California minimum wage: more harm than good

They say, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” When Jerry Brown, the Governor of California signed AB (Assembly Bill) 10 several weeks ago, he was paving California’s road to economic hell. AB 10 will raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 dollars an hour by the year 2022. To the uninformed or perhaps misinformed, raising the minimum wage sounds great but, even Gov. Brown thinks the measure is not economically sound. Shortly after signing the bill, the Governor said, “Economically minimum wages may not make sense. But morally socially and politically they make every sense because it binds the community together to make sure parents can take care of their kids.” Despite the governor’s statement supporters of a higher minimum wage insist it will reduce poverty rates, help single parents support their children, save taxpayers money and stimulate the economy. In reality, it will not just do nothing the supporters claim but, it will have added benefit of increasing unemployment as well as, reducing the buying power of seniors, others on fixed incomes and yes, minimum wage employees. Increasing the minimum wage will not help the poor or single parents because the majority of minimum wage earners neither live in poverty nor are single parents. Recent studies indicate that, “Only 2.9 percent of US employees work for the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.” In addition, “Less than a quarter of minimum wage workers live at or below the poverty line, while two-thirds come from families 150 percent above the poverty line.” ( In other words, highschoolers and young adults enrolled in school.
A higher minimum wage will not save taxpayers money or stimulate the economy either, for the California legislative analysts estimates the increased minimum wage will cost taxpayers an extra $3.6 billion dollars a year. ( As for stimulating the economy the Congressional Budget Office states that a $9 national minimum wage would cost 100,000 jobs. The same study also found that if the federal minimum wage were $10.10 an hour, 500,000 would lose their jobs, and 770,000 would be unemployed if it was $12 an hour. ( Another study by the EPI Employment Policies Institute indicates the job losses associated with a $10.10 an hour minimum wage could go as high as 1,084,000! ( Imagine the potential job loss with a $15 an hour minimum wage. Increasing the minimum wage is nothing more than political bribery; if you feel good about what your leaders are doing despite passing an ineffective or detrimental law, perhaps you will reelect them.


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