I read this entire thread, as well as the article from the owner of the cafe. Incoming wall of text.
Someone said they don't support a minimum wage. Others said they don't want government in business. Riddle me this. If government didn't step in:
- Do you think we would still have sweat shops?
- What would the minimum wage be?
- What would have happened to AT&T and Ma Bell in 1984? Would the Internet even exist as it does now?
- What would become of companies like Comcast? Would they be nice for the hell of it or run roughshod over customers -- like they are?
- What would become of Microsoft's anti-trust trial circa 1999? The damage had already been done and Netscape is gone.
- What would become of Intel's anti-competitive practices against AMD? The damage had already been done (lost "income of opportunity") and AMD is still struggling to survive.
- Would we have laws such as those prohibiting insider trading?
- Would there be any consumer protection laws such as those against false advertising (and arguably insider trading)?
- Do you think slavery would still exist? (Remember, in the US, the North wanted to abolish it but the South didn't.)
I am often disgusted when people come across as completely anti-regulation. You cannot have no regulation. Look at cellular carriers and broadband ISPs in the US. You can't have over-regulation. Then, a business cannot even survive under the mountain of rules to make a buck. Hello, Double Irish/Dutch Sandwich. There is a happy medium that is difficult to attain. You also can't have regulatory capture, where a business gets so big that it is capable of buying out the government entities that are supposed to be over-seeing it. See ISPs, banks, pharmaceutical companies, movie and music lobbies and a whole slew of other corrupt industries bitchslapping consumers world-wide because they got too big due to various unfortunate circumstances.
Companies don't do nice things because they like people. A business exists to make money. To managers, executives, directors, etc. people are just resources. You put resources in, you take out money. A company will do whatever it can to increase its bottom line. If that means treating customers like dog ###### (see: Comcast) and its employees like bird ###### (see: Comcast) -- and it can do so because it's arguably colluded with others in its industry -- then it will. The natural evolution of a business in an industry is a monopoly. It will raise its bottom line, increase its political weight, push over competitors, squeeze their bottom line, put them out of business, and then, once it's saturated the markets that it operates in, squeeze more money out of its employees and customers until someone finally realizes, "Hey, we have a monopoly. We should break that up." Then wait 20 years for it all to happen again.
Not every industry operates the same. Not even every business in a single industry operates the same. Some business go under for treating their employees like crap. (That said, I honestly can't recall a single one.) Hey, Walmart is still here. The same Walmart that pays its employees minimum wage and asks customers to donate to help them earn a living wage. http://www.usnews.co...rkers-much-more They say regulation isn't needed in industries with competition. What happens when there is plenty competition but it doesn't seem to have any effect? I'm looking at you again, Walmart. Consumers have plenty places to go but when push comes to shove, Walmarts prices are lower and people tight on cash can't afford Target. Walmart's nature is a disease to its own employees. The competitive pressure it creates puts pressure to lower worker standards of living, often pushing local stores out of business. Kinda reminds me of a sweat shop. There is no pressure to raise worker standard of living. In fact, there is every incentive for Walmart to lower standards of living because it raises their profit margin. There is only pressure on the workers to leave if they think they aren't being treated fairly, except they aren't because they need the money. This effect on the employees is visible and painful. http://en.wikipedia....ickel_and_Dimed This book is a fun read.
You can't tell me with a straight face that all regulation is bad. I will concede that some is bad but a business will do disgusting things given the chance. You need look no further than your cable bill, and all the political ###### that goes into the numbers you find there, to see that.
Domiran, I didn't say that I don't support a minimum-wage increase; I have WORKED minimum-wage, and the complaints that it won't support even a single individual are, in fact, justified. (The business making the point stark by adding the equivalent of an "un-fee" - to cover the increased cost TO that business - hasn't said that, either.)
What this business person did - and what other businesses have tried to do with various sorts of "unfees" - is point out - to their customers - exactly how they directly impact the cost of providing goods and services to them. Basically, it's the opposite of hiding the cost; instead, they are breaking it out as a separate line-item on the bill.
The reaction to this "unfee" is like the reaction to other "unfees" - all of which are entirely due to regulatory mandates - screaming, and rather loudly.
Like you are going to escape the additional costs being passed on, anyway, customers!
If a business - regardless of size - didn't pass on cost increases, they would start losing money - if the business loses too much money, they go OUT of business. (When a business fails, all the employees are out of work.) That means that a business MUST pass the increased costs of DOING business - including mandatory-by-regulation wage increases - to the customers.
Not pointing that out to those same customers is not merely disingenuous, but actually dishonest on its face.
It sounds like the typical reaction to an "unfee" - which is actually, more often than not, a means to break out, so the customer is aware of it, exactly how much a regulation or other mandate affects the business costs - "How DARE they actually be truthful!"
We have gotten so used to horror story after horror story about Evil Businesses that when they start actually being straight with us, we start actually demanding that they go back to lying and covering up those increased costs by simply raising the prices anyway and NOT tell us why.
In other words, we don't really WANT Honest Business - at least when it comes to what their goods or services actually cost us, and especially not the regulatory impact.
"Business can do no right - but government can do no wrong."? Please - $611 billion (US) in unaccounted-for spending just the past fiscal year by the US government alone (GAO)? That's plenty of wrong if just an extremely-conservative ten percent was waste, fraud, and abuse ($61 billion US dollars).
The question begs asking once again - can we (as consumers, voters, etc.) actually HANDLE the Awful Truth?