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Thursday: Menlo Park to hold hearing on local minimum wage

Original post made on Aug 21, 2019

A proposal by the city of Menlo Park to require all employers in the city to pay employees a minimum of $15 an hour by Jan. 1, 2020, is the topic for discussion on Thursday, Aug. 22.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, August 21, 2019, 11:57 AM

Comments (17)

10 people like this
Posted by Wendy
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 21, 2019 at 12:36 pm

This is a must.
I know this may impact some small businesses but they need to raise their prices. Menlo Park people will pay higher prices for these small business owners - this is a small start to income inequality.


6 people like this
Posted by GeorgeT
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 21, 2019 at 1:28 pm

Raising the minimum wage will have predictable results: employees with lesser skills will lose their jobs. This has been proven time and time again. Well intentioned people mistakenly think they are helping resolve income equality but they are doing the opposite.


Like this comment
Posted by counter intuitive
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 21, 2019 at 1:56 pm

Wendy,

You say that the minimum wage should be raised and that to pay for it people should raise their prices. Won't that just cause the same problem, people may make a little more but they will also have to pay more for the things they want to buy. Also I see signs up around the area, at In-n-Out for example paying starting wages in excess of $15 an hour. If people are paying starting wages in excess of $15 why would someone stay at a job that pays less? Unemployment in this area is below %2.5


13 people like this
Posted by Trump tax cuts a disaster
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Aug 21, 2019 at 3:39 pm

> Raising the minimum wage will have predictable results: employees with lesser skills will lose their jobs.

Not in this economy/local job market.

Trillion dollar tax cuts for corporations with the promise of booming job and wage growth, and it never happened. Time to help people working hard for a living, not the fat cats.


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Posted by GeorgeT
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 21, 2019 at 9:12 pm

Re “Not in this economy” Maybe not. But what happens when the economy cools down as we know it will? The minimum wage won’t be rolled back. It’s then the jobs will go away, and more will go away than if the min hadn’t been raised. You can’t argue with basic economics.


18 people like this
Posted by MenloRes
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Aug 21, 2019 at 9:45 pm

Raising the wage to 20 per hour is a must do.

The Menlo restaurants, bars, and other luxury spots will just have to bump prices a bit - the people who dine at Left Bank, etc., are not buying food and wine based on price, they will never feel a bump to the tab.

Over an 8 hour shift, an employee will make an extra $40. Add a couple bucks to the menu, the diners will not notice it.


4 people like this
Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Aug 21, 2019 at 10:31 pm

The correct value of the minimum wage is zero. Raising it is bad news for young people starting out in the job market and the low skilled.


5 people like this
Posted by MP Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 22, 2019 at 9:46 am

We should be honest with ourselves about the consequences of this.

It will help some workers who are at or near the existing minimum wage. Some people will get a genuine raise out of this, though they may also see their hours cut.

It will have more of an impact on local businesses (expect more closures like Village Stationers) than chains (Starbucks already runs pretty lean staffing-wise, McDonalds is moving to order via kiosk, Staples barely has any staff already). It will contribute to the ongoing loss of local retail - many of those businesses are already basically on life support.

It will result in a lower overall level of service - more places will move from table service to counter service, offer fewer labor intensive services, more self service (e.g. self checkout), and less hands-on 'help me find' type service.

It will impact employment of the marginally employable - if your minimum wage goes up 25% and your budget goes up 10%, you will be more careful about who you hire. Connections and skills will matter more, and teens without and 'in' and members of disadvantaged groups will be disproportionately impacted.


14 people like this
Posted by Trump tax cuts a disaster
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Aug 22, 2019 at 11:02 am

> (expect more closures like Village Stationers)

Yeah, right. It was the minimum wage, not Amazon, Staples, Office Depot, lack of parking and high rent that shut them down.

> It will contribute to the ongoing loss of local retail

That's absurd, blaming a minimum wage hike for what is already happening. The anti-worker posters are living in a fantasy world.

> if your minimum wage goes up 25% and your budget goes up 10%, you will be more careful about who you hire.

Yeah, no more willy-nilly hiring of employees! We're going to get serious, but only if minimum wage goes up!

Puh-leeze.


2 people like this
Posted by Bigger picture
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 22, 2019 at 12:07 pm

What isn't being discussed here is the eventual replacement of low wage jobs like these with technology. People demanded Obama Care and minimum wage increases and those were legislated through by the "progressive left" and the employers have answered with self check-out. We ultimately pay the price and now I hope you enjoying doing the job of others (for free) when you're Target or Safeway.

When I see employee health or locally mandated minimum wages fees added to my check at a restaurant, I don't tip as much or at all. There is no need to. Most service in this area isn't worthy of tipping since it is below par or non-existent.


