Debating Minimum Wage In SEATTLE and NEW YORK CITY

So, I debated on whether to add this to our (Chris L. and myself conversation, posted HERE) earlier conversation, but, I decided to post it separately. So, in the same conversation he finally took a jaunt over to my MINIMUM WAGE portion of my ECON 101 page. He still doesn’t know why the minimum wage was used during the Davis/Bacon Act days (a), why the apartheid unions in South Africa used it (b), and why unions here use it and which community it hurts the most (c) — but at least he a c t u a l l y went to my link… and got it all wrong – lol:

An even more insidious substitution effect of minimum wages can be seen from a few quotations. During South Africa’s apartheid era, racist unions, which would never accept a black member, were the major supporters of minimum wages for blacks. In 1925, the South African Economic and Wage Commission said, “The method would be to fix a minimum rate for an occupation or craft so high that no Native would be likely to be employed.” Gert Beetge, secretary of the racist Building Workers’ Union, complained, “There is no job reservation left in the building industry, and in the circumstances, I support the rate for the job (minimum wage) as the second-best way of protecting our white artisans.” “Equal pay for equal work” became the rallying slogan of the South African white labor movement. These laborers knew that if employers were forced to pay black workers the same wages as white workers, there’d be reduced incentive to hire blacks.

South Africans were not alone in their minimum wage conspiracy against blacks. After a bitter 1909 strike by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen in the U.S., an arbitration board decreed that blacks and whites were to be paid equal wages. Union members expressed their delight, saying, “If this course of action is followed by the company and the incentive for employing the Negro thus removed, the strike will not have been in vain.”

Our nation’s first minimum wage law, the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, had racist motivation. During its legislative debate, its congressional supporters made such statements as, “That contractor has cheap colored labor that he transports, and he puts them in cabins, and it is labor of that sort that is in competition with white labor throughout the country.” During hearings, American Federation of Labor President William Green complained, “Colored labor is being sought to demoralize wage rates.”

Today’s stated intentions behind the support of minimum wages are nothing like yesteryear’s. However, intentions are irrelevant. In the name of decency, we must examine the effects….

The white labor unions and other white supremacists lobbied for other regulations which, in effect, prohibited blacks from being hired. These groups demanded that the hiring of blacks and other nonwhites be subject to the same compulsory employer compensation and minimum wage requirements granted to white union members. The intent of such legislation, Williams contends, is obvious. Such labor laws took away the only bar-gaming chip available to the blacks and other non-whites—their willingness to work for a lower wage. Many whites recognized this. In 1925, for example, the report of the Mining Regulations Commission proposed a mandatory system of minimum wages per job “in order to rescue the European miner from the economic fetters which at present render him the easy victim of advancing native competition.”

Contrary to the view accepted by many on the political left, apartheid is not the result of white businessmen attempting to maximize profits by enslaving cheap black labor. It is instead a product of political privilege. Says Williams:

The mere existence of South Africa’s extensive racial regulatory laws is evidence enough that racial privilege is difficult through free market forces. Consider South Africa’s job reservation laws, which mandate that certain jobs be performed by whites only . . . . The presence of job reservation laws suggests that at least some employers would hire blacks in the “white jobs.” The fact that they would hire blacks to do white jobs neither requires nor suggests that these employers be necessarily any less white supremacist than anyone else. It does suggest that those employers who would hire blacks considered such a course of action to be an attractive alternative because blacks were willing to work for lower wages—“uncivilized wages”—than white workers. The business pursuit of profits—which caused employers to be less ardent supporters of the white supremacist doc-trine-has always been the enemy of white privilege. This is why South African white workers resorted to government.

“The whole ugly history of apartheid has been an attack on free markets and the rights of individuals, and a glorification of centralized government power,” Williams concludes. Only when South Africa’s people—black, white, or colored—“de-dare war against centralized government power” will there be genuine progress toward freedom. Walter Williams’ new book provides powerful intellectual ammunition for that war.

  • Matthew B. Kibbe, FEE

(Via AEI)

There is no inherent reason why low-skilled or high-risk employees are any less employable than high-skilled, low-risk employees. Someone who is five times as valuable to an employer is no more or less employable than someone who is one-fifth as valuable, when the pay differences reflect their differences in benefits to the employer.

This is more than a theoretical point. Historically, lower skill levels did not prevent black males from having labor force participation rates higher than that of white males for every US Census from 1890 through 1930. Since then, the general growth of wage-fixing arrangements: minimum wage laws, labor unions, civil service pay scales, etc. has reversed that and made more and more blacks unemployable despite their rising levels of education and skills: absolutely and relative to whites.

