MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: What Does Bussing Your Own Restaurant Table Show About Minimum Wages?

Posted by M. C. on December 31, 2018

http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2018/12/what-does-bussing-your-own-restaurant.html

By Art Carden

With the New Year’s Day right around the corner, various outlets are reporting on workers who will “get a raise” with increases in the minimum wage going into effect in several states. But will people—potential low-income workers especially—be better off in the long run as a result of higher minimum wages?

Not necessarily. And we can see how if we follow the economist Ronald Coase’s advice and look out the window for an example. I saw one at a restaurant in Boston with a sign on the wall that said “Please put away your own plates & silverware when you are done.” They don’t have anyone on staff to bus the tables; hence, we have to do it ourselves.

Lest I be misunderstood—I can hear someone sneering “look at mister fancy man who is too good to clean up after himself!”—scraping a plate and putting it in a bucket is no great imposition. But what, I wonder, is happening to the bussers who would otherwise be earning money doing it? Where did they go?

Simple: they’re being priced out of the labor market by minimum wages. At $8 an hour, it might be worthwhile to hire someone to bus tables. At $11 an hour, Massachusetts’ minimum, it probably isn’t. With the minimum wage in Massachusetts set to rise to $12 an hour in 2019 on its way to $15 an hour over five years, we should expect to see fewer and fewer jobs like these.

Be seeing you

free lunch

Bernie’s free lunch.

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One Response to “EconomicPolicyJournal.com: What Does Bussing Your Own Restaurant Table Show About Minimum Wages?”

  1. Kenneth T. said

    Scrape plates? You mean people waste food? I might see bones, but… I love eating at the local buffet places but I really hate seeing all the people wasting food. It’s disgusting to say the least – more so when it’s my kids that are doing it.
    As for tipping… I normally tip very well (because I know that the servers pay is low) unless the service is extremely bad. But I seldom eat out any more.

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