By: Dr. Lynn Reaser
As concerns about income inequality and the failure of many to move ahead mount, various entities at the local, state, and national level are arguing for increases in the minimum wage. California’s minimum hourly wage will rise from the current $8 to $9 on July 1 and to $10 on January 1, 2016.
Should the City of San Diego take another step by setting an even higher minimum? The answer is “no.”
The City’s first priority should be jobs. California’s minimum wage hike could already stifle future hiring or cause layoffs by some firms or organizations. An even higher number in San Diego could push growth beyond City limits. Students, minorities, older individuals, and those with any prior legal records could be the most impacted by a higher minimum wage. These are the people that need the most help rather than further barriers to give them their first or second chance.
San Diego needs to encourage firms to come here, stay, and grow, while it does more to give people the education and skills to earn higher pay.