They went there: Seattle just enacted a $15/hour minimum wage

posted at 8:41 pm on June 2, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

Last week, Michigan became the latest of a handful of states to officially raise its minimum wage this year, with a gradual four-year phase-in that will take its floor from $7.40 up to $9.25 an hour — but over in the city of Seattle, things just got real. Say hello to what will soon become the highest minimum wage in the nation, via the AP:

The issue has dominated politics in the liberal municipality for months. Mayor Ed Murray, who was elected last year, had promised in his campaign to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. A newly elected socialist City Council member had pushed the idea as well.

“This legislation sends a message heard around the world: Seattle wants to stop the race to the bottom in wages and that we deplore the growth in income inequality and the widening gap between the rich and the poor,” Councilmember Tom Rasmussen said.

The measure, which would take effect on April 1, 2015, includes a phase-in of the wage increase over several years, with a slower process for small businesses. The plan gives businesses with more than 500 employees nationally at least three years to phase in the increase. Those providing health insurance will have four years to complete the move. Smaller organizations will be given seven years.

The plan includes a phase-in of the wage increase over several years, with a slower process for small businesses. The plan gives businesses with more than 500 employees nationally at least three years to phase in the increase. Those providing health insurance will have four years to complete the move. Smaller organizations will be given seven years.

Well. Their purported goal might be to “stop the race the bottom” when it comes to income inequality, but what they’re really doing is hastening it, as Seattle may soon see. The full phase-in is going to be gradual (which I really don’t understand, by the way, if part of these progressives’ sincere theory is that these companies have this money in profits and executive pay to throw around anyway), but most businesses will have to hike their minimum wages from the already highest-in-the-nation $9.32 to $11/hour by next year. Seattle’s is going to become the highest minimum wage by a long shot, even if national Democrats somehow do end up getting the arbitrary, job-killing, and ludicrously one-size-does-NOT-fit-all minimum wage of “$10.10″ on which many of them are sure to campaign.


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Yeah, as Governor of Texas, I’m going to enforce strict border control – no one from any liberal states will be allowed to move here.

;)

Midas on June 2, 2014 at 10:26 PM

Hey now! Just because I happen to now be held hostage, thanks to the ObamaDepression, in a leftist, dope-smoking, dumba$$ state, you can’t ban solid Conservatives like myself. :) You’re going to have to come up with some super secret handshake or something we can use to get in or some such thing.

Meople on June 2, 2014 at 10:33 PM

OK, so by my calculations, the new phased in, minimum, minimum wage that employers will have pay their current minimum wage employees, amounts to an increase of just over 15%. So, where does that leave the poor schlub who has finally worked his/her way up to the new $11.00 minimum on paltry raises of one to three percent because of the stagnant economy? Do they now receive a 15% increase too? This is going to be so like fun to watch and stuff.

Dan_NV on June 2, 2014 at 10:41 PM

Seattle 2020.

StubbornGreenBurros on June 2, 2014 at 10:46 PM

I say let them go for it. States should be allowed to decide how they want to run things. If it works, great. If not, oh well. Either way, the rest of us can learn from their experience.

yongoro on June 2, 2014 at 10:55 PM

This, of course, is an anti-human being law. Any employer with any sense will drop human employees from their payroll instantly and shift the workload to those few robot-assisted employee that are left. This may help the IT departments of the nation but I doubt it will help many low salary employees. As Groucho Marx said, “If you aren’t satisfied with your slave-wages I can always get rid of your wages.”

Fred 2 on June 2, 2014 at 11:04 PM

So, what are Seattle’s plans for the thousands of unskilled workers heading for Da Promised Lan’ of $15 bucks an hour?

It’ll be like the Okies during the Dustbowl, only it will be tattooed and nose-ringed gits from Olympia, Ellensburg and Long Beach flooding the help-wanted listings of drive-thru expresso stands and burger joints.

Seattle was once a wonderful city sitting in one of the prettiest places on earth. It will never sink as low as Detroit because those who can afford the tariff will still want to live there, between the Sound and the mountains (I mean, what was it about Detroit that made anyone want to live there in the first place?)

Dolce Far Niente on June 2, 2014 at 11:05 PM

I have plenty of liberal friends who are all for this (although none of them live in Seattle). Just like Panera Bread’s idea of “pay what you think it’s worth”, it will be a disaster.

yongoro on June 2, 2014 at 11:14 PM

Why do conservatives accept the premise that we even need a minimum wage? If there was no minimum wage, more people would have jobs and the people with jobs would have more money in their pockets.

The entire idea behind the minimum wage is totally nonsensical. Why should the government dictate the relationship between employer and employee?

nazo311 on June 2, 2014 at 11:15 PM

I have plenty of liberal friends who are all for this (although none of them live in Seattle). Just like Panera Bread’s idea of “pay what you think it’s worth”, it will be a disaster.

yongoro on June 2, 2014 at 11:14 PM

Panera is already replacing their employees with kiosks.

nazo311 on June 2, 2014 at 11:16 PM

Seattle was once a wonderful city sitting in one of the prettiest places on earth. It will never sink as low as Detroit because those who can afford the tariff will still want to live there

Dolce Far Niente on June 2, 2014 at 11:05 PM

Give it about 10-15 years….

California used to be considered a beautiful state and a very desirable place to live. Now the state is hemorrhaging productive residents.

Norwegian on June 2, 2014 at 11:20 PM

This is great. This will force companies to automate more. It will have the effect of bringing more automation for everyone, everywhere.

Low wage workers will get priced out of the market? That’s okay. As Ehrlich has told us, someone has to be the food supply.

fadetogray on June 2, 2014 at 11:21 PM

I believe our House has to vote on raise here in MI Senate did pass it…

Bullhead on June 2, 2014 at 11:48 PM

It just means that the prices for Mariner, Seahawks, and Sounders games just went up.

ConservativePartyNow on June 2, 2014 at 11:51 PM

A confession: I live in Seattle. I have my reasons. One thing, I liked the openness to new arrivals once common to the west, at least 3 decades ago.

There’s still about a third of the voters who do not go along with the uber-progressive zeitgeist in our public arena. But the ubers are so overwhelmingly dominant in the public space, not to mention their allies the media, that most of us on the center-right just buckle down to our duty, our family, our private lives.

Sad, but true. Commentator Ben Shapiro describes the present situation here as tyranny with a smiley face. One party dominance has been the norm here for several decades, even in so-called “non-partisan” offices (like Mayor — the recently elected mayor came from being the leader of the Ds in the state senate — oh, yeah, a totally non-partisan. Like having Harry Reid become your polling place judge. Did I mention we have no polling places any more? just mail-in ballots.)

When I arrived in the 70s, there was a stalwart but moderate Republican party, even electing a senator, a governor and a county executive or two. But that is long gone in western Washington. Eastern Washington still has sense enough to elect some conservative Rs to Congress, but on this side of the mountains, it’s been one-party D rule since about 1982 or so. I mean, Patty Murray? Maria Cantwell?? Baghdad Jim McDermott??? But the prevailing view here seems to be everything is going to be just dandy. Because Amazon Starbucks Microsoft.

Sigh.

ugottabekiddingme on June 3, 2014 at 12:18 AM

Sure, business will retaliate in the short run to “prove” the increase caused problems in the economy, but they won’t keep it up for long. That ole greed bug never goes away with the capitalists.

cimbri on June 3, 2014 at 1:18 AM

Didn’t see it mentioned above but they will also institute a sub minimum wage for teens. The unintended consequence is that unemployment for teens will dop as employers shed older minimum wage adult s if they deem a kid can do just as well but cheaper. Then they will see unemployment rise in the “donut hole” where an low skilled adult is too expensive at $15. For the marginal low skill but mature experience, their wages will be pressured downwards — more like the rise in their income will decline. And on it goes, a vicious downward spiral.

