Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Seattle's $15 Minimum Wage and the Liberal Spin

On April 1st, Seattle, Washington's $15 Minimum wage law technically went into effect.  Already, the liberals have attacked Republicans who had claimed that raising it that high would cost jobs and shutter businesses. The argument is that none of that has happened.   In fact, on April 10th, the far left think tank, "Think Progress", wrote an online article titled: "Seattle Restaurant Data Demolishes Conservative Argument Against $15 Minimum Wage."

The problem with the "Think Progress" article is that it leads people to believe that a $15 minimum wage completely went into effect April 1st.  It didn't.

If you are a small business of less than 500 employees, you have seven years to gradually raise it to $15.  That's about an 81 cent per hour raise per year from the previous $9.32 in Washington state.  All other businesses have just three years to increase it, and since most small business like restaurants and retail operations employ minimum wage workers, overall impact will be minimal; at least this year.

There's another reason that Seattle can handle the $15 minimum wage over time without a lot of impact on jobs. Seattle is wealthy.  The average per capita income is $43,237 (in 2013).  That's much higher then our nation as a whole at just $28,155 (again, in 2013). Because of its wealth, and the city's ability to keep people working, the unemployment rate was just 3.9% in December of 2014.

So, I guess from the 'Think Progress" article, we're supposed to conclude that raising the national minimum wage to $15 won't do any harm.  That reminds me of that old adage: "But, will it play in Peoria."  In Peoria, Illinois the average per capita salary is only $28,438 (in 2013); or, about $13.67 an hour (based on a 40-hour work week).  In terms of the unemployment rate, Peoria is already hurting at  6.9% as of December 2014.  Compared to Seattle's poverty rate of 13.6%, Peoria sits at 17.2%; meaning that 1-in-6 wouldn't see their salaries increased anyway.

Let's not have a national minimum wage of $15.  If Seattle, with its high standard of living, does it...then, fine.  But not every community can afford the price hikes that will result from it.


Seattle approves $15 minimum wage:

Seattle Restaurant Data Demolishes Conservative Argument Against $15 Minimum Wage:

We Are Seeing The Effects Of Seattle's $15 An Hour Minimum Wage:

USA Quick Facts:

Seattle Quick Facts:

Seattle Unemployment Rate:

Peoria Quick Facts:

Peoria Unemployment Rate:

Will it Play in Peoria:

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