Posted June 28, 2021
By Aaron Gentzler
$15 Minimum Wage Brings Maximum Pain
We asked readers Friday to send us local observations concerning the minimum-wage debate. A reader from Illinois obliged, writing: “In Chicago and Cook County, there is such a convoluted pay scale I don’t know what’s what. Fourteen dollars here, $13 there…. and tipped and non-tipped? Who knows what!
“Anyway, everything and everyone is short-staffed and can’t get help because of federal money for workers to stay home. If you do work, many places are offering more than $15 with benefits.
“I know restaurants are hard-hit and struggling to stay open.”
Which reinforces feedback Friday when a reader mentioned margins for restaurants are unforgivably tight. Reminding us of this pic from a Seattle Subway sandwich shop in 2018:
In case you can’t read the fine print, the franchise owner said: “The cost of [doing] business in the City of Seattle is very high. We are balancing the Highest Minimum Wage in the Nation, Paid Sick Leave, ACA, Secure Scheduling, Soda Tax and much more.”
Expect to see similar signs across the country should a $15-federal minimum wage become law…
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Your Rundown for Monday, June 28, 2021...
Chip Shortage Timeline…
“On the subject of chips,” says our tech expert Ray Blanco, “the shortage of silicon remains an ongoing issue that affects many industries. A recent report shows that finished chips are taking longer and longer to deliver” -- it was a full 18 weeks out as of May.
“It’s worse for some kinds of chips than others,” Ray continues. “Ones used to regulate power are taking nearly half a year to deliver at this point. Since these chips are used in just about any electronic product, the impact is broadly felt.
“Chip makers are scrambling to bring new capacity online. Automotive component supplier Bosch recently opened a $1.57 billion plant in Dresden.” The rub? “The 65 nanometer manufacturing process, however, is so out of date, it makes me wonder what the point might be,” says Ray. “This process node was cutting edge in 2005, more than 16 years ago.”
Many chip makers expect chip shortages for several more years. Global Foundries, for example, predicts supply chains will open up in 2022. On the other hand, “Intel thinks the situation will linger until 2023,” Ray notes.
“One thing, though, with tech set to grow at a huge rate this decade, the longer term demand for advanced chips will remain for years to come,” he says. “This is of course a great environment for chipmakers and equipment suppliers.
“I’m actively looking for new ways to play the space,” Ray says, “so stay tuned.”
Market Rundown for Monday, June 28, 2021
The S&P 500 is barely in the green -- but still holding onto record highs -- at 4,275.
A barrel of West Texas Intermediate is a hair under $74.
Gold is up just 10 cents to $1,777.90 per ounce.
Bitcoin’s revved up 5% to $34,430.
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