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In today's New York Times Nobel laureate Paul Krugman argues that raising the minimum wage is good economic policy and will have little or no impact on business.

In the purity of statistical analysis and national economic theory, he may well be right. He is, after all, an internationally respected economist.

I'm just a small business owner, a serial entrepreneur. And there is no doubt in my mind that another increase in minimum wage will close our doors. This is a curious thing to type as a life-long liberal, as someone who has often lived well beneath the poverty level in search of personal freedom. So please stay with me.

And, yes, I know I'll take a beating.

One size does not fit all. The median household income in Seattle, where I grew up, is $60,665 according to the google gods and US Census data. Where I live now, in Appalachia, it is $32,763, and that is about $7k higher than it was the last time I looked. Not sure what it means, but that's not the point.

Our two businesses are so small they don't even qualify as small business according to the SBA website. We gross slightly over $1-million. Our employees are all part-time, all either homemakers re-entering the workforce or college students grateful to have jobs that don't involve deep fat fryers and might look like something on their resumes. (They also eat for free and get a substantial discount on the things we sell.) One business has been in operation since 1979, the other for 16 years. They are a third place, a community center, and an integral part to the stumbling, fractured efforts to rebuild our small town's downtown.

Our competitors are WalMart and Amazon.

Our ownership group (such highfalutin' words) consists of my in-laws, both retired from the local university, my wife (who's had more careers than even I have), and me, a refugee from publishing. And my brother-in-law, who's an absent partner working at a major university. My wife and I essentially jobshare; my in-laws' haven't taken a check out of the business in three years.

Not since minimum wage went up.

That's the difference. Minimum wage. Not the flood which ruined our fixtures, tore up our refrigeration units, and destroyed a significant amount of product. Because we weren't located in a flood plain, we could not get flood insurance. We ate the losses, and moved to higher ground.

The economy went in the tank. We cut hours back, pulled more shifts ourselves.

Survived.

But our choices are, how do the economists say it? Inelastic. We can raise our food prices, but not enough to absorb higher wages, and we're already struggling to keep up with increased agricultural costs (and fuel surcharges, which have held for a while, but which are coming to get us one of these days). The products we sell...there we're stuck. We can mess with the product mix some, but fundamentally Amazon and WalMart can always undercut us, we can't charge more than list.

The numbers don't work.

Not for us.

Now, let me be clear. I believe people should make a living wage. Maybe not all jobs are meant to serve that purpose, that may be one option. Or maybe we need to scale these initiatives to reflect costs of living, and not simply how the world works on the coasts.

Here's who wins if minimum wage goes up: The big box stores. Because they CAN raise their prices. Because their volume WILL absorb higher wages. Because they can FORCE their suppliers to meet their price points. Because their remaining competition -- our little business, for example -- will quit nipping at their heels.

We don't count in the statistical analysis of the US economy. I get that. But the thirty-odd friends and employees we take to dinner every Christmas, they'll miss their jobs. And our community will miss our business if it has to close.

That's why Paul Krugman is wrong.

One last thing: Between we four who are here operating this enterprise are eight college degrees. If we can't compete, the game is stacked and the American dream is more of a chimera than even I imagine it to be late at night.

My two cents. Thanks for reading.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good luck hiring & retaining employees! n/t (5+ / 0-)

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:10:13 AM PST

    •  not an issue (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laughing Vergil

      it's a good place to work, we treat our employees fairly, and they stay as long as they need to stay

      that is, the college graduates move on, as they're meant to

      some of the homemakers have been with us more than a decade

      it's not all about money, despite the thesis of this blog

      sometimes it's about quality of life, which is how i got to be here anyway...

      tipped for your clean coal line, btw.

      "Good Lord, how can the rich bear to die?" -- Nikos Kazantzakis

      by Shocko from Seattle on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:23:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Perhaps you could quit with your (15+ / 0-)

        patronizing reference to your employees as "homemakers".  They're working outside the home if they're working for you, for christ's sake.  Just because you aren't paying them enough to support themselves doesn't make them "homemakers".  It just permits you to justify to yourself that you pay them peanuts.

        "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

        by gustynpip on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:34:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  fair enough (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          soros, phonegery, Manny

          I am seeking a word to describe women who have stayed home to raise children and are now working a handful of shifts each week as their kids work through school

          I don't mean to be patronizing. They're my friends.

          So if you've a better descriptor, I'm more than open to it.

          "Good Lord, how can the rich bear to die?" -- Nikos Kazantzakis

          by Shocko from Seattle on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:39:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  How about employees? What difference (9+ / 0-)

            does it make that they're women?  Except that women too often accept less pay.  Or that they raised kids?   Or what their kids are doing?  Maybe they're part time employees.  Then call them part time employees.  But what you're doing by referring to them as homemakers is trying to suggest that they're just working for "pin" money and so it should be okay to take their time without compensating them fairly.  

            I'm sorry if I'm starting to get harsh here, but it seems to me you want to see yourself as some kind of benevolent overseer with employees who consider you a beloved father figure.  I very much doubt that's how they actually see you.  People are generally not nearly as kind to us as we are to ourselves.

            "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

            by gustynpip on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:46:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  two things (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              litho, gc10

              First, I didn't say that they were women. I said they were homemakers.

              Second, I am trying to differentiate between this cadre of staff and the college students, because their motivations and longevity with our company are different. I regret, again, the imperfection of my nomenclature, and apologize for any offense given.

              Third: This is a place people like to work. It is considered to be a good part-time job in this town. Splitting this into a worker-management conflict simply doesn't fit.

              The emotional loading of the word overseer...I don't think I earned that one.

              "Good Lord, how can the rich bear to die?" -- Nikos Kazantzakis

              by Shocko from Seattle on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:52:39 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well. . . (5+ / 0-)

                "Mitt Romney looks like the CEO who fires you, then goes to the Country Club and laughs about it with his friends." ~ Thomas Roberts MSNBC

                by second gen on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:56:38 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Come on (6+ / 0-)

                "Splitting this into a worker-management conflict simply doesn't fit."

                You think what you pay your employees is not a management-employee difference?

                •  BTW (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  melfunction, Urban Owl

                  I am not fond of the idea of folks bringing up personal business to support or attack arguments (though others have gone after me for what I do.)

                  I'm not criticizing the diarist for opposing the increase in the minimum wage. From his perspective, that makes perfect sense.

                  I am disagreeing with his analysis as presented.

              •  Of course it's a worker management issue. (7+ / 0-)

                Pay is always a worker management issue.  And who your workers are and why they're there is irrelevant to the issue of whether you're compensating them fairly for their time.

                I'm sorry if you're offended by the word overseer.  I did not intend it in the way I believe you might have interpreted it.  I just sense that you believe your employees see you as a friend rather than an employer.  If that is the case, I honestly think that might be a problem in your business in and of itself.  

                You and your employees are NOT equals.  They don't get to make any of the decisions about the business.  And for you to try and pretend you are equals in your own mind can really create some havoc in a business.  And I know.  I made the same kind of mistake early on in my own business and it bit me hard.  I wanted to be this benevolent, warmly regarded employer who lived my liberal ideas.  But no matter how hard you try to pretend your all equal, they ALL know the power and decision making is in your hands and your hands alone.  And they don't feel all warm and fuzzy over your efforts to pretend otherwise.  They might be nice, friendly people who enjoy your company and keep on working for low wages because they have so few other options available to them.  But that doesn't mean they view you quite as favorably as you imagine.  

                Not trying to depress you here, just trying to get you to see things a tad more realistically than you seem to be at the moment.

                "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                by gustynpip on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 09:19:16 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  No (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Shocko from Seattle

              I think entirely too much is being read into his comment!

      •  Shocko, maybe you ought to look (0+ / 0-)

        at this diary for more information about why small businesses are struggling.

        I was particularly intrigued by this line of reasoning:

        But the real thing we need? We need people back to work. So they can spend money in our store. Taxes are taxes. They're the price we pay for living in a tolerably free society where people don't have to suffer too much simply for being poor or stupid or incapable of taking care of themselves. For basic human decency.
        Replace "taxes" with "living wages" and the argument is remarkably similar.  Especially that part about "basic human decency."

        Oh wait!  The same diarist then went on to write:

        If people have jobs, they have money to spend, long as the job pays something like a living wage. No jobs, no small business. It's really simple.
        My emphasis.

