Carpe Diem

Who’d a-thunk it? Following $15 per hour minimum wage in SeaTac, local businesses are adding ‘living wage surcharges’?

minwageErin Shannon, Director of the Center for Small Business writes on The Washington Policy Center blog that “In SeaTac, Everyone Pays for the $15 Minimum Wage“:

Last week I blogged about SeaTac employers who have responded to the new $15 minimum wage law by reducing or eliminating the benefits workers receive.  Employees earning the new wage say they have lost benefits such as 401k, paid holidays, paid vacation, free food, free parking and overtime hours.  As one SeaTac worker put it, “It sounds good, but it’s not good.”

But workers aren’t the only ones paying for the high wage.  Consumers are also picking up the tab, in the form of increased prices.  Many SeaTac businesses have tacked on an additional fee to mitigate the increased cost of labor.  On the receipt pictured above, a $6.93 “living wage surchage” was added to a $84.00 parking charge.  That is the equivalent of a 8.25% tax.

Contrary to what supporters claim, increasing the minimum wage does not create jobs and stimulate the economy.  The higher wages are not free money.  The increased cost must either be absorbed by the employer, which is impossible for many who already operate on shoe-string profit margins, or it must be passed on to workers, in the form of reduced hours and benefits, and consumers, in the form of higher prices.  Either way, someone pays.

MP: A $15 per hour minimum wage might sound good in theory, but ends up having many unintended, secondary, negative consequences in the form of less employment, reduced hours, reduced job and business creation, higher prices for consumers, etc. In the end, and maybe very soon, it will be evident that SeaTac’s $15 per hour minimum wage, like all government mandated price controls, are really an “economic death wish.” Milton Friedman pointed out years ago that, “Just as Freud pointed to the death wish in individuals as a fundamental psychological propensity, the appeal of socialism and the opposition to capitalism is really a form of an “economic death wish” for society on the part of intellectuals [progressives].”

Note: The company that issued the receipt above is MasterPark at the Seattle’s SeaTac Airport.  According to its website, the company now charges a $0.99 per day “living wage surchage.”  For a 7-day period that would add $6.93 and 8.25% to the base fee of $84. For a 30-day parking fee of $199, the $29.70 “living wage surcharge” would add a tax of almost 15% to the base rate.

84 thoughts on “Who’d a-thunk it? Following $15 per hour minimum wage in SeaTac, local businesses are adding ‘living wage surcharges’?

  1. So just as Piketty predicted, owners of capital continue to increase inequality.

    Nice job of presenting the data that back sup Piketty’s assertions.

    • Oh no it doesn’t. It shows how the real world works. Piketty just spews nonsense. Owners of capital are not doing anything – it’s government meddling that’s creating economic absurdity.
      The solution is obvious – end minimum wage altogether, end government meddling, leave the market alone.

    • Your argument is like me smashing your foot with a hammer and when you cry out and curse I say “see I told you he was a loudmouth”. Unless you are prepared to close the borders and put them in concentration camps you can’t “get” the rich. They just adapt to each self inflicted hammer smash.

    • Forget it. I don’t know who said it first, but puharic’s post is definitive proof: liberalism is a mental disorder. It’s the only possible explanation.

      • You’ve just blasphemed the teachings of The Church of The Free Lunch (or Free Parking if you’re a Monopoly aficionado), of which Robert is a High Priest. You see, the way you are SUPPOSED to respond to government imposed costs is to grab your ankles and shout “Thank you sir! May I have Another?”

      • “I’m at the breaking point,” said Gretchen Gardner, an Austin artist who bought a 1930s bungalow in the Bouldin neighborhood just south of downtown in 1991 and has watched her property tax bill soar to $8,500 this year.

        “It’s not because I don’t like paying taxes,” said Gardner, who attended both meetings. “I have voted for every park, every library, all the school improvements, for light rail, for anything that will make this city better. But now I can’t afford to live here anymore. I’ll protest my appraisal notice, but that’s not enough. Someone needs to step in and address the big picture.” — Statesman

        Definitely a mental disorder.

        • ‎“I’m at the breaking point,” said Gretchen Gardner

          Heh!

          Soon only the rich will live in downtown Austin, and Gretchen will be forced to commute via light rail from the suburbs to the lovely parks and libraries she has asked for. She will never understand what went so horribly wrong.

  2. First of all, kudos to Masterpark for highlighting this tax rather than simply burying it in higher parking rates. I’ll be sure to park there next time.

