Los Angeles to Raise Minimum Wage

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary

by Daniel Nardini

The City of Los Angeles has joined a growing number of American major cities that have raised the minimum wage to help those who need higher pay just to live in this country’s major urban areas. We have to face facts; the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour does not cut it for so many who earn the minimum wage in America’s major cities. It barely works for America’s poor in small towns and in isolated rural areas. But it is pretty much useless in cities like Los Angeles. Many companies are already complaining about the minimum wage increase, and some have threatened to move out of Los Angeles for it. But the increase to $15.00 an hour will not reach that goal until the year 2020—five years from now. This goes on the premise that the newly set minimum wage will be enough for the cost of living in the future five year time period.

What so many companies and businesses do not realize is that an increase in the minimum wage is far better than the tax revenue increase that will have to be made for those workers who need public assistance if their hourly pay cannot keep them alive. It is a sad fact that so many workers who do not see an increase in their minimum wage to meet the costs of daily life will have to apply for state and/or federal aid such as food stamps, welfare and child support programs. The money for these programs has to come from somewhere. It usually comes from our taxes, and taxes on companies that set up shop in a major city. So one way or another the companies are paying for their employees to stay alive. But taxes turn just about everyone off, and raising taxes does more damage to businesses and individual entrepreneurs more than anything else. So it makes sense to raise the minimum wage.

There are companies threatening to leave the Los Angeles area for cheaper grounds. But where will they go? Many other major metropolitan areas are raising their minimum wage laws because of how much money it costs for urban residents to live there. Most of America’s best workers, or simply put most American workers period, live in our major urban areas. For companies to move their factories into more rural and poorer communities will make it harder for them to compete, and so it would make sense for major companies to accept a higher minimum wage for their employees. The whole thing can be a win-win situation for those who realize that ordinary workers need to not only make a living but also to live as well.

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