        It's almost as if that diarist is saying that higher wages are good for business.

        Maybe you and that other diarist could have a discussion about what's happening with small business, and where the problems are.  Maybe that other diarist is even somewhere in this thread.

        "A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home." - James Madison

        by gharlane on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 11:46:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  One comment I have... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gustynpip, NoMoreLies

    If the market were totally free, Walmart and Amazon wouldn't benefit from certain advantages they currently do, such as favorable taxes.  Municipalities give big box stores tax incentives since they bring jobs and revenue.  Running a government like a business is a big mistake since it encourages favorable treatment based on how much benefit they will provide.

    OTOH, my guess is that your company would be ok if there was some lag time between increasing wages for Walmart and you, but Walmart will never let the playing field be leveled.

  •  Krugman is not wrong (27+ / 0-)

    because he is discussing the minimum wage on a macroeconomic basis

    you are universalizing from your own experiment

    you would have a better argument if you argued that the minimum wage should be adjusted by regional cost of living, as federal wages are, and as income tax should be.

    The problem with that of course is that the current federal regions are often too broad, and the cost of living in the immediate Washington DC area is more than double that of where my sister lives on the Virginia Eastern Shore and yet we are the same region.  

    It is not just Federal salaries -  it is also per diems, some federal benefits.  We could fairly easily more narrowly define regions and index all - minimum wage and taxes as well salaries and benefits

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:14:37 AM PST

    •  thanks (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto, litho, phonegery, BlueEyed In NC

      though I'd quibble that I'm not universalizing from our experience

      rather...I'm trying to argue, in what I presume to be a moderately hostile environment (but, unlike the other side, we do at least permit alternative points of view)...that macroeconomics have real human consequences

      you're right, I suspect, that indexing regions and salaries would make sense. I wonder how FX and UPS manage their hourlies?

      my bottom line is this: we have too many (and too few) ginormous corporations who now call the tune, and every which way the rest of us turn we're caught up in their spider web

      "Good Lord, how can the rich bear to die?" -- Nikos Kazantzakis

      by Shocko from Seattle on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:26:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Macroeconomics indeed have human consequences (5+ / 0-)

        Raising the minimum wage has very positive human consequences.

        Are they outweighed by human costs?

        That is Ken's point.

        •  Can we have a little compassion (5+ / 0-)

          for someone who very likely will be affected by the dislocations caused by a macroeconomic change that will, overall, be beneficial to the economy?

          The original poster makes a very good, and very well-nuanced, point -- that while an increase in the minimum wage will benefit most minimum wage workers throughout the economy, it will not benefit his.  His business, which he clearly knows better than we do, is already operating at the margin of profitability, and this mandated increase in labor costs will simply send him over the edge.

          That's a tragedy, for him, for his co-owners, and for the people who work for him.

          I don't see him making the argument that the minimum wage should not be increased, rather that if and when it is increased it will have a negative impact on his business.

          When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

          by litho on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 09:02:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm pretty sure it will benefit his employees (11+ / 0-)

            too, unless you think an increase in pay is not a benefit.

            You say "he clearly knows better than we do."

            On the minimum wage policy, he does not.

            IF an increase n labor costs of 25,000 on a 1 million dollars in revenue ends his company, then it was not the minimum wage that put it down, it was the business itself.

            Let's repeat that, - a 2.5% increase in labor costs that will not be unique to his business will, according to him, put him out of business.

            I think that it is hard to take at face value the idea that if his business ends, it is because of the minimum wage increase.

            •  Armando, I said he knows his business (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Shocko from Seattle

              better than we do, and there is no question that is true.  His employees may benefit financially from an increase in the minimum wage, IF they are able to find other jobs after his business goes under.  It is not at all clear however that their new employers will provide a working environment as humane and as caring as the one he appears to provide for his workers.

              Look, the fact is that any macroeconomic change, no matter how beneficial to the economy overall, can cause local dislocations.  What we get in this diary is a report from the front lines, of a particular business that will be negatively impacted by the change.  His is the human face of economic dislocation.

              You can deny his claim that he will lose his business if the minimum wage goes up, but you won't be the one looking for a job when it happens.

              When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

              by litho on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 09:20:28 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm not following your point (7+ / 0-)

                I certainly did not ask him to describe his business in order to engage in a discussion regarding the minimum wage.

                He chose to do so.

                Given the information he has given us, his claim that the proposed minimum wage increase will destroy his business is very suspect imo.

                If he does not want opinions regarding that topic, he should not write a diary about it.

                As I wrote here and in other places, I do not like it when folks bring up the personal to make an argument at daily kos, I really do not.

                I especially do not like it when it is done, as has been done to me, as an attempt to discredit my arguments. Classic ad hominem BTW.

                But the diarist is the one who decided to use his business as his argument.

                At that point it seems to me, we have to discuss his business if we are going to have a discussion at all..

                •  You and I are reading this diary (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Manny, Shocko from Seattle

                  in entirely different ways.  I see it as intensely personal, as his own unique reaction to how a broad national change is going to affect him directly.  I don't really see him suggesting that the minimum wage not go up nationally, but rather that such an increase will have a devastating effect on his own business.

                  I also see him writing in a very articulate, understanding, and compassionate way about his forthcoming loss.  He knows it is very likely to happen, and he knows it will hurt.  It will hurt him.

                  I don't see why that is so hard to understand.  We take action as a nation to promote the greater good, but we need to understand that greater good will always come at a cost to particular individuals.  In this case, that individual happens to be one of us.

                  If he were suffering from cancer or some other life-threatening disease, the outpouring of support from this community would be overwhelming.  Instead, he's suffering from a business climate which still favors big box stores and is changing too slowly to be of benefit to his particular enterprise.

                  That he is as articulate and as sensitive about his coming demise deserves respect and acknowledgment from our community.  It is disappointing to see this devolve into an attack on him for deviating from orthodoxy.

                  When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

                  by litho on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 10:01:23 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  He is arguing against the minimum wage (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Mr Robert, OldSoldier99

                    I think the title of his diary makes this clear.

                    He argues against it using his own business as his evidence of why it is a bad idea.

                    I actually respect the diarist for not making it about his personal hardship.

                    I think in fact you are damning him with your praise here.

                    •  And I think you focus on the title of the diary (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Manny

                      to the detriment of its content.

                      His argument is a great deal more nuanced and sophisticated than the title would indicate.  I would expect you, in particular, to be capable of reading that nuance and sophistication.

                      It is disappointing that you cannot.

                      When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

                      by litho on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 10:06:26 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I am addressing the argument presented (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Mr Robert

                        You seem to be addressing a diary you wish had been written, ratther than the one that was written.

                        To wit "Here's who wins if minimum wage goes up: The big box stores. Because they CAN raise their prices. Because their volume WILL absorb higher wages. Because they can FORCE their suppliers to meet their price points. Because their remaining competition -- our little business, for example -- will quit nipping at their heels."

                        That's an argument against the minimum wage increase.

                        •  not quite (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          litho

                          I am trying to make an argument (and clearly failing, the way Armando reads me) that applying it to all markets in this country has negative consequences in my market.

                          That the definition of a living wage in New York is different from a living wage in...Rapid City, to pick a name at random.

                          A one-bedroom college apartment here rents for $300, if that gives you any context.

                          We live in a big country, in a global economy. But the dynamics are not the same. Too many decisions are made by people who have neither the interest nor the patience to listen to the issues of my small corner of the world.

                          So be it.

                          "Good Lord, how can the rich bear to die?" -- Nikos Kazantzakis

                          by Shocko from Seattle on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 02:01:13 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  And none of that means (0+ / 0-)

                            that Krugman is wrong.

                            You could argue that he overlooked a point, even a significant one.

                            But that's not the title, nor the thrust, of  your diary.

                            The bulk of your post, btw, is anecdotal evidence with an n of exactly one -- you did take elementary statistics, right? -- which lends emotional weight but no logical or evidentiary support to your argument.  And, you see, Krugman in his column did provide evidence  -- the real kind -- supporting the opposite conclusion.

                            Which makes your diary.... wrong.  Sorry.

                            "A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home." - James Madison

                            by gharlane on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 01:54:32 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  What part of (0+ / 0-)
                    That's why Paul Krugman is wrong.
                    do you not understand?

