Living Wage Comes Home To Roost

The proof really is in the pudding. Click on the photo below to see it full size. It’s a parking receipt from the Seattle-Tacoma Airport Valet Parking Area. (Use the back browser when you’ve had your peek, to get back here)

Sea-Tac Parking Reciept

Sea-Tac Parking Reciept

Yeppers, that’s a $6.93 surcharge (.99/day) for Seattle’s new $15/hr “Living Wage” law, that joins with the City Tax, the Airport Access Tax and of course Sales Tax. I just don’t comprehend the absolute ignorance of the Idiotarians behind this movement. McDonalds is still in the cross-hairs for the same wage for their employees. Clueless and Clue-fucked citizens that obviously believe that money really does grow on trees. We can try to explain it to them verbally, but a real life object lesson of the consequences is so much better to get through their pointed brain-pans.

Many companies survive on very thin profit margins. A massive increase in the cost of labor must come from somewhere. Companies can’t really survive by trimming their profits to pay for it as they’ll get abandoned by their stockholders which in turn causes a loss of capital needed for growth and maintenance. That “solution” would be tantamount to fiscal suicide, so we go with Plan “B”. Offset the increased costs of doing business by passing it along to the consumers. But wait a minute, if the cost of a Big Mac increases won’t that cause fewer sales? Damn right it will, which rolls back profits that they tried to protect anyway. It’s an economic paradox that only Progressives would try to unravel and of course, fail. But failure isn’t in their lexicon as long as they can provide bread and circuses to the unwashed masses. As I recall from history, that didn’t turn out very well either, but hey, no one ever said that liberals were capable of learning from history, or understanding the hard facts of economics.

With that out of the way, I proclaim an “Open Thread” for the holiday weekend. Cue the applause and….carry on

JB sends from the Commonwealth of MassiveTwoShits.

15 comments

  1. 1
    angrywebmaster growls and barks:

    Time to look at investing in companies that make robotic hamburger machines?

  2. 2
    LCBrendan growls and barks:

    Nah, what we need is to invest in is a BCA system..a Buttered Cat Array

    When a cat is dropped, it always lands on its feet. And when toast is dropped, it always lands with the buttered side facing down. I propose to strap buttered toast to the back of a cat; the two will hover, spinning inches above the ground. With a giant buttered cat array, a high-speed monorail could easily link New York with Chicago. [see below for further info on buttered cats – Ed.]

  3. 3
    Library Czar growls and barks:

    I can see where a fast food dispensary would lose money with a wage of 15 dollars an hour. I don’t see where a car park would lose money or why they are overcharging the patrons.

    At $10 dollars an hour for 40 hours that is $400 dollars paid weekly in wages.. At $15 dollars an hour that is $600 dollars a week. Add 30 percent for benefits and taxes paid by the employer that is about $20 dollars a hour or about $800 per week total not above what they were already paying.

    Even a small lot will park about 200 cars. At 80% full that is $1100 dollars in additional income weekly. So costs increased by $200 dollars plus 30% and income increased by $1100 dollars weekly. Working the most simple of numbers that $6.93 surcharge seems like total bullshit. Yes I know there may be three shifts etc… the numbers still don’t work out. A smaller lot and you may lose money. A larger lot, say 500 spots- 2000 spots you can retire in a couple years.

  4. 4
    Muzzy - Imperial Ignorant Slut growls and barks:

    Quick question: Isn’t it the case that many people on McDonalds and WalMart level wages end up needing to use food stamps to get by? I’m pretty sure I’ve heard that from a few places. If that’s true, then what these companies are effectively doing is outsourcing a percentage of their wage overheads to the taxpayer. Surely it’s better to make companies pay employees enough that they don’t have to leech off the government to feed their kids, right?

    Even worse, their employees inevitably take that money and then go spend it at the places where they can get the most bang for their government buck: McDonalds and WalMart. These companies have implemented wage policies which, without your consent, effectively suck money directly out of your pocket and funnel it straight into theirs. In effect, aren’t you already paying this “living wage” charge? At least now you know about it.

    I mean, yeah, increased wages lead inevitably to increased prices which, in turn, leads to decreased demand for services and a decreased demand for the labour of employees. But if all that means is that McDonalds can’t open more stores and some people lose a few shitty McJobs that aren’t worth having anyway, who gives a fuck? So what if McDonalds don’t sell as much of their triglyceride-riddled poison as they did last year? So what if fewer people get hired? Surely that’s better than having their existing staff crawling to Uncle Sam for a handout every month because they can’t afford to keep the lights on.