    Actually, no I won’t. I’ll be parking in one of the lots in Tukwila and avoiding the fees altogether (there are at least two developers who have announced plans to open new lots outside Sea-Tac that will give them a competitive advantage).

  3. “A $15 per hour minimum wage might sound good in theory, but ends up having many unintended, secondary, negative consequences in the form of less employment, reduced hours, reduced job and business creation, higher prices for consumers, etc.”

    If something “sounds good in theory” but is far from good in practice, then it’s not a good theory. ‘Twould be more accurate to write “sounds good IN YOUR DREAMS” or “sounds good in FANTASYLAND” instead of “sounds good in theory.”

      • It isn’t a theory until proven

        It isn’t a fact until proven. It’s a theory as long as it hasn’t been falsified.

  4. Now that the City of Seattle has decided to go down this same destructive rat-hole, here’s what’s going to happen (I guarantee you).

    Better qualified workers from the Eastside will now be willing to commute to Seattle for the higher pay rates. They will displace the current low-skilled workers and teenagers without high school diplomas, who will either have to commute to the Eastside or simply be SOL. And the City Council will remind us how much they care about The Poor.

    • Well seattle I don’t doubt your scenario one bit but I’m also thinking for that cost of labor we ‘might‘ be seeing more of this kind of employee in the not to distant future…

      • Let’s see. I can pay someone $15 to deliver $10 of labor value. Or I can buy some equipment that will never be late to work, never be rude to the customers, and can speak English (or any other language for that matter). Tough decisions. Tough decisions. Tough decisions.

  5. Oh if only there was some way to predict this outcome! Perhaps some area of study that looks at incentives?

    Oh well…

  6. There is a very interesting op-ed today that talks about how states with generous welfare policies, like minimum wage, actually have higher income inequality, rather than lower (as “progressives” like to argue).

    Via Steve Horwitz

    • So now we know why the Democrats are adopting economic inequality as their central issue: because their constituents, the people who live under policies crafted by the left, are the ones who experience the highest degree of income inequality in their own lives.

      That’s the upshot of a recent study of income inequality organized by congressional district: “Across the country, inequality is lower in Republican districts than in Democratic ones” and is “highest in the New York City district of Representative Jerry Nadler, a liberal Democrat.” Who has the congressional district with the least income inequality? That would be Tea Party favorite Michele Bachmann, who represents suburban Minneapolis. …

      So no wonder Democrats are enamored with all of that rhetoric about inequality and class warfare. Their constituents, the audience they are addressing, are far more likely to live in the American equivalent of Rio de Janeiro, a class society starkly divided between squalid, hopeless, crime-ridden favelas and safe, beautiful downtown playgrounds for the rich. — The Federalist

      We are the 99%!

    • Makes sense. Wisconsin used to have extremely generous welfare benefits and thus attracted throngs of the worst freeloaders from Chicago.

  7. Note the fee is somewhat outside the additional costs. Since it is a valet parting service, most of the personel cost is in the valet service, say 1/2 hour for both ends of the transaction. At an increase of 7.50 per hour, that comes to 3.75. But it should be expressed as a flat fee not a percentage fee, since if you stay a day or a month the valet time involved is the same. An additional charge for valet service should make up the difference. After all it is less than 5 mins at the cashier, and other folks time. so $5 should pay the difference.

    • There is also the person behind the counter who processes tickets and some low paid security guys watching cameras. Frequently, being outside the business, it is hard to determine exactly who is there and who is doing what for your benefit.

      • The cost per hour of an individual car of the security guard has to be low. Assume 500 spaces mostly full you get say 1/400 th of an hour per hour, or .02 per hour in added cost. As to the person processing tickets since I suspect the tickets are computer readable, and the listing maintained on the computer, no human need be involved in processing the tickets, the silicon employees do the job quite well.

    • Lyle

      But it should be expressed as a flat fee not a percentage fee…

      Actually, it should be expressed in whatever manner the business owner wishes to express it. It need not be based on any actual cost incurred by the business.

    • Aren’t valet parked cars packed densely enough that not all cars can be retrieved without moving other cars, so your car may need to be moved any number of times while you are parked there, so there is a continuing labor cost?

      -dk

  8. Socialism as economic death wish…does that explain the bloated out of control favorite of avowed socialist Bernie Sanders, the VA?
    BTW, there are more Amrricans collecting VA “disability” payments (3.7 million) than their are working at the minimum wage (about 2 million).

