Friday, June 16, 2017

A Minimum Wage Experience in Washington State

Harrison Burge, EPJ Daily Alert research assistant, emails:

My wife and I are in Spokane, WA for the weekend. I just had an interesting experience that I thought you'd appreciate.

We had breakfast at Denny's this morning. Of course, as is customary now, no hostess is there to greet you, having long been priced out of the labor market.

As we were seated, I couldn't help but notice that there were no busboys in sight - waitresses and the manager were busy clearing and cleaning tables. There were no young people in sight either, only employees in their late-20s and up.

I waited for the manager to man the checkout register and couldn't pass up a brief economic discussion. I commented that I'm from out of state (Idaho, where the minimum wage is the federally mandated $7.25/hr) and couldn't help but notice the impact that Washington's minimum wage ($11/hr) was having on his restaurant.

Drenched in sweat, he commented that the minimum wage is killing him. He's 62 years old and works 90 hours per week. He'll be quitting in a couple of weeks to work as a teacher's aide and draw early social security payments.

I said that it's a shame that a 16-year old who wants to work probably can't get a job as a busboy at his restaurant - that their first rung on the employment ladder has been cut by the legislature.

He was a pretty sharp guy and understood the implications of the wage hike. He hadn't considered the unseen effects of teenage employment.

I wished him well and told him we'd be back tomorrow morning for breakfast.

Here's yet another victim of the minimum wage madness.


  1. But according to calculations by the know-nothings, this doesn't happen and minimum wage hikes don't actually have negative effects. Who should we believe? Academics talking about hypotheticals or the realities that people actually witness?

  2. I don't know why we should even be having this discussion. As the global warming alarmists like to say, "the science is in." The science in this case is the law of demand. Labor service is an economic good, and with any economic good (ceteris paribus), the quantity demanded will move inversely with its price - period, paragraph, page, and ...... NUFF SAID.