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Minimum Wage Hike Adds 20 Cents to Madison DQ Blizzards

Way to go, South Dakota: you just killed Dairy Queen Miracle Treat Day. Or so an attentive listener might worry after listening to DeLon Mork's interview on NPR's All Things Considered yesterday.

South Dakota voted last November to raise the minimum wage from the federal floor of $7.25 to $8.50. That raise took effect Thursday. Mork, Madison Dairy Queen owner and president of the South Dakota Retailers Association*, tells NPR that the minimum-wage increase approved by voters is forcing him to raise everyone's wages at his shop:

DELON MORK: I've got about seven full-time people. And I've got 25 part-time kids ranging from minimum wage up to about $16 an hour.

RATH: Mork says the new law adds to his expenses in other ways. To be fair to his non-minimum wage employees at the Dairy Queen, he'll have to raise wages for everyone.

MORK: I can't narrow that gap from the 16-year-old student that is getting their first job that, quite honestly, doesn't know what end of the broom to hold onto to sweep. I can't compress the wages from that person to my experienced college-age night manager. I can't narrow that gap, so everybody moves up [Arun Rath, "Minimum Wage Increases Across U.S. Affects [sic] Wide Range Of Workers," NPR: All Things Considered, 2015.01.03].

That's Mork, master of sales, at work. We need to make policy by big picture facts, not anecdote. Mork knows that 78.3% of workers making minimum wage in South Dakota are 20 or older. Mork knows that state and federal law allow him to pay teenagers a training wage (the state Department of Labor calls it an "opportunity wage"). He knows that all of his competitors face the same wage hike, so he faces no new competitive force. And he knows that all the other workers around town getting a raise will be able to come buy more food at Dairy Queen. But with his brilliant facility with language (and yes, DeLon is good), he frames the entire debate with that one vivid, humorous image of the dopey kid who's never run a broom. We liberals argue with facts and figures; business conservatives like Mork run with darn good stories.

The man who has organized the most successful Miracle Treat Day fundraiser on the continent for the last eight years then tells us he may have to cut back on his largesse:

RATH: He'll have to cut hours, he says, and think about trimming back on community service, like giveaway specials or sponsoring kids sports teams [Rath, 2015.01.03].

We can read that as simple, straightforward business logic—less profit margin means less to give away—or as a veiled threat to quit going crazy on Miracle Treat Day. Heavens forfend!

I have a hard time imagining Mork, who is both a decent guy and a shrewd businessman, dropping his community service activities and the bountiful good will it buys him without seeking other, less grouchy ways to balance his budget. But if he does scale back Miracle Treat Day or sponsor one less Little League team, he has the perfect public excuse. Every business owner in South Dakota can spend the coming year shifting the blame for every cutback and misfortune onto the voters of South Dakota.

Whatever changes come in the Madison Dairy Queen's community service, Mork is making sure voters see the impact of their decision right now on the menu:

RATH: And, of course, his prices are going up.

MORK: Probably my largest price increase ever. My Blizzards went up 20 cents. $2.99 went to $3.19.

RATH: Those new prices start today.

MORK: I kind of am looking forward to people's reaction when they see the prices are up if they correlate the difference for the prices to the minimum wage increase that they voted on a couple months ago [Rath, 2015.01.03].

Blizzards up 6.7%? 20 cents for one ice cream treat to dignify each worker with a better minimum wage? That seems a small price for each consumer to pay.

But 6.7% is also a larger price than research indicates is necessary to pay for this wage increase. One analysis based on five empirical studies of minimum-wage increases on fast-food restaurants indicated that raising the minimum wage to $10.50 would raise costs at fast-food restaurants just 2.7%, or, on Madison's favorite Blizzard, eight cents. Other researchers found that a 10% increase in the minimum wage translates into a 0.9% increase in the price of burgers at McDonald's. We just raised South Dakota's minimum wage 17.2%; burger prices should thus go up 1.6%.

And while I can't attest to the updated accuracy of these data, lists the average price of a Blizzards in South Dakota at $2.69 for a mini and $3.69 for a small. In Washington State, which raised its minimum wage to a nation-leading $9.32 an hour in 2014 and, the mini Blizzard is $3.15 and the small $4.32. (Washington's index has raised its minimum to $9.47 this year.)

But there I go talking research and statistics again, while that pimply-faced kid who can't tell the business end of a broom is getting a whopping $8.50 an hour.

DeLon Mork is a good businessman and a good guy. He treats his workers and his community right. He'll survive the minimum wage increase, as will Miracle Treat Day and everyone Mork helps.

And in less than a week, he'll turn that kid into a sweeping machine who earns every penny of that minimum wage.

p.s.: DeLon Mork represents Madison in the national media twice in three weeks! Wow! He must be laying the groundwork to run against Jeb Bush. And notice that, unlike sports hit-piecer Nigel Duara, NPR's Arun Rath saw no journalistic need to mention Mork's name or comment on his Midwestern accent (and seriously, what accent?).

*Update 09:48 CST: Mork and his fellow retailers fought passionately against Initiated Measure 18, the ballot measure that raised the minimum wage. Below is the text SDRA posted to its website in opposition to raising the minimum wage:

Initiated Measure 18

In November of 2014, South Dakota voters will decide whether to mandate a 17% increase in the minimum wage, PLUS mandate automatic annual increases.

The South Dakota Retailers Association opposes #18. We are part of a grassroots coalition (representing small business and family farms) which is working to defeat this measure.

Ten Reasons to Vote No on #18

There are many reasons we believe this proposal should be defeated. Here are ten of them:

  1. It would be the single LARGEST minimum wage hike in South Dakota's history.
  2. Will trigger higher prices, lay offs, cuts in hours for workers, reduced employee benefits, and delays in making needed improvements.
  3. Mandates raises tied to the National Consumer Price Index- every year - FOREVER, even if South Dakota's economy is suffering a downturn.
  4. Automatic raises would be set by the economies in New York and California and other states, not by what's happening in South Dakota or the Midwest.
  5. Young and unskilled workers could lose out on jobs, along with the opportunity to gain valuable work experience.
  6. If the starting wage goes up 17%, experienced employees may not get raises they deserve.
  7. Employers who can afford to are already paying more than the minimum wage to attract and keep employees in a competitive market.
  8. South Dakota's minimum wage would be higher than 43 other states as of January 1, 2015.
  9. Hits small towns hardest. When prices have to go up to cover increased operating costs, it drives customers elsewhere.
  10. If this passes, what's next? Do we really want to set employer policies at the ballot box?

Learn more about this issue at

Join the effort to defeat #18 [South Dakota Retailers Association, "Ballot Issue,", 2014, downloaded 2015.01.04].


  1. Shirley Moore 2015.01.04

    DeLon Mork heads up the Small Business group here in South Dakota. And best of all, a part of his income probably goes to the republican party for voter suppression, no Medicaid expansion, cutting social security and medicare and not supporting returning wounded veterans and all those wonderful things you hear that the republicans don't want the rest of us to have. Go DeLon!!

