2013-09-26 / Front Page

Governor's signature will raise minimum wage to $10

Gov. Jerry Brown on Sept. 25 signed a bill that will raise California's minimum wage to $10 an hour.

The full rate hike will not occur until 2016. California's current minimum wage was raised to $8 an hour in 2008.

Business groups this week criticized the move, saying it will force business owners to hire fewer workers and limit economic growth in the state.

The wage-hike is a "disappointing" development for the state's restaurant industry, said Jot Condie of the California Restaurant Association.

What do you think? Will raising the state's minimum wage help Californians or will it end up hurting them?

Comments shared on the GAZETTE's Web site may be quoted in an upcoming article in the paper.

Photo: Wikimedia CommonsPhoto: Wikimedia Commons

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As much as people may hate it

As much as people may hate it i still think the bill is fair. The current cost of living is too high to survive especially those earning such meager salary
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The Bureau of Labor

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has an inflation calculator (http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm). It is one of the most conservative ones available. Still, even that calculator pegs the 1968 California minimum wage of $1.65 as worth $11.09 in today's dollars. That means that the so-called increase in the California minimum wage to $10.00 is really a CUT in the DECREASE that has been perpetrated on California's wage earners for the past 55 years. Haven't you wondered WHY it takes two wage earners to support a family of 3 or 4? My parents did very well on just my Dad's $10k/yr salary. Do you REALLY think it is all the fault of Women's Liberation? Or the influx of illegals from Mexico? When you have less money to spend than your parents did, maybe it's because YOU REALLY HAVE LESS MONEY than they did. But you know who has MORE than their parents? The top 2%, that's who. As they have been accumulating more and more of our country's wealth over the last half century, ALL OF US have been contributing to their net worth by lowering ours. Our kids have less, theirs have more. More of us are on food stamps (which program is graciously being decimated by guess who - the 2%'s lackeys in Congress, aka, the GOP) while more of them have a 4th and 5th home in the Bahamas or Caymans or whatever. Can you afford a sailing dinghy? They have multi-million dollar yachts. Can you afford a new car? They get several new ones each year. Wake up Conservative voters. You are being scammed. Mariposa is NOT an enclave of the rich. We struggle here. And who do we elect and re-elect? People who support big business. Giving the too-big-to-fail banks millions of tax dollars to bail us mortgage holders out? Did YOU see any mortgage relief? If you want to give someone money, give it to THEM, not the greedy turds who put them behind the eight ball in the first place. But did your reps in Congress do that? No. They “bailed out” the bankers who were doing just fine, thank you, and didn’t need bailing out any more than a ship in dry dock. The late 19th century is known as the Gilded Age because the wealthiest of the wealthy were big on gilding things with gold. They had the money to blow while the poor were in food lines. Today, the imbalance between the wealthy and all the rest of us is GREATER than in that notorious period and still we slavishly vote for the people who cater to THEM instead of US. Why? How poor do we have to get? How badly off do we need to be before we start supporting candidates that support us? How long are we going to remain stupid and think a 25% increase in the minimum wage is a generous offering to us when it is really just a play at catch up that falls short? If this increase hurts business, it’s their own fault for being so damn greedy for the last 55 years. If they’d played fair with us all along, WE would have shared in the success of businesses instead of needing to work two jobs to support our families, we’d have more money to spend IN those businesses and they wouldn’t have to worry about our getting a fair, living wage being a threat to them. What’s the old saying? “Pay me now or pay me later?” They decided to screw us over as long as they could get away with it and now that it’s time to pay up, they whine and complain like babies. Well tough. For those who say a minimum wage is dictating to businesses what they should pay, stop and consider where the power is. If you want your 13 yr old to watch your 5 yr old while you go shopping, do you pay a fair wage for that child care or do you use your power as the parent to make the 13 yr old do it for free? The same power imbalance exists in the work place with the employer holding most of the power. Look at history. You can count on one hand the number of individuals who willingly paid their people fairly (I can only think of Henry Ford, circa 1916) while history is replete with people who kept most of the money for themselves paying the people who worked for them a pittance. Think back on the Ernie Ford song “Sixteen Tons” and it’s line, “I owe my soul to the company store.” As a whole, business has used its superior power to enrich the owners and impoverish the workers. So no. We cannot rely on the good intentions of businessmen because they don’t have any. We need a minimum wage and it needs to be high enough so people who work 8 hours/day can survive. Even at $10/hr, that is not enough. As I said at the top, the BLS inflation calculator is conservative. It leaves out food and transportation. That is a joke. A 24 cent loaf of bread in 1968 costs $2.69 today (think Wonder Bread). That’s more than an 11-fold increase. An 11-fold increase in the minimum wage would be over $18/hr today.

