20 May 2015

Seattle Math

In Seattle where $15.00 an hour will soon be the minimum wage math must work differently than I was taught.

This same math is on display in Los Angeles and will soon be used in Chicago and New York Fucking City.

In Seattle $15 times 0 hours is thought to be more than the present Washington state minimum wage of $9.47 times 37.5 hours (maximum hours and still be part time by Fed law).

Let's do the math!

$9.47 * 37.5 = $355.12 which doubles to $710.25 per check before taxes, FICA and deductions.

$15 * 0 = $0 which doubles to $0 per check, but remains $0 after taxes, FICA and deductions!

Why is it zero hours?  Because places are saying "fuck it" and closing rather than attempting to find a way to compensate for a more than 58% increase in the price of labor.

LA is another great example because they've been seeing a rash of closures from just the increase in labor prices from Obamacare and its attendant costs in documentation and compliance.  It will be a great comfort to know that you'd be making $6 an hour more if only the place you worked was still open.

Chicago will be going from $8.25 to $10 this year and $13 by 2019.

NYFC will go from $8.75 to $9 at the end of this year, but they're talking about going higher.

I keep repeating, jobs are the side effect of a successful business.  If the costs are such that it can't be successful, then there won't be a business and thus there won't be any jobs.

Looking up the current minimum wages showed an interesting trend, nearly all of them were $4.25 in the late '80's.  Trusting this calculator, $4.25 in 1988 is $8.43 today.

In 1990-1992 I lived on $4.25 an hour, 30 hours a week ($7.63 to $7.11 an hour in today's money) while also going to college (paid for by joining the Army in 1987-90).

In 1992 I got a job making $7 an hour, 40 hours a week ($11.71 today), because I got some education!

In 1994 I moved to a $10 an hour position, 40 a week ($15.84 today) plus benefits!  Because now I had some experience to go with my diploma.

Basically, what Seattle et al want to do is make every no-skill/experience required job pay like an associates degree in mechanical drafting with two years of experience.

Eating out is a luxury you fucking morons!  When it passes a certain price threshold, people stop buying the luxury item and eat what they cook at home.


  1. This is part of why I am so bitterly opposed to "benefits." Back when I foolishly hoped to be able to get a career-track job I was told repeatedly that they couldn't hire me because of my weight (which was not nearly so bad back then, and which I've noticed goes down when I have a job because it might put a strain on their precious, precious health insurance plan. My repeated assurances that I was perfectly bloody well willing to do WITHOUT their goddamn health insurance, just to get my foot in the door, were of no avail.

    I'd like to see "benefits" treated as income and taxed accordingly.

  2. Funny - Jerry Pournelle's... well, he has always preferred the term, "Daybook" - he considers the term, "Blog" to be inelegant, and warns that hs entries aren't that well organized... But Dr. Pournelle has long noted that If the kids charge ten dollars to mow the lawn, I'll pay them to do it; if they ask for twenty, I'll either do it myself or just let it grow. Surely the math should be obvious, even to OccuRetards - but, given that they persist in making the demands anyway, I suppose not...

    What makes it even funnier is that Dr. Pournelle,and many others have been commenting for some time now about the development of automated burger-flippers - i.e., robots, just like those on the assembly lines at Ford, Chrysler, GM, Toyota, Honda, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, et al.,that have.displaced UAW workers on the line.Demands for effectively doubling the labor costs for a manager or a franchisee provides one helluvan incentive for working the bugs out of automation and buying Robbies, doesn't it?

    1. " If the kids charge ten dollars to mow the lawn, I'll pay them to do it; if they ask for twenty, I'll either do it myself or just let it grow."

      Back in the early 80's, while I was working 7 days a week, I called my boss's son to ask him what he would charge to mow my yard. He informed me that he would come by and give me a estimate. It had been growing for 3 weeks and his estimate was 40 bucks. I went and got my FIL's tractor and brush hog and did it myself.

    2. I'll still let the kid do it at $20. But not $25. That just means my opportunity cost may be higher than yours.


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