Tuesday, March 12, 2019

once more, with feeling:
why top-down economics doesn't work

You want that $15 minimum wage? Here ya' go:

The Guardian reported Wednesday that employees at Whole Foods, which Amazon purchased back in 2017, have experienced a dramatic drop in schedule shifts since the raised wages were introduced.

Along with the new $15 minimum wage for the entry-level positions, some higher-level Whole Foods employees have also enjoyed a $1 to $2 increase in hourly wages, the outlet notes. It all sounds good — until employees' schedules are taken into account. Since the wage increase in November, Whole Foods employees say they've experienced "widespread cuts that have reduced schedule shifts across many stores, often negating wage gains for employees," The Guardian reports.

The employees, speaking on condition of anonymity "for fear of retaliation," revealed to the outlet that they've seen an average of about a 30% reduction in hours per week for part-timers and about a 10% reduction for full-timers.

An Illinois-based worker told The Guardian, "My hours went from 30 to 20 a week," after the $15 minimum wage hike.

The employee "explained that once the $15 minimum wage was enacted, part-time employee hours at their store were cut from an average of 30 to 21 hours a week, and full-time employees saw average hours reduced from 37.5 hours to 34.5 hours," The Guardian reports. "The worker provided schedules from 1 November to the end of January 2019, showing hours for workers in their department significantly decreased as the department’s percentage of the entire store labor budget stayed relatively the same."

Only people with no understanding of economics would possibly think that controlling an economy from the top is a viable option. Think of it from the employer's perspective: if wages and insurance costs go up (e.g., minimum-wage hike + Obamacare, with its increased premiums), it's harder to take care of one's employees and continue to make enough of a profit for the company to stay afloat. Something has to go, and that something is usually employees on the roster. This pro-wage-hike mentality, if applied country-wide, is what starts one down the dark road to empty store shelves, zero toilet paper, and cannibalism. Sounds ridiculous when it's phrased that way, but this is how it starts, and the end result is always the same. Cf. California, with its high taxes, over-regulation, and desire to appear "woke" in terms of company and fiscal policy. The state might as well slough into the sea, at this rate.

I've been seeing this riddle a lot recently:

Q: What did socialists use before candles?
A: Electricity.

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