AH_C on June 3, 2014 at 1:50 AM

Seattle was once a wonderful city sitting in one of the prettiest places on earth. It will never sink as low as Detroit because those who can afford the tariff will still want to live there

Dolce Far Niente on June 2, 2014 at 11:05 PM

Give it about 10-15 years….

California used to be considered a beautiful state and a very desirable place to live. Now the state is hemorrhaging productive residents.

Norwegian on June 2, 2014 at 11:20 PM

It is a still a beautiful state, nobody can take that away from it, it’s ridiculous to claim otherwise. and the state has enough productive residents, thank you very much, if I hear one more Cali doom rhetoric I am going to puke. Yes, there are a lot of dang progressives who are annoying like heck, politics here suck, but the state is going to be fine, regardless, california is no detroit, and probably neither is seattle.

jimver on June 3, 2014 at 2:13 AM

I work for Boeing in Charleston SC. I’ve been considering a transfer to Seattle.
I think I’ll just stay put for now…

jbspry on June 3, 2014 at 2:31 AM

So what *exactly* is the difference between the $7 #4 i get at the McDonald’s in the horrendous backwaters of South Louisiana and the about-to-be $12 #4 i could get in The People’s Glorious Socialist Utopia of Seattle?

hurricane567 on June 3, 2014 at 3:12 AM

Stupid move by Seattle. Now a bunch of businesses will leave the city and Seattle’s economy will take a big hit.

SoulGlo on June 3, 2014 at 5:17 AM

And cue The Exodus From Seattle in 5…4…3…2…

Newtie and the Beauty on June 2, 2014 at 9:06 PM

I am going to be the contrarian and point out that from the comments so far we are living up to the moniker of the Stupid Party being stupid.

What will be the result of this hike in the minimum wage? Seattle will become more gentrified with a vast reduction of illegal immigrants working fast food, landscaping and retail jobs.

No, the city will not become Detroit. There isn’t a black majority running the city, so the outcome will not be the same.

If I were living in Seattle, I would cross party lines and vote for the damn mayor, as he is obviously doing more than any Republican in getting the illegals out.

If Republicans were smart we would ask for the same in red states and drive out millions of low skilled Democrats that have been incentivized to cross the border by the owners of fast food franchises that are f’ing us over by socializing the cost of having them here.

Until you people start to think differently you will just get more of the same.

FrankT on June 3, 2014 at 5:59 AM

FrankT on June 3, 2014 at 5:59 AM

You are right. The high minimum wage hurts Republicans in the very short run, and is a bit hard on society, but helps conservatism and the Republican Party in the long run.

In this way it is the mirror image of what amnesty is to the Democrats, wherein adding millions of low skill workers helps continue to crush wages of mostly Democrat low wage workers, but adds millions of hard leftwing Democrat voters for the future.

Unfortunately, the GOP being the Stupid Party means they don’t take advantage of the other side’s willingness to shoot their own foot the way the Democrats do with the drive for amnesty.

fadetogray on June 3, 2014 at 6:53 AM

FrankT on June 3, 2014 at 5:59 AM

This lacks a fundamental understanding of economics as well as the liberal brain.

As jobs are lost due to the high cost of labor, there will be more entitlements. Which will raise taxes. Which will increase costs. Which will mean the left will call for higher minimum wages, which will increase costs, which will cause more job losses, which will cause more people on entitlements, which will raise taxes, which will cause the left to call for higher minimum wages.

And, by the way, higher minimum wage helps illegals. they are willing to work under the table for less than minimum wage. Therefore, as employers are squeezed by this ridiculous minimum wage, they will hire more illegals under the table in an effort to stay in business.

Illegals don’t come here looking for work when we have 8%+ unemployment because employers are offering them high wages. They come here knowing they can undercut legal workers by accepting lower than minimum wage, no benefits, no taxes (by the employer), thus costing the employer far less – which is why they find jobs (I’m not saying this is right by employers, just explaining the economics). When you increase the cost of legal labor, you make illegals more attractive to hire.

So, your entire theory rests on a lack of understanding what drives the employment of illegals. It isn’t “jobs Americans won’t do” – it is wages Americans won’t accept. When you add in that illegals will usually work harder because they know they can be fired at will (as they are illegal, they usually have little recourse when fired), illegals are a good economic value for employers.

