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Richard Rider

CA politicians have struck a deal to implement $15 minimum wage without a proposition

Hoh boy.

It appears that the California state legislature, the governor and the labor unions have “struck a deal” that will raise the state’s minimum wage to $15. No stinkin’ proposition will be required to enact this requirement into law, with a simple (Democrat) legislative majority easily attainable.

The minimum wage (now $10 an hour) will rise in stages, hitting the cherished $15 mark in 2022, and rising to match inflation after that. Very small businesses will have an extra year to comply.

Doubtless automation firms are wildly cheering this step towards the Workers’ Paradise so long sought by progressives. State economic development departments around the nation will also be “popping the bubbly,” delighted with California’s relentless efforts to drive businesses out of the state. This $15 minimum wage pretty much ensures we will expand and deepen our permanent underclass of unemployed in California — with heightened effects on the low skilled and minorities of the state.

That “starter job” to get people on the employment ladder will simply be too high for a very significant part of our young population to reach. It will also encourage the underground economy, as more will seek (and employers offer) “illegal” wages to earn money and stay in business, respectively. Naturally this will make the hiring of illegal aliens ever more attractive to business owners.

One point that needs emphasis in this minimum wage debate is that the two states leading the charge for a $15 minimum wage make their “tip” employees rich. Well, richer than their job skills and status merit.

California and Washington are two of only seven states that mandate that “tip” workers receive the FULL minimum wage IN ADDITION TO any tips received. All other states have some offset of tips against the minimum wage requirement.

That’s why you find so many aging college grads waiting tables in the Golden State. Now with the new $15 minimum wage (in such states), even a mediocre waiter or valet can rake in a total of $25-$40 an hour for semi-skilled work (with some of the tips “tax free”) — even more in the nicer eateries.

The $15 minimum wage obviously will be paid via higher restaurant prices. Then the tipping tradition calls for the hapless customer to tip at LEAST 15% on the inflated price of the meal. This double whammy is great for those workers who still have a job, but not much if customers go out to eat less often, as doubtless will be the case.