As the country splits into two separate ideologies, one is leaning more in favor of corporate power, while the other favors labor and the working class.
The latter got a victory in San Francisco, where minimum wage jumped up over $10 an hour in the very expensive city. Workers at the minimum wage level are undeniably pleased- as a few extra cents per hour can really help when you’re at the low end of wage-earners- but business owners, as you can imagine, are not pleased with the extra regulation. Minimum wage in the San Francisco leapt from $9.92 an hour- already $2 and $3 over California and the federal minimum wage limits respectively, and San Francisco restaurant owner Daniel Scherotter spoke to press about the effect the minimum wage hike will have on his business. Scherotter says:
“So that drives me nuts, that as a chef, I have to cut my kitchen allowance… What I pay for a waiter is more than double what Manhattan pays, it’s more than double what Chicago pays, and it’s four times what Boston pays. And those are … other big, expensive, pro-labor cities. But I pay what they all pay added together for tipped employees.”
However, advocates of labor are more apt to advocate a living wage for employees and contend that the small hit to businesses is outweighed by the overall benefits to the economy when workers are paid a fair wage. David Madland of the American Worker Project in Washington DC said:
“I think it’s a big deal when a city is making a commitment that says, ‘Our workers are going to get paid a livable wage for a day’s work.’ It’s also very important that in today’s economy when a core problem is lack of demand… that a city is actively taking steps to put more money into consumers’ pockets.”
Do you think businesses should be mandated to pay a true living wage to employees, or are you of the mindset that regulation is killing free enterprise?