It begins: In wake of California $15 minimum wage, garment firms moving out of Los Angeles
To the surprise of nobody but leftists, Governor Brown and the California State Legislature Democrats, jobs are beginning to evaporate visibly in the wake of California legislating a phased-in $15 an hour minimum wage. Even the Los Angeles Times can’t help but notice:
Last week American Apparel, the biggest clothing maker in Los Angeles, said it might outsource the making of some garments to another manufacturer in the U.S., and wiped out about 500 local jobs.
American Apparel is far from the only firm affected, of course:
Felix Seo has been making clothes for wholesale in downtown for 30 years. His company, Joompy, used to count giant retailers like Forever 21 among its clients. But as prices have gone up in recent years, he said, those fast-fashion peddlers are no longer giving him orders.
"I used to pay $5 to get this sewn, and now it costs $6.50," Seo said, holding up a patterned dress. "But my customer doesn't want to pay that, so I can't sell it anymore."
To survive, Seo, 59, said Joompy may have to start importing goods instead of producing them locally. "It will be impossible to make clothes in Los Angeles," he said.
Unions, of course, are not surprised by this. They see opportunities for a shakedown of employers, and besides, there are so many of their members covered by contracts pegged to X dollars above the mono mum wage, that the fate of lowe income workers is really of no consideration. Put them on the dole, and make them fodder for big government programs and Democrat voters.
Thomas Sowell aptly explained:
“Unfortunately, the real minimum wage is always zero, regardless of the laws, and that is the wage that many workers receive in the wake of the creation or escalation of a government-mandated minimum wage, because they lose their jobs or fail to find jobs when they enter the labor force. Making it illegal to pay less than a given amount does not make a worker’s productivity worth that amount—and, if it is not, that worker is unlikely to be employed.”