Raising the Minimum Wage for Working Men and Women in California and the Rest of America

Unlikely Billionaire Thinks $12 Minimum Wage Is Something to 'Consider Seriously'

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It’s usually pretty easy to disagree with Peter Thiel. This time, not so much.

The billionaire PayPal co-founder and GOP donor, who often makes headlines for his contrarian views, has joined the growing ranks of those who are open to increasing the federal minimum wage, according to SFGate.

“In theory, I’m against it, because people should have the freedom to contract at whatever wage they’d like to have,” the famously libertarian Thiel said in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle last week. “But in practice, I think the alternative to higher minimum wage is that people simply end up going on welfare.

“I actually think [a $12 minimum wage is] a very out-of-the-box idea — but it’s something one should consider seriously, given all the other distorted incentives that exist,” Thiel added. (Watch the full video above.)

Thiel was specifically referring to a proposal by fellow conservative rich guy Rob Unz to raise California’s minimum wage to $12 in 2016. Unz and now Thiel are part of a swelling group of unlikely supporters of a higher minimum wage, which includes people like Fox News host Bill O’Reilly and conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly.

• Category: Campaign, National, Notable • Tags: Emily Cohn