Democratic Rep Fails to Justify $50/hour Wage Plan

(ReliableNews.org) – The race to replace the late Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is heating up in California. One of the candidates, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), proposed a $50-per-hour minimum wage. But the lawmaker struggled to explain it during a debate.

On February 12, Lee defended her past advocacy for a $50 minimum wage. The lawmaker said that she thought the United Way once reported that “$127,000 for a family of four is just barely enough to get by.” She claimed another student said that $104,000 (or $50 an hour) was “barely enough” for a family of one because California was hit with an affordability crisis.

Lee declared, “Just do the math.”

Lee said the national minimum wage needs to be raised to a living wage. The other Democratic lawmakers on the stage, California Reps. Katie Porter and Adam Schiff, believe the minimum wage should be increased to $20 or $25. Lee argued that the wage should depend on the area where people live, and she has to focus on what California needs and “what the affordability factor is when [they] calculate this wage.”

Republican Steve Garvey doesn’t support raising the minimum wage at all. He believes the federal minimum wage, which is currently $7.25, “is where it is and should be.” He pointed out that California raised its minimum wage to $20 for fast food companies, and as a result, it is “going to increase costs for hard-working Californians to go to a franchise.”

A Harvard Business Review study published in 2021 found that raising the minimum wage for workers can lower compensation in some cases. One of the reasons for that is because companies change worker schedules. However, the data is limited, making it hard to predict what will happen.

One thing is for certain, a $50-per-hour minimum wage would almost certainly kill businesses across the United States, especially in small-town America.

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