  2. mike from iowa 2015.01.04

    What if the public correlates the increase in price to wingnut greed? Did he raise all prices 20 cents or just Blizzards? Why do business people have this idea that they can't lose a few bucks? You are never guaranteed a humongous profit. Poor poor pitiful businessman. Woe is you.

  3. larry kurtz 2015.01.04

    Just tweeted your post to Arun Rath, Cory.

  4. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.04

    Mike, we need a quick menu check. John Hess, can you drop in and get a picture of the big menu board for us?

  5. Tim 2015.01.04

    McChickens went from a buck to $1.25 in Spearfish(the whole dollar menu went up except a couple things) in November because of the minimum wage increase, my wife works at one of the Rapid City McD's and that's what she was told, wages started increasing there early, but not for everybody, just minimum.

  6. Mike Henriksen 2015.01.04

    The same thing happened when the bed and booze tax was implemented. The tax on drinks increased 1 or 2 cents. The price on drinks went up 25 cents. Business usually wins.

  7. Tim 2015.01.04

    McChickens are still a buck in Rapid, not sure how it has affected the rest of the menu, I'll ask her when she gets home.

  8. Lynn 2015.01.04

    Tim maybe those Chickens are from China to help keep fast food costs so low.

  9. jerry 2015.01.04

    mike from iowa, you and Cory are correct regarding liberals and their utilization of basic math. The rate increase that Mr. Blizzard put into place does not seem to correlate with his argument. The price for his wholesale product did not increase in such a way as to warrant this gouge and that is what the public will see. It may be that the public will not give a damn, but many will know this is just a cheap shot at padding his bottom line out of spite.

  10. Jenny 2015.01.04

    If DeLon Mork is expecting us to feel sorry for him, he's not getting it from me. That was quite an immature slam on a highschool student on broom holding. Mork as a successful business owner, needs to watch what he says as that unfortunate comment might just follow him around in the tiny town of Madison for awhile, courtesy of social media.

  11. Jenny 2015.01.04

    We could all lay of the blizzards for awhile anyway. Cry me a River - 20 cents is really hitting people's wallets in SD?

  12. Jenny 2015.01.04

    As usual, Cory is doing his homework and from studies shown, all that Cry Me A River Mork needs to do is raise his obese-driven blizzards 9 cents and still run a healthy profit.

  13. Owen 2015.01.04

    As someone who grew up in Madison the Dairy Queen was the only fast food place in town. There was a small place on Hwy 81 on the northwest side of town but they weren't much of a competition to DQ. The Morks had a monopoly.
    McDonalds came to Madison and it hasn't been that long ago.

  14. Jeff Barth 2015.01.04

    Employers who fail to pay a living wage depend on other businesses, taxpayers and parents to make up the shortfall. Basically they are parasites in their communities.

  15. Jeff Barth 2015.01.04

    When Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation it hurt some business plans and some former slaves lost their jobs.

  16. JeniW 2015.01.04

    This reminds of the letter that I received from my health insurance company to inform me that the rate would be going up because of the ACA. They failed to mention that the rates had been going up every year anyway, even without the ACA.

    The letter came long before any of the ACA was implemented.

    A handy excuse, a bit deceitful, but is legal.

    The thing about DQ there is nothing on the menu that cannot be substituted by something else from somewhere else, and people do not have to buy Blizzards to make a donation to the CMN. In fact, making a donation directly to the CMA is of a higher amount.

  17. Douglas Wiken 2015.01.04

    Businesses routinely use any government improvement as an excuse to raise prices far out of proportion to actual costs as to be an insult to all consumers. Unfortunately, the reaction from too many uninformed people is something like, "Those GD liberals are driving up costs for everybody with their lunatic regulations." Has anybody heard of a business slashing prices because gasoline costs less?

  18. jerry 2015.01.04

    Good point Mr. Wiken, take a look at the deregulated airlines as another example of capitalistic uncontrolled greed. They were allowed to put a surtax on flights because of higher fuel costs and then they are allowed to keep them just for the hell of it. Result, instead of market to use pricing, we see higher fees. The workers still paid the same, but Wall Street makes the money.

  19. Owen 2015.01.04

    Good post Mr. Wilken. When gas prices exploded upward grocery stores used the excuse that transportation prices rose so they had to raise their prices. Makes sense. Now that gas prices have dropped have food prices dropped? I haven't seen it.
    I wonder if Mr Mork raised prices at the same time?

  20. Lorri May 2015.01.04

    I'm as Liberal as Liberal can be, but I have to side with DeLon Mork on part of this. I can understand why he thinks he has to raise prices on Blizzards (and who knows what else?). He already pays his employees higher than the minimum wage. The "kid who doesn't know the business end of a broom" is an anecdote; he doesn't hire kids who wouldn't be able to figure that out. DeLon is a shrewd businessman but he also is one of the leading do-gooders in the community. Otherwise, why would he be selling close to 40,000 Blizzards in a year for the Children's Miracle Network? It's a "thank you" for his do-gooding in the community. I consider DeLon a close personal friend; we jest and joke on both sides of the political spectrum, yet there's a respect there for both sides. There are Republicans he hasn't voted for; there are Democrats I've haven't voted for. Do I think Blizzards needed to go up $.20? No, but I never thought gas had to go up to almost $4 a gallon, either, and I'd rather give the money to a local businessman who does good in the community to some oil company in God-knows-where who does nothing for Madison.

  21. Dave Baumeister 2015.01.04

    If Mork is using this as an excuse, and people are bothered by the 20¢ increase, then they just won't do business there any more, and Mork, an obviously shrewd businessman, will lose business. If he doesn't lose significant business, it means that no one else cares. I am also sure that the obviously shrewd Mork will not have to "cut" any employees, as I am sure he doesn't have anymore hired than he already needs to run his business. If he isn't sufficiently staffed to run a shift, then he will lose customers, as anyone with half a brain will tell you that waiting an extra 5+ minutes at a fast food joint is much more maddening than a 20¢ price increase. BUT, although I haven't done the research, I highly doubt if Mork sets the prices. With most franchises that I am aware of, the parent company sets the prices. AS DQ advertises nationally, I would guess they are the same. OR…Mork could take home a slightly smaller profit until he sees if the increased wage impacts his business. On Jan. 4, I doubt that trend has been established yet.

  22. Joseph g thompson 2015.01.04

    I finally am able to understand the mind of a progressive and I find it pretty ugly.

  23. Roger Cornelius 2015.01.04

    Doug's comment "business routinely use any government improvement as an excuse to raise prices far out of proportion to actual costs as to be an insult to all consumers" is right on target. Precisely how much are raw ingredient costs to make a Blizzard cost $3.19? I'm guessing it is under $.50.
    Any and every business has fluctuating increase in raw material costs and in actual fixed costs, those businesses are very adept at incorporating those costs so they have the least impact on employees and customers. Anybody that has been in business knows this.
    And about those lower gas prices that are now under $2.00 a gallon in most places, we can blame Obama for that. If Republicans can blame him for the $4.00 a gallon costs, they can give him credit for the current price.

