Seattle eateries closing as $15 minimum wage approaches

posted at 8:31 am on March 14, 2015 by Jazz Shaw

Last summer we talked about the rather faint hopes that some Seattle businesses were clinging to as the city moved toward jacking up their minimum wage (for some jobs) to $15.00 per hour. Employers – particularly in the restaurant industry – were asking the city council to reconsider as they evaluated their options in the face of labor costs which were about to rise to between 42 and 47 percent of their operating expenses. It all fell on deaf ears, unfortunately, and the plan is moving forward. And rather than waiting for the roof to come crashing down, some owners are preemptively closing their doors.

Seattle’s $15 minimum wage law goes into effect on April 1, 2015. As that date approaches, restaurants across the city are making the financial decision to close shop. The Washington Policy Center writes that “closings have occurred across the city, from Grub in the upscale Queen Anne Hill neighborhood, to Little Uncle in gritty Pioneer Square, to the Boat Street Cafe on Western Avenue near the waterfront.”

Of course, restaurants close for a variety of reasons. But, according to Seattle Magazine, the “impending minimum wage hike to $15 per hour” is playing a “major factor.” That’s not surprising, considering “about 36% of restaurant earnings go to paying labor costs.” ..,

“Washington Restaurant Association’s Anthony Anton puts it this way: “It’s not a political problem; it’s a math problem.”

In reference to that last quote, it’s certainly a math problem for the restaurant owners, but that doesn’t eliminate the fact that it’s a political problem for the social justice warriors who shoved this initiative through. Of course, the problems in question are all too real for the workers who are now “benefiting” from having their wages bumped up by more than 50% in some cases, and it involves some calculating as well. Our friend Bruce McQuain asks the question which puts this whole math issue in focus. What’s $15 times zero again?

Are there alternatives to closing? Sure. But they’re the same ones we’ve talked about for years:

Restaurant owners, expecting to operate on thinner margins, have tried to adapt in several ways including “higher menu prices, cheaper, lower-quality ingredients, reduced opening times, and cutting work hours and firing workers,” according to The Seattle Times and Seattle Eater magazine. As the Washington Policy Center points out, when these strategies are not enough, businesses close, “workers lose their jobs and the neighborhood loses a prized amenity.”

Welcome to the land of $17 dollar cheeseburgers. And, as you can figure out fairly quickly, everything else will be more expensive too … which, of course, erodes the purchasing power of that $15 wage. More importantly, if you work for one of those establishments that is closing, your wage is $15 times zero hours, isn’t it?

Bigger companies who can absorb the financial hit from implementing new technology have already been preparing for these changes. McDonald’s has been experimenting with point of sale automation for taking orders and Applebee’s rolled out smart tablets at tables in multiple locations last year. The latter solution is the most interesting to me because it seems like the easiest for younger consumers to adapt to. Most of the people going out to eat in such places are already familiar with laptops, tablets and smart phones anyway. Having one waiting at the table which takes the place of not only the menu, but the waitress as well, isn’t going to come as much of a shock to the system.

I ran into one of these setups at the Philadelphia airport this winter and they work surprisingly well. If you plan to pay by credit or debit card (which is the only option in some cases) you barely interact with a human at all. You browse the drinks and food on the touch screen, place your order, swipe your card, and a short while later somebody strolls up with your food and beverage, says hello and drops them off. It’s a terribly impersonal service as compared to a bartender or waitress who stops to chat with you, but it gets the job done.

Of course, that last phrase is the big issue here, isn’t it? It gets the job done. That job used to be done by a person. Now it’s essentially a robot. So those workers are no longer on the payroll, but hopefully they’ll catch on someplace else. Unfortunately, as Seattle is finding out, employers who run single outlets and don’t have the backing and buffer range of a major chain often won’t be able to make the shift in technological infrastructure required to cut back on staffing while staying open. Those folks will shut down, and it’s apparently already beginning in Washington state.

You know… if only somebody had tried to warn them.


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Comments

Unfortunately we are outnumbered by the progressive fools who have moved in here in the last 20-25 yrs.

steviecooper on March 14, 2015 at 3:39 PM

Well, now, that’s the point, isn’t it?

The waitstaff get the same $9.45/hour as the dishwasher in the back, plus tips.

Horologium on March 14, 2015 at 1:59 PM

Oh, good! Now I know I no longer have to tip when I go see my mother and family.

buggy wipes

HonestLib on March 14, 2015 at 2:50 PM

Was that a big industry? I’ve never heard of it before you mentioned it. I thought buggies were washed the old-fashioned way.

Obviously, what we need are more government regulations to prevent businesses laying people off to avoid the minimum wage laws. And of course, those laws also have to prevent businesses from simply closing their doors in order to avoid paying the minimum wage.

There Goes the Neighborhood on March 14, 2015 at 4:33 PM

As already noted on the first page of comments.

Restaurants that can’t compete will be replaced by ones that can. You know- capitalism.

