BC students mixed about wage increase
April 23, 2008
Filed under News
A lot of people all over are looking at the minimum-wage increase to $8 at different angles. The majority of Bakersfield College students are pleased with the increase.
A lot of students said that they knew minimum wage had gone up; they just didn’t know how much. They were surprised to see that it was only 50 cents.
Some say that it will help, and others feel that it really didn’t change anything.
Some students who receive Social Security benefits get another increase as well.
BC economics professor Steven Smith said, “Fewer people are going to get jobs if the minimum wage is higher because if a person is unqualified for that position, the company is not going to hire his or her because of the increase.
They are more or less saying that the unqualified person isn’t worth it. Smith feels that until California can keep up with inflation, the minimum-wage increase is not going to make a difference.
“It’s going to be hard for people who own small businesses because they are going to be able to hire very few people,” said Smith.
“It’s OK that minimum wage has gone up, but it doesn’t really help because people with low incomes are still struggling,” said BC student Christina Gill, 24.
She was not alone in the fact that it depends on the social-class rating how much you will be affected. BC student Melanie Sanchez, 19, agreed by saying, “The rich people don’t get affected because they have enough money.”
Students feel that although minimum wage has been raised, it’s still unbalanced. The costs of living still exceeds the pay rate.
Most students don’t want to say that the increase is not enough because they do appreciate it. It just seems as if California is still short of actually reaching that goal of equal-pay rate and living.
BC student Roderick Kornbacher, 20, and his sister, Edrea, shared similar views.
Roderick thought that it was good because as he says, “It makes more people want to actually get out and work because there’s higher pay.”
However, both Kornbachers agreed that the minimum-wage increase is little help with the bills depending on what social class people are from. Furthermore, everything is still going up. Edrea felt that the rich taxpayers were the ones who were more negative about the wage increase because it’s their money paying for this increase.
Minimum wage has had a long journey toward where it is now and where it needs to be. The statewide minimum wage for California has remained the same since Jan. 1, 2002, and it was $6.75.
Assembly member Sally Lieber was the author of the Assembly Bill 48 in late 2004.
The bill increased California’s minimum wage from $6.75 per hour to $7.25 per hour, which was effective Jan. 1, 2006, and to $7.50 per hour, which became effective on Jan. 1, 2007.
AB 48 will cover the issue of minimum wage not keeping up with inflation. By doing so, this allows for the reduction of legislation having to raise the wage each year.
The Legislative Analysts Office was concerned with the possible devastating effects the increase would have on the economy in March 2005.
The LAO suggested that because of higher wages, businesses would increase the prices of their products, which in turn could potentially decrease the employment rate.