                    Seriously.  

                    The story is articulate, and heartfelt, and pulls at the heart strings.

                    Unfortunately, Shocko titles the diary

                    This time, Paul Krugman is wrong
                    Then Shocko writes:
                    In the purity of statistical analysis and national economic theory, he may well be right. He is, after all, an internationally respected economist.

                    I'm just a small business owner, a serial entrepreneur.

                    Note the language carefully: The "purity" of statistical analysis by an "internationally respected economist", but I'm "just small business owner".

                    Translation: I'm just a regular guy [I'm going to assume Shocko is male, and apologize if wrong], a down-home small business owner, and those ivory tower intellectuals with their statistics have no clue how their intellectual musings affect us ordinary folk.

                    Straight outta the Frank Luntz playbook.

                    He then offers his story.  Others here have raised serious questions about the conclusions he draws, and about whether other factors might be playing into his business's struggle.

                    And ends with:

                    The numbers don't work.

                    Not for us.

                     [...]

                    That's why Paul Krugman is wrong.

                    Those factual assertions and conclusions are subject to critique and examination, as they have indeed been here.  That's called "debate."  It's not the "attack" you claim it is.  However "intensely personal", "articulate", "understanding", and "compassionate" the diary is, it does not exempt the purported facts presented, and the conclusions drawn from those purported facts, from critical examination. It also doesn't exempt Shocko's logic from being examined -- and when Krugman does not say the things that Shocko claims he's saying, and when Shocko's presentation doesn't really contradict what Krugman said, that's perfectly fair game.  And it has nothing to do with whether Shocko "deviated from orthodoxy" either.  

                    To quote you,

                    I don't see why that is so hard to understand.

                    "A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home." - James Madison

                    by gharlane on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 11:10:44 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  our employees will not benefit (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                litho

                because the strong possibility is that we will be out of business

                perhaps they will benefit from new employment opportunities, but I am not certain of that...in this place, in these times

                your mileage, as someone else used to say, will vary.

                "Good Lord, how can the rich bear to die?" -- Nikos Kazantzakis

                by Shocko from Seattle on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 03:31:29 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  I shouldn't have gotten into numbers (0+ / 0-)

              because that's not the issue I wanted to raise. I have been oblique about the nature of my particular business in large part because I wanted to further a discussion of the tensions within our economy.

              Let me try to put numbers to this, anyhow. Increasing minimum wage to $9 an hour means I need to bring in almost ten percent more revenue every day, all other costs being equal.

              Increasing minimum wage -- in my marketplace, in the segment of the market we serve -- does not, in the main, place more money in the hands of the majority of our clients. In some, yes. Do I want the rest of the county to be better paid? Yes.

              Yes, but.

              If the consequence of that is that WalMart and Amazon and the rest of the boxes increase their stranglehold on the goods sold in this country...I think that's a problem.

              And I think that's a problem on which labor and the management of small business can and should be able to agree.

              "Good Lord, how can the rich bear to die?" -- Nikos Kazantzakis

              by Shocko from Seattle on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 01:58:22 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Your numbers don't really work out (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                puzzled

                If you're grossing $1 million a year, that would mean a $100K increase in revenue. That would cover increasing the minimum wage for 25 full time employees from $7.25 to $9.00 an hour.  That would mean your total payroll would be at least $450K a year. You've said you're in competition with Walmart and Amazon, so you must be a retailer. I've worked with scores, maybe hundreds of small retailers. None of them ever had labor costs that were anywhere near approaching that level. If these numbers are right, then your problem isn't the minimum wage. It's the model itself that is broken.

          •  No, he did make the argument that minimum (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            melfunction, Mr Robert, OldSoldier99

            wage should not be increased.  His title is that Krugman is wrong.

            We can sympathize with him - and I do - without agreeing with him and without ignoring the fallacies of his argument.

            "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

            by gustynpip on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 09:23:17 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You've got to work on nuance a little (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Shocko from Seattle

              because this is what he says in the first lines of the diary:

              In the purity of statistical analysis and national economic theory, [Krugman] may well be right. He is, after all, an internationally respected economist.
              So, in the macroeconomic, he acknowledges that Krugman's numbers almost certainly add up.  In the particular, however, he goes on to say:
              I'm just a small business owner, a serial entrepreneur. And there is no doubt in my mind that another increase in minimum wage will close our doors.
              You, in particular, have been quite harsh on the diarist throughout the comments section.  It seems to me you don't actually understand the argument he made.

              When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

              by litho on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 09:28:50 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I've been a bit harsh because I've been where (4+ / 0-)

                he is, recognize the mistakes he's making because I made them, and know what it takes to pull out of it.  And using low wages to sustain a business is not what it takes.  If he continues in the mindset he's in, his business is indeed doomed.  It takes honest speaking to move people out of their mindset.

                While he did indeed ackowledge that Krugman might be right in the macroeconomic sense, his title quite clearly stated that Krugman is wrong.  And he definitely seems to be arguing that proof that Krugman is wrong is provided by his own business.  

                He wrote the diary knowing he would be criticized, so I've assumed he's capable of handling that criticism.  It's not easy being a small business owner and anyone who's been doing it for as long as he has is, I suspect, quite capable of discussing an issue on an honest level rather than a superficial rah rah level.  I'm generally an overly compassionate person, until I see someone treating someone else unfairly.  I will admit that I saw much of what he wrote as a justification for his continued unfair treatment of his employees.  While I feel some level of compassion for him, I see it as a situation he has some control over, while his employees do not.  I also see it as one in which he's asking us for sympathy for having to treat his employees unfairly - which is never the actual situation.  So my compassion has quite definitely been tilted towards the employees more than him.

                "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                by gustynpip on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 09:40:30 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  So I read your comment (0+ / 0-)

                  as acknowledging you failed to appreciate the nuance in the original diary, but even as you come to understand your own misreading you continue to justify your mistreatment of the author.

                  That's sad.

                  When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

                  by litho on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 10:03:27 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I have no idea at all what you're reading, (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Catte Nappe, OldSoldier99

                    because it doesn't seem to be what I'm writing.  No, I didn't acknowledge that I failed to appreciate any nuance - I pointed out that what I'd originally said was accurate, regardless of the snippet you quoted.  And I'm afraid your definite of mistreatment is just simply bizarre.  I appreciate that you are feeling bad for the diarist and that's fine.  But it still doesn't make any sense at all to begin inflating what's being said here as "mistreatment".  

                    "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                    by gustynpip on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 01:04:09 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I asked for a discussion (0+ / 0-)

                      no offense taken.

                      But I do think we limit our possibilities by assuming that I'm either (a) an idiot who doesn't know how to run a business or (b) I'm a predatory owner who's bent on ripping off his employees.

                      What if I'm neither of those things?

                      What then?

                      Small business is getting killed in this country. They are our natural allies, here on the left. This may not be the issue on which we will agree, but, please...let's have some flexibility.

                      "Good Lord, how can the rich bear to die?" -- Nikos Kazantzakis

                      by Shocko from Seattle on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 02:04:42 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Please, if you want a discussion, don't try (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        OldSoldier99

                        putting words in my mouth that I didn't put there.

                        Lots of people who are far from idiots are not the best business people in the world.  And lots of people who are good business people have made some poor decisions or had unexpected events occur which has caused problems.  

                        While I do think what you've said has indicated a tendency on your part to justify underpaying your employees, that's quite a far cry from your (b) choice.

                        I mean, if you want to portray yourself as a picked upon victim, then your attempts at recreating what's been said makes sense.  But if you want to have a discussion, let's at least try to be honest about what's been said.

                        "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                        by gustynpip on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 02:18:52 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  so, paying minimum wage (0+ / 0-)

                          is inherently a tendency to underpay employees?

                          it's just not that simple

                          "Good Lord, how can the rich bear to die?" -- Nikos Kazantzakis

                          by Shocko from Seattle on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 03:37:53 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  In one word, yes. When you're getting paid (0+ / 0-)

                            a wage that, if working full time, would not pay for a single person's rent, food, gas, insurance, and other most basic living expenses, you're underpaid.  A person's time, without any work involved, is worth more than the current minimum wage.  So imo, if someone is paying minimum wage, they are by definition underpaying.  Which is why I strongly believe the minimum wage needs to be increased so that those who pay only the bare minimum the law requires won't be permitted to underpay their employees.

