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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, 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: 3, Interesting) by Theophrastus on Thursday June 05 2014, @03:49PM

    by Theophrastus (4044) on Thursday June 05 2014, @03:49PM (#51752)

    Seattle has made several similar improvements to level the playing-field of late. One of them, approximately a year ago, is guaranteed sick leave, (essentially allowing sick employees to be away from their work to recuperate without fear of being fired). When this, (seemingly sensible), provision was put in place there was a constant howling from businesses that they would leave, have to fire half their staff, or go out of business(!) Seattle has statistically lost no businesses. And yes, we even heard that we would certainly become "Detroit!" (what exemplar was used before we had Detroit to point at? (the lesson of Detroit is never generally understood - the danger of a monoculture))

    I just counted the number of construction cranes over downtown Seattle, i don't recall that there have ever been more. For a pinko-commie-paradise, it's doing pretty damn well for the capitalists.

    And just this morning, the more conservative, more opulent, city across our lake is considering adopting the higher minimum wage standard.

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  • (Score: 3) by khallow on Thursday June 05 2014, @11:21PM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 05 2014, @11:21PM (#51962) Journal

    Just because this straw didn't break the camel's back, doesn't mean it won't ever happen. Seattle is messing around with its life blood, its economy for some pretty petty bullshit. That will bite it. How badly depends on how much they do before they stop.