Their protests notwithstanding, the truth is that raising the minimum wage is good for business. And it isn't just the behemoths depicted above who benefit.
The CEO of a popular fast food chain said this week that he was “stunned” to see profits soar each time California passed minimum wage increases.While business reflexively condemns any wage increases as devastating job-killers, Phelps came to understand a basic economic truth: when people, especially those in the lower echelons of society, have more money in their pocket, they tend to spend it.
In an interview with KQED on Tuesday, Wetzel’s Pretzels CEO Bill Phelps admitted that his investors were worried about how a 2014 wage hike would impact the business.
“Like most business people I was concerned about it,” Phelps said.
For years, opponents of minimum wage increases have argued that wage hikes mean fewer jobs because businesses have to raise prices and cut hours to cover the additional expenses. But Phelps said that his sales skyrocketed after a California law forced businesses to raise wages in 2014.
Mike Jacobs, owner of a Wetzel’s Pretzels franchise in Concord’s Sunvalley Shopping Center, told KQED that the increased business can be attributed to the fact that his customers are making more money.Expect this information to fork no lightning with the neoliberal set, who hew to scare stories that support their greed. And in that pursuit, they have a strong ally in Andrew F. Puzder, Trump's pick for secretary of labour and a staunch opponent of minimum wage increases, who says,
“My overall sales were something like 15 percent ahead after the first minimum wage bump, and now they’re about 12 percent ahead this year,” Jacobs explained. “It isn’t because I’m such a great manager or smart guy, but the buying public has more money in their pocket.”
I’m opposed to raising it to the point where lower-skilled workers, working-class Americans, young people, minorities, are losing the jobs they need to get on the ladder of success.”Try telling that to the employees at places like Wetzel’s Pretzels and In-N-Out Burger, which I wrote about last March after our visit to Southern California.
But of course, I forget myself. We are about to enter, with the Trump presidency, an era where truth and facts mean little.