Thursday, April 7, 2016


gif  by -edlorens, 

What is it and how does it going to work for the California future? That and some historical facts about
minimum wage are discussed here.

Monday, April 4, 2016, Associated Press  said: " California enacts highest statewide minimum wage in the U.S." (by Michael R. Blood and Don Thompson).
Paul Sonn, general counsel of the National Employment Law Project, ( USA Today) commented:
“This is a very, very significant increase and for the first time would begin to reverse years of falling pay at the bottom” of the income ladder,”
At the Ronald Reagan State Building in downtown Los Angeles, on Monday, April 4, 2016, Governor of California, Jerry Brown signed into Law the legislation to increase the state's minimum wage to $15 per hour.
Gov. of California, Jerry Brown
-born in San Francisco
on April 7, 1938,
as Edmund G. Brown Jr.,

(gif  by edlorens,
 free to reuse with attributions)
This day will be remembered as the historical achievement of the governorship of Jerry Brown, Democrats and labor unions as a step forward in bringing economic equality between rich and poor and even could be transformative politically (Bernie Sanders is for
a $15-an-hour standard nationally, Hillary Clinton for $12. The federal minimum is currently $7.25;
with 29 states and Washington, D.C., that have set theirs higher.)

The California legislature calls for an increase of 50 cents/per hour in 2017 and $1.00/per hour in the following years until 2022.
“This plan raises the minimum wage in a careful and responsible way and provides some flexibility if economic and budgetary conditions change,”
 -Brown said: "This is about economic justice. It's about people. It's about creating a little, tiny amount of balance in a system that every day becomes more unbalanced" brushing off the negative remarks of Republicans and opponents of the bill.
source: Wikipedia  
The opponents like Tom Scott (Ex. Dir. of the state branch of the National Federation of Independent Business) made a claim that a $15 base wage will have "devastating impacts on small businesses in California,".
Small business is defined as one having less than 500 employees.
In California, there is estimated 3,320,977 small businesses with
-1,068,602 business that has employees and -2,252,375 with no employees.
 In addition to that, there are all different types -2,137,841 self-employed persons.
The small business owned by minorities or women are on the grow.
The concern of the opponents is that with the increases the cost of labor and
possible increase prices for goods consumers might buy less, substitute or move to imports.
No Republican gave the support to this legislation.
In the centuries past as now
 - people were fighting for the decent jobs and wages.
Good pay for the good work is the right, not the privilege.
(by edlorens - historical and fair share photos)

The negative review came also from the economic professor David Neumark, from University of California, Irvine, who estimated the minimum wage increase could cost 5 to 10 percent of low-skilled workers their jobs.
But like President Obama encouraged raise of minimum pay, the former
President Bill Clinton is also a labor advocate. In 2014 he pointed  to the strong connection between the increase in the minimum wage and creating new jobs, by saying:
 "I think we ought to raise the minimum wage because it doesn’t just raise wages for the three or four million people who are directly affected by it, it bumps the wage structure everywhere...The estimates are that 35 million Americans would get a pay raise if the federal minimum wage was raised...If you [raise the minimum wage] in a phased way, it always creates jobs."
Following the guidance above the California legislation is the 'phased way',
gradual process.
 The opinion that "the weight" of economic research shows higher pay doesn’t lead to fewer jobs was endorsed by 75 economists, including 7 recipients of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.
Back in Dec. 2013 The Economist : "A minimum wage, providing it is not set too high, could thus boost pay with no ill effects on jobs...Some studies find no harm to employment from federal or state minimum wages, others see a small one, but none finds any serious damage."
Eventually, California legislation will boost the national, federal standards.
Surprisingly by an increase in the minimum wage, we not only reduce income inequality but as Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) study in 2014 found the job creation within the United States is faster within states that raised their minimum wage. In 2014, Washington - the state with the highest minimum wage in the nation, exceeded the national average for job growth in the United States.
 As Thompson reported:"California and Massachusetts currently have the highest statewide minimum wage at $10. Washington, D.C., stands at $10.50. Los Angeles, Seattle and other cities have recently approved $15 minimum wages while Oregon officials plan to increase the minimum to $14.75 an hour in cities and $12.50 in rural areas by 2022."
“Oregon...adjusted their wage to address fears that city minimum wage would destroy jobs in low-cost small towns.” -  Horwitz (Agnes Constante/AJPress)
Top: historical early 20-century labor exploitation photos- women, children and men's labor
middle: historic early 20-century labor posters
bottom: The US stamp honoring labor movement and Californians calling for $15/ per hour wage
What can be expected from this legislature that especially now is coming in the election year?
Up to now in spite of efforts of President B. Obama, Congress was stalling.
California legislation to increase the minimum wage is long overdue and just catching with the inflation.
As J. Brown pointed California, has the world's eighth-largest economy and can absorb the raises without the problems predicted by opponents.
This new legislation could move more working class voters to boost Democratic leaders. Besides California, once again is setting the stage and example for other states to follow. The daring and the spirit of building up the people is the sign of
Instead of going into the negative road of thinking, we can expect possible more prosperity coming. Finally, California's one of the recognized assets and the following prosperity as a state is a result of betting and investing in people.
Increasing the minimum wage might bring some changes in the way the small business is conducting its affairs. For example some of the work, small businesses might decide to subcontract, instead of doing by its own employees. Other businesses will learn to utilize their employees in the more productive way, maybe investing in more its own employees training as this could cut cost in the long run, or  just go more generic.
That type of legislation can affect the way everyday business is being handled by the small companies.
( I am placing above page in the public  domain)

California was always rich in creativity. The new legislation quite opposite to the pessimistic prognosis might stimulate an economy.
There are about 2.2 million Californians that now earn the minimum wage.
In California and New York — where almost 1 in 5 Americans live,
the income gap like in every state has been widening for at least 30 years.
California, (like Oregon and Washington) has the lowest under 2% of hourly-paid workers earning the minimum wage.
( I am placing above page in the public domain)
The Californian minimum wage increase could boost earnings of all others hourly wages employees. It can stimulate an economy since people by earning more will be more willing to spend more on commercial goods or leisure. It can stimulate all from factories to stores to education to tourism, even banking. With better wages and fewer concerns with day- to-day living people future more secure, they will be more willing to spend, invest, save.
There could be expected a positive impact even on the general people's health, especially  the decrease from the health problems related to stress, or domestic fights  occurring due to lack of sustenance.
The other positive that can be expected is the decrease in homelessness. A number of people that presently are holding part-time jobs and stay occasionally on streets due to the lack of money or the one the spent the nights on somebody's sofa, in the garage or in the car would be able to improve their lives. Even surprisingly this wage increase and more money to spent might result in attracting more businesses and investments to California since wage increase easily can be offset by people ability to spend more. With more prosperity there is less crime, less violence and more effort dedicated to education, charitable and simply enjoying life.
Although the positive effect of this legislation might not be immediately visible, it will take effect after the period of readjusting businesses to the newer situation.
 The real rich will feel not much the difference, but the poor finally gets a lift. Of course,fewer taxes and especially tax credits for businesses could help in encouraging new venues and the stimulate economy more.
An economics professor at UC Berkeley, Michael Reich, declared "workers would have greater purchasing power, which could boost economic activity."
Also, since the increase is gradual, the small businesses will have the time to adjust.
If even the lowest paid workers are making life sustainable wages the whole country is receiving the moral boost. It is a proof that heart of our nation is rich in ideas of creating the high standard of living for all its members. That's right,
U.S.A., by investing in people we are raising the quality of life and building
the democratic value of equality - something that we can be proud off.
O.K. California - Let's celebrate!
Thanks. edl

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