    • Careful Benji, you’re slipping into your golden oldies. Your sock puppet needs to weigh in with a different voice to fool anyone.

  9. Mark,

    It’s not an 8.25% tax: it’s a 99 cent per day surcharge.

    The MasterPark website says this:

    “MasterPark charges, taxes, and fees include a ‘Living Wage’ surcharge of 99 cents per day. This is due to the new $15 per hour minimum wage requirement for certain businesses in SeaTac. The surcharge covers a portion of the resulting increase in operating costs.”

    So, in exchange for an extra buck a day, people who choose to park at MasterPark have their cars valet parked in a facility with 24-hour security, staffed by workers who have a little more financial security than they might have a few months ago.

    Sounds like an okay deal to me.

    • Of course it sounds like an “okay deal” to you, it’s not your money.

      How about we charge you a dollar more for everything that you buy? A gallon of gas – that’ll be an extra buck. Bag of chips – $1 please.

      After all, it’s for the children. Dad needs a little more financial security and he is apparently incapable of proving himself worthy of a raise.

      Now, that sounds like an Okay deal to me.

    • Um you sure about the financial security – they probably had their healthcare, free parking, 401k and vacation time pulled.

      And are now paying tax on what was formerly pretax income.

    • HelpThe99ers

      Mark,

      It’s not an 8.25% tax: it’s a 99 cent per day surcharge.

      That’s “Erin Shannon” as quoted by Mark, who wrote:

      “That is the equivalent of a 8.25% tax.”

      Erin didn’t claim that it WAS an $8.25 tax, only that, based on the receipt pictured above, the additional fee was EQUIVALENT to that amount of tax.

      So, in exchange for an extra buck a day, people who choose to park at MasterPark have their cars valet parked in a facility with 24-hour security, staffed by workers who have a little more financial security than they might have a few months ago.

      I suspect that you don’t park at SeaTac yourself, so you aren’t including yourself in that “okay deal”. What you really mean that others should be required to pay that extra buck a day.

      Anyone who feels, as you do, that the low wage workers we interact with should be paid more, can certainly hand them an extra buck, as Jon points out. What do you think?

  10. Minimum Wage increases sound great. Even companies like the Gap and now Subway are calling for them. Not said by any of these companies is that they have the freedom to do this at any time. Like right now, go ahead, do it. #Raisethewage. So why are they hectoring the government to do it?

    Minimum Wage increases not only hurt the poor and consumers, it insulates big business from new competition. It should not be surprising that now that Subway, has expanded “to more than 41,000 restaurants in 106 countries—making it the largest restaurant chain in the world” it has a new comfort with minimum wage policy that previously it did not. The reason is simple. Subway started out just like any other big company, as a small one. One imagines they had to manage through many moments of adversity, gaps in income flow, and false starts before they became the known entity they are today. … — “What Subway Teaches Us About the Minimum Wage‏”, The Federalist

    A point about regulation and the imposition of higher costs on business, like the increase in the minimum wage, that is always lost on liberals.

    • They want it because they feel it makes them sound caring. They won’t do not themselves because unless everyone is forced to do it, it will put the one company at a competitive disadvantage.

  11. Note by using this charging method they move the decision point between Lytf/Uber/limo services and driving to the airport in favor of the ride services in particular for long trips. It would be interesting to compare the cost of a ride service to the cost of driving to the airport and parking and plotting maps of where what is cheaper (gee that seems like an interesting app, in particular where ride pricing is by zone). Way back when in Houston it seemed that if you went over 2 weeks it made more sense to take a limo, (plus a lot less hassle) even without adding in the hassle of riding a shuttle to the car plus the chance your car would not start.

  12. Your point is taken, but this is a terrible example. $84 for parking is obscene. The rationale that the owner of the lot is presumably incapable of absorbing a minimum wage hike for a handful of parking attendants is dubious at best.

    This surcharge is being added because customers who can afford to pay $84 for parking won’t really care. And in the liberal Seattle culture, it may actually be perceived as a psychological bonus. The owner can get away with it, so why not?

    Incidentally, this single instance surcharge more then negates a minimum-wage parking attendant’s new hourly raise, and unless this is a very small lot, is probably an added profit center for the owner.

    • Nice try but what about the people who will be replaced by better educated and better qualified workers who will now be willing to take jobs they refused before due to the low wages?

