Pay mandates drive up the cost of living

Your cheeseburger and fries are going to cost more. So is the medical bill for treating the subsequent heartburn.

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Two minimum wage bills Gov. Gavin Newsom signed already are digging in, worsening the inflation hitting consumers. The overall state minimum wage will rise from $15.50 an hour to $16 on Jan. 1. But Assembly Bill 1228 increased the minimum wage for fast-food workers even higher, to $20, effective next April 1, for those brands with 60 or more restaurants nationally.

Restaurants already are planning to pass the higher wage on to consumers. BJ’s Restaurant has 59 stores in California and its headquarters are in Huntington Beach. “We expect higher menu prices in restaurants throughout the state as operators look to mitigate the added costs,” CEO Greg Levin announced during an earnings call last week. “We are still finalizing our menu pricing plan for next year, but expect to be able to offset inflationary pressures.”

Senate Bill 525 increased the minimum wage for most healthcare workers to $23 an hour next July 1; $24 on July 1, 2025; and $25 on July 1, 2026. Great for those workers — if they’re not laid off. But the costs will be passed on to patients and taxpayers.

Gov. Newsom’s own Department of Finance just estimated the wage increase would cost the state government alone $4 billion more a year. Half would come from federal funds; but half will receive a transfusion from the state general fund, meaning California taxpayers. That would add $2 billion to the current estimate of a $14 billion deficit for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2024. The $4 billion estimate does not include costs to private health care offices and systems, which could be much higher.

“Increasing the minimum wage always results in higher prices to the consumers,” Raymond Sfeir told us; he’s the director of the A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research at Chapman University. He pointed out the $20 fast food wage won’t apply to brands with 59 or fewer places, giving them an advantage. Companies growing fast will have a strong incentive to not rise above 59. Many firms might not even come here, meaning fewer jobs in the Golden State.

A shortage of healthcare workers was the excuse Newsom made for increasing their wage. But if that’s the case, Sfeir pointed out, why were such workers defined as also including janitors, gardeners, drivers and gift-shop clerks? And how about helping health workers — and all workers — by reducing the cost of living in this state with tax cuts and more housing?

Click here to read the full article in OC Register


  1. The article implies that California taxpayers are on the hook for only half of the additional 4 billion dollars the wage increases will cost as if they don’t also pay for the other 2 billion in free money coming from the Federal Government. Idiots!

  2. More nails in the Marxist democrat coffin. People are already starting to eat at home more often. Minimum wage is an authoritarian insult to a meritocracy. It forces out the people who work for the enjoyment and not the money. It forces out the school kids who want to learn a job. It has no relationship to the actual market and what it can or can not afford.
    Welcome to socialism. Equal misery for all.

  3. Well, the communist fascist racist satanic KKK dems are at it again………Democrats only fix problems they cause with MORE problems………and they take glee in throwing enormous amounts of money (other people’s money, our tax money) we don’t have, at problems that don’t exist, for solutions that don’t work!!! Winston Churchill was correct in saying……..”Socialism is a philosophy of Failure, the creed of Ignorance, and the gospel of Envy, it’s inherent virtue is the equal sharing of Misery.”

  4. Treva Bennett says

    These fast food jobs are not intended to support a person. They are for school age children who need or want spending money. Or to save for a big ticket item. Also for older people to supplement income. People that get hired and start demanding more money
    Will ultimately destroy the jobs completely. They’ll be replaced by robots. Reminds me of the old saying.hooray for me and the hell with you. Morons!

  5. Governor Newsom doesn’t care that the taxpayer is paying for his largesse, he’s buying votes, and what better way to do it than giving people money? The more money the people make the more taxes they pay, right? and pay and pay and pay.

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