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…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.Published in