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MSN, Bloomberg: Denver restaurants feel unexpected sting from pot tourism
Denver, Colorado's population has been steadily growing and it ranked as one of the best places to live for a variety of reasons -- proximity to the great outdoors, tech boom, and now for some...pot. Millennials, in particular are attracted to its downtown area that has been transformed into a trendy place to live and work with shops, restaurants, bars, night clubs, movie theaters, sports facilities close by and businesses including marijuana dispensaries all thriving with customers.
However, the boom in the pot industry has not all been positive for some businesses. Restaurant owners are finding that it also has its negatives.
As one restaurant owner put it to Bloomberg: “Our work force is being drained by the pot industry. There’s a very small work pool as it is. Enter the weed business, which pays $22 an hour with full benefits. You can come work in a kitchen for us for eight hours a day, in a hot kitchen. It’s a stressful life. Or you can go sort weed in a climate-controlled greenhouse. It’s a pretty obvious choice.”
Over time those restaurant workers will be back filled from workers migrating from other cities seeking work. The price of pot is also declining with more competition so those opportunities will also stabilize. But for now, working in the pot industry has sucked workers away from the restaurant industry. On the other hand, restaurant owners are being forced to pay their workers more to keep them, which drives up their prices.
That's just one example. The same logic could be applied to coal. As coal fired plants have converted to natural gas, traditional underground coal jobs have gone away. Many of the younger workers have migrated to other cities across the nation to work in wind and solar...or perhaps the pot industry in Denver.
Maybe some will also seek work on Trump's wall, but as firms are vying for contracts, the bidding is also open to Mexican firms to bid on building the wall (yes, that's a legal necessity). Don't expect many of those jobs in that part of the Texas border to be high paying unless you are highly skilled in the use of machinery.
And for the Trump voter who was promised jobs that Trump could never deliver, well maybe they'll come back to the Democratic Party as well. It takes time. Trump has been spending his capital and has little to show for it. That's the way capitalism works...both in capital, labor and politics.