by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The latest print edition of National Review features an interesting blurb about the impact of a recent increase in a government-mandated minimum wage.
“I’m hearing from a lot of customers, ‘I voted for that, and I didn’t realize it would affect you.'” So says Brian Hibbs, owner and operator of Comix Experience, an iconic San Francisco comic-book and graphic-novel shop, of the city’s new minimum-wage law. San Francisco’s Proposition J, which 77 percent of voters approved in November, will incrementally raise the minimum wage in the city to $15 by 2018; the first of four installments went into effect on May 1. “Despite being a progressive living in San Francisco, I do believe in capitalism,” says Hibbs. The new minimum wage threatens to force hundreds of shops out of business and thousands of employees out of their jobs. Hibbs has turned a profit and kept his employees well compensated for a quarter century simply by dint of a passion and acumen for his business. Continuing to do either in San Francisco’s zealously progressive economy does not require superhuman strength, but it might be nigh heroic nonetheless.