Monkeytoe on June 3, 2014 at 7:59 AM

If anyone thinks this will reduce the illegal influx , they are mistaken. If anything, the parking lot of the SODO (south of the downtown core) Home Depot will be flooded with trabajadores most willing to work for 2/3 the minimum wage. The suburbs of the south county will be even more flooded with the undocumented than they are now.

Tekov Yahoser on June 3, 2014 at 8:00 AM

So, your entire theory rests on a lack of understanding what drives the employment of illegals. It isn’t “jobs Americans won’t do” – it is wages Americans won’t accept.

Monkeytoe on June 3, 2014 at 7:59 AM

…or -legally- can’t accept, as in this example.

ebrown2 on June 3, 2014 at 8:07 AM

Sure, business will retaliate in the short run to “prove” the increase caused problems in the economy, but they won’t keep it up for long. That ole greed bug never goes away with the capitalists.

cimbri on June 3, 2014 at 1:18 AM

And here we have the vomit-brained stupidity of the “top-hatted vampire” view of capitalism’s origin and function. It isn’t a question of “retaliation,” but the cost of doing business. Economic/political ignoramuses like “cimbri” view commercial activity as a Big Rock Candy mountain that just exists while being guarded by evil money-making gnomes.

ebrown2 on June 3, 2014 at 8:11 AM

Why do conservatives accept the premise that we even need a minimum wage?
nazo311 on June 2, 2014 at 11:15 PM

Most conservatives don’t accept the premise but do accept reality. Fighting to repeal the minimum wage would sap a lot of strength for a losing cause. That may be fine for Pickett’s Charge but then, those ideologues lost, didn’t they?

rhombus on June 3, 2014 at 8:29 AM

What will be the result of this hike in the minimum wage? Seattle will become more gentrified with a vast reduction of illegal immigrants working fast food, landscaping and retail jobs.

FrankT on June 3, 2014 at 5:59 AM

Sorry, Frank but this is absurd so you shouldn’t be talking about stupid parties. Illegals come because they can undercut the minimum wage. Raising the minimum wage means they get a raise too and they get to keep even more of their illegal booty. You actually think that by raising the minimum wage, fewer illegals will come? Where do you get ANY evidence of that? Seriously. Who is going to hire a landscaping company that has to charge enough to pay grass cutters $15 an hour? Instead, they’ll hire the landscaper who employs illegals (no questions asked) for far less money.

rhombus on June 3, 2014 at 8:36 AM

But I thought that raising the minimum wage had no impact on businesses?! Why the need of a 3-7 year “phase in” then? What are these Econ-101 illiterates afraid of?

ptcamn on June 3, 2014 at 8:39 AM

I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords!

HakerA on June 3, 2014 at 8:47 AM

Seattle is already inundated with panhandlers – especially downtown, Pioneer Square, Pike Place Market, and along the waterfront. I notice more panhandlers in Seattle than I find in NYC or DC for that matter.
This can’t help.
-
http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/North_America/United_States_of_America/Washington_State/Seattle-894670/Warnings_or_Dangers-Seattle-Beggars_Panhandlers_Homeless-BR-1.html

diogenes on June 3, 2014 at 9:23 AM

Funny. In seven years the min wage probably would have been $15/hour anyway.

At least this way, there’s an opportunity to destroy businesses while we wait.

Tsar of Earth on June 3, 2014 at 9:26 AM

…and people will flock to red states bringing their toxic liberal ideology with them. Just friggin’ great.

higgins1991 on June 2, 2014 at 8:49 PM

Certainly, those smarticle libs know better than going to SC. It’s really horrible here there.

Tsar of Earth on June 3, 2014 at 9:34 AM

Hey now! Just because I happen to now be held hostage, thanks to the ObamaDepression, in a leftist, dope-smoking, dumba$$ state, you can’t ban solid Conservatives like myself. :) You’re going to have to come up with some super secret handshake or something we can use to get in or some such thing.

