TRENTON -- Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour in New Jersey -- a proposal Democrats running for governor next year support -- will likely lead to drivers having to pump their own gas, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno said Wednesday.
The newspaper, run (like The Oregonian and others) by New York-based Advance Publications, naturally tries to spin the story, as last time I checked, some 95% of all reporters, producers, editors, and managers in media are registered Democratics, and the Lt. Gov. is a Republican. Thus, the idea here is to make it appear that she thinks that folks in New Jersey are so incompetent that pumping their own fuel will be a hardship of some sort, when in fact she was merely noting that if the Democratics get their way on the minimum wage, a lot of people in unskilled jobs are going to lose those jobs.
And as it happens, she's correct; we're seeing it in Seattle and in Portland already, and in neither place has the full $15 minimum kicked in yet. Between the other mandates from politicians who know nothing about running businesses (mandates such as defined schedules that punish employers for calling an employee in to work to cover for a sick employee, among others), and the demand for "living wage" rather than minimum wage, low-skilled employees are going to lose out. At this rate, only the military will be allowed to pay current minimum wage - and it's a safe bet that the Democratics will be working to end that as well.
First to go are jobs in the service industries. Seattle and Portland are both seeing restaurant closures (the large Burger King in downtown Portland is boarded up, which makes a lovely statement to visitors). McDonald's plans to eliminate front-line staff in favor of kiosk order placement and payment. Applebee's and other middle-line restaurants are instituting table-top tethered-tablet menus and ordering, avoiding the need for someone to locate a table and hand out menus, among other duties.
Earlier this week, The Oregonian ran a feel-good story about the "pop-up shops" that are appearing in vacant downtown Portland storefronts. Naturally, they didn't address the question of why the vacant storefronts are there in the first place.