Megan McArdle: San Francisco Can Afford a $15 Minimum Wage. Mariposa Cannot.

Whatever your position on minimum wages in general, it shouldn’t be controversial to acknowledge that those minimums affect different regions in different ways. Rich urban areas whose economies are driven by high-margin professional and knowledge businesses will fare better than poorer regions, or those whose economies depend on nationally or globally competitive manufacturing and agriculture.

Unfortunately some of those poorer regions are at the mercy of urban policy makers. Big states like California and New York combine a large and politically powerful urban population with a much poorer rural population that cannot afford the kinds of government interventions that the urban voters want. Policy gets made for the big, powerful urban populations, who don’t know, or necessarily much care, whether that smothers the local economy of their rural counterparts.

If we’re going to try these sorts of experiments, we should try them slowly, with ample time to evaluate their effects, and with an understanding that the results in some places may not generalize well to others. Instead, legislators increasingly seem to be opting for quick blanket solutions that may deal crippling blows to local economies that can ill afford them.

From: San Francisco Can Afford a $15 Minimum Wage. Mariposa Cannot. – Bloomberg View

Please do be so kind as to share this post.
Share

5 thoughts on “Megan McArdle: San Francisco Can Afford a $15 Minimum Wage. Mariposa Cannot.

  1. They were talking about making $15 the minimum wage in Ontario at one point and it seemed like the effects were specific to the industry. At my cleaning job, the university can afford to make the minimum $15 and did because it got good press. It also probably doesn’t hurt that we’re all getting fired in two years and replaced with temps that get paid less. I know restaurants on the other hand that would have gone out of business because the profit margin’s so small.

    Now, instead, they’re talking about a mandatory living allowance, which as McArdle says in the other article, isn’t the solution that most of us who work want. I’d far prefer a career opportunity to a check.

      Quote  Link

    Report

  2. In the 90’s, the “perma-temp” laws went into effect and I was *SO* happy. Finally! A law that was looking out for *MY* interests!

    And, yeah, my temp job got eliminated. I shortly was hired by a “Managed Services” company as an employee with bennies worse than those offered by my temp job. We had a year-long contract with the company that I had previously temped for with yearly options to extend the contract by one year.

      Quote  Link

    Report

  3. I’m extremely pro-minimum wage and pro-increasing-the-minimum-wage, and even I don’t understand why they’d opt for a blanket policy like this. There is nothing wrong with attenuating the minimum wage from region to region commensurate with the cost of living in each. I agree with McCardle; this just seems like an incredibly short-sighted way to deploy this policy.

      Quote  Link

    Report

    • “I’m extremely pro-minimum wage and pro-increasing-the-minimum-wage, and even I don’t understand why they’d opt for a blanket policy like this.”

      Well, that’s probably because you’re a dirty conservative who hates poor people and immigrants, and thinks that someone who works at Burger King shouldn’t be allowed to live near their job.

        Quote  Link

      Report

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *