I neither disagree with $15/hour nor the political necessity to preempt dueling ballot measures on the November ballot, which would increase the wage much quicker. New York is following a similar plan, albeit a bit slower.
However, as I was walking through farmers market after church this morning, I was thinking about our small family farms. I love the Capay Valley, got married on an olive farm up there, and have subscribed to a couple of farms for organic, local produce and buy most of my produce from small farms. I don’t care about the big corporate farms, but I would hate to lose this farm-to-table culture as labor costs rise by 50%. I fear that this will move more agriculture south of the border (sometimes far south, such as Peru and Argentina), at the cost of our amazing local culture, where we know the farmers and dirt in which our produce is grown.
I want Walmart workers to be paid $15/hour. The driving force behind this hike is In-Home Supportive Services, which is a complicated issue. IHSS workers are a blend of private service providers and family members who care for severely disabled individuals. The argument in favor is that, through state support, disable individuals are kept at home rather than in state-funded institutions. That makes a lot of sense. However, would a parent not otherwise care for the disabled child despite the state support (assuming there is another parent earning income).
Anyway, I just don’t want to lose my local, family-owned, organic farms. We need to monitor this carefully and correct it if needed.
The Mexican minimum wage is $4.30/hour. The presidential candidate wants to deport 11 million residents. Would the agricultural jobs/production follow? This is a financial, humane, and environmental issue. Do you want your organic kale from south of the border?