  24. Tim 2015.01.04

    Joseph, you have no clue, if you did you would be a progressive.

  25. Bob Klein 2015.01.04

    I do not mean to defend Mr. Mork's price increase.

    Diesel fuel prices, however, have not fallen as much as gasoline prices. Transportation costs are much more closely tied to diesel fuel costs than gasoline costs.

  26. Tim 2015.01.04

    Bob, higher fuel prices are a direct result of profit taking by the manufacturers, it is actually cheaper to make diesel than it is gas as there are less steps involved. Prices are also always higher on diesel in the winter as most places here are selling blends due to cold temps.

  27. John Hess 2015.01.04

    I didn't vote for the increase and I was thinking of Delon Mork as I penciled NO. The DQ was my second job when I was 15 about 35 years ago. Wow I was thrilled to land a job. I started at a training wage but after a bump up to $1.50/hr I had real cash: spending money and started saving.
    It's easy I guess attack people you don't know but his father was like an uncle to many of us and it was much more than a job. These are real owners who care, so related to another thread someone did give me a chance early, but kids then really wanted to work. I don't think it's the same today.
    Some of you are those who want a Basic Wage for doing nothing. Have you ever run a successful business?
    Sorry but I can't play DQ spy. Talk to Mork. Nanu Nanu!

  28. Scott 2015.01.04

    I have mixed feelings on the wage increase. It helps some, but for our older residents who rely on fixed incomes and live off their life savings, raising prices suck. I was also concerned that if the wages went up, some businesses would use the wage increase as justification for price hikes above what the increase wages justified.

    I however voted for the wage increase based upon an advertisement from the The groups against the wage increase included the Retailers Association, Visitor Industry Alliance and various Chambers’ of Commerce.

    These previous mentioned groups always back every tax payer funded project like convention centers, entertainment centers, events centers, aquatic centers, recreation facilities, and anything else they can relate to tourism. These groups always support tax breaks for businesses including TIF’s. I was just tired of these groups wanting the taxpayers to help their member businesses bottom lines, yet when it comes to paying for things, these groups do not want to raise minimum wages.

    I’m sure for $7.25 an hour the person did not know which end of the broom to use. I’m not sure what the job market is like in Madison, however further north where I live, if you pay even the new minimum wage I doubt you could hire somebody that would be worthwhile for $8.50. In our small towns businesses struggle to hire workers for $10 an hour.

    My guess, if the economy remain the same and no major weather disasters, the bottom line of the Madison Dairy Queen will be better at the end of 2015 than in 2014.

  29. David Newquist 2015.01.04

    All of my children had part-time jobs in high school. Many of my students in college had jobs. I resented businesses which made their profits on the cheap wages they paid my children. And I resented those businesses which would demand my students come to work no matter how much it conflicted with their college schedules. I let students make up exams and reviewed class sessions for them because their employers could not care less about their academic work. I get frustrated that people do not distinguish between businesses that provide good products, good services, and treat employees as actual human beings and those which merely leech off the cheap labor student workers provide.

  30. Tim 2015.01.04

    I know a couple, they have two kids and the mother has a pretty good job that the wage increase won't have an effect on, the father is working himself through college and works a minimum wage job as he also goes to classes. The wage increase will have a big impact on them. Despite what the right wing would have you believe, the increase is about more than just giving a raise to kids.

  31. John Hess 2015.01.04

    Mork's parents were very encouraging and his father loved to see people succeed. He would talk about the kids (how many hundred now) that have passed through their doors on to bigger things. He appreciated the kids with enthusiasm to work. Regardless of what minimum wage was then (and I have no idea what it was) we were happy to have jobs at the prevailing market rate. In one sense that's just as important: supply and demand. Finding out what you're actually worth. I need help on small jobs now and then but some kids have never held a tool. No joke. And they are not worth hiring.

  32. Jaka 2015.01.04

    This minimum wage hike is a "boon" to "bidness" owners in good ole SD--they will use this excuse like they did the furl price "surchage" that was never reduced to add to their profits!!

  33. JeniW 2015.01.04

    I hope the increase in minimum wage will not cause employers to view their employees as enemies.

  34. JeniW 2015.01.04

    Another thing to consider is that some of the individuals working at the new minimum wage work less than 30 hours per week, so they do not have the benefits and perks such as paid vacation time, paid sick leave, paid holiday, health insurance, retirement, and etc. They are in the category of "no work, no pay."

    If someone was working 20 hours at $7.25 per hour, that individual earned a gross income of $145.00 per week. At $8.50 per hour, the individual will earn a gross of $170.00 per week. Meaning $25.00 more per week, but still no benefits.

  35. Richard Schriever 2015.01.04

    John Hess-when I was13, I had my own business - and employees. Does that imply that back-in-the day then, you were a little slow then??

    BTW- as the owner of several businesses and manager of others over the years - I not only penciled in YES - I got a lot of people to sign petitions to get it on the ballot. One of the most enthusiastic signers was my local banker. Some people get it that when people have more money to spend, they spend more money (creates more jobs).

    This is not a personal issue about your friends, no matter how much you want to make it one. This is sensible economic policy.

  36. Joan Brown 2015.01.04

    A lot of people don't realize that a lot of minimum wage jobs are held by people that are trying to support families. Some of these people also have college degrees and have been unable to find a job in the field that they trained in.

  37. Tim 2015.01.04

    Richard, good luck with the right wing on that.

  38. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.04

    Mike: and we're still buying booze and bedding down in exotic locales, right? Did the bed-and-booze tax cut jobs or put any liquor shops or hotels out of business?

  39. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.04

    You know, Jenny, it could be that Blizzards were underpriced even before the minimum wage increase. Maybe DeLon is just catching up.

    But let's assume 20 cents per Blizzard really is what it takes for DQ to cover the extra wages—which hey! DeLon is giving everyone raises! That's pretty decent! If I can support better wages by paying an extra 20 cents on a luxury item, I'll do it.

    Then again, here's more math (and I offer math to question businessman DeLon Mork's direct business experience with great caution) that casts doubt on the 20-cent figure: raising the minimum wage to $10.10 would raise prices on a $16 purchase at Walmart by one penny.

  40. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.04

    Jeff! Isn't there some Godwin-like rule about comparing contemporary labor policy to slavery? ;-)

  41. leslie 2015.01.04

    how many democrat min. wage employers in SD are telling their high school employees to excuse price raises on the min. wage hike? how many min. wage employers have the benefit of over-qualified employees? that is an employer entitlement in this economy of lack of living wage jobs.

    Barth, Moore, Brown, Richard: your philosophy so differs from Joseph, Hess and Mork. I am with you completely. how do we use these differing philosophies to bring over low-income republicans, and other cross-over voters?

  42. John Hess 2015.01.04

    There's always going to be a push pull between market forces and what government (supposedly us) should dictate.

    There's nothing wrong with other people making money, but should more be given to them artificially?

    Would it be better to allow true markets (or as close as possible)? Let supply and demand work themselves out and new places enter the market?