  5. 5
    irish19 growls and barks:

    no one ever said that liberals were capable of learning from history

    For them, there was no history before the election of the god-king B.H. Oblowme.

  6. 6
    LC Getalis, Imperial Czar of Pharmacology growls and barks:

    Muzzy – Imperial Ignorant Slut says:

    Quick question: Isn’t it the case that many people on McDonalds and WalMart level wages end up needing to use food stamps to get by? I’m pretty sure I’ve heard that from a few places. If that’s true, then what these companies are effectively doing is outsourcing a percentage of their wage overheads to the taxpayer. Surely it’s better to make companies pay employees enough that they don’t have to leech off the government to feed their kids, right?

    This is a perennial queef of the Far Left, and it’s about as coherent as Ariana Grande after eating a Novocaine™ burrito. The slapdown:

    1) It is the responsibility of every grown adult to pay their own way through life.

    2) It is not the responsibility of Wal-Mart (or any employer) to hand out free money to employees for merely showing up.

    3) If an employee’s value to an employer is X, any additional payment (+ Y) qualifies as “free money” under (2), and is the surest way for an employer to go bankrupt. (See First Law of Thermodynamics)

    Thus, if an individual “end[s] up needing to use food stamps to get by”, the onus is upon that individual to (a) get an additional job, or (b) get a higher-paying job, which usually entails (c) increasing his productive value to the employer.

  7. 7

    Muzzy – Imperial Ignorant Slut says:

    I mean, yeah, increased wages lead inevitably to increased prices which, in turn, leads to decreased demand for services and a decreased demand for the labour of employees. But if all that means is that McDonalds can’t open more stores and some people lose a few shitty McJobs that aren’t worth having anyway, who gives a fuck? So what if McDonalds don’t sell as much of their triglyceride-riddled poison as they did last year? So what if fewer people get hired? Surely that’s better than having their existing staff crawling to Uncle Sam for a handout every month because they can’t afford to keep the lights on.

    I need to address that last statement a little.

    Firstly:

    increased wages lead inevitably to increased prices which, in turn, leads to decreased demand for services and a decreased demand for the labour of employees. But if all that means is that McDonalds can’t open more stores and some people lose a few shitty McJobs that aren’t worth having anyway, who gives a fuck?

    I would assume the displaced workers give a f***…….given that they probably don’t have the skills to do much of anything else or this is their very first job it probably means a lot to them.

    So what if McDonalds don’t sell as much of their triglyceride-riddled poison as they did last year? So what if fewer people get hired? Surely that’s better than having their existing staff crawling to Uncle Sam for a handout every month because they can’t afford to keep the lights on

    ever hear of market demand? if people don’t want to eat those poisonous Big Macs they don’t have to…..go get some fruit at the local grocery store or something. As for people crawling to Uncle Handout for their subsistence, eliminate their jobs and what do you think they are going to do? That’s a sure road to government enslavement……

    sheeesh

  8. 8
    Muzzy - Imperial Ignorant Slut growls and barks:

    LC Getalis, Imperial Czar of Pharmacology @ #:

    1) It is the responsibility of every grown adult to pay their own way through life.

    It’s a responsibility, but not the only responsibility. Grown adults have many responsibilities. They’re responsible for raising, feeding, and taking care of their children. They may, depending on their circumstances, be responsible for caring for sick or disabled relatives. They, also, on top of this, have to juggle the myriad responsibilities inherent to maintaining a successful marriage and/or the demands of the education they need to advance themselves. What happens when these responsibilities collide? What happens when people who are paid so little that they can’t survive on their wages alone have to choose between, say, taking a second job and taking care of a sick parent or young child? The answer is, most of the time at least, they go on government assistance. What choice do they have? If the companies they worked for paid them a living wage then they wouldn’t have to.

    2) It is not the responsibility of Wal-Mart (or any employer) to hand out free money to employees for merely showing up.

    3) If an employee’s value to an employer is X, any additional payment (+ Y) qualifies as “free money” under (2), and is the surest way for an employer to go bankrupt. (See First Law of Thermodynamics)

    There’s a second equation you’re forgetting. The employer’s value to the employee is also X, and if the compensation employers pay them is less than X, then the employee is forced to take one of three options:

    a) Find a better paying job or supplement their existing job with a second job.
    b) Take government assistance.
    c) Strike.

    Option (a), for reasons which have been discussed ad-nauseum over the last few years, is simply not an option for many people. There either aren’t any better paying jobs available for them, or they have more important commitments on their time (such as childrearing) which preclude their acquisition of a second job. Another relevant factor is that a lot of these subsistence level jobs are shift work. How can a person juggle a second job if the hours for their first job change every week?

