Seattle PI columnist Joel Connelly finds an economically literate Democrat;
Legislative Democrats and Gov. Jay Inslee are putting together a set of economic-equality proposals that will likely include increasing the state’s minimum wage, two party leaders told a Seattle City Club forum on Friday.
A renegade Democrat, Senate majority leader Rodney Tom, D-Medina, immediately disparaged the idea.
“I worked at McDonald’s, but I did not feel it was a career,” Tom told the luncheon, recalling college days before he became a wealthy man.I.e., the man got his first foot on the ladder to economic success with a low-skill, low-wage job, and doesn't want to deny that opportunity to others. Admirable...you'd think. Unless you're a silly Seattle newspaper guy;
The majority leader looked down his nose at the current drive in Seattle for a $15-an-hour minimum wage. It was spurred on last week by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s executive order that city departments implement that wage level for about 600 city employees currently below it.
“(Mayor Mike) McGinn filled up our (Eastside) office towers and a $15 wage will fill up our retail space,” Tom quipped.
(Actually, if Tom walked around the downtown Seattle neighborhood where the City Club held its luncheon, he would find plenty of recently located retail business and lots of buildings going up nearby in such places as South Lake Union.)But not many fast food outlets and Targets or K-Marts, we'd guess. What would be more interesting to know would be how many of the investors and developers of these businesses, themselves got their first job at a low wage and benefited from the opportunity.