    As an employer the Mork's treated me well and I have fond memories. That should mean something, shouldn't it?

  43. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.04

    Scott—interesting reach for the big picture! The business interests that want our tax subsidy for their big projects don't want us meddling in their wage decisions, and they don't want to pay basic laborers even a $1.25 step toward a living, dignified wage.

    At the same time, I know John Hess didn't vote out of sympathy with big business; he voted out of sympathy for a real person, a neighbor, and a business that gave him a good job way back when. You are right, John: I've never run a business. I have no doubt, as Baumeister says, that DeLon is running a tight ship. He's fighting to keep an ice cream/burger shop open in a town where he's got growing competition (think how many more gas stations now serve something resembling lunch) and a working-class+retiree clientele who can't absorb big price hikes. He probably doesn't have room in his budget to eat an increase in labor costs.

    And Roger, wouldn't labor be one of a fast-food restaurant's biggest costs?

  44. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.04

    I will agree with John that there are some potential employees out there who are useless, who don't deserve to be hired, let alone paid. I was probably like that when I worked on Don Amert's construction crew back in 1989. Does the training wage take care of workers like that? 90 days at half minimum—should that be enough time to determine whether that first-job kid is going to cowboy up and demonstrate the willingness to apply his hands and brains to the job at hand to earn the minimum wage that we say every worker deserves?

  45. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.04

    Yes, John, that good treatment does mean something. I get the clear impression that the Morks have always treated their employees well. The fact that DeLon is willing to take the unpopular action of raising his prices to make sure all of his people can get their raises shows that attitude.

  46. John Hess 2015.01.04

    Of the many corporations I've worked my name is written somewhere but other than some remaining friends they don't remember and they don't care. There's a difference.

  47. John Hess 2015.01.04

    Mork isn't badmouthing the poor. If he isn't paying enough someone can enter the market, pay more, make better hamburgers. These are opportunities for entrepreneurs. In fact we have a new Pub House and Trolleys. Government interference. Nanny state. Sometimes you just gotta love that Sarah Palin.

  48. bearcreekbat 2015.01.04

    Even if the 20 cent raise cannot be justified by the new minimum wage, why doesn't Mork deserve a raise if the market will pay the increase? He, as a business owner, surely deserves an increase in profits just as his employees deserve an increase in wages.

  49. Don Coyote 2015.01.04

    @Jerry: Do you have a source of Warren's claim about Greenspan? She seems to be painting with quite a broad brush in her paraphrasing of Greenspan's remarks concerning the US housing market post 9/11. Of course Ms Warren was never one to shy away from stretching the truth. Who can forget her claims of Cherokee descent.

  50. Tim 2015.01.04

    Bear, I have no problem with that, unless he uses the minimum wage increase as an excuse. If he wants to increase profit, fine, tell people that.

  51. jerry 2015.01.04

    @Don Coyote, do you have definitive proof that she is not of Cherokee descent? You can simply do the research yourself on seeing what Greenspan had said at the time about our "robust" economic engine. Or Bush and Darth saying that they had it all under control and now would be the time to go to the mall. Ah yes, the good ole days.

  52. jerry 2015.01.04

    Maybe Roger Cornelius could educate you a little Don Coyote on how sometimes no matter how obvious it is, there simply is not enough information to enroll you in a Federally recognized tribe. There are thousands of Natives that have never been enrolled in their respective tribes and they are worldwide.

  53. jerry 2015.01.04

    Sounds, looks and smells like badmouthing to me:

    MORK: I can't narrow that gap from the 16-year-old student that is getting their first job that, quite honestly, doesn't know what end of the broom to hold onto to sweep.

    The papa john's pizza corporate boss came up with raising pizza prices because of Obamacare. The list just goes on forever with these jerks like Mork. They cannot help themselves either as this has been indoctrinated in them from childhood. Their parental unit taught them and they are continuing the hatred of the working poor that slave for them. Shame on them for being so disrespectful.

  54. Les 2015.01.04

    I stopped on my way through Sturgis to get the Black Hills side of the DQ story. Medium Blizzard now @ 4.50. I believe a 15% upcharge. She wasn't worth minimum wage. My blizzard almost fell out when she held it upside down. Probably go back to my 7.00 frapacino at Sturgis coffee. Gas is cheap. Really cheap.

  55. Les 2015.01.04

    Mork is no jerk jerry.

  56. jerry 2015.01.04

    Sounds like one to me. How many times have we all heard this same kind of speech coming from the titans of business. The Koch brothers even had an outreach in the state of South Dakota to try to kill this minimum wage initiated measure. I disagree with you Les, if the guy is not a jerk, then he has complete disrespect for his workers, starting with the folks just beginning their work history. I'll bet he was not such a rocket scientist either when he first started, just like me and just like you Les. My bosses did not treat me like I was a damn dummy either, you have to have mutual respect for one another or it will not work.

  57. Mike Henriksen 2015.01.04

    OK, guys, enough with hammering on Delon. He is a friend of mine and has done a lot for Madison! A couple of quotes on one issue does not define who he is or fully explain what his thoughts are on any given subject!

    And to my knowledge, no bar or motel went out of business due to the "bed and booze" tax. Lord knows I am doing my part to keep as many of those places open!

  58. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.04

    Hmm... I'm wondering if we should ask Mike whether he's spending more on beds or booze... ;-)

  59. Mike Henriksen 2015.01.04

    Depends on the night and the location! :-)

  60. Mike Henriksen 2015.01.04

    Depends on the night and the location!

  61. Mike Henriksen 2015.01.04

    Dang! Hate double posts!

  62. Curtis Price 2015.01.04

    > Sometimes you just gotta love that Sarah Palin.

    No, I don't.

  63. Roger Cornelius 2015.01.04

    re: Don Coyote
    Every federally recognized tribe has a different blood quantum requirement and policy for enrollment. Because of poor record keeping by the government and churches it is difficult if not impossible to trace ones ancestry.
    The clearest and most reliable manner to do is by DNA which can determine every race that you are.
    Blacks often claim Cherokee ancestry and they are usually right, a large majority of blacks do have Indian blood. It would not surprise me at all if Elizabeth Warren is part Native, if so the Cherokees should welcome her and be proud of her, she is pretty damn smart.

  64. Don Coyote 2015.01.04

    "...90 days at half minimum—should that be enough time to determine whether that first-job kid is going to cowboy up and demonstrate the willingness to apply his hands and brains to the job at hand to earn the minimum wage that we say every worker deserves"

    Really Cory? Especially in a seaonal business like a DQ? And with other businesses offering $8.50? Good luck with that.

  65. Roger Cornelius 2015.01.04

    Why should it take 90 days for an employer to teach a teenager or anyone else for that matter how to use a broom. Minimum wage entry positions should not require any extensive training, if it does require extensive training the employer is clearly doing something wrong.

