In their infinite wisdom, Gov. Jerry Brown and the California Legislature have come up with five more reasons for California businesses not to hire new workers. They are introducing a bill to raise the state minimum wage gradually by $5 — from $10 an hour to $15 an hour by 2022 (and a year later for small businesses). Methinks Sen. Bernie Sanders’ call for a $15-per-hour federal minimum wage — more than double the current $7.25 floor — has started a bidding war among Democrats who can promise workers increasingly higher wages with other people’s money.
Brown, flanked by Democratic politicians and union officials at Monday’s news conference, declared, “This is a bold proposal.” The deal would make California the “first state” to pass a $15 minimum wage. Democrats are powerless to resist any measure that’s a “first” in the nation. Apparently, they lose no sleep wondering whether perhaps there is a reason no other state has done what they are about to do.
Minimum-wage earners have reason to welcome the news; the deal means a 50 percent pay raise over the next six years. What’s not to like?