Meople on June 2, 2014 at 10:33 PM

No problem. You’ll just have to take a loyalty oath, with your left hand on Stephen F. Austin’s journal, stacked on top of Sam Houston’s bible.

Ward Cleaver on June 3, 2014 at 9:49 AM

This is superb. I’m all for it.

Liberals don’t grasp the truth unless it clubs them over the head (even then the issue is in doubt). Let Seattle be a test case for them.

My condolences to the sane citizens of this city. Your comrades are embarking on a glorious experiment that can only end one way.

Psycroptic on June 3, 2014 at 9:51 AM

I can’t wait to see what happens to fast food restaurants – I bet they all close, after first installing automated touchpad ordering stations, running a Microsoft OS from nearby Redmond.

Ward Cleaver on June 3, 2014 at 9:52 AM

FrankT on June 3, 2014 at 5:59 AM

Wow, that analysis rivals one of LFoD’s……

GWB on June 3, 2014 at 9:54 AM

Hope they put up a bunch of low-income housing, too, because the Holder’s people will be arriving soon.

HopeHeFails on June 3, 2014 at 10:17 AM

Seattle, the new Detroit.

kirkill on June 3, 2014 at 10:25 AM

I’m looking forward to seeing the faces of people who get told that they’re pay is going up to $15/hour, followed by being told that their hours are getting cut to 12/week.

That should be epic.

Left Coast Right Mind on June 3, 2014 at 10:35 AM

they’re = their

Left Coast Right Mind on June 3, 2014 at 10:36 AM

Alternate headline: “Seattle votes for its own extinction.” Prediction: When the price of say <cDonald's skyrockets within the city limit, the morons who praised this will be sitting in the drive-throughs in the suburbs – outside the city limits – to buy their lunches.

PJ Emeritus on June 3, 2014 at 10:40 AM

I say we start a maximum wage petition in Seattle. Make it illegal for the city to pay no more than 8 times min wage to any city employee. Force the mayor and council to walk the income inequality talk.

AndrewsDad on June 3, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Bunch a dam cheapskates if ask me.
Should have gone to $100 and hour and just totally eliminate poverty – everyone would be able to get anything they want – utopia!

dentarthurdent on June 3, 2014 at 11:42 AM

So what *exactly* is the difference between the $7 #4 i get at the McDonald’s in the horrendous backwaters of South Louisiana and the about-to-be $12 #4 i could get in The People’s Glorious Socialist Utopia of Seattle?

hurricane567 on June 3, 2014 at 3:12 AM

The kid that hands you your meal in Seattle is making more money – but also doing the work of the other 3 people who got laid off and replaced by the self-service kiosk that now takes the orders.

dentarthurdent on June 3, 2014 at 11:44 AM

If this is such a good idea why do they phase it in? Should have just gone to the 15 at the start of the new year.

DesertEagle on June 3, 2014 at 12:18 PM

Those of you who are saying, “Let them learn.”: libs never learn. They are always thinking, “It will work this time. Those before us were just doing it wrong.”

davidk on June 3, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Big mistake, Seattle. Let the layoffs begin.

Amazingoly on June 3, 2014 at 3:06 PM

Those of you who are saying, “Let them learn.”: libs never learn. They are always thinking, “It will work this time. Those before us were just doing it wrong.”

davidk on June 3, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Progressives are often extremely good at learning, as long as that learning is coming from an authorized progressive authority figure, and preferably from a book that bashes any traditional American values. They regard that as “questioning authority” and “engaging in critical thinking” even though what they are doing is exactly the opposite.

There are none so blind as those who don’t know how to look.

fadetogray on June 3, 2014 at 3:28 PM

A favorite quote of many from Irving Kristol is that a conservative is a liberal mugged by reality. Let us warmly wish all these people their coming mugging.

Axeman on June 3, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Correction to

Seattle just enacted a $15$0/hour minimum wage

kirkill on June 3, 2014 at 6:16 PM

Bmore?

Fallon on June 17, 2014 at 7:24 PM

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