August 28, 2013 |
Fast-food workers and their supporters are calling for a $15-an-hour minimum wage as they prepare to picket in nationwide protests Thursday. That raises the question: If they're successful, will burger prices soar? Expert opinion is mixed. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. More than doubling that level would be an unprecedented leap. Sylvia Allegretto, a labor economist and co-chair of the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics at UC Berkeley, said it's unclear whether a minimum wage bump would have enough of a ripple effect to affect consumer wallets.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 30, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO -- The Assembly voted on Thursday to increase the minimum wage in California over the next three years, hiking it from $8 an hour to $9.25. Assemblyman Luis Alejo (D-Salinas), the author of the bill, said higher wages would “allow our families to provide for their children, pay their bills and give them dignity and respect.” Starting in 2017, the bill would also require the state to increase the minimum wage at a rate equivalent to inflation. The legislation now goes to the state Senate.
September 7, 2013
Re "A civil right to organize," Opinion, Sept. 2 Harold Meyerson notes that California allows cities to set their own minimum wages above the state's rate. I would support that if city officials were allowed to set rates below the federal minimum if doing so would promote economic growth within their municipalities. The federal government can broadly influence economic growth through a variety of tactics. States can as well, but for the most part it's a zero-sum game among the various states.
February 21, 2013 |
Even a conservative who ordinarily doesn't care much for government regulation of business ought to find the case for a government-mandated minimum wage pretty compelling. In brief: As a conservative, you believe in the dignity of work. And it sends a terrible message about the dignity of work when working full time does not earn you enough to live a decent life. On the other hand, even a committed liberal who is concerned about growing income inequality ought to have some doubts about the minimum wage.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 12, 2013 |
A proposal to increase the minimum wage by $2 over five years was sidelined, at least temporarily, on Monday because it would cost the state millions of dollars. The Senate Appropriations Committee put the bill by Assemblyman Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville) on suspense. There it will undergo more study, negotiation and potential change to reduce the cost before a final determination is made later this month on whether to send it to the Senate floor. Alejo had originally proposed to raise the minimum wage by $1.25 an hour, to $9.25, over three years.
March 16, 2013
In their Op-Ed article Sunday, economists Kevin A. Hassett and Michael R. Strain said President Obama's proposal to boost the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour would do little to blunt poverty in the United States and would make it more difficult for businesses to hire workers. They said other ways to aid the poor, including expanding the earned income tax credit, would be more effective. In response, reader Ralph Mitchell wrote: "By opposing the president's proposed minimum-wage increase to $9 an hour, Hassett and Strain are suggesting the government underwrite the cost of doing business by providing necessary life supports to families - through welfare systems, emergency healthcare, the earned income tax credit and so on - so that businesses can pay lower wages.
July 5, 2013
Re "Minimum wage debate reignites age-old arguments," Column, June 30 Michael Hiltzik doesn't need to look all the way to American Samoa for an example to debunk the theory that boosting the minimum wage increases unemployment. The San Francisco Bay Area's economy is booming, and it's doing this in a state with one of the country's highest minimum wages. In May, the counties of San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo each reported unemployment rates no higher than 5.4%. At the same time, San Francisco's minimum wage - $10.55 an hour - is the country's highest.
March 14, 2013 |
NEW YORK -- As the stock market continues to trend relentlessly upward, calls to raise wages for those at the bottom of the pay scale are becoming louder. After months of protests and marches, Iowa's Sen. Tom Harkin and California Rep. George Miller introduced a bill to tie the minimum wage to inflation, and various groups have responded in support and protest of the bill. But as a Senate Committee held a hearing Thursday on the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, it became evident that what you think about the proposal might be related to what you think about the state of Oregon.
February 13, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - House Republicans on Wednesday shot down President Obama's 12-hour-old proposal to raise the minimum wage. House Speaker John A. Boehner told reporters that the president's call to raise the federal minimum wage $1.75 an hour would only exacerbate the nation's employment challenge. “When you raise the price of employment, guess what happens? You get less of it,” the Ohio Republican told reporters Wednesday morning. “At a time when the American people are still asking the question 'Where are the jobs?
September 25, 2013 |
Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that will raise California's minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2016, a move celebrated by workers but criticized by many businesses. The wage hike will go into effect in two phases: The current minimum of $8 an hour will be lifted to $9 on July 1, 2014, and then to $10 on Jan. 1, 2016. Brown put his name on the legislation at the Ronald Reagan building in downtown Los Angeles, surrounded by beaming workers and under a banner that read, "Helping working families.