    Consequently, workers are choosing to take option (b). Some people, such as WalMart workers, are taking options (b) and (c) simultaneously. Option (b) is bad for the tax payer and option (c) is bad for business. It’s also not very good for the workers because they have to deal with all the bullshit red-tape that comes with collecting benefits. Under the current system, nobody wins. If employers are forced to pay their employees a living wage then at least there is less burden on the taxpayer.

    Now, I know what you’re probably thinking, “Muzzy, you stupendously ignorant slut, you festering pinko carbuncle on the anus of humanity, if employers are forced to pay their employees more then they’ll lay people off and those people will go on benefits”. Well…that’s true. Some people will be laid off. However, in exchange for that, the enormous number of subsistence-level workers currently on benefits will now be able to support themselves. Overall, the burden on taxpayers will be reduced.

    There’s also a flip side to this coin as well. Better paid workers are able to buy more stuff. Given that, in today’s economy, $15.00 an hour still really isn’t all that much in many places, those workers will still need to be thrifty in order to get by. At the moment, many WalMart workers spend a large chunk of their wages at Walmart. If the minimum wage goes up to $15.00 an hour, the only thing that’ll change is that they’ll spend more at WalMart, only now they’ll be spending real money instead of food stamps that you’re paying for.

    Obviously, increasing the minimum wage is going to hurt some people. Every economic decision hurts some people. The question isn’t “Will raising the minimum wage make things better for everybody?” It’s “Will raising the minimum wage help enough people to make it worth doing?” For the reasons above, I believe the answer to be ‘Yes’.

    Jaybear wrote:

    I would assume the displaced workers give a f***…….given that they probably don’t have the skills to do much of anything else or this is their very first job it probably means a lot to them.

    True…I may have been a little hyperbolic. Obviously, some people will care. On the other hand, the workers who aren’t displaced will be happier, more productive, and, most importantly, won’t be subsidised by the taxpayer anymore. Make no mistake, what these companies are doing right now is practising Socialism by proxy. They’re forcing many of their workers to take government assistance while knowing that those same workers will immediately pour the bulk of that assistance straight into their pockets. You’re already paying these workers whether you like it or not. At least, with minimum wage, you’ll be able to exercise a little bit more choice over whether or not to give them that money.

    ever hear of market demand? if people don’t want to eat those poisonous Big Macs they don’t have to…..go get some fruit at the local grocery store or something. As for people crawling to Uncle Handout for their subsistence, eliminate their jobs and what do you think they are going to do? That’s a sure road to government enslavement……

    As I said to L.C. Getalis, while raising the minimum wage would definitely mean some people would have to take government assistance they otherwise might not need, it would also mean that workers currently taking government assistance would be able to come off it. I believe that, when all is said and done, raising the minimum wage would reduce the number of people currently on benefits.

  9. 9
    Weyland growls and barks:

    Minimum wage laws violate the right of property ownership.

    The job belongs to the employer, it’s their property and if they want to offer it at $X then it’s their right to do so. The government does not have the authority to dictate the wage rate anymore than it has the authority to tell youhow much you may ask for your home or your car or the shirt on your back!

  10. 10
    LC Getalis, Imperial Czar of Pharmacology growls and barks:

    Muzzy – Imperial Ignorant Slut @ #:

    If the companies they worked for paid them a living wage then they wouldn’t have to.

    And if Santa Claus would just bring them free money, they wouldn’t have to. Problem is, there’s no such thing as Santa Claus. Likewise, there’s no such thing as a “living wage”. It’s a mythical creature, like unicorns and the Easter Bunny.

    There’s a second equation you’re forgetting. The employer’s value to the employee is also X, and if the compensation employers pay them is less than X…

    …the employee quits.

  11. 11
    Fa Cube Itches growls and barks:

    Muzzy – Imperial Ignorant Slut @ #:

    There’s a second equation you’re forgetting. The employer’s value to the employee is also X, and if the compensation employers pay them is less than X, then the employee is forced to take one of three options:

    a) Find a better paying job or supplement their existing job with a second job.
    b) Take government assistance.
    c) Strike.

    Pretty sure there’s a fourth option, too: crime. It often pays very, very well, even if it often comes with significant consequences for the unlucky/unwary.

    “There’s also a flip side to this coin as well. Better paid workers are able to buy more stuff.”

    So raise the minimum wage to $5,000/hour and we’ll all be in great shape, since everyone will be buying new houses, cars, boats, appliances, etc., Plus, unemployment will be reduced to zero as production ramps up to make all of the new houses, cars, boats, appliances, etc.

    Oh, but wait….

    $15.00 an hour still really isn’t all that much in many places, those workers will still need to be thrifty in order to get by.

    There’s a hitch. $15.00/hour is a king’s ransom in most of the world outside the US. Someone else will do it much, much cheaper. Even the Chinese are learning that there are people willing to work for less than them.

    And that foreign guy who will work cheaper? His country doesn’t have pollution restrictions, OSHA, Worker’s Comp., etc. that all has to be paid for. Wal-Mart and McDonalds do have to pay for part of that stuff here.

    One more thing: wages in the US have been, on the whole, flat for a decade or two (depending upon the industry in question). That means that the people who need to buy more stuff to pay for the increased minimum wages can’t do it. Yes, the folks at the very top have been doing quite well, but the rank-and-file in the middle haven’t. They’re tapped out, or close to it.

  12. 12
    LC SecondMouse growls and barks:

    Because of the simple but powerful laws of supply and demand and the concept of the market-clearing price, passing laws to alter the behavior of individuals in the marketplace always reduces overall productivity and wealth creation in the marketplace. If the government requires the minimum payment for an hour of labor to be higher than the value the market assigns to labor, then the market will simply buy less of that labor. The exact same thing happens, for example, with tobacco taxes, although here the government admits that they want to increase the price of tobacco to the consumer so as to reduce consumption. When the government turns around and increases labor price with the minimum wage, they sell it to the dummies as a wage increase to buy votes, because these people aren’t bright enough to see what is really happening.

    The reality is that the minimum wage effectively criminalizes the sale of any labor that is not worth the new minimum. This creates an opportunity for illegal immigrants to come in and sell their labor at a lower price for cash under the table. It also forces businesses to change their operating models, since they still have to figure out how to operate with increased expenses. In this weak economy with so many out of work, big price hikes are unlikely, so sometimes fewer people wind up with more work, or if the companies have the capital, they invest in greater automation, like McDonald’s is doing with automated cashiers. Or they move production overseas to one of many countries where people lie awake at night dreaming of a job that pays $2 an hour.

    We have allowed our government to do this to us over the better part of a century, and now we are in such a state of decline and disarray that the only solution many seem to believe in is to ask the government that made this mess in the first place to step in and fix it, which is a guarantee they will make it worse.

    If we had been able during the New Deal era to see wage and industry protectionism for the evil that it ultimately brings (Roosevelt was rumored to refer to the first FLSA he signed into law as ‘unconstitutional’), America could have faced head-on the need to remain competitive in our labor and production costs with a third world market for cheap labor as those markets grew. Instead, we acted foolishly to protect wages in our country, with the result that most of the manufacturing and production jobs we would have otherwise been able to keep have been offshored so as to access cheaper labor. Now that technology is rapidly permitting automation of so many productive processes, our middle class, decimated already by manufacturers fleeing the U.S., is on the verge of extinction.

    As long as we look to government to provide a solution, we will continue to slide down this slope toward economic disaster. Government cannot create wealth – it can only transfer it from one party to another. When they transfer it, they damage the motivations of both aforesaid parties to create more wealth for themselves, either because they know some will be taken from them, or because they realize they don’t have to. Governments can print currency, but currency is not wealth, it is only a claim on wealth. The more claims there are on the wealth that exists, the less each claim is worth, until someday the currency holds no value. This is the path we are presently on.

  13. 13
    LC Jackboot IC/A growls and barks:

    LC SecondMouse says:

    As long as we look to government to provide a solution, we will continue to slide down this slope toward economic disaster. Government cannot create wealth – it can only transfer it from one party to another. When they transfer it, they damage the motivations of both aforesaid parties to create more wealth for themselves, either because they know some will be taken from them, or because they realize they don’t have to. Governments can print currency, but currency is not wealth, it is only a claim on wealth. The more claims there are on the wealth that exists, the less each claim is worth, until someday the currency holds no value. This is the path we are presently on.

    That in another business is what one would call “The Money Shot” (no pun intended). Our currency since it went off the gold or silver standard has essentially been fiat currency. The Republic’s wealth is now resting on a direct relationship to it’s GNP i.e. continuing commerce keeping the “wealth” (that is what is produced by labor in any form, to something more valuable than it was before production). US currency rests on the full-faith and credit of the country. In the current state the “CREDIT” portion of that statement is entirely without collateral in hand, instead it’s credit based on congress “adjusting” taxes to redistribute and keep alive the economic Ponzi scheme we find ourselves in now.