3 people like this
Posted by West Menlo
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Aug 22, 2019 at 12:23 pm

@MenloRes hey—why not $50 an hour? These folks deserve it. People in Menlo Park are rich and can afford it. It will help income inequality (whatever that is— and if income in unequal, it must be a bad thing). Why stop at $15 or $20? I guess you, like most progressives, never took Econ 1a in high school or college. Why not just demand that everyone has to make the same amount of money for whatever job it is they do. Then everything will be equal. That IS what you are trying to get to, isn’t it?

As another contributor said, the correct minimum wage is ZERO. Then the market and supply and demand figure out the rest. Period.

Buy an Econ book. Get yourself just a little bit educated. You’ll be amazed st what you learn!


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Posted by Trump tax cuts a disaster
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Aug 22, 2019 at 12:31 pm

> the employers have answered with self check-out.

You think that a couple bucks an hour would have stopped that? Seriously?

> When I see employee health ... I don't tip as much or at all.

A shock to us all, I'm sure.

> Buy an Econ book.

No need. I've reviewed my grandson's text recently. Not much has changed since I first read mine. Read a newspaper - much has changed in that outlet.


16 people like this
Posted by MenloRes
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Aug 22, 2019 at 2:32 pm

@West Menlo - I was born here, and I am a conservative.

I think $20 an hour is fair, being as apartment rents have skyrocketed in the past few years.

I know folks who try to get by on the minimum wage, most pick up a second job.

Raising the wage to $20 will put an extra 200-250 per week, or perhaps 1000 per month into the hands of a family struggling to pay rent.

The high end bars and restaurants won't get hurt, employee wages are a business expense. If push comes to shove, Left Bank can change to cost os a glass of wine from 12 to 13. Does it even matter in a town where a starter home is 2 million dollars?

Enjoy your Sharon Heights home, but remember two things. Those people serving you live in an apartment and have no control over rent. The second thing? Liquifaction. Sand Hill Road is named that way for a reason. Sleep well my friend.



Like this comment
Posted by EITC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 22, 2019 at 5:22 pm

The minimum wage pays a high schooler living with his Atherton parents the same as a single mother of three. The high schooler does not need a living wage, but the mother does.

The solution is NOT to increase the minimum wage. The solution is to adjust the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). EITC pays those who earn low to moderate income more money via a higher tax credit. The less you earn, the higher the credit. The more children you have, the higher the credit.

It's not uncommon for EITC recipients to get a higher tax rebate than they've actually paid into the tax system. It's a program that is more equitable, more targeted, and without all the negative externalities that a minimum wage increase has.

It is probably the most effective anti-poverty measure in the US. EITC is a policy that both conservatives and liberals embrace. The money goes directly to those who need it without the side effects that the minimum wage has.


16 people like this
Posted by Trump tax cuts a disaster
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Aug 22, 2019 at 5:38 pm

> The minimum wage pays a high schooler living with his Atherton parents

C'mon - that kid ain't working. The colleges she's applying to actually dissuade high school jobs in favor of academics and extra-curriculars. I heard that again last night on NPR.

The days when you and I worked 20 hours a week during 3 years of high school are long gone.


Like this comment
Posted by EITC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 22, 2019 at 9:26 pm

@Trump

You're right. The kid ain't working at minimum wage. He's working at an unpaid internship his parents's connections got him for a Congressman, state senator, VC, TV station, etc. He'll put the unique experience on his resume. Because mommy and daddy can support him financially, he doesn't need the money.

The average kid can't accept an unpaid internship even if offered because he can't afford the living expenses if it's not near his parents' home.

And as the minimum wage increases, the less likely a significant chunk of high demand internships will pay anything for their interns.


2 people like this
Posted by West Menlo
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Aug 22, 2019 at 11:57 pm

@MenloRes. I sleep great at night. Linfield Oaks was probably Marsh land from the bay 100 or 200 years ago—you might think about earthquake or flood insurance as well, while you’re at it.

In any case, it’s highly unlikely you are a conservative. Not sure where you are getting your data, but when Seattle went to $15 an hour minimum wage, businesses shut down or moved across city boundaries, people lost jobs or had reduced hours. And you think a move to $20 an hour would have little to no effect other than the Left Bank raising their wine prices by a buck a glass? You’re dreaming! The effect would be devastating on small businesses. But, why stop at $20? Why not $40 or $50, as Menlo Park is really expensive, and you know those baristas and servers and burger flippers deserve to live in Linfield Oaks along with folks like you who maybe have skills and experience at a job to legitimately pull in a couple hundred thousand a year.
So, as a good Menlo Park, NorCal, Bay Area bleeding heart kind of guy, I propose $50 an hour as a minimum wage so folks that do those kinds of jobs can afford to live here and have all the basics that they need and deserve. Why not? Maybe your glass of wine would cost (using your non-existent math) $15 a glass, no big deal!

The market should set wages. Period. It’s dimply the best, most effective way to pay people the perfect wage for the work that they do using the skills they have.


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