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CA Lawmakers, Unions Play “Let’s Make a Deal” To Avoid $15 Minimum Wage Ballot Battle

CA Lawmakers, Unions Play “Let’s Make a Deal” To Avoid $15 Minimum Wage Ballot Battle

Californians: “The Biggest Losers”

California’s elite politicos have long resented our state’s system of propositions and ballot measures, which give the voters some measure of control on how Sacramento runs.

Famous tax-payer victories include Proposition 13 (capping property taxes). Furthermore, Californians have organized statewide to defeat other issues (e.g., Proposition 1A, a temporary tax increase that California Tea Party Groups fought successfully in 2009).

After a ballot measure was recently approved for a proposed, gradually-implemented $15/hour minimum wage law, our state’s politicians played a round of “Let’s Make a Deal” to bypass the will of the voters.

Lawmakers and labor unions have struck a tentative deal to raise the statewide minimum wage to $10.50 an hour next year and then gradually to $15, averting a costly political campaign this fall and possibly putting California at the forefront of a national movement.

The deal was confirmed Saturday afternoon by sources close to the negotiations who would speak only on condition of anonymity until Gov. Jerry Brown makes a formal announcement as early as Monday.

The minimum wage compromise ends a long debate between the Democratic governor and some of the state’s most powerful labor unions. For Brown, it’s political pragmatism; numerous statewide polls have suggested voters would approve a minimum wage proposal — perhaps even a more sweeping version — if given the chance.

Watch the report:

Perhaps voters would have passed the measure, and perhaps not. The city of Tacoma, Washington defeated the $15/hour minimum wage proposal last November.


Tacoma has had a front-row seat on the questionable success of the $15/hour rules enforced by Seattle.

The [American Enterprise Institute] study, worked up from Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly surveys, shows that, between April and December last year, Seattle saw the biggest employment drop in any nine-month period since 2009 — a full year into the Great Recession.

The city unemployment rate rose a full percentage point.

Before the minimum-wage hikes begin, Seattle employment tracked the rest of the nation — slowly rising from the 2008-09 bottom. But it started to plunge last spring, as the new law began to kick in.

Furthermore, Seattle’s loss of 10,000 jobs in just the three months of September, October and November was a record for any three-month period dating back to 1990.

Meanwhile, employment outside the city limits — which had long tracked the rate in Seattle proper — was soaring by 57,000 and set a new record high that November.

Tacoma voters probably noticed the trend to automate work in response to forced wage hikes.

“With government driving up the cost of labor, it’s driving down the number of jobs,” said [Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s CEO Andy] Puzder. “You’re going to see automation not just in airports and grocery stores, but in restaurants.”

He’s right. That’s why whenever the minimum wage rises above the market-set prevailing wage, jobs are destroyed. Who would pay someone $15 an hour to do a job that’s worth less than that? No one.

If the ballot measure had gone forward as planned, the California Tea Party groups would have organized against the proposal.

“We would have made sure Californians would have been fully informed about the consequences of passage,” said Dawn Wildman, a lead organizer. “One thing Sacramento fails to note is that the wage needs in Merced are not the same as in San Francisco…what a person needs to earn to live decently in Fresno is different than in Los Angeles. Now, areas of the state that are already suffering economically are going to be even harder hit. We don’t get a chance to make the case or make a different deal that might serve citizens better.”

The California deal has one other element that must be noted because it reveals the true power of our state’s public employee unions. The proposal includes a gradual addition of up to three new paid sick days for government workers who provide in-home care to the disabled. The tentative wage agreement is Governor Jerry Brown’s attempt at some fiscal restraint.

In January, Brown warned of a $4-billion a year increase in state budget expenses if public-sector care workers — who are paid the minimum wage — were to receive $15 an hour. The gradual ramping up of wages and benefits in the new agreement is more aligned with Brown’s larger budget philosophy.

