Beware of liberal “compassion”…it can leave you out on the street.
On Monday Stuart Varney interviewed Zane Tankel, the head of the Applebee’s franchise in the New York City metro area, which consists of forty restaurants. Tankel told Varney that thanks to minimum wage laws, “We have 1,000 less servers this time this year than we had this time last year.”
We have servers, but they’re moving — more and more the model is to a concierge type of a person, comes to the table, “Can I help you? Do you need assistance with the tablets? Can I get you anything immediately?” And making people feel warm and comfortable.
So that the model now that we’re heading towards where we had one server for three or four tables, we’re moving towards one server for ten tables, eliminating about two-thirds of our labor ultimately. But it’s because of Cuomo, De Blasio, the liberal agenda.
Tankel explained that while a higher minimum wage is great if you’re among the lucky employees who haven’t been laid off (that is, if your bosses don’t compensate by reducing your hours), “if you don’t have a job, $100 an hour doesn’t help you a whole lot, does it?”
Varney also made the all-too-often overlooked point that getting $15 per hour as your starting wage is beside the point of an entry-level job in, say, food service, because if “you’re a youngster, you want to get your first foot on the rung of that ladder going up the food chain.” Exactly. What is so hard for liberals to understand about the incentive to work harder so you earn raises and promotions and eventually move on to better jobs?
Finally, in another interview from January, Tankel addresses the Left’s argument that businesses can just make up for the added expense by raising their prices:
“The consumer’s head is hitting the ceiling now on dining out, outside dining, fast food, casual dining, etc.,” he explained. “We can’t raise prices any more.” Bingo! Raise prices too high, especially on a luxury service, and people will eat elsewhere. Economists call this price elasticity (basically, how changes in price do or don’t impact a consumer’s willingness to pay for something), but you don’t have to have an econ degree to understand something so common-sense.
At least, one would hope so. Looking at liberals, apparently that isn’t the case. It’s enough to make us wish politicians had to take economic literacy exams before being eligible to hold public office.