Why Initiative 77 Does Not Mean the End of Tipping

Recently voters in Washington D.C. voted for Initiative 77.  The vote was not particularly close: 55% voted for the initiative and 45% voted against it.  The initiative changes minimum wage laws in the District two ways.  First, it increases the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2020 and then boosts the minimum wage by inflation after that.  Second, the initiative slowly increases the minimum wage for tipped employees so that by 2026 they receive the same minimum wage as any other worker. Continue reading

Is LA’s $15 per Hour Minimum Wage Unprecedented?

The Los Angeles City Council recently passed a law increasing the minimum wage to US$15 per hour by 2020. The city joins the ranks of San Francisco and Seattle in boosting the wage to this level.  Currently, Los Angeles’ (LA) minimum wage is $9 per hour, which means at least a few low-wage workers in this city are going to receive a $6 (66%) increase over the next five years.  Is there any precedent for a minimum wage jump this large? Continue reading

Is a $15 per Hour Minimum Wage An Insane Increase?

Recently, The New York Times ran a front page story highlighting demonstrations that are being held for an increase in the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Currently, the Federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, which means more than doubling the pay of low-wage workers. Is there any precedent for a $7.75 absolute increase, which is a 107% relative increase? Continue reading

Why Do People Pay $25 for Cards Against Humanity?

The number one bestselling toy/games on Amazon today is a card game called “Cards Against Humanity.”  Almost 14,000 Amazon shoppers have written a review of the game.  Not only does this game hold the number one slot but the expansion pack, which contains an additional 100 cards is ranked number two in this Amazon category.  Card games and toys with massive followings are nothing new in the world (Pokemon cards, baseball cards, etc.), but Cards Against Humanity is special because if you go to the game’s website one of the first things that you see are two buttons.  The left button states “Buy now for $25” while the right button states “Download for free.” Why do people pay $25 when the company makes it simple to avoid paying them even one penny? Continue reading