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How California made the minimum wage obsolete

This fall, California voters will decide whether to set the nation's highest minimum wage at $18 per hour. Despite Congress's long inaction on federal minimum wage, local initiatives like this have gained traction. However, the proposal has generated lukewarm responses from both labor unions and business groups, reflecting the complexity of the state's labor market, where wages in some sectors already exceed the proposed minimum. Click here for article.

  • Local Wage Dynamics: In California, certain sectors and cities already have minimum wages higher than the proposed $18, reducing the perceived need for a statewide increase.

  • Joe Sanberg's Initiative: Joe Sanberg, a progressive financier, initiated the $18 minimum wage proposal but has struggled to garner substantial support and funding recently.

  • Union Strategy: Unions have focused on sector-specific wage increases and local measures rather than broad statewide initiatives, leading to varied wage floors across the state.

  • Economic and Political Climate: The economic uncertainty and the diverse wage landscape in California present challenges for the $18 minimum wage proposal, despite some labor and progressive support.

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