Several points on the Route 66 Malt Shop and the minimum wage

If you have been hiding under a rock this week, you may have missed the story of an Albuquerque business that is refusing to pay the minimum wage increase. While this has generated local and even national attention, there are several points that highlight issues with the minimum wage. I’ll point some of them out here:

1) It is no surprise that this business is local and not a chain. People love to talk about “buy local,” but local businesses like this malt shop are far less able to cope with arbitrary wage mandates than are big companies like Wal Mart which have supported such wage hikes in the past.

2) The group of leftists protesting the business are “anti-choice.” When it comes to abortion, government restrictions are anathema, but if a willing employer and a willing worker come to an agreement in defiance of the law, that choice is bad and worth protesting. And, if you don’t think employees are “choosing” to work for the malt shop, they are free to find a job elsewhere. Either the workers like their jobs or are worried that they won’t find similar jobs elsewhere.

3) Some liberals have claim that minimum wages do not reduce demand for labor. The law of supply and demand is basic economics that liberals embrace when it comes to cigarette taxes and other areas of taxation, but that law of economics doesn’t apply to wages?

4) Sometimes civil disobedience pays off. Saying “no” when government overreaches is not always a successful business strategy and I’d expect that one employee lawsuit could put this malt shop out of business, but having the courage to “just say no” can make government back down or at least not enforce bad laws.

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5 Replies to “Several points on the Route 66 Malt Shop and the minimum wage”

  1. Paul:

    Being the grocery shopper in the family, I’ve noticed (just recently), that Kaune’s, Whole Food’s and Sprouts, have eliminated “sackers.”

    These are generally 16-18 year olds.

    Obviously, these stores can’t afford to pay the a cashier and a “sacker.” to staff the cash register.

    “Sackers” thus had to go.

    So much for the “Living Wage.”



    1. Not every one is a teenager living at home with their parents and people do need a fair living wage.

      It’s a vicious cycle, minimum wage is a base point and moving the base point doesn’t help.

      The real problem is that as time goes by employers are not really willing to pay more than the base point.

  2. Excellent observations and staying informed. Unfortunately, these are rational arguments whereas liberals react to emotional arguments. Now if there were a few homeless workers weeping in front of the malt shop, begging for jobs at less than min wage, we might see some liberal opposition to the wage increase. They would rather see businesses go out of business and increase unemployment than settle for a lower wage. My guess is that unemployment pays more than min wage! Until … the economy collapses because we can no longer bear the debt. Keep your eyes on Spain, Italy, and Greece. Tens of thousands are protesting, sometimes violently. What are they protesting? Reduced government spending. But the governments are broke. So they print money. Sound familiar? Can’t last forever. But liberals have always been short sighted. Watch and prepare.

  3. Why don’t we make it $20 or $30 minimum wage? Why do we stop at $9? Better yet, would it be more fair to use a free choice system, which in fairness to the employee lets him/her set whatever wage height they can “afford” in order to meet their “living needs”? Then to be fair to the employer, who may be competing with other businesses in other municipalities, decide yes or no if they can afford it?

    This is called a “free market”. It doesn’t in effect “set” how much I as a citizen pay for a hamburger or french fries. If someone wants to be paid less, and get more business opportunity from use of cheaper prices, and in the end perhaps have higher sales volume and a higher profit accumulated, let them! I would love to pay less for my hamburger! That is fair to me.

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