Leftists in Maine are pushing a minimum wage raise for tipped restaurant workers. Raising the minimum wage is now and ever shall be a stupid idea (see Research Shows Seattle’s Minimum Wage Hike Was a Huge Mistake and New Harvard Study Says Increasing Minimum Wage HURTS Restaurants). You know it. I know it. But we have privilege the left does not, in the form of knowledge: math and economics are not social constructs of the patriarchy. Which makes this story from Maine fascinating. Because guess who doesn’t want minimum wage for tipped restaurant workers? Tipped restaurant workers.
The vote, which took place on June 13, marked the conclusion of a months-long political saga that has upended conventional wisdom about the minimum wage. Workers* have traditionally supported such increases, which advocates say are critical to lifting millions out of poverty.
*not workers so much as professional activists and union members, but wordz schmerdz.
But in Maine, servers actively campaigned to overturn the results of a November referendum raising servers’ salaries from $3.75 in 2016 to $12 by 2024, saying it would cause customers to tip less and actually reduce their take-home income.
The servers’ campaign against increasing the minimum wage was a blow to labor activists, who believed the Maine referendum could kick off similar votes in places such as New York, Massachusetts and D.C.
Side note to any labor activists reading this…
Their fears were twofold, said Sue Vallenza, a 55-year-old bartender at the Pilot House in Kennebunk, Maine. Many servers feared the higher costs to owners would lead them to raise prices or cut shifts. And at a packed, 10-hour April meeting of the Maine Legislature’s Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee, dozens of servers also said some confused customers were already tipping less. Vallenza said she saw her hourly tips drop by more than $2 per hour, from the $20 to $30 per hour she made before.
Their fears are valid. Skip on over to the opposite side of the country in another gray, liberal part of the world: Seattle. Minimum raise hikes in the Emerald City have resulted in jobs being cut, not increased wages with which to tip gay strippers. Read #FightFor15: Research Shows Seattle’s Minimum Wage Hike Was a Huge Mistake. Is that an extra roll or quarters or are you just really happy to see me? Clearly, the restaurant people of Maine have done their research. If only other whiners would do theirs, perhaps we’d have a lot less stinky policies ruining the lives of over-feeling ninnies with the intellectual acumen of a single packing peanut. But let’s not kid ourselves.
Here’s the money quote:
“I don’t need to be ‘saved,’ and I’ll be damned if small groups of uninformed people are voting on my livelihood,” Vallenza said.
That needs to be on a t-shirt. A political campaign slogan. Or affirmation mantra recited twice daily prior to teeth-brushing. Private citizens are much better off providing for themselves, getting their own raises on merit, and not allowing uninformed strangers to muck up their lives for the sake of virtue signaling. Alas. As long as people continue falling into the victim trap, socialist “heroes” will continue advocating on their “behalf.”
Let’s end on an optimistic note: here’s hoping these critical thinking people in Maine can lead their own movement. Call it “self-reliance.”