greedy minimum wage worker sticking it to the man
Greedy worker

Oh hey, a $15 minimum wage is not crashing the economy like opponents said it would. Are you shocked?! We’re shocked! (We are not shocked.)

So, you guys remember Seattle? Of course you do — it’s that big city in Washington state where they have a giant boner for coffee and maybe the worst fans in football. Sure. Cool. Anyway, some of you might remember that Seattle passed a law to raise its minimum wage to $15 in 2014, with the first phase — a bump to $11 — hitting in 2015. Conservatives lost their damn fool minds stridently declaring that lo, the end times, they were upon us, and Seattleites had become the harbingers of their own economic doom. There was even an effort to openly lie about the wage laws crashing the Seattle restaurant industry before the law even went into effect, led by walking anal fissure Richard Berman.

But now, we have facts! Researchers at the University of Washington decided, “hey, we want to see what actually happened when the wage went up, so that maybe we can see some real-world effects of this supposedly economy-ruining minimum wage hike.” Can you guess what they found? From the headline of this post, we bet you can!

Sixty-two percent of employers said they expected to raise prices of goods and services to accommodate the higher wages brought by the law. […]

But in an analysis of area prices over time, done through a combination of “web scraping” and in-person visits to grocery stores, restaurants and other retail locations, such price increases were not in evidence.

“Our preliminary analysis of grocery, retail and rent prices has found little or no evidence of price increases in Seattle relative to the surrounding area,” the team concluded.

‘Scuse us for a second.


Ah-hem. So. The researchers DID actually find that restaurant prices went up by around 7 percent — UH OH! — buuuuuuuuuut they also found that to be true in areas outside Seattle that were not in any way subject to the minimum wage, so it’s not entirely clear how much of even that modest increase was due to the increase in wages as opposed to other factors like rising food costs. Given the fact that the price increase existed in areas where the wage couldn’t have been having an effect, it’s a pretty safe bet something else was afoot there.

While it’s likely subsequent wage increases will force restaurants to raise prices to some degree, it’s extremely unlikely it will be the apocalyptic scenarios described by some (very stupid) chains. Either that, or the significant amount of research that’s been done on the subject is way, way off, and we doubt that very much.

Reminder, kiddos: raising the minimum wage is entirely feasible, and every argument against it is fucking stupid, and the people who make those arguments are universally assholes. Full stop, the end, period, we’re done here, mic thrown through the center of the Earth.

[University of Washington]

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  • beatbort

    On the other hand, a maximum wage law makes a lot of sense to me.

    • AntiDerpomeme


      • MrCanoehead

        What are CE olives?

    • Oneofthebobs

      Exactly. The problem is not created by people who make the minimum wage.

      • Naytch

        The problems are not created… FIFY

  • Malaclypse

    As a long suffering Seahaws fan (watched Jim Zorn throw footballs at Steve Largent (before he was a senator from Nebraska))…

    Our first 30 years give us an excuse to be a little obnoxious now that our team is finally winning once in a while.

    • Lascauxcaveman

  • Msgr_Moment

    Study Finds Higher Minimum Wage Does Not Destroy Economy, Wingnuts Gon’ Be SO Mad

    If we don’t translate it from facts into derp, they’ll never know.

  • arglebargle

    You had me until you said, “But now, we have facts!”

    Facts ain’t no good when arguing with wingnuts.

  • Playonwords

    Sumptuary Laws, NOW.

    • Blank Ron

      As long as they don’t apply to vintage car parts. Prices are already stupid enough.

  • Hutch

    “Totally biased report fabricated by those tenured radicals at the ultra-liberal U-Dub,” said random wingnut.

  • RoyalUglyDude

    Seattle has the worst fans in football? Uh, there are some Philadelphia Eagles fans who would like to hurl their 32-oz tumblers full of urine at you.

    • joebags

      I nominate Pittsburgh, although pelting a drunken Santa Claus with batteries is hard to top. What is it about Pennsylvania?

      • Latverian Diplomat

        Clearly they are just frustrated by their state’s complicated Republican delegate allocation scheme.

    • Creepoman

      Todd Starnes would like to have word with you about tossing out a perfectly good beverage.

