UC Berkeley workers: Happy $15 minimum wage. Now you’re fired.

Many leftists insist that raising the price for labor via minimum wage hikes will not reduce the demand for labor.  The law of supply and demand can be repealed, you see, if you rationalize cleverly – like King Canute commanding the tides, only with academic jargon substituting for imperiousness.  U.C. Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research (which is a taxpayer-paid propaganda arm for unions) even produced a study claiming that low-wage folks would greatly benefit from a $15-an-hour minimum wage, just instituted in California.

Tell that to the 500 people at U.C. Berkeley who were just laid off.  While there is no connection being drawn between the wage law and the layoffs – and it will certainly be denied by the Labor Research crowd – it is awfully coincidental.  U.C. Berkeley has run out of money and now has to pay even more for its wage earners.

John Merline at Investor’s Business Daily:

Even the liberal Mother Jones admits that a $15 minimum is “terra incognita” and “might not be entirely benign.”

What’s surprising, then, is that unions, liberals and others pushing the minimum wage hike have managed to convince the public that this law somehow doesn’t apply to the labor market, and so succeeded in getting $15 laws in California, New York and Seattle. You can bet that either Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton will push $15 at the national level if either is elected.

Berkeley employees whose jobs are on the chopping block might want to educate these leaders about the perils of this idea.

The real reason unions are so gung-ho for raising minimum wages has nothing to do with those who earn at that level.  It is all the union contracts that specify wages a certain level above whatever the minimum wage is pegged at.  Raise the  minimum wage, and all those other workers get a pay hike.  The Sacramento Bee shows just part of the effect:

An internal Department of Finance memo provided to The Bee puts numbers to those expenses. The Jan. 1 increase from $10 to $10.50 per hour will hike the state civil service payroll by $6 million, the memo says.

That figure rises to $235 million in fiscal 2022-23 when the $15-per-hour minimum kicks in, the state estimates. (The figures exclude about $3 billion more in raises for locally run, state-subsidized, in-home health service workers as well as employees in the developmental services field.)

Higher taxes ahead.

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