Los Angeles has raised the minimum wage. Previously, the minimum was $9 dollars an hour, but the city council has raised it to $10.50. Wait, sorry, I just got an update. It’s now $12.
Nope, sorry, another update. $13.25.
And what does that $14.25 per hour (updated) get you? Well, apparently, not so much according to people who are paid to complain about such things.
But that $15 dollars an hour (updated) does have wages. As in, consequences. Utterly predictable consequences. Not just predictable, but roundly and loudly and repeatedly predicted wages. Among them a depression of the city’s economy, diminished commerce within the city limits, increased joblessness, and the loss of small and family owned businesses to excess cost. It has literally already happened.
But people gotta eat, you know? And by people, I don’t mean the minimum wage workers, I mean the fattened private sector bureaucrats working for “advocacy” groups who need to show their conscience-crippled benefactors that work is being done and progress is being made and viva la revolución.
Conservatives can tell you that the wage hike does indeed damage local business. We can tell you that workers experience a lack of upward mobility, failing to move on to higher paying jobs. We can tell you that it is mathematical insanity to believe that there is a rich and vasty deep out there, an ocean of money that requires merely legislation to be tapped into and spread among all to create a glorious workers’ paradise. But we’ve tried that. Here is something even better. Here is how the left-wingers who pushed for the wage feel about it:
This is a good thing—higher minimum wages will bring a lot of working people out of poverty, where they never should have been in the first place, and make it easier for them to continue living in Los Angeles. But it won’t make it easy. Technically, it won’t even make it possible.
Got it? After raising the minimum wage – the least amount of money a person can be paid for the lowest possible skill requirements – after raising that by over 70 PERCENT, the first reaction is, ‘well yeah, but it’s not enough.’
This is the eternal folly of the idea of a living wage. It will never be enough. Both esoterically speaking, in that the groups who advocate for raising the wage will never be satisfied with the wage, and practically speaking, in that you can’t expect to buy a house and a car and an iPad if you have a minimum wage job. It’s the minimum wage. The least most. The lowest sum. By definition it is some, but not much.
You know who else can’t support a family of four and own their own home? People who are waiting on their Beanie Baby investment to pan out.
The city council wants to assuage their guilt at being well fed, just like those paying the salaries for the advocacy and special interest groups that have pressured for this change. Their symbolic gesture will, in the end, hurt business and job prospects for the whole city.
And it won’t even achieve their own goals, as stated by and according to their own numbers. Because it isn’t enough.
And it never will be.
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