  66. Lanny V Stricherz 2015.01.04

    Mork should be able to get job training money from the Governor so that kid knows which end of the broom to hold onto. What is it with the ice cream peddlers? The guy who owns B & G Milky Way, which used to only have one store on West 12th in Sioux Falls, but now has 4 in SF and I believe some in other towns as well, was the first one to complain about the raise in the minimum wage when it was proposed a year ago. Of course, he is able to make a decent living with his stores and just like when the one on West 12th was the only one, he closes them for about 6 months in the winter. Some guys like to piss and moan just to hear themselves talk.

  67. Don Coyote 2015.01.04

    @ Lanny: I believe all the B & G Milky Ways in SF are independently owned. I know the one on Sycamore was sold in 2014. Seems to be a small franchise operation.

    I can't speak as to how much money each operation nets but who are you to determine what a "decent living" is?

  68. leslie 2015.01.04

    coyote(19:40)-pbs clinton/greenspan youtube 35:30 says republican-concealed much greater size of 1993 Bush deficit required short-term interest rate cuts sacrificing election promises to for a clinton investment agenda.

    warren (family constituency)/greenspan says (banker constituency-"borrow on your home!")

  69. leslie 2015.01.04

    DQ hotdog, 2 cheeseburgers, a fry, three strawberry sundays-$18.00

    Two weeks ago-$15.00. same grandkids.

    McDonald's tells high school min. wage fast food employee to tell consumers that is the reason!! chickensheit

  70. jerry 2015.01.04

    Thank you Roger and thank you leslie for taking the time to show Don Coyote the way for his questions. I guess it is up to Don Coyote to go further on these matters if desired.

  71. jerry 2015.01.04

    I see DQ's open all year. What is seasonal about all seasons?

  72. Lanny V Stricherz 2015.01.04

    @Don Coyote, I am not telling anyone what is a living wage. I just quit patronizing those who piss and moan about having to pay their employees. That is the only way I can tell them anything.

  73. John Hess 2015.01.05

    We should consider Mork could have raised prices, not said a word and no one would be talking. Blizzards are not a staple we buy every day. The DQ is one of those 3rd Places Cory used to talk about. Ideas get exchanged. There's a corporate connection for sure but this one has a very individual flavor. I would venture if Jerry wandered in, had a conversation, he would leave with a different impression from he has now. Cory might back me on that. Woke up once again disliking Sarah Palin. It was just a quickie thing I promise. Pls don't hold it against me.

  74. Les 2015.01.05

    Sarah says, will you still love me in the morning , John? Guess not , Sarah.

  75. jerry 2015.01.05

    It is always up to the owner of a business on how they decide to either raise or lower prices. That is how business works, I know. Not every business person is supportive of all that is put on the table regarding taxes and mandates and so on. Government gives them the time to make adjustments, so Mork made his and raised his price. No problem.

    He could have just done so without the disparaging remarks to begrudge his employees because they were getting a raise. I make note of this because like many other titans of business, it looks as though he inherited his wealth and looks down his nose at those who are struggling at the bottom of the food chain. For that, it is disgusting to me his disrespect for his workers. I am not sorry for being on the left side of the political spectrum, and seeing this only reinforces my choices.

  76. larry kurtz 2015.01.05

    Why anyone lives in South Dakota remains a mystery.

  77. Lynn 2015.01.05

    Larry, Quite simply it's a love/hate relationship I have with South Dakota.

  78. Bill Fleming 2015.01.05

    Ha ha, Kurtz thinks he doesn't live here. Pretty funny.

  79. Jenny 2015.01.05

    You're exactly right, Jerry. Mork inherited the family business, so he is not exactly a self-made businessman who came from nothing.
    Why on earth is it a bad thing that SD has a higher minimum wage than 43 other states? You can thank the SDDP for that. A little few more pennies ain't hurt anyone none.

  80. Jenny 2015.01.05

    I would like people that are against the mimimum wage increase to try and live on it for a month and see how you'd all turn out. Heck, raise it a few bucks to $10/hr, make it easy on ya.
    Rent, food, gas, utilities, phone, car - just the essentials. No cheatin'

  81. jerry 2015.01.05

    I am from the old school and have seen many things in my life here in South Dakota. The entry level jobs that are now raised to a higher standard comes at a time when ag country is making all time profits. As I have said, I have lived here for a long time and have seen it go the other way as well. I have seen many farm and ranch wife come to town to take a job, any job to put a much needed cash flow to the home place. These folks will now be greeted with a better chance of filling their needs now that Democrats have done the courageous thing and put the wage increase into law. So, while it may seem easy to put a young face on an entry level employee, we all know older employees that have been forced into the workplace for many reasons. They do not need to be reminded of their plight, they are living it each day.

  82. Daniel Buresh 2015.01.05

    "it looks as though he inherited his wealth and looks down his nose at those who are struggling at the bottom of the food chain. "

    Keep digging that hole Jerry. Delon is one of the most selfless people who would be willing to go out of his way to help those who are in need the most. You can't fault a person for being born in the family that they belong to, and I have yet to see a reason to fault him for how he continues on the legacy that his family has built. He has done a lot more for this community and those in need than anyone I know. He does it because he cares and because those issues personally affect him,his employees, and their families. I know much wealthier people who do less, and that includes both sides of the political spectrum. I feel your criticism could be placed elsewhere. If someone has a valid reason to fault Delon for how he has operated up to this point, I would gladly argue that with you because you have a steep road ahead of you.

    On the point of those receiving minimum wage, those starting out in the workforce should be on a minimum wage, because if not only to get up to speed on procedures, but to build an initial respect and work ethic that we require within the workforce. For those who are supporting families and working minimum wage, I question those situations which seem to be rooted in much bigger issues than some low paying employer. The number of jobs open in Madison and Mitchell alone make we wonder why a grown adult is working minimum wage. Felon? Addict? Job Flipper? Life decisions?

    Now, onto the 6.7% increase in blizzards. I question whether or not that is a single item increase or it is an across the board average? Comparing that to the 2.7% would be illogical if that 6.7% is based on a single item increase. Is he passing the increased costs onto a few items rather than all? Also, Dairy Queens are not a fast food restaurant. I actually got this lecture from my local dairy queen owner when I started as my first job at minimum wage. I believe I was making $5.15/hr. Their food is made to order, which is why the wait is much longer. I believe most owners will take that as an insult to be lumped in with the McD's and BK's in the area.

