Minimal Theories

Despite the rhetoric, evidence on the minimum wage initiative isn't conclusive either way

"We're being massively outspent," says Richard Shaw. "We may be facing an overwhelming fight."

Bill Miller, the consultant for Save Jobs for Houston, acknowledges that both sides have waged a superficial campaign based more on emotion than a detailed discussion of the issue. But given the short post-holiday campaign, that's the political reality.

"I've got two weeks to sell a pretty simple message: 'It's a bad deal,' " Miller says.

Beyond the numerical projections, how you respond to that message probably depends on which side of the counter you're on. Take the unidentified Grotto waiter we queried when Miller was briefly away from the table. Asked whether he thought a boost in the minimum wage would help him, the worker glanced around furtively before replying.

"I think so, yes," he whispered with a grin. "I think it would be good.

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