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

Unprecedented Conservative Backing for Minimum Wage Increase

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From the moment Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed America’s first minimum wage law in 1938 (25 cents per hour, or $11 a week), conservatives have fought increases every time and everywhere they’ve been proposed.

It would cost millions of jobs, industrialists and business interests argue every time anyone tries to boost the minimum. Meanwhile, executive salaries have skyrocketed, leaving many millions of workers far behind in a phenomenon now called “income inequality.”

But now comes Ron Unz, former publisher of the American Conservative magazine and once a Republican candidate for governor, backing a new minimum wage for California two bucks an hour above the $10 minimum now set to take effect two years from now. Unz is not to be taken lightly; he authored and largely funded the 1998 Proposition 227 ban on most bilingual education programs.

far from the Republican bugaboo it long has been, software entrepreneur Unz claims a higher minimum wage will solve many pet GOP peeves and could restore his party’s faded fortunes in the state. He is once again pushing an initiative, this time aiming to raise the minimum to $12 an hour immediately.

• Category: California, Campaign, Notable • Tags: Thomas D. Elias