A Higher Minimum Wage Fails in California

The Daily Signal | 5/7/2019 | Staff
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Jarrett Stepman is an editor and commentary writer for The Daily Signal and co-host of "The Right Side of History" podcast. Send an email to Jarrett.

Issues such as job losses and automation have become concerns for the American people as technology transforms our economy.

Income - Policies - Problems - Dignity - Work

Some have proposed universal basic income and other policies to salve these problems, but they risk sapping the dignity of work and creating a kind of bifurcated warehouse society with huge numbers of people barely skating by on welfare.

The false notion that America must inevitably become a nation of welfare dependents and the super rich is toxic to the idea of the American dream.

Policies - Harm - Americans - Job - Market

Instead, we should look to avoid policies that harm Americans’ potential to enter the job market.

Minimum wage increases are supposed to be great for low-income workers and a boon to working-class Americans. However, mounting evidence suggests that’s not the case.

Study - University - California - Riverside - California

A recently released study by the University of California, Riverside demonstrates how California’s perhaps well-meaning minimum wage policies produce underwhelming results at best—but more typically create corrosive side effects for business owners and workers alike.

In 2016, California passed legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and the law is being phased in with incremental increases.

Start - Year - Sacramento - Bee - Employers

At the start of this year, The Sacramento Bee reported, “employers with 25 or fewer employees will be required to pay a minimum of $11 an hour, while employers who have 26 or more employees must pay $12 an hour.”

The minimum wage in California will rise to the full $15 in 2022.

Signs - Policy

But warning signs already indicate that the policy isn’t working.

Despite huge growth in California’s restaurant industry, some businesses—largely in the full-service category of restaurants—have been hit hard.

Restaurant - Business - Online - Areas - Minimum

Restaurant Business Online reported: “Nearly 1 out of 10 in areas with a recently increased minimum wage have closed an...
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