Tlaloc on March 14, 2015 at 5:44 PM

As expected, the mouth-breathers are finally along to spout their tired cant.

If Seattle is still able to produce jobs and incomes at a record rate

weedisgood on March 14, 2015 at 6:07 PM

Bwahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!! You got some good sh!t tonight!

GWB on March 14, 2015 at 7:32 PM

Two of the examples in the article don’t support the argument.

The owner of the Boat Street Cafe is opening two new restaurants up on Capital Hill and the owner of the restaurant next to the Boat Street will expand into the vacated space. That’s a gain of jobs, not loss.

The Grub sold her business to another restaurant owner, who will re-model and re-open in April – maybe not gain, but not loss of net jobs – although the re-model may open up more space for more tables, so maybe more jobs.

If mimimim wage hike is such a ‘major factor” in restaurants “preemptively closing their doors” couldn’t they have found examples, that ya know, did in fact, prove that.

Seattle will never be Detroit.

BadPistachio on March 14, 2015 at 7:43 PM

“A chicken in every pot and a Michael Fassbender sex doll in every bed!”

I think that statement succinctly summarizes the average leftist’s understanding of economics.

Star Bird on March 14, 2015 at 8:32 PM

“A chicken in every pot and a Michael Fassbender sex doll in every bed!”

I think that statement succinctly summarizes the average leftist’s understanding of economics.

Star Bird on March 14, 2015 at 8:32 PM

“A Michael Fassbender sex doll in every pot and a chicken in every bed!”

The average libertine’s understanding of economics.

GWB on March 14, 2015 at 9:25 PM

Two of the examples in the article don’t support the argument.

The owner of the Boat Street Cafe is opening two new restaurants up on Capital Hill and the owner of the restaurant next to the Boat Street will expand into the vacated space. That’s a gain of jobs, not loss.

There were two businesses in that space; now there’s one. When are the two new restaurants opening? How do they compare in size to the one vacated?

The Grub sold her business to another restaurant owner, who will re-model and re-open in April – maybe not gain, but not loss of net jobs – although the re-model may open up more space for more tables, so maybe more jobs.

So one business owner sold out before the wage hike, and the restaurant has been closed since … when? (Not many jobs there, ya think?) But a “re-model” doesn’t mean adding capacity — how do you know for certain that the new restaurant owner will employ as many as the old one?

If mimimim wage hike is such a ‘major factor” in restaurants “preemptively closing their doors” couldn’t they have found examples, that ya know, did in fact, prove that.

Seattle will never be Detroit.

BadPistachio on March 14, 2015 at 7:43 PM

Why did the owner of The Grub sell out?

Alien on March 14, 2015 at 10:09 PM

Dude, don’t stop there – raise it so that everyone makes $1million per year, then everyone would be rich! All problems solved!

Man, this progressivism is easy!

Midas on March 14, 2015 at 1:27 PM

Okay then, let’s take the conservative position to the same extreme:
Maximum wage is $0/hour. Nobody is paid anything. Suddenly everything is so cheap! It’s great, everyone can afford to run a business because labor costs are nothing.

Man this conservatism is easy!

Congratulations so we’ve managed to show that neither $0/hour nor $1,000,000/hour. Now, if you can refrain from reductio ad absurdum fallacies we could discuss real options…

Tlaloc on March 14, 2015 at 10:34 PM

sorry should be “Congratulations so we’ve managed to show that neither $0/hour nor $1,000,000/hour will work.”

Tlaloc on March 14, 2015 at 10:35 PM

This is where Tlaloc mindlessly recites his chant about “objective reality” and an “echo chamber.”

Star Bird on March 14, 2015 at 10:30 AM

Yes a bunch of conservatives getting conservative approved “news” from conservative rags and pattng themselves on the back for their supposed foreknowledge…while simultaneously ignoring that this news doesn’t exist in the real world

Yeah I am likely to mention once again how you guys lie to yourselves and uncritically accept anything you want to believe.

Tell you what why don’t we keep an eye on the unemployment rate in Seattle for the next few months. I gave you a link.

Tlaloc on March 14, 2015 at 10:43 PM

Longer wait times, higher prices, and tasking customers with a job to do so they can get what they are paying for. U freaking topia…

Hog Wild on March 14, 2015 at 11:10 PM

Okay then, let’s take the conservative position to the same extreme:
Maximum wage is $0/hour. Nobody is paid anything.
Tlaloc on March 14, 2015 at 10:34 PM

Nice strawman there. Conservatives don’t advocate a government established rate of pay, rather they prefer that the freemarket decides.

It is the fascists who decouple wages from market value and create artificial prices and values not attached to reality.

Reuben Hick on March 14, 2015 at 11:32 PM

Maximum wage is $0/hour. Nobody is paid anything. – Tlaloc

Yes, because people are going to work for nothing. What a moronic argument.

This is the problem with liberals. They assume humans are stupid creatures and are dependent on the government to do the thinking for them. Perhaps this assumption comes from too much mirror gazing.

