Accuracy in Media

Fast Company gives space to pizza store owners who say that workers should be paid much more in pizza stores. Economists call this trying to kill your competition. Good journalism would point this out rather than just allow the pizza joint owners to try to hamstring their competitors. 

The backstory here is that one of the writers founded &pizza, a chain founded in Washington, D.C. They’re also good to their workers, they pay $16 an hour on average, everyone gets sick pay and health benefits, no matter their hours.

It’s their next claim that matters. They go on to say that they think this is great – which it could well be – and therefore everyone else running a fast food joint should do the same. Except that’s not how it works.

Economists generally – because they’re very skeptical people – think that a business calling for regulation in its sector is doing so because they know that their own business can handle it – but that all their competitors can’t. This does give us how we might view this sort of demand. If your pizza joint can handle $16 an hour plus benefits and you know that your competitors aren’t able to, then what would you do to gain an advantage? Correct, you’d call for everyone to have to pay $16 an hour plus benefits.

Which we might suspect is what is going on here. Like – as those economists say – Facebook is fine with the costs of regulation and moderation because no new social network can afford them until they grow big. Which they can’t do, grow big, if they have to carry the costs of regulation.

Fast Company specializes in tech and business news and they gain some 6 million visits a month. They’re up near 400 in the news and media outlets rankings but in their specialty, business and tech news, they’re more influential than that.

This is why they should know better than this. It’s an absolutely standard business analysis that if folks who own a business are calling for regulation then they know that they can survive it and suspect that their rivals cannot. Fast Company would be doing its readers a substantial service if they pointed this out. Rather than just printing the claim itself, examine, weigh and decide upon it perhaps?




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