Even Social Justice Must Give Way to Basic Economics (UPDATED)

by baldilocks

Okay, maybe Spock didn’t really say that about Social Justice.

Stuff Spock Said.

Am I reading this correctly?

On Tuesday, 7 of the 13 members of Washington’s city council sponsored a bill to jettison the wage hike for tipped workers that 56% of D.C. voters had approved by a ballot initiative less than a month before.

Under Initiative 77, the workers would see their minimum wage climb from the current $3.89 an hour to $15 an hour by 2026, erasing the difference between tipped and nontipped workers. (…)

But the D.C. council members came to understand what economists — and D.C. restaurant workers themselves — already know. Sharp increases in the minimum wage will cost lost hours, lost jobs and lost income. (The unemployment rate is over 9% in D.C.’s poorer wards.) (…)

Democrats woke? Not quite.

The writer points out that the D.C. City Council has yet to figure out that the universal minimum-wage trade-off applies to nontipped workers also. That law is still in effect.

This wage mandate, just like the one the council is trying to repeal, will also end up hurting the very people it’s supposed to help.

I’m just shocked that a largely Democrat body with a nearly exclusively Democrat constituency is doing this. What could be driving even a bare majority of that council to vote to repeal one of the staples of “equality?”

Oh wait … it’s in D.C. — where the movers and shakers lunch, booze and schmooze. Minimum wage for waiters and waitresses would result in fewer wait staff, slower service, and, undoubtedly, crappier service as well. Can’t have that.

Mystery solved.

RELATED: The $15 Minimum Wage Is Wreaking Havoc On New York City Dining

Of all affected businesses, restaurants are at the greatest risk of losing their ability to operate under the strain of crushing financial demands. They run at the highest day-to-day operational costs of any business, partly because they must employ more people to run efficiently. In cities like New York, Washington DC, and San Francisco, even a restaurant that has great visibility and lots of traffic cannot keep up with erratic rent increases and minimum wage doubling.

When the minimum wage for tipped workers was much lower, employees sourced most of their income from guest gratuities, so restaurants were able to staff more people and provided ample training to create a highly skilled team. The skills employees gained through training and experience then increased their value to bargain for future, better-paying jobs.

It’s as if Leftist politicians don’t want working stiffs to improve their financial position in society and, through mass financial stagnation, the average worker might begin to believe that capitalism doesn’t work and socialism might be a better way.

Nah, that can’t be it.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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