Friday, December 19, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

California’s small businesses can’t afford an increase in minimum wage

By Alzada Knickerbocker

Recently, the National Federation of Independent Business/California released a study on the impact of Assembly Bill 10, which would increase California’s minimum wage to $9.25 per hour in the next three years. The bill also would provide for future increases in the minimum wage depending on future inflation.

The study, conducted by NFIB’s Research Foundation in Washington, D.C., found that the long-term effect of AB 10 would be the loss of jobs and economic productivity in the state. Depending on the future rate of inflation, the passage of AB 10 could result in more than 68,000 jobs being lost in California over a 10-year period and a reduction in real output of $5.7 billion.

It doesn’t make sense. Jobs are the need. Why is the state leading with a proposal that will kill jobs?

I own an independent bookstore — The Avid Reader, in downtown Davis. I’ve been here 26 years. I have eight employees — four full-time, four part-time. Half are long-term staff and half are recent hires. Because I need staff with knowledge and work experience, my new hires are compensated above the minimum wage.

But that’s not to say that my business isn’t affected by minimum wage levels. Minimum wage is out there and recognized by all as the base line. Candidates for work here know what that rate is and have an idea of what their wages should be relative to that rate. I must choose a rate of pay that comports with their skills above the basic minimum-wage rate.

That’s one pressure. The other is the store’s budget. Payroll is generally suggested within my industry to be 20 percent of the store’s income, the highest percentage in my budget after the cost of books at 60 percent. In that 20 percent figure is not just the employees’ pay but also health care, vacations, payroll tax and workers’ compensation. Add a cost like higher minimum wage, and I’m over that 20 percent figure.

How do I bring what I can pay back into line? Realistically, it comes down to reducing staff hours or store hours, i.e., cutting back on current employee opportunities through my store. That’s the effect on my store as it exists. However, a required higher rate of pay also becomes a deterrent to possible growth or expansion and the addition of more jobs. I expanded my store last year and hired new workers. If the new proposed minimum wage had been in place, I very likely would have passed on risking a new venture.

Minimum-wage jobs are meant as a beginning, not an end. They are intended for the entry-level employee. Minimum-wage earners learn valuable lessons of responsibility that come from doing a job and working with others. They benefit, and so do our state and society.

Raising the minimum wage might accomplish a short-term jolt to the economy, but it ultimately will result in constricting hiring and the raising the cost of products in most industries to pay for fewer workers. The net effect will be fewer filled jobs leading to fewer goods being purchased, and California’s economy deteriorating rather than improving.

All of us should ask that our leaders stay focused on job creation (not job loss) and strengthening (not weakening) the economy. A recent Public Policy Institute of California poll found that 45 percent of those surveyed thought the most important issue facing the state was jobs and the economy. Is Sacramento understanding that?

Let’s start developing policies like lessening regulations and easing tax demands that support rather than burden our job creators. Let’s encourage job hiring, not undermine it. Then California will have a genuine turnaround that will truly benefit our state and all who live here.

— Alzada Knickerbocker, a Davis resident who owns The Avid Reader and Avid Reader Active bookstores in downtown Davis, is a member of the National Federation of Independent Business’ California Leadership Council.

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

.

News

 
UCD, UC team up to study effects of climate change

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Teens’ goal? Helping other soccer players around the world

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
There’s a plate for you at the Davis Holiday Meal

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Police seek suspect in hit-and-run collision

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Help sought in search for runaway Davis teen

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

Feds release ‘framework’ to rate colleges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Gunfire leads to DUI arrest

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Creative women share food, friendship

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Konditorei presents free holiday concert

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Welcome 2015 with Mumbo Gumbo at a gala bash

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Luminaria display planned in West Davis

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Sierra Club calendars on sale Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Willett bench is a labor of love

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A4

Author! Author! UCD hosts talks, Q and A on Asia-focused books

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Blue Christmas service planned at Davis churches

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Libraries will be closed around the holidays

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
See diving ducks at city wetlands tour

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Downtown gift cards get a new perk

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

Meditation, Buddhism classes offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
A home for the holidays?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Nobel Prize winner will discuss research related to autism

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Traditional carols service is Saturday at St. Martin’s

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Explorit: Experience nano this spring

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Supplies collected for victims of abuse

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

Grandmothers support group meets weekly

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
Soup’s On will benefit NAMI-Yolo

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

Donate to STEAC at Original Steve’s

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
.

Forum

He needs them to pay up

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Kudos to Central Park Gardens donors and volunteers

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A14

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A14

 
Cheers and Jeers: Have you ever seen the rain?

By Our View | From Page: A14

Defeating Ebola involves medicine, and prayers

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A14 | Gallery

 
.

Sports

Cousins is back in lineup but Kings fall

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Devil boys hold off scrappy Rio Linda

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Lady Blue Devils rout an undefeated Liberty squad

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
UCD RB coach Wright heads to Florida; what next?

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

Aggies nab junior college defensive lineman

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Nostra-Dunning makes his college bowl picks

By Bob Dunning | From Page: B2

Tennyson’s first goal is the difference in Sharks win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
.

Features

Name droppers: Trio elected to academy of inventors

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
.

Arts

 
‘Before Midnight’ screening is tonight

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

DMTC plans New Year’s Eve party

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

 
Tom Rigney and Flambeau to play

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

 
DMTC announces auditions for ‘Sweeney Todd’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

 
.

Business

After 19 years, Alfa Romeo returns

By Ann M. Job | From Page: A16

 
.

Obituaries

Rena Sylvia Smilkstein

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
.

Comics