RedHotFuzz on March 14, 2015 at 11:44 PM

Tlaloc on March 14, 2015 at 10:34 PM

Damn! You really are stupid.

Solaratov on March 14, 2015 at 11:58 PM

Okay then, let’s take the conservative position to the same extreme:
Maximum wage is $0/hour. Nobody is paid anything. Suddenly everything is so cheap! It’s great, everyone can afford to run a business because labor costs are nothing.

Man this conservatism is easy!

Congratulations so we’ve managed to show that neither $0/hour nor $1,000,000/hour. Now, if you can refrain from reductio ad absurdum fallacies we could discuss real options…

Tlaloc on March 14, 2015 at 10:34 PM

Except that that’s the leftist extreme. As noted in the article above, when businesses close due to arbitrary wage hikes imposed upon them by government drones, they do end up paying $0/hour, because they close.

The real option is to allow business owners to decide what they will pay based on what the task being performed is actually worth. I’m sorry, but merely existing is not sufficient cause for earning any purported “living wage.”

And you know what? $10/hour can be a living wage if you choose to pay your bills and living expenses rather than p!ss away your earnings bedazzling yourself with tattoos and piercings.

Star Bird on March 15, 2015 at 12:11 AM

Yes a bunch of conservatives getting conservative approved “news” from conservative rags and pattng themselves on the back for their supposed foreknowledge…while simultaneously ignoring that this news doesn’t exist in the real world…

Are you suggesting that the videos of the hippies crying to dead trees and the purely idiotic mic check of the occupy contagion that I linked to in that statement were not filmed in the real world?

Yeah I am likely to mention once again how you guys lie to yourselves and uncritically accept anything you want to believe.

You mean aside from the mountains of documented socialist failures and atrocities?

Tell you what why don’t we keep an eye on the unemployment rate in Seattle for the next few months. I gave you a link.

Tlaloc on March 14, 2015 at 10:43 PM

Gladly, which is why I already suggested above that we revisit your statement a year after this imposition has been in place. All signs point to Detroit.

But considering that Seattle’s socialists will likely be releasing those numbers, we’ll probably want to watch the unemployment rate for the state of Washington as a whole as well, and ask ourselves how many of Seattle’s unemployed are simply moving away.

Star Bird on March 15, 2015 at 12:22 AM

I was lucky enough to grow up in Seattle in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. It was a wonderful place then. I moved to Alaska in 1980 and I will never go back to Seattle. Now I am embarrassed to say I was born and raised there. Sighhh.

tbear44 on March 15, 2015 at 12:27 AM

sorry should be “Congratulations so we’ve managed to show that neither $0/hour nor $1,000,000/hour will work.”

Tlaloc on March 14, 2015 at 10:35 PM

The problem you’re having here is that ultimately socialists do pine for a $0/hour wage.

Star Bird on March 15, 2015 at 12:29 AM

Honestly, if socialists understood how to run businesses and economies, then Venezuela would have toilet paper.

Star Bird on March 15, 2015 at 12:36 AM

Okay then, let’s take the conservative position to the same extreme:
Maximum wage is $0/hour. Nobody is paid anything. Suddenly everything is so cheap! It’s great, everyone can afford to run a business because labor costs are nothing.

Man this conservatism is easy!

Congratulations so we’ve managed to show that neither $0/hour nor $1,000,000/hour. Now, if you can refrain from reductio ad absurdum fallacies we could discuss real options…

Tlaloc on March 14, 2015 at 10:34 PM

The only ‘reductio ad absurdum’ is your own position. It also suffers from strawman fallacy in that no conservative argues for a maximum wage; only the left does that. Conservatism eschews maximum as well as minimum wages.

The real option is to let supply and demand determine wages, while reducing regulatory ‘barriers to entry,’ which will increase competition in that market, which will increase the demand for restaurant labor, which will increase the pay of that labor force.

Better yet…rather than spout baseless theories preteding you know how to keep a restaurant going so you can make rules for then, go ahead; open a restaurant in Seattle and show us how it’s done. Until then, your guesses at how markets work are worthless chatter; something George McGovern found out after he finished talking like you and entered the real world.

Ricard on March 15, 2015 at 12:39 AM

Hey, the problem is solved in advance.
Obama has created an influx of invaders that will work hard for next to nothing.
I can’t figure out how to hire one… looking at this I-9 form… but it doesn’t seem to stop anybody else.
Ok Seattle… $15.00 or $2.00.
How will you have it?