Seriously, If you can't pay

Seriously, If you can't pay the least of your employees $10 an hour, you should re-think your business plan. The State has to step in with a wedge minimum. The State (Tax Payers) freely step in to subsidize your employees housing, food & Medical @ $8.00 an hour. Cheep, greedy employers can't "afford" a $2 and hour increase? Bought a Pizza lately? A pair of Boots, Clothing, Hardware, Groceries... seriously, who here can live on $10 an hour? Work Clothes, Food, Rent, Insurance, maybe a crappy vehicle & gas... $12 an hour would be much better.

What is killing small

What is killing small businesses everywhere is that their customers don't have as much disposable income as they used to. Yes, the prices for everything will continue to rise. But this is happening anyway. To rely on factual evidence, one must occasionally be willing to reevaluate ideas that have previously enjoyed unquestioning adherence. Here is one such fact: adjusted for inflation, U.S. wages have remained stagnant or in decline for the last 20 years for those in the lowest 30% of incomes, even as the cost of living as increased steadily over the same period. This situation is clearly untenable. The only people who benefit from stagnant wages while everything else increases in cost are the very wealthy. To everyone else -- not just the working poor -- it is economically debilitating. Small businesses need customers with some cash in their pockets. Otherwise, they can cut their worker's wages and hours all they want, they will still be losing out under these economic conditions. Furthermore, any increase in their worker's wages will most often go right back into the local economy, which is far preferable to everyone's bottom line than families resorting to government assistance just to barely scrape by.

It's not enough. Let's do

It's not enough. Let's do some 3rd grade math. 38 Million people live in California. There are 15 Million working Californians. (There are 2 Million unemployed Californians.) One-third of California state's 15 Million WORKING families qualify as low-income. That works out to 5 million people WORKING, whose incomes STILL fell below the official poverty level. Millions of working Americans make less than minimum wage. In fact, MORE Americans are exempt from minimum wage than actually earn it. The largest of these exempted groups is tipped employees, many of whom work in food service. Many tipped employees earn just $2.13 an hour — the rationale being that tips cover the rest. At the moment, the minimum for tipped workers has not changed for 22 years, because, in 1996, Congress detached tipped worker wages from the normal minimum wage at the bidding of the National Restaurant Association... a powerful lobbying organization composed of state associations (hello, California Restaurant Association) ... headed, at that time, by Herman Cain. In any case, that insipid bit of right-wing conservative pro-corporation lobbying leaves millions of tipped workers — a group that is mostly women — living in poverty. Coincidentally, California has the highest total number of working poor families in the country. So no. It's not enough. It'll help the 2.3 million Californians who earn minimum wage. In 2016. Hopefully food and gas prices haven't gone up by then.

Most tipped employees make

Most tipped employees make minimum wage PLUS tips. Some actually make over poverty wage between the two, AND work multiple jobs, since they usually don't work full-time in one place. Not sure where you took your math classes....

For those who rely on minimum

For those who rely on minimum wage as their means to get ahead, it may help them. But it provides less incentive to the old fashioned "work hard, work smart, expand your capabilities" to make yourself more marketable and then you may get ahead. Small business owners will struggle with this new wage requirement, which will also hurt those hanging on to minimum wage earnings, fewer will be hired.

Point one: I would not want

Point one: I would not want the Government to tell me how much I have to pay my plumber or how much I have to pay for my toothpaste. I don’t think it is right to dictate to private businesses how much they have to pay employees; it’s their business. Each day an employee shows up to work they have made a choice to work for the money the business owner is willing to pay. No different when they buy something they make the choice if they want to pay the price for an item. If they don’t like there pay they have the freedom to negotiate for more pay or work somewhere else. Pay should be performance based and what the employer is can pay or is willing to pay to keep competitive and its doors open. If no one was willing to work for the pay offered the business owner would have to pay more. Point two: Employers will have no choice but to raise prices to compensate and will most likely hurt the very people they are trying to help more than others. I say let the free market decide not a misguided socialism Government!

This is another 'feel good'

This is another 'feel good' measure by the legislature that like all others is neither helpful or needed. Instead of government injecting itself into every aspect of life - in this case employment - it needs to do what it was created for: to protect us and allow us opportunity to prosper. Shouldn't wages and benefits be negotiated by those involved? Employers have every reason to offer a good work environment and decent pay and benefits. If they don't they get sub-par workers or very temporary ones. If the government wants to truly help, how about making generational welfare pay less than having a job. California has taken any incentive to work away by making a 'safety net' pay huge dividends. There is the tragedy. Or one of them.

sounds good but i doubt it

sounds good but i doubt it will be helpful. prices will be increased. not to mention employers are already hiring less because of "obamacare". to me it all equals less jobs!

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