Know What To Think About L.A.’s Minimum Wage Increase? Liar, Nobody Does

Posted by tobymuresianu on May 21, 2015 in Politics, Thoughts |

LA’s new $15 minimum wage is a really big deal and it will be fascinating to see the results.

Giving more cash to more people could make their lives better and potentially spur economic growth (since lower wage workers spend more of their money locally, having less opportunity to do fancy things like “save”)

LA has mostly service industry jobs that can’t be easily moved to other cities (we only really produce American Apparel and life coaches)

On the other hand…it could push housing prices up even further, as people move here for work and have more $ to spend (if you want to give a progressive pause, tell them their rent will go up)

It could disproportionately cause small businesses to close or cut hours/positions.

It could push some businesses from LA to the suburbs.

And it could spur the creation of many of the unpaid internships we all love, increasing the hurdle to get into the paid labor force in the entertainment industry (which until now had been super easy).

Most likely it will have all of these results, and unforeseen ones, to some extent. The questions is more what proportions they’ll occur in.

It’s a complex problem and even economists who support the increase can’t predict what’s going to happen.

At first I wasn’t gonna post anything because I didn’t have a particular solution…but it’s reassuring to know that nobody does.

And it strikes me that one problem with getting your news from Facebook (where I also posted this – add me!) is the stuff that blows up in your news feed is the stuff that’s easy to have an opinion on, not necessarily the stuff that’s most important.

And maybe that’s why we feel so polarized, because it’s the strong opinions that get shared (and shared again). But “I don’t know” is a totally valid opinion and in many cases the most truthful and accurate one.

What I’m saying is that I have nothing to say, but it’s for the best.

But hopefully the increase is successful and I look forward to, if nothing else, seeing the results of the grand experiment.

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