And here’s the “money quote”:

In short, no one is employable or unemployable absolutely, but only relative to a given pay scale.

And that highlights the essence of the economic logic that explains why the most vulnerable workers (low-skilled, uneducated, teenagers, etc.) are the group that is most harmed by minimum wage laws — those laws artificially raise the wages of low-skilled workers without increasing their productivity, and therefore significantly reduce their employability relative to higher-skilled workers.

For example, in the study from the team of researchers at the University of Washington on Seattle’s $15 an hour minimum wage, they reported (emphasis added):

Our preferred estimates suggest that the Seattle Minimum Wage Ordinance caused hours worked by low-skilled workers (i.e., those earning under $19 per hour) to fall by 9.4% during the three quarters when the minimum wage was $13 per hour, resulting in a loss of 3.5 million hours worked per calendar quarterAlternative estimates show the number of low-wage jobs declined by 6.8%, which represents a loss of more than 5,000 jobs.

The work of least-paid workers might be performed more efficiently by more skilled and experienced workers commanding a substantially higher wage.

Bottom Line: Thomas Sowell’s comments illustrate an economic reality that is frequently overlooked: Workers compete against other workers (not employers) to find jobs and get the highest wages. Employers compete against other employers to find the best workers. In other words, low-skilled workers compete against high-skilled workers in the labor market. Low-skilled workers who would be employable at a low wage become unemployable at an artificially higher wage. And that explains the perverse cruelty of minimum wage laws: it inflicts the greatest harm on the very workers it is allegedly designed to help.

However, this is not the reason for this post. I merely wanted to show the hubris out there in stating propaganda (not intentionally, just in ignorance). Here is the portion that that I wanted to highlight and respond to. Here is the video so people can glean context:

So, here are the main points of the above:

  1. Minimum wage is still not $15.00 an hour
  2. It is $13.50 and in 2021 will be $13.69 (which he is right about, but we are talking about SEATTLE)
  3. [QUOTE] “Sean Giordano this is why I & everyone else should dismiss what ever you post. First minute & a half & anyone can prove she’s full of shit” [UNQUOTE]
  4. New York (remember, she said New York CITY) does not have $15.00 minimum wage, they are near $11.80
  5. California isn’t even over %15.00 an hour
  6. THEY ARE FULL OF SHIT!!

So my first response is to points #1 and #2

The Prager U video specifically mentions Seattle and New York City. This is key. I used two websites to find the current minimum wage in Seattle, Washington: MINIMUM-WAGE.ORG and SEATTLE GOVERNEMNT’S website. In the conversation I noted this many times, but granted, I wasn’t clear.

During the long discussion that followed a few paths, what I learned is that franchises are all included together as a large business. So if I were to franchise, say, The Brass Tap (bar/restaurant chain focuses mostly on its craft beer offerings), if the franchises nationwide have 501 employees, the tips earned do not lower the to $13.50. To make the point clearer I made a crude version:

A sad article of sorts was this one detailing the info:

Justices Reject Franchise Appeal Over Seattle’s $15 Minimum Wage (May 2, 2016)

SEATTLE — The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear a challenge to Seattle’s $15-an-hour minimum wage from franchise owners who say the law discriminates against them by treating them as large businesses.

Seattle was one of the first cities in the nation to adopt a law aiming for a $15 minimum wage, giving small businesses employing fewer than 500 people seven years to phase it in. Large employers must do so over three or four years, depending on whether they offer health insurance to their employees.

Five franchises and the International Franchise Association sued the city, saying the law treats Seattle’s 623 franchises like large businesses because they are part of multistate networks. But the franchises say they are small businesses and should have more time to phase in the higher wage.

[….]

“Seattle’s ordinance is blatantly discriminatory and affirmatively harms Seattle hard-working franchise small business owners every day since it has gone into effect,” Robert Cresanti said in a statement. “We are simply attempting to level the playing field for the 600 local franchise business owners employing 19,000 people in Seattle.”….

Remember, Seattle has a higher minimum wage than the rest of the state.

I likewise responded to points #4 thus

This comes from the NEW YORK CITY GOVERNMENTS website:

The minimum wage in New York City is $15.00 per hour. The New York State Department of Labor oversees wage regulations in New York State. Businesses employing people in New York State should be aware of wage requirements and regulations.

