In The News September 6, 2022

California’s Plan to Get Fast Food Workers Fired

Apparently unhappy with the current pace of business migration out of their state, California’s legislators have come up with a good way to accelerate it. They voted recently to create a council of political appointees to set wages in the fast-food industry. The so-called FAST Recovery Act awaits Governor Gavin Newsom’s signature. He can’t squash this ill-conceived initiative quickly enough.

California already has a minimum wage of $15 an hour. The new measure envisages raising this to as much as $22, with inflation-linked increases to follow — but only for those who work for big fast-food chains. Why this group should be singled out for special protection isn’t entirely clear. Yes, the bill’s proponents believe that market-determined wages are inherently predatory, and that the franchise business model compounds this underlying problem. Even so, the fast-food industry seems a strangely narrow target.