Snowshooze on March 15, 2015 at 2:35 AM

As others have noted, it is not a tenet of conservatism to have the government set price controls, so a maximum wage would be as abhorrent as the minimum wage. Indeed, I have only heard left-wing types hint at a “maximum wage”, when the issue of CEO compensation is being discussed.

cavalier973 on March 15, 2015 at 2:54 AM

With regard to the example of a specific restaurant that seems to be thriving in spite of an increase in operating costs, I can only guess that it has established for itself some advantages that allow it to raise prices or lower costs in other areas. Most firms, I suspect, operate at the margin, and so will be unable to continue conducting business. As firms close and competition in the marketplace is reduced, prices will rise and quality will decrease.

cavalier973 on March 15, 2015 at 3:01 AM

If you have not yet seen it,I recommend the YouTube video “Edgar the Exploiter”.

cavalier973 on March 15, 2015 at 3:08 AM

Hey, the problem is solved in advance.
Obama has created an influx of invaders that will work hard for next to nothing.
I can’t figure out how to hire one… looking at this I-9 form… but it doesn’t seem to stop anybody else.
Ok Seattle… $15.00 or $2.00.
How will you have it?

Snowshooze on March 15, 2015 at 2:35 AM

Bingo.

This is how the Democrats play both sides against the middle.

They argue for higher wages then flood the country with low-wage workers. You create forces on either end and create a problem impossible to solve.

The Republicans are not clean on this either; Wall Street supports this for their same selfish reasons, low wage workers and damn the middle class.

At least the people here don’t drink the kool-aid and critically reason.

The trolls however, are……trolls. Whad’ya expect?

itsspideyman on March 15, 2015 at 9:42 AM

So those left coast idiots might starve to death? Hmmm I don’t see a problem.

bgibbs1000 on March 15, 2015 at 9:44 AM

Okay then, let’s take the conservative position to the same extreme:
Maximum wage is $0/hour. Nobody is paid anything. Suddenly everything is so cheap! It’s great, everyone can afford to run a business because labor costs are nothing.

Man this conservatism is easy!

Congratulations so we’ve managed to show that neither $0/hour nor $1,000,000/hour. Now, if you can refrain from reductio ad absurdum fallacies we could discuss real options…

Tlaloc on March 14, 2015 at 10:34 PM

Real options don’t exist in your world.

0$/hour is real in your world, however, because your philosphy caused it.

0$/ is the liberal solution for 92 million non-working Americans. The working population is the lowest in 35 years. Our workforce has shrank to the size before the Reagan Era (1978), with 100 million more Americans than when he took office.

Enjoy your 0$/hour solution, courtesy of your pointy-heads in power.

itsspideyman on March 15, 2015 at 9:48 AM

Tlaloc on March 14, 2015 at 10:34 PM

Damn! You really are stupid.

Solaratov on March 14, 2015 at 11:58 PM

At least he provides cheap entertainment.

You know what’s surprising about him? After every time he suffers an epic smackdown, as this one — he comes back for more.

Alien on March 15, 2015 at 10:13 AM

Seattle will never be Detroit.

BadPistachio on March 14, 2015 at 7:43 PM

Yeah I’m willing to bet late 1950’s Detroit thought the same.

wifarmboy on March 15, 2015 at 10:20 AM

Okay then, let’s take the conservative position to the same extreme:
Maximum wage is $0/hour. Nobody is paid anything. Suddenly everything is so cheap! It’s great, everyone can afford to run a business because labor costs are nothing.

Man this conservatism is easy!

Congratulations so we’ve managed to show that neither $0/hour nor $1,000,000/hour. Now, if you can refrain from reductio ad absurdum fallacies we could discuss real options…

Tlaloc on March 14, 2015 at 10:34 PM

Your maximum wage idiocy isn’t reductio ad absurdum. It’s reality for all the people in Seattle who are losing their jobs because their employers can’t afford to keep them around. Try again dumbass.

gryphon202 on March 15, 2015 at 10:28 AM

Unfortunately, as Seattle is finding out, employers who run single outlets and don’t have the backing and buffer range of a major chain often won’t be able to make the shift in technological infrastructure required to cut back on staffing while staying open. Those folks will shut down, and it’s apparently already beginning in Washington state.

In short, make sure that only big businesses can afford to operate there.

The Democrat party, driving mom-and-pop shops into poverty since 1933.

yet another example of corporations taking their balls and going home.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on March 14, 2015 at 8:57 AM

And your problem with that is what, exactly? The city government hasd made it impossible for them to make any money in their chosen field. What would you suggest they do?

Should they be required to stay there and operate at a loss? There’s a word for that, it’s called “slavery.”

And you’ll note that the big megacorporations aren’t the ones taking the hit here. It’s the small, local places that don’t have direct access to the non-Greater Seattle area economy that are taking it in the shorts.

So the net result is that these supposed “liberal” policies benefit big business… you know, the ones who are big enough to have an entire department of their business structure devoted to nothing but buying political influence, at the expense of the little guy.

You must be so proud.

Okay then, let’s take the conservative position to the same extreme:
Maximum wage is $0/hour. Nobody is paid anything. Suddenly everything is so cheap! It’s great, everyone can afford to run a business because labor costs are nothing.

Tlaloc on March 14, 2015 at 10:34 PM

Only you didn’t. The conservative position taken to the same extreme is minimum wage of $0/hr.

