‘We Built This!’ Seattle Passes Small Business Relocation Incentive Plan

 

shutterstock_115433032…and it was passed unanimously to universal acclaim, establishing a national formula for bold action against the war on income inequality:

“No city or state has gone this far. We go into uncharted territory,” said Seattle City Council member Sally Clark before the council agreed to give workers a 61 percent wage increase over what is already the country’s highest state minimum wage.

“We did this. Workers did this. Today’s first victory for 15 will inspire people all over the nation,” said Councilmember Kshama Sawant.

“Today we have taken action that will serve as a model for the rest of the nation to follow,” proclaimed Seattle Mayor Ed Murray to the delight of mayors across the county.

That would be King County, which will be the primary beneficiary of the likely flight of small businesses from Seattle’s 61 percent minimum wage increase. Certain location-specific businesses such as downtown eateries will be stuck, thus ironically negating the “free lunches for all” economic theory that undergirds the new ordinance. But many other small businesses will find it profitable to open shop outside the city limits, thus spreading the wealth to neighboring cities.

Seattle Times writer Jon Talton, while unambiguously supportive of the ordinance cautioned that it might not be enough:

It would be nice to think a city ordinance could stick it to The Man. But The Man is accustomed to certain profit margins and will seek to maintain them. He won’t sell a yacht to ensure that fry cooks get a better deal.

Unfortunately, American business does not quantify or value a social rate of return or a moral return on equity.

Where does such ignorance and vitriol come from? My theory is that progressivism has played itself out in Seattle—a victim of unmitigated success in bringing “progress” on certain leading edge social issues in recent years. Actual “progress” has surpassed progressive ideas. Seattle is now turning to the harder stuff.

Last November, Seattle tossed popular councilmember and two-term Council President Richard Conlin (best known for heroically outlawing plastic bags) and elected Socialist Alternative Party candidate Kshama Sawant, whose most prominent campaign promise was fulfilled yesterday.

Sawant’s solutions (judging from her rhetoric) for sticking it to The Man are more robust than her predecessor’s small-bore enviro-motivated policies. Those policies damaged businesses only collaterally. Sawant’s policies (as confirmed yesterday) take direct aim at the bourgeoisie.

And her quote (above) suggests boundless ambition.

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  1. Dominique Prynne Member
    Dominique Prynne
    @DominiquePrynne

    I saw that Sea-Tac employers made several adjustments in the wake of the $15/hour wage:  reduced workforce; reduced or eliminated healthcare benefit packages; reduced paid time off allotments; increased automation; reduced/eliminated perks (i.e. free meals).  The solution to these government ya-hoos will be to force employers to not alter their benefits packages and perks, while still paying the higher hourly rate.  This, of course, is what Obamacare requires of large and small employers re: healthcare.

    • #1
  2. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    As Forrest Gump’s mamma used to say, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

    • #2
  3. 1967mustangman Inactive
    1967mustangman
    @1967mustangman

    It would be nice to think a city ordinance could stick it to The Man. But The Man is accustomed to certain profit margins and will seek to maintain them. He won’t sell a yacht to ensure that fry cooks get a better deal.

     How many people does he think both employ fry cooks and own Yachts?

    • #3
  4. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    I will repeat what I have had to say fairly often lately.  Just one MORE reason to stay out of Seattle.

    • #4
  5. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    RushBabe49:

    I will repeat what I have had to say fairly often lately. Just one MORE reason to stay out of Seattle.

    The problem is that eventually, one runs out of places to run to.

    • #5
  6. rico Inactive
    rico
    @rico

    1967mustangman:

    It would be nice to think a city ordinance could stick it to The Man. But The Man is accustomed to certain profit margins and will seek to maintain them. He won’t sell a yacht to ensure that fry cooks get a better deal.

    How many people does he think both employ fry cooks and own Yachts?

     One percent?

    • #6
  7. Boomerang Inactive
    Boomerang
    @Boomerang

    It makes no logical sense, whatsoever.  It’s all emotion, all the time with Seattle politicians and leadership.  We used to elect conservatives two or three decades ago, but California property values went way up, Californians relocated to Seattle, and now are in the  process of turning it into California. 

    This hasn’t stopped, by the way.  We met a couple from California last week delighted to be paying $1.2 million for a nice single family house since that’s what they sold their two bedroom condo for in San Francisco.  I wanted to say to them — “Welcome to Washington, and please don’t ever vote.”

    • #7
  8. Susan in Seattle Member
    Susan in Seattle
    @SusaninSeattle

    I doubt a single member of the Seattle City Council has ever had to make payroll, let alone the payroll taxes that come with it.  Idiots.

