Tags: minimum wage | sanders

Minimum Wage Increase Results in Minimum Benefit

By Sunday, 20 March 2016 08:11 AM Current | Bio | Archive

The wing of the Democratic Party that relies on gender studies majors to identify pressing issues is making headway in Oregon. The legislature there has just passed a bill that sets a new minimum wage.

Since this is a state run by Democrats, the new law doesn’t just set a wage and forget about it. This bill is “nuanced,” another word for wildly complicated. First the wage rises slowly until it reaches a maximum of $14.75 in 2022. (That’s if “global warming” hasn’t caused paper money to spontaneously combust in our wallets before then.)

But although it’s a statewide law it isn’t a statewide wage. Only larger cities like Portland will enjoy the top rate of $14.75. Smaller cities will be at $13.50 and rural areas will be last at $12.50. Evidently there are economy patterns, just like weather patterns, in Oregon and the wage is forced to adjust.

I’ve written about the idiocy of these laws before and you can read my thoughts here.

Oregon’s final wage level, to avoid “nuance” we will use Portland’s figure of $14.75, puts it $7.50 above the federal minimum. So where does the money to pay the extra amount come from? Bernie Sanders would say drug companies and Wall Street, but I try to be practical and limit my answers to the realistic.

In a restaurant there are two options: Management pays more or the customer pays more. Since the profit margin in a restaurant is only 4 percent — lower than even that of a grocery store — and 36 percent of the cost of running an eatery is labor, expecting the restaurant to eat the extra cost, so to speak, is unrealistic.

One innovative, and disgruntled, parking lot owner at SeaTac airport that must pay the new “living wage” adds the extra cost as a line item to his customer’s bills. He calls it the “living wage surcharge.” It works out to $6.93 extra on an $84.00 bill, but his customer base is a captive one.

What will probably happen in Oregon will mimic the situation in Seattle after those moral exhibitionists passed a $15.00 minimum wage. The Seattle Times interviewed a cleaning lady and a waitress — two of the occupations the left intended to “help” — about their situation after the law was passed.

Not only had economic life not improved, it was demonstrably worse. One woman said, “It sounds good, but it’s not good. I lost my 401(k), health insurance, paid holiday, and vacation. No more free food.”

It was much the same for the waitress, “Yes, I’ve got $15 an hour, but all my tips are now much less.” Before the law the minimum wage plus her tips averaged to more than $15.00 an hour. Now customers think she’s making a “living wage” and the tip isn’t needed.
She also formerly received free food and parking. Now, after she’s been “helped” she brings her lunch and pays to park.

As a result the politicians are basking in their self–reflected moral glory while the working men and women discover they can’t eat sanctimony.

Michael Reagan, the eldest son of President Reagan, is a Newsmax TV analyst. A syndicated columnist and author, he chairs The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Michael is an in-demand speaker with Premiere speaker’s bureau. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.

© Mike Reagan

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Sunday, 20 March 2016 08:11 AM
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