Jovanka Beckles: Why the minimum wage is good for Richmond

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Richmond is attempting to solve several issues at the same time.

One, we are helping residents by providing a wage that will help more families live with dignity.

Two, we are helping businesses.

When residents have more to spend, more disposable income, they spend it. When they spend it, demand increases. When demand increases, business improves; businesses thrive. When business improves and thrive, more people get hired. When those who want to work work, we create a healthy thriving city.

Minimum wage increases have been shown to act as a stimulus to those cities where it was raised. A recent article in the San Jose Mercury stated, “A year later, it is clear that raising San Jose’s minimum wage has been an incredible success.

The data show that under San Jose’s minimum wage, unemployment was reduced, the number of businesses grew, the number of minimum wage jobs expanded, average employee hours remained constant and the economy was stimulated.”

In fact, I know several Richmond employers who already pay their employees at least $12 an hour and they are quite successful. They shared with me that when employees make a wage that they can live on, turn over is low thus allowing for stability in their business.

There are some who say Richmond isn’t in a bubble. We can’t just raise it in Richmond and not have it affect businesses negatively because people can shop in the nearby cities. We are not in a bubble. But when other cities see the difference that it makes here in Richmond, the people will demand change in their cities as well.

FDR once said, “The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough to those who have little.”- Franklin D. Roosevelt

~ Jovanka Beckles is the Vice Mayor of the City of Richmond.
 

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Comments

  1. Faye Linton says

    Minimum wage was never meant to support a family of any size. It was meant to help small businesses to hire help they can hardly afford.The help they hired was usually high school or college students working to supplement while attending school or to help raise money while attending school. I worked at a local fair to earn EATING money while attending school. I never felt I deserved more. It was what it was. I ONLY spent money on necessities and many times it meant eating 2 meals/day, not 3. I survived just fine.

    Don’t forget mega corps making mega bucks require mega small businesses (who MUST hire help) to service all the needs of the “big, bad mega corps”. One should be hired based on ability and keep their job based on compliance to the work rules.

    Don’t blame small wages on the ills of this world. Instead, look to rogue governments looking to bring everyone into slavery. This is NOT unlike the share croppers. High taxes and heavy regulations on businesses reek of a rogue government.

    Ms Fuller was right “any business will VOLUNTARILY pay higher wages, according to their profit margin and according to what the market will bear.”

    Lastly, can’t help myself, but GOD is in charge. Like it or not, He will level the playing field His way and those seeking control will feel the heat.

  2. says

    In fact, I know several Richmond employers who already pay their employees at least $12 an hour and they are quite successful. They shared with me that when employees make a wage that they can live on, turn over is low thus allowing for stability in their business.

    Your statement above, illustrates that any business will VOLUNTARILY pay higher wages, according to their profit margin and according to what the market will bear.

    I can guarantee you that this business owner is not operating at a loss, even if it meant that the employee turn over rate was lower..

    The best way of raising the standard of living for all, is not by dictate of wage standards, but rather by stimulating the economy, including removing restrictive regulatory bureaucracy, which stifles free market enterprises, innovations and individual pride.

    In recent months we have seen a steep rise in food prizes because the government has caused “Man made” drought in the Central Valley, for the sake of the Delta Smelt, a non-native bait fish.

    The government has also failed to built reservoirs to capture and store excess water during the heavy rain season; Instead, some areas are plagued with heavy flooding and or the excess water just runs down into the sewer drains and off to the ocean.

    Safely extracting our natural resources, to bring down heating oil, and gas prizes, is also a
    failure of the federal and state government, leaving us to pay through the nose at the gas pumps.

    I am a strong proponent of The Fair Tax, which will not only stimulate our economy, but will also curb, if not not eliminate a lot of illegal activities, such as, black market employment, illegal immigration, illegal gambling, etc….

    You can learn more about the Fair Tax by clicking on the links provided below.

    Fair Tax Comparison

    Fair Tax Rate by Spending

    Fair Tax FAQ

    No, dictating higher minimum wage standards, does not eliminate “income inequality”, it creates it. Just look at Detroit, where high wages ruled the day, until it became unsustainable.

    I know, because I was a small business owner, who actually created jobs for others.

    Virginia Fuller, Write-in Congressional Candidate for the American Independent Party