    • Skadi

      After the ‘Hawks’ big moment of glory a couple years back — you know the one I mean — some people told Seahawks fans that it was bad form to act pleased about it. “It was such a one-sided beating — a really sporting fan wouldn’t enjoy it at all. Crowing about it just makes you look so…smug. Really, it’s very rude of you!”

    • Spotts1701

      Nah, Seattle fans are worse – at least Eagles fans have been fans forever and ever, generation upon generation of boorish louts.
      A significant number (but not all) Seahawks fans, on the other hand, are basically the hipsters of football – they jumped on the bandwagon when Pete Carroll showed up, and now act like they were always fans and are better fans than you

    • OneYieldRegular

      San Francisco fans are so bad that those of us who live here managed to convince a suburb an hour south to take the whole stadium.

  • Antimassacree

    Since right-wing politicians don’t know how government works, I guess it is no surprise right-wing economists don’t know how economies and money work.

    • Latverian Diplomat

      I’m pretty sure they know how money works, as they are basically for hire.

      • Antimassacree

        That part they get; they just seem to have problems with aspects of money that are not zero-sum games.

  • AngryBlakGuy

    …ok, ok, ok, now I got drag these corporations for this BS again. QUALIFIER: as someone who has worked in the management level of retail for the last 15 years, this is utter and complete BULL-SHIT!!! The highest cost of running any business is COGS(Cost Of Goods Sold) not payroll. And in many cases second place is rent/operational cost. These corporate ass-clowns present downward pressure on to their employees because they CAN!!! Whenever they want to make quarterly earnings the first place they attack are “working hours”!!!

    • BoatOfVelociraptors

      You should see the destruction wrought by MBA’s trying to goose their quarterlies in software. Sure, we could delay the product a week to have a smooth launch, but that would put revenue into the next quarter and your bonus will slip. Of course everyone’s first impression of your product is now ruined by a few bugs that could have been fixed in a week, and your product will have a shorter lifespan, terrible buzz, middling reviews, but gotta make them quarterlies!

      • AngryBlakGuy

        …of course!!! It’s Q4 and we gotta make those numbers!!!

        • Blank Ron

          Remember this, from ‘Dinosaurs’?

          Mr. Richfield: … This sudden coldsnap is a godsend. Dinosaurs are flocking to stores buying WESAYSO heaters, WESAYSO blankets and WESAYSO old-fashioned hot cocoa mix! (chuckles) We’re going to have the best third quarter in history!
          Earl: I think you’re missing the point, sir. The world may be coming to an end!
          Mr. Richfield: Well, that’s a fourth quarter problem.

          • vaiyt

            “Dinosaurs” was a smash hit here. It was the Simpsons of my generation.

          • MrCanoehead

            Thank you for finding that. I think that clip needs to be on endless loop.

  • But I’ve extensively studied Econ 101 for one semester and I’ve heard of Adam Smith, and I’m pretty sure these people are wrong because supply and demand. Huh? Yeah. I thought so, liberals.

    • Latverian Diplomat

      Also too, think of the underprivileged minority youths who need those $3/hour jobs!

      • Child labor laws are also completely unnecessary. If we let the kids work, we could solve poverty without the need for welfare. Imagine whole families bringing in 5 or 6 incomes at $3/hr.

        • jmhm

          Of course, we’ll have to start awarding primary custody of the kids to the fathers again, like we stopped doing when they became cost centers instead of assets back when we got child labor laws. The MRAs will be so happy…

          • SessileRaptor

            Plainly we should award custody of children to corporations because they always know what’s best for us, cut out the middlemen as it were.

        • Naytch

          Newt?!? Is that you?!?

      • If we pay minimum wage workers a living wage, then there will be less jobs for them to have three of to make ends meet!

    • WIDTAP

      Damn. Foiled again by inexpert opinion!

      • I also have an extensive background in political science from studying Facebook memes.

    • Hell, even my single semester of Macroeconomics 101 was enough for me to understand why conservative “run the government like a household” rhetoric is nonsense.

  • dslindc

    Study things to find out what actually happens? What kind of liberal hogwash is this? Can’t we just be told what to think by Fox News?

    • Celtic_Gnome

      I won’t believe any of it until Jesse Watters has interviewed a bunch of Seattle minimum wage workers.

