A report released Wednesday approved by Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom is demanding a minimum wage increase as the U.S. economy suffers from record inflation.
The 500-page report issued by the California Reparations Task Force alleges there is and has been “racial bias” against minorities statewide. This “hindered opportunity,” it says, can be partially addressed by mandating salary increases for Californians.
“Raise the minimum wage and require scaling-up of the minimum wage for more experienced workers, require provision of health benefits and paid time off, and provide other missing protections for workers in food and hospitality services, agricultural, food processing, and domestic worker industries,” the report states.
Newsom greenlit legislation in 2020 establishing a nine-member task force to “inform Californians about slavery and explore ways the state might provide reparations.” The report is billed as the first of its kind by a state government to “study slavery, its effects throughout American history, and the compounding harms that the United States and Californian governments have inflicted upon African Americans,” according to a press release.
The call for a minimum wage increase and other regulations comes after the United States recorded a 41-year high inflation rate of 8.4% in March. Gas prices are currently clocking in at an average gallon cost of roughly $4.71, AAA reported Thursday.
Employment in the private sector rose by only 128,000 in May, falling short of the 299,000 estimate by Dow Jones, CNBC reported. Small businesses were the hardest hit in May, as companies with 50 or fewer employees reduced staff by 91,000.
A minimum wage hike would be impractical, especially right now, Hillsdale College economics professor Gary Wolfram told The Daily Caller News Foundation. Poorer people would suffer the consequences, as government regulations tighten on businesses, he said.
“The person with an accounting degree from the University of California at Berkeley is not going to be affected by an increase in the minimum wage,” said Wolfram. “Who is going to lose their job or won’t be hired while they’re going out into the labor force?”
“It’s those people who are at the bottom of the productivity, which tend to be people who are low skilled and who have a poor educational background,” he also said, explaining that such “intervention in the economy” has “unintended consequences.”
The California Reparations Task Force issued its report to the state’s legislature, while a final document will be sent before July 2023. The task force did not respond to TheDCNF’s request for comment.