In 1907, unions helped convince Seattle to enact a 15-cent minimum price for restaurant meals, part of a backlash against inexpensive Japanese-run eateries that were providing unwelcome competition for existing restaurants and unions representing their employees. In San Francisco the same year, a mob attacked and destroyed the 10-cent Horseshoe Restaurant on Folsom Street, causing a diplomatic incident between the United States and Japan [H.D. Miller, Eccentric Culinary History; part 1 of his story]
Earlier this year, worldwide media profiled Gabi Mann, 8, of Seattle, who has fed and made friends with a large number of crows who bring her trinkets in return. [BBC, Audubon] Now some neighbors are suing parents Lisa and Gary Mann, saying their “mass wildlife feeding operation” has created a local nuisance [KIRO, Daily Mail]
The suit demands $200,000, which would pay for a lot of crumbs at tuppence a bag.
- Really, I never want to hear one word ever again about Gov. Andrew Cuomo being “at least good on economic issues” [Peter Suderman and Nick Gillespie, Reason (New York will mandate $15/hour for most fast-food workers, which in many upstate cities could amount to 75 percent of average wage); Heather Briccetti/New York Post (activists bused from one hearing to next to jeer opponents); Nicole Gelinas/City Journal (Cuomo picks online guy to represent business on brick-and-mortar-endangering wage board), Joanna Fantozzi/The Daily Meal (possible legal challenge); Coyote on Card and Krueger study]
- Labor markets don’t behave the way sentimental reformers wish they behaved, part 53,791 [Seattle minimum wage hike: Mark Perry (largest half-year decline in foodservice jobs in region since Great Recession; but see, Brian Doherty on problems with that number series) and Rick Moran (“Employees are begging their bosses to cut their hours so they can keep their food stamps, housing assistance, and other welfare benefits.”); David Brooks via Coyote]
- Employers scramble to monitor, control time worked in response to Obama overtime decree [WSJ] “No one wants to go back to filling out time sheets…. managers fear (rightly) that I will have to set arbitrary maximum numbers of work hours for them.” [Coyote] Business resistance aims for the moment at (deliberately abbreviated) public comment period [Sean Higgins, Washington Examiner] “Can Obama Really Raise Wages for Millions of People So Easily? Quick answer: no” [David Henderson; WSJ/@scottlincicome on seasonal pool-supply company]
- Hillary Clinton and the Market Basket Stores myth [James Taranto]
- Labor Department proposes tightening regulation of retirement financial advisers [Kenneth Bentsen, The Hill]
- Proposed: “well-orchestrated” state ballot initiatives aimed at overturning employment at will [Rand Wilson, Workplace Fairness] My view: “Everybody wins with at-will employment” [Ethan Blevins, Pacific Legal amicus briefs in Supreme Court of Washington, followup on oral argument, and thanks to PLF for citing my work in its amicus brief in Rose v. Anderson Hay and Grain; much more on employment at will in my book The Excuse Factory, also some here]
- The SEIU’s home caregiver membership motel: you can check in, but just try checking out [Watchdog Minnesota Bureau]
A group of privacy advocates is suing the city of Seattle, arguing that having garbage collectors look through people’s trash — to make sure food scraps aren’t going into the garbage — “violates privacy rights on a massive scale.”
“A person has a legitimate expectation that the contents of his or her garbage cans will remain private and free from government inspection,” argues the lawsuit filed [last] Thursday in King County Superior Court by the Pacific Legal Foundation.
- “Oakland minimum-wage hike puts child caregivers in a jam” [Rachel Swan, San Francisco Chronicle]
- “Why Minimum Wage Increases are a Terrible Anti-Poverty Program” [Coyote, parts one and two] More: David Neumark;
- “[Robert] Reich Is Wrong on the Minimum Wage” [Don Boudreaux, Cato; more]
- “Marvel At The Effects Of The Minimum Wage In San Francisco” [Tim Worstall on Comix Experience comics shop]
- “Can Republicans Stick to Their Principles on the Minimum Wage?” [Michael Tanner]
- “To see the effects of the minimum wage hike, follow the pho” [Thanh Tan, Seattle Times] “Owner of pizza shop says new Seattle minimum wage law is forcing her to close” [KCPQ, David Henderson] “Minimum Wage Hikes and Restaurants: Who Gains? Who Loses?” Brian Doherty; Michael Saltsman, W$J]
- “The evidence that the most disadvantaged of society are those most [harmed] by minimum-wage legislation is abundant” [Philip Coelho and James McClure via David Henderson]
- Environmental law’s oft-praised public trust doctrine may have made California drought worse [Gary Libecap, Regulation magazine, via Peter Van Doren, Cato] Blame Nestlé for California water crisis? Well, people can try [Coyote]
- True to “so-called Seattle Process of inclusive and abundant dialogue,” tunnel to replace Alaskan Way viaduct has developed into expensive fiasco [Karen Weise, Bloomberg]
- Jefferson’s method of surveying “abstract and commodifiable” land, well suited to flat Midwest, curbed litigation and greatly advanced American prosperity [Steve Sailer, Chronicles]
- RFK Jr.’s Waterkeeper “tightly intertwined with more than one of the players in [Skelos] investigation” [Scott Waldman, Capital New York]
- High overhead: “what they are doing is pricing people out of the ceiling fan market” [Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, re: Rep. Marsha Blackburn criticism of energy regulations]
- Didn’t know San Francisco had such a high rate of vacant rentals: “America’s Rent-Controlled Cities Are Its Least Affordable” [Scott Beyer] Craziness of city’s housing policy long predates today’s war against techie newcomers [Coyote]
- “Chimpanzee almost gets habeas corpus — and in any event the Nonhuman Rights Project gets a court hearing” [Volokh, earlier on chimpanzees and rights]
Socialist Seattle councilor “allegedly structured her employees …to avoid payroll taxes, overtime, and insurance.” [Jason Rantz, MyNorthwest]
If you’re Seattle, you put it on YouTube [Tyler Cowen]
Obama wage-hour chief David Weil told the Wall Street Journal that leaders of the National Retail Federation approached him urging a hike in the federal minimum wage. Apparently readers are meant to infer that this policy is so obviously fair, or overdue, or beneficial to the national economy, that even big business leaders who will be paying the higher wages favor it. The anecdote is not even the tiniest bit paradoxical, however, once you realize that major national retail operators already tend to pay over the minimum and wouldn’t mind kneecapping their smaller, less-established, or lower-margin competitors who don’t [WSJ and blog, Donald Boudreaux, Tim Worstall]
Meanwhile: “More Seattle restaurants close doors as $15 minimum wage approaches” If only anyone could have predicted! [Shift WA via J.A. Cohen] But note this Seattle Times piece in which the owners of the four closing restaurants say the wage hike wasn’t the reason.
“Starting Jan. 1, it will be illegal to throw food and food waste in the trash in Seattle, when a new ban takes effect to increase recycling and composting in the city.” [Seattle Post-Intelligencer] “Food waste” includes things like used napkins and pizza boxes with food residue clinging to them. Residents are subject to fines if more than ten percent of their trash flow consists of recyclables, defined as including food and its associated materials as well as glass, metal, and other items subject to recycling. So are ordinary businesses (Seattle restaurants already come under a separate regime of recycling rules) and apartment landlords, who notoriously have trouble monitoring and controlling what tenants throw in the bins.
Readers who live there: is it lawful in Seattle to engage a private garbage service that isn’t subject to the municipal service’s rules?