Update on a post I made back in April about Seattle’s $15 minimum wage:
According to the Washington Policy Center,
Many SeaTac businesses have tacked on an additional fee to mitigate the increased cost of labor. On the receipt below, a $6.93 “living wage surcharge” was added to a $84.00 parking charge. That is the equivalent of a 8.25% tax.
Contrary to what supporters claim, increasing the minimum wage does not create jobs and stimulate the economy. The higher wages are not free money. The increased cost must either be absorbed by the employer, which is impossible for many who already operate on shoe-string profit margins, or it must be passed on to workers, in the form of reduced hours and benefits, and consumers, in the form of higher prices. Either way, someone pays.
As socialist leaders in Seattle fight to bring egalitarianism to the working class within their city, little do the workers know that they are actually be robbed tacitly by those who claim to be helping them.
The great Chicago school economist Milton Friedman said it best:
There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
Seattle would be wise to turn away from their unsustainable minimum wage before it destroys their local economy. Surcharges are only the beginning; cost-of-living expenses will soon begin inflate to match the new wage standard, and only highly skilled workers will be employable at the new minimum wage. As I have stated on my other blog previously (relating to Michigan’s new minimum wage law),
Entry level workers (such as teenagers and those who have not developed professional skills) and who are not profitable to employ at the new minimum pay threshold will simply find themselves unemployable, and eventually replaced with touchscreens and self-checkouts. McDonald’s workers in Europe are already being replaced by touch screen kioasks. We cannot legislate wages that the market does not support.