Washington already has the nation's highest state minimum wage at $9.19 an hour. Now, there's a push in Seattle, at least, to make it $15.That would mean fast food workers, retail clerks, baristas and other minimum wage workers would get what protesters demanded when they shut down a handful of city restaurants in May and others called for when they demonstrated nationwide in July.
So far, the City Council and mayoral candidates have said they would consider it in the famously liberal city. One said, however, that it may not be soon.
Venture capitalist Nick Hanauer said there's no time to waste. What the nation needs is money in the hands of regular consumers. "A higher minimum wage is a very simple and elegant solution to the death spiral of falling demand that is the signature feature of our economy," he said.
Years ago, I had a paper boy named Winston. That kid would deliver papers rain or shine to my office for what I think was about three - four years. One day a kid named Logan came to collect for the paper, I asked him about Winston and he told me that Winston was his brother and that he was working at King's Island, a local amusement park.
Last summer, Logan dropped a note with our paper that the brothers (there were actually three boys) were moving on and that we would have a new carrier.
I could be wrong but I would venture a guess that these, now, men are not making minimum wage anywhere.
Unfortunately, in our society today, showing up is considered a major job skill for our youth. But these boys learned in their formative years that there was a lot more to just showing up if you want to make more money.
See Winston took his paper route skills to a place that paid better, Kings Island. He probably found a better job or went to school to get a real college degree, not one of those Russian Lit Barista type degrees and moved on to something even more profitable. That's how the ladder of success works.
And I'm guessing that all those boys are moving right up the ladder.