Monday, November 3, 2014

So How Does Raising The Minimum Wage Locally Really Affect Cities?

From an op ed in the New York Times written by Michael Reich and Ken Jacobs.

In the face of congressional inaction, the debate on raising the minimum wage is moving to the local level. As more cities and counties consider setting their own wage standards, they can learn from the policy experiments already underway.

Since the mid-1980s, states in every region of the country have raised the local minimum wage, often numerous times. Twenty-one states (and Washington, D.C.) currently have wage floors above the federal level ($7.25), and 11 of these raise them every year to account for inflation. Washington State currently has the highest, at $9.32; California’s is set to increase to $10 on July 1, 2016.

More than 120 cities and counties have adopted living wage laws that set pay standards, many of them in the $12 to $15 range.

Find out how this has affected the economies of the cities and regions where the wage has gone up by reading the rest of this here.


  1. Hitler would be so proud of our dictatorship.
    A fair wage, is whatever you and your employer agree upon.
    If you do not like the pay, don't take the job.
    By the same measure, an employer that has gained a valuable employee, needs to show appreciation the that exceptional employee, by compensating with a better wage, if they want to keep that exceptional employee.
    To be forced to pay a worker more than they are worth, will only result in, less available jobs, more people on unemployment and business closures.
    Being an experienced employer, I have found that 90% of hires, will do as little as possible and demand more pay for it. Not to mention theft, insurance, matching their taxes, etc.
    It is already in an economic situation, where the expense and liability to have employees is just not worth it. A fair wage, is whatever you and your employer agree upon. IF YOU DO NOT LIKE THE PAY, DON'T TAKE THE JOB.

    1. If you are a business owner and don't think an employee is worth minimum wage, don't hire them. Duh!

  2. You obviously didn't read the article. Also, starting your argument with the word "Hitler" automatically makes many of us think you are some sort of nut job. Not that you are but you seem to be.

    Also, if you don't read the article, don't comment on it.

  3. Thank you for this. A good review of the issue.

  4. Your article lays out a formula of minimum wage vs. the median wage as a benchmark. Have you done the math for our region, using the suggestion of the article?

    Another example of how this measure was poorly planned and we should vote against it, and instead work for a statewide increase that would continue after the current plan expires.

    1. If Measure R loses I would be happy to explore your plan or John Fullerton's plan to raise the state wage further. In fact, I would even vote for it since I would be allowed to vote in that contest.

  5. Tom did you read your own link ? It said a 10% increase in the minimum wage increases prices by 7%. Measure R is a 33% increase which would mean prices will increase by 21%.

    Then you said that 120 of the city & counties have raised their minimum wage "many of them in the $12-15 dollar range" and that simply isn't true. Only Seatac Washington has. Seattle's $15 wage hasn't taken effect yet and is to be phased in OVER THE NEXT 6 YEARS.

    If Measure R passes it will be the second highest in the entire country. Higher than New York City, Detroit, San Francisco, San Jose and every other city in the country.

    The No on Measure R argument has never been about what employees deserve but what can Eureka employer's pay without laying off employees, closing their doors or having large price increases on everybody else.

  6. Facts, if that is still your real name, yes I read the link. That's why I am baffled by your response. The story says that even at the most labor intensive businesses like restaurants, a 10% gain in wages would equal to a 7% increase in menu prices. Even if that were true, the person would have 3% more to spend at that restaurant. Fact is, many people will spend their new income at a variety of places like credit card bills and gasoline. How labor intensive is gasoline? Go ahead and vote no and do your best to keep working folks on welfare and Eureka will just continue down the slide that poor wages have enabled.


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