                            Think about it honestly for a minute.  Would you be willing to work for the current minimum wage, regardless of how much you enjoyed your job?

                            "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                            by gustynpip on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 03:49:55 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  When you title your diary (0+ / 0-)

                    "Krugman is wrong" and then your defenders are forced to point to a sentence in the diary itself that basically says "Well, I didn't really mean what I said in the title" (and the actual language of which suggests very thinly-veiled snark against ivory-tower pointy-headed intellectuals), then you deserve to be raked over the coals for the logical and evidentiary flaws in your argument.  That's all that's happening here.  It's not mistreatment, and it's not sad.  It's what you risk when you put up a diary with evidentiary and logical flaws with a misleading title.

                    "A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home." - James Madison

                    by gharlane on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 02:02:21 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

  •  How many full time (25+ / 0-)

    minimum wage employees do you have? The increase should cost less than $3,750 per FTE in most industries. On a million dollar gross that doesn't sound like much. If your margins are that thin, it is possible that your business model just doesn't work.

    •  That Was My Thought. Some Don't, and Also Some (16+ / 0-)

      shouldn't. If your scheme requires the rest of society to be mainly working poor, it should fail.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:16:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  as I wrote above, or thought I did (0+ / 0-)

        we have no full-time employees

        period

        except we who own the business

        if our business model doesn't work, independent retail doesn't work, at least not in small towns

        because I'm home with a sick child (hence writing diaries) I can't answer the number questions with any confidence

        let me try it this way...

        let's say we average 30 transactions an hour, three employees,  minimum wage goes up $1.75 an hour, that's $5.25 per hour I need to recover (plus the gov't add-ons, but that's too complicated to make up on the spot), that's three cents a transaction I need to make up

        not so bad, right?

        except that every single thing I buy will be going up in price as suppliers compensate for increases on their side, which are not merely wage-driven

        "Good Lord, how can the rich bear to die?" -- Nikos Kazantzakis

        by Shocko from Seattle on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:36:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I am in a micro business (4+ / 0-)

        Sustainable and native landscape design, build and maintenance. I do nearly all the work myself since I refuse to hire anybody unless I can afford to pay them $10 an hour or more  and still make a profit. I only use help on the largest jobs where I cannot do it without the extra labor to move heavy things or I have a significant deadline to meet. Nobody that helps me makes less than $10/hr.

        Trickle Down Economics 101: They get the golden parachute, we get the golden shower.

        by NoMoreLies on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 10:15:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Really? (7+ / 0-)

    How about giving us the numbers. How many hours per week are you paying at minimum wage and how much would the increase to $9 an hour increase your wage bill?

  •  T/R for providing another perspective. (15+ / 0-)

    You're right, you're gonna get hammered. :)
    But, you've presented the issue as one who it affects and done so in a straight forward manner.

    Thanks for the perspective.

    But yeah, I'm one who supports raising the minimum wage...and taking away all the benefits the evil big box bastards have that make it easy for them to absorb the cost.

    "I'm not writing to make conservatives happy. I want them to hate my opinions. I'm not interested in debating them. I want to stop them." - Steve Gilliard

    by grog on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:16:08 AM PST

  •  Have you actually calculated... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Armando, Chinton, sgary, greengemini

    how much you'd have to raise prices to meet the new minimum wage standards?

    It's too easy to just say "we can't afford it".

  •  So the fact that everybody else (8+ / 0-)

    would be raising them, and prices would go up to compensate, isn't enough of a consideration?

    Perhaps we should lower the minimum wage, that would make the economy get better?

    Or are you just thinking inside your own particular box?

    Moderation in most things.

    by billmosby on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:21:05 AM PST

  •  Honest to god, if your business can't pay (17+ / 0-)

    your employees a living wage, maybe it's one that should go under.  A business that will have to close it's doors if it pays its employees a wage they can survive on is not one that's actually sustainable long term anyway.

    Hopefully, you're right.  Hopefully you will take a lot of flack for this self serving bullshit.  Because being a liberal unless it affects you personally doesn't really cut it.  

    And please don't tell me I know nothing about running a business.  Because I've run one for many years - competing with the big box stores.  And while we weren't able to pay or employees what I'd have liked, they were always paid well above minimum wage - even if it meant we made no profit.  I knew the employees personally and knew what their lives were like.  No way could I have lived with myself if I'd not done the best possible for them.

     If you have 30 plus employees to whom you're not paying substantially more than minimum wage - I wonder how many of them are actually grateful for their jobs.  Especially when they're putting gas in their cars to get there or in the grocery store trying to figure out what they're going to be able to feed their families with  out of their meager paychecks.

    Small businesses are actually usually the higher paying jobs than the box stores.  So I strongly suspect an increase will affect far fewer of them than of the big box stores.  I really think you need to be looking at your ability to run a business if you're not able to pay your employees more than minimum wage.

    "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

    by gustynpip on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:21:17 AM PST

    •  I seem not to be able to make clear (0+ / 0-)

      that none of our employees are dependent on this gig for their living

      none of them

      they are college students, supplementing whatever financial aid they have

      they are the spouses of professors and doctors re-entering the workforce

      it's a part-time job

      the value we add to the community is not...IS NOT...the dollars we churn through the economy

      "Good Lord, how can the rich bear to die?" -- Nikos Kazantzakis

      by Shocko from Seattle on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:44:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right, and that makes it all okay. (9+ / 0-)

        Do you hear yourself?

        Your 30 employees don't need the money so you shouldn't have to pay a closer to livable minimum wage. Well pardon me if I just can't take your side on this one. Your employees deserve more then $7 per hour especially since, as you already said, they are women with children.

      •  So because they're not dependent on this (12+ / 0-)

        income for survival, you justify to yourself taking their time for a mere pittance.  I'd be willing to bet you're taking home more than minimum wage yourself, right?  Why is their time any less valuable?  Is the time of a spouse of a professor or a doctor worth less than that of the spouse of a factory worker?  Or less than that of an unmarried person? \

        Who your employees are is pretty irrelevant.  Whether it's part time or full time is irrelevant.  You're taking people's time from them and not giving them reasonable compensation for it.   And then trying to justify it.  

        I know it's tough running a business.  And part of me feels very badly for you.  I can picture the type of business you have and how much you've put into it over the years and the fear in your gut over what's going to happen in the future.  But I can't have much sympathy for you in your attitude that your employees should be the ones to bear the burden of your having either made some poor business decisions along the way or the economy in your area has changed so that your business model is no longer valid.  You need to be putting your business hat on and figure out first whether your business is one worth salvaging, and if it is, then how to build it into something that can survive and thrive long term.  And if there are sacrifices to be made to keep it going, those sacrifices should be coming from you and your family, not from your employees.

        "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

        by gustynpip on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:59:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  So? (14+ / 0-)
        none of our employees are dependent on this gig for their living
         That looks way too much like the old argument for paying men more because they "need" to support a family, and women are just "supplementing" the family income.  Salary should be based on worth of the work, whoever does it.

        "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

        by Catte Nappe on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 09:01:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  salary should be based on worth of work (0+ / 0-)

          sure

          when we live in that world

          when teachers are paid more than senators

          when CEOs....ah, never mind

          we don't live in that world

          and this: did nobody besides me ever work some place simply because it was fun and creative?

          "Good Lord, how can the rich bear to die?" -- Nikos Kazantzakis

          by Shocko from Seattle on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 03:41:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  This is the same kind of bullshit that was used (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annominous, gustynpip

        to justify paying me 30% less than an employee whose productivity I was able to damn near double - I was a young engineer with no family to support, he was older with a wife and three kids. I didn't NEED the money as much as he did, so I didn't get it. That's just wrong.

        No matter whether your employees depend on this job for survival, or the extras in life, their value is their value. Perhaps if you paid those college students a fair wage they wouldn't need to take on quite as much debt to get their degree.

        Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

        by kbman on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 11:26:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  If they don't need the money (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annominous, gharlane

        ask them to volunteer.  You may find out they really do need the money even if it isn't much money.

    •  This (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shocko from Seattle
      Because being a liberal unless it affects you personally doesn't really cut it.  
      is liberalism at its most sanctimonious worst. I don't even want to be associated with a sentiment like this. A person has to be happy to see his own business go under to meet your criteria for calling himself a liberal?

