Slog

Slog Music

Music, Nightlife,
and Drinks

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

It's Officially Official: The $15 Minimum Wage Will Not Face a Challenge at the Ballot This Year

Posted by on Tue, Jul 22, 2014 at 5:13 PM

Hot off the presses at King County Elections comes the news that both measures seeking to place a referendum on Seattle's new $15 minimum wage law on this fall's ballot have failed to get enough valid signatures to qualify.

The numbers, per King County Elections:

Referendum No. 3 (Forward Seattle)

Number of signatures required: 16,510
Number of signatures submitted and checked: 18,929
Number of valid signatures: 14,818

A second, smaller referendum campaign submitted 455 valid signatures. What does this all mean? Practically, it means nothing. The law instituting a new minimum wage in this city will move forward as planned (until the next challenge). 15 Now has long abandoned efforts to put a more drastic wage hike on the ballot; this referendum from Forward Seattle was the most organized effort currently happening on behalf of the business community to halt the new wage law. So for now, the law still stands. What does it mean politically? That a union-backed campaign to block this referendum succeeded against the city's most vocal critics of the new law. A momentary—and serious—victory for $15.

However: Not to be Debbie Downer and everything, but next year? Looks like we may be facing a statewide initiative backed by Tim Eyman that would preempt the city's ability to have its own minimum wage. And city hall still has to come up with some much more impressive enforcement mechanisms than they put in the original bill if the new wage is to be meaningful and fairly applied.

Bottom line? Pop some champagne tonight but don't give your red "15" T-shirts to Goodwill just yet. Cheers!

 

Comments (18) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Will in Seattle 2
Time to tell the President Seattle should be a State, and split WA into three great states
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on July 22, 2014 at 5:59 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 3
but...but...but...I thought that the referendums were supposed to be massively popular! Why couldn't they get enough valid signatures? You'd think it would be easy and people would be pounding at their doorsteps to sign it!

Democracy wins again!
Posted by TheMisanthrope on July 22, 2014 at 6:14 PM · Report this
5
The 15now people should start their own state initiative drive affirming the right of cities to set a minimum wage higher than the state.
Posted by DJSauvage on July 22, 2014 at 8:07 PM · Report this
6
Jack Z, can you PLEASE trade Tim Eyman for a right handed hitter? Everyone in WA state would be happier!
Posted by pat L on July 22, 2014 at 8:34 PM · Report this
LEE. 7
@4

Don W!!!
Posted by LEE. on July 22, 2014 at 9:43 PM · Report this
collectivism_sucks 8
@3
Because Forward Seattle only had a short time between the city council passing the ordinance and the deadline for an initiative. That's why Eyman is aiming for 2015 because he know he doesn't have the time he needs for 2014.
Posted by collectivism_sucks on July 23, 2014 at 1:42 PM · Report this
collectivism_sucks 9
@1
That is the one million dollar question: if this 15now stuff is, as Goldy put it, "wildly popular", then why worry about it going to the vote? Could it be that maybe, just maybe, 15Now knows it isn't as popular as they've been saying? Actually, according to recent polling, it isn't:
"Seattle voters said the $15 minimum would do more to help than hurt the economy, by a 46 to 40 percent margin. That’s strikingly lower than the 74 percent who said they favored a $15 minimum wage in another poll by EMC Research in May, after the negotiated agreement was announced by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s Income Inequality Advisory Committee."
Source: http://blogs.seattletimes.com/politicsno…
While more people seem to be for this than against it, it is FAR from the landslide that douchebag Goldy said it is.
Posted by collectivism_sucks on July 23, 2014 at 1:47 PM · Report this
collectivism_sucks 10
And it is also officially official: After a meeting with my boss she's let us know then when her lease goes up in January of 2016, we will close. Why? She can't afford the new MW and the B&O tax (that Sawant promised to lower but didn't) and all the other regulations this city has on business.
So, I lose my job. Happy now? Good news is I can still move out of this (inhales deeply) non-shaving, Pabst Blue Ribbon drinking, always raining, anti-social, smelly, ugly, early closing, whiter than Sweden, high priced, regulated, socialist voting, kombucha drinking, dubstep loving, plastic bag banning, May Day Rioting liberal cesspool of a city when my lease goes up in the winter.
I'll be in sunny Houston or Charlotte laughing at your asses. I would love to see 15Now show up in Texas. I'm sure Sawant would be well received there:
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_H8KDKpNcbYo/TJ…
Posted by collectivism_sucks on July 23, 2014 at 1:57 PM · Report this
11
@10 I dunno maybe your boss should stop being a welfare queen, perhaps get an education in business management before they try venturing out relying on tax money to fund their failing enterprise. Maybe stop looking for handouts in the form of free work? Maybe stop feeling entitled to free labor? Why do we need to subsidize failure? What happened to hard work and effort and having a personal responsibility to make a business viable without wage slavery?
Posted by barbecue on July 23, 2014 at 2:28 PM · Report this
collectivism_sucks 12
@10
So, starting a business and paying people what you can afford makes you a "welfare queen"? I've read some dumb shit from readers of Der SStranger, but this is a new category of stupidity.
Welfare is the government giving someone something. What the fuck is she asking government to give her? NOTHING. And who the fuck is working for free? I'm getting paid and so is everyone else.
Government NOT regulating something isn't a subsidy, and only a moron would think it is...if that's the case, then comic books, walks in the woods, blow jobs and knock-knock jokes are also subsidized by the government, because they aren't regulated either.
And wage slavery is a myth. Don't like the job? Go get a new one. My slave ancestors didn't have a choice of where to work and never got raised or promotions.
And Sweden has no minimum wage...are they a nation of "wage slaves?"
Posted by collectivism_sucks on July 23, 2014 at 2:39 PM · Report this
venomlash 13
@11: I'm sure the all-powerful market forces will cause a better-run business to spring up and fill the niche while making enough profit to pay its employees $15/hour.
This Is What Capitalist Libertarians Actually Believe.