  • Latverian Diplomat

    “How did the small government/local control Republicans in the state legislature let this happen?”
    — Small Government/Local Control Republicans from states where they don’t let things like this happen.

  • exinkwretch

    I call bullshit. EVERYONE knows that if you give poor people money, they just fritter it away on luxuries like rent and heating oil. The only way to boost the economy is make rich folks more rich so they can buy yachts, private planes and gated estates to keep our the poor!

    • AntiDerpomeme

      ‘Zactly. Plus, it’s that much more difficult to spit on the beggar classes if there are fewer of them and they have dignity and the like. We need our serfs so we can lord our superiority over them as God intended.

    • Don’t forget how they help the economy by stashing large quantities of cash in offshore tax havens, keeping money completely out of the economy is the best way to help the economy!

      • Blank Ron

        The economy? Pfft. What does the economy know about money?

  • Pinkham’s Law

    Bub, but, but . . . What about the EMTs and Heroic military people that don’t make that much, huh? How’s it fair that a burger flipper would make more than them, huh?

    • TheBidenator

      Your liver survived the night!

      • Pinkham’s Law

        Had to hitchike back from Greasy Lake in just my socks and my shirt, though. Nobody’d give me a ride, either, for some reason, so I basically walked home!

        • Abyss

          You take a victory lap in those socks and shirt. Hero.

        • SnarkTank

          I thought I saw you about a mile down on the dark side of Route 88…

    • limberrat

      You mean the military people who also get housing and meals paid for and then free health insurance? EMTs… I have no bloody clue why they get that pay, but they also have the ability to work overtime.

      • BoatOfVelociraptors

        I’d rather give an EMT a raise before some dopey middle manager who will soon be replaced with a high level Machine Learning Business Intelligence set of directives.

    • The important thing to remember is that giving someone a raise is never, ever the solution, unless they are a Congressman or a CEO.

  • Rock Drummer

    Here’s a novel idea…..let’s have the assholes bitchin’ about raising workers pay live on workers current wages for a month. Let’s see them run the range of emotions, frustrations and humiliations that single moms have to deal with. Let’s see if they can survive day to day on pittance and alms.

    • Zyxomma

      No. Six months minimum.

  • Joshua Norton

    Wingnuts moan
    And Wingnuts bitch
    Our rich are too poor
    And our poor are too rich!

    • Vecciojohn LLC

      Burma Shave.

  • SessileRaptor

    Between minimum wage BS and deficit/US debt BS (the government’s budget and debt is identical to household debt! DERP!) I’m beginning to suspect that right wingers don’t actually know (or care) how anything works.

    Ha ha, just kidding. Their leadership knows exactly how everything works, but would rather burn civilization down so long as they can loot the remains for their personal, short term profit.

    • NoGoodnik

      I’m not so sure that I would credit the Mitch McConnell’s of the Republican Party with knowing how the economy works. Back in Reagan’s day, I think that was true. I think the entirety of the Republican leadership knew that Trickle Down economics was BS. Now we have a generation of Republican leadership that were weaned on derp so that’s all they know. I think the biggest problem with the Republican Party is they believe their own rhetoric.

      • Celtic_Gnome

        Actually, the biggest problem with the Republican Party is that they believe their own bullshit.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      Your suspicion is correct. Their ideology is totally disconnected from reality.

      • goddessoftransitory

        Or rather, sulkily and deliberately disconnected from a reality that won’t obediently conform to their wishes at all times.

  • Shibusa

    Apropos of nothing but many years ago, I worked at PF Chang’s. Customers were complaining about the shrinking portion sizes. PFC responded by buying all new, smaller plates.

    • edith prickly

      I went to Google to find out what a PF Chang’s is, and they don’t do market research so good either. As in, they missed the fact that there are many actual Chinese people in Canada and Canadians of all races prefer to eat real Chinese food instead of chain restaurant crap.

      • ryp

        Maybe, but I’m not sure that extends to all groups everywhere, as there is a Taco Bell in every Mexican-American neighborhood in Los Angeles.

        • zerosumgame0005

          now THAT is depressing…

        • edith prickly

          Fast food is a whole ‘nother beast. There are plenty of Manchu Woks in all the downtown food courts

    • Blank Ron

      Taco Bell (don’t judge me!) has been doing the same thing in their own way. The taco shells are actually getting smaller so their prices don’t have to go up.