After December 31, 2019, all employees in New York City must be paid at least $15.00 per hour. …

#5 deals with California as a state

However, just like New York state/New York City and Washington state/Seattle, so to goes California. There are many cities in California that have differing minimum wage laws than the state. Here is just one example (click to enlarge):

So, there are a couple numbers not dealt with yet…

they are numbers #3 and #6

  • #3 [QUOTE] “Sean Giordano this is why I & everyone else should dismiss what ever you post. First minute & a half & anyone can prove she’s full of shit” [UNQUOTE]

If the opposite of Chris L’s premise is in fact shown, and if his position is “true” of me — that is: “why I & everyone else should dismiss what ever you post.” Why should I, or we, not dismiss whatever he says. I mean, he is full of shit (#6!!).

Later in the conversation discussion about the effects of minimum wage hurting restaurants, to which Chris posted the following:

I merely responded with

  • The hospitality group, which lobbies on behalf of the restaurant and hotel industry, concluded that Seattle was the hardest-hit city in Washington state, with 624 bars and bistros that have permanently shut down. (BLOG.RESTUARANT)  

So, if 29 opened up DESPITE minimum wage and covid… would the 624 be closed BECAUSE of the minimum wage and covid?

So the verdict?

  1. Minimum wage is still not $15.00 an hour
  2. It is $13.50 and in 2021 will be $13.69 (which he is right about, but we are talking about SEATTLE)
  3. [QUOTE] “Sean Giordano this is why I & everyone else should dismiss what ever you post. First minute & a half & anyone can prove she’s full of shit” [UNQUOTE]
  4. New York (remember, she said New York CITY) does not have $15.00 minimum wage, they are near $11.80
  5. California isn’t even over %15.00 an hour
  6. THEY ARE FULL OF SHIT!!

Washington States Inclusive Morbidity Rates (Gun Shot Victims)

PJ-MEDIA has some “bones” to pick with Washington State.

  • On Thursday, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) confirmed a report by the Freedom Foundation that they have included those who tested positive for COVID-19 but died of other causes, including gunshot injuries, in their coronavirus death totals. This calls into serious question the state’s calculations of residents who have actually died of the CCP pandemic.
  • Last week, after it was reported that, like Washington, Colorado was counting deaths of all COVID-19 positive persons regardless of cause (which had resulted in the inclusion of deaths from alcohol poisoning), the Colorado Department of Health and Environment began to differentiate between deaths “among people with COVID-19” and “deaths due to COVID-19.”

PJ-MEDIA continues with some key aspects of Washington’s Dept of Health being cornered by facts:

The Freedom Foundation’s original report, based on DOH documents and statements provided to the Foundation, concluded that, of the 828 COVID-19 deaths reported as of May 8:

  • 681 (82 percent) “list some variation of ‘COVID-19’ in one of the causes of death” on the death certificate;
  • 41 (5 percent) of the death certificates do not list COVID-19 as a cause of death, but indicate it was a “significant condition contributing to death.”
  • 106 (13 percent) deaths involved persons who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 but did not have the virus listed anywhere on their death certificate as either causing or contributing to death.

When asked about the Foundation’s report at a press conference Monday, Gov. Jay Inslee dismissed it as “dangerous,” “disgusting” and “malarkey.” He further accused the Freedom Foundation of “fanning these conspiracy claims from the planet Pluto” and not caring about the lives lost to COVID-19.

[….]

1. DOH includes deaths of all persons who tested positive for COVID-19 in its totals, even if the victims died from other causes, such as gunshot wounds.

“Our (DOH COVID-19) dashboard numbers do include any deaths to a person that has tested positive to COVID-19.”

“We don’t always know the cause of death for a death when it is first reported on our dashboard. That is true. Over the course of the outbreak, we have been monitoring and recording the causes of death as we know it. We currently do have some deaths that are being reported that are clearly from other causes. We have about five deaths — less than five deaths — that we know of that are related to obvious other causes. In this case, they are from gunshot wounds.”

2. DOH may update the way it reports COVID-19 deaths going forward.

“Over the course of the outbreak, we have been very aware of a small number of deaths being reported on our dashboard that end up not being due to COVID… We will be removing them over time from our death count.”

“Our current dashboards reflect anybody that has died from COVID irrespective of cause of death. Those numbers will be adjusted.”

“We are really trying to figure out how best to report out the information on the COVID deaths in a way that is more understandable and still is accurate and is in real time as possible.”

3. DOH really doesn’t know how many deaths are due to COVID-19.

“Our process for identifying COVID-19 deaths basically speeds up our regular process but cuts out much of the data-quality processes.”

