This morning California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that will raise the minimum wage in California to $15 an hour statewide by 2022. It is the first state to do so. Brown called it economic justice. It is neither economic or justice.
California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski immediate put out a statement via email praising the the new law:
The statement California made today will echo throughout the country. By boosting 6 million workers across the state, we’re saying that all work is valued and all working people have value. No matter your job, you are contributing to the economic success of your company, your community and your nation. By lifting those at the bottom of the economic ladder, we level the playing field for everyone. California is setting all workers on a path out of poverty and restoring the American Dream.
This historic signing is testament to the power working people hold when we stand together to fight for justice. California has once again set the bar for the rest of the country. We’re on the leading age of a movement to change America. The wave of higher wages that starts here today will cascade to other states, bringing with it fresh hope to millions of working people across the country.
Of course, neither he nor Gov. Brown addresses what will happen to those who currently are paid the minimum of $10 an hour who will eventually get $0 per hour business they will be put out of work.
Nevada should double the size of that welcome sign down on the border and put up some more billboards in California inviting companies to move here.
The problem with raising the minimum wage is that it does not lift more people out of poverty, but rather its net effect is to actually increase the portion of families that are poor and near-poor, according to an analysis by the Heritage Foundation. This is because a few will see higher income, others will have their work hours reduced and some will drop from minimum wage to zero wage due to layoffs and businesses closing their doors — or moving to another state.
The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that if the federal minimum wage were increased to $10.10 an hour — as proposed by President Obama and others — up to a million workers would lose their jobs. Never mind what $15 an hour would do, as proposed by Bernie Sanders.
If $15 an hour is good, wouldn’t $30 or $100 an hour be even better?
And what happens to those who currently are being paid between $10 and $15 an hour?