@12: "Government NOT regulating something isn't a subsidy"
So are you saying when some category is given a tax break, they're NOT being subsidized? According to you, oil companies aren't subsidized by tax dollars. @_@
Also, Sweden has a minimum wage of sorts. Every year, workers' unions and employers sit down and collectively agree on a minimum wage. If you pay people less than the minimum wage agreed on for the year, you get in trouble.
Posted by venomlash on July 23, 2014 at 4:36 PM · Report this
thelyamhound 14
@12 - I think the "welfare queen" remark (and this is not to say it was justified, necessarily) refers to the fact that, by paying employees less than subsistence wages, she is keeping some portion of her workforce on public assistance, at least with regards to pricey amenities like housing or health care.

Which leads nicely into the matter of Sweden ... I can neither confirm nor contradict what venomlash says, but even if he's wrong and you're right (which contradicts everything we know of the material universe), Sweden needs a minimum wage less urgently because housing, health care, nutrition, transportation, and education are subsidized there to such a degree that a quality of life that it take $15/hour or (considerably) more to maintain here is just shy of entirely free there.

You keep advertising for Houston; I'm wondering if you know of any urban centers with actual arts scenes, publishers, and/or academic hubs that fit your economic and regulatory bill. It just seems to me that culture, in any sense that is historically meaningful, only thrives with at least some socialism to water it (Shakespeare's troupe wasn't called the King's Players fer nuthin').
Posted by thelyamhound http://thebayinghound.blogspot.com on July 23, 2014 at 5:39 PM · Report this
LEE. 15
@10

you seem overly fixated on what other people are doing. I hope to God that's not actually how you define yourself.
Posted by LEE. on July 23, 2014 at 10:03 PM · Report this
16
@15 Well as near as I can figure he defines himself as a Leftist Libertarian, Pro-Environment, Anti-Government regulation, Anti-Big business, Pro Anarcho-Capitalists, Gay leaning, bi-sexual, bi-racial, Individual, who doesn't really like anyone he sleeps with, who believes if "Big Government" would just get out of the way, we'd all live in a post Civil War, pre-WWI, Big Valley/Bonanza paradise that was America's mythical heyday.

But what do I know.
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on July 24, 2014 at 12:30 AM · Report this
LEE. 17
@16

