Must be a coincidence: San Francisco raises minimum wage, Chipotle’s raises prices

July 7, 2015
No way!!

No way!! Magical thinking doesn’t work??

I predicted this from the start. Oh, okay, I didn’t predict exactly *this*, per se, but, on the occasion of a popular San Francisco bookstore closing because of the minimum wage hike, I wrote the following:

Labor is a cost, because the business owner has to provide wages and, often, benefits that cost him more money. When a government mandate increases that cost, the business owner has three choices: pass the cost along to the customer, who may decide it’s too much and stop shopping there; cut employee hours and stop hiring to save on labor costs, thus costing potential jobs and putting a burden on workers still employed; and, finally, just decide it’s not worth it anymore and close up shop. In the low-margin bookseller business, Borderlands’ owner chose the last course as the only one viable.

Borderlands Bookstore chose option three: close the doors and put everyone out of work. It just wasn’t worth it to fight to stay in business anymore.

Let us not be surprised, then, that the Chipotle’s restaurant chain chose option one: pass the costs on to the consumer.

• In our weekly survey of ten of Chipotle’s markets, we found the company implemented price increases in half of the surveyed markets this week—San Francisco, Denver, Minneapolis, Chicago, and Orlando. In most markets, the price increases have been limited to beef and average about 4% on barbacoa and steak, toward the lower end of management’s expectation for a 4% to 6% price increase on beef.

• San Francisco, however, saw across-the-board price increases averaging over 10%, including 10% increases on chicken, carnitas (pork), sofritas (tofu), and vegetarian entrees along with a 14% increase on steak and barbacoa. We believe the outsized San Francisco price hike was likely because of increased minimum wages (which rose by 14% from $10.74 per hour to $12.25 on May 1) as well as scheduled minimum wage increases in future years (to $13 next year, $14 in 2017, and $15 in 2018).

Say it after me, kiddies: Economics wins; math wins. Rinse, repeat. No matter what the progressive tooth fairy told the San Francisco Board of Commissars Supervisors, when you mandate a wage increase, something has to give. In this case, the “giver” is “Workaday Joe,” the poor sap who has to bear the brunt of this and other increases to his cost of living.

Not that the limousine liberals of the Bay Area will notice, however: they either can afford higher prices, or they have expense accounts that can afford them. Regardless, they can continue feeling good about themselves.

And that’s all that matters to them.

via Moe Lane

RELATED: At Power Line, Scott Johnson looks at the killing of a woman by an illegal alien taking advantage of San Francisco’s “sanctuary” laws and meditates on its deep meaning.

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San Francisco raises minimum wage, kills beloved local bookstore, residents shocked

February 8, 2015
Didn't pay attention

Didn’t pay attention

Call it a “teachable moment?”

Due to the new increased minimum wage law in San Francisco, a beloved bookstore and mainstay of the Mission District has been forced to close its doors for good.

The minimum wage for San Francisco workers, currently at $11.05 an hour, soars to $15 an hour in July 2018. The store’s projected labor costs, reported ABC7 News, impelled Borderlands Bookstore to write its final chapter.

The store owner had this to say:

In November, San Francisco voters overwhelmingly passed a measure that will increase the minimum wage within the city to $15 per hour by 2018. Although all of us at Borderlands support the concept of a living wage in principal and we believe that it’s possible that the new law will be good for San Francisco — Borderlands Books as it exists is not a financially viable business if subject to that minimum wage. Consequently we will be closing our doors no later than March 31st.

But the best line came from one of the stunned customers:

“You know, I voted for the measure as well, the minimum wage measure,” customer Edward Vallecillo lamented. “It’s not something that I thought would affect certain specific small businesses. I feel sad.”

Evidently Mr. Vallecillo and the other voters of the Special City were asleep during their economics lessons — assuming that’s even taught anymore. Let’s review, shall we?