      I want to see the minimum wage raised too, but that's not a reason for being glibly judgmental towards someone for telling us he will be hurt by it. Aren't we supposed to be capable of hold two opposing thoughts in our minds at the same time?

      We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

      by denise b on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 01:29:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's one thing (0+ / 0-)

        to say that a policy change will hurt your business.

        Let's leave aside the problems with that claim that others in this thread have discussed.

        It's quite another to claim, based on that purported fact alone, that an advocate for that policy change is wrong, and to claim that your diary substantiates that position, when in fact it does not.

        Beyond that, "being a liberal unless it affects you personally doesn't really cut it" is not the same as your strawman "A person has to be happy to see his own business go under to meet your criteria for calling himself a liberal."

        And finally, for one business person who struggles, in the same line of work, but manages to pay their employees a living wage to call out another who claims they can't, isn't being glibly judgmental either.

        "A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home." - James Madison

        by gharlane on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 02:43:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Too many moving parts (13+ / 0-)

    This analysis fails to take into consideration so many things. Most important, though, is the effect an increase in the minimum wage has on the overall economy, particularly in areas where wages are low. If a 5-10% increase in the community's income does not increase a local business' cash flow, it is entirely possible that the problem is not with the wage increase, but the business model. That said, there is no doubt that the big boxes have advantages given to them by local governments, as well as economies of scale, that make it terribly hard for a local small business to compete. But that is a much larger issue beyond minimum wage. Indeed, I would suggest that as people's income goes up, their willingness to pay a bit more for better local products goes up as well, ultimately benefiting local providers.

    Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Palate Press: The online wine magazine.

    by dhonig on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:22:03 AM PST

    •  yes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kane in CA

      Study after study has shown that money spent at local businesses tends to stay and circulate throughout the community at a much higher rate than money spent at big box stores.

      If only someone would tell the local governments before they let themselves be wowed by the latest Crap-Mart dog and pony show.

      There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast.

      by puzzled on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 06:59:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This sounds harsh, but (11+ / 0-)

    if your business model is predicated on paying workers less than a living wage, your business model is not a moral one. Sorry. I don't care how happy your workers are for the line on their resume. Happy slaves are still slaves.

    matthewborgard.com ~ @MatthewBorgard

    by zegota on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:22:33 AM PST

    •  Also, and in addition to ... (0+ / 0-)

      In an exploitative work environment, unhappy slaves may pretend to be happy, because the MOST IMPORTANT THING OF ALL is to keep job creators happy.

      Who gets to decide if a work environment is exploitative? The exploited? or the exploiter?

      •  why is the presumption (0+ / 0-)

        that because I'm the employer I'm therefore inherently exploiting?

        why is the presumption, from this side of the argument, that we must be the bad people because we pay minimum wage and business is tough?

        "Good Lord, how can the rich bear to die?" -- Nikos Kazantzakis

        by Shocko from Seattle on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 03:43:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't know who you think presumed that. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kane in CA

          I hope you are not presuming I presumed that.  After all, presumptions make prees out of yous and umptions. As the saying goes.

          I certainly do not think that all employers are exploitative. Just those who force their employees to subsidize their business ventures by accepting underpayment for their work.  

          Who gets to decide if you are exploitative? You? or your minwage employees? I hope you will pardon me for a) preferring to canvass your employees while you are not in the room, and b) taking into account that, with underpayment of wages being rampant these days, taxpayers like me are left to pick up the slack.  
          Here is a story, similar to yours in some respects, that came out yesterday. This employer also can't make a go of it without underpaying his staff, and also claims he will have to go out of business if he can't have his way.

          Sure, business is tough everywhere, but this employer, and you too, opted to go into business rather that take one of the minwage jobs available in your area.  I agree with other commenters in your diary, that if your business model requires you to underpay your employees in order to stay afloat, perhaps you should not be in business.

          •  actually, I'd take that bet (0+ / 0-)

            I'd be delighted to let you canvas my employees. I think you'd be surprised.

            I could, of course, be wrong about that. But I don't think so.

            Here's the nut of this thing, about which I shall ponder, and so let me say in passing that I'm more than grateful for your comments: I don't think...in my local economy, in our present environment...that we are underpaying.

            We offer supplemental part-time income and a good place to work. I think that's a fair trade. Lots of folks on this thread disagree with me. Some of them, I fear, disagree with me simply because I'm a business owner and they reflexively favor labor. Some of them because they can't conceive of life being different here than it is where they live.

            I don't think that gets us anywhere.

            But I do appreciate the opportunity to try.

            "Good Lord, how can the rich bear to die?" -- Nikos Kazantzakis

            by Shocko from Seattle on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 06:32:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Washington's min wage is 9.19$ an hour (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kane in CA, gustynpip, Chinton

    What are you concerned about Shocko from Seattle?
    I must be missing something...

    •  I was just looking that up (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gustynpip

      Looks like it increased to that rate the first of this year from $9.04/hr last year. So he should already be paying more than the proposed hike in the federal minimum wage.  Nice catch.

      •  from Seattle (5+ / 0-)

        is not IN Seattle, friends

        as the diary says, I'm in Appalachia now

        throw the catch back in the river

        "Good Lord, how can the rich bear to die?" -- Nikos Kazantzakis

        by Shocko from Seattle on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:45:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I apologize (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          S F Hippie

          Then it seems you live in a state that pays a dismal min wage and if I were to bet you live in one of the biggest welfare states in the country..  

        •  Lots of problems with reading comprehension (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Quicklund

          in this comments section, it looks like.

          Good luck with the business.  I hope it works out for you, and I hope you're wrong about the impact a minimum wage increase will have on your business.

          If you're right, I'm sorry.

          When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

          by litho on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 09:08:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Better avail yourself (0+ / 0-)

            of that remedial reading comprehension class yourself, as I point out here.

            You've fallen for a pull-at-your-heart-strings story that has emotional impact but completely fails to substantiate the thesis that the diarist is trying to advance.  Had the diarist titled the diary "What Krugman Overlooked" we might be having a different discussion, although I am again constrained to point out that Krugman supplied actual evidence that points to a conclusion opposite to the one the diarist would have us draw, even with a more accurate diary title and text -- evidence which the diarist failed to supply.  And if, alternatively, the diarist had chosen to title the diary, and discuss, "How Raising the Minimum Wage Would Affect My Business" we would be having yet a different discussion, although again, commenters would be free to point out flaws in the diarist's reasoning, if, for example, factors other than the raise in the minimum wage would really be at play in the projected demise of the business.

            But the diarist chose neither of those approaches.  Instead, the diarist chose to supply the Story of His/Her Business as the sole item of evidence, anecdotal as it is, for the case that Krugman's contentions -- specifically, the claim that raising the minimum wage would not have a significant adverse impact on employment -- were wrong, even though again, Krugman actually supplied real evidence supporting his own conclusions.  That's a very thin case, premised on flawed evidence, and it's rebutted by evidence Krugman presents.  Therefore, the diarist is wrong.

            I'm not sure it's us who need to improve our reading comprehension.

            "A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home." - James Madison

            by gharlane on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 03:07:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Shocko said he lives in Appalacia (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe

      I assume the "from Seattle" part of his name  is heavy on the from.

    •  Look again. (6+ / 0-)

      The diarist is in Appalachia.

      That said, as a person currently working for minimum wage I have a ton of responses to this diary I could provide.

      I'm also in a true rural area and can provide my anecdotal experience as a former very small business owner during the last increase in minimum wage.

      I'm considering a diary in response, but let's see if I can get my blood pressure down before I make an attempt.

      Breathing..................just, fuck.

      •  Tipped. But only with a dKos comment tip. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Over the Edge

        I'm sure you deserve a better tip, but ... that's the best I can do.

        In Nov. Albuq. voters approved an increase to the local minwage, effective Jan 1 2013.  Now it is reported that a local restaurant owner, fearing the increase labor costs (he pays his servers $2.13 per hour !!! ) forced his servers to sign contracts agreeing to continue to work for $2.13 / hr after Jan 1.  You see, the minwage increase to $3.83 would put this JOB CREATOR under.

        added to my personal boycott list

        I agree with other commenters here who question a business model that requires employees to subsidize the operation of the JOB CREATOR who is exploiting them.

