be paid for. I *dare* you to say that *you* don't want to have to pay for it. That someone else should have to pay for it.

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    1. When it comes to economics, these people are all about smoke and mirrors -- similar to their constant call for gun control as if having more laws somehow magically fixes things. My guess is they'll pass a law against this so that the cost will be hidden. The bill will remain the same but the line will be gone. Problem solved.

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    2. It won't matter. They'll just insist that the companies are lying and their greed is the only reason for the price increase. They totally COULD have paid higher wages without raising prices, they're just too greedy and are using this as an "excuse" to gouge the public. This will help the nut-cases demand more socialism in Seattle. Because see, this is what happens in a "free market!"

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    3. Matt, you just described the insane contradictions in their "thinking" (I put "thinking" in quote because they're not thinking, they're "emoting").

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  6. It's a fucking parking garage. They have no attendants and minimal customer service. This is a ridiculous example of the "impact" the minimum wage has, or will have... and this is coming from someone who doesn't support its skyrocketing.

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    1. Own a lot of parking garages, do you?

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    2. Um, did you miss the small bit at the top of the receipt that said "Valet Service?"

      Meaning, you give your keys to another human being who parks the car for you.

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    3. Yes, but is harbinger.

      And not harbinger of good things.

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    4. Not very good at attention to detail, are you?

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  7. So, a parking garage that rakes in money to begin with, adds a charge to adjust for a higher minimum wage and suddenly the whole idea and law fails? Hmm. Me thinks that the parking garage is making a money grab and blaming it on the law. When I see a business owner, like say Poppa John, living pay check to pay check because of a higher minimum wage, or having to give his employees more benefits, then I will think its a failure. As it is, business owners like Poppa Johns live in a 12 million dollar house and then say that they simply cannot afford to pay their people more. And the sad thing is, people believe that nonsense.

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    1. It's always easy to spot a Lefty, they always start from a place of envy:

      "So, a parking garage that rakes in money to begin with" or "business owners like Poppa Johns live in a 12 million dollar house ".

      Anyway, there's two things to note in your diatribe IMO:

      1. What gives you the right to decide what a business owner can or can not make? If you don't like his parking fee, use another garage instead of passing another law telling him what to do. Same goes for Pappa John's.

      What you fail to understand is that they are rich because many people do value their service/product, in fact you actually condemn them for it.

      2. No one is 'entitled' to anything that forcibly takes something from someone else(like higher wages), even if that other person is an "evil rich person" as long as they've respected property rights & the NAP in becoming so.

      If you lobby for anything else you might as well declare that having a tyrant of some sort(even a benevolent one) is better than property rights...not a good place to be if you value hard work, good products, & wealthy society as a whole, etc.


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    2. Lon, what you may not understand is that a small profit margin can lead to huge profits with economies of scale. For example, Pappa Johns may only be making $4 per hour. But when you have 1000 locations that means $4,000/hour. If you are employing 5 people at each location and you increase their pay by $1/hour, suddenly, you are out of business.

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    3. "It's always easy to spot a Lefty, they always start from a place of envy"

      Yup. Pathetic isn't it? They're like giant children crying that some other kid has a toy they don't have. It's sad I have to breathe the same air as these pathetic losers. Grown children. And many of them aren't even smart enough to know they're doing it. LOL!

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  8. Lon, the whole idea of going into business is to make money. As the owner of a business it is no concern of yours how much I would make. That is my business. If you agree to work for me for a set wage that is what I will pay you. If you want more per hour/day/week/month then take your skills and go someplace else that is willing to pay you more or prove to me that your are worth more. If you can prove to me that you are worth more I will pay it. But demanding that I pay more because I make/have more then you is pure petty jealousy on your part. Get some skills, get more education, and move up to a better paying jobs like I did!

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    1. If your first rule when starting a business is to "make money", then you won't be in business for very long. The first rule should be to please customers with a exemplary product or service. Otherwise, you won't be "making money."

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