Is It a Raise or a Ripoff?

Phillip Standin... - Posted on 01 July 2014

Bruce Allison/ PNN Correspondent

June 24, 2014

Seattle and San Francisco are both raising their minimum wage. In San Francisco, the average studio will rent for $1,0000 to $2,000 per month. Seattle has similarly high rental rates. Considering that, $15.00 per hour is not that much of a raise.

The money that a minimum wage worker earns goes back into the community. 95% of the income goes to little ma and pa stores and little ma and pa restaurants. That means the neighborhood will improve through business taxes. Each time you buy something, besides food, you pay sales taxes. The more money goes into sales taxes, the more goes back into the city coffers, which will then in turn stimulate job growth in the community.

The benefits to the community of higher minimum wages may be offset by inflation and the years-long delay of the $15/hr wage increase. In Seattle it's a seven-year delay, and in San Francisco it is three. Most workers I've talked to are looking forward to a raise. Alas, they do not know they are being conned. The city fathers are being brainwashed by the Chamber of Commerce to delay the wage hike. According to the Chamber, the City will become a ghost town after the wage increase. This is a mythology. The mythology is that they will lose money, but they will actually make more money with a wage increase than they will lose, for reasons described above. Half the people that are raising the minimum wage are greedy people in the pocket of the Chamber of Commerce.

On the Federal and State level the income tax will be increased in both San Francisco and Seattle. More job opportunities stemming from higher income taxes will cut the population of homeless people, if they use my example. This will also distribute the wealth among the rich and poor alike. Ten percent is a fair profit margin. I would love to get that on a stock certificate. Any shareholder would love something like that. If it is good enough for the average shareholder, it is good enough for the company head.

In Seattle they have another catch besides the delayed minimum wage increase. They have instituted things like training wages, where an employer can hire a person at a training wage, pay less at that wage, and lay them off two days prior to the end of the "training" period. California does not have this so this can not affect San Francisco. The wait staff in Seattle can have a starting wage below their minimum wage and employers can claim that their tips will make up for it. That is a bold-faced lie. Some business are trying to skirt the issue by charging extra fees and putting them down as a labor tax. The Seattle Airport is using this mythology by charging 99 cents as an additional labor tax, visible on receipts, to make the workers out to be villains. With the help of the mainstream media (who don't want to piss off any major businesses), that myth of villainous unions and workers is being supported. They will not lose any revenue, and these people are in a fools paradise. Most workers are not out to steal anything.

The same mythology was supported when San Francisco raised the minimum wage to $11.00 per hour. Hooked the cost of living of the Bay Area into the raises of the minimum wage. The jump from $7.00 to $10.00 did not turn San Francisco into a ghost town like the Golden Gate Restaurant Association was crying about. During the Great Depression, the City of San Francisco had a smaller unemployment rate than the rest of the county due to small businesses. This was not a utopia but a very good survivalist community with strong labor and strong businesses working together.

Mayor Lee of San Francisco, as a flunky for big businesses, sold this City down the river by giving tax breaks to large corporations instead of giving tax breaks to small business that needed more security than corporations. In Seattle, the so-called Socialist that came up with the $15.00 raise were no more Socailists than Richard Nixon was a Quaker. Like any other politician, he watches his back. That is why he slipped in his 7 years: he wanted business money in his next campaign. In my case, I would have said let's raise the salary to $15.00 per hour and businsses would have a freeze on their costs. They could not raise their cost more than 10% to cover the raise. May the devil take the high ground. Thank you and I am sorry I got on my high horse..


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