Home | About | Donate

'The Sky Didn't Fall': Study on Seattle $15 Wage Proves Critics Wrong


'The Sky Didn't Fall': Study on Seattle $15 Wage Proves Critics Wrong

Jake Johnson, staff writer

In an analysis bolstering the arguments of those fighting for minimum wage hikes nationwide, a group of University of California, Berkeley economists has found that Seattle's decision to gradually raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour has not hampered job growth, despite the frequent warnings of doom-and-gloom critics.


Not enough, for many reasons.
It is not mandatory for at least another two years.
Rent gouging and the price of bread will be double of current rates in short order.

Change the economic system.


Hillary ran on a $12/hour platform.

That sure built enthusiasm in the (former) D-party base.


Agreed we need a new system, that prioritizes ecological and human health, abolishes the looting class, puts a sturdy cap on both wealth and income, shares wealth and income equitably, and sets public budgeting priorities through genuine economic democracy.

And if we’re demanding minor adjustments in the meantime, we should be demanding at least $20/hr now – NOW – with adjustments going forward to account for actual price inflation and loss of purchasing power. With jobs available to all who want them.


So when can we expect the next round of conservative bs telling us only morally degenerates want to do nice things for people who aren’t millionaires?


Whether livable wages and livable incomes harm businesses is irrelvant. They are a human right and should be treated as such. Business and corporations be damned. There are many healthy and sustainable ways to organize economies. None of them have anything to do with capitalism, a pox on all humanity.


Republicans do not rely on truth. They are ideologues who push propaganda, proven lies, to further an extremist agenda. The lies, amplified by their surrogates in the media, become truthiness, enough to maintain a controversy between actual facts and republican “facts” (i.e. bald-faced lies). And, when the lies are not sufficient to overpower actual fact, they attack the messenger of the facts (such as the CBO, whose estimates of the harm to be caused by the tax-cut “health-care” legislation are now challenged by republican truthiness). Republicans are lies wrapped in ugliness.


From the company newsletter where I work - paragraph 3 of a 3 paragraph section on ‘Minimum Wage and Sick Time Concerns’: Please be aware that there are passionate opinions on both sides of this issue(the free market side versus the mandated-benefits side), and that our customers can represent either side. Therefore, if any questions are raised, it is best to reassure people that for 94 years Phillip’s has been a floral industry leader in it’s employment practices, always meeting or exceeding the law. Company ownership believes that such laws should be issued at the federal(sic) and state(sic) level rather than having to deal with a patchwork of different county and state regulations." Horseshit. We still don’t get paid holidays- we have to burn a vacation Day or not get paid when we have to work on a Federal holiday. We are open 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Our (revered) late owner made some kind of a deal wherein we are considered “agricultural” workers, because we are in the flower business. We don’t produce or grow anything. We are “leaders” insofar as we are contenders in the downward race to the bottom in terms of pay and sick time. We are owned by three brothers and an uncle who live in a 80s dream world. They consider employees to be thief-like burdens, and will likely make health insurance very difficult if/when the Federal mandate ends. If Illinois goes to $15 or $20 for minimum wage, there will likely be a number of people out of jobs.


Even my high school economics students could figure out that if you pay people more they spend more, and that eventually they will be able to afford the products they make. Which is good for business and the economy!!! I am not sure what business schools are teaching, but rational thinking doesn’t seem to be one of the skills…only “I’m gonna get mine.” Far too many Americans are living in a regressive, backwards looking imaginary world, where exploitation rules.


And yet we are still living under reaganeomics of supply side, where capital is socialized and its capitalism for everything else.


You are an ideological lunatic. Have fun with your madness.


