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By Douglas V. Gibbs


California leads the country in insane leftist policies.  The one that has the food industry shutting its doors and fleeing from the State, and sending the cost of grabbing a bite to eat rising through the roof, is the policy regarding minimum wage for certain restaurants.  AB 1228, which went into effect April 1, 2024, targets fast food restaurants and coffee shops that bears the name of a national chain and has at least 60 restaurants nationwide.  The minimum wage in California is $16 per hour (which also went into effect this year), as opposed to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.  But, if you are an employee of the aforementioned restaurants targeted by AB 1228, the minimum wage is $20 per hour.  

First of all, the minimum wage laws in California violate the Fourteenth Amendment, which calls for equal protection under the law.  In other words, a State may not make laws that favor one group over another.  All laws must be uniform, applying to each person or business equally, without singling out any individuals, groups, organizations, or industries.  AB 1228 targets only restaurants, and to make matters worse, only targets certain kinds of restaurants, an egregious violation of the Fourteenth Amendment that sought to ensure that all citizens receive equal protection under the law, and uniform treatment when it comes to privileges and immunities.

Second, the economic impact on the overall cost of living, as well as the consequences of the law on many individuals, is staggering.  Companies, in order to handle the increased cost of wages, are reducing hours, reducing their number of employees, and in many cases are working towards automating many of the tasks that would be otherwise carried out by employees.  One restaurant I visited, exempt from the law in question, is reducing its work force at each of its locations, and will be installing kiosks to handle orders by visiting patrons.  The manager of the location I visited explained that the writing is on the wall that other businesses will be targeted with the outrageous minimum wage requirement in the near future, and rather than be forced out of business they would rather prepare now so that they can mitigate their rising costs of doing business immediately.

McDonalds has announced they will be closing more than a thousand locations, leaving barely more than a couple hundred restaurants in the Golden State.  A number of persons I have spoken to have advised me that their Golden Arches restaurants are cutting the hours of employees, and that’s if you don’t get let go.  

As a result of Gavin Newsom’s minimum wage law in California that targets certain restaurants, businesses are fleeing the State, leaving droves of people who had hoped for a “living wage” in the unemployment line with a dwindling list of potential employers remaining in the State as companies flee.  Meanwhile, the prices of products are skyrocketing, not just at the restaurants in question, but across the board.  Other California laws have also sent gasoline prices, grocery prices, utility costs, and the price of a living space (be it a home to buy, or renting) into the stratosphere.  Meanwhile, folks like my wife who has worked in the retail industry for over a dozen years working her tail off to finally get north of $17 per hour now trains new employees who make only a little more than a dollar an hour less than she does, and purchases food from restaurant employees who have no work experience who make three dollars more than her, per hour.  The cost of living is increasing for many employees like her who are not being given a higher wage.  Meanwhile, the very point of increasing the wages of these restaurant workers is a moot point, since as their wage rose (and their hours diminished), the cost of living as a consequence is also going up.  In most cases, the people who celebrated the new law with the sky-high minimum wage will be worse off in the long run due to the economic forces put in motion by the idiotic law.

Unconstitutional laws, and laws which are damaging to the lives of those who the Democrats swear they are there to protect, are making it more difficult to survive in the State of California.  And that is why the exodus from California is rampant.  However, the problem is, many of those idiot California migrants heading to a red state near you will continue to vote leftist, which in the long run, if not stopped, will spread the California virus of progressivism to the rest of the country, from sea to shining sea.

Be involved.  Don’t let what is happening in California happen in your state.  California voters are coming to a community near you.

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