Higher pay would boost economy

I love how some people think they have it on good authority that they will know first-hand what will happen if Seattle goes to $15 an hour on every entry level and minimum-wage job out there.

“The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” — the opposition is screaming. “Prices will sky-rocket and businesses will leave in droves!”

As opposed to … what? Exactly? Poverty wages? Rampant losses in the cost of living and elsewhere?

Just exactly where are people expected to make a decent living when all the good jobs have come and gone and college is out of reach for many?

I plan on going back to college to become an accountant. Doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll make the wages I want. I may very well be scraping the barrel for awhile before I actually make it … in about five or 10 years.

But the opposition thinks that prices will go crazy and food will become more expensive if we even dare to raise the city minimum-wage to $15.

Given the logistics of Seattle and its expensive costs of living, $15 would be a start, but it wouldn’t put a dent in the high cost of living there. You would still need two jobs (at $15/hour) to make it. Or higher.

But businesses wouldn’t lose out. They would be raking in the cash. The cost of living would actually start to come down. Prices would start to stabilize at a mean level.

This move by the Seattle mayor would come with great benefits — both for the city and its people. People would be happier than they are now. And more money to spend would mean greater tax revenue.

But the right would rather us live in poverty than try to change the dynamic, one city at a time.

Given the history of Seattle’s overall success in ventures such as these, it won’t be too long before other cities start adopting the Emerald City’s lead.

Both big and small businesses would stand to benefit from this. After all, many such large businesses (Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon, Costco) pay above $15/hr and they haven’t suffered one bit.

In fact, production and profit have never been higher. And they have a happy workforce as a result.

So why can’t this model work elsewhere?

Schuyler Thorpe


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