Interview 1428 – Jacob Vigdor on the Seattle Minimum Wage

by | Mar 25, 2019 | Interviews | 11 comments

Jacob Vigdor is Professor of Public Policy and Governance at the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington, and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is also the principal investigator of the Minimum Wage Study at the University of Washington, which is exploring the impact of minimum wage ordinances in Seattle and other cities. Today we’ll be talking about what we can learn from Seattle’s recent minimum wage increase.

Watch this video on BitChute / DTube / YouTube or Download the mp4

Jacob Vigdor page at UW

Minimum Wage Study website

Jacob Vigdor blog

Minimum Wage Study working paper 2017

Minimum Wage Study working paper 2018

What Minimum-Wage Foes Got Wrong About Seattle

Retrospectives Eugenics and Economics in the Progressive Era


Public Access Peer Reviews for the Social Sciences (PAPRSS)


  1. Interesting.
    I hate drive time for work. It’s stressful and makes a looong day.
    A few years back, I vowed I’d get a gig close by.
    5 minutes or less, now for me.

  2. Walmart ADDED job-dutes to “greeters” that will eliminate the “feeble” and “infirm” in a purge of minumum-wage workers

  3. I am over half way through this interview.
    I am really enjoying this.
    It’s my cup of tea…hearing about the innuendos of the data collection and research from the source (not from some silly, snarky MainStreamMedia Press pundit).

    I found this aspect very interesting…The revelation about the trend of a higher minimum wage already in the works, despite the government mandate.

    About 3 years ago, I noticed a Texas blue collar job opening was offering a relatively higher starting wage than many other employers. The company headquarters was in Washington state.
    But, currently I have noticed that a vast number of Texas blue collar starting wages are on par, or better than the Washington state company.

    In short, there has been a trend of higher starting pay for blue collar work in Texas (from my observation).

    An added note:
    Texas is a “Right to Work” state.
    Texas employers are not mandated to give breaks nor lunch hours. If an employer wanted to have his employees work 8 hours straight with no lunch, no break…then the employer could do that. Of course, no employer which I know of does that.

  4. 5-hour commute. How does that affect better pay? We should be talking about at least 50% more to be somewhere on par.

    • mkey,
      I recall that some weeks past, you were leaving your job.
      Did you get a new gig?
      Do ya like it?

      • Thanks for keeping tabs. I was a free agent until mid-January after a few years spent at the, soon to be bankrupt, shipyard.

        That’s one of the neverending tales in my failed state, “shipyard restructuring” into which vast sums (relatively speaking to the local economy) have been sinkholed. Some 15% of the “public debt” has already gone into reanimating shipyards and now they are planning to sink in another 1.5 billion €. A whole lot of cheddar for the chosen elites. Hopefully, this won’t go through.

        I am very sad about this state of affair, the shipyard has been around since the time of Austro-Hungary, it managed to survive two world wars but this lot managed to destroy it completely with some swift motions with the pen. There were some arrests made yesterday, much of the offending board of directors got brought in for questioning, but that’s nothing but a smoke and mirrors show. Of course none of the politicians have been charged with anything and of course, none of these guys will be charged with anything that will stick.

        Anyway, now I’m indirectly working for, believe it or not, Royal Dutch Shell. The Dutch company I’m currently toiling away for is developing some security/maintenance software for ye old oil behemoth. It didn’t help much with the Deerpark, Huston explosion, though. Of which I learned from Derrick Broze radio show, at the company nobody was discussing it that much.

        Generally, this is a dead-end job in IT. The owners appear to be interested only in the short term bottom line. But that’s your average employer in the are in a nutshell.

        • Dog gone, man. Sorry to hear about that.

          That coastline around Croatia sure has some beauty to it (at least to me…it beats that flat, windy land along the Texas coast loaded with chemical & oil companies.)

          That is amazing about how long the shipyard had been around.
          I have been noticing the trend of the “Baltic Dry”, which often is an indicator of international shipping commerce.
          It has been going down. This might be a sign of what is coming to the economy.

          And, occasionally, I have been seeing a few stories about shipping companies trying to sell some of their boats.

          That is kind of interesting about your new gig for a developer and its Shell contract.