Labor is a cost, because the business owner has to provide wages and, often, benefits that cost him more money. When a government mandate increases that cost, the business owner has three choices: pass the cost along to the customer, who may decide it’s too much and stop shopping there; cut employee hours and stop hiring to save on labor costs, thus costing potential jobs and putting a burden on workers still employed; and, finally, just decide it’s not worth it anymore and close up shop. In the low-margin bookseller business, Borderlands’ owner chose the last course as the only one viable.

(Aside: It wouldn’t surprise me if one of the Leftists on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is considering a bill to prevent owners from doing just that. Can’t let the Kulaks get away with acting as if they own their own property, after all.)

In a functioning, literate polity that teaches its young fundamental lessons of civics and economics, an informed electorate could have looked at that proposal and said, “Nah, that’s going too far.” Instead, we have voters who feel good about themselves  for voting themselves more consequence-free stuff, and then feel sad when the consequences arrive.

Maybe they’ll learn something from the experience.

Nah.

RELATED: This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the consequences of ill-thought policy regarding the minimum wage. Seattle voted a high minimum, and now businesses are considering leaving. Some companies are considering replacing now-expensive minimum-wage workers with computerized kiosks. Los Angeles wants to raise the minimum to $13.25. Can’t wait to see how many entry-level jobs are lost thanks to that, or how many low-skill young workers looking for their first job are priced out of the market because of it. More from Ron Radosh, and more posts on the minimum wage.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#OccupySF is just like the Tea Party

November 13, 2011

Because Tea Partyers always carry shivs to their demonstrations and use them to cut cops:

One San Francisco police officer was slashed by a razor and another had his uniform torn and cheek cut in a clash with Occupy San Francisco protesters Saturday afternoon, authorities said.

About 3:30 p.m., near the Embarcadero and Broadway, police attempted to prevent marching demonstrators from blocking the intersection where MUNI light rail tracks are located.

A female protester emerged from the crowd and an “exacto razor blade attached to a pen or pencil-like object,” San Francisco police said in an email.

“The female slashed the inside of the officer’s hand and ran back into the crowd before the officer had time to realize he was cut,” police said.

Peaceful, tolerant, and sensitive. True American patriots, fighting for the rest of us.

Yeesh.

PS: Dear Ed Lee, as the newly elected mayor of San Francisco, may I suggest your first move should be to clear out the Vandals? I mean, razor blade-wielding anarcho-socialists can’t be good for the tourism your city so depends on. Just a thought.

via Legal Insurrection

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Nanny-stater of the Month

November 6, 2010

My blog-buddy ST has ably covered the latest silliness from the Board of Supervisors Nannies in San Francisco, banning toys in Happy Meals unless vendors meet city-imposed guidelines, all in the name of “food justice.”*

That lead Reason.TV to proclaim San Francisco Supervisor Kill-joy Eric Mar its Nanny of the Month:

You’ll want to watch for the runners-up, too; with our cities and states in an economic mess, it’s nice to know our elected officials have their priorities straight – watching what you do.

*No fries, no peace!!!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Congratulations, San Francisco!

August 3, 2010

Not only have you captured both runners-up spots for Reason.TV’s Nanny of the Month, but you won the blue ribbon, too!  Tito, roll tape!

.

Well, done. Most impressive!  Applause

I can’t wait for the season finale: the thrilling showdown between Gavin “Brylcream” Newsom and New York City’s mega-nanny, Mayor Michael Bloomberg.


Quote of the day: Mark Steyn on Arizona

April 30, 2010

The inimitable Mark Steyn on Mayor Gavin Newsom’s  boycott of Arizona, ordered in a moment of self-righteous grandstanding response to the Zonies’  new immigration law:

All official visits to Arizona have been canceled indefinitely. You couldn’t get sanctions like these imposed at the U.N. Security Council, but then, unlike Arizona, Iran is not a universally reviled pariah. Will a full-scale economic embargo devastate the Copper State? Who knows? It’s not clear to me what San Francisco imports from Arizona. Chaps?

Three points, nothing but net.  Rolling on the floor