Ron Unz is a self-made multimillionaire, former publisher of The American Conservative magazine and was the key backer of an effort to dismantled California’s bilingual education system in the 1990’s.
Now he is funding a voter referendum drive in California designed to “nourish the economy and lift low-paid workers from dependency on food stamps and other assistance bankrolled by taxpayers.”
His solution: Raise the minimum wage to $12 per hour
Unz says taxpayers for too long have been subsidizing low-wage paying businesses, since the government pays for food stamps and other programs those workers often need to get by. He posits that the increase – at $12-an-hour, up from the current $8 – would lift millions of Californians out of poverty, drive up income and sales tax revenue and save taxpayers billions of dollars, since those workers would no longer qualify for many welfare benefits.
He dismisses the notion that countless jobs would evaporate, noting that most of the state’s lower-wage jobs are in agriculture and the service sector, which can’t be easily automated or transported elsewhere. He believes higher wages would make the jobs more attractive to U.S. residents, curtailing a lure for illegal immigration.