Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Help Not Affordable

I just read the news about the House of the U.S. Congress approving a proposed minimum wage hike, which I relayed to my business partner.

In the last few days, the return of WSU students to the area has seen a rush of job seekers visiting our shop to inquire about employment. Our standard response has been, "sorry, but we're not hiring right now."

Washington state's minimum wage, now $7.93 per hour, is ahead of the proposed Federal wage hike, so the Federal increase won't affect us that much. But this news has brought to mind again the business climate we face in this state, and today's announcement prompted my business partner and I to decide on a new policy of 100% honesty toward job applicants.

We will now tell each and every person who inquires about employment with our companies that the increases in the minimum wage have made hiring them too expensive, that we would have considered their applications in the past but, thanks to Olympia, now we simply cannot and will not. We will make it perfectly clear to job seekers at our store what hikes in the minimum wage really mean for them and others.

To business owners out there who may be reading this post, I encourage you to do the same if you will be curtailing hiring due to minimum wage hikes. Let's be completely honest with job seekers about what they are going to be facing. It's only fair that we tell each and every applicant why it is that we will not offer them jobs. Perhaps then, the next time some politico tries to buy votes by promising to redistribute other people's money, they will find their offers met with the hostility and rejection such theft deserves.


Scotty said...

Saddly, this one can be blamed on the Washington voters of years past. We voted to tie minimum wage (M.W.) to inflation each year.

What is interesting, is even if your company does pay more than M.W., the changes to the M.W. affects you still.

Many companies want to pay more than M.W. So if M.W. goes up, it becomes closer to the amount people are earning, so they will need a raise to move above the M.W.

Paul E. Zimmerman said...

Oh yes, I know that the voters put this one on us back in 1998 (I voted against it, for what it's worth). I figure saying "thank your fellow voter" for this doesn't give the person on the short end of this stick anything to focus on. Besides... them Dems dominate in Olympia, so maybe this is a way to direct the fallout into their laps. :)

Zachary said...

hehe, one property of democracy is inefficiency. i haven't been to the states. do u think so there?:)

Paul E. Zimmerman said...

Inefficient things can occur under a democracy when people vote for stuff that sounds good but really isn't, but the connotations of "inefficiency" that I think you're using are something I wholeheartedly reject. Democracy certainly has its warts, but I'll take it over the whims of a dictator any day. There's a better chance that change for the better can be made here, whereas in other places, one is left only with hoping for the best, or for the dictator to die.

SVC Alumnus Blogger said...

I'd read this blog post by the restaurant lobby as well.

Paul E. Zimmerman said...

svc -

That's good info, thanks for it!

It's frightening to see those numbers and know that they're on the way. It's also frustrating knowing that the loss of jobs will be blamed somehow on the Bush tax cuts, his administration, blah blah blah.

Latin style socialism, here we come.