MBA Programs are teaching wealth and profit creation, using all sorts of management tools. The term " continuous improvement " has some marginal relationship with employees, per se. Such as continuing education and ongoing skills training, etc. But, the bottom line is still the bottom line. And, Joe & Mary Lunchbucket are still at the back, and on the bottom, of that profit line.
That’s why income redistribution ( through progressive tax policy ) and liveable wages, good healthcare and an educated workforce; putting more tangible assets in the hands of more people is vital and healthy for a strong, resilient economy. And, a true and healthy representative democracy, as well. Just like progressives have been saying.
Which America has less of, every year the debate centers around the tired and disproved argument about what we can’t do, for a growing majority of the population. " We can’t, We can’t…" Pure b.s.
The idea that the Democratic Party is not capable of juggling the demands of the majority of the population has worn out, as well. Their problems are not going to be solved by " trickle-down lite " economic policies. And, running away from a real fight; involving class warfare and the illogic of the constant feeding of the beast known as The Uniparty Consensus. " The political fight is not between the left and the right, it is between the ups and the downs ". Molly Ivins Damn straight, there!
As the Berkeley study shows, all spin, lies and propaganda aside, the progressive policies and prescriptions for a much more equitable and fair America are good for everyone. Which includes the 1%ers, too.


When you increase the price of something, the demand for it goes down. It can go all the way down to zero

Sort of like when the price of life saving drugs goes to a jillion dollars, the demand goes down.

Yup, when the customers die, the demand goes down. No such thing as a free market.


In the current discussion, you found the Paul Graham post most likely to counter it?
Your blinkers are wider than fort knox.


I am done with trying to fight and tweak the current system.
We are dealing with fiat.
Nixon made sure of that.
We need to resort to some agreed standard. And I am not for going back to gold, which I find artificial in itself.

Therefore twenty is not of relevance to me.

Bitcoin in itself is also a fantasy fiat.
But can be used to build an egalitarian system.

Everyone has a phone.


Since the economy is 70% consumer driven, the more the poor have to spend, the more they will spend. Businesses that don’t pay a living wage expect the federal government to subsidize their business model.


In 1965 when we were a little poorer as a nation than we are now an hours work at minimum wage could buy 30 Hersey Bars or 10 subway tokens or 6 gallons of gas or a Hendrix and a Doors or two theater tickets. Today minimum wage would have to be $25-$30/hr for the same purchase. In education a year at Berkeley would take 40 hrs of work. Today minimum wage would have to be $300/hr to accomplish the same. Besides the wealth going to the 1% it is being invisibly taken by interest which is why the financial sector of the GDP has quadrupled since 1965… To put it in perspective 5% compounded interest plus principal will double every 14 years, The whole economy runs on interest bearing money. That is how it is created, through debt. There fore over time everything in an economy where the money is created through debt will become more expensive relative to the amount of labor needed to produce it and to purchase it. We are all in a squirrel cage expending energy for the BANKSTERS. Maybe they will toss us a few nuts or $15/hour.


Excellent points, thanks for the outline. No such thing as a “free market.”


But, that point only works if there’s no import trade. Levis ( or my Lee’s ) work pants at a Wal-Mart, or at Discounts R US are $19-22, on sale. And, technical improvements has made them last just as long, or longer. My point: I work 4 hrs a year for something that I used to have to work 18-20 hours a year, for.
All trade is not equal, but intentional fair trade is much more equal than what we generally have now." To whom much is given, much is asked ".
If American education was doing its intended job, we would be exporting our ( subsidized ) excess skilled labor to improve living conditions ( quality of life ) to 60% of the world. Instead, we’re importing cheap labor to damage living conditions ( quality of life ) here at home. It’s only dystopian because our gov’t is on the side of the destroyers, and not on the side of the creators.The gov’t is truly run by plutocrats, crony capitalists and kleptocrats. And, people who are in cahoots with the scum of the earth. " the scum also rises, and continually so "; however, it is not our gov’ts job to keep adding chemical nutrients to the scummy pond.


Wally World profits do not go to China. They go to the stock owners, employees’wages, corporate property developers, AND:
The Walton Family, etc. It is truly good to be king.
In fact, it’s my understanding, sales of American autos into China are pre-paid before shipping. Thus, the profit stays with the American manufacturer. Parts manufacturing ( and remanufacturing ) is a different matter. That’s a separate trade ( side agreement ) negotiation.
Also, Japanese, German and Korean auto manufacturing, building autos in the U.S., use different financing mechanisms than other countries, often times. Their payments, dealer agreements, profits, etc. are taxed, as well. It’s so complicated… Almost everyone lives on the margins, more or less, as a result of these deals.
Additionally, it is very, very uncomfortable sometimes having other people on this planet who are not some type of American or Multi-National Corporation. And, there’s the rub…