    • #8
  9. user_339092 Member
    user_339092
    @PaulDougherty

    I keep ruminating on the poor sucker who has put in time and effort to learn his job. A sucker who recently was promoted and got a raise to $14.00/hr. A sucker who may have been proud of themselves seeing reward for being at least interested in working and improving and earning their raise. What a chump. Today, that sucker is back on the bottom. Haha HA!

    Is this socially just?

    • #9
  10. Qoumidan Coolidge
    Qoumidan
    @Qoumidan

    I felt that way about the $0.25 raise the above min wage crew got while the min wage crew got a $0.35 raise just because min wage went up.

    • #10
  11. rico Inactive
    rico
    @rico

    The biggest loss is to those people who can produce $10/hr of value who will now find themselves priced out of the market, and out of a job.

    A large portion of the population is ignorant about economics and just assumes that all minimum-wage workers will soon get a raise. An unfortunate surprise awaits them.

    • #11
  12. user_189393 Inactive
    user_189393
    @BarkhaHerman

    Despite Seattle’s claim, the minimum wage still remains at 0. 

    More and more people will now be earning it :-D.

    • #12
  13. Limestone Cowboy Coolidge
    Limestone Cowboy
    @LimestoneCowboy

    Paul Dougherty:

    I keep ruminating on the poor sucker who has put in time and effort to learn his job. A sucker who recently was promoted and got a raise to $14.00/hr. A sucker who may have been proud of themselves seeing reward for being at least interested in working and improving and earning their raise. 

    Paul, you point out why this affects a far wider business community than just those paying minimum wage.  Businesses which might have historically paid, say twice  the minimum wage, will be under enormous pressure to raise  their own wages to retain more skilled workers. I suspect that this will hit he service sector pretty hard. Why would people currently paid $15 per hour to compensate for harder physical work, riskier work or work demanding more skills settle for a wage just slightly more than minimum?  They won’t.

    There are predictable outcomes.

    • Some workers will migrate to less demanding work for comparable pay, and self-limit their skills development,  and subsequent advancement into genuine middle class jobs.
    •  Middle class households using skilled repair and maintenance services will pay sharply higher prices. 
    • A lot of new business will be created elsewhere.
    • #13
  14. user_339092 Member
    user_339092
    @PaulDougherty

    I sure hope that the city of Seattle seizes the zeitgeist and builds a monument at the foot of the Hammering Man that puts these city leaders’ names in granite. Heros all.  That way, when things go south, and they will go south, those most responsible will not be able to worm thier way out of blame.

    • #14
  15. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Limestone Cowboy: Businesses which might have historically paid, say twice the minimum wage, will be under enormous pressure to raise their own wages to retain more skilled workers.

    Some union contracts actually specify a rate tied to a multiple of minimum wage.  This is why many unions push for minimum wage increases.

    • #15
  16. WayneBob 1 Member
    WayneBob 1
    @WayneBob1

    As a matter of public policy, liberals want to raise:
    the price of cigarettes in order to decrease the incidence of smoking;
    the price of gas in order to decrease fuel consumption;
    the price of water, coal, and electricity to promote conservation.

    Yet somehow, they think that increasing the price of labour will encourage employers to purchase more of it.  Unbelievable.

    • #16
  17. Pilli Inactive
    Pilli
    @Pilli

    Paul Dougherty:

    I keep ruminating on the poor sucker who has put in time and effort to learn his job. A sucker who recently was promoted and got a raise to $14.00/hr. A sucker who may have been proud of themselves seeing reward for being at least interested in working and improving and earning their raise. What a chump. Today, that sucker is back on the bottom. Haha HA!

    Is this socially just?

     I was in college working at McD’s when this very thing happened.  I had earned several merit raises.  A new minimum wage came along and bumped everyone up to a nickle more than I had been making.  My merit raises were immediately eliminated.  When the manager asked me to train a new hire, I told him to train the guy himself.  The newbie was getting the same pay as me … he must know as much as me.

    It didn’t go over well.

    • #17
  18. user_19985 Thatcher
    user_19985
    @StevenPotter

    The sad part is the council members will never reap what they sow.  The failures will always be blamed on something other than their own policies.  The council members will continue being electing the same people.

    They’re too wrapped up in the euphoria of their “progressive” ideas to realize those second-order consequences of their actions.  A lot of businesses might bite the bullet to try to make it work.  They may not have the option to move outside of the city.  There will be other ramifications: no new jobs due to lack of growth potential, reduced hours for current workers, less benefits, and probably decreased income mobility for the workers themselves.  The city will think the policy worked, but they won’t realize the potential that was lost.

    • #18
  19. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Steven Potter: probably decreased income mobility for the workers themselves

    I’m not sure if you mean this the way it just struck me, but imagine being a low-level worker in Seattle.  You get an offer to be a supervisor or manager just outside the city.  The problem is that you have to take a pay-cut, because the minimum wage just outside the city is lower, and even the premium amount offered a manager is lower than minimum wage inside the city.

