The Crazy Years
The cost of silence

How not to help the poor

As minimum wage goes up, employers have the following options to stay in business:

  1. Fire a few workers.
  2. Reduce employee hours.
  3. Increase the prices of products.
  4. Some combinations of the above.

Sometimes, that's not enough.

Just as predicted, the $15 minimum wage is killing vulnerable city small businesses, with the low-margin restaurant industry one of the hardest-hit as it also faces a separate mandatory wage hike for tipped staffers.

In Sunday’s Post, Jennifer Gould Keil reported on the death of Gabriela’s Restaurant and Tequila Bar — closing after 25 years.

What's insidious about all this is that the poor workers who were paying the bills making $12 an hour are now getting the true minimum: $0. Also, it'll be very difficult for them to find a similar job as other restaurants are also firing workers!

Other eateries share the pain. In an August survey of its members, the NYC Hospitality Alliance found more than three-quarters have had to cut employee hours, more than a third eliminated jobs last year and half plan to cut staff this year.

“It’s death by a thousand cuts,” the Hospitality Alliance’s Andrew Rigie told The Post, since “there’s only so many times you can increase the price of a burger and a bowl of pasta.”

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