So, the legislature has started up again, and as night follows day, Rodney Tom has said something stupid.* Regarding the $15 minimum wage, Genius McGee had this nugget of, um, let’s say gold.
The majority leader looked down his nose at the current drive in Seattle for a $15-an-hour minimum wage. It was spurred on last week by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s executive order that city departments implement that wage level for about 600 city employees currently below it.
“(Mayor Mike) McGinn filled up our (Eastside) office towers and a $15 wage will fill up our retail space,” Tom quipped.
As Joel notes:
Actually, if Tom walked around the downtown Seattle neighborhood where the City Club held its luncheon, he would find plenty of recently located retail business and lots of buildings going up nearby in such places as South Lake Union.
So, either Rodney Tom doesn’t know that Amazon has expanded within Seattle proper, or he doesn’t care. Either way, holy shit, this fucker is making economic policy for the state! The GOP gave power to this asshole who either doesn’t know that Microsoft has a presence in SLU or, I guess just forgot. I mean, every state GOP senator voted as their leader this person who is unaware of the Russell Investments’ move.
Now there are real problems in some neighborhoods with attracting storefronts. Pioneer Square — for example — is mostly full in the offices, but they still haven’t been able to refill the old Elliott Bay Books location, or other places. At the beginning of the recession a lot of stores near me closed, and while most have come back, some are still vacant. So there might be an argument about the $15 minimum wage scaring people away.** Still, the whole thing is based on faulty assumptions, so I wouldn’t put much faith in it.
Now, to be clear, I hope for only good things for his district and for the rest of the state. We’re in it together, and all that. If the offices are as full on the Eastside as Tom says, great. More jobs for people. More tax money for education and social services. More money for Metro.
In any event, I don’t know how you can wish a poor wage on so many of your constituents. I mean, there are plenty of people who live in Redmond and Kirkland — hell, I bet even parts of Medina — who make below $15. It must be awesome to be told by their State Senator that they’re worth so little.
Finally, dumbfuck is a STATE legislator and the ostensible leader of the entire Senate. He’s supposed to work for the interests of the entire state. If the state’s largest city were hurting as badly as he claims — and again, it’s not he’s just either stupid or dishonest when he says it — he should be sad, not gloating. He should be trying to figure out how to help.
* In fairness to Rodney Tom, he said this stupid thing before the session started. But you know, vaguely catchy intros will beat the truth 9 days out of 10.
** Personally I’d think there’s also an argument about people who’ll be able to afford going out more if they’re making $15, but I’m not an economist, and I don’t know how it will actually shake out if it passes.