    • #19
  20. It's A Gas Member
    It's A Gas
    @ItsAGas

    If this is such a great idea with no impact on the greater community, then why phase it in over 3-7 years?  What changes in 3 years?  What preparations do you have to make?  It is just another example of trickle down tyranny.  Take a bad idea that is popular with the ignorant and implement it slowly enough that it is only noticed by people who pay attention, and we know that no one pays attention.  Meanwhile everyone is a little worse off but can’t really figure out why.

    • #20
  21. Kay Ludlow Member
    Kay Ludlow
    @KayLudlow

    This might be my favorite quote from the story…

    Kaylee Bond, 19, who works at a Seattle Subway store, said that earning more than her current $9.32 minimum will mean she can save for a car and move to a better apartment.

    “On one hand, it could mean inflation,” Bond said. “At the same time though, people would have more money to spend more.

    “It could be better for the economy,” she said.

    At least she’s heard of inflation, even if her understanding of it is shaky at best.

    • #21
  22. TKC1101 Inactive
    TKC1101
    @TKC1101

    The urban royalty sends some cake to the serfs. Since jobs are scarce, raise the cost.  If you want fewer serfs, it makes sense.

    • #22
  23. Songwriter Inactive
    Songwriter
    @user_19450

    Kay Ludlow:

    This might be my favorite quote from the story…

    Kaylee Bond, 19, who works at a Seattle Subway store, said that earning more than her current $9.32 minimum will mean she can save for a car and move to a better apartment.

    “On one hand, it could mean inflation,” Bond said. “At the same time though, people would have more money to spend more.

    “It could be better for the economy,” she said.

    At least she’s heard of inflation, even if her understanding of it is shaky at best.

     Poor Kaylee will not understand at all when she is let go because the Subway store can’t afford her any longer.

    • #23
  24. rico Inactive
    rico
    @rico

    Kay Ludlow:
    [person quoted in The Seattle Times]
    “On one hand, it could mean inflation,” Bond said. “At the same time though, people would have more money to spend more.

    “It could be better for the economy,” she said.

     …as if new spending money we’re  magically created.

    • #24
  25. user_11047 Inactive
    user_11047
    @barbaralydick

    Arahant: The problem is that you have to take a pay-cut, because the minimum wage just outside the city is lower, and even the premium amount offered a manager is lower than minimum wage inside the city.

    This person must have good skills, given the offer. This would mean that the pay cut would be very short-lived and his potential for advancement high after a bit of time in his new position.  Then he’d be ready to hit the road, and once again – as this will be repeated over and over – Seattle loses.

    • #25
  26. user_475589 Member
    user_475589
    @DuncanWinn

    I just wish they would implement it immediately instead of waiting till 2017…..

    • #26
  27. user_199279 Coolidge
    user_199279
    @ChrisCampion

    This is vote-buying.  For the people that get raises to meet the minimum and aren’t laid off/hours reduced, they’ll vote for the people who put this in.  For those who lost their jobs, that can be blamed on “The Man” and his yacht, and people will still largely vote for the idiots who put this in and killed their job.  The increase in unemployment already has a scapegoat waiting and its not those who raised the minimum wage.

    It obviously sells well already with the Left, and they will rationalize job losses as justification for more public spending on training, education, etc.

    Jobs go down, public spending goes up.  How is this not a huge win for the economically stupid/socialist geniuses who seem to bury themselves neck-deep into public “service” in order to better the lives of the proles they reign over?

    • #27
  28. Tim H. Member
    Tim H.
    @TimH

    Barkha Herman:

    Despite Seattle’s claim, the minimum wage still remains at 0.

    More and more people will now be earning it :-D.

     Barkha, this deserves to be made into a poster.  Excellent phrasing!

    • #28
  29. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    rico:

    Kay Ludlow: [person quoted in The Seattle Times]“On one hand, it could mean inflation,” Bond said. “At the same time though, people would have more money to spend more.

    “It could be better for the economy,” she said.

    …as if new spending money we’re magically created.

     This calls to mind my new retort for everything:
    “Ma’am, would you care to sign this petition to raise education funding in Colorado?”
    Where’s the money coming from??!

    Oh, that’s right. Pot sales. It’s all magic money.

    • #29
  30. rico Inactive
    rico
    @rico

    Western Chauvinist: This calls to mind my new retort for everything: “Ma’am, would you care to sign this petition to raise education funding in Colorado?” “Where’s the money coming from??!” Oh, that’s right. Pot sales. It’s all magic money.

     Who knew that Coloradans had been hoarding cash all these years, waiting for something to spend it on?

    • #30

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