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Biden Official Says Whether $20 CA Minimum Wage Will Hurt Business

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Food workers

In an interview with Reno’s KRNV, acting Labor Secretary Julie Su discussed the $20 minimum wage for fast food workers in California.

This effort

She emphasized that raising wages is “part and parcel of Bidenomics” and claims this effort protects workers and their families, as well as for building a strong economy.

Fair share

Su highlighted California’s leadership in worker protections and noted that the trend of increasing wages is happening across the country, aligning with the principles of Bidenomics to ensure workers receive their fair share in the economy.

Federal minimum wage

The conversation began with KRNV Reporter Ben Margiott who asked, “Nevada’s minimum wage is increasing to $12 an hour this summer, in July. The lower end of the spectrum, the federal minimum wage, still at 7.25. California, our neighboring state, is at $20 an hour. Is the federal minimum wage too low at 7.25?”

Small businesses

“On the flip side, are you worried about California and some states that are kind of the opposite end of that spectrum and whether or not that could pinch small businesses?” he asked.

Breathing room

Su answered, “So, the president has been very clear that the 7.25 an hour minimum wage is too low. If you think about that, for a full-time worker, that’s about $15,000 a year, and we need to do better. This is what Secretary Cardona said, right? If we want jobs to actually allow people not just to get by, but to have what the president calls breathing room, and so, he’s called for an increase in that minimum wage.”

Wage increases

“Meanwhile, states, and even cities, have seen the need to raise wages, both to protect workers and working families. But also, because it’s a matter of making a strong economy, right? When workers have enough to actually spend in their communities, that’s good for everybody. … California has long led the way in terms of worker protections. The $20 is for workers in one particular industry, in fast food. But I think what we’re seeing is a trend across the country, including for workers who are bargaining themselves, of record wage increases, and that is very much part and parcel of Bidenomics, the idea that we want to make sure that workers get their fair share in this economy,” she said.

Mass layoffs

As expected, the repercussions of the minimum wage increase in California unfolded predictably, leading to a wave of mass layoffs in the fast-food industry.

Increasing prices

Several chains responded by either laying off employees or increasing prices, with some establishments even closing down entirely.

Wage hike

For instance, Foster’s Freeze employees saw their wages go from $16 an hour to nothing, illustrating the unintended consequences of the wage hike touted as a victory for workers.

Reduced their staff

Major Pizza Hut franchisees let go of over 1,200 delivery drivers, while smaller businesses like Vitality Bowls reduced their staff by half in San Jose.

Working hours

Automation initiatives, such as fryer robots and automated drink dispensers, are being explored by restaurants like Jack in the Box as they anticipate further job cuts. As a result, working hours are being reduced, and prices are on the rise industry-wide.

Los Angeles

According to a report by The New York Post, prices at a Burger King in the Los Angeles area surged following the implementation of the new law.

Big Fish meal

For instance, the cost of a Texas Double Whopper spiked from $15.09 on March 29 to $16.89 on April 1, a nearly $2 increase in just two days. Similarly, the price of a Big Fish meal skyrocketed by $4, jumping from $7.49 to $11.49, reflecting the exact rise in the hourly wage.

Transparency or accountability

Additional menu items saw price hikes ranging from 25 cents to a dollar, as per The Post’s investigation. The Democratic Party has held complete control in California, benefiting from supermajorities in the state assembly and lacking opposition. This dominance allows them to implement their policies without transparency or accountability to the public.

Some residents

California serves as a testing ground for Democratic ideals, akin to other cities like Baltimore, Selma, Detroit, and Oakland. The recent increase in the minimum wage for certain fast-food workers to $20 per hour, a 25% raise from $16, reflects this unchecked power, prompting many to question the state’s direction and leading some residents to consider leaving.

Substantial percentage

Despite some advocates downplaying these price increases on social media, arguing that 25 cents to a dollar isn’t significant, they overlook the fact that these hikes represent a substantial percentage of the item’s total price.

Further increases

Moreover, these price adjustments occurred within a mere two days of the law’s enforcement, suggesting that further increases are likely on the horizon.

Minimum wage

During a recent interview on CNBC, the CEO of Raising Cane’s, a fried chicken restaurant chain, discussed the repercussions of the new legislation on his business, which has led to price increases. Surprisingly, the CNBC anchor posed a question that seemed to overlook the potential negative impacts of the legislation, focusing instead on the idea that raising prices could counteract the benefits of higher wages for minimum wage workers.

Intended purpose

The CEO’s response to the question was not particularly illuminating, possibly due to the nature of the interview or a lack of attention. Nonetheless, the anchor’s inquiry raised a thought-provoking point about whether increasing wages truly benefits workers if it results in higher costs of living and dining, ultimately undermining the intended purpose of the wage raise.

Laid off

The impact of the legislation is particularly evident in the increasing number of workers who have been laid off as a result, with more expected to face the same fate soon.

Economic principles

The hesitance to acknowledge this reality, even from prominent figures like the CEO of Raising Cane’s, sheds light on California’s economic predicament. It appears that many individuals in the state either lack a grasp of fundamental economic principles or are reluctant to address them openly.

Wage increase

However, the fast food workers directly affected by these changes comprehend the situation well, recognizing that the wage increase has not truly translated into a raise for them.

Real challenges

Increasing the minimum wage by a substantial 25% during a period of inflation and economic hardship is undeniably unwise. It represents a misguided attempt to sidestep the real challenges confronting Californians, but in reality, it exacerbates the situation.

Solve problems

Rather than addressing the existing issues, this approach paradoxically generates more problems. It’s a case of attempting to solve problems by inadvertently magnifying the very issues they aim to resolve, with no signs of stopping.

Her plan

California Rep. Barbara Lee said, “Just do the math. Do the math, says the woman who apparently can’t add two plus two. She wants to mandate six-figure incomes for the people who run the cash register at McDonald’s. You notice that she was asked about the economic sustainability of such a plan and did not pretend to even address that concern. That’s because it is, of course, not sustainable at all. $20 an hour isn’t even sustainable. $20 an hour has already caused a bloodbath of layoffs and price hikes. $50 an hour would simply be the end of commerce in California, which means the end of California itself. So, on second thought, maybe her plan has some benefits.”

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