So what’s the result of that extreme? The result is that if you aren’t getting paid anything, it’s because you aren’t worth anything. Meanwhile, there are a lot of opportunities to steal the buying power of your money that are no longer available to big business legal departments, politicians and influence peddlers.

Explain to me again why that’s a bad thing?

GrumpyOldFart on March 15, 2015 at 10:32 AM

Okay then, let’s take the conservative position to the same extreme:
Maximum wage is $0/hour. Nobody is paid anything. Suddenly everything is so cheap! It’s great, everyone can afford to run a business because labor costs are nothing.

Man this conservatism is easy!

Congratulations so we’ve managed to show that neither $0/hour nor $1,000,000/hour. Now, if you can refrain from reductio ad absurdum fallacies we could discuss real options…

Tlaloc on March 14, 2015 at 10:34 PM

Excuse me, what?

The conservative extreme is no minimum wage and no maximum wage.

It’s called voluntary exchange, also known as freedom of contract. In which a man is free to sell his labor or not sell his labor, and the employer makes what even offer he chooses, and the employee chooses to accept or not.

This is the problem with liberals today. You all cannot imagine a world were things are not ordered by the government.

Anything not forbidden must be compelled.

Conservatism is the middle road, where man is neither forbiddne nor compelled.

Sackett on March 15, 2015 at 11:34 AM

So what’s the result of that extreme? The result is that if you aren’t getting paid anything, it’s because you aren’t worth anything.

GrumpyOldFart on March 15, 2015 at 10:32 AM

That explains unpaid internships.

Star Bird on March 15, 2015 at 12:16 PM

This is the problem with liberals today. You all cannot imagine a world were things are not ordered by the government.

Sackett on March 15, 2015 at 11:34 AM

That’s always been the case with leftists.

Leftists desperately long to be ruled over, because they’re fully aware that they’re unable to run their own lives themselves. They need someone to tell them what to do, and how to do it.

This is yet another symptom that demonstrates that the leftist mind is a mind that hasn’t developed past the teenage phase of adolescence. It is a child’s mind, that as mature adults know, craves and seeks discipline.

Unfortunately, the leftist body is able to wreak havoc on society because it continues to the age that it’s allowed to vote, even though its mind is hopelessly stunted.

Star Bird on March 15, 2015 at 12:29 PM

You’d think that Tlaloc would decry a low unemployment anyway, given that it oppresses people under job lock.

Star Bird on March 15, 2015 at 12:34 PM

Restaurants that can’t compete will be replaced by ones that can. You know- capitalism.

Tlaloc on March 14, 2015 at 5:44 PM

Yep, capitalism controlled by progressive policies. Good thing we can eliminate all those low income progressive workers. Funny thing about capitalism… it’s still too advanced for progressives like you to understand.

Personally, I’m getting a little tired of trying to save progressives like you from your self-inflicted stupidity.

Enjoy your burger, Tlaloc. I hope it tastes as sweet as the consequences you’ve created…

dominigan on March 15, 2015 at 5:58 PM

Enjoy your burger, Tlaloc. I hope it tastes as sweet as the consequences you’ve created…

dominigan on March 15, 2015 at 5:58 PM

Well it’s less likely to be spit in than yours…

Tlaloc on March 15, 2015 at 6:57 PM

Well it’s less likely to be spit in than yours…

Tlaloc on March 15, 2015 at 6:57 PM

Is your’s being made by a robot now?

Star Bird on March 15, 2015 at 7:55 PM

Enjoy your burger, Tlaloc. I hope it tastes as sweet as the consequences you’ve created…

dominigan on March 15, 2015 at 5:58 PM
.

Well it’s less likely to be spit in than yours…

Tlaloc on March 15, 2015 at 6:57 PM

.
Is your’s being made by a robot now?

Star Bird on March 15, 2015 at 7:55 PM

.
HEY, Tlaloc ! . . . . . . . . . .

That political ideology/philosophy of yours is going to provide lots of employment for the people who manufacture that machine, depicted at Star Bird’s link.

The people who are supposed to be helped by this stupid law, are going to be altogether ‘out of employment.’
.
Then what ?

listens2glenn on March 15, 2015 at 9:47 PM

The wait staff said the hotel across the street is unionized. Therefore, management is not required to pay the $15 wage.

Star Bird on March 15, 2015 at 2:54 PM

This is my shocked face.

GrumpyOldFart on March 15, 2015 at 10:17 PM

Alien on March 14, 2015 at 10:09 PM

There were two businesses in that space; now there’s one. When are the two new restaurants opening? How do they compare in size to the one vacated?

The new restaurants are opening July 2015, and the Boat Street Cafe closes on May 30, 2015. The Boat Street Cafe seated 45-50,Tues – Sat and expanded that to 95 Sunday and Monday for private events. The two new spaces seat 90 (total) all days. So now there is an expanded biz that seats at least 45 more than it’s original space (and maybe adding late night serving) and two new biz that seat 90 combined

So one business owner sold out before the wage hike, and the restaurant has been closed since … when? (Not many jobs there, ya think?) But a “re-model” doesn’t mean adding capacity — how do you know for certain that the new restaurant owner will employ as many as the old one?

