Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Seattle Dick's Deluxe With Good Pay & Benefits & Long Lines

Earlier this month, returning to Tacoma from Birch Bay, David, Theo and Ruby directed our driver to exit the I-5 freeway at what used to be Seattle's notorious Mercer Street exit.

I was pleased to find the notorious Mercer Street exit no longer notorious, what with its latest upgrade iteration seeming to facilitate easy transit, fixing what used to be known as the Mercer Mess.

Exiting I-5 at Mercer Street heads west towards the Space Needle, with Lake Union on the right, or north. This area was so transformed from when I last saw it, in 2008, I was astonished. Multiple canyons of high rises block the previous view of the downtown skyline of skyscrapers. Some of the streets in the canyons seemed only to have buses and trolleys, as in the SLUT (South Lake Union Trolley).

When I was last in downtown Seattle, in August of 2008, buses did not exist on the downtown streets. A tunnel had been bored in the 1990s, for the buses, to make for easy transit all over downtown Seattle. Well, now, in  2017, those buses have been banned from the tunnel, which has been taken over by light rail trains. The 2017 version of downtown Seattle has streets dedicated to buses and bikes only.

Since I was last in Washington voters voted to end the state's monopoly on liquor sales, ended the prohibition on marijuana, approved billions of dollars of transit projects, and in some towns, like Seattle, mandated the minimum wage be $15 at a minimum.

I was expecting to find Seattle a moribund ghost town, even less lively than sleepy, low minimum wage, slow/no growth Fort Worth, Texas, what with right wing nut job types predicting that a $15 minimum wage would wreak economic havoc.

David, Theo and Ruby directed our driver to take us to Dick's. Seattle's iconic burger drive-in. That is the Dick's we went to, the one west of Seattle Center, you see above, hence the Space Needle hovering above.

Ordering our burgers I looked up to see what you see below.

Along with a repeat of the same information on the counter by the order taker.

Dick's was busy. Super busy. Long lines. Lines moving fast because Dick's is an efficient operation. Always has been.

Dick's must not have gotten the memo informing them that paying its workers such an exorbitant sum, along with multiple benefits, would put Dick's out of business.

Dick's has long been a progressive enlightened operation. Long before the mandated increase in the minimum wage.

From the Wikipedia article about Dick's Drive-In...

For several years Dick's has offered best-in-industry employee benefits such as a matched 401(k), 100% employer-paid medical insurance, and a $22,000 college tuition scholarship after six months of work. In 2013, Dick's Drive-In was voted "the most life-changing burger joint in America" in an poll.

Those dang progressive, well-educated liberals and their ideas about how to make a better world to live in.

Meanwhile, in a Texas town, like Fort Worth, during the same period of time, from 2008 til now, nothing much has happened. No new skyscrapers, No new department stores, in a downtown with zero department stores.

During the nine years since I last saw Seattle the town has changed dramatically, with countless new downtown buildings, new transit trains, a new tunnel under downtown under construction, a transforming waterfront, Pike Place additions, a giant corporate headquarters, under construction, called Amazon, among many other boomtown type developments.

And during that same time period Fort Worth has floundered with an embarrassing public works project the public has never voted for, which relies on federal welfare to fund it, which does not even seem to be able to build three simple little bridges over dry land, all part of an imaginary flood control and economic development scheme which has been scheming along, to little fruition, for most of this century.

I think Fort Worth's problems are of a systemic, more deep seated nature where something as mundane as mandating raising the minimum wage would not much effect the town's  backwater nature. But it might be a place to start moving Fort Worth and its surrounding areas into the 21st century in more meaningful ways than something absurdly inept like the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision's pitiful un-need flood control project and equally pitiful economic development scheme.

Oh, and one more thing, the burger, shake and fries prices at Dick's did not seem to be much higher, if at all, than when I last visited Dick's, back in 2004. Seems like a Dick's Deluxe was about $3.45 back then, which is about what I think, if I remember right, the Dick's Deluxe cost when I had one earlier this month, along with a strawberry shake and fries...

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