      • julienne58

        When you buy a 12 pack party box for breakfast, you don’t really notice.

        • Celtic_Gnome

          Now that’s a party in my mouth!

    • goddessoftransitory

      This is the kind of evil that gives me a big ol’ chuckle.

  • Ryan Denniston

    You know those “scientists” are all a part of a conspiracy to increase their power at the cost of more freedoms. Why, I bet they collude with the climate change scientists and the pro-vaxxers!

    • Spotts1701

      Yeah, I bet they’re in the pocket of all those people making minimum wage. Probably got paid in food stamps and Obamaphones!

  • OneYieldRegular

    Even if a $15 wage doesn’t prompt a price increase on your anus burger, fast food chains will still add more pink slime to ground meat just as a precautionary measure.

    • catch22

      Stop; you’re making me hungry!

  • Scooby

    I don’t understand. My son just started working 3 hours a week at McDonalds and already he gets $22 an hour plus full medical and dental with no copay or deductible plus full college tuition and a room, board and books stipend.

  • MrBlobfish

    I would like to channel my inner Peggy Noonan and say it just feels like the higher minimum wage has destroyed the economy.

    • Land Shark

      needs moar gin.

      • dslindc

        More slurring, also too.

    • ryp

      Her Uber driver confirmed it when he told her he lost his previous job when after a leveraged buyout, the new owners of the company decided they couldn’t maximize returns without cutting payroll and moving jobs offshore, something that could have been avoided if they were allowed to pay employees only $3 an hour.

    • MarkM

      I think her deli guy, Cesar, told her that. They’re very good friends…

    • CJTX

      I’d like to re-voice my disappointment that Wonkette hasn’t had a Peggy Noonan piece in awhile. I miss hearing the everyday musings of Our Sister Of The Qualuude Nap.

  • Lance Thrustwell

    What happened to the states as “laboratories of democracy,” huh? Let one or a few states do it, and if it doesn’t crash their economies, then institute it everywhere!

    Jeez, we got the toolkit right in front of us.

    • Land Shark

      After Kansas, Wisconsin and Oklahoma, “they” are re-evaluating the whole “State as a Laboratory” thing.

      • Sardonicuss

        The lab rats are running the experiments there.

        • Blank Ron

          ‘Gee, Brain, what are we gonna do tonight?’
          ‘Same thing we do every night, Pinky. Destroy Kansas’ economy!’

          • MrCanoehead

            I’m sorry, but if you’re referring to Republican politicians, “Brain” has to be in scare quotes.

      • pstockholm

        Those are the lavatories of democracy. It’s ok, common mistake to make.

        • Land Shark

          The most apt description of those experiments in conservative theory.

        • YourNameHere

          Literally in MI’s case.

  • BoatOfVelociraptors

    Seattle is a lovely bastion of passive aggressive civilization.

    • Truthiness2U

      That’s what the coffee is for -to give fuel to the aggressive side. The rain is there to foster the passive side.

    • goddessoftransitory

      Hush and drink your coffee and don’t make eye contact.

  • Rick Hill

    I will grant them that ordinary folks would likely assume the worst when their costs of doing business are going up. Even given that those folks probably have a lot of smart book keeping type people to tell them they’re wrong. Now, then, if they don’t look at the new data and change their tunes…..

    • Blank Ron

      ‘If’? The ‘librul conspiracy’ crowd is already sharpening its knives.

  • duckshoe

    The city of SeaTac, dominated by the Seattle-Tacoma airport, raised its minimum wage to $15 by an independent referendum. When the scope of that law was finally settled by courts (applying it to the airport) the principle predictions were that Alaska Air would be crippled/move out, and that airport operations would decline. Airport is having a banner year and Alaska just bought out Virgin, that’s how impoverished they’ve become.

    • Blank Ron

      Clearly it’s become a post-apocalyptic hellhole!

      • Land Shark

        But a prosperous post-apocalyptic hellhole!

        • Blank Ron

          People complain about Immortan Joe’s control over commodities, but never credit him for the improvements he made in infrastructure and transportation.

