Opinion Piece By Samuel Strait – December 17, 2016 – The minimum wage is but one of many problems for states like California.
Corporate tax, Federal and State, plus ever increasing regulation both Federal and State, rules and tax rates based on Urban problems and populations, the list goes on and on. The State puts up a good front, but it has for years been bleeding businesses and population. That coupled with the inability to keep up with the increased cost of social programs, “state public education” and years of nonsense passed through various propositions, I suspect that we no longer have the “will” to do anything meaningful.
When you look at the voting map of the US in the last election, it should be clear to everyone that Urban problem solving doesn’t do anything for rural populations. It requires two distinct and different forms of governing, although what is currently being practiced serves neither population very well. Until people and governments can get over the idea that being successful shouldn’t put a government target on your back, there will be no successes.
I never met a poor man that was a benefit to an economy. Crony capitalism, which is being practiced wholesale is not an answer. Governments cannot truly regulate a functional economy. Sad to say, but they must have a little faith in the entrepreneur and give him some freedom to prosper. Hopefully he will also have a sense of responsibility along with that freedom.
Actually, the minimum wage will be $11.00 on January 1,2017 and $1.00 increase for the next four years. Even though government refuses to acknowledge it, States and Municipalities who are practicing the greater minimum wage are already experiencing job loss to automation and significant inflation, which has the negative effect of negating any wage increases. States like Oregon are trying the multilevel minimum wage bit and it doesn’t seem to do any better than with the problems revealed when Seattle tried the old $15.00 per hour minimum cold turkey. Of course, progressive governments will never admit it is a bad idea until they have ruined the whole economic system. Quite frankly some people are not worth $15.00/hour.
I think most smart businesses will say the minimum wage hike was a factor, but it pales in comparison to the costs of State and Federal regulation. Corporate tax, which corporations pass on to their customers, is another big thing. The final straw is not necessarily the wage hike itself, but all the other regulated costs to the employer that must be paid. Not a pretty picture for any incoming administration to overcome. A local business with say ten employees, will be faced with coming up with $200,000 to $300,000 more in 2017, just to keep those ten employees, employed. I shudder to think how it will effect some business owner who quite rightly expects to turn a profit on his or her investment. If you can find some crack pot economist who thinks that raising the minimum wage is a good thing, I’ve got a bridge for sale…….. History just simply does not support raising the minimum wage as a good thing.
As far as our municipality creating our own sliding scale minimum wage, not with the current State law in place. State law would open our town up to any number of lawsuits. Maybe the creation of a State sanctioned enterprise zone is the only thing I can think of, but do our elected officials have the will? They would have to seek some kind of zone that makes it better to engage in private sector business here rather than twenty miles up the road. It would mean giving some kind of tax and regulatory holiday which I don’t see the City or the County being able to swallow in their current financial condition, particularly the City. Honestly, I’ve had this in the back of my mind ever since all three of my children had to bolt California for greener pastures. Taking the minimum wage back down would only be a very small part of the solution. It is not going to be a task for the faint hearted.