        •  OK (0+ / 0-)

          one of our businesses could qualify as a restaurant, under that law
          we pay minimum wage, not the restaurant minimum wage
          tips add another buck an hour or so to the deal
          does that make me any less of a bad Shocko?
          nah, probably not!

          "Good Lord, how can the rich bear to die?" -- Nikos Kazantzakis

          by Shocko from Seattle on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 03:45:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Shocko is (I think) from KY (0+ / 0-)

      (Certainly has written on the curiosity that is KY politics in the past).

  •  Repubs won't let the increase pass anyway. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gustynpip, greengemini, annominous

    And, even if it does, the red states will figure out a way to get around it.

    But, seems like there's something wrong if you can't pay it with a million gross.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:24:12 AM PST

    •  There also appears to be exceptions... (9+ / 0-)

      ...for student employees.

      What minimum wage exceptions apply to full-time students?

      The Full-time Student Program is for full-time students employed in retail or service stores, agriculture, or colleges and universities. The employer that hires students can obtain a certificate from the Department of Labor which allows the student to be paid not less than 85% of the minimum wage. The certificate also limits the hours that the student may work to 8 hours in a day and no more than 20 hours a week when school is in session and 40 hours when school is out, and requires the employer to follow all child labor laws. Once students graduate or leave school for good, they must be paid $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009.

      If you're teaching a trade, there are other exceptions too.

      http://www.dol.gov/...

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:29:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The most difficult thing I can tell you (11+ / 0-)

    Is that a lot of things, especially in rural areas, desperately need to change.

    I know what you mean.  Living in KC, a year I make less then $60 a year is a year where I would be underwater so fast that my head would spin.. between medical and housing, I couldn't pull ahead.  (Medical mostly).

    Meanwhile, where my parents live - a population 800 town, my sister just built a home on a one acre plot at 1,700 square feet and spent less then $50k all in.  

    $50K here would get me nothing.  

    So, the cost of living is very different, and this is something we have to figure in.

    That having been said, if minimum wage ticks you into non-profitability, then there is something wrong with the model.   This is going to be true in a lot of places, and trust me I know, I'm guilty of it as well.   I've held onto employees when I absolutly couldn't afford them because I couldn't let them go hoping for an economic rebound.

    One other factor you have to know is that as more people are paid more, they have more to spend.   This means people who are coming into your stores now who are scrimping because the economy is treating them rough will have a little bit extra money in their pockets to spend.

    This is the nature of an economy.

    Any change to a variable like minimum wage will have a cost to a business.   If it really harms or kills a business, then it is likely - and I say this as nicely as possible - that the business was simply too frail for longterm survival in any case.   It's hard to let go of a business in the same way it's hard to divorce or lose a friendship.

    But as a matter of national policies, a president and congress can't root for the savior of "at risk" businesses as much as they have to worry about the economy as a whole.

    So the question is: are people (in general) better if we do it, or if we don't.  

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:27:34 AM PST

  •  Actually (20+ / 0-)

    If the median household income in your area is only $32,763 that means that if the household is a two income household that couple is making less than $8 an hour for 40 hours.  That's the median.  Which means that half the households in that area make even less.  Now that's not an absolute.  Some households may only have one breadwinner.  Others may have two but are working significantly less than 80 hours combined.  

    If the minimum wage went up that median household income would also go up and all households below that would also see an uptick.  For the two full time breadwinners that means their household income would increase to almost $38,000.  Long story short, many people in your neighborhood would see some kind of raise, which means they will have more money to spend in your businesses.  

    The increase in business should offset any marginal increase in payroll, especially if as you say you're grossing over $1,000,000.  If your margins are so tight that you may go under I suggest you look at your expenses.  Payroll and benefits should not be more than 20-25% max, especially if you're in a retail or restaurant type business.  If you're paying out less than that and you still can't make it then I would say that payroll is not what's driving you under.  At that point an increase in the minimum wage won't matter because you have a failing business plan which you need to address first.  

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:31:07 AM PST

  •  good economics on a macro scale (10+ / 0-)

    isn't predictive of success for every business.

    You don't give any numbers other than gross income, and I have no real feel for what it is that you sell, something about food and other products, competing with Amazon and Walmart. Your businesses actually gross a fair amount of money as 'mom and pop' operations go, but you give no picture of the number of employees and the overhead they actually represent.

    Ckearly labor costs are a major factor for any business.  If you are on a shoe string, even paying minimum wage, the real problems may be  external to your business, simply not enough demand for your product mix because not enough money in the community, etc., competition from the big box stores, a deteriorating business district, bypassed by highways, too many closed store fronts to draw traffic.   Still, some may be internal perhaps,  you seem to be claiming to mix charitable and non-charitable work in a way that doesn't make good economic sense,  charities can have advantages, lack of tax, donations, etc.,  but if you expect to fund a charity as part of your overhead in a regular business, you lose those savings and drain capital from the money making part of the business.

    I am sorry that your business is having trouble, but I really don't feel the only problem and the real cause is minimum wage.  And keeping everybody making just enough money to pay rent, buy food, and afford transportation isn't going to fix your problem. Selling in retail takes consumers with money to spend.  Chronic unemployment and underemployment in a region means there is no demand, trying to keep a business going in a place that is economically depressed is a high risk proposition at best.

  •  I pay my (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shocko from Seattle, Chinton

    employees a living wage, my competition doesn't. We both sell the same product in the same market, I'm broke, he's hiring more low-wage workers to fill my market share. Gosh, I guess I had bad business model, even though it's worked the past 50 years.

    •  I guess you did have a bad business model (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gustynpip, S F Hippie

      If you two are offering the exact same product in the same market at the same price then something is wrong and it's not the wages.  If anything, you should have an easier time of attracting the competitors best employees and along with them their better clients who appreciate better service.

      Of maybe the boss is just a dick which is why even with the better wages your business isn't doing as well.

      What say you n00b?

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:39:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  One of the economic factors (6+ / 0-)

    that Paul Krugman discusses is the increase in overall demand because the minimum wage workers now have more to spend, and spend it they will.

    If your business will benefit from this increased demand by providing general goods and services (rather than, e.g. yacht building) then you should factor in a potential increased revenue stream before concluding that you will fail.

  •  Are you at your maximum customer level now? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, gustynpip, Mr Robert, greengemini

    Your calculations assume no change in the economy. Presumably more spending money in more hands will equate to a greater demand for business. You might not be as doomed as you think.

    Or you might well be. There is no question that some individuals lose and others gain from significant changes. Sadly, it comes down to which path brings the best benefits to the most.

    Wishing you the very best luck.

  •  excellent diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shocko from Seattle, litho, Check077

    Why do people keep pointing out the fact that there is something wrong with his "model?" No kidding there's something wrong with it -- the diarist himself says so: he's operating in a tiny town, with a tiny business, and he's competing with Amazon and Walmart and other gargantuan multi-national corporations. It's the same problem that's wrong with pretty much every other small business model in America that isn't predicated on support by a giant corporate structure.

    Aside from that, there are plenty of jobs where minimum wage is completely reasonable. College kids don't need a "living wage" when they're working part time. Elderly and homemakers who are happy for just a few extra bucks don't necessarily need a "living wage." It sounds to me like his employees are perfectly happy and well-treated. Not to mention the fact that a minimum wage job in the middle of the mountains is not the same as a minimum wage job in the middle of nowhere.

    It's odd to me that most of the replies here are basically telling this diarist to take a hike, and that his business is unsustainable and should just fold. I bet many if not all of the people replying this way are also simultaneously bemoaning the downfall of the family owned small business all the time. Might an increase in federal minimum wage eventually stimulate the economy somewhat? Sure -- but how long will a tiny business like this, already running on razor thin margins, have to wait for those benefits to redound? Months? Years? A lot of small businesses just can't wait that long.

    It is extremely important to be completely cognizant of differing viewpoints to your own, and to fully accept that you could plausibly be wrong. Otherwise it all calcifies into dogma. I'm a left-wing, big government progressive, but as a thought experiment, I often run through the various scenarios where a supply-side approach may, in fact, work. I think this is an excellent diary, because it provides a badly needed perspective, and makes a strong case against a viewpoint that I have long held, making me at least reconsider the foundations of what I believe. And that's a healthy thing to do every now and again.

