LA raises minimum wage to $15/hr I disagree with this on so many levels and think it’s fairly populist. Short-term it will cost jobs and make LA less attractive for businesses. Longer-term though I do wonder if it will spark wage increases across the board. I mean there are tons of people in roles that are far more specialized not making that much more than $15/hr. Plus some salaried workers clock in well over 40hrs per week, despite what the contract stipulates so their per hour pay is actually less than it seems. As such, I could see many in these more skilled and time consuming jobs demand more pay. Why put in all of that effort if you’re barely above the minimum wage?

Presumably it would drive wage inflation in response similar to how longer rates move up based on fed near term rate actions. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

If we’re going to have a minimum wage, I think it’s much better to be set at a local level like this given cost of living disparities.

Are we already using this sort of system? LA is already at $9/hr, but the federal min wage is $7.25/hr. Many states already have min wages above the federal minimum.

$15 minimum wage is insane. If there is anyone who thinks it isn’t, I would like them to explain how the following scenario makes sense:

Married couple both work at minimum wage jobs, both work 40 hour weeks (could be 40 at one job or a combination of jobs), and take 2 weeks vacations/holidays every year. That couple will gross $60,000 per year. While that might not seem like much to many here, the median household income in the US is about $52k. So, Mr. & Mrs. McDonalds cashiers have now catapulted themselves into the top 50% of households.

So you are saying the city of Los Angeles made an ideological and not economical policy decision? How can??

Exactly. No more lower class. Everyone will be right around the median. Though, it seems like this system has been tried before in other countries and it didn’t work out too well. Something about being good in theory, not in practice…

Oh well, I’m sure we’ll get it right cause 'Murica.

Poor people will just move to other places and increase poverty there. Of course, if every area has a high wage floor, I don’t know what happens. Probably people just rely on more welfare, increase tax burden and cost of living of working people, leading to even higher wage floor, and repeat.

I think what ends up happening is this

Short Term

  1. companies who can’t survive will go away, those workers lose their jobs altogether

  2. companies who cater to mid/upper class and can raise prices will raise prices - resulting in nothing more than a transfer of wealth

  3. companies will find another way to cut costs either with temp workers = no insurance and benefits, illegals who will work for less, or reduced product (which usually results in business going away), and reducing the workforce by making 1 person do more work

  4. people with better resumes and work abilities in areas not subject to $15 per hour will realize heck that’s better than what i got now. There will be more competition for the job and it will edge out the low-productivity complainers who demanded $15 per hr in the first place

Long Term

  1. encouraging machine automation for low-wage jobs as it ends up being cheaper and more reliable over time which kills even more low wage low skill jobs

  2. faster/higher inflation

  3. higher costs for everyone all around which ends up nullifying the $15 wage jump in the first place

Fast food chains in the area are probably going to open self order/pay stations like at grocery stores, eliminate cashiers entirely, cut half the staff and further automate cooking. Staff will be optimized for high traffic times during the day, but will be minimal other than that. Otherwise the business is going under or prices will be increased to levels outside of the business model.


I have to say, last time i was in LA i don’t find the prices really that high, so I think $15/hr as a mimimum wage is probably a bit high?

I think mimimum wage is good when the wages are not keeping up with the prices and people who work in hospitality or lower income jobs cannot keep up with living in the city despite trying their best… then i think it’s probably fair to impose a mim wage to prevent from employers exploiting them.

But LA prices are not that expensive, even in “rich neighbourhoods”, a lot of those houses are really not that expensive… and food is very cheap!

There will still be a lower class. As others already mentioned, many of the “recipients” of this new higher minimum wage will find themselves unemployed, replaced by technology or by other means. Business owners will always be smarter than the gov’t.

Compare the median to their city and not the USA for a more fair comparison

The other meaningful fact is how many people were actually at minimum wage

i’m currently reading Capital in the 21st Century. the book provides evidence that the minimum wage was a good tool for reducing inequality in the past but also concedes that at some point, minimum wages can be harmful. i haven’t really vetted the evidence yet as i’m only halfway done the book but does it not seem peculiar that corporate profits are at an all time high and have risen constantly since 1980, meanwhile, minimum wages and wages in general after inflation have been stagnant since 1980 and interest rates have fallen since 1980ish due to falling inflation (as wages haven’t been growing).

clearly raising minimum wages is one method of reducing the historic advantages provided to corporations over the past 35 years. i would much rather force minimum wages on corporations and let the effect cascade through the corporations’ wage structure than tax them at the end of the day and then give the taxes to the poor to survive.

i’m of the belief that most jurisdictions could deal with a $11-$13 minimum wage without any material impact on employment. this theory of low elasticity to increases in the minimum wage after a long period of real decline in the minimum wage is likely true to a point. i believe we will see more income flow from capital to labour up to the point that employment levels are seriously impacted ($11-$13). anything above this unquantifiable level will result in greater unemployement. net net this will be a positive thing for economic growth and for the well-being of most citizens. further the resultant inflation caused by this cash flowing to labour up to the “elasticity point” will result in more corporate profits going to government through inflation and higher tax remittances from labour on those excess dollars.

i am happy to see corporate profits finally come under attack and normalize, despite its likely effect on stock prices 5-10 years out.

i agree to a point. $60,000 per year is a lot in most of the south and midwest states but in a major city it is not much especially if that two income earning household has to find care for their kids to both work FT. more realistically, a household with kids would see income of maybe $45,000 with one FT worker and one PT worker who looks after the kids part of the time. $45,000 in LA is not much i imagine and would not provide much in way of extravagances which is the way it should be.


Does this raise apply to the undocumented workers, who compose the majority of the LA labor force?

Wut. surprise

Food is cheap indeed (yay taco trucks), but rent and the cost of real estate is insane. Perhaps your frame of reference is very skewed, or you just dont know what you’re talking about.

Cheap relative to New York, I suppose (or San Francisco). Compared to anywhere else…