The Grub closed on February 15,2015 and the new place opens on April 15,2015. I realize re-model doesn’t always mean added capacity, however the Grub had 38 seats, and overly wide areas in between tables, so who knows, maybe the new owner will re-do that and add capacity. I would.

Why did the owner of The Grub sell out?

Alien on March 14, 2015 at 10:09 PM

The owner has been in the biz for 30 years in Seattle, has owned, IIRC, several other restaurants in those years, and did state in an interview that when she opened the Grub, it would be her last. She has said she wants to move on and she may do consulting.

I still maintain those were dumb examples. I would have liked to have read non ambiguous “yes, we are closing because of the minimum wage increases coming” I work for a small biz owner and he never waffles on saying what does or doesn’t add to his bottom line.

Thanks for the questions. It pushed me to do more research to solidify my initial opinion on this article. I’m not a conservative, but I do like the no nonsense approach to argumentation.

BadPistachio on March 15, 2015 at 11:19 PM

Thanks for the questions. It pushed me to do more research to solidify my initial opinion on this article. I’m not a conservative, but I do like the no nonsense approach to argumentation.

BadPistachio on March 15, 2015 at 11:19 PM

Can you show us where you’re getting your information?

Star Bird on March 16, 2015 at 8:48 AM

Each company is just out doing the bare minimum.

Of course they are. They didn’t build that, so they may as well let somebody else make that happen.

GrumpyOldFart on March 16, 2015 at 8:50 AM

Tlaloc on March 14, 2015 at 10:34 PM

“maximum wage”? You really are a tool, aren’t you Comrade.

MOgovMOproblems on March 16, 2015 at 10:13 AM

Only you didn’t. The conservative position taken to the same extreme is minimum wage of $0/hr.

So what’s the result of that extreme? The result is that if you aren’t getting paid anything, it’s because you aren’t worth anything.

GrumpyOldFart on March 15, 2015 at 10:32 AM

+1 (emphasis mine)

MOgovMOproblems on March 16, 2015 at 10:19 AM

+1 (emphasis mine)

MOgovMOproblems on March 16, 2015 at 10:19 AM

I’m still trying to figure out why he thinks that’s a bad thing. The only reason I can think of to object to that is if you consider yourself and/or a large number of the people you know to not be worth anything, and you’re afraid you/they will go hungry.

Of course, that only works if you also consider yourself/people you know to not only be worth nothing, but incapable of becoming worth more than nothing.

I mean sure, I could picture someone having that opinion of themselves and those they know and love… but I can’t picture someone admitting it and defending it as openly as that.

GrumpyOldFart on March 16, 2015 at 11:38 AM

In a competitive market, if your price higher than what the market will bear, you lose your customers. If you price lower than the market will bear, you make no money.

The situation in Seattle will be that the number of competing restaurants, in a given area, will likely decline until the available choices can be supported at the new price levels. Then things will stabilize.

The losers will be those people, formerly employed at the lower minimum wage (and they may have made somewhat more than minimum wage taking into account things like tips), who are now unemployed with perhaps lower prospect of getting employed given that, overall, fewer employees are needed.

All restaurants are not the same. The fact, as pointed out by a poster, that a restaurant closed and (I would guess) an adjacent restaurant expanded into the space of the closed restaurant (a fact that it could do so at lower cost and is probably an infrequent opportunity) does not invalidate the fact that public choice had shrunk and it is not necessarily true that the expanded restaurant will replace all of the jobs of the closed restaurant.

If the point is made that the unemployed restaurant workers were not skilled enough to be hired into arguably a smaller number of jobs, the counterpoint would be that they were employed at the lower rate and now they’ve been priced out of the market.

Russ808 on March 16, 2015 at 2:35 PM

LESSON LEARNED: Actual Minimum Wage is $0.00

Wade on March 16, 2015 at 3:27 PM

All the progressive protections of the “little people” end up with the “big people” getting bigger. But this is by design. When McDonald’s is the only place to get food, the government can control what is served and who gets it. It is so wonderful when a plan comes together.

bartbeast on March 17, 2015 at 9:06 AM

Tlaloc, like most of the rest of his ilk, is enslaved to a belief that a government-mandated wage is the only wage an employer will pay.

So his attempt to show that two extremes are equally bad, is of course flawed from the outset. An overpriced minimum wage destroys business, which wrecks the family incomes of those he claims to champion. And in defense of that indefensible position, he suggests that Conservatives want to pay people nothing. This, of course, is a lie. Conservatives want to pay people what the market can bear.

