In January, the town of Seatac, Washington, put in to effect a new $15 per hour Minimum Wage. No ramp ups, no tiered implementation. One day it was the state standard, the next, the highest minimum wage in the nation. The Koch Brothers sank a fortune to fight this measure, which fell on deaf ears as the town rejected their trickle-down theories and instead voted for the measure. The result is that for one town, they became a test bed, to put the theories behind trickle-down economics to the test.
Now, nine months on, we are witnessing one of the most dramatic recoveries in the Pacific Northwest.
Last July, business owner Scott Ostrander claimed that the increased wage would force him to lay off staff, if not shut down his businesses.
I am shaking here tonight because I am going to be forced to lay people off. I’m going to take away their livelihood. That hurts. It really, really hurts. . . . And what I am going to have to do on Jan. 1 is to eliminate jobs, reduce hours — and as soon as hours are reduced, benefits are reduced.
Instead, his business, the Cedarbrook Lodge hotel, is expanding, adding 63 more beds to meet demand. Instead of layoffs, he needs to hire more people. And his story is not the only one.