Minimum Wage Politics: Earnings on the Rise

United States Vice President Joe Biden recently argued for a $12 minimum wage during a visit to Southern California. Biden praised the local crowd for the steps taken to boost the hourly pay for hundreds of thousands of workers. Biden said that, “a higher federal minimum wage would serve as a gateway out of poverty.” Supervisors in Los Angeles County clearly agreed, when they voted to raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2020. Additionally, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signed an ordinance back in June that made the city the largest one within the United States promising a $15 minimum wage by 2020.

Biden continued, saying, “you really have set the tone for the country…people are getting a sense of not only what they should do, but what they can do.” Biden has been demanding a rise in the federal minimum wage since 2012. In his speech, he said, “No one working full time should live in poverty. I’m not a redistributive guy. But the fact of the matter is, when you concentrate all of the wealth in one place, people don’t have the money to buy the widgets that you make.”

In response to President Obama’s call to take local action to raise the minimum wage Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles have voted yes in agreement. Opposition continues in Congress, with the income inequality fight at its very core. The federal minimum wage has been at $7.25 an hour since 2009. Hourly pay represents the central issues in the political struggle between Democrats and Republicans.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently formed a panel to discuss the topic. He announced the panel’s findings on Wednesday, July 22nd , stating that, “the minimum wage for fast-food workers [should] be raised to $15 an hour by 2018 in New York City, and three years later in the rest of the state.” Also on Wednesday, the University of California said it will pay its full-time workers at least $15 an hour by October 2017.

Business organizations have argued that raising the minimum wage would force companies to fire workers to offset the cost of a higher payroll. President of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce said, “small businesses understand the intent of the minimum wage increase, but they are frustrated that they will bear the primary burden.”

If you are concerned about the effect an increased minimum wage will have on your family finances or your business’s operations, please contact an advisor at Apex Financial Advisors. Our experts can help you plan for changes in fiscal policy to ensure your personal wealth and success.