This post has been updated.
San Diego representatives loomed large Thursday as California legislators approved a bill to raise the minimum wage to a highest-in-the-nation $15 an hour by 2022.
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez aided the bill’s speedy march through the Capitol, marshaling it yesterday through the Appropriations Committee in her first test as head of that powerful body.
Oceanside Republican Rocky Chavez, meanwhile, said the law contradicted the 13th Amendment, which outlawed slavery, and warned it would send the state into economic ruin.
The bill passed the Assembly on a 48-26 vote and moved immediately into the Senate, where it passed 26-12. Gov. Jerry Brown announced soon after he would sign it on Monday.
Brown announced the measure earlier in the week after he and legislators behind the scenes crafted a compromise between two competing proposals, ensuring it won’t be on the November ballot and adding potential delays into the increase schedule if the economy falters.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
Its Easy to be righteous when you have no downside. I wonder if Atkins or Gonzales would be such zealots if they personally would suffer economically if this social experiment goes south.
I doubt it.
If the government forces businesses to give you a raise then don't be surprised if you lose your job, or worse, can no longer work a minimum wage job because you now lack the business' minimum wage skills requirements.
I own a small manufacturing company in a competitive business. We are already reeling from the previous two minimum increases that came within a 24 month period. I have laid off people, automated one machine and increased pricing. We lost money last year for the first time in 40 years. I pay myself less than I pay some of our employees. The only way we will survive is do one of the following strategies: Move out of State to Mexico or Arizona or bring in more automation (if we can afford it), eliminate positions and raise prices or close our doors. A $15.00 wage costs us $19.00 minimum when you add in Soc. Sec, Payroll taxes and Workers Comp Insurance. This does not include medical, the IRA that we match etc. This increase adds an additional $475,000 to our payroll. Based on the size of our business, it is not feasible without major, painful changes which could mean loosing everything I have worked for in my life. I would never have invested my blood, sweat and tears in our small business in California had I known what was going to happen. It is simply too much, too fast.
This is progress but too slow. 2022 is still 6 years away. By the time we get to 2022 $15 will still not be a living wage. It equals $31,200 a year. That is barely a living wage in 2016. It won't be in 2022
@KIm Carpender It is an improper use of government force to think that anyone has to pay someone else a "living wage", whatever that happens to be. When you set a wage by law, you infringe on the rights of individuals to either have to offer that wage, and other people to possibly have to accept it. No one owes someone else a "living wage". That is for the individuals involved to decide.
@KIm Carpender Six years hence, at the current 1% inflation rate, it will be worth 6% less; around $29328.00. Let us be thankful and not criticize too much.
Wage and price controls violate individual rights. Government has no role in mandating what an employer can offer, nor an employee may accept, for labor in exchange for payment. Same with the price one sets for whatever one owns. Once the rights violation is somehow ignored or discounted, then the specious arguments about "equality" and "living wage" enter, which are non-issues in a free society, but are goals for destroying the rewards of hard work and independent effort while accepting the attendant responsibility for one's freely made choices. Simply put, in a free society, should you dislike your situation, change it.
There needs to be regulations in place to protect workers. You squawk about "individual rights" when in fact you really mean the rights of businesses like Wal Mart to do whatever they want. You must think Bangladesh has a lot of "individual rights" since business can pay people next to nothing, make them work in sub-standard conditions, and use child labor in sweatshops where their employers pay them so little they are basically held hostage and have no alternatives because businesses are allowed to pay next to nothing. If businesses are allowed to take advantage of workers, many will
@ZachW So you think so little of your fellow man that they are incapable of making value oriented decisions in their best interest. You think people have to be controlled...meaning in your lexicon "helped" or "protected"....I do not. People are entirely capable of acting in their own best interests. Government is appropriate to protect individual rights from threats or actions of force or fraud, but after that, nothing is warranted. People do not have to work where they do not concur with the conditions and/or compensation. Just quit. Nobody is making those hundreds and maybe thousands of people apply to work at Walmart when they open a store. You see any force being used? I do not.
Bill Stoops, the implication that corporations and businesses won't exploit workers to their own financial advantage is very naive
@ZachW Then the employee quits. No more exploitation...or do you think people prefer to be victims, and you must protect them from their own inability to make value oriented choices in their own best interest? Do you think that little of your fellow man?
Bill Stoops, you are welcome to disagree, but your repeat use of accusing me of "thinking little of my fellow man" because I favor a minimum wage increase proves the arguments you are making are very flimsy and you have to rely on this charge that I'm somehow against humanity to try and debunk the points I made. It's pretty absurd for you to say advocating for government regulations to avoid employers from taking advantage of employees amounts to disregard for fellow man. If it were up to you, based on your posts here, companies would be able to do whatever they want to their employees - discriminate, subject them to safety issues, underpay them, etc. THAT seems like disregard for your fellow humans. Your argument that employees can "just quit" is weak too. You can turn that around and say that if business owners don't like our laws they can choose not to do business here. Of course that hasn't happened in any large measure in Seattle where the mw has been $15 for awhile now.
Raising the minimum wage this much sends a hazy message. Are we saying you don't have to finish high school, get a GED, go to trade school, attend a 2 or 4 year college, join the military or get on the ob training. We didn't even ask to have them work hard. Just show up, breath in and out and they will be taken care of. Seems to me we are slipping further ad further into socialism.
What we're saying is the minimum wage should increase incrementally to keep pace with inflation, but since politicians tied to big business lobbies have obstructed small, logical, incremental increases, we now need a large increase to close the gap
Mr Chavez needs to read up on what brought Greece to it's knees. He is CLUELESS. Mr Jones is just a loser who used religion to get elected. He wants to give the state economic advice. Who? Mr Jones who failed to make his mortgage payments for 18+ months in his Santee condo, in 2012-13 and lost it to B of A. A $1200 mortgage while earning $129K as an Assemblyman (with per diems). Please. In 1977 when I came to this country, minimum wage was $2.65. If it had adjusted with the CPI it would be more than $15 now. Minimum wage laws, as most laws, are in the books to control that small number of bad people AND businessmen.
The proponents of this bill have ignored the basic principles of how free markets work . In economic terms labor is essentially a product. the product is sold to potential employers. Employers will pay the amount necessary to induce potential workers to come and provide the product i.e. their labor. When governments intervene and sent mandatory minimums higher than what the market would require the natural consequence is for the amount that employers will purchase will decline. The natural consequence of this legislation will be to increase unemployment.
@Paul McMeans Or it might increase the purchasing power of consumers, who would then spend, and increase demand for products, which then might increase the demand for workers.
Most studies show minimal correlation between minimum wage increases and increased unemployment. Too many other factors in play.
People like you who advocate no government regulations on businesses are what gives society things like welfare to close living wage gaps, poverty, corporate monopolies, and in extreme cases tragedies like Bangladesh's Rana Plaza. Let's strip all government regulations so the "free" market can work - no health inspections for restaurants, no minimum safety requirements for workplaces, no paid sick leave that forces sick people to come to work putting themselves and others at peril, no child labor laws - and the list goes on. The idiots who use minimum wage as a general argument saying the government should not be regulating business should really stop and think about all the aspects that are regulated before making such a sweeping argument
We are a representative democracy, not a free market capitalist country. Capitalism is not a substitute for government and social policy.
Naysayers have been trumpeting the downfall of business since the minimum wage was introduced. We're still waiting...