Yesterday, Governor Jerry Brown sent the legislature a proposal to increase the California minimum wage to $15 per hour. The minimum wage, currently $10 per hour, would increase to $10.50 on January 1, 2017, $11 on January 1, 2018, $12 on January 1, 2019, $13 on January 1, 2020, $14 on January 1, 2021, and $15 on January 1, 2022. As we’ve pointed out before, increasing the minimum wage can lead to increased prices, businesses closing or leaving the state, inflation, and a host of other economic issues that no one seems to be paying attention to.
Here’s another problem our lawmakers are overlooking. Increasing the minimum wage creates greater incentives for companies to use robots to replace employees. As anyone who’s ever watched an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie can tell you, advances in robot technology will eventually lead to an epic battle that threatens the survival of the human race.
So fine. Raise the minimum wage. Raise it as high as you want. But when cyborg assassins are chasing you through the rubble of a once vibrant city, don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Update: The legislation passed in modified form. There are now two schedules for increases – one for businesses with 25 or fewer employees and one for those with more than 25 employees. The State has posted a Fact Sheet regarding the scheduled increases.