Having a job at $10 an hour is worse than not having a job at $15 because you can always pay the rent with #caring.
— Stephen Green (@VodkaPundit) March 14, 2015
“Raise the price of something, you get less of it.” That’s Econ 101, which well-meaning lefties never tire of trying to repeal. They might as well attempt to repeal the law of gravity, as Seattle is demonstrating:
Seattle’s $15 minimum wage law goes into effect on April 1, 2015. As that date approaches, restaurants across the city are making the financial decision to close shop. The Washington Policy Center writes that “closings have occurred across the city, from Grub in the upscale Queen Anne Hill neighborhood, to Little Uncle in gritty Pioneer Square, to the Boat Street Cafe on Western Avenue near the waterfront.”
Of course, restaurants close for a variety of reasons. But, according to Seattle Magazine, the “impending minimum wage hike to $15 per hour” is playing a “major factor.” That’s not surprising, considering “about 36% of restaurant earnings go to paying labor costs.” Seattle Magazine,
“Washington Restaurant Association’s Anthony Anton puts it this way: “It’s not a political problem; it’s a math problem.”
Math has always been a difficult subject for the self-styled Reality Based Community, which seems to believe the law is a magic wand which can be waved around to make everything just peachy with never ever any unintended consequences. Or as Jazz Shaw notes, “it’s a political problem for the social justice warriors who shoved this initiative.”
It’s more than that, though. Not only is Seattle losing important entry-level jobs for otherwise difficult-to-employ youth, but Seattle restaurant-goers are losing choices. And I’d wager that some of the first restaurants to close are among the more affordable choices, meaning that Seattle’s poorest are getting the double whammy from the city’s do-gooders.
Dear Poor People: Stop voting for people who say they’ll use the law to help you.