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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: 2) by theluggage on Thursday June 05 2014, @05:40PM

    by theluggage (1797) on Thursday June 05 2014, @05:40PM (#51810)

    Rich people with money under the mattress lose out.

    Well, they already lose out, because a huge wad of their taxes currently goes into making welfare payments to hard working people who's jobs don't pay enough for them to sleep indoors and eat.

    Unless you want to adopt a strict "work or starve" policy (which would eventually push up wages, because dead/dying people don't make very good workers) then not having an adequate statutory minimum wage is the indirect equivalent of handing out nice fat taxpayer subsidies to industry. Of course, government makes a big song and dance about the "long term unemployed" and the press obliges by scouring the country for stories of benefit cheats and scroungers to hole up as scapegoats, but never stops to ask why so many people who are working are dependent on benefits.

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