well that's a relief!
Posted by LEE. on July 24, 2014 at 3:35 PM · Report this
collectivism_sucks 18
@13
The government giving a special tax break is a subsidy, but the government saying "no comment" is NOT a subsidy, and that is what having no minimum wage would be. If I worked somewhere that the government allowed to have a different minimum wage for then everyone else, that would be a subsidy or "welfare", but the minimum wage of where I work is the same as anywhere else in the state. No special treatment from government and hence, no subsidy.
As for Sweden, you said it yourself. The UNIONS negotiate wages, NOT government, as it should be. I may be against the modern, political unions that hire lobbyists and act like corporations, but I am 100% for honest organized labor. It should be organized labor, not government, that acts as a balance to capital.
Posted by collectivism_sucks on July 24, 2014 at 4:12 PM · Report this
collectivism_sucks 19
@14
"Substance wage" or "living wage" is meaningless. Can a Mom with eight kids "live" on $15/hour? Can a single young man live on $12/hour? There is no such thing as a "living wage" that is universal. And King County did a study that showed that a single adult needs about $11.00/hour to be self sufficient, which seems to be the only honest definition of a "living wage", i.e., a wage that one person can live off of.
http://www.selfsufficiencystandard.org/d…
And Sweden doesn't need a minimum wage because the unions handle wage negotiations, not the government. If Sawant was pushing for union protection for all Seattle workers, I would actually be on her side.
As for arts, socialism destroys the arts. Government should NOT favor one art over another and give incentives for one form of art but not another. People can and do fund arts themselves, without government, either as donations or as consumers.
But why should the symphony orchestra get government money, but not an industrial rock band? Who decides what is and is not "art"? The government should have no say in the matter, and people should be free to choose for themselves. If art is worthwhile, people will voluntarily fund it.
And I'm not into "the arts" in the hipsters sense anyway. I just want low cost of living, good job market, and big, hot cowboys and plenty of Republicans to keep the liberals at bay. Seattle only has one of the four and that good point, the job market, is going to go south soon thanks to Sawant.
Posted by collectivism_sucks on July 24, 2014 at 4:23 PM · Report this
thelyamhound 20
As for arts, socialism destroys the arts.
But as toThen why does the best music and cinema generally come from Europe or Asia, while we get Michael Bay and the Eagles?
Government should NOT favor one art over another and give incentives for one form of art but not another.
I generally agree, though I don't think that takes the question of some sort of subsidy off the table (again--without subsidy, no Shakespeare ... and no Chekov, no Sartre, no Cocteau ... ). But I think the idea of direct government funding for arts is separate from the question of whether art flourishes in a socialistic environment. The point, to my mind, is that artists are most free to perform art when they don't expect their shitty subsistence jobs to pay for their health care, housing, and basic nutrition.
People can and do fund arts themselves, without government, either as donations or as consumers.
Indeed.
But why should the symphony orchestra get government money, but not an industrial rock band?
As a bigger fan of industrial than classical music, I can't think of a particularly good reason ... unless someone could demonstrate to me that the preservation through performance of the classical canon could never possibly recoup its cost through ticket sales. At the very least, civilization should have some capacity to "archive" the canon; when the form is one which is performed, then maintaining a pool of trained performers doesn't seem untoward.
Who decides what is and is not "art"? The government should have no say in the matter, and people should be free to choose for themselves. If art is worthwhile, people will voluntarily fund it.
People voluntarily flock to Michael Bay movies; only the severely mentally disabled would suggest that he makes anything close to peak cinema. In principle, I don't disagree with you, in the sense that the market and government BOTH suffer from the essential stupidity of the average human.

The fact is that all modes of funding art are bound to reward mediocrity. True innovation enters the market at random times, usually through mainstream artists co-opting visions that have been brewing in the underground for a decade or three.
And I'm not into "the arts" in the hipsters sense anyway.
"Hipster" is a term of convenience for dismissing things we don't like, usually either a homophobe's code for "too gay" or a fogey's code for "that crap the kids are into." Not to say that there aren't shallow scenesters, but they aren't really any different from the shallow hangers-on at any level of culture. The point is that people making new art want a city where there are venues and an audience for new art that will offer at least a fighting chance for real cultural impact; at the very least, the spaces where such art is displayed, performed, etc., will tend to be subsidized even when the projects or artists themselves are not.
I just want low cost of living, good job market, and big, hot cowboys and plenty of Republicans to keep the liberals at bay. Seattle only has one of the four and that good point, the job market, is going to go south soon thanks to Sawant.
Then go! You're welcome to whatever cultureless wasteland will have you. Just don't assume that everyone that would rather live in an actual urban center is some kind of authoritarian looking to censor you, an overgrown child looking for a nanny state (I've never even so much as taken unemployment, and pay for my own health insurance), or a "hipster."
More...
Posted by thelyamhound http://thebayinghound.blogspot.com on July 24, 2014 at 8:08 PM · Report this

Add a comment

Commenting on this item is available only to registered commenters.
Advertisement

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122
Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy