Push for sharp minimum-wage hike under way in San Diego

Push for sharp minimum-wage hike under way in San Diego

minimum_wageCalifornia’s second-largest and the nation’s eighth-largest city appears sure to have a six-month-plus debate over whether to raise the minimum wage much more than the state government has in store. The Democratic majority of San Diego’s City Council is going to put a proposal on the November ballot, with the specifics not yet clear. This is from a news account in U-T San Diego:

— The city of San Diego’s minimum wage would increase to $13.09 an hour during the next three years under a proposal unveiled Wednesday by City Council President Todd Gloria.

“The proposed hikes, which would make San Diego’s minimum wage among the highest in the nation, would be part of a measure that Gloria and other supporters plan to place on the November ballot. …

“Gloria described Wednesday’s proposal, which was the first time he’s attached specific numbers to his campaign for a higher minimum wage, as a starting point for debate about the details of the possible ballot measure. …

“The proposal would put San Diego’s minimum wage significantly above what the state requires, which is $8 an hour but will rise to $9 on July 1 and $10 in 2016.”

Relocation costs worry businesses — but not payroll?!

gloriaI went to the news conference at San Diego City Hall where Gloria announced and took questions on his plan.

The council leader is much better-liked by Republicans, conservatives and libertarians than most San Diego Democrats. A big reason for this is that he abandoned the Dem-union push to nullify through obstruction a voter-endorsed 2006 initiative that calls for some city services to be subject to bidding that pits private companies and groups of government workers.

But the candor and pragmatism Gloria displayed in standing up to unions on that issue just wasn’t in evidence Wednesday. Here’s some of the editorial I wrote for U-T San Diego about his defense of his proposal:

“… the council leader was asked if much higher minimum wages were so good for the economy — as he contended — why didn’t businesses clamor for them? He responded by noting that many companies already pay more than $13.09 an hour. But that’s a decision they made — not one forced on them by local government.

“Gloria also said having much higher minimum wages was widely supported by the business community. That’s just not so. If his proposal is adopted, it ‘puts San Diego at a competitive and economic disadvantage,’ said Chamber of Commerce President Jerry Sanders.

“Gloria was asked if he worried about companies relocating to cities with lower minimum wages. But he said they wouldn’t because of relocation costs.

“So according to Gloria, businesses aren’t troubled by the prospect their payrolls may permanently get much bigger — but they are daunted by relocation costs. Really?”

How to help the CA middle-class: Revive redevelopment?!

Then Gloria really drove me around the bend with his economic rX for the Golden State:

“After saying there were economic policies he couldn’t influence because they were ‘above my pay grade,’ Gloria was asked what he thought Sacramento policymakers should do to create middle-class jobs.

“His response was strikingly government-centric: The council president didn’t say the state should try to change a business climate that U.S. CEOs have long called the most hostile in the nation. Instead, he said the state should revive redevelopment, in which public funds are used to attempt to revive blighted areas.”

With a handful of exceptions, some of them arguable, redevelopment was an ongoing fiasco in California for decades before Jerry Brown killed it. Doing so was the best decision Brown has made in his second turn as governor. Redevelopment sounds peachy keen, but in practice — both in California and around the U.S. — it has a lengthy history of allowing politically connected developers to use government eminent-domain powers to grab the land of existing, successful businesses without clout or fund-raising prowess.

So fear for the future, Californians. If this sort of policy prescription is the best we can hope for from one of the more reasonable members of the state’s dominant political party, we’re doomed.

6 comments

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  1. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 24 April, 2014, 07:56

    RDA’S today (yesterday now they are kaput) are nothing but slush funds for well connected developers, BIG developers, not your Mom and Pop contractor.

    Reply this comment
  2. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 24 April, 2014, 08:16

    What a joke!

    The slimiest tourist trap in America rife with corruption on so many levels…the land of fried Thailand gold fish tacos and Walmart burrito helper and some of the most obsolete, tacky, over priced tourist hotels imaginable.

    Frankly, let them destroy their economy…..Who goes there anyway but xxxxxl t-shirted doomers from Oklahoma and West Virginia….some from Adelanto too!

    Reply this comment
  3. Steve Mehlman
    Steve Mehlman 24 April, 2014, 13:01

    “The council president didn’t say the state should try to change a business climate that U.S. CEOs have long called the most hostile in the nation.”

    This is a myth. In a recent Forbes Magazine story, California’s business climate was ranked 41st out of 50 states. Not good, but far from the “most hostile.”

    And here’s what else Forbes had to say: “Yet for all of its issues, the outlook is relatively bright in California. The economy is projected to expand 3.6% annually over the next five years—ninth best among states. Forecasted job growth of 2% ranks in the top third. While many companies and individuals flee California, others are drawn in by the concentration of highly educated workers and by the fact that California is home to 10% of the 1,000 largest U.S. public and private companies. Another plus is the $36 billion in venture capital money invested in California companies the past three years, which is four times the total of any other state. And of course, there is always the weather.”

    Kind of tired of your constant whining about how awful our state is. You don’t like it here, move to Texas or Mississippi…please

    Reply this comment
  4. michael
    michael 24 April, 2014, 13:16

    Steve,

    If you think 41 out of 50 is good then perhaps you are the one that needs to move. Lets look at some of the next lower ranked states: Louisianna, Hawaii, Alabama, Michigan, Mississppi. Oh yes were are in such good company.

    Reply this comment
    • Steve Mehlman
      Steve Mehlman 24 April, 2014, 13:24

      It says “most hostile”, Michael. That simply is not true. 41 out of 50 is not 50 out of 50. But don’t let the facts get in the way of a good right-wing rant.

      Reply this comment
  5. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 24 April, 2014, 18:30

    Steve all the Redneck Utopias are so welcoming to doomers….why earth do they stay in California and moan, whine and carp about trumped up nonsense ginned out by rightee media alarmists.

    How many times and ways can you cry wolf?

    Sad…..a pity!

    Reply this comment

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