“Ultimately… we suspect that we are actually more likely to be under-counting deaths than over-counting them… It may take up to a year or more to get final counts on COVID-19 deaths.”

“We also have a number of certificates where it’s really unclear at all what the person died from… For these deaths, we really don’t — aren’t able to make a determination on whether they died from COVID or not.”

4. DOH will likely begin counting “probable” cases of COVID-19 in its infection and death counts.

When asked by Jerry Cornfield of the Everett Herald whether DOH had any plans to begin counting “probable” cases of COVID-19, Cathy Wasserman, a state epidemiologist for non-infectious conditions, said the state was working on implementing new guidance from the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists.

As the Freedom Foundation explained in its report Monday, this guidance does provide for the inclusion of “probable” cases of COVID-19 that have not been confirmed by a lab test……….

See more at GATEWAY PUNDIT — there is some addition lines of evidence there.

“Suspect” Is Now “Community Member” |Law Enforcement|

(BTW, I was on the other end at one point in my life… I was a suspect)

This is for all my law enforcement readers… this stuff is just crazy! Via LAW OFFICER:

When Seattle police officers write use of force reports they no longer call a suspect a suspect.

“Community member” is the new term. Several officers say the term is offensive, explaining their work with violent suspects.

Sources point to the suspect who shot three officers last month after a downtown Seattle armed robbery. When officers involved in that incident were writing their use of force reports they were required to refer to the shooter, Damarius Butts, as a “community member,” not a suspect, police sources said.

Police fatally shot Butts after they said he shot the officers.

[….]

The online use of force reporting system, called Blue Team, is used for more than just use of force reports and while the terminology changed for multiple forms, it’s only in the use of force reports that officers find offensive.

One commenter said this:

  • As a former Chief there is no way I would ask, order, demand, expect, or permit my officers to use the term “community member” when writing any report. I would also refuse any such request from any civilian who happened to be an elected official and then try to educate them that using such terminology is an insult to all members of the community since using the term in the manner requested suggests every citizen has committed a criminal act or is a criminal. Besides, what if this “suspect” was from out of town? Since they were not a “Community Member” would they then be labeled a “suspect” which would then indicate discriminatory bias on the part of the city?

MOOBATTERY says this:

….They were going to use the word “citizen” to describe suspected criminals, but that would discriminate against illegal aliens, who comprise a high percentage of criminals I mean “community members” in most cities. Says Seattle Police Chief Operating Officer Brian Maxey, “we don’t know or inquire about citizenship status, so labeling someone a citizen is arbitrary.”

After the community members have found their way to prison, they continue to be referred to with euphemisms:

Last fall, the Washington Department of Corrections stopped calling inmates “offenders” and instead use the term “student.”

“The term ‘offender’ does have a negative connotation and significantly impacts a broad group of people and communities,” Acting DOC Secretary Dick Morgan wrote in an internal department memo, obtained by KIRO 7.

When the terms “community member” and “student” are no longer regarded as sufficiently obsequious toward criminals, the Newspeak Dictionary will need to be updated again. Maybe they will be called SPORSes, or Special Persons Oppressed by the Racist System.

Another example of Newspeak.

Environmentally Smart Seattle an Excellent Example of the Failure of Green Politics/Stimulus

This from Gateway Pundit:

Part of that plan was to dump millions into poor inner city neighborhoods to weatherize homes and create jobs. Now we know that two years later the program was a complete bust. …But it was successful in redistributing cash from American producers to the inner city.

KOMO reported:

Last year, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn announced the city had won a coveted $20 million federal grant to invest in weatherization. The unglamorous work of insulating crawl spaces and attics had emerged as a silver bullet in a bleak economy – able to create jobs and shrink carbon footprint – and the announcement came with great fanfare.

McGinn had joined Vice President Joe Biden in the White House to make it. It came on the eve of Earth Day. It had heady goals: creating 2,000 living-wage jobs in Seattle and retrofitting 2,000 homes in poorer neighborhoods.

But more than a year later, Seattle’s numbers are lackluster. As of last week, only three homes had been retrofitted and just 14 new jobs have emerged from the program. Many of the jobs are administrative, and not the entry-level pathways once dreamed of for low-income workers. Some people wonder if the original goals are now achievable.

“The jobs haven’t surfaced yet,” said Michael Woo, director of Got Green, a Seattle community organizing group focused on the environment and social justice.

“It’s been a very slow and tedious process. It’s almost painful, the number of meetings people have gone to. Those are the people who got jobs. There’s been no real investment for the broader public.”