While we were once afforded the luxury of mocking the logic of the minimum wage by stating “if $9 an hour is so great, why not $15 or $20 an hour?”
Thanks to the rise of Bernie Sanders, particularly among younger voters, some are seriously advocating for such a wage.
In 2015, 14 States, Cities, and Counties approved a $15 minimum wage. The Federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is really just a minimum-minimum wage. States and local governments are free to raise it higher as they wish.
That was until now. States have a vested interest on employment in their State, and they aren’t going to let the liberals in their cities chase jobs out of the State. The evidence is already out there that States which have set their minimum wage about the Federal minimum experience higher levels of youth and low-skilled unemployment than those who keep it at the base $7.25.
As Buzzfeed reported:
Californians won’t just be voting for the next president this November: on Tuesday, their Secretary of State said a referendum on raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour would also be on the statewide ballot.
If it passes, it will be the biggest win yet for the Fight for 15 movement, which is pushing to raise the minimum wage across America. About 1.8 million workers in California currently make the state minimum of $10, with 3.3 million making less than $15 an hour.
But a ballot win in America’s most populous state would do more than just raise pay. It would demonstrate one way to overcome a highly successful tactic used by industry groups and conservative lawmakers to roll back local wage increases: the passing of statewide laws that forbid towns and cities from raising the minimum wage.
So-called preemption laws, prohibiting local lawmakers from raising city minimum wages, have been promoted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative, industry-backed non-profit. On Monday, Idaho became the latest state to pass such a law, and much of the language of the bill — barring “political subdivisions” of the state from lifting pay for workers — is identical to draft legislation prepared by ALEC.
Eighteen other states now have comparable laws on the books, according to the National Employment Law Project, a left-leaning advocacy group. Many were passed swiftly and quietly in recent months, in states with cities where worker groups and labor-friendly local governments are pushing to raise wages.
The author at Buzzfeed took an oppositional stance to the matter, but they should be thanking those States. They’re preventing their fellow liberals from advocating themselves out of employment.