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Politics

Rubio’s Announces 48 Restaurant Closures Following CA $20 Minimum Wage Hike

The San Diego success story is struggling to stay afloat amid rapid wage costs.

The state of California’s economy continues its steady decline. With the proposed $20/hr minimum wage set in place by Gavin Newsom as part of State Bill 1228 on September 28th, 2023, small businesses are struggling to stay on their feet.

This wage increase is also affecting smaller chain restaurants such as Rubio’s Coastal Grill, which is being forced to shut down 48 of its 118 Southern California restaurants this month alone. These closures continue the trend of the lasting effects of failed policies put in place by California State officials.

During the pandemic, an approximated 100,000 restaurants closed their doors in the State and many continue to struggle. In false hopes of creating a living wage for the working class in California, Governor Newsom has failed to address the real long-term ramifications of his plan.

A weak economy affects all Californians, regardless of their class. When minimum wage employees are struggling financially, they are the hardest hit by the gradual increase in the general cost of living. Most prevalent, we see increased prices at the grocery store and at the pump. While the idea of a living wage may look good on paper, the policies put in place by Newsom will only serve to widen the gap between the 1% and the 99%.

Policies that are meant to have a positive effect on minimum wage employees create further strain on the backs of the working class. Increased taxes negate the wage increases promised by California lawmakers. Rubio’s closure of these 48 locations is just the most recent effect of these failed policies.

With an average of 15-25 employees per restaurant, the closure of these restaurants has effectively displaced 1000-plus working-class individuals who were already struggling to live paycheck to paycheck. Coupled with the steady increase of homelessness in California, the proposed increased minimum wage is a recipe for disaster.

These effects are even beginning to be seen by the Governor and his staff as just last month, Gavin Newsom was forced to slow his proposed increased minimum wage for healthcare workers. The wage increase was set to be in place this month and would have raised the minimum wage of healthcare workers to $25/hr.

During the pandemic, healthcare workers were championed as heroes by Newsom and his administration, today, they are being treated as second-class citizens whose hopes have been raised only to be crushed in the same breath.

The policies put in place by California’s Officials negatively impact all Californians. The proposed increase in minimum wage has a ripple effect that has left and continues to leave a lasting stain on the State’s economy. This stain has seeped into the pockets of all California residents and affects us all daily.

Reform is needed and new policies are required to reverse this economic decline.

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