Tag: Seattle Attacks the free market

Want to Help the Poor? Abolish the Minimum Wage

By Indri Schaelicke | United States

When it comes to the minimum wage, few people truly understand the complexity of the mechanism. Many believe that raising it is a quick fix to poverty. However, minimum wage hikes only increase the cost of living, hurting the economy for both the rich and the poor.

In 2014, Seattle signed a law that would increase the minimum wage there each year. By 2021, the wage will reach $15 per hour. While many support this law, libertarians are scratching their heads. Wages are an input of production, meaning that when a business produces a good or provides a service, part of its success is due to the employees and their necessary wages. When the cost of an input of production increases, the final price of the good or service must also increase. If all wages in a city increase, then all prices of goods and services will increase. Things will be no more affordable than they were before the minimum wage hike.

Minimum wage increases also lead to significant job losses. As mentioned before, when wages increase, the final price of a good or service must also. In order to combat having to charge high prices for their products, businesses can fire employees and move to automated systems that make use of the latest technology and do not require much human input. McDonald’s Restaurants recently started using automated kiosks in some stores to cut down on the amount of staff. This investment insulates McDonald’s from the fluctuations of the labor market and from the effects of minimum wage increases.

Kiosks like these have appeared in McDonald’s across the US as the fast food chain seeks to insulate itself from labor market fluctuations and increases in the minimum wage. Image Source

The minimum wage hurts those whose skills are worth less than a mandated minimum. As they are not worth, say, $15 per hour, employers cannot hire them at all. Someone whose typing skills only earn them $5 per hour is unable to find work at all. But, if the minimum wage ends, he or she will be able to find an employer willing to hire them. While $5 per hour is nowhere near the wage required to live a comfortable life, it is a stepping stone to higher paying jobs in the future. The person given in the previous example can work at improving their typing skills until they find employers willing to pay incrementally more. In this way, people are able to climb the socio-economic hierarchy.

Beyond just the minimum wage’s harm to the economy, it is also immoral, because it limits what terms two consenting adults can voluntarily negotiate a contract for. The state should not have any say in how a person values their labor. These terms are between employer and employee.

Abolishing the minimum wage will open up job possibilities for those that need them most. It is one step closer to a world where the state does not control every aspect of life. Individual sovereignty begins with being able to decide one’s worth.

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Featured Image Source.


Seattle’s New Soda Tax is an Attack on the Free-Market

By Emily Merrell | USA

In democrat run city of Seattle Washington, the lawmakers are being taught a lesson on how the free market will always give us freedom and how unfair it is to control the citizens. Seattle thought they could pass a soda-tax on its citizens, doubling the price of sugary/soft drinks. The state believed that the tax would make citizens become more healthy, making them stray away from sugary drinks due to the price.

“To make sure that we not only impact norms and behaviors for folks in term of choice and consumption but that we also invest in food access programs, education and early-learning efforts throughout Seattle,” Seattle Council Member Teresa said. Seattle is literally trying to control the lifestyles of their citizens. She also mentioned that “One of the most important outcomes that we’re interested in studying is how children sugary beverage intake changes in response to the tax,”

Costco sells items in bulk and challenged this tax by putting signs showing how much money was taxed in the total cost comparing it to Costco’s retail cost:


Costco even informed customers with signs of where they can buy drinks at other locations outside of the city of Seattle. Seattle’s goal was to plummet sales and negatively affect businesses selling the drinks.

The Cato Institute pointed out this twitter thread by tax reformist Scott Drenkard:

  • “First they interview people at the Costco who are rightfully shocked at how high prices on soda and sports drinks are now (they are almost doubled).”
  • “Then they interview a public health advocate who says ‘that’s right! We want these prices to change people’s behavior and slow sales!’”
  • “Then they talk to the consumer, ‘think you’ll change your behavior, maybe even shop somewhere else?’ And she’s like, ‘ya the Tukwila store is close enough.’ Then they ask a city council member if this will hurt local biz, who says ‘there is no data’ suggesting that.”
  • “Then the SAME public health advocate says that people won’t respond to price increases, shopping elsewhere because it isn’t ‘worth their while.’”
  • “You can’t have it both ways, people! The tax is either big enough to elicit behavior change, which would slow sales and hurt local biz and potentially reduce calories, or it isn’t. Get your stories straight!”

Shopping will be driven out of the city of Seattle due to the fact that people are going outside the perimeter to buy drinks. Might as well buy everything else outside. Businesses will be suffering and Seattle will need to eventually abolish the tax, it’s just a matter of the free market until then.

Seattle’s soft drink tax is just another example of how the government is becoming more and more a part of every aspect of our lives. From fishing licenses to teeth brushing regulations for children at a daycare in Massachusetts. The list is endless and just keeps adding on. Let the free market do its thing and let citizens do what they want. Period. We cannot let this happen.