Monday, December 22, 2008

Pre-Christmas Rant

Starbucks logoImage via WikipediaIt's but a few days before Christmas, and I was at my favorite Starbucks (actually, I take that back, I don't have a favorite, just a most often visited, as they are open 24 hours, almost always have a seat, and have plugs for my laptop AND WiFi). When I realized the door was nearly blocked by some protesters. Upon closer look apparently these folks are carpenters, claiming that Starbucks had used contractors who didn't pay the "San Francisco wages".

What's really ironic is one of those "carpenters" is wearing a union carpenter jacket from... Kansas City.

There are a few problems... 1) They are on PRIVATE PROPERTY, as this Starbucks is co-located with a gas station, and 2) I personally thinks that any sort of "minimum pricing" or "minimum wage" is counter-productive to the market, and runs counter to capitalism.

Think about it... If the job don't pay enough to support someone, then that theoretical someone will NOT work that job, right? Unless he has some other jobs as well, but it's HIS call whether he wants to work cheap or not. Why legislate the minimum? Unless you think the individual is TOO STUPID to decide how cheap (or expensive) he wants to work for, and needs the government to help him?

Apparently, our "progressive" city of San Francisco thinks so. San Francisco's "minimum wage" is at $9.79 per hour, starting 1/1/2009. All employees who work in San Francisco more than two hours per week, including part-time and temporary workers, are entitled to the San Francisco minimum wage. And this has been going on for several years.

Apparently, they came up with this figure as a "living wage" in San Francisco... i.e. you need to earn this much for a full-time worker to live in the city.

And who have they prosecuted so far? Just a couple restaurants.

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