Raising the Minimum Wage Redux

Los Angeles just raised the minimum wage to $15/hour. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/20/us/los-angeles-expected-to-raise-minimum-wage-to-15-an-hour.html?_r=0 Havoc will ensue. My previous post — https://bozosphere.wordpress.com/2014/05/01/the-real-effect-of-raising-the-minimum-wage/ — warned what would happen if the minimum wage was raised to $10/hour, but $15/hour?

Remember you heard it here first. Every fish taco stand in LA will go bust as the price of fish tacos will double or triple. Buildings will not get cleaned regularly as the price of cleaning them will double. I foresee empty fish taco containers sitting in trash bins for days. Remember what Ben Franklin said, and I paraphrase: “Office trash cans, like fish tacos, begin to smell in a day or two in LA.” Oops, all the fish taco trucks will be out of business. We need to rethink Ben’s advice in terms of the new economic reality.

People at the lower end of the wage scale will no longer live in abject poverty, but merely kinda, sorta poverty. Will they be able to go out for dinner now? Not likely, as no one will be able to find fish tacos, much less afford them.

As the price of fish tacos rise, economic theory tells us that the cost of substitute goods will also rise. I foresee celery, which many eat instead of fish tacos, will be unaffordable shortly after the wage hikes.

How about the gardeners? Who will be able to afford to have their lawns cut when the minimum wage doubles? Wait, there’s no water available for watering lawns in Los Angeles anymore, so that’s not a problem.

Woof, I feel better already.

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