Minimum wage raise helped Sea-Tac

Sea-Tac Center Welcomes First Visitors

How about that?

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. Iā€™m going to take away their livelihood. That hurts. It really, really hurts. .ā€‰.ā€‰. And what I am going to have to do on Jan. 1 is to eliminate jobs, reduce hours ā€” 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.

3 thoughts on “Minimum wage raise helped Sea-Tac

  1. Be a little careful with projections from this story, most of the gains appear to have arisen from trends in interstate commerce and not the local economy.

  2. Give the worker more money and they will buy more stuff. One of the greatest right wing Capitalists of all time, Henry Ford, knew that.
    Higher wages don’t force businesses to close. If you’re selling a product or a service you must have laborers to provide that product or service. As a business owner you will pay more in wages so you won’t be forced to close your doors for lack of workers to make your product or service your customers. That’s only common sense.

  3. They tried this in Ecuador almost 20 years ago. Politics a moved a little to the left, and one major step was to break up the million-acre haciendas and give the land back to indigenous people. In spite of all the hand-wringing, the share croppers [who for generations had provided wealth to a few owners of European descent] suddenly had a little discretionary income as they now worked for themselves. It turned out that they all wanted shoes for their kids, too; so the local cobbler who used to produce for the 7 kids in ‘the big house’, now had to produce for hundreds of kids in small houses. He had to hire more workers. Lather, rinse, repeat across all consumer goods sectors.

    So, [big surprise] economies are demand-driven. It wouldn’t matter what type of business a ‘job-creator’ started, without customers the business will fail. The previous owners are still doing fine by the way. They kept the big houses [and enough space around them for their horses], turned them into B&B’s, and cater to a thriving tourist industry.

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