Seattle voted to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour. Despite the misapprehensions of many low information voters, to full wage increase won’t take effect until the start of Hillary’s second term (By which time inflation may have rendered it meaningless. The way the Fed is going, in 2021, $15 will buy you a pack of gum, maybe).
After decades in Seattle, Northwest Caster and Equipment recently made the difficult decision to move the business to unincorporated Lynnwood, according to a report by KOMO news. The owner of the family business blames Seattle’s increasingly difficult business climate for the move: “It just seems like increasingly the city’s become a more difficult place to do business.”
The city’s proposed $15 minimum wage was tops on the list of complaints. “If I’m going to bring someone in on an entry level, I’d prefer to start them out where I’d like to start them out, rather than having that dictated to me.”
A commercial property landlord echoes those concerns about the $15 minimum wage, noting several tenants have signaled they may not renew their leases if it becomes law: “It’s just too expensive to operate in the city.”
They already raised the minimal wage to $15 in one suburb. It ain’t working out too well.
“Are you happy with the $15 wage?” I asked the full-time cleaning lady.
“It sounds good, but it’s not good,” the woman said.
“Why?” I asked.
“I lost my 401k, health insurance, paid holiday, and vacation,” she responded. “No more free food,” she added.
The hotel used to feed her. Now, she has to bring her own food. Also, no overtime, she said. She used to work extra hours and received overtime pay.
What else? I asked.
“I have to pay for parking,” she said.
I then asked the part-time waitress, who was part of the catering staff.
“Yes, I’ve got $15 an hour, but all my tips are now much less,” she said. Before the new wage law was implemented, her hourly wage was $7. But her tips added to more than $15 an hour. Yes, she used to receive free food and parking. Now, she has to bring her own food and pay for parking.