      What about the lost benefits to the workers receiving these raises? No more 401 matching contributions, lost days off, lost sick days, no more overtime, etc.?

      There is NO FREE ANYTHING, my friend. There is always a price to pay for everything. In this case the whatever the workers gained is mostly lost on less benefits, higher taxes.

      Jobs will be lost in many cases as employers scramble to meet these imposed wage hikes and do so by allocating available payroll resources among fewer employees.

      The biggest problem the liberals have is their inability to think strategically. Everything is about feeling good NOW with no thought to the future consequences of their actions.

      Then of course we have that thing about buying votes…

    • $84 for parking is obscene.

      For 7-day parking, that’s not bad at all.

      You park for 7 days at Logan Airport in Boston, it’ll cost you $108. JFK in New York will run you $90.

    • Jonathan

      Your point is taken, but this is a terrible example. $84 for parking is obscene.

      On what do you base that description? Is that an unusual amount for parking at the Airport?

      The rationale that the owner of the lot is presumably incapable of absorbing a minimum wage hike for a handful of parking attendants is dubious at best.

      But you don’t know that. To legitimately make such a point you would have to know what all the owner’s costs are, and what his profit is, if any, and THEN you would have to decide FOR him how much of a “living wage” he finds acceptable. Can you do that?

      This surcharge is being added because customers who can afford to pay $84 for parking won’t really care.

      Something ELSE you can’t possibly know. What indicates to you that they don’t care?

      And in the liberal Seattle culture, it may actually be perceived as a psychological bonus..”

      Paying more for something is a psychological bonus for liberals? Who knew?

      The owner can get away with it, so why not?

      Exactly. The owner can charge whatever they please, but must be able to attract customers to his lot and away from competing parking businesses.

      Incidentally, this single instance surcharge more then negates a minimum-wage parking attendant’s new hourly raise, and unless this is a very small lot, is probably an added profit center for the owner.

      Again, how can you possibly know that? I think you’re guessing.

  13. Let’s not stop there. I would suggest in the spirit of transparency and complete consumer information, the parking garage itemize their profit margin on the receipt.

    • “Let’s not stop there.”

      Wait, who suggested we go somewhere? And where are we going?

      “I would suggest in the spirit of transparency…”

      Who suggested that we need more transparency on receipts? I thought this blog post was about higher minimum wage leading to unintended consequences?

      • I thought the receipt was about the parking lot informing their customers of why they are paying as much as they are paying. You have to be careful itemizing costs on a receipt in the Internet Age because customers will pick you apart (I bet this guy did not run this past his marketing department). If the parking lot wants to make a political or economic statement, they might want to try a better method.

        • Thanks for being a good sport with my snark.

          From a marketing perspective, I’m actually think Masterpark’s approach is win-win. If they outright raised fees, parking patrons may view the changes as price gouging.

          By using the surcharge, Masterpark communicates to customers that higher prices are due to public policy, shifting the blame to a force outside Masterpark’s control.

          Customers that support higher minimum wages will see the surcharge as an avenue for helping the poor. Customers on the other side of the spectrum (like Dr. Perry and other on this forum) will blame the liberal voters and the government.

          • Yes, there are many schools of thought about how much information to put on invoices (and this is an invoice until stamped Paid as a receipt). You NEVER want to put parts’ markup on an invoice, and even putting itemized parts will have your customers shopping the Internet for cheaper alternatives or trying to negotiate discounts of certain items.

            You can’t give customers information without them asking questions about that information, so I am not so sure how much effort you want your employees to expend on explaining the new law. I suppose the parking lot can include that information for now and remove it if it causes more problems than it solves. It does make good political and blog fodder.

          • I wasn’t real clear about the problems that including the itemized surcharge will cause. The customer is not going to like it and will be arguing over it because that is what people do and probably arguing with the minimum wage employee who may or may not think he or she is benefiting from the law. You will have to have a manager onsite to solve this conflict so it does not escalate. Will a surcharge be added on for needing a manager for the itemized bill, too?

          • If Masterpark raises prices for the daily parking rates, customers will still complain.

            Besides, I don’t think this situation will be as serious as you’re describing. You mentioned auto parts, which could have markups that are around 100% and could amount to hundreds of dollars. Masterpark is charging one extra dollar a day and is a 7-8% increase to the bill. The extra charge is de minimus for the vast majority of people that can afford to park their cars at the airport.

