Last week, Ron Unz, a California businessman, submitted a ballot initiative to the California secretary of state that would raise the state minimum wage to $12 an hour in 2016 from the current $8. The federal minimum wage is $7.25.
Many states have minimum wages above the federal rate. Democrats and progressives have been pushing for higher minimum wages at the state and local level, encountering opposition much less intense than in Congress, where Republicans are adamantly opposed to any increase, saying it would lead to a loss of jobs. Polls show strong public support for a higher minimum wage.
What is curious about the Unz initiative is that he is a conservative who defends a higher minimum wage on conservative grounds. CONT.
Bruce Bartlett, New York Times