The megalopolis of San Jose, CA has approved a rise in the minimum wage to $15 by January 1 2019. The usual suspects are weighing in approvingly, but my eye was drawn in fascinated horror to the way that the journalist (or press release author) expressed the financial changes expected:
Mayor Liccardo launched the effort last fall to follow the lead of five other cities in Santa Clara County and to come up with a regional approach to raise minimum wage throughout Silicon Valley.To which I can only say huh? Assuming they're on $12/hour now, they're working 100,000 hours per year?
City statistics show it would mean a $300,000 raise for 115,000 workers.
What the author means, one assumes, is that each worker is going to benefit by just under $3 per hour, but that's a horrible way of expressing that statistic. And of course, the statistic itself is misleading. The workers are going to pay a varying amount of tax on that additional money, other benefits they are currently paid may change, and of course that assumes that otherwise their salary would not have risen at all by January 2019 despite the extra 2 years of experience and possible promotion they would have achieved by then.
But let's look at what the author believes is the downside of this measure - because they're trying to be even-handed, yes?
Some small business owners and non-profits worry raising the minimum wage would reduce their share of the economic pie. The result could either mean service reduction for non profits or price increases for mainstay businesses.Or, you know, firings left and right for any worker whose skills aren't valued at $15/hour (plus additional costs) by the business they work at. Or businesses closing down because they're no longer economically viable. Or employers cutting existing worker benefits to offset the new costs. Heck, ask workers and business owners in Seattle how their new $15/hour minimum is working out.
You can just taste the disdain for business owners in the expression "reduce their share of the economic pie". Why exactly does the author think the owners have put in all the work and risk to create the businesses that create the jobs for these good people in the first place?