First, they came for the lawn chairs

The week in work: poorhouses in America; slippery slopes in Reno; a better bet than Plinko; and economic development gone wild.

Next they’ll have sheriffs carrying out evictions for landlords…wait, what?

A new report finds that a majority of people in local and county jails across the country are incarcerated for crimes of poverty — offenses like driving with a suspended license, shoplifting, or not paying transit fares. It gets worse: the less money you have, the longer you tend to stay behind bars, because it’s harder to pay court-imposed costs. All the more reason for the upsurge of discontent over King County’s plans to build a new youth detention facility .

Well that's a different kind of slippery slope argument

Seattle-based outdoor products manufacturer Cascade Designs is moving 100 manufacturing and distribution jobs from the SoDo neighborhood all the way to Reno, Nevada, where land is cheap, land is cheap, and land is cheap. Company representatives said Seattle's minimum wage law was a “nudge”, but also pointed to real estate costs as their primary concern, stating explicitly that the minimum wage was not “the deciding factor” and that they hope to expand again in Seattle in the future. Nobody wins a global race to the bottom anyway — even if you sell downhill ski gear.

The minimum wage isn’t like Price is Right, you don't have to try so hard to go under

Some Washington lawmakers are pushing a new super-sub-minimum wage for younger workers; they say they want to teach them the value of work, and nothing teaches that lesson like substantially reducing your paycheck for doing the same job. Several minor league hockey teams were ahead of the curve on that issue: they’re being investigated for child labor violations. But another group of lawmakers wants to fix that problem by just straight-up exempting amateur athletes from labor standards. And orchard owners are arguing that  “a farm is not a factory,” so they shouldn’t have to provide paid breaks to farmworkers. They’re being sued for millions in backpay. 

A lolcat hosting an outdoor entertaining expo in South Sound, now that’s a development strategy

As part of an art-marketing-based economic development strategy, the Tacoma City Council voted to allow a private group to raise $5 million to install a giant Andy Warhol flower decal on the Tacoma Dome, replacing the current 50-shades-of-grayscale design with a floral image that Warhol entered into a Tacoma Dome decorating contest back in the early 1980s. (He didn’t win.)

Undermining everything we’ve been saying for the past several years, it turns out it can actually be surprisingly easy to move up from a low-wage career at a multi-billion-dollar corporation: Grumpy Cat’s owner was able to quit her job at Red Lobster and now lives the life of a fat cat herself. Basically, she’s an Old Economy Steve talking point.

BREAKING TV NEWS ALERT — West Coast longshore contract negotiations aren’t just about billions in commerce, thousands of family-wage jobs, and the shape of the international economy: they are also slowing the delivery of patio furniture. Amazing to see that the effects of this dispute have already reached the Adirondacks.