Given the fact that California is going to be a battlefield during the presidential primary season, the matter of a $15/hour national minimum wage rule is likely to be an election issue.

Until then, as Sacramento bypasses the voters in favor of the unions, it is the average citizen that is “The Biggest Loser”.


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legacyrepublican | March 27, 2016 at 3:41 pm

I wish someone would do a study of how many jobs go abroad as wages increase beyond market value too.

Have those idiots actually considered the cost to employers? This isn’t really about just an entry level employee. It’s about all the employees being paid more than an entry level wage who suddenly see the value of their labor decreasing when the guy who sweeps the floors is hired at the same pay level. Now you have to increase the pay of every employee and it’s going to be far more expensive than just increasing a few entry level positions.

    Ragspierre in reply to Sanddog. | March 27, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    This is WHY unions push this kind of insanity. It isn’t because they really give a good dump about “the working poor”.

    It’s because of the upward pressure it puts on all wages and benefits.

    It’s also a factor in inflation. IF a loaf of bread costs x% of an average worker’s wage, it’s STILL going to cost x% of a worker’s wage when everything shakes out. Extrapolate that all through an economy, and you have inflation, or the cheapening of a nominal dollar. Of course, as we get older, we’re caught more and more with incomes expressed in REAL dollars, which DON’T inflate.

    Yey, Collective…!!!

The move is toward a “living wage” for the few that are employed while the rest of the unemployed are on the welfare rolls. Who in their right mind would risk starting a business that is only viewed as a revenue stream for governmental expenditures? The purer the socialism, the more stupid it is to invest in the future….. when the future is always about someone else’s betterment.

we’re a special kind of st00pid here in #Failifornia…

and, when/if HRH & i ever emigrate to a free country, we promise not to vote like the idiots do here.

especially if the new neighbor’s help us find the best local shooting range. 😉

And sorry California, granmole (former Mich gov) moved to Cali. Watch out if you’re doing private home health care. Finally got the forced unionization stopped here in Mich, the underhanded union and granmole really screwed the little people.
I noticed in the article gov home care health people got an extra three days off.
Two separate forced unionizations took place on Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s watch. Both involved the creation of dummy employers and statewide union elections that were kept secret from the news media. It was believed the “forced unionization” would end when Gov. Granholm left office. However, in spite of efforts by the state Legislature to put an end to them, the deductions haven’t stopped.

“We’re not even home health care workers. We’re just parents taking care of our kids,” said Robert Haynes, a retired Detroit police officer. “Our daughter is 34 and our son is 30. They have cerebral palsy. They are basically like 6-month-olds in adult bodies. They need to be fed and they wear diapers. We could sure use that $30 a month that’s being sent to the union.”

Henry Hawkins | March 27, 2016 at 10:00 pm

Does California have an income tax, and if so, is it a percentage of wage as in other states? Increased minimum wage would mean increased income tax – until the jobs are lost, of course – but pols love anything that raises tax revenues.

Increasing wages by fiat instead of by market forces raises the cost of living as employers are forced to pass the unfunded mandatory labor costs on to consumers. In due time, increased prices eat up the increased wage.

CaliforniaJimbo | March 27, 2016 at 11:38 pm

California now has 10 tax brackets. (Used to have 5 until they passed the extras on the top brackets). The former top bracket, 9.3% kicks in at 49,774 for singles and 67,751 for joint filers. The “1%” brackets run up to 13.3%.

So your average single worker Full Time @$15.00 per our comes in at 30k/ year or in the 6% bracket and closing on the 8%.
California gets their money. No matter what. That’s why I left for greener pastures.

Some Union contracts have their minimum wages indexed to the federal minimum. 9 dollar an hour people may get 6 dollar raise but if the union contact is index at 1.5 of minimum , the Union
Minimums will up much more than the 6 dollar increase that minimum wage people get. Minimum wage increases are a Union racket.

conservative tarheel | March 28, 2016 at 12:33 pm

this is why I will never live in CA ….