Terrible San Francisco "BadIdeaCA" Billboard Tells Workers iPads Can Replace Them
This November, San Franciscans will vote to raise the city's minimum wage to $15 by July 2018. While San Francisco has been a leader in strengthening the minimum wage, not everyone thinks it's a good idea. For instance, BadIdeaCA erected a giant billboard in San Francisco claiming that if the measure passes, you'll all be replaced by iPads!
That's right, silly restaurant workers. How dare you demand higher pay in a city where you would need to make $29.83 an hour to afford a one bedroom apartment! You know what's cheaper than you? iPads, that's what. And at least Siri can't talk back.
The billboard protests a consensus measure that will be on this November's ballot, which would steadily increase San Francisco's minimum wage, which is currently $10.74 an hour. The proposal mandates that by 2015 the minimum wages would be raised to $13, and $14 by 2016. Similar city-specific measures are being formulated in Oakland, Berkeley and Richmond.
BadIdeaCA is just one of the sites sponsored by the Employment Policies Institute, which touts itself as a "research institute" but is, in actuality, run by the same public relations firm that regularly represents the restaurant industry. EPI has also launched TippedWage, a campaign against raising the minimum wage for tipped workers, and the simply-named MinimumWage, which covers minimum wage issues across the country.
BadIdeaCA also launched a billboard in Hollywood this month as California raised its minimum wage to $9, starting July 1. Its sister site MinimumWage details the plight of the California teens, which according to its own analysis face one of the worst conditions for teen unemployment.
And what better way to get to the youths than with the bastion of fiscal and social responsibility: Miley Cyrus! Could we also remember that Miley isn't even a teen anymore? I think someone in the conservative group just discovered the work "twerk" and got pretty excited about it.
BadIdeaCA claims it is "holding activists accountable for minimum wage consequences," but it hard to take a group seriously when it has been so publicly outed for being in the pockets of the restaurant industry. It is particularly an eyebrow raiser when they primarily narrow their focus to teen unemployment rather than the wide-swept effects of raising the minimum wage.
In fact, the Associated Press reported last week that the 13 states that raised minimum wage at the beginning of 2014 are adding jobs faster than the national average. So, hey! Maybe raising minimum wage isn't such a bad thing. Even economists supporting a minimum wage increase say that this data, which was released by the Labor Department, doesn't establish a cause-and-effect for the minimum wage hike. But still, the numbers are optimistic for dispelling the idea that minimum wage increases lead to imminent economic disaster.
But I mean, if it does lead to the disaster, I guess we could all just be replaced with Apple products.