          • I teach in auto mechanics and heating and cooling programs and both are eyed suspiciously by the customer who automatically assume you will rip them off, but maybe parking garages are held to less suspicion.

            http://www.baker.edu/programs/detail/hvac-service-management-bachelor-of-service-management/

            We teach the bill is the last place to make a good impression on the customer and to get repeat and referral business, so we would not ordinarily suggest companies do anything to alienate their customers or present an agenda at that point. The IRS is hated even though it is just their job to collect taxes from the law, so you need to be careful if you take on the tax collector or surcharge role and draw attention to it because you may end up the bad guy.

        • Walt

          I thought the receipt was about the parking lot informing their customers of why they are paying as much as they are paying.

          It is. It includes the base parking rate plus a list taxes and surcharges.

          If the parking lot wants to make a political or economic statement, they might want to try a better method.

          Like what? They are explaining the sudden increase in price as a new cost imposed on them by government. Why would anyone would object to that?

          You NEVER want to put parts’ markup on an invoice…

          Masterpark isn’t putting parts markup on the invoice. What are you talking about?

          …and even putting itemized parts will have your customers shopping the Internet for cheaper alternatives or trying to negotiate discounts of certain items.

          Customers have already done that shopping. The fact that they are doing business with you means you are their best choice. A parking price isn’t likely negotiable after the service is rendered.

          Not sure what type of business you are referring to with your reference to parts, but an auto repair business would typically itemize the parts used and the prices charged. No sensible auto repair shop would install parts the customer brought with them, so shopping for cheaper parts would be a waste of time.

          You can’t give customers information without them asking questions about that information, so I am not so sure how much effort you want your employees to expend on explaining the new law.

          And that’s a good thing. Informed choice is good.

          The only explaining your employees need to do is to point the customer to the company website for an explanation of all charges and fees. Masterpark explains all the itemized taxes and fees under “Rates and Reservations” at their website.

          I wasn’t real clear about the problems that including the itemized surcharge will cause. The customer is not going to like it and will be arguing over it because that is what people do and probably arguing with the minimum wage employee who may or may not think he or she is benefiting from the law.

          Have you ever argued over fuel charges added to some airline tickets?

          As you must know, arguing with the minimum wage employees is pointless. They don’t make decisions, and can’t change the price you must pay.

          You will have to have a manager onsite to solve this conflict so it does not escalate.

          No, Walt no manager is needed, although I suspect Masterpark is a large enough business to have one on site.

          Will a surcharge be added on for needing a manager for the itemized bill, too?

          Yes. If you choose to use the immediate services of an onsite manager instead of communicating with management via email or at the website, like everybody else does, you will be charged extra. (jk)

          • Ron, your blinders are keeping you from seeing that the customer may have a different viewpoint than yours. See my reply above.

          • Walt, you are making something of this that isn’t there. I am I customer, and I know what I like and don’t like about a bill, and I know what many other people like and don’t like about what and how they are charged. Mostly we don’t like surprises. A bill that itemizes some of the taxes and fees that are imposed by government, and isn’t directly part of the service received, is appreciated. The $15 min wage is certainly that type of arbitrary charge.

            Look at the other itemized taxes and fees on that bill. Do you think customers ask for explanations of those items? If so, employees need only point them to the web site. The same is true of the dramatic increase in labor cost that has been imposed on them. It’s explained on the website.

            Would you prefer an unexplained 8% increase in your parking bill? By itemizing the additional mandated labor cost, Masterpark can explain that they haven’t raised their price for parking, but it will now cost more, and here’s why.

          • If there is no competition that does it otherwise or you don’t need repeat or referral business, you can do pretty much what you want to the customer one time. Your best chance to make a good impression is when you first meet the customer and the next best chance is when you hand the customer the bill. Your parting message probably should be we want your business and referrals and not blaming other people for extra costs on the bill.

            It might be different for parking lots, but I was one of the program designers for the HVAC and auto/diesel bachelor degree program and I know what a dozen of the area’s largest contractors wanted to see: customer relations was at the top of their list. Itemized bills are a common complaint area when you start breaking them down past parts, labor, and tax.

          • An an aside: If you tell a customer they need a new furnace blower motor, they price the exact one they need on the Internet before you even leave. You can deal with that or let your competition take away the job who will install the customer purchased part. Who do you think they will call or refer when either they or their friends need a new $10,000 furnace and air conditioning system?