  14. 14
    LC_Salgak growls and barks:

    Muzzy – Imperial Ignorant Slut says:

    It’s a responsibility, but not the only responsibility. Grown adults have many responsibilities. They’re responsible for raising, feeding, and taking care of their children.

    They, also, on top of this, have to juggle the myriad responsibilities inherent to maintaining a successful marriage and/or the demands of the education they need to advance themselves.

    What happens when these responsibilities collide?

    What happens when people who are paid so little that they can’t survive on their wages alone have to choose between, say, taking a second job and taking care of a sick parent or young child?

    The answer is, most of the time at least, they go on government assistance. What choice do they have? If the companies they worked for paid them a living wage then they wouldn’t have to.

    If you don’t earn enough money to raise Nichiren, it’s your responsibility NOT TO HAVE THEM.

    Myriad Responsibilities ?? Welcome to the Real World. The rest of us manage all that, too. . .

    Again, if they have little or no skills, and thus cannot get a sufficient wage, suggesting that they endeavor to improve their skills and get a better job, and thus, a higher wage, NEVER seems to be a solution. . .

    Ah, yes. What other choice do they have but Government Benefits. To the LibProg, the Gov is Mother, the Gov is Father, and always asks you, “What do you want?” A pity you never see the hidden reality, hiding in the Shadows, as it were. . .

    Companies’ responsibilities are to their investors: it is immoral to pay an employee more than the value he or she brings to the enterprise. But, somehow, stealing from the shareholders is apparently ok, because, 1%ers. . .

  15. 15
    Muzzy - Imperial Ignorant Slut growls and barks:

    Fa Cube Itches @ #:

    So raise the minimum wage to $5,000/hour and we’ll all be in great shape, since everyone will be buying new houses, cars, boats, appliances, etc., Plus, unemployment will be reduced to zero as production ramps up to make all of the new houses, cars, boats, appliances, etc.

    Good point. Raising the minimum wage too high would cause a spike in inflation. We don’t want to do that. I withdraw that point.

    However, I’m going to replace it with a similar point. I’m not American, but in England we have a similar situation with low paid workers in some areas. In London, for instance, the minimum wage is £7.60 an hour (about $10.00), and as anyone who’s ever lived there will readily attest, you can’t get spat on in London for £7.60 an hour. As a result, minimum wage workers often have to subsidise their wages with government benefits. It’s either that, or they pick a couple of days out of the week when they don’t eat.

    So let’s say that (and I’m just pulling figures out of the air here for the sake of argument) a minimum wage worker in London needs £10.00 an hour to survive. If £7.60 comes from their job then £2.40 comes from benefits. If the minimum wage is then raised to £10.00 the workers would no longer qualify for benefits and they would still have the same money; ergo, no inflation. The workers get to survive purely on their earnings and the taxpayer saves money. Of course, as has been noted, business expansion would slow and some workers would very likely lose their jobs. However, those remaining workers would be better off, and, more importantly in my view, freeloading corporations would no longer be able to effectively outsource a quarter of their wage bill to the government and any saved taxpayer money could then be channelled in more socially useful directions (police, schools etc…)

    There’s a hitch. $15.00/hour is a king’s ransom in most of the world outside the US. Someone else will do it much, much cheaper. Even the Chinese are learning that there are people willing to work for less than them.

    That’s also true of the current minimum wage, however. Corporations don’t need any incentive to save money. If WalMart could outsource manufacture to some 3rd world dystopia where people will work all day for the chance to look at a shiny object, they’d do it in a New York minute if it saved them a single cent. Raising the minimum wage wouldn’t make corporations any more eager to move jobs overseas for the simple reason that they’re already as eager as they can possibly be.

    One more thing: wages in the US have been, on the whole, flat for a decade or two (depending upon the industry in question). That means that the people who need to buy more stuff to pay for the increased minimum wages can’t do it. Yes, the folks at the very top have been doing quite well, but the rank-and-file in the middle haven’t. They’re tapped out, or close to it.

    Yes, that is a problem. I recently watched a fascinating documentary called ‘Inequality For All’ (it’s on Netflix if you’re interested) which showed that the richest 400 people in America have as much combined wealth as the poorest 150 million people. This presents practical problems, because a man who earns $100 million a year can’t possibly spend $100 million a year. He can only drive one car at a time, have one haircut a month, sleep in one bed at a time etc… The money he doesn’t spend is typically stowed away in investment portfolios, hedge funds, and blue chip stock. This is, by far, the slowest way to re-inject money into the economy. So much wealth concentrated in so few hands inevitably has a stagnating effect on the economy as a whole. As for what to do about it…well, I’m open to ideas.