Seattle’s New Min Wage Wreaking Havoc

Not everything is as simple as it seems, contrary to what liberals believe. You can’t just eliminate gun violence by clamping unworkable gun control laws on the public. You can’t eliminate poverty by throwing government money at the poor. You can’t save the world by taking shorter showers. And you can’t rescue a generation of low-income workers by mandating an outrageous hike to the minimum wage.

Seattle residents will soon be able to testify to this last point. The city voted in a new minimum wage of $15 an hour last November, a hike that will take place in stages over the next three years. But even though the wage has only risen to $11 an hour so far, workers are already feeling the crunch. According to local radio personality Jason Rantz, workers are asking their employers to slash their hours so they can remain on government assistance!

“If they cut down their hours to stay on those subsidies because the $15 per hour minimum wage didn’t actually help them get out of poverty, all you’ve done is put a burden on the business and given false hope to a lot of people,” said Rantz this week.

If the goal of the wage hike was to get Seattle residents off the public dole, the law has proven to be an abject failure. Earlier this year, there were 130,851 people on the Basic Food program. A month after the wage hike, 130,376 people remained on the rolls.

That’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to unintended consequences. Several prominent Seattle restaurants have been forced to shutter their doors, unable to keep up with the mandated wages. Others have had to raise prices substantially to make up for the profit gap. It remains to be seen whether customers will be willing to fork over enough money to cover the wages or if Seattle will soon be a wasteland of empty storefronts.

This is what happens when you go meddling in the free market. Capitalism may be a dirty word on the left, but it’s the system we have. And unless Seattle wants to start dabbling in full-blown socialism, they would do well to stop interfering with the forces of the market. Good intentions don’t pay the bills.

Liberalism appeals to the young and the ignorant because its tenets can be explained in sound bites that require virtually no facts. As long as something feels right, it is right. As long as something would work in theory, it will work in reality. Unfortunately, that kind of philosophy fails in practice. We’ve seen how destructive it can be in every Democrat-controlled city in the country. Yet there is always another crop of young, ignorant voters ready to vote with their hearts. Unfortunately for them, they will be the ones hurt worst by the liberal policies they support.

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