            Yeah, probably too deep of an analysis for this parking lot in Seattle :)

          • Walt

            An an aside: If you tell a customer they need a new furnace blower motor, they price the exact one they need on the Internet before you even leave. You can deal with that or let your competition take away the job who will install the customer purchased part. Who do you think they will call or refer when either they or their friends need a new $10,000 furnace and air conditioning system?

            And who will they call when they have a problem with the blower, after your competitor tells them they didn’t guarantee the install of a customer supplied part? They will call you.

            Unless your company was chosen at random like AAAA Heating and Air – first listing in the yellow pages – the reason the customer has called you first, was because someone recommended you, they checked your customer approval rating online and you have lots of satisfied customers, or they liked your ad and the professionalism of the person who answered the phone when they called. Maybe all 3.

            You undoubtedly have a basic charge for a service call, but will include that charge in the repair if the customer hires you. That puts your price, from that point forward, one service call cheaper than your competitor.

            You will not get every job you estimate, but if your work is good, your prices reasonable (not necessarily cheapest), and you strive to provide the best customer service possible, you WILL get those referrals and repeat business, and you will always have all the work you can handle.

            Your competitor, who will sometimes get work by undercutting your price, and who will install customer supplied parts for people who don’t understand what “no warranty” means,will always be closer to failing.

          • Ron, I am just passing information along from HVAC contractors who have been in business for decades. Customers can be fickle and not act in some of the ways Carpe Diem readers would act. Most customers you lose you won’t even know why, and they are going to tell their friends your ripped them off by trying to charge $200 for a motor they could buy for $100. Sometimes you have to figure out how right you want to be, and I am not disagreeing Master Park’s policy has merit.

            I can almost guarantee Master Park will lose an unknown number of customers to a hypothetical Super Park even if they charge the same amount to park if Super Park does not put that .99 daily charge on their receipt. Super Park will even advertise they don’t charge charge extra like Master Park does. I don’t think most marketing experts would advise to do what Master Park is doing, but I am not an expert myself after teaching a marketing and advertising class just twice.

          • Walt

            Itemized bills are a common complaint area when you start breaking them down past parts, labor, and tax.

            Masterpark hasn’t broken down their bill beyond parts, labor, and taxes and other mandated fees. The sudden higher labor cost is certainly a government mandated cost.

            Here’s the whole question, Walt: Do you think customers would more easily accept an unexplained increase in the daily/weekly/ monthly parking rate, or an itemized labor surcharge?

          • “Here’s the whole question, Walt: Do you think customers would more easily accept an unexplained increase in the daily/weekly/ monthly parking rate, or an itemized labor surcharge?”

            We were told by people in business who itemize, that every item you put on a bill is an item that a customer will want to bargain on (It’s called the “salami effect”– I’ll bring my own cheese if you knock 25 cents of the bill for the sandwich) Do you want to bargain on 10 items that list each part separately for a total of twelve counting labor and tax or just three: parts, labor, and tax that have to be broken out separately by law?

            Personally, I like Master Park’s policy, but I would have to advise against it because I know a lot of people do not think as I do. Maybe Master Park should form focus groups of potential customers, hand them the receipts, and get their reaction to the policy before implementing it. Alternatively, they could survey potential customers. Possibly, Master Park does not have any competition and can do whatever they want without hurting their bottom line.

          • Walt

            We were told by people in business who itemize, that every item you put on a bill is an item that a customer will want to bargain on (It’s called the “salami effect”– I’ll bring my own cheese if you knock 25 cents of the bill for the sandwich) Do you want to bargain on 10 items that list each part separately for a total of twelve counting labor and tax or just three: parts, labor, and tax that have to be broken out separately by law?

            First of all you didn’t answer my question, then you are repeating yourself. You already know there are only 3 types of charges on Masterpark’s bills – parking charges, taxes, and fees, there aren’t ten.

            Negotiate? Even you must know that a min wage cashier at a parking lot isn’t authorized to negotiate prices.

            For some reason you keep talking past me. It’s hard to believe you don’t understand what I’m writing, so it must be intentional evasion. I ask direct questions or make direct points, and you talk about something else in response.

            Maybe Master Park should form focus groups of potential customers, hand them the receipts, and get their reaction to the policy before implementing it. Alternatively, they could survey potential customers.