    • phoenix00

      Alaska Air would be the least impacted, their unions are likely paid well above the minimum to begin with.

      • duckshoe

        My undrrstanding (weak, very weak) is that baggage handlers, ramp crew, etc. were under a different dispensation from plane crews, gate agents, and so forth, and some of them would get raises. Not to mention the improvement for the counter clerk at Burger King in D concourse, leading directly to anarchy.

        • phoenix00


          • MrCanoehead

            That sounds uncomfortably like a video review from Pornhub.

          • phoenix00

            +1 hunk of stroked meat

  • ryp

    Conservative economic theory dictates that increasing the minimum wage will negatively impact the economy, while increasing the maximum wage is a just reward for the efforts of those at the top for their contributions towards economic growth, realized or not. All conservative theories have been proven correct, and cannot be argued, therefore any data that does not support conservative economic theory, doesn’t actually exist.

    • malsperanza

      We’re an empire now; we create our own reality.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      “Conservative” economic theory is dogshit.

      • BeachBum

        I may not subscribe to your methodology, but your conclusions are unassailable.

    • SterWonk

      It’s simple: giving more money to the rich motivates them; giving more money to the poor turns them into moochers.

  • malsperanza

    Pfft, everyone knows “studies” have a factual liberal bias.

  • ryp

    It’s good to see that the Bush tax cuts are finally contributing to Seattle’s economic growth, despite the attempts by liberals to redistribute wealth through higher wages for the working class.

  • DoILookAmused2u ?

    The Neoclassical argument that raising the minimum wage leads to more unemployment is based on the assumption that when a worker and a firm manager or business owner agree on a wage, the arrangement is welfare maximizing for all participants, and all that Government intervention does is introduce distortions.

    In short, it rests on the assumption that businessmen are stupid and will not seek more advantage due to the asymmetric power relationship between employers and employees, and that there can be no such thing as a race-to-the-bottom herd effect reducing overall wages based on the belief that particular categories of employees are more easily replaceable because… rainbows and unicorns.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      The Neoclassical argument is dogshit.

    • Adlersong

      I’m thinking you might mean neoliberal instead of neoclassical, due to this not having much to do with symmetrical buildings or renewed interest in the Hellenic world.

  • Mavenmaven

    If reality and evidence meant anything to the ideologues, we wouldn’t have Brownback’s Kansas.

    • DoILookAmused2u ?

      Does it bother anybody that Art Laffer is largely responsible for that failed experiment too?

      • SterWonk

        bother surprise


  • kareema

    ‘WORSE FANS IN FOOTBALL’!?!?!!!!!?

    WTF you talkin’ about?

    • Villago Delenda Est

      He’s just pissed because Peyton got his ass kicked two years ago.

    • Is this my middle finger?

      you can probably make a case for each fanbase being the worst, but the Seahawks are the current standard bearer for shitty bandwagon fans

    • Celtic_Gnome

      We should specify that we’re talking about professional football. The worst fans in college football are Ohio State fans. They love themselves a new football coach so long as he beats Michigan and gets a bowl game. It never lasts, though, no matter how successful he is, because, in the end, he isn’t Woody Hayes.

  • Duke

    I think the minimum wage is too low and should be raised. This should be done nationally and gradually.

    The minimum wage issue is complicated. Proponents see it as “these few people” getting raises and those people have jobs that need to be done at a specific location. A problem with this is the larger effect when all wages rise. It one thing when the employees in a shop get a raise and another when the employees at all the suppliers get raises. That will push prices up.

    But… Suppliers who can avoid this will, or their customers will switch to lower-cost producers. A high local minimum really drives out employment. Or businesses that can put jobs elsewhere, especially new positions. A high local minimum can drive unemployment up and eliminate truly entry-level jobs. That’s not what we need for anyone and, especially, the disadvantaged.

    • bupkus23

      Delete it all. I’ve thought better of my comments

    • Jeff Ackerman

      What fucking planet do you live on?

      • SkinlessGenderlessMan

        As a small business owner with a significant pool of other small business owners as friends and acquaintances…..

        Jeff, get fucked. Awkwardly.

        Many small businesses need their employees to wear several hats, and are significantly impacted when an employee leaves. Just about any employee, even in positions that can be thought of as easily replaceable, takes time to learn their job. When your total headcount is nine, having two or three folks working with a new employee to get them up to speed can be crippling.

