Ed Driscoll

San Francisco Voters Take Aim at Low Wages, Kill Beloved Bookstore

As spotted by Walter Olsen at Overlawyered.com:

Don’t believe minimum wage hikes hurt real people? After March 31, a famed sci-fi bookstore on Valencia St. in San Francisco’s Mission District will no longer be able to cater to your taste in fantasy:

The change in minimum wage will mean our payroll will increase roughly 39%.  That increase will in turn bring up our total operating expenses by 18%.  To make up for that expense, we would need to increase our sales by a minimum of 20%.  We do not believe that is a realistic possibility for a bookstore in San Francisco at this time.

And this, which speaks for itself:

In November, San Francisco voters overwhelmingly passed a measure that will increase the minimum wage within the city to $15 per hour by 2018.  Although all of us at Borderlands support the concept of a living wage in [principle] and we believe that it’s possible that the new law will be good for San Francisco – Borderlands Books as it exists is not a financially viable business if subject to that minimum wage.  Consequently we will be closing our doors no later than March 31st.  The cafe will continue to operate until at least the end of this year.

Translation: We want to live in the perfect Star Trek Universe of the future as much as our customers. But back on Planet Earth — certainly Planet Pelosi — the utopian policies our customers support have just vaporized us. On the other hand, the more actual businesses they wipe out, the larger the fantasy world of imagination becomes, right? (See also: Planet Detroit.)

On the gripping hand, to borrow another sci-fi motif, this is the city whose flagship newspaper didn’t consider a presidential candidate promising to bankrupt entire industries to be a major story; how sympathetic are its equally far left residents to one small bookstore biting the dust?