    It seems to me that people are upset because an employer is making increases to prices due to the owner's increase in input costs. I'm sure his physical ingredient costs have gone up slightly as most everything does each year. Now, he will also have labor increases. Those are input costs which must be accounted for as well. Delon is raising all wages which is a generous thing to do. This will also affect the comparison to increases in other businesses since many will not increase wages across the board. Until you know what sort of increase is happening on both ends, I find it hard to criticize because you don't know if his profits are remaining the same, less, or increasing. We can all sit and argue whether or not those losses would be made up by increased purchases due to the increased income of low wage earners or if actual prices must be increased to cover the new costs, but only time will tell. For every person that has increased buying power, the rest of us who don't receive increased wages are essentially having a decreased amount of buying power. I don't foresee a huge upswing in blizzard sales due to increased wages so I understand an increase in pricing. I guess then all you can argue about is how much profit is too much? What is working 80 hours a week including the stress of a business owner worth? 60k? 100k? 250k? 1,000,000 /yr annual salary? Frankly, the separation between the bottom and top wage earners is where the conflict comes, and it appears that it isn't pricing that is making some of you upset, but the fact that he may be possible profiting more at the guise of increased input costs. I find that a bit of a false critique against Delon considering how much he is willing to give. If he was all about profits, he wouldn't be so generous to begin with. I guess otherwise, I just don't see how that is anyone's business and I guess we all just exercise our right's by purchasing or not purchasing items from their business. That's what our country is about. All I know is, if I were to have a business owner increase his bottom line, I'd like it to be owner's like Delon since I know it will be coming back to the community in some way. We need as many business owners like that as we can find.

    And for the record, Delon donates all profits from Miracle Treat Day to CMN and not just a $1 from every blizzard, so bypassing him for donating is not hurting or helping cmn unless you want to donate all the funds you are giving, in which case, you just aren't buying a blizzard at cost. Essentially, you are getting the opportunity to buy a blizzard for what it costs Delon for making a donation to CMN. It's really not a net gain/loss for DQ other than a bit of PR or public perception on DQ's part. You can always make a cash donation during the event which will go to CMN.

  83. jerry 2015.01.05

    Why didn't he just say he was raising the price to go to CMN? That would be way cool. Thanks Daniel for bringing that to my attention. It was easy for me to think otherwise from his own public words that the increase was to pay the wage increase. He must have confided that to you Daniel as it sure looks like he was keeping that to himself. This is big news and should be put on the Kelo Land or something to let us all know including the governor. That way when they make their jump next year, he will be in the know as well. No surprises.

  84. Jennifer Wolff 2015.01.05

    I am not sure what happened to Cory's anonymity policy, but I am just chiming in to clarify that I am not "Jenny" (or the similarly pseudonymed "JeniW"). When commenting, I will always use my full name. (Curses on my parents for saddling me with such an ambiguous name.)

    For the record, I like DeLon, I love DQ, and what ever special magic he puts in his food to make it taste vastly superior to other Dairy Queens is ok by me. Plus ... turns all those Miracle Treat Day coupons I bought were a wise investment! If Forever Stamp arbitrage can work off a three cent hike, the 20 cent Blizzard hike could be a real gold mine for people like me who don't really like ice cream and still have a sizable stash. ;)

  85. Daniel Buresh 2015.01.05

    "Why didn't he just say he was raising the price to go to CMN?"

    Because that would have been foolish to imply it was all because of sales on a single day and I doubt that is why he did it. He said increased costs were causing prices to go up. End of story. The fact that CMN donations from each blizzard purchase will not decrease is only another good reason for raising the price to correspond with rising input costs. Maybe if that is the only item to increase, that could be the main reason for choosing that product alone since he would then not be taking more proceeds from MTD to cover his costs since it pertains to that single item. I really don't know. He could have raised the price on all items except for the blizzard, in which case, donations would go down for CMN. Still, this all leads back to the 6.7% and if that is even a valid number to be comparing since it is only a single item, as I understand it. Your sarcasm to imply that I am "in the know" is quite hilarious. Everyone around here knows that all proceeds from blizzards sales that day go to CMN. If you want to imply that is the reasoning for the increase on blizzards, so be it, but don't act like I stated that because I didn't. I am just pointing out how CMN could be affected if costs go up and pricing stays the same.

  86. Jenny 2015.01.05

    I was wondering when the 'Pubs were going to arrive, hmmm, took them longer than usual this time. Typical bashing of minimum wage employees and Mr Buresh is implying most of them are probably felons and addicts and poor life decisions. Of course do we expect anything less from a 'pub? What is it with conservative and their causual disregard for low wage workers? Those low wage workers have built America and DeLon's business into what it is.

    I'm happy for you, Daniel Buresh that you have never made any poor decisions and that your life has gone smoothly without out any mistakes at all.

  87. Daniel Buresh 2015.01.05

    Jenny, critique from someone too coward to use their name is not going to bother me. I've made many bad decisions which I have paid for, in cash and time served. I'm not using it as an excuse for my shortcomings, nor will it stop me for trying to better my situation. I've been on the bottom, and more likely than not as I have witnessed, most people are the victims of their own choices, including myself at times. Life's not fair, so I suggest not making it harder on yourself than it has to be. I bet this 'pub donates and volunteers more time than you could hold a candle to, but it's much easier to just consider us all soulless human beings. You know, 'pubs are all about the money, and are not willing to help the poor. I find that hilarious considering all my wealthy mentors and guides through life have repeated that unless you are helping your fellow man, what are you doing on this earth? Which is why I give back as much as my job and personal life allows.

  88. jerry 2015.01.05

    Daniel, what I admire about you is that you are much like Gordon Howie and his pretzel logic with Bosworth's indiscretions and other fun stuff. You fellers have one helluva spin room and you both amuse my very much. Thanks

  89. Daniel Buresh 2015.01.05

    Jerry, there has been no spin on my part. I have stated the increased pricing is due to the increased input costs. We aren't able to discern with the amount of information specified whether or not that is a reasonable increase or not. Expecting everyone to get a raise, increasing input costs, and not expecting an employee/owner to maintain the same level of profit is wrong imo. He deserves to maintain his salary, if not obtain a small increase from year to year like every other worker.

  90. jerry 2015.01.05

    To increase prices, what the market will bear. To increase those prices while putting the blame solely and squarely on the backs of your entry level employees, very disappointing and disrespectful of them and their families.

  91. Daniel Buresh 2015.01.05

    What input cost increase can't be tied to an employee? If cocoa prices go up, and general mills increases the prices of their candies, can I not tie that back to labor increases in the cocoa fields, or the employees in the candy factories? Input costs are input costs whether it is tied to an immediate face or not. I bet if they raised the price of M&M's, you wouldn't be blaming them for making increases because of increased labor costs from their suppliers. The numbers don't care if the cost is tied directly to a person or not. What causes the costs increases is rather irrelevant if the business owner has no control on those input costs. The price of his costs go up, the price of his goods go up. There is nothing disappointing or disrespectful about that. Based on your standards for critique, there isn't a price increase that you could justify. You would just have to remain the same until your business closes due to bankruptcy.

  92. jerry 2015.01.05

    As you are the official spokesperson for Mork, why don't you suggest to him that beating up on his entry level employees will do him little good. I am quite sure that most of the posters here have a reasonably good grasp of how math works and how profit margins work as well as we are more on the left side of things politically. Having said that, we therefore are quite capable of smelling the dead carp you are trying to wrap this into. No matter what, that ole dead carp smell just keep permeating the room. Nice try though.

