Aerial view of San Jose

From KQED Silicon Valley, we present a debate over Measure D: an effort to raise the minimum wage in San Jose. Inspired by a SJSU sociology class, activist students helped bring this ballot measure to the voters. But fears of job losses and rising costs have many in the business community fighting back against this measure.

Matthew Mahood, president and CEO of the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce
Larry Stone, businessman and Santa Clara County assessor

  • Rhet

    Rather than talk about raising the minimum wage, a better question might be, would people be willing to work for less money if they had free housing and free healthcare? Americans often don’t know much about the rest or the world, but these were the conditions when the Czech Republic was formed and were cited as the reasons why the Czech economy did so much better than those of Slovakia and Poland. A little socialism in the right places (not taking over the entire system) can boost an economy as well as keep speculators at bay.

  • Chemist150

    With high unemployment of youth, “no”, the minimum wage should not be raised. Consider the mismanagement of the public sector benefits, it’ll only encourage the same mismanagement of the private sector. Let ignorance be and do nothing.

  • chrisco

    Dave, why don’t you give us your answer to Valentino since you don’t like the mayor’s? The mayor isn’t being sympathetic enough, he isn’t begging Valentino to stay in San Jose and you can’t believe it. He is offending your sensibilities. It sounds like if you were mayor, you’d don the cape and head down to Valentino’s to personally investigate the burglary. You’d make sure Valentino and his family would stay and everyone would live happily ever after.

  • Chemist150

    Between raising minimum wage and lower higher wages (police, teachers, etc), the class squeeze is on. This will eventually lead to the expanding blight and unemployment.

    Taking advantage of the property value downturn to institute new and updated rent control/price standards would do more than raising the minimum wage.

  • Vince

    The raise in minimum wages may adversely affect businesses which are already running on tight budgets and force them to reduce or rather cut down employees on their payroll. Also, you should keep in mind that servers at restaurants make a lot of tips. Does it really make sense to increase the minimum wages of servers and put additional cost on businesses who already pay large payroll taxes besides bearing the increased operational costs? Hasn’t the cost of living or running a business gone up for everyone not just a selected few?

    • Jeff

      To generalize all minimum wage workers as just being servers already getting “loads” of tips is a highly-flawed myth. To ignore the vast majority of other workers merely working minimum wage is not considering the actual need for such a raise these workers need to try to make it in this economy.

      • jeff

        What about the first time employee with no real skills. Who will hire them if the burger place in San Carlos pays 8.50 with experience won’t the worker from San Carlos come to San Jose for $10 leaving the first time employee still unemployed unless they drive to San Carlos to get the job. So much for being GREEN.

  • KKTO

    Explain to me please, Mr. Mahood, how one should seek out the expensive higher education that indicate to employers you have the “skills” to do a better job when one is not making a livable wage. I am a teacher who has a master’s degree. I was laid off and now I am working as a security guard. To assume that all minimum wage jobs are “entry level” in our current economy is just ignorance. MANY of us have had to take lower paying jobs, to spite our education and experience and skills. All one has to do is look at ANY job posting site – hundreds of jobs that require skill and experience but still are paying minimum wage. Wake up, Mr. Mahood – come out of the office and walk the streets a little.

  • CubbY!

    Every single time someone proposes a raise in the minimum wage, we hear the same tired arguments. I started working at the age of sixteen 40 years ago. Since, I’ve seen several rises in the minimum wage and heard the same arguments against it: “Drive business away” “put people out of work.” However, in all those years, I’ve yet to see a neutral study on the subject providing evidence to support these arguments.

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