        No, my impression from talking with owners, managers and employees of companies ranging from a handful to about 600 folks (at a single location) is that the bigger the organization is, the less painful it is to the organization to exchange parts.

        Further exchange of views is welcomed!

        • BeachBum

          Jeff has a point about some employers, but greatly overgeneralizes about all. I’ve been both and I mostly agree with SKM. “all about the money” is only partially true, if not enough money is made there wont be money to pay employees or even a business at all. Ideally there needs to be earned loyalty on both sides.

    • Jen_Baker_VA

      Except, Duke, if you pay people lil more they can actually afford to buy stuff…like, say, the products and services at their own businesses, which they are very likely to do, if they can afford them.
      Raising the min wage does not hurt anyone except the idiots who never should have been in business in the first place; ie, the schmucks with a poor business model who are limping along solely on the power of being able to pay their people peanuts. Other businesses will take their place- this happens all the time.

    • phoenix00

      Can we settle for enforcement of Wage Topup for starters?

      (or appetizers?)

  • Callyson

    that big city in Washington state where they have a giant boner for coffee and maybe the worst fans in football

    Oh hell no–Raiders fans beg to differ, and Bengals fans are on their heels as I type this!

    • dslindc

      I don’t even like the NFL and I agree with this wholeheartedly (not the coffee bit, that’s true).

      • Jen_Baker_VA

        I am liking that people are not rising to the easy bait of the Philly fan.
        Philly: Not as vicious as Oakland!

        • BeachBum

          I thought everyone already knew, or I would have mentioned it and the irony of “Brotherly Love”. Hmmmm, that may have more meanings now that I think about it!

    • goddessoftransitory

      RIGHT. We have embarrassingly enthusiastic fans but not the worst by a long shot.

  • NoGoodnik

    Jee, I guess Keynes was right! The best thing for the economy is to spend money and it doesn’t matter where the money comes from. It got us out of the Great Depression. It got us out of the Great Recession. It’ll get us out of this mess, too.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      One of the most STUPID arguments from “conservatives” is that the New Deal did not end the Great Depression. Well, perhaps the New Deal itself did not end it, but MASSIVE GOVERNMENT SPENDING for WWII did.

  • MarkM

    “People taking government assistance to avoid starvation is bad! Damn freeloaders!”

    Okay, then let’s make sure people who are employed get paid a wage they have chance of surviving on.

    “Low wage jobs are just a stepping stone! They aren’t supposed to pay you enough to live on! That motivates you to pull yourself up by your own boot straps and become a Faux News host, like me!”

  • Bitter Scribe

    Gee, it almost makes you wonder if they’ve been lying about the horrible consequences of Social Security, Medicaid, Obamacare, and every other effort to improve the lives of Americans who don’t make six- or seven- (or more) figure salaries.

    • Damian L


  • hendenburg2

    This entry contains one huge, glaring factual error: Raiders fans are the worst.

    • Lily412

      In my experience as a non-sports person, any college football fan is way worse than any NFL fan. But that might be because I live in a college town. Fall downtown traffic is a special kind of hell.

  • Biel_ze_Bubba

    For them what’s got the time, here’s an excellent series on what life is like for one minimum-wage worker:

  • tehbaddr

    Can one still get a tip of “praying for you” with this new minimum wage?

  • Kooolest G

    so if we cut the minimum wage in half, I’m sure the guy who owns the local McDonalds will hire twice as many people to just stand around instead of just keeping the money for himself or his stockholders right? and if we raise it he’ll just get those burgers flipped in china and then ship them here before they get cold? pretty sure if there was a job they could offshore to china they already did it

  • xy

    i’d like to see the study on what effect the increased pay has had on the workers. i’m sure they just bought a bunch of drugs but i need to see it confirmed by scientists.

  • goddessoftransitory

    Colinnnnnnn, when are ya gonna come visit our fair city??? I can set you up in pizza and indian food.

  • Celtic_Gnome

    You mean all those minimum wage workers didn’t squirrel away their additional income in Cayman Island accounts rather than invest it in the economy?

  • BeachBum

    Thanks ! I needed that !

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