Mayor Vicent Gray of the Washington DC today vetoed legislation that would have raised the minimum wage to $12.50/hr for employees of large, non-unionized firms such as Walmart.
Gray said the bill was "not a true living-wage bill, because it would raise the minimum wage only for a small fraction of the District's workforce." He added the bill is a "job-killer," citing threats from Wal-Mart and other retailers that they will not locate to the city if the bill becomes law...The bill had been passed in July by the City Council, 8-5, but would need one more vote to overcome the veto, and no one believes that vote will be forthcoming.
Gray... disclosed his intention to seek a minimum-wage hike for all employers, not just large retailers.
The city's existing minimum wage is $8.25 an hour. The bill ((would have raised)) the annual earnings of a full-time employee making the lowest legally permissible wage from about $17,000 to $26,000.
Meanwhile in California, the legislature and Governor have agreed upon - but not yet passed or signed - legislation that would eventually raise the minimum wage to $10.00/hr.
California's minimum wage is among the highest in the country, although it hasn't been raised since 2008. AB 10 would raise the minimum wage in two separate one-dollar increments: from $8 per hour today to $9 per hour, effective July 1, 2014, and from $9 per hour to $10 per hour, effective Jan. 1, 2016...The trajectory is clear. Grudgingly, sparingly, the one percent will piss and moan and gnash their teeth but ultimately consent to raising the minimum wage by a pittance in a few places, just enough to keep protests from growing; enough to keep workers from staging mass walkouts on a larger and larger scale.
Meanwhile, they will continue to absorb the entirety of America's increased wealth as they have been doing for the last several years, congratulating themselves on their ability to squeeze the last ounce of profit out of the economy without causing a revolution. And they quite possibly will be right in that self-congratulation. It remains to be seen whether America's work force will do anything other than roll over and beg as more jobs become McJobs and they get less and less of the (now significantly non-American) pie.