Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    California under allies

    The working poor of California, like millions of others around the country, are in need of a long overdue raise, but increasingly the minimum wage may ultimately be a bandaid on the open wounds of the emerging 21st century economy.

    The California “Fair Wage Act of 2016” $15 Minimum Wage Initiative would increase the minimum wage for the State of California to $15 by the year 2021, raising the minimum wage by a dollar each
    year respectively.

    Despite its potential shortcomings, the bill seems necessary to help low-income earners whose wages have remained stagnant for years in an economy that has seen unprecedented wealth increases for
    its top-earners.

    While memes are usually the low-end of internet humor, this one reflects a real sentiment among many potential voters and represents more than just a speculative possibility, but a growing reality as more automated checkouts and gas pumps begins to dot the nation.

    In keeping with Moore’s Law, there is no reason to believe that the drive to automation will not become a cheaper and more practical choice as time goes on, wage raise or not, well into the foreseeable future.

    Like a not-so-bright Hamlet laughing into the robotic skull of a T-1000, these conservatives don’t seem to understand the question let alone what is or isn’t to be.

    In his novel “Do Androids Dream Electric Sheep?” legendary Science Fiction author Philip K Dick wrote of a post-apocalyptic California in which robotic surrogates have taken the place of extinct animals.

    Our current predicament is not quite as dire, but the central economic problem of the 21st century may be ascertaining just what the cost of electric wages will be, and just what price that society will have to pay in the long-term.

    As for California’s living, breathing, thinking, feeling, needing, badly hurting homosapien workforce, if we can’t give them the back pay they truly deserve, or make any sincere promises about
    job security in their future, we can, at the very least, cut them a break in the present.

    Maxwell Sharp is a staff writer at the Tower. E-mail him at

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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