          The big oil companies (Exxon, Shell, etc.) seem to be doing okay compared to the ‘smaller’ fracking companies in the Texas/Oklahoma region.
          For years, down here, I’ve been telling folks that the fracking business is built on loaned money.
          The cost of doing a fracking well is incredibly high. It wouldn’t be high relative to oil pumped out, if that oil kept on coming for years down the road like in Saudi Arabia. But it don’t. Fracking, by its nature, is going for the left-overs which lies in between rocks.
          Anyway, the regional fracking companies are having a tough time getting more loan money. They are built on loan money and hype.

          Keep me updated.
          Do you have a long drive time to work?

          • The coast is very beautiful yes, but it’s not treated as well as it should be. There isn’t much industry left so ecologically we’re doing well, but every opportunity is taken to mess things as much as possible. Like the next big fraud, something I mentioned before, the trash business.

            It is quite wonderous for how long not only it survived, but how long it carried the entire region. Back then in the days of the iron curtain and “non-aligned” countries, the shipyard had a HUGE profit margin. They had so much money that they didn’t know what to do with it, so much of it was spent on developing the region.

            Those days are gone now and it will be left to future generations to ponder how this generation managed to squander it all away. Of course, there are objective market factors which abetted the downfall, there aren’t many, if any, viable large shipyards in the world today. They are usually dependent on gubment support (handouts) or contracts, being the socialist strongholds that they are.

            Shipping and trading is a very interesting market in itself, who knows how much of it is nothing but smoke and mirrors. Without shady deals, much of the trading going on wouldn’t be even remotely viable.

            Don’t forget that these large players stumble their way into hefty tax hikes. I bet fracking is handled mostly by smaller investors who can’t afford 50 hotshot lawyers. But the community also carries that cost, I remember reading how a newly built interstate (can’t remember the region anymore, it was maybe in the Dallas area) was prematurely worn and torn, as it was assessed, thanks to the giant fracking trucks driving heavily on it.

            You’ll probably be very surprised, but the average commute in my area is about 15 minutes (one direction). During the summer it often goes above half an hour due to rushes (and poor transportation system) and a lot of tourists wandering around aimlessly. Basically, 1 hour and over commutes are unheard of here.

            • If only Croatia could export “drive-times” and coastline views.

              At the airports in Texas, years ago, you could buy a can of genuine Texas air. (1960’s)

  5. I was last in Seattle back in the mid 1980’s when I and my crew were doing “Women’s Fashion Sales” in different cities around the country.

    For the most part, during my three years of constantly traveling, I would set up a temporary, big Women’s Fashion Sale for about 3 days in a different city every week. Been to most the states during that era. Quite a trick to do without the internet…you know…a Motel’s rotary phone, yellow pages, newspapers, etc.
    Usually, I would rent a convention center or a large hotel ballroom for three days. Get it all set up in advance, along with temporary help and advertising. Then roll into town with the crew and go to work. Sometimes, there were marathon trips between cities in order to make the next gig on time.

    However, we had a void in our schedule, and so while on the upper west coast, I took my crew to Seattle. I knew in advance that the Hotel ballrooms and convention center were too costly, but had heard that there were many vacant downtown storefronts. So, after we arrived, I found a store front in the downtown area and worked a deal with the landlord. Within a few days, we were up and running.

    Beautiful! Often overcast, but a beautiful city and area. It was winter, and I was surprised how mild the weather was.

    Like all cities, I am sure that things have changed dramatically over the past 3 1/2 decades.

    I landed on this mini-doc March 19, 2019 – SEATTLE IS DYING YouTube video, by KOMO News (a Seattle news place).
    I do NOT recommend watching the whole thing, but you might want to skip along and see some of the visuals.

    I recall, back during the 1980’s, noticing the Homeless problem in places like Sacramento, CA. and San Francisco, but not Seattle.
    In Frisco, when doing a fashion sale at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel (ha!…had one of my crew guys dress in “Drake costume tights” out front to lead women in), I was amazed at how much the panhandlers made, as I watched bills placed in their trays/jars. Once, I saw a $50 bill drop by a passerby.
    In Sac, the small park across the street from our fashion sale, was the gathering place for homeless. It really wasn’t an issue for us. I would go to talk to them occasionally when taking a smoke.

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