A government-mandated minimum wage of $0/Hr would cause exactly zero people to stop being paid. Employers would, by and large, leave actual wages exactly as they are. Some would play it cheap and reduce wages. And their employees would either accept it, or find better pay elsewhere. Liberals always forget that individuals in a society founded upon liberty are free agents, able to think and act on their own, without Nanny ‘splaining it to them. Some employers would reduce the direct hourly portion of pay, and shift the difference into matching 401K contributions, or improved employer-provided health coverage or other benefit of equal or greater value to the employee.

It’s remarkable all the possibilities that open up when government gets out of the way. Businesses have been paying people forever. Government non-interference never causes people to starve; government interference always puts people out into the cold and hungry street.

Freelancer on March 17, 2015 at 11:19 AM

A government-mandated minimum wage of $0/Hr would cause exactly zero people to stop being paid. Employers would, by and large, leave actual wages exactly as they are.

Freelancer on March 17, 2015 at 11:19 AM

Exactly. Or in other words,

…if you aren’t getting paid anything, it’s because you aren’t worth anything.

GrumpyOldFart on March 15, 2015 at 10:32 AM

In a hypothetical “$0/hr minimum wage” environment, the only possible rational reason to pay someone less than what they are making now is because they aren’t actually worth what you’re paying them. In short, because you can get the same or better value of work cheaper from somebody else.

This isn’t exactly rocket surgery. Therefore the only possible sane reason to be protective of minimum wage laws is to protect the wages of those who not only aren’t worth what employers are currently forced to pay them, but aren’t capable of becoming worth that either, in the opinion of those fighting to protect the minimum wage.

GrumpyOldFart on March 17, 2015 at 12:04 PM

And in defense of that indefensible position, he suggests that Conservatives want to pay people nothing. This, of course, is a lie. Conservatives want to pay people what the market can bear.

Freelancer on March 17, 2015 at 11:19 AM

It might be a stretch to call it an actual lie. I’ll freely, and even proudly, admit that there are people in this world I don’t want to pay even one dime to, EVER.

Why? See above, about actually being worth something.

So yeah, I’ll cop to

Conservatives want to pay people nothing.

with the understand that it only applies to those who aren’t worth anything.

GrumpyOldFart on March 17, 2015 at 12:08 PM

I tried one of those automated tablets. Worse dinning experience of my life. IT was at Chilies. needlessly to say I won’t be back. IF I’m going to drop $30-$70 dollars I want a damn living person to interact with.

I would rather cook myself then get waited on my a freaking tablet. The food is better, cheaper and healthier. Only reason I eat out is to relax. Why would I pay to be inconvenienced?

unseen on March 17, 2015 at 1:05 PM

Okay then, let’s take the conservative position to the same extreme:
Maximum wage is $0/hour.

Tlaloc on March 14, 2015 at 10:34 PM

Conservatives pushing for a maximum wage? When? Where?

http://www.nationalreview.com/agenda/388875/case-against-maximum-wage-reihan-salam

Oh, they pushed against it when liberals like you pushed FOR it. So clearly they’re for it by opposing it… or you’re crazy.

You want a $0.00 MINIMUM wage which would be the actual argument you could make here? Fine.

People won’t work for $0.00 and will require more. The market will determine what your labor is worth, and that’s what you’ll get paid.

The ONLY difference between that, and what we have now, is you won’t find out your labor is worth LESS than the “minimum wage” making you unemployable and on welfare your entire life.

That’s the horror you’re working to prevent; letting the unskilled and unemployed to gain jobs and skill and not forcing them to stay unemployed and on welfare forever.

I’m sure you’re really proud of that achievement. Good job.

Keep the poor in their place… oh, and tell them it’s the evil GOP keeping them down; while you make certain they can never get up.

You might want to dumb down education more if you want them all to buy that crap.

gekkobear on March 17, 2015 at 1:48 PM

Space Needle!

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 14, 2015 at 8:36 AM

You really SHOULD be referring to it by its proper name you know, viz. “The Eye of Soros”, K?

Hey collie, you have a 1st down on the one yard line with seconds to go in the Superbowl. You have one of the best running backs in the game…what do you do?

My collie says:

Throw a pass over the middle so that a rookie can intercept it.

Okay. So now you’ve just suffered through the worst sustained economic slowdown in your lifetime. What do you do?

My collie says:

Raise the minimum wage to $15/hr on April Fools day.

Is it just me, or does anyone else see a pattern emerging here?

CyberCipher on March 17, 2015 at 3:55 PM

Can you show us where you’re getting your information?

Star Bird on March 16, 2015 at 8:48 AM

I’m new here, so I don’t know if old threads are returned to, but just in case:

I culled much of my info from the websites of the restaurants and then from several articles that had interviews with the owners. About 10 or so, and I don’t think I can link that many here.

Today, The Seattle Times printed an article where they asked these specific owners if they closed because of the raise of the minimum. They all said no, and that they weren’t even asked for the original article.

This solidifies my original suspicion that these examples were bad ones.

