The far-right-wing, anti-minimum-wage crew at the Washington Policy Center seem to think they stumbled on something powerful when they got word of this sign in a Seattle Subway shop:
And here's the surprise — they're right. But it's not what they think.
Because the real story here is how this business owner says right there in red type he’s committed to finding a way to keep prices down while also providing good working conditions as the city and state have required. That's a good thing!
And the context matters here too. Because the guy who posted this sign has made the same kinds of complaints since at least 2014, each time making up a different amount he swears he's going to raise prices.
A few days before final passage of the Seattle minimum wage law, Q13 reported:
“David Jones, who owns a Subway franchise, said a footlong sub may go up by more than a dollar.”
Immediately after $15 passed, in the Seattle Times:
"Local franchisee David Jones…puts his cost of a $15 min at $125,000 annually. He pays the stores’ 18 employees $10.50/hour, on average; he figures he’ll have to raise sandwich prices by $1 or more to maintain profits.
A month later, to KIRO-TV:
"Jones said he will have to raise prices by 75 cents per sandwich to recover costs of the higher wages alone."
And then in January 2015, he told the Seattle Times:
"He’s debating whether to raise prices on certain menu items or to impose a 4 percent surcharge on items across the board."
So this same guy's media-point-scoring "cost" of minimum wage went from $1/sandwich to 75¢ to 4%... and then that never happened.
After bellyaching some more throughout the campaign for secure scheduling in 2016 and its implementation is 2017, he's back with a ludicrous sign which blames prices on a whole host of things... and then promises he'll come up with a dollar-off coupon anyway.
To most anyone but a right-wing policy shop, that's in fact great news. It's an excellent reminder that creative business owners can find a way forwards while providing good jobs that create demand and lift up the whole economy.
And as a final note: the blandly-named Washington Policy Center, the right-wing group trumpeting this sign as evidence of... something... also made this prediction about the 1998 Washington State initiative to raise the state minimum wage:
In reality, as Bloomberg News reported, job growth in our state led the nation in the years following that minimum wage increase.
The minimum wage in Virginia is $7.25/hour so uh maybe that doesn't have all that much to do with the issue here?