Monday, November 12, 2007

San Francisco Screws Small Businesses

San Francisco not only screws small businesses, but their workers too.

“How could that be?” you Liberals ask. “Don’t you know that San Francisco is the nearest thing to Heaven that has ever graced this planet, and undoubtedly the Universe?”

“Muslims have Mecca. Liberals have San Francisco.”

The news of San Francisco’s callous regard for the small businessman and his key employees was uncovered by the unlikeliest of sources, the socialist welfare state’s most ardent supporter, the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Chronicle, which has the same relationship with news as Hillary has with candor (for example, in Iowa), John Kerry has with Christmas in Cambodia, or Al Gore has with world peace, in some way put ideology aside long enough to note that small San Francisco restaurants were put on a fast track to failure by the minimum wage and health insurance mandates the San Francisco Board of Stupidvisors laid on.

Of course, the San Francisco Supervisors are not the only economic illiterates in San Francisco, where most of the electorate firmly believe that there is such a thing as a free lunch, and take every chance offered them to destroy San Francisco’s job base while saving San Francisco workers. At the rate they’re going, the San Francisco worker will soon join the San Francisco businessperson on the Extinct Species List.

Liberal San Franciscans (please excuse the advertent redundancy) have never absorbed the simple truths that brought down Communism – that for every centrally planned and mandated assault on free market forces, there are unintended consequence that result in economic damages far outweighing conceived benefits.

A case in point. San Francisco is renowned for small, high quality restaurants, and these restaurants are high on the list of reasons that San Francisco is a Mecca for tourists. Good restaurants need good cooks. It would also help if they have good waitpersons too, but if the cooks are good, good wait staff will be abundantly available.

So what does San Francisco, one of the most tourist dependant cities in the world, do? It mandates minimum wage and health care benefits that drive up the cost of waitpersons while pulling money from the pot available to pay cooks. Unlike other more rational cities, which include all the other cities of the world except those run by Communist or Islamic ideologues, San Francisco does not allow a “tip credit” to the wait staff to offset a portion of the minimum wage.

Even New York, almost as beknighted by liberalism as San Francisco, allows a tip credit which reduces their minimum wage to $4.60 per hour, versus $9.14 per hour in San Francisco. That minimum wage differential, plus the San Francisco mandate to give paid time off and health care to employees working ten hours or more a week, means that a dining room staff of twelve costs $285,696 in San Francisco, and only $128,064 (45%) in New York.

Of course, San Francisco restaurants are not competing directly with New York restaurants. However, small San Francisco restaurants are competing directly with large San Francisco restaurants, many of which are owned and operated by large corporations. Because of economies of scale, buying clout, and such things as already existing corporation employee benefit plans, the corporate restaurants are not in the least inconvenienced by the minimum wage and health care mandates.

In fact, the corporate restaurants will be directly benefited by the mandates, because many of their competitors will be driven out of business, or will have to raise their prices precipitously

Wealthy San Franciscans and well-heeled tourists won’t mind, and won’t even notice.

The Middle Class, and the Poor, the ones Liberals are always caring about, will notice, and they’ll dine out less often, and have fewer medium priced and sized restaurants to choose among.

Many high priced restaurants, many fast food restaurants, but very few of the kinds of restaurants that have given San Francisco its reputation for quality and variety.

More Liberal unintended consequences.

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