Economists have performed a huge number of studies on the minimum wage and the results are all over the place. Some results show a drop in labor demand and others show little change. Seattle, with its aggressive minimum wage laws, is at the center of these debates and studies.
Congress threw a stimulus party an nobody came: we didn’t spend the money. In the same month that Congress showered us with $138.4 billion, in the form of $600 checks, personal savings increased by $134.5 billion.
Once the world discovers a place like Boise, it is hard to turn back. A critical mass of new, higher incomes tends to foster new amenities like restaurants and cultural institutions. This is a virtuous cycle that creates great cities, but, unfortunately, makes the amenity-cost tradeoff less attractive for lower wage workers.
The world of office work is clearly not going back to pre-pandemic patterns. It is also clear that many workers are anxious to return to people-centered environments.
So the question is, how much snap-back we see in office occupancy?
Maybe the most overused cliche in the political world: the generals are fighting the last war. But this time it really is true. The most prominent rationale for the new pandemic relief package is avoiding a repeat of 2009, when the federal government acted too timidly and recovery dragged on for years.