    •  College kids don't need decent wages? Guess (7+ / 0-)

      you've never paid for college.  The elderly and homemakers who are just working for an extra buck don't need a living wage?  Yeah, cuz we know those 80 year olds who are still working are just doing it for kicks, not like they have to pay for their prescriptions or food or anything.  And those homemakers, we all know they're just working for pin money, not to try and save their homes from foreclosure or to get the credit card companies who are calling endlessly off their backs.

      No matter who you hire, you're taking the time of that person - and that has value.  If you're not paying them fair value for their time, you're stealing from them.  Even if a job requires NO knowledge, experience or skills (and there aren't too many of those around), the person's time deserves fair pay.  Then add the other requirements necessary, and it deserves a bit more.

      Disagreeing with someone and pointing out the flaws in their position permits other viewpoints.  Your idea that we should not be pointing out the flaws and weaknesses in this diary is really quite pointless.

      "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

      by gustynpip on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 09:07:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  actually, no (0+ / 0-)

        thanks. i have two degrees and paid for both of them. when you're 18 years old, and working a few hours retail every week ringing a cash register and stocking shelves, you don't need whatever a living wage is. you need a little extra spending money -- which is what i presume his employees are after. he has already noted, multiple times, that he doesnt employee anyone full-time.

        to say that this guy is "stealing" their time is ridiculous. what are the prevailing wages in his area? is this a high skill job? opening and closing a register doesnt exactly qualify.

        the diarist isnt saying that minimum wage is some terrible thing. he's saying that raising the minimum wage has different consequences for different businesses.

        as for this:

        Disagreeing with someone and pointing out the flaws in their position permits other viewpoints.  Your idea that we should not be pointing out the flaws and weaknesses in this diary is really quite pointless.
        "

        hey no kidding. however, what i was referring to was the raft of posts suggesting that this guy is a either a terrible businessman or some sort of wage theft (see your own reply). both of which i think either radically miss the point, to say the least. its great that some businesses can pay their workers more than others. all businesses arent the same however. and paying an 18-year-old minimum wage is hardly stealing from them. imagine that!

        •  Well, if you think college students are just (7+ / 0-)

          working for spending money, you didn't pay for college.  Some of those kids are working to pay their tuition in addition to their food and rent money.

          I notice you have no excuse for thinking that the elderly and "homemakers" need only token pay like college students do.

          And btw, stocking shelves can be back breaking work - if you haven't tried it, you should.  Some of those boxes are damn heavy and the up and down, up and down consistently wreaks hell on your back.  Running a register generally involves handling fairly large amounts of money each day, being on your feet for hours at a time, maintaining a cheerful smile on your face regardless of how crappy your life is that day.  

          Perhaps you'd like to toss out a few more jobs as not being worthy of decent pay?  Ones that I'm sure you're much too superior to consider.  What arrogance.  Your two degrees have left you quite uneducated in certain areas.

          "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

          by gustynpip on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 09:49:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  If this diarist happened to self-disclose as a gop (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jfromga

          we'd be all over the business model. It's a common tactic for small business owners to claim that their only minwage employees are students, and claim that the experience will look so good on their resume that just having a job is a part of the compensation package.

          Underpaying whatever passes for a fair local wage forces taxpayers to pick up the slack: food stamps, medicaid, and yes, student financial aid.  Maybe in the old days students could earn enough with part time jobs to avoid taking out loans, but not anymore.

    •  a small business in small town (0+ / 0-)

      should not be trying to compete with Amazon or Walmart.

      That might be the first problem.   Whether it is service level, uniqueness of product mix, or something Amazon or Walmart don't sell, that is what you have to look at in a small town.  Several dress shops in my town stay open by carefully picking price ranges and styles of what to sell.  They definitely do not compete with Walmart.  There are restaurants that stay open despite the fast food places.  There are a couple of family owned jewelry stores that do good business over mall stores or online shopping.  Gun stores do fine too, but it is Georgia after all.  The coffee shop stays in business. We even have a skate board shop.  Nobody does retail electronics, but we support a couple of consulting services for businesses that sell computers/systems.   This area has more money than Appalachia but the same kind of concerns apply, small markets, limited numbers of people with money.

      And this person seems to have a college in town, that offers opportunities.  So no, we don't know everything, but maybe some of us know who stays in town in a small business despite Walmart having moved to town.

  •  Here's my problem with your argument (15+ / 0-)

    Assuming you have say 10 workers at the minimum wage who work 25 hours a week  (you say you only have part-time workers.)

    That's 250 hours a week  x $1.75 (the proposed increase in the min. wage) =  $437.50 a week in increase labor cost.

    In addition, you may have a matching FICA increase of let's say 8% of the 437.50 a week - $35.

    By my math, your costs increased by  24,544 (assuming you provide for paid vacation.)

    This also assumes that you can not increase your prices by a similar amount.

    This also assumes your competitors will not also have to face this cost increase and will not increase their prices. You write:

    Here's who wins if minimum wage goes up: The big box stores. Because they CAN raise their prices. Because their volume WILL absorb higher wages. Because they can FORCE their suppliers to meet their price points. Because their remaining competition -- our little business, for example -- will quit nipping at their heels.
    You used the word inelastic. I do not know if you were referring to the demand for your goods being price inelastic.

    IF so, you should RAISE your prices! Irrespective of the minimum wage.

    If you meant to say demand for your products is price elastic, then the fact your competitors will raise their prices means you will be able to too.

    I'm not at all sure I follow the logic of your reasoning as to your own business.

    I certainly am not sure how the narrative you apply to your business must dictate how we look at the issue from a policy perspective.

    For example, if our goal is to allow your business to survive, we could just give you money. (See farm subsidies.)

    I need something more, and I mean no offense here, than a story about how it will be hard for you to stay in business.

     

  •  thanks for the discussion, folks (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    litho, durrati, Armando

    Off to work.
    Be kind to each other, if not to me!

    "Good Lord, how can the rich bear to die?" -- Nikos Kazantzakis

    by Shocko from Seattle on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:57:12 AM PST

  •  There are exceptions of course - (5+ / 0-)

    But the minimum wage, adjusted for inflation, has been higher in the past without causing higher unemployment.
    Many economists believe, due to ideology, that increased minimum wage leads to higher unemployment, but the empirical evidence is mixed and tends to show no relationship between higher minimum wage and increased unemployment.
       There is an argument that raising the minimum wage will raise aggregate demand, benefitting business in the long run.
       IOW, the small businessman who is worried about higher wage cots might see them offset by more business.

    •  I don't read the diary to say (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jaym

      that an increase in the minimum wage will lead to an increase in the unemployment rate.  Rather, he's saying an increase in the minimum wage will lead to the loss of his business.  His employees will lose their jobs, though they will probably be able to find other ones.  He will lose his income stream, and will probably have to go work for someone else.

      He outright accepts Krugman's macroeconomic numbers, but points out the effect the increase will have on him.  And I have to tell you his accounting for his personal economic situation is very persuasive.

      He probably will lose the business if the minimum wage goes up.

      When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

      by litho on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 09:15:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Know your real enemy. (3+ / 0-)

    Biggies suck all the air out of the room.
    They are looking to steal your customers and the only
    way you can compete is on price with lower wages.
    To economists you are at a competitive disadvantage and
    therefore should go out of business.
    Your survival 'advantage' is that you are not as money mad as the Biggies are.
    If the Biggies are forced to raise their wages and not cheat on benefits are Walmart does, you will become slightly
    more competitive. Also they may conclude there is no money to be made and pack up and go home. But if
    local pols in a rush to create jobs decide to underwrite
    their operations with special breaks you will lose.

  •  min wage should be regionally adjusted (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shocko from Seattle

    and so should Social Security and other government annuities.

    Civil service salaries are regionally adjusted. It makes good sense to do this for minimum wage too.

    Imagine someone in San Francisco or New York trying to live on $9 per hour... it's almost exactly as hard as imagining a small business owner in Appalachia paying a minimum of $9 per hour.

  •  Are we prohibited from asking what type (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    holeworm

    of business you actually have?

  •  Krugman is right on the evidence (4+ / 0-)

    Employment has not gone down when minimum wage has been increased. There are many examples to study, they have been studied for decades, and Krugman makes his case based on that evidence. In fact, he changed his mind on this issue based on all the research.

    Your competition has to pay the new minimum wage, and all of you will raise prices slightly. Workers in your community will have higher incomes, especially important for those earning the minimum! Your whole town will benefit.