  93. Lorri May 2015.01.05

    I just got off the phone with DeLon Mork, owner of DQ. Many questions have been flying around so I asked him about them. DeLon and I are good friends even if we are on opposite ends of the political spectrum. The reason we're friends is because over the years, I've been to DQ many times and when he was out wiping down tables or mowing the lawn at DQ or sweeping the floor, we started talking and found a mutual respect with good-natured bantering about politics. I want to note the fact that DeLon DOES go out and mow the lawn; he DOES wipe down tables; he DOES sweep the floor. He's not an owner who sits in his office and observes others working in his shop; he's out there with them, making Blizzards and doing the inglorious jobs alongside his employees.

    There was a question on here about whether DeLon raised his prices just on Blizzards or across the board. He said he raised them across the board, but not just because of the minimum wage issue (will get to that in a minute). He has not raised prices across the board in five years and he did it to mitigate all his costs, not just wages. He also just spent a goodly amount to update his store, putting in new tile in the bathrooms and updating some back-end things that needed upgrades. He explained that those aren't changes that are going to affect people's opinions of the store because most people won't notice, but because he takes pride in his store and tries to keep current with owning the business.

    The problem DeLon has with the minimum wage is the section of it that mandates that his wages keep up with the increase in the CPI nationally in perpetuity. He already pays his employees more than his contemporaries in other DQs do. He just doesn't want to be told what to pay his employees. He and I disagree on this, since I'm a Progressive Liberal, but we respect each other's views and listen to each other. If one of us has a problem with the other's views, we talk it out. We don't jump to conclusions; we go to the other and discuss issues.

    As younger folks say, "Haters are gonna hate" and I've seen that in this thread. I suspect those of you who are hating on DeLon have never met him. If you would know him, you'd know he's a genuine, caring individual who does much charity work in Madison and runs a business that people WANT to go to. If you don't like what he's doing at DQ, don't go there. Simple as that. I doubt it's going to affect his bottom line very much, as there are loyal customers who appreciate having a food establishment where they can go and "feel at home."

  94. Les 2015.01.05

    Jenny says min wage increase is a dem thing. There is not one good thing happening in SD that doesn't require pub votes to make it happen. Jenny doesn't live in SD or contribute. That in itself is no problem. Classifying all pubs is no diff than classifying all Rapid City residents as racist. All blow and no horns here?

  95. Joseph g thompson 2015.01.05

    I have printed off this entire post and intend to pass it around the community. Think people should know what the democratic party thinks of DeLon and his misuse of his employees.

  96. Owen 2015.01.05

    so Joseph we can't disagree with a Republican?

  97. John Hess 2015.01.05

    Some people see demons where they don't exist. The locals know Mork isn't and quite to the contrary. In the past I was too eager to criticize Republicans (and put a label on them) when in fact many are reasonable people. Just don't go to Dakota War College (fringe right) although I would like to continue Palin bashing if that's ok.

    Our full time manufacturing jobs have been advertised at $12 an hour during training then to $14. Not too shabby. Not everyone wants these jobs (then go to college or whatever), but for those who do they can get an affordable starter home at 60k. Part time jobs are not intended to raise a family. Sorry, but don't have a child if you can't afford one.

    Totally non-related Cory, Amert's building has been torn down. Drove down Union and realized something looked different. Just a bit of rubble.

  98. jerry 2015.01.05

    Here is something else you should print joseph g.

    Does South Dakota have a training wage?

    South Dakota allows for payment of an opportunity wage, which is sometimes referred to as a training wage. The opportunity wage is defined under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Pursuant to the FLSA, employers may pay newly hired employees under the age of 20 years old no less than $4.25 an hour during the first 90 consecutive calendar days after that person is first employed. Employers may not displace employees for the purpose of hiring individuals at the opportunity wage."

    By the way, this law was not affected by the recent initiative vote. It will be in effect for perpetuity or as long as the grass grows and the rivers flow.

    I am going with the idea that Mork had to raise prices to do the building repairs and upkeep on his property, which is what you do in a business. What is not okay on all of this is to blame the entry level employees for the increase he would have needed anyway, that is a stretch. Print away my friend and disperse.

  99. John Hess 2015.01.05

    Just read your post Joseph before going out the door. I think it would be a mistake to assume all Democrats feel this way. I know they don't! There's a fringe on both sides that are just angry usually without using their last name and aren't from Madison. I don't think it would make Delon feel any better. I was hoping he wouldn't see it at all.

  100. Jenny 2015.01.05

    This is a good healthy conversation, Lorrie. Jerry and I don't even know DeLon, we don't hate him. A living wage is just one the top issues I will fight for and that is dear to my heart. I'm giving every low wage worker in America and across the world a voice.
    I appreciate De Lon for giving all of his workers a wage increase, not just the minimum wage workers. Having said that, I just don't think most people have a clear understanding how each situation is different for the workers that live on minimum wages. I sincerely hope that De Lon learns that it is not just highschoolers of felons that work minimum wage jobs. I could go on, but if Mr Mork ever wants to have an earnest conversations with me he is more than welcome.

  101. Daniel Buresh 2015.01.05

    "As you are the official spokesperson for Mork"

    Far from it. I've had the pleasure of being able to help participate in some of his events as a volunteer and I have seen how truly genuine he is. That alone is the reason why I stick up for him and how he operates his business. Your attempts to tie me as his mouthpiece only derails any credibility you may have. There is a reason why so many people who never post on this site have made comments in this thread. They care about Delon, this community, and all the good he does for it.

  102. Les 2015.01.05

    """"so Joseph we can't disagree with a Republican?"""". Is it unlimited what I can say about you and just call it disagreement, Owen? Where is your current job so the pubs can start affecting your livelihood?

  103. mike from iowa 2015.01.05

    Some people believe dumbass dubya and Dickhead Cheney deserve sainthood. Others,like me,believe a guillotine would serve a more useful purpose for war criminals.

  104. jerry 2015.01.05

    What Mork does with his business is his business. He chose to make a political statement out of it and blame his entry level employees for the price raise. What did he expect? That because he does good in some areas that gives him a pass to belittle his entry level employees. I think not. The government gives folks like Mork a whole lot of leeway regarding entry level wages for youngsters as posted above. As he is a businessman in the food service, I am quite sure he is aware of what he needs to pay and how to go about making sure he is on the right path. He just made the mistake that a lot of right wing business folk do and that is to condemn the help that he has the responsibility for to make his business a success.

  105. Douglas Wiken 2015.01.05

    We may all like some businessmen. Most of them have to be at least somewhat personable to do retail sales. That does nothing to dispute the idea that businesses (not just DQ) use regulations as an excuse to justify or blame for price increases even when those regulations have negligible effect on costs. Retail grocery stores jacked up the price of milk blaming government policies for the increase in their milk costs. Farm prices for milk have dropped. Local grocery stores kept milk prices high until a new discount store started selling it for something like $1.50 less per gallon. They weren't giving it away or using it as a loss leader.

    I try to do business with local businesses, but I do not like getting charged two, three, four, and even five times as much for an article locally than price in other towns or on the internet. I bought an oil filter that cost over $27 locally. Then checked Amazon, etc. Available for anywhere from $5 to $9 at other retailers. That kind of local pricing is all too common. If I bitch about prices, I get the crap about government regulations costing them so much that they just have to charge so much.

