At one time, minimum wage was considered compensation for the first stage of a working life, especially for the youngest workers. Those were other times. Today, many employees holding such jobs have to maintain a family with that level of income.
For that reason, the increase in the minimum wage recently approved in Sacramento, which has the blessing of Governor Jerry Brown, comes at a time of need for both workers and the California economy.
The two-dollar increase, raising the hourly wage from eight to ten dollars over a two-year period, is a balanced approach to increasing these workers’ incomes with the least possible disruption to the private sector.
Even so, there are claims that this hike will increase the price of goods or will lead to job cuts, since employers cannot absorb costs. It is possible that some of that may occur, but that is not a valid justification for keeping adult full-time workers below the poverty line.
In these cases, a slow adjustment will take place that in the long run will benefit everyone, since the purchasing power of a low-income sector will increase, and this sector’s consumption will drive the economic cycle. At the same time, reducing income disparity is a sign of a healthy economy.
We hope the governor signs this measure as soon as possible, along with the bill for driver’s licenses for the undocumented. In both cases, he supported these bills that will help the beneficiaries and enhance their role in California’s economy.