    Many small businesses will survive, some won't, just like every year, and some will blame this change. I would urge you to think through your business model, if what you are offering is not different from WalMart, then think about how it should change. Main Street businesses usually depend on a good Main Street organization, a town's active support, and lots of events.

    Good luck with your business, but Krugman is right, even for your town.

    We can safely abandon the doctrine of the eighties, namely that the rich were not working because they had too little money, the poor because they had too much. JK Galbraith, 1991

    by Urban Owl on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 09:53:46 AM PST

  •  "so small they don't qualify as small businesses"? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, Mr Robert

    I'm confused by that bit.

    What do you qualify as then? I know there's a vague "microenterprise" classification for certain things, but that's still a small business.

    Since you mentioned the SBA website itself tells you that, some clarification would be helpful... I'm not sure if you're suggesting that you should be given some extra consideration for being "too small to even be small."

    The points about Amazon and Walmart are well taken, even though I disagree with your general premise. They can certainly weather the brunt of any wage increase better than small businesses can.

  •  I was wondering when this would come. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Urban Owl, greengemini, Mr Robert

    Whining - I cannot sustain my business if the minimum wage goes up.  Whining - I cannot sustain my business if I have to provide health care to my employees.

    I know people go into business to make money - proifit.  Well, the almighty dollar wins again.  Employees lose. My husband and I have had two businesses.  One suceeded, the other failed (due to the 2008 economic crisis).  We never tried to cheat employees out of a living wage because, guess what - WE WERE TRYING TO LIVE ON A WAGE, TOO!  I'm sick, sick, sick of whiners.

    Can't we just go back to the barter system?  It might take the profit motive out of the equation.

    being mindful and keepin' it real

    by Raggedy Ann on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 10:06:32 AM PST

    •  ah, the irony (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shocko from Seattle

      its weird how individual workers are allowed to "whine" about not making enough money, but when a tiny business "whines" about not making enough money, its some sort of sin. or is it possible that the diarist is simply stating the fact as he sees them? in fact, considering the circumstances, this seemed like an amazingly well written perspective that whine-free diary.

      it's also interesting how, when right wing advocates generally try to tell people that THEY earn lots of money, so everyone else is doing it wrong, people flip the F out at them for trying to generalize an experience that is different for everyone. and yet, here we are with, "MY  BUSINESS DID THIS AND THAT, SO YOUR BUSINESS HAS TO DO THAT TOO!!!"

      and finally, just a suggestion: if you're really so sick of whiny commentary, you might yourself consider refraining from posting replies that are literally comprised of 100% whining.

  •  If all the other workers in (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, Mr Robert

    Appalachia earn a couple of bucks more per hour would they have more money to spend on your products/services?

    My guess is they would.  Which would allow you to raise your prices slightly and even see more revenue through higher sales.

    As a thought experiment, imagine everyone made 10 cents per hour.  How long would you stay in business?

    Republican tax policies have led to financial conditions which have caused Republicans to demand cuts to programs they have always opposed.

    by AppleP on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 10:07:20 AM PST

    •  thought experiment, pt. II (0+ / 0-)

      imagine that you barely made enough money to keep your family business open, and then your employment costs suddenly rose. how long would you be able to keep your business afloat while waiting for the macroeconomic effects of a slight increase in minimum wage to boost your overall sales?

      •  Might not be able to keep the business afloat (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greengemini, Mr Robert

        This may sound harsh, but businesses fail. If a business can't afford to pay minimum wage, then maybe it shouldn't exist. The burden of making a profit should not be on the employees, it should be on the business owner.

        •  who said he couldnt afford to pay minimum wage? (0+ / 0-)

          this diary is about raising the minimum wage.

          again, though, an equally valid, if harsh statement would be: people fail. if a person needs to find work that pays more than minimum wage, but cant -- because they dont have the skills -- why is it this job owners responsibility to prop them up? he's offered them a job at a specific wage. they can either accept it or not.

          in a business, the burden of making a profit is definitely on the employees. thats why they're there: to help the owner make money. thats why he pays them. thats how employment works.

          •  Sorry, that's ass-backwards (0+ / 0-)

            Both the burdens and benefits of running a business lay solely with the owner. Profits don't enure to the employees, they enure to the owners. Same thing for losses. That is the responsibility of business ownership. If it were the other way around, we'd be talking about socialism, not capitalism.

      •  As long as all your competetiors (0+ / 0-)

        had to follow the same rules, then if you can't compete then you should close your doors.

        It is called the free market.  You should learn to love it because it is here to stay.

        Republican tax policies have led to financial conditions which have caused Republicans to demand cuts to programs they have always opposed.

        by AppleP on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:03:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I am also a small business owner (4+ / 0-)

    My gross is less than 150,000 I have 3 part time employees. I pay from 10-17 dollars an hour  depending on what run they have.  They only work a couple of hours each day, I wish I could give them more time but that all the longer it takes for there runs. If a little guy like me can do it then WalMart and all the rest can to. After all people deserve and need a good wage.

  •  Sorry to see a business hurt, but Krugman is right (5+ / 0-)

    I do hope your businesses survive. My wife owns her own business as well and for the last several years has made less than her employees. They are disgruntled because they have had no raises. Times have been hard and technology changes can be brutal.

    My arguments for raising the minimum wage:
    1. Every year you do not give an increase, you are giving a real wage cut. How about raising wages - in terms of how much that wage can purchase - back to what you paid five years ago? That will not be a real increase.
    2. While economic theory says that the higher priced something is, the less is demanded, when the theory was empirically tested, it proved not to be true in the case of minimum wage. Labor is "derived demand"; that is, it is not a consumption good for which the theory would apply but derived from the demand for the consumption goods. In other words, the demand for labor is of low price elasticity. Krugman gave a link to the empirical analysis here.
    3. It will be a small shift in income from businesses to labor; given that it is at the bottom of the income scale, all of the increase will be spent, and therefor have a large multiplier effect macroeconomically.
    4. An argument against increasing the minimum wage is that it is an inefficient way to alleviate poverty, since many minimum wage workers are teenagers from middleclass families who don't really need the income. This has been debunked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics here.
    5. Another argument for raising the minimum wage is that it will raise all wages. Those who are paid slightly above minimum wage will get a raise to keep the differential the same.  Blue collar wages - at least by the BLS series "Average Weekly Earnings of Production Workers" - has risen slightly less than inflation for the last two years. That is, just like minimum wage, average production wages have fallen in real, after inflation, terms.

    I hope your businesses survive, Shocko, and you can maintain the real wages of your employees.

  •  Are your competitors paying higher than the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldSoldier99

    proposed new minimum wage? If they are, then clearly wages are not your problem. If they are not, they will also have to increase their labor costs the same as you. Why would that all of a sudden make you noncompetitive?

    Further, affiant sayeth not.

    by Gary Norton on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 11:13:40 AM PST

  •  Bravo to you, Shocko, for stating your view and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shocko from Seattle

    sharing your anecdote. I was quick to dismiss it as just that -- an anecdote, thus no substitute for honest, rigorous, statistically based analysis. Certainly, your anecdote, as candid and truth-based as it undoubtedly is, does not disprove Dr. K's assertion.

    However, I (perhaps naively) think that you will find some way forward without shutting your doors, and sincerely, in a humanistic way, hope that you do.

    "...pero mi corazón me aconseja, que los nacionalismos - ¡qué miedo me dan!" - Enrique Bunbury (El Extranjero)

    by JustGiaco on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 12:21:16 PM PST

  •  Sorry 'bout that but... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, Kane in CA

    ...when computers took over the sign business and I couldn't compete with my low tech hand-painted signage I didn't hear anyone crying for me. Rather, what I got in looped refrain was "Tough shit! If you can't keep up with the changes in your industry get the fuck out. Go try sellin' buggy whips!". It was lonely and sad and nobody wanted to hear about the loss of a great traditional artform. Forget about any loss of employment.While I have sympathy for the position you find yourself in, it's hardly any more unfair than the treatment millions of others got in the race to the bottom. Join the club, have a drink and pull up a seat to watch the sun go down.

  •  Shocko - let me introduce your harshest critic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe

    Yourself...

    If people have jobs, they have money to spend, long as the job pays something like a living wage. No jobs, no small business. It's really simple.

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