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Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Nation Moves Toward $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage: Emeryville Leads the Way

Emeryville Leads the Nation Toward 
$15 Per Hour Minimum Wage

The Emeryville City Council, by lifting the minimum wage to $14.42 per hour for big business employees on July 1st and $12.25 for small business with yearly wage increases for both meeting at $15 per hour in 2019 as they directed City Hall to do on Tuesday, is leading the way for the nation as a whole.  Emeryville will be seen as the example for other cities in the Bay Area and beyond.

Cal Berkeley professor Robert Reich tells us why this is important:


  1. In the video clip, Robert Reich makes the point that low wages put extra demands on public assistance programs, which are funded by taxpayers. The extra demands are huge, in fact.

    According to a study just out, 56% of combined state and federal spending on public assistance goes to working families:

    So along with supporting workers, raising the minimum wage above poverty level will reduce the drain on tax dollars. No wonder this movement is gaining momentum.

  2. Raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour is the right thing to do, but it does not solve the poverty issue. I believe the stagnant lower wages have been holding inflation at a steady increase. We have been seeing food, housing and energy prices increasing for some time now. What will happen when the $10 dishwasher now gets $15? The $15 cook will demand $20. The owner, with 5 employees will now pay out $200 more in daily wages, who as the owner puts in 12 hour days, keeping the business running will now be making the same amount as the cook, but taking all the risks. Now, can the owner raise prices without loosing customers? Maybe, Maybe not. If he does, this is called inflation. If he doesn’t, and wants to stay in business, he will probably hire and illegal alien and pay cash further fueling the already robust underground economy. Raising wages will cause all industries to raise prices. This will lead to hyper-inflation, where in time many people will loose their jobs, interest rates will skyrocket, and if you have savings or live on a fixed income, the value of your money will not be as much. We need to go back and rethink this. How do we solve poverty and is it possible?

    1. Inflation has been kept low in America over the last couple of generations as a result of monetary and economic policy emanating out of Washington in service of the desires of the investor class who have interest in keeping inflation low. It's another example of how the government works for the wealthy in our country. You're certainly entitled to your opinions about how raising wages at the bottom serves to further erode wage inequality but this is not backed up by data from scientifically generated studies.