When discussing Seattle’s new, progressive —FAIR!!— $15 per hour minimum wage, I wrote that business owners had just a few choices in response:
Critics, on the other hand (and including your humble correspondent), argue that the laws of economics cannot be repealed by legislative fiat: raise the cost of labor, and businesses will be faced with a choice from among four options — pass the costs on to the consumer; reduce labor costs by cutting hours or whole jobs; eat the costs and accept lower profits; or cease doing business in that jurisdiction, either by moving or closing shop.
Having seen some businesses hold off on hiring, while others moved out of Seattle, we now have an example of another option: pass the cost along to the consumer:
What’s wrong with SeaTac’s $15 min wage in 1 photo — Local businesses are now adding 8.25% “living wage surcharge” pic.twitter.com/IMifQRIWhN
— Mark J. Perry (@Mark_J_Perry) June 5, 2014
And just look at that sales tax, too: 10.9%. Add the “living wage charge” and…
Yep. This is going to be a very interesting experiment.
UPDATE: Just had it pointed out to me that SeaTac is not Seattle. My mistake; I’m not that familiar with Washington. Still, it can’t be all that long before Seattle itself sees these “living wage surcharges.” Also fixed the headline.
@irishspy This is only in effect in the City of Seatac (the airport environs) for now; but surely to come in the City of Seattle as well.
— Craig S. Bell (@craig_s_bell) June 6, 2014
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)