The world is still recovering from the infamous Panama Papers, which reveal how the so-called rich and powerful rulers and citizens of the world stash away their riches in tax havens. They make the efforts of the Pharaohs of Egypt to carry their wealth into the after-life pale in comparison. The obscenely high amounts could throw a light on why California’s Governor Jerry Brown felt that raising minimum wage is a moral act and is needed to balance a system becoming even more unbalanced every day. After all, a minimum wage of $15 is not going to be paid immediately, but gradually raised to that level by 2022. Last year 53.6 million workers in the U.S. were paid less than $15 an hour, of which nine million were in New York and California. Oregon lawmakers recently approved a $14.75 wage for the Portland area with a $12.50 rate in other parts of the state by 2022; while 21 other states still follow the federal mandate of $7.25 an hour.
Many unions have put their weight behind this initiative which proposes to increase minimum wage to $15 for businesses with more than 25 workers and until 2021 for smaller businesses. This is an increase to the bottom rung pay by roughly 10 per cent per year, starting January. After 2022, wages will be tied to the rate of inflation. Let’s take a look at what that means for the state’s employees and taxpayers in the government.
The State of New York followed close on the heels of California’s minimum wage ruling to approve a $15 hourly wage for businesses with 11 or more employees, and by 2020 for others. Suburbs would reach $15 in 2022 while minimum pay in upstate New York would climb to $12.50 an hour in 2021, then rise based on a formula until it reaches $15. It must be remembered that the purchasing power of the dollar is not the same in all the locations. Location could significantly impact the cost of food, rent and other expenses and alter the lifestyle and living standards of persons who earn identical wages.
What is the minimum wage where you live? How is that impacting business?
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