Fight for $15: Washington DC Will Soon Receive Disastrous Wage Hike

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It’s official. Washington DC has joined the likes of California, New York, and Seattle. Workers in the city can now bask in the glory of a $15 minimum wage. The DC Council unanimously voted to approve the wage hike, and the mayor has agreed to sign it into law.

Washington DC however, is bit different. Unlike previous states and municipalities that have proposed and established such a high minimum wage, Washington DC has statistics to back up what happens when you drastically increase the minimum wage. In 2014, the city increased wages from $8.50 an hour to $11.50 an hour, so prior to the $15 wage hike, a survey was conducted among businesses in the city. They were asked about what that little raise did to their bottom line, and the results were not good. According to the Employment Policies Institute:

“Employers affected by the proposed increase to a $15 minimum wage were asked if they had either reduced the number of employees on their staff, or reduced the hours of current employees, to adapt to recently enacted minimum wage increases,” the report says. “Nearly half of employers surveyed had already taken one of these steps—suggesting that 2014-16 minimum wage increases haven’t been absorbed through higher prices alone.”

And as you might expect, many of these businesses are struggling to figure out how they’re going to deal with the new wage hike.

According to the report, just over half of the businesses surveyed said they planned to raise prices in order to offset the cost of a minimum wage hike. Thirty-five percent said they would likely reduce staffing levels and 37 percent said they would reduce employees’ hours or reduce the number of hours they were open for business. Thirty-one percent of businesses said they were very likely to hire more skilled workers in the future to offset the higher wage.

One in five businesses said they would move out of the District of Columbia and into Arlington, Virginia where the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. Sixteen percent of businesses surveyed said they were somewhat likely to close their business if the minimum wage hike were implemented and 6 percent of businesses said they would likely close.

Of course, this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone with common sense. If you increase the cost of doing business, then businesses will have to make cuts somewhere.

Ultimately, the minimum wage doesn’t create jobs, or put more money in the pockets of lower-income Americans. While there will be a few workers who are lucky enough to get a raise and keep their original hours, most will lose something. They may lose their jobs or their benefits. They may have fewer hours, and most likely, they will have to work harder during those hours to compensate for the reduced workforce. In other words, they will have to earn that extra money, which probably isn’t what the Fight for $15 folks had in mind.

When you really break it down, the minimum wage is an attempt to create something from nothing, and obviously it fails to do that. It provides higher wages to some, but exerts more pressure on different parts of the economy. It kills jobs, makes it harder for young, inexperienced job seekers to enter the workforce, and gives larger companies with more money an advantage over smaller companies that can’t absorb the higher costs of doing business.

Which is funny, because efforts to raise the minimum wage always come from leftists who complain about the 1% and wealth inequality. Unfortunately, all it does is give the richest business owners an edge over upstarts, and it hurts the poor and inexperienced who are trying to find whatever job they can. Unfortunately, the people of Washington DC are about to learn that the hard way.

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Contributed by Joshua Krause of The Daily Sheeple.

Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger .

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  • Mike

    It is simple what will happen, and it has been proven time and time again. When minimum wage is increased, prices go up, hours get cut, jobs get cut, some places go out of business entirely and the like thus nullifying any wage increase and putting the minimum wage crowd right back in the same boat yet again. But one other thing happens to those who worked their way up from minimum wage jobs to above minimum wage jobs, THEY DON’T GET A PAY INCREASE BUT THEY DO GET THE ADDED HIGHER PRICES THANKS TO THE MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE thus chipping away at the dying middle class a little more. NOTE TO ALL YOU MINIMUM WAGE WORKERS, minimum wage jobs were NEVER MEANT TO BE LIFE LONG JOBS. They were meant to be a starting point to get work experience and then move on PERIOD.

    • It has been proven time and time again. The cost of EVERYTHING goes up and hours get cut when they don’t pay their employees more.

      If everyone in the nation were being paid at least 15 an hour, the economic stimulus would offset the added cost to businesses. But that’s just it. . . the jump in wage increase has to be large enough to put expendable cash in people’s pockets.

      Raising it by a dollar doesn’t do that. . . raising it by 4-8 dollars DOES increase it enough that everyone will have expendable income.

      Wal-Mart’s price increase on everything would be PENNIES to pay for the cost of increasing wages. Literally pennies. Sure it might cost you an extra 10-20 dollars for groceries, but guess what. . . you’ll make that in 1 hour of work.

      Your logic is flawed, Mike. Economic stimulus happens at the bottom, not the top.

      • Mike

        keep on living in your misinformed dream world. As labor prices increase, so does the cost of everything that that labor force produces or services. And as prices go up, wage increase is nullified. I have been here on this earth for a long time and have seen it time and time again. You see, in order to stay in business, the business has to make a profit and anything that takes away from that profit must be addressed by cutting expenses or raising prices or a combination there of. Simple freaking math and even simpler economics. go learn something instead of just pulling the same liberal regressive talking points of ignorant people out of your mouth.

      • pokerchip

        With all due respect, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

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  • The price of everything is going up anyway, so let them increase the price to pay for the difference, because it will STILL be more affordable to live when being paid 15 an hour than when you were only getting 11 or 7.

    The argument that raising it will have a disastrous impact is flawed in that it always fails to mention the fact that businesses will also have MORE money pouring into their business because people will have the cash to spend more.

    But hey, that makes sense, so why would you talk about something that makes sense?

  • Tatiana Covington

    Socialism is its own punishment.

  • FollowDaMoney

    Raising prices reduces the demand for a good or service. Why do you think gas prices drop when there is a surplus? What do you think will happen to demand for employees?

    Bottom line is these people make me squint.

  • FollowDaMoney

    Nice language bb. I hope you have some job skills. My skills let me demand my wage. It doesn’t happen to be bellow $15 and no I don’t work for the government.

    • bobbi brownose

      good for you… but guess what? you are the EXTREME minority. walmart and mcdonalds are the most populous employers in the country, and probably some of the most profitable in the country also. and they are virtual slavedrivers. working a majority of us citizens, for a third of what they should ACTUALLY be paying them… if this massive economic segment were paid a FAIR wage, we wouldnt be facing an “economic collapse”.