River Oasis Cafe in Stillwater is hitting the news for charging a “minimum wage” fee on orders. The fee isn’t much. It’s 35 cents. But one has to wonder…why the fee?
Do the owners of the Oasis charge a fee if the cost of produce goes up? The cost of coffee? What about an increase in the lease or property tax or any other increase in the cost of doing business?
No, they don’t. This is a political stunt and it is disrespectful of their minimum wage employees.
The cost of labor is not any different than other costs of doing business. As the costs of production go up, consumers can expect to pay more (but not necessarily). Competition will reset the costs and prices. In the end everyone adjusts.
In the case of employees, however, they benefit from stronger wages and the economic power that those stronger wages give them. More money in a worker’s pockets — versus more money salted away in wealthy investments — has a more immediate and positive impact on the economy overall. Today more than ever we all — rich and poor alike — need policy that will help and not constrain the economy. Progressive minimum wage laws are that kind of help.
(By the way, how do we tax the minimum wage fee?)
River Oasis Cafe? Not anymore…let’s make it the “Drive By Cafe” and fast.