Los Angeles has announced that it will increase its minimum wage from $9 per hour to $15 per hour by 2020. I once had a fat boss who griped that it wasn’t right that the cleaning staff was eligible for the same health insurance he was. Three other bosses had me over to their homes, to fix their personal computers, which weren’t used for business at all (unless you count looking at porn.) They didn’t tip.
Joe McKenna, CEO of Joe’s, a moderately successful Los Angeles eatery: This new minimum wage is going to kill my business. KILL it.
Ted Simpleton, Joe’s assistant: Yes sir. It’s really going to hurt.
Joe: I mean, we already pay our employees what –
Ted: $642,600 per year. Forty employees at 35 hours each, plus taxes.
Joe: Like that isn’t plenty? I mean, I didn’t get into this business so I’d make nothing. I need to pay for my divorces, my three houses and my boat. At this rate, I’ll be better off taking one of my own cashier jobs, and making the big bucks.
Ted: Of course, sir. Nobody understands how rough you have it, except the politicians you donate to.
Joe: What did we give last year?
Ted: To the politicians? $25,000.
Joe: Not enough. Triple it. Spread the wealth.
Ted: But sir, shouldn’t we set aside money to cover the minimum wage increase?
Joe: We’re going to get that killed. How much did you say our payroll is going to go up, again?
Ted: It will be $1,445,850 sir. A $578,340 increase.
Joe: That’s what I’m talking about. No new boat next year. That’s out. I mean, this is America. If my employees want to start a business of their own, they’re free to. I’m not special.
Ted: Didn’t your parents send you to college, sir?
Joe: What’s that got to do with anything? I was raised middle class, and I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and made something of myself. Minimum wage is for lazy people.
Ted: Sir, that’s what you pay me.
Joe: And that’s my point! You have the benefit of being around me all the time, and what have you done with it? You know what, let’s give $250,000 to politicians this year. I’d spend half to save half.
Ted: You’re a vile man, sir.
Joe: Hey, I love my employees. They’ve made this business what it is today. I pay them exactly enough to inspire them to be all they can be. That’s capitalism, baby.
Ted: We need to talk about Miranda, sir. She’s about to go out on leave to have her baby.
Joe: Happy to guarantee her job, as long as she gets back here in the allotted time. How much was that again?
Ted: 12 weeks, sir.
Joe: Damn government. What am I supposed to do for twelve weeks? Well, everyone else is just going to have to work harder. And I’m not paying overtime. Well, I’m out of here. I’ve got tee time at 2:30. See you in the morning. And hey, try to look a little happier. At least you’ve still got a job.