Tuesday, July 17, 2018


You'll never go broke in rightwingworld telling the rubes them there big cities is turrible places just like Mr. Trump says -- and it's even better when you're geographically located in one; the rubes never ask why you and the rest of the staff of your conservative publication don't leave Sodom and come join them in the heaven that is Fritters, Alabama, so you never even have to admit to them that you prefer city living, and can instead just pass yourself off as a kind friend who endures the liberals and lakes of bum poo and other horrors of urban life merely as a selfless journalistic mission.  Ellie Bufkin of The Federalist is one such, and she is here to tell you that

The $15 Minimum Wage Is Wreaking Havoc On New York City Dining

None of my friends back in my old hometown report any such thing, but they have no motivation to put anything over on me; so, though New Yorkers are still and as always paying outrageous prices for entree to hot spots, Bufkin wants you to think it's all up with the place: Coffee Shop, a joint that was long in the tooth when I lived in New York, recently closed and the owner told a reporter, "The rents are very high and now the minimum wage is going up and we have a huge number of employees." Hmmm, skyrocketing rents in downtown Manhattan, or waiters get a few hundred extra bucks a month -- which one do you think is more likely to convince a restauranteur it's time to move on to the next big thing? Bufkin, you won't be stunned to learn, picks the latter, calling Coffee Shop "the most recent victim" of the $15 wage, which she claims "has forced several New York City businesses to shutter their doors and will claim many more victims soon." She gives no citation for that claim -- not even some schnorrer blaming his busted venture on the commies' economic warfare -- but consider her audience: they imagine Boss Smith paying Lame Pete $15/hr to sling hash at Lutiebelle's and think these slickers must be plumb crazy.

In closing Bufkin paints this grim picture:
Eventually, minimum wage laws and other prohibitive regulations will cause the world-renowned restaurant life in cities like New York, DC, and San Francisco to cease to exist. The staff skill levels will drop, the number of servers and bartenders will never be enough, and the only survivors will be fast-casual chains with low overhead and deep pockets. 
New York’s new look will be vacant storefronts between an occasional Pret-a-Manger or the public restroom formerly known as Starbucks. But don’t worry. That charming, downtown studio apartment will still run about $5,000 per month for the privilege of proximity to all that culture.
Bufkin seems too young to remember the 70s, so we probably should forgive her for telling such unconvincing urban blight stories -- she only knows them as a trope from the wingnut propaganda manual. Besides, even smarter conservatives have tried this shit -- like Joe Lhota, who told everyone when Bill de Blasio was running for Mayor in 2013 that de Blasio was going to turn the town back into Death Wish meets Escape from New York. Conservatives all agreed that New York was doomed --  and when, four years later, de Blasio's New York reported record low crime rates, they screamed like scalded cats and slunk away. But as soon as people forget, they'll come back and try it again, because there's always someone in some holler, bluff or junction whose self-respect is tied up in believing it.

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