The fight for the increase of minimum wage has been a topic of debate in California. With the approval of a bill to raise the statewide minimum wage to $15 an hour, the state is once again the recipient of both praise and criticism.
The bill will increase the present pay which is $10 an hour to $10.50 starting January 2017. By 2018, the pay would increase another 50 cents to total $11 and subsequently raise $1 annually until 2022.
The policy is designed to help the lower economic classes improve their lives and provide for their well-being. In a recent press release, Gov. Jerry Brown said he supports the decision.
“Morally, socially and politically, (minimum wages) make every sense because it binds the community together and makes sure that parents can take care of their kids in a much more satisfactory way,” Brown said after signing the bill March 28.
Bob Namvar, professor of economics at California Baptist University, said the minimum wage needs to be raised to keep up with inflation, but the unreasonable increase in minimum wage in a short period of time will worsen the two-fold outsourcing problem.
“Investors will find better opportunities in other countries with low wages and take their investment funds to the cheap labor countries such as Mexico and China,” Namvar said. “It will cause more people to lose their jobs in the short run in the U.S. and in the long run, more capital intensive production will replace the labor-intensive production which also will create more unemployment.”
Some minimum wage workers said they think it may not be the best long-term decision.
Marco Flores, sophomore nursing major and El Monte employee, said he did not grow up with a lot of money and feels the wage raise will make everything more expensive.
“I do not feel like what I do is worth $15,” Flores said. “There are paramedics out there who (may) not get paid this much and they are out saving lives.”
The bill still has time before its full effects are felt economically and legislatively. Businesses will have until the first day of each year to make the necessary pay increases.