Certainly not for Peter Thiel, the billionaire venture capitalist who co-founded PayPal. Thiel recently said in an interview that he supports a California ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage by fellow conservative Ron Unz. The ballot initiative would raise California’s minimum wage to $12 an hour in 2016. Thiel told the San Francisco Chronicle that he’s against raising the minimum wage “in theory,” but in practice he thinks “the alternative to higher minimum wage is that people simply end up going on welfare.” He thinks that raising the minimum wage should be considered “seriously.”
Thiel is a billionaire who, although he identifies as a conservative Libertarian, has given much money to Republican causes. These include $1 million to Club for Growth, an anti-tax group that Politico describes as “tea party aligned,” and almost $4 million to Endorse Liberty PAC for Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign. Thiel even gave campaign contributions to Tea Party favorite Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas in 2012, and Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign.
Thiel deviates from political lines, however, when it comes to raising the minimum wage. And so does Ron Unz, who argues what he calls the “conservative case for raising the minimum wage,” as he stated in a blog post on his website. Unz hopes that in California, “liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans could come together in a bipartisan coalition to support raising our minimum wage to $12 per hour.”