California's minimum wage hike may be a harbinger
Known for trendsetting legislation, the Golden State is slated to become the first to guarantee $10 an hour as the baseline rate.
In the political battle over the minimum wage, California is striking out on its own and planting its flag squarely in progressive territory.
That's because the state's lawmakers are moving forward with a $10 hourly rate, while a fierce national debate rages over the federal baseline wage. Across the country, fast-food workers are organizing walkouts to protest for higher pay, while conservatives and business leaders caution that raising the minimum wage would hurt the economy and stall job growth.
The question is whether California is a trendsetter or a lonely outlier when it comes to the minimum wage. While President Barack Obama is pushing for a $9 federally mandated wage, others are calling for even higher increases, citing the difficulties of trying to live on the current federal minimum of $7.25 an hour, or about $15,000 per year.
California's groundbreaking bill was passed by the legislature on Thursday, and Gov. Jerry Brown is pledging support for the measure, which would bump up California's current $8 base wage to $9 an hour by next July and $10 by early 2016.
That would make California the first state to set its wage at $10 an hour, although several could be near that rate by 2016 because 10 states index their minimum wage to the consumer -price index, The Journal notes.
While California is known for being a political trendsetter, there's significant opposition to the measure within the state.
"California businesses are already struggling with significant cost increases over the next three years," Jennifer Barrera of the California Chamber of Commerce wrote in a letter to lawmakers. "Unemployment rates in various California counties are still as high as 26%. Such a significant increase in the minimum wage may jeopardize any economic recovery California is enjoying."
But a recent poll found that most American adults want the minimum wage boosted to $10.10 an hour. Even a majority of Republicans are pushing for the hike.
Fast-food workers from McDonald's (MCD) and other restaurants staged walkouts last month in protesting for a higher minimum wage. And some critics say low wages paid by Wal-Mart (WMT) end up taxing other Americans, because minimum-wage workers are forced to rely on food stamps and other government aid to make ends meet.
Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.
A $10 minimum wage will make a lot of liberals FEEL good, and that's a good thing, but it's not economically sustainable. It will lead to job losses, price increases and inflation - all factors that CONTRIBUTE to poverty instead of LESSENING it.
Such a legislation will turn out to be an excellent example of what happens when you FEEL before you THINK. One of the U.S.'s biggest problems is that we have too many hysterical people who allow themselves to be controlled by their emotions.
If the wage is raised to $10.00 the majority of the current "whining" employees at fast food restaurants will be replaced with a "better", more educated and responsible employees...
Why would anyone work hard at their $8/hr job now, when they automatically get a 12.5% raise come next July when the wage goes up to $9/hr, regardless of their effort or production? If I was an employer in CA, I'd immediately freeze all wages and give no raises. No reason to give a 50 cent per hour raise in the next couple of months if the gov is mandating a $1/hr increase next summer.
Wonder how many businesses will close or move out of state as a direct result of this law? Worse yet, wonder how many businesses will never even get started because of the prohibitive labor costs. Anyone who has started a business knows, the first couple of years are brutal and pennies are stretched as it is. Jack up labor costs by 12-20% and the effect is keeping plenty of potential businesses from even opening.
This is by design, the K12 system can't even teach 50% of the 50% that don't drop out to even read. It produces dem voters for life dependent on government. Add in some fatherless kids and even more.
Min wage is now a voter livestock career.
I dont know how many times the minimum wage has been bumped up since its inception, but the poor have never benefited from it. Why do people STILL think it is going to be some major victory for them this time?
If we don't let market forces work, we will all be shafted. I go out to eat less and less because of the costs involved. Just a rough estimate of the cost of a fast food meal is between 8-10$ and maybe labor cost make up 25-30% of that??? (someone that actually is in the B can correct the numbers). Are you now willing to pay up to 13$ for a fast food meal? And we haven't even started to add in Obama care costs that will add to the price of a burger.
And why should we make a law that flipping burgers should provide a wage to support a family ? Is this the American Dream now? Don't educate yourself, work at a fast food place to make a "Living Wage", get the government to back a loan that you cant afford & default on that ... but get to keep the house anyway (the American tax payers can afford it)?
from 7.25$ moved to 10$/hour?? Quick, someone tell my boss he has to pay me 38% more money ....hahahahaha
Here in Austin and the surrounding cities we pay 12-15 and hour for fast food workers. Signs on just about every fast food place saying help wanted. Would you really want a homeless person making your food? Oh and we never slowed down in the housing crash and not going bankrupt. Seems paying a fair wage works. These workers can afford to buy things and keep our economy strong. Places that fear paying more, yes your people will leave to go to a better place for a higher paying job and yes your city will go bankrupt because of it. Detroit ring a bell? But them poor CEO's need their multi million $ bonus right?
Have a cell phone (probably a smart phone).
She is a single mom of 3 children and she need enough money to fully provide for them.
I get the wants to make money to provide for all of her kids. But, why is she single with 3 kids? Our low wage system is not set up to fully provide for a single wage earner with 3 children. Not to mention pay for cable and a cell phone. She also had tattoos and used bad grammar. So, the youth are not getting educated and now they want to be subsidize for their lack of earning power. Yes, we are being dumbed down.
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