As if Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez didn’t do her congressional district enough harm when she persuaded Amazon to change its mind about opening a satellite headquarters there, costing the community mightily, she is returning to the scene.
On Friday, the freshman Congress member will be tending bar again in her old neighborhood to “show support for the federal Raise the Wage Act and abolishing below-minimum wage for tipped workers in the Empire State,” according to New York’s Daily News.
A spokesman for Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, the organization behind the rally, is quoted as saying, “We’re very grateful for our partnership with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who fully understands the struggles of these workers. As a former tipped worker, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez can shed light on the importance of One Fair Wage to lift up these workers and their families.”
If she had the first clue about the effects of forced minimum wage increases, much less a full understanding, Ocasio-Cortez, would be aware of the catastrophic effect a recent $2 increase in her hometown of New York had on restaurant workers.
Jon Bloostein operates six New York City restaurants that employ between 50 and 110 people each. The owner of Heartland Brewery and Houston Hall, Bloostein said the effect of the higher minimum wage on payroll across locations represents “an immense cost” to his business. “We lost control of our largest controllable expense,” Jon Bloostein, a New York restaurant owner, told CBS MoneyWatch. “So in order to live with that and stay in business, we’re cutting hours.”
An even better lesson awaits Ocasio-Cortez should she speak with Charles Milite, co-founder of the Coffee Shop, a trendy restaurant where she once worked. In April Milite told “Crains New York Business”:
I know it doesn’t sound like much — $2 an hour. But when you multiply it by 40 hours, by 130 people, it becomes a big number. It was going to increase our monthly payroll $46,000.