BadPistachio on March 17, 2015 at 11:26 PM

Renee Erickson is closing Boat Street Cafe, her first restaurant, but she runs three others and is in the process of opening two more. Asked in an email about the closure being associated with $15, she replied: “That’s weird, ha. No, that’s not why I’m closing Boat Street. Would have said so.”

But she doesn’t say why she did close it.

Erickson continued, “I’m totally on board with the $15 min. It’s the right thing to do … Opening more businesses would not be smart if I felt it was going to hinder my success.”

This is interesting. If she felt that it was the right thing to do, then why did she need a law to force her to pay the $15/hour? Why didn’t she pay the $15/hour all on her own?

What’s also important to note here, is that Renee is a nationally prominent chef, with book tours and television shows.

http://reneeerickson.com/#renee

So she has other sources of income.

I don’t have the time to research the rest of the article the way I should, but this ought to give you pause. In the real world, positions should never be solidified. They should always be perfectly willing to change based on new information.

For instance, all of the information I posted above with regards to SeaTac. Have you reviewed any of it?

Star Bird on March 18, 2015 at 8:40 AM

Here’s some more interesting tidbits about Renee Erickson.

Here’s a telling sentence from an interview with her:

“We need protein solutions that don’t damage the environment and can sustain the population growth.”

So we know that she’s a die hard moonbat. The thing about moonbats, is that they’re unable to process the reality of failure in their own policy making, even when it results in ruins all around them.

So even if she did close her restaurant due to the $15 wage, she’d never publicly admit it. She’s not going to raise the ire of the Collective she belongs to, especially not when she’s about to open two restaurants on Capitol Hill.

Star Bird on March 18, 2015 at 8:55 AM

Sorry, here’s the link to Erickson’s interview.

Star Bird on March 18, 2015 at 9:09 AM

Restaurants that can’t compete will be replaced by ones that can. You know- capitalism.

Tlaloc on March 14, 2015 at 5:44 PM

How is that capitalism, when it is not the market that decides the prevailing wages?

How is that capitalism, when it is the government that literally drives people out of business through regulation?

And where is your evidence that Republican congresspersons made references to shooting Obama, and sent emails of him as a witch doctor?

The Schaef on March 18, 2015 at 9:31 AM

There are so many jobs being done by computers or robots today and there has been no planning on how to adapt the workforce.

Fewer people than ever are participating in the work force because fewer human hours than ever are needed.

Society needs to adapt.

talkingpoints on March 14, 2015 at 8:37 AM

I have yet to see anyone address this at any level, which is just so frustrating because it’s true. The Industrial Revolution didn’t displace a fraction of the workers that computers are. We are a few steps away from robots picking our crops and serving us dinner at Burger King, just to name a couple possibilities, and with those positions alone go millions of low-skilled jobs that are not coming back nor will they be replaced.

But we’re so bloody afraid to make any kind of plan because it rubs against our American fantasy of some invisible hand solving everything, or because somehow making a plan means EVIL GUBBAMINT CONTROL. (that’s what the VOTE is for, people)

Now a combination of technological advancement, chaotic boom-bust growth and the only planning being done by liberal leeches is finally coming to a trainwreck.

LawfulGood on March 18, 2015 at 11:18 AM

…our American fantasy of some invisible hand solving everything…

The modern term for “the invisible hand” is “crowdsourcing”. Are you really going to try to claim that the value of crowdsourcing for solutions is “fantasy”? Really?

…because somehow making a plan means EVIL GUBBAMINT CONTROL.

You can debate the use of “evil” all you like, but if the authority to implement the plan is always and forever the purview of government, under what circumstances can it not mean “government control”?

(that’s what the VOTE is for, people)

Ask the people who just voted in the largest GOP Congressional majority in nearly a century how they think that’s working for them.

There are so many jobs being done by computers or robots today and there has been no planning on how to adapt the workforce.

Fewer people than ever are participating in the work force because fewer human hours than ever are needed.

Society needs to adapt.

talkingpoints on March 14, 2015 at 8:37 AM

Which is exactly why free markets are more needed than ever, and why market distortion is more dangerous than ever. Crowdsourcing produces quick, innovative solutions. Moreover, those solutions are adapted to current conditions on the ground, not some study that’s already out of date by the time the “Top Men” read it. No government panel can work the problem as quickly or as effectively as a few hundred million people all trying to figure out how to make enough money to pay the bills.
Moreover, no member of a government panel, no matter how altruistic or compassionate, can possibly have the motivation for getting practical, workable results in a realistic timeframe as any of those few hundred million. Why? Because getting a less than perfect result doesn’t get him evicted like it does the poor schlub figuring it out for himself.

GrumpyOldFart on March 18, 2015 at 12:15 PM

our American fantasy of some invisible hand solving everything,

LawfulGood on March 18, 2015 at 11:18 AM

What on Earth are you talking about?

What is this fantasy of some invisible hand solving everything?

Where did that come from?

Star Bird on March 18, 2015 at 12:38 PM