After Democrats pushed minimum wage hikes to $15 per hour and higher across America, one left-leaning restaurant worker in Seattle, Washington, is urging progressive leaders to curb their failed policies after losing her job before Christmas as a result of the controversial law.
“[I]t’s maddening … when you know jobs will be lost because Democrats keep peddling trash economic policies,” Townhall’s Matt Vespa asserted. “The minimum wage hike is the mecca of all things bad – these jobs aren’t meant to support families, but Democrats seem keen on peddling this policy that will lead to job losses, cut hours and smaller paychecks.”
He noted the detrimental affects already experienced in New York City, with Seattle in tow.
“In Seattle, we all saw this iceberg coming, except those who actually think hiking the minimum wage will lead to an economic boom – they’re idiots. Period,” Vespa continued. “Study after study showed that this phased-in minimum wage hike would cannibalize jobs, [and even] USA Today noticed the detrimental aspects of this pol icy and urged supporters to pump the brakes.”
As more and more employers cannot afford Democrats’ higher minimum wage, human workers are increasingly being phased out of the workplace.
“The added overhead only leads restaurant owners to close and accelerates the trend toward automation,” Vespa noted. “Robots will eventually do a lot of the work these workers do – especially for fast food chains.”
Shiftless in Seattle
Many progressives who initially backed a higher minimum wage – including Seattle restaurant worker Simone Barron – have been hit with the reality Republicans warned them about, as increased wages led to cut hours, cut benefits … and eventually, cut jobs.
“This city’s minimum wage is rising to $16.39 an hour on Jan. 1, [and] instead of receiving a bigger paycheck, I’m left without any pay at all due to the policy change,” Barron wrote in a piece published by the Wall Street Journal. “That’s because the restaurant where I’ve worked for six years is closing as a consequence of the city’s harmful minimum-wage experiment.”
She said how her employer – a famous Seattle restauranteur and “great boss” who has always employees for a long time over his 30-year career – was not able to maneuver around the destructive law.
“But being an established chef and a good employer doesn’t save you from the burden of a sharp minimum-wage increase – up 73% from $9.47 in 2015 – [because] for large-scale employers like Mr. Douglas, there’s no separate rate for workers who earn tips,” the waitress contended. “In Washington and a handful of other states, tips aren’t counted as income earned on the job. That means restaurateurs are expected to pay servers like me the full minimum wage in addition to our considerable tip income, [and] when rent is too high, labor costs too much, and customers don’t want to pay $40 for a roast-chicken entree, the only way for many operators to ease the pain is to close.”
The harsh reality and lesson learned has caused her to rethink her progressive economic politics.
“I’ve lived in this city for almost 20 years – supporting my family thanks to the full-service-restaurant industry – but today, I’m struggling because of a policy meant to help me,” Barron shared. “I’m proudly progressive in my politics, but my experience shows that progressives should reconsider minimum-wage laws that hurt the very workers they’re trying to protect.”
Vespa said Target and its employees – as well as other large employers hiking their minimum wages – have already suffered the consequences.
“We all saw the signs, and now, Target decided to experiment with this minimum wage hike and it [messed up] its workers,” Vespa stressed. “One has to just stop taking crazy pills … to see that this policy is a total failure. Heck, we even have progressives trashing it.”
Here we go again …
Earlier this summer, a major restaurant chain in Seattle blamed the high minimum wage as a major reason why it had to declare bankruptcy.
“Restaurants Unlimited, Inc. – a food and beverage firm headquartered in Seattle – recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, sparking debate among Americans who want to end poverty and raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour,” Fox News reported in July. “In their filing, the company indicated that high wages were one of the main causes, stating that ‘over the last three years, the company’s profitability has been significantly impacted by progressive wage laws along the Pacific coast … the result was to increase the company’s annual wage expenses by an aggregate of $10.6 million.”