    If the DQ dude is raising prices for other reasons than the increase in the minimum wage, he and others should be honest about it instead of relying on same old blame game used by retrograde Republicans on nearly every issue.

  106. Owen 2015.01.05

    i just said Les that I disagreed with Mork said and did and other people here disagree as well. Don't quite get the unlimited part. That it was ok for disagreements in the country?
    And yes Les the government does affect what I do for a living. You?

  107. Les 2015.01.05

    You disagreed with a pub,not a Mork, Owen. Racist.

  108. Shirley Moore 2015.01.05

    For the record (and Lorri May can verify this) the SDDP WAS the initiator of the Minimum Wage petitions. Republicans undoubtedly voted for it as did Dems and Independents and a LOT of other people. Give the Dems credit for caring about low wage people. It's something the republican party wouldn't do. A number of stories on the internet testify to the increase in spending in the communities that have raised the wage. It's a good thing. As Jenny/Jeni or whoever said it, DeLon shot himself in the foot/shat in his own nest by claiming the prices went up at his establishment because of the minimum wage increase. He's raised wages on January 1 on items before. I know because I USED TO frequent his store. If this minimum wage increase affects the CMN event, so be it. It's just another example of how the poor, sick, elderly and whoever are disrespected by the republicans.

  109. Les 2015.01.05

    Racist, is a common term used at Maddville, Owen. Are you saying it has meaning beyond personal insult?
    I see Shirley got a soft Blizzard from Mork. Life sucks, Shirley.

  110. grudznick 2015.01.05

    This wage went up for a handful of people a couple of days ago and there are already reports abounding in every corner of the state about the spending sprees that people are on.

    My bet is those poor stupid gambling people went to one of those pay-day loan outfits that give reasonable rates, thinking "Oh, golly, now I can buy a new fancy cell phone and a car with a hood scoop because I'm making 2 bucks a day more."

  111. larry kurtz 2015.01.05

    Stan Adelstein and Doyle Estes send their love, grud.

  112. larry kurtz 2015.01.05

    Why does Madison have a four-year college there?

  113. Owen 2015.01.05

    No Les just asking why and how I'm a racist?

  114. Shirley Moore 2015.01.05

    Yes, Gruz, pay day loan sharks are waiting. So is Dana Dykhouse whose bank offers credit cards at 75-80% interest. No, Les, I didn't get a soft Blizzard from DeLon. I just wised up. No sense patronizing a store whose profits go to support causes I don't believe in. And yes, DeLon does raise prices after Christmas and New Years.

  115. Lorri May 2015.01.05

    DeLon told me, Shirley, that he hasn't raised prices across the board in five years. I believe him. He isn't stepping on the backs of new employees. His comment about the "working end of the broom" was taken out of context. I also believe that. I'm not sure where your vitriolic hatred of him is all of a sudden coming from. He's always been nice to you and considered you a friend till you turned on him.

    Aside from that, he raised prices to mitigate all costs, not just the wage increase, so he isn't stepping on the backs of new employees.

    Besides, all of you who are putting him down either a) don't know him, or b) don't realize how businesses work. And to that you have two choices: a) don't eat there; or b) pay the prices he's charging. He isn't the first businessman to raise prices and won't be the last. DeLon isn't a gouger otherwise we'd be paying $5 for a Blizzard as they are in other DQs around the country.

    Even though we don't always agree politically, DeLon and I have a mutual respect for each other. And he's that way with everyone. Respect him and you'll get that and a whole lot of friendliness in return.

  116. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.06

    Indeed, what's all this nastiness? I think I was able to critique this particular business decision and political rhetoric with facts and figures, not personal attacks. DeLon makes a lot of good decisions. He also makes a lot of hard decisions keeping a small restaurant thriving in a town where it's hard to make a living. In this case, from a business perspective, he's making a decision dictated in part by us the voters. I suspect it rankles any businessperson to have to reset prices because of someone else's actions... but we all deal with external forces every day.

    My critique is boils down to two main points:

    (1) I believe DeLon is doing a little propaganda work for the SD Retailers Association. If Lorri is correct, saying DeLon is raising prices to mitigate all costs, then his statements on NPR exaggerate the impact of the minimum wage increase. My numbers challenge the message DeLon advances on NPR.

    (2) The dopey kid with a broom argument perpetuates a misunderstanding of the minimum wage issue. I do not believe that statement was taken out of context. It was a deliberate, well-crafted rhetorical tool that colors perceptions of the minimum wage and makes people think that some workers don't deserve their pay. That argument ignores the existence of the training wage. It ignores the fact that no business owner has to hire or continue to employ people who add no value to the company. And it ignores the principle that the minimum wage embodies: if you choose to hire workers, you owe those workers basic, dignified compensation for the time and liberty they surrender to you for your business purposes. A 16 year old deserves the same human dignity as an adult. It doesn't matter if that employee is using the money to support a family, save up for college, buy speakers, or buy dope. The employer's evaluation of an employee's relative worth starts and stops on the clock, at the sales counter or the stove or the assembly line.

  117. John Hess 2015.01.06

    Everyone should also consider unintended consequences of minimum wages. Unions often support them because automation will occur when it's more profitable to replace unskilled or low-skilled workers. Their skilled people benefit as a company builds a new machine.

    A successful production environment knows their numbers backwards and forwards so they may just hire part timers for peak periods only. Happens a lot in food service. Already many employees in retail have to be on call and available. So thinking mandates are a solution to a better quality of life often aren't.

    Push one number up (artificially) and a business will find a way to remain profitable (or fail). If they're corporate they worry about stock price. People buying stocks want winners, either high dividend payers or those with increasing value.

    Teachers in business school told us to always think of ourselves as being self employed and be competitive. Get skills and have a good work attitude. Smile now and then.

  118. John Hess 2015.01.06

    You can't stop competition. Kurtz was getting ready to blow Heidelberger out of the water.

  119. mike from iowa 2015.01.06

    Cory inadvertently exposes certain truths between the haves and the have nots. It does matter if a person spends his money on speakers. Youngsters purchase sound systems(speakers) to play music for entertainment. korporate hogs purchase wholesale lots of lobbyists(speakers) to enrich their own and their shareholders lives. An increase in minimum wage gives the youngsters some respect and does not adversely affect korporate hogs in the least.

  120. John Hess 2015.01.06

    If business automates, no job for kid, no speakers. I'm not worried about corporations. I want that kid to have his music (as long as it isn't rap).

  121. leslie 2015.01.06

    hess-automation happens.

    but a strategy of hiring part-timers for peak-peroids, asks the employee to forego quality of life so the employer can reduce operating cost.

    if the employer can't design a business plan without a gimmick (legislative unregulation of uranium mining and unenforced mitigation in SD, treaty violations and military war crimes to usurp gold properties, off-shoring, low wages/no benefits, fossil fuels industry shifting actual pollution costs to environment, ect, ect, ect.) isn't that irresponsible?

    employers seek entitlements from non-union employees and from government, as republicans.

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