New Minimum Wage Law Forces Borderlands Books to Close

Lawmakers believe they can create economic opportunity and prosperity by law. If they really believe this, then why not pass a law that says that everybody should get paid $40.00 per hour? If $15.00 is good, the $30.00 should be better.

Many companies live on thin profit margins. They are usually sole proprietorships with few employees. The owners make just enough money to live.

After paying workman’s comp, the employer’s side of Social Security and Medicare, utilities, taxes, rent, and insurance, there’s just enough to make a living.

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But what often happens, governments come in and make it more expensive to operate a business. Sometimes it’s needless and burdensome regulations. Other times it’s mandating that businesses pay a certain wage.

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A San Francisco bookstore “has announced it’s closing its doors, and the owners’ farewell note names the city’s $15 minimum wage as the main culprit in the store’s demise.”

Profit margins on books is not that great, especially when there is competition from the internet. Every dollar counts. If a person doesn’t want to work for what the bookstore is paying, they don’t have to. Nobody is forcing anybody to work for “Borderlands Books, which specializes in fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and horror books.”

But the government is forcing the owners to pay the employees a certain wage. Now none of the employees will be paid anything because they won’t have a job.

San Francisco’s plan to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next three years has proved to be too much:

Although all of us at Borderlands support the concept of a living wage in principal [sic] and we believe that it’s possible that the new law will be good for San Francisco — Borderlands Books as it exists is not a financially viable business if subject to that minimum wage.  Consequently we will be closing our doors no later than March 31st. […]

The change in minimum wage will mean our payroll will increase roughly 39%.  That increase will in turn bring up our total operating expenses by 18%.  To make up for that expense, we would need to increase our sales by a minimum of 20%.  We do not believe that is a realistic possibility for a bookstore in San Francisco at this time. [Borderlands Books]

The owners of Borderlands Books, who had to shut down their business because of the minimum wage, don’t get it. Governments have no business mandating how much anybody should pay somebody for anything. Every law put on the books claims to benefit people. Tell that to the people who are about to lose their jobs. For them, the minimum wage is zero.

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