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posted by n1 on Thursday June 05 2014, @11:18AM   Printer-friendly
from the will-code-for-gold dept.

The NYT reports that in a unanimous vote, the Seattle City Council went where no big-city lawmakers have gone before, raising the local minimum wage to $15 an hour, more than double the federal minimum, and pushing Seattle to the forefront of urban efforts to address income inequality. "Even before the Great Recession a lot of us have started to have doubt and concern about the basic economic promise that underpins economic life in the United States," says Council Member Sally J. Clark. "Today Seattle answers that challenge." High-tech, fast-growing Seattle, population 634,535, is home to Amazon.com, Zillow, and Starbucks. It also has more than 100,000 workers whose incomes are insufficient to support their families, according to city figures and around 14% of Seattle's population lives below the poverty level. Some business owners have questioned the proposal saying that the city's booming economy is creating an illusion of permanence. "We're living in this bubble of Amazon, but that's not going to go on," says businessman Tom Douglas. "There's going to be some terrific price inflation."

 
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  • (Score: 4, Informative) by LaminatorX on Thursday June 05 2014, @12:56PM

    by LaminatorX (14) <{laminatorx} {at} {gmail.com}> on Thursday June 05 2014, @12:56PM (#51640)

    Here's something I found to be illuminating: MIT has compiled nationwide economic data to generate a regional living wage calculator [mit.edu]. According to their data on Seattle [mit.edu], $15/hour is more than a single adult needs to decently support one's self, but less than ideal for a single parent with one child. That single parent could scrape by frugally on it withut living in abject poverty though.

    The problem with this scenario it that a patchwork of regional minimums leads to wage arbitrage by businesses without direct regional ties, but it's still better than nothing.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 05 2014, @01:28PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 05 2014, @01:28PM (#51657)

    MIT murdered Aaron Swartz. Civilized society does not want to hear what murderous murderers at MIT have to say.

  • (Score: 2) by scruffybeard on Thursday June 05 2014, @03:26PM

    by scruffybeard (533) on Thursday June 05 2014, @03:26PM (#51739)

    I am not sure how setting minimum wages based on a geographic area is bad. According to your website, a living wage in NY City is $12.75/hr, in LA $11.37, Huntsville, AL $8.64, and Ft. Wayne, IN $8.19. That is fairly large swing, and if an employer wants to move its operation to take advantage of a cheaper labor pool, why shouldn't they? We do this all the time as consumers. Why shop at Best Buy when you can get it cheaper from Amazon? Many communities use their relatively low wages and cheap standard of living to attract new business to the area, which benefits everyone in the long run. As economic conditions change, then they can petition the State to raise the minimum wage accommodate that.

    Personally I think minimum wages should be largely left to the States to administer. Sure, set a $10 national standard, but then let the New York's, or California's raise it higher if they feel it is necessary.

  • (Score: 1) by rancid on Thursday June 05 2014, @06:39PM

    by rancid (4090) <{sabzi} {at} {mailtor.net}> on Thursday June 05 2014, @06:39PM (#51833)

    A horse makes a living wage.