            You must be joking. What survey question would they ask? “We are going to raise our prices. Would you, as a customer, prefer to know why or not know why?”

            Possibly, Master Park does not have any competition and can do whatever they want without hurting their bottom line.

            Whoopsie! There are 28 parking businesses listed at SeaTac. Three of them are Masterpark lots. 15 of them offer valet parking. Shouldn’t you check these things out before sticking your foot in your mouth?

            Unless you have something new to add to this discussion, I’m done wasting time on you.

          • I am clear on this: Master Park made their choice, and some people will like it, and some people will not. Some people are going to take it as a position against a popular minimum wage. It’s not a slam-dunk prominently posting the new fee. Whether Master Park is adversely affected or not depends mostly on their business model and competition for that area and the demographics of their customers.

            Proper survey questions would be something such as these: Were our employees courteous to you? Did you have any problems with our service? Is there anything we can do to make your next visit better. And the big one: Based upon your latest visit, would you recommend us to your friends and relatives? Businesses that want to survive in the 21st century cannot arrogantly assume what their customers want without asking and adjusting.

            It’s your choice to go or stay. I don’t have any hard feelings either way. I enjoy having discussions with people who have different viewpoints than my own. You present your position very well: Thanks.

          • (It’s called the “salami effect”– I’ll bring my own cheese if you knock 25 cents of the bill for the sandwich)

            That hardly applies to a parking lot, and you can’t negotiate taxes and mandated fees.

          • You might not be able to negotiate fees at a parking lot, but you can receive a lot of complaints and questions and lose customers if they can go elsewhere.

            How many parking lots are at Sea-Tac Airport would not tell me if there is competition or not without knowing how full they usually are. If Master Park has 25% of the area parking slots and the area lots have usually have 80% occupancy, they don’t have competition.

  14. These minimum wage hikes are so great. We lose jobs. And politicians get more powerful. Take Harry Reid. A man of the people. Lives at the Ritz Carlton. $3,000 per week. (Go call the hotel. You will be shocked at the rates). And Hilary Clinton. Another fighter for us commoners. $200k per speech. Or Obama. $100 million vacations. Or Michele. Designer dresses. Fighting for us. Go on. Keep fooling us. So many of lulled by the opiate of politicians taking care of us.

  15. So…it’s ok for most of you to accept that our adult children are earning less than I did in 1986? That’s called “welfare”? All of you must be geniuses to overcome pay inequality. The truth is pay inequality exists – we even have a name for it “the working poor”…the condescending tone of if they speak English or how hard is it to monitor a parking lot is bullshit judgement on your part. I have money so I tip really well for those working at Starbucks making piss poor wages. I’d gladly give a dollar to those that work their asses off doing things so obviously beneath you. $15 isn’t shit….try living off of that, try to get 30+ hours a week. Stop with the political bullshit and read about the truth of those who struggle…many of whom are well educated and reduced to working for a measly $15 bucks an hour.

    • Starbucks? You go to Starbucks? Anyone so numb as to pay $5.00 FOR A CUP OF COFFEE has zero credibility and brains to match. If you want to hand out money to low wage earners then by all means do so but quit whining about others who want to KEEP their hard earned money.

    • “the condescending tone of if they speak English or how hard is it to monitor a parking lot is bullshit judgement on your part.”

      Who’s tone are you talking about? Nobody said that…

      “I’d gladly give a dollar to those that work their asses off doing things so obviously beneath you.”

      Again, who said this?

      Your statement lacks substance and is filled with straw man arguments.

    • April here

      You are missing the point, which is that artificially raising the price of something above the market price will cause unintended consequences, most of them bad.

      Whether someone wants to make more than they are making, and may be qualified for a better paying job is irrelevant.

      The fact is that paying a higher minimum wage without an accompanying increase in productivity means the money must come from somewhere else. In this case, directly from parking customers who park at Masterpark.

      In other cases it has come from reduced benefits to low wage workers, and fewer such workers being hired.

      Pay inequality exists, and will always exist, because the contributions of some people are valued higher than that of others by those who exchange something of value with them. Typically an employer.

      • The bill’s purpose is to collect the money from the customer as easily and quickly as possible, and hopefully without leaving a bad taste in his mouth so he will return or refer. If you want to do a lot of explaining and that turns out to work for you, great. I know from car dealer service departments that one of the most contentious items on the itemized bill is the little $5 or $10 shop supplies and waste disposal fees, so many have folded that in to other items to solve problems.

        • Waly

          My comment above was about minimum wage and pay inequality. Did you intend to leave your response here, or someplace else. You didn’t respond to my comment.

          • Ron, my comments don’t go where I aim them here sometimes for some reason: sorry about that.

            I can see both sides on this. Masterpark wants to get the word out on a pricing topic that is affecting their business and they are using this method to advertise it, and some customers are not going to take it very well. If all business is not done over the Internet and paid for in advance, employees will have to deal with customers over this charge. How small or big of a problem this will be is yet to be seen; however, problems should be expected and planned for.

            Even in the spirit of pricing transparency, I would not break out the total labor cost for the business by exempt or non-exempt employee on the receipt.

            Actually, some auto and HVAC repair companies are installing customer purchased parts because of Internet shopping and competition here, but most will not warranty them and clearly state “No Warranty” on the receipt.

          • Walt

            I can see both sides on this. Masterpark wants to get the word out on a pricing topic that is affecting their business and they are using this method to advertise it, and some customers are not going to take it very well. If all business is not done over the Internet and paid for in advance, employees will have to deal with customers over this charge. How small or big of a problem this will be is yet to be seen; however, problems should be expected and planned for.

            Even in the spirit of pricing transparency, I would not break out the total labor cost for the business by exempt or non-exempt employee on the receipt.

            I wouldn’t either. Total transparency isn’t needed or helpful. Everyone knows labor is part of the service they pay for.

            The question here, is: “Hey, why is my bill 8% higher this time, than it was last time? The broken out “living wage fee” explains it. The business owner isn’t just greedily charging higher prices for the same amount of parking.

            Actually, some auto and HVAC repair companies are installing customer purchased parts because of Internet shopping and competition here, but most will not warranty them and clearly state “No Warranty” on the receipt.

            Well, that’s the problem, and most customers are screwed when something goes wrong.. The installer blames a defective part, the parts supplier blames an incorrect installation.

            For anything expensive or complex it’s worth the extra cost to use parts the installer has procured, in my view.

            Otherwise, parts supplier, installer, and customer all waste a lot of time on the problem.

  16. Wait! I thought these business owners wanted to pay more to help the little guy? Right. What I find most interesting is that my foster parents truly believed this money would come from the top. The CEO’s and VP’s would have to be paid less so the people on the bottom could be helped. I wonder what they would have thought about the business owners are now standing there with their hands out to the customers to pay for this added expense.

    • Whaaat? So the business OWNERS who risked their own money to start up a business and in many cases mortgaged themselves to the hilt are supposed to take LESS so some low level easily replaced help can get more?

      Are you even aware the FAILURE RATE for new businesses is between 70 and 90%? Businesses will now and in the future pay employees ONLY as much as they have to in order to keep them. In fact all these entry level workers are managing to do with their constant whining is push the business owner to automate wherever possible and also to replace the high school drop outs who make up the bulk of the minimum wage jobs with much better educated people when the wage is forced to rise to $15.00, a level which attracts a far better class of worker.

      So what the answer then? Maybe there should be a law FORCING employers to hire idiots and burn outs? Whaddaya think, liberal?

      • I’m with you J Vance. I own a business (manufacturing). I hocked everything, house, 401K, personal guarantees, the whole nine yards. I bought in the depths of the last recession after getting downsized. If I fail I lose everything.

        I now have 7 employees that I would have to give an average of $4.00/hour raise, some more, some less. I work an average of 55-65 hours a week and pay myself around $27.00/hour (less when I work more). So by liberal math I have to pay out an average of $28/hour more but I cannot charge more for my product.

        I take all the risk but cannot make anything so I can pay more for a job I can teach someone in about an hour? I guess I’ll just have to get some of those “free” government handouts!

  17. Just so we’re clear here…this is NOT a tax imposed by the city…this is a tax imposed by business owners who do not want to pay the extra money to their workers? Is that correct?

    • What’s the economic difference? Government policy increased business costs. It matters not how those costs were imposed.

  18. Well actually it DOES increase activity in the economy. All those people who make $15 and hour now spend that extra money on rent, food, clothing, cars, school supplies for their kids, and every other good sold. Oh and for the record,, the person parking at the airport does not live in SeaPac, so it was NEW money brought into the town, that would have been spent maybe in the state or city where they were traveling too. So in effect it kept the money in WASHINGTON instead of whatever city they were traveling to

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