If it’s so great, then why not immediately adopt Nick Hanauer’s $16 minimum wage?

Mar 9, 2015, 12:12 PM | Updated: 12:37 pm

David Boze asks if there’s no negative economic impact to increasing the wage to $12 an hour,...

David Boze asks if there's no negative economic impact to increasing the wage to $12 an hour, why wouldn't you just go to $16 an hour in 2016? (AP)


Taken from Monday’s edition of the David Boze Show on AM 770 KTTH.

Nick Hanauer, venture capitalist, wants to spend his dough Tim Eyman-style. He’s threatening to basically become a progressive initiative hound.

He thinks $16 an hour is really a no-brainer and if the Legislature would just pass this $12 an hour minimum wage, maybe the $16 would go away. That’s the impression you get from reading Danny Westneat’s column in The Seattle Times:

“They think $12 is high? Here’s the real choice: they can accept $12 now or it’ll be much, much higher. If you’re the Association of Washington Business, you should run, not walk, to Olympia and demand they pass that $12 wage bill.”

Related: House votes to raise minimum wage to $12

What Hanauer says, with his $16 an hour initiative, if he were to do it, it wouldn’t be $16 an hour over four years. It would be $16 an hour right now. It would be $16 an hour in 2016 because why wait?

I have to say, if you follow through the logic of most of these kinds of debates, Hanauer has a point. After all, most of the time the logic used to increase minimum wage is simply that increasing the wages would allow people to buy more, it wouldn’t hurt anybody, it would improve the lives of families, it would enable people to pay their bills and buy more products. It would probably lead to even more job creation because the person who is making $12 an hour is more likely to be able to afford coffee or whatever else that they couldn’t afford before. So why bother waiting?

The argument, boiled down, is some people need to plan. If people were being exploited before and the profits are so big, than surely those profits are built-in somehow. So there’s no reason why anyone should oppose that increase in wage.

Well, you and I both know that’s not true. People plan well in advance for the amount of capital they need to be able to pay people, what the price of the products are going to be, and, not to mention, the fact that if you raise it to $16 an hour, that means your payroll taxes and the benefit packages will be dramatically higher.

When you think about the way the argument is made – that $12 an hour needs to be passed so people are able to live better – if it’s just that, if that’s the truth, and there’s no negative economic impact to increasing the wage to $12 an hour, why wouldn’t you go to $16 an hour in 2016?

If there really isn’t this potential for bad consequences for people of low skill who will be shut out of a job at a rate of $0 an hour – if that’s not your problem, then explain why it is that you have to wait so long?

Taken from Monday’s edition of the David Boze Show on AM 770 KTTH.


The David Boze Show

Seattle self-defense expert Lawrence Kane said the most common natural reaction for a person angry ...

Eric Mandel

Seattle self-defense expert: Would take a ‘miracle’ for Ben Carson’s story to be accurate

If the presidential race wasn't bizarre enough, we're now calling in experts to prove whether a potential American president lied about his ability to stab a friend.

9 years ago

After 13 years on the air, David Boze announces he’s leaving KTTH. (KTTH image)...

David Boze

David Boze announces he’s leaving KTTH

I leave the station I helped found in the hands of a great company and good people. I am incredibly grateful for the loyalty and kindness of my listeners.

9 years ago

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson smiles during a campaign rally at West Memphis High Sc...

Jacob Rummel

Ben Carson tries to explain involvement with ‘propaganda’

It wasn't an intentional attempt to appeal to young voters, but Ben Carson did end up the victim of a situation youth fall prey to on a regular basis.

9 years ago

Bremerton football coach Joe Kennedy prays with players on the field. (AP)...

Jacob Rummel

Praying Bremerton coach garners support from legislators at state and federal level

As Bremerton football coach Joe Kennedy continues to defy the school district by praying at midfield after games, he's starting to garner support in legislatures at the state and federal level.

9 years ago

If voters pass the I-122 initiative, the average Seattle voter would be allotted four $25 vouchers,...

Eric Mandel

Former Seattle Ethics Commission Chair calls I-122 flawed

The aim of the I-122 campaign is to give power back to regular voters by creating a way to publicly finance city and mayoral elections. But will it?

9 years ago

Mayor Ed Murray’s Move Seattle levy promises maintenance and repair, including bridge moderni...

Kipp Robertson

Move Seattle levy raises more questions than it answers

The proposed $930 million Seattle transportation levy might look good on the surface, but it doesn't go very deep.

9 years ago

If it’s so great, then why not immediately adopt Nick Hanauer’s $16 minimum wage?