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UC Berkeley Touts $15 Minimum Wage, Then Fires Hundreds Of Workers

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  • UC Berkeley Touts $15 Minimum Wage, Then Fires Hundreds Of Workers

    UC Berkeley Touts $15 Minimum Wage Law, Then Fires Hundreds Of Workers After It Passes

    Labor Markets: Hundreds of employees at the University of California at Berkeley are getting schooled in basic economics, as the $15 minimum wage just cost them their jobs. Too bad liberal elites “fighting for $15” don’t get it.

    A week after California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the state’s $15 minimum wage boost into law, UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks sent a memo to employees announcing that 500 jobs were getting cut.

    Coincidence? Not really.

    Last year, University of California President Janet Napolitano announced plans to boost its minimum wage to $15 at the start of next school year, independent of the state law. Since UC Berkeley was already in financial trouble — it ran a $109 million deficit last year and is projecting a deficit of $150 million this year — number crunchers there had to have factored in the higher mandated wage when making their layoff decisions.

    Those workers might want to have a chat with the folks at UC Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research, who just days before Brown signed the wage-hike bill released a study touting the minimum wage as a boon to low-income household breadwinners.

    After that report came out, Ken Jacobs, chairman of the UC Berkeley center, told the Los Angeles Times, “This is a very big deal for low-wage workers in California, for their families and for their children.”

    It is a big deal, as well, to those soon to be out of work UC Berkeley workers.

    But why is anyone surprised about jobs cuts following a wage hike? It’s one of the most basic laws of economics. Any high school kid taking Econ 101 can explain it: If you raise the price of something, demand goes down.

    Keep in mind, too, that a $15 minimum wage is more than twice the federal minimum wage today. And it would set the wage floor higher than it’s ever been. On an inflation-adjusted basis, the minimum wage peaked in 1968 at just over $10 an hour.

    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.

    NOTE: This editorial was updated to reflect the fact that the University of California had decided to raise its own minimum wage to $15 starting next school year, independent of the California law. Link
    _____________________

    Let the record show that the "Department of Unintended, But Holy Shit You Could See Coming A Mile Away If Your Head Wasn't Jammed Up Your Naive Liberal Ass, Consequences" has weighed in.
    “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
    ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

  • #2
    The problem is the minimum wage is not high enough. If it's sufficiently high, and we increase the number of people on the staff, then they would generate more income tax for the government in order to be paid. See how simple that is?
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

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    • #3
      Clearly the women's studies department needs to charge more.
      To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

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      • #4
        I fail to see why people are crying over the ones deemed not worth paying 15 bucks an hour. At some point employers are going to have to pick and choose employees based on productivity instead of having a bunch of employees hanging around that are not up to the task of even a minimum wage job. In the long run this is a win win. In the short term those that still have jobs are definitely benefitting. Those that want a min wage job have just been served notice that they will have to up their game. Looking at the big picture, min wage jobs are not supposed to be economy drivers so min wage jobs should be just a drop in the bucket.
        Removing a single turd from the cesspool doesn't make any difference.

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        • #5
          Ever noticed that it's illegal to work for less than minimum wage, but completely legal to work for free?
          "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by gunnut View Post
            Ever noticed that it's illegal to work for less than minimum wage, but completely legal to work for free?
            You sound like a housewife
            Removing a single turd from the cesspool doesn't make any difference.

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            • #7
              I heard that for business owners there is clear advantage to letting large numbers of women into the workplace. By increasing the size of the labor pool through massive increase of women seeking work outside the home, it is possible to reduce wages in accordance with the law of supply and demand. As there are large numbers of job-seekers for the small amount of available jobs, those that get jobs will work long hours at a fixed wage just to hold a job. Which works well for the employers.

              $15 is a bit high for a minimum wage. Has the USD been devalued?

              Let's also keep in mind that it's not just ungrateful job seekers that are to blame in the current US economy. Company bosses in search of the "perfect employee" - not requiring training and capable of learning a company's work culture in short order - often find themselves unable to man important positions. Soon enough they'll bring back in-house training for new recruits, even if it hurts the bottom line and shareholders are screaming in pain.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Crocodylus View Post
                ...

                $15 is a bit high for a minimum wage. Has the USD been devalued?

                ....
                It's not compared it is pretty standard in the industrialised world. For example in Australia.

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                • #9
                  Legal minimum wage is US$ 9.40 around here by today's exchange rate. Current wage for undergrad student assistants at my local university is US$ 10.43.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kato View Post
                    Legal minimum wage is US$ 9.40 around here by today's exchange rate. Current wage for undergrad student assistants at my local university is US$ 10.43.
                    By "here" do you mean the US or some other place? I'm in Australia.

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