Minnesota Cafe Charges “Minimum Wage Fee,” Liberals Outraged

This is currently the most-read story on the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s web site: “Stillwater cafe faces heat for adding ‘minimum wage fee’ to tab.” Minnesota’s Democratic legislature recently voted to raise the state’s minimum wage to $8 an hour, 75 cents more than the federal level. Naturally, that increase is leading to higher prices:

A small cafe in Stillwater has thrown itself into the big battle over Minnesota’s minimum wage increases, inundating the cafe with dozens of phone calls and online comments this week after it tacked on a 35-cent fee to meal tabs.

Oasis Cafe owner Craig Beemer said the fee is needed to offset the 75-cent wage hike that took effect Aug. 1, the first time Minnesota’s minimum wage has increased in a decade. Even with only half a dozen servers, Beemer says it will cost him $10,000 more a year to pay servers $8 an hour instead of the federal rate of $7.25 an hour.

What is unique about the Oasis is that the cafe wants its patrons to know where the higher prices are coming from:

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In the Democratic Party, where magical thinking reigns, this is regarded as dirty pool:

“We believe that the industry is overreacting,” Wade Luneburg of the MN State Council of UNITE HERE Unions told the Star Tribune this week. “Putting [minimum wage] fees on tickets and passing the cost on to consumers directly is strange at best, and creates an ‘us against them’ mentality while ordering dinner.”

It is “strange” for businesses to pass costs on to their customers? Who, exactly, does Mr. Luneburg think pays those costs? No doubt he has no clue why low-wage workers are being laid off in Minnesota, either. That’s